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Personal outreach can go a long way toward boosting customer loyalty and overall revenue. But many sales reps may not know how to turn off the sales switch — and reach out to customers when those customers aren’t looking to close another deal.

And because they may fear appearing pushy and overly sales-driven, some sales reps may opt to wait for customers to come to them instead. That’s a mistake.

The chance to stay top-of-mind and build long-term relationships isn’t something you want to pass up.

Here are some effective ways reps can reach out to existing customers without sounding pushy:

1. Forward to a friend

You’ve probably all used the small “Forward to a friend” calls-to-action in email to send a friend or co-worker an interesting article. Why not do it with a customer?

This is a great way to reach out and just remind customers: I’m thinking about you.

2. Say congratulations

Salespeople should be following what’s happening with their customers. When something big happens with customers and their businesses — like they launch a new product, win an award or have a birthday (Facebook can tell you when they were born) — be there to acknowledge it.

This tells customers you’re genuinely interested in their well-being.

3. Invite them to events

If your company is celebrating a milestone, a company team softball championship or the birth of an employee’s child, invite customers to come join the fun.

And don’t just shoot them an email, which they may never see. Instead, snail mail a personal invite or call them on the phone.

This will make them feel like part of the “family.”

4. Give them a referral

Referrals should be a two-way street. They don’t always have to come from your customers. They should come from your company as well.

Whenever you run across someone who can benefit from what your customer does, don’t be afraid to vouch for your client’s business.

It’ll be hard for a customer to walk away from someone who’s bringing them business.

5. Refer them to someone else who can help

Chances are you can’t solve every problem your customers have or fill every one of their business needs. So be on the lookout for other companies who can help full in the gaps.

If you develop a reputation as a connector, customers will feel as though they’ll miss out if they ever break their connection with you.

6. Send them a gift

Who doesn’t love a gift? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. It could be a small key chain, t-shirt, $5 Starbucks gift card or a promotional item your company gives away at trade shows — anything customers might find useful.

It’s the thought that counts.

Article Source: http://www.customerexperienceinsight.com/6-small-things-you-can-do-to-engender-customer-loyalty/?goback=.gde_1849542_member_5836993986186731524

I think many of us already know that limited time offers are effective in generating consumer interest and a certain conversion rate, higher than regular offers.

However, I don’t know how many of us have actually asked themselves WHY the limited time offer works this way and manages to gain attention and interest and eventually increase sales?

There are some things going on “behind the scenes” of a buying decision of a limited time offer (LTO).

  • Negative option

Some studies have shown that people weight gains and losses pretty differently. Namely, when an individual is paid with $50 for a particular task he feels a happiness sentiment. When he is fined with $50, the same individual feels a much deeper pain sentiment as compared to the happiness one.

A matter of ego

So earning $50 does not = losing $50. The balance doesn’t take our individual to a neutral feeling, his ego will keep feeling hurt. And this is the “magic” behind the way how most people work, in some situations. People can’t stand knowing they have to lose something, attention, EVEN IF they didn’t own it in the first place. So losing the opportunity to have something is very bad for the ego of people.

This is exactly what happens when some consumers chose to buy LTOs.

gain vs loss

They see a special opportunity to posses something and they don’t want to lose it. What if tomorrow the LTO won’t be there anymore and they just lost a great chance to have that pair of snickers at half-price?! This would feel just like paying a $50 fine for something their ego thinks it’s innocent. (and just as a hint, think about this: people almost never blame themselves for something wrong going on, for their entire life)

  • People don’t like waiting

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Another thing going on behind consumers’ decision of actually buying LTO’s is one of the general true facts about human nature. Namely, people never like waiting. They always want things to happen now, they want to get “that” now, they get bored fast and they want to change something in their lives as soon as possible. This also explains why LTOs use command terms most of the time, like “Buy NOW”.

Some may say people are willing to wait for a while when they know it’s waiting for a benefit. This is true – WHEN they know how much they have to wait and WHEN they know WHAT exactly they’re waiting for.

But when an LTO is up and running on your e-commerce platform, you usually only tell consumers that the LTO is “available today”. What consumers logically understand is that, after today, they will not benefit from this special offer, it will be over and they will have to make a normal purchase. So they are not told they have the option of waiting longer for more benefits (and what benefit? Your LTO says nothing about other benefits outside the LOT itself). Hence, they buy.

  • Your limited time offer meets consumers’ desires

Have you noticed what happens when people share their opinion on something, an idea they have, a thought and the others don’t agree? It’s usually a moment when the individual who shared the thought back off and stops sharing, because the other don’t endorse him. On the other hand, when the guy who shares is endorsed by his entourage that will make him go even more passionate, he recounts even more about his ideas, experiences, or whatever.

Same phenomenon happens in the conversation between an LTO and a consumer. When the two get in touch, IF the consumer is already interested in the category of products the LTO addresses, the chances to convert him into a sale are great. Imagine yourself desperately wishing for some latest gadgets for kitchen and you stumble upon a website where you meet a bunch of LTOs for precisely that niche. And they all meet your desires, you can make good use of all those interesting things. And you can have them as a bundled product, for 35% off if you buy today. Wow! You’re buying NOW!

water in the dessert

 

water in the dessert illusion

This is how some human psychology at work when it comes to buying decisions, influencing consumers, e-commerce as today we’re all online. When you’re marketing for growth of a business it’s about knowing how people behave, how to communicate a message effectively to them, understanding behavior patterns which are also strongly influenced by cultures. Of course, there is also the rest of a marketing strategy, but about that in future articles inside The Marketing Box.

Article Source: http://www.the-marketing-box.com/how-limited-time-offers-work-in-marketing/

It’s important that brands know their most loyal customers — the ones who live closest to them. The ‘locals’ are who are going to give you your best advertising: word of mouth. Keep your local customers loyal!
Local-Mobile-Marketing-Channels1

Article Source: http://blog.sweetiq.com/2013/08/informative-local-marketing-infographics/

As marketing becomes more data-driven, it’s vital to use data to keep up with trends, competitor strategies, and developments in your market. To that end, 94.7% of all marketers love blog posts about marketing statistics.
Okay, that statistic was made up (though probably not far off the mark), but the social media and digital marketing facts and statistics below are real (or at least from generally reliable sources). For example, 93% of marketers use social media for business. But how do marketers and consumers view social media differently? How do top executives use social media? Small businesses? Rapidly growing companies? B2b vendors? What are the best days and times for Facebook updates? What’s the average click-through rate of a link shared on Twitter? What tactic do 92% of SEO professionals view as effective? What percentage of queries on Google each day are new to the world (i.e., won’t show up in keyword research tools)?
Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here in 101 vital social and digital marketing stats for (the rest of) 2013.
Social Media Facts and Statistics
93% of marketers use social media for business. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
Social media has reached middle age(d). The fastest growing segment of social media users is now adults aged 45-54%.
55% of this age group now have a profile on at least one social network. (State of Search)
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most popular social networks with search engine marketers. The second-most popular tier includes YouTube, blogging and LinkedIn. The least popular major networks are Flickr, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. (B2B Infographics)
Marketers aren’t like ordinary people. (A pause here while you absorb the shock of that statement). While 86% of marketing professionals have “liked” at least one brand on Facebook, just 58% of consumers have done so. And the gap is even more dramatic on Twitter, where 61% of marketers but just 12% of consumers follow at least one brand. (Thought Reach)
Furthermore–75% of social media users “object to major companies and platforms using their personal information for commercial purposes.” And just 12% admit to having their purchases influenced by Facebook “Likes” or Google “+1s”. (Relevanza)
How big are these networks? As of January 2013, the five largest social networks based on active monthly users were: Facebook (1 billion), YouTube (800 million) and Google+ (343 million) followed by Twitter and LinkedIn with 200 million active monthly users each. (TECHi)
Social media users are more social than non-social-media-using-internet-users in real life too: social networkers are 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club, 19% more likely to attend a sporting event, and 26% more likely to give their opinion about politics and current events. (TECHi)
Half of all social media users under age 35 follow their online friends’ product and service recommendations. (TECHi)
Three-fourths of marketers planned to increase strategic efforts on social media and social networking sites this year, with 68% also focusing more on SEO and 63% on blogs. (eMarketer)
One in five married couples met online. But…20% of all divorces are blamed on Facebook. Coincidence? Hmm. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
As universal as business use of social media can seem to be, 26% of companies still block access to social media sites in their workplaces. 31% have no social media policy in place. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
54% of consumers say that “smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.” (MarketingProfs)
Social media…to engage or to advertise? Turns out agencies are slightly more likely than in-house marketers (81% vs. 75%) to advertise on social networks, while corporate marketers are significantly more likely to utilize “free” social media tools (89% vs. 71%). (Heidi Cohen)
70% of brand marketers (and 60% of agency professionals) view social media advertising as more valuable for building brand awareness than for driving direct response. (Heidi Cohen)
But–contradicting the statistic above–66% of brand advertisers want to see a measurable sales bump from social media advertising. (Heidi Cohen)
How C-Level Executives Use Social Media
82% of buyers say they trust a company more when its CEO and senior leadership team are active in social media. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company if its CEO uses social media. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
And yet – 36% of executives say their CEO “either does not care, or cares little, about the company’s reputation in social media.” (Polaris B)
It helps having a woman at the top. Female small business CEOs are 78% more likely to say social media is highly valuable to their firm’s growth (20.8% vs. 11.6%), and 43% less likely to say it isn’t valuable (14.2% vs. 25%). (Marketing Charts)
Email is still the most effective way to reach top executives; 90% say they check their inboxes regularly. 64% use LinkedIn on a regular basis, while 55% say the same for Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
How the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies Use Social Media
Only one-third of the companies in the Inc. 500 say they can adequately determine ROI for the social media spending. (Relevanza)
Yet 35% of marketers say ROI is the most important measure of inbound marketing success. 24% say marketing’s influence on sales and 16% cite conversion rate as the key metrics. (Marketing Charts)
90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 62% say social media is either “somewhat” or “very” necessary to their growth. (Heidi Cohen)
But just 44% of Inc. 500 companies maintain a blog. “This low number is a surprise since blogs drive social media, content marketing and search.” (Heidi Cohen)
While 31% of businesses overall have no social media policy in place (see above), that is true for only 22% of Inc. 500 firms. (Heidi Cohen)
How Small to Midsized Businesses (SMBs) Use Social Media
21% of small businesses plan to increase spending on social media advertising this year. (eMarketer)
92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool. They are evenly split on the effectiveness of social media for attracting new customers vs. engaging existing customers. (e-Strategy Trends)
A whopping 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing technology tool–second only to email marketing. 15% say blogging is most effective at engaging existing customers; 11% value it more for attracting new customers; and 69% say blogging is equally effective for both objectives. (e-Strategy Trends)
Facebook Facts and Statistics Obsession? 23% of Facebook users check their accounts five or more times every day. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
But it’s vital for businesses to have a Facebook presence: 80% of Faceook users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
47% of Americans say that Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than any other social network. (State of Search)
Facebook = mobile. More than half of all Facebook members have used the social network via a smartphone, and 33% use a phone as their primary means of Facebook access. (State of Search)
67% of b2c marketers have generated leads through Facebook. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
33% of milennial consumers are more likely to buy from a company if it has a Facebook page. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
The best time and day for Facebook postings? Saturdays at noon. To maximize sharing, post to Facebook 3-4 times per week. (Visual.ly)
56% of Facebook users check in at least daily. 7% say they would check a message “during an intimate moment.” Awk-ward. (TECHi)
Half of all mobile web traffic in the U.K. goes to Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
48% of consumers who follow brands on Facebook do so in order to take advantage of sweepstakes and promotions.
18% follow to complain about a product or service. (MarketingProfs)
67% of the Inc 500 use Facebook, a decline of 7 percentage points from 2011. Facebook “demands dedicated resources” but doesn’t always show a comensurate return. (Heidi Cohen)
While 75% of internet users over age 45 prefer to share information using email, 60% of those under 30 say the same for Facebook. (Relevanza)
LinkedIn Facts and Statistics
97% of business executives have used LinkedIn. (Search Engine Journal)
LinkedIn rules for business owners. Asked which social media tool had the greatest potential to help their firms, 41% of small business owners chose LinkedIn. More CEOs chose LinkedIn than chose Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest combined. (Marketing Charts)
LinkedIn is the “social platform of choice” for companies in the Inc. 500, the index of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. 81% of these firms use LinkedIn, compared to 67% on both Facebook and Twitter. (Relevanza)
80% of LinkedIn users are at least 30 years old. (Relevanza) Twitter Facts and Statistics On Twitter, frequency (and quality) matter: 71% of all tweets are ignored. Just 23% generate a reply. (Search Engine Journal)
Worse, 56% of customer tweets to companies are ignored. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
69% of follows are based on recommendations from friends. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
34% of marketers say they have generated leads using Twitter. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
53% of Twitter users have been using it for less than one year. (State of Search)
50% of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
The average click-through rate (CTR) for a link shared on Twitter is about 1.6%, BUT—the average CTR drops as one’s number of Twitter followers increases. Accounts with 50-1,000 followers generate a better-than-6% average CTR; the rate drops to less than 0.5% on average for accounts with 10,000 or more followers. (Bit Rebels)
During the work week, Tuesday has the highest CTR (1.8%) and Friday the lowest (under 1.5%). (Bit Rebels)
During the day, CTRs are highest between 8:00-10:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm. (Bit Rebels)
When planning timing of tweets, keep in mind that almost half of the U.S. population lives in the eastern time zone, and 80% of Americans live on eastern or central time. (Visual.ly)
Maximum CTR on tweets occurs between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Unless you are particating in a Twitter chat, there’s no point in tweeting more than four times per hour. (Visual.ly)
Nearly 40% of top executives say they check Twitter regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
67% of the Inc 500 use Twitter. Though valuable for content marketing and customer service, it is labor-intensive. (Heidi Cohen)
Pinterest Facts and Statistics
Women still constitute 80% of Pinterest users. (Search Engine Journal)
50% of users are parents. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
80% of pins are repins. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
Pinterest and Tumblr are among the “stickiest” social media sites, each accounting for, on average, 89 minutes of time spent per month per user. That compares to 21 minutes monthly on average spent on Twitter, 17 minutes on LinkedIn, and just three minutes on Google+. (TECHi)
25% of all female internet users in the U.S. use Pinterest–compared to just 5% male web users. (eMarketer)
Google+ Facts and Statistics
Google+ has attracted users, but not engagement. Non-mobile users spend an average of just three minutes per month on the site, and 30% of users who make a public post never make another one. (Search Engine Journal)
40% of marketers use Google+. Two-thirds plan to increase activity there over the coming year. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
This doesn’t count as an official statistic, but in the process of collecting 100+ social media stats and facts, only the two above related specifically to Google+. For whatever that’s worth.
Blogging Facts and Statistics
B2b companies that maintain blogs generate, on average, 67% more leads per month than non-blogging firms. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
57% of marketers have acquired customers via their blogs, and 52% of consumers say blogs have impacted their purchasing decisions. (B2B Infographics)
Just 44% of Inc. 500 companies blog – but that is up from 2011. (Relevanza)
Blogs are rated by consumers as the third-most influential category of sites influencing purchasing behavior (after retail sites and brand sites) – yet they garner just 10% of social media budgets (comnpared to 57% for Facebook). (Pamorama)
Blogs are the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for online information (ahead of Google+, forums, online magazines, brand sites, Twitter and Pinterest). (Pamorama)
86% of “influencers” blog. (Pamorama)
23% of top executives say they read blogs regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
Content Marketing Facts and Statistics
Content marketing works. 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness; 59% believe it supports sales growth; and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs. (iMedia Connection)
92% of SEO practitioners say content creation is an effective SEO tactic, and 76% regularly invest in content creation. (B2B Infographics)
Marketers spend most of their time producing blog posts, article and guides, social media updates, e-newletters, and news releases; they spend the least on podcasts, polls and surveys. (B2B Infographics)
While 90% of companies are engaged in some form of content marketing [http://webbiquity.com/book-reviews/book-review-content-rules/], just 36% believe their efforts are highly effective. (Polaris B)
Images are (important!) content too: 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images. Using photos provides a 37% increase in Facebook engagement and 14% increase in news release pageviews. (Heidi Cohen)
B2B Marketing Statistics and Facts
Social matters in b2b. 53% of b2b buyers follow social discussions about vendors they are considering. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
The role of sales has changed. 67% of the typical “b2b buyer’s journey” is now done digitally. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
Google accounts for 90% of search traffic to b2b websites. (MediaPost)
Average conversion rates for different types of b2b web traffic: 1.60% overall; 2.89% for email; 1.04% for referral visits; 1.96% for paid search; 1.80% for branded search; 1.65% for direct visits; 1.45% for non-brand organic search; and 1.22% for social media. (MediaPost)
The biggest challenges for b2b content marketers? 64% struggle to produce enough content, while just over half (52%) find production of “engaging” content a challenge. (imFORZA)
More than 80% of b2b marketers use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to distribute content. 61% use YouTube and 39% Google+. The least popular channels (all with single-digit percentage use) are Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr and Quora. (Polaris B)
SEO is for traffic, social is for leads? Organic search accounts for, on average, 41% of traffic to SMB b2b websites, but just 27% of leads. Social media, in contrast, supplies just 2% of visits but 5% leads. And email accounts for just 1% of web traffic on average, but 9% of leads. (eMarketer)
Breaking that social traffic down one level, Facebook accounts for 54% of b2b website social media visits, but just 9% of leads; Twitter, on the other hand, provides less than a third of social visits but a whopping 82% of social leads. (Really?) (eMarketer)
SEO Statistics and Facts
Search produces quality traffic. SEO leads have a 14.6% sales close rate on average, compared to 1.7% for outbound leads (e.g., from direct mail or print advertising). (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
Search is the top traffic driver to content-oriented websites, producing on average nearly four times the traffic of social media (41% from search, 11% from social). (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
Another study found an even more dramatic advantage for search, with organic search supplying 40% of all traffic (and Google alone accounting for 36% of visits) to b2b websites, while social media accounted for just 5% of traffic. (Forbes)
Keyword research only goes so far: 16% of daily Google searches, on average, have never been seen before. (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)
Remember when Google first started “hiding” the exact keywords used in organic search, and promised this would only affect a small percentage of search traffic? It now hides, on average, keyword data for 41% of all organic searches. (MediaPost)
For b2b websites, on average, the split between branded and non-brand search traffic is 31%/69%. (MediaPost)
6 of 10 organizations plan to increase SEO spending this year. (imFORZA)
One-third of searches are location based. (imFORZA)
71% of marketers say that content marketing has helped inprove their site’s ranking in organic search, and 77% say it has increased website traffic. (iMedia Connection)
Nearly a quarter of U.S. small businesses plan to spend more on their web presence this year–as well they should. As of early 2013, “More than 60% lacked an address on their homepage, and nearly 50% did not provide a contact number…47% were not present on Google Places, and 35% did not have a Bing Local presence.” (eMarketer)
Don’t forget to optimize videos for search. YouTube is the second-largest “search engine” by volume of searches. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
Top brands spend, on average, 19% of their digital marketing budgets on search, vs. 14% on video content and 10% on social media. But the largest share (41%) goes to display advertising. (MarketingProfs)
Mobile Marketing Statistics and Facts
25% of all internet searches last year were made on mobile devices. And 25% of all U.S. internet users are mobile only (includes tablets). (imFORZA)
More than three-quarters (77%) of mobile users use their smartphones and tablets for searching and social networking. (imFORZA)
While mobile marketing is by no means unimportant, it may not justify quite the attention it gets. Marketers have a disorted view of the market because while 90% of marketing professionals own smartphones, but half of consumers do. And while 41% of marketing professionals say they have made a purchase based on information on Facebook, less than a third of consumers with smartphones–and just 12% of consumers without smartphones–have done so. (Thought Reach)
Forget the app, just use email. 33% of consumers say the email is the most effective tool for building loyalty, vs. 26% of marketers. On the other hand, 23% of marketing pros believe that custom apps are most effective at loyalty building; just 7% of consumers agree. (Thought Reach)
Asked how their marketing strategies would change in 2013, the largest percentage of marketers (82%) planned to increase their focus on mobile media. The largest decreases were expected in newspaper and magazine advertising. (eMarketer)

20 under 40 headshot - 2013As great as Kobe is, he can’t take on the other team by himself. Tiger Woods relies on his caddy to give guidance. I have an amazing office of talented people who make me look good. Who do you have?

Having the right team is more integral than you think. It’s about more than having someone to bounce ideas off of or split the workload – it most often comes down to complimentary skillsets. I don’t need 10 Alex’s following me around all day (ugh, that would be terrible for all of us!), I need people who excel at things I do poorly.

On a broad level, most people can be assessed simply: organized or not, detailed or not, creative or not, techy or not, salesy or not.

So, if you want to run a company that requires sales, and you have a product to sell, you’d better find someone good at selling. Seems obvious, right? I can’t tell you how often I see people try to become the thing they have no chance at being good at, while paying the price financially to try to learn it. Sure, tinker around with playing the piano for years, doesn’t really matter – but when in business, time is money, and more often than not tinkering leads to the demise of a well-intentioned business concept.

Small business owners in particular suffer from this dilemma- they make great sandwiches, but lack the skills to run a successful sandwich shop. The TEAM is what fills in the blanks and makes the whole thing work.

When considering small business marketing solutions, I see too many ‘tradesmen’ (someone who excels at a particular craft, like making shoes or sushi) try to “figure out” how to leverage social and mobile marketing to build their business. They set up a Facebook page, run a couple of terrible promotions, get some flyers they designed using MS Word printed on bright pink paper and expect that to somehow make them money. Ugh. Blame it on the economy, right? BS.

The smart ones invest in a team – people who are tradesmen of MONEY MAKING. Those people are good at making money, and probably make a terrible sandwich…a match made in heaven!

The proprietor articulates the vision and goals for the company, and supports his ‘money making team’ to go make him more money. Meanwhile, he makes sure they keep making great sandwiches.

When considering your goals and roadmap to get there, be honest with yourself, realize your strengths and supplement your weaknesses with great people. A recipe for success.

  • Sixty-one percent of U.S. consumers feel more positive about a brand when marketing messages are personalized.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of consumers are less responsive to non-personalized or “mass-marketing” messages.
  • More than half (53 percent) are more likely to purchase when a brand personalizes digital communications.
  • More than half (52 percent) trust brands that enable consumers to share their marketing preferences more than brands that do not.

Sixty-one percent of U.S. consumers feel more positive about a brand when marketing messages are personalized, according to new research(1) from Responsys, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTG), a marketing cloud software and services leader. The results, which also indicate that consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that personalize their digital communications, call attention to the need for marketers to let go of dated marketing tactics that treat every consumer in the same way, and move into the relationship era of marketing where marketers orchestrate individual experiences at massive scale.

“In the quest for scale, individual consumer relationships got brushed to the side as marketers felt the pressure to churn out campaign after campaign,” said Scott Olrich, President, Marketing and Platform at Responsys. “Today, in the relationship era of marketing, marketers are realizing that they can in fact orchestrate relevant and targeted experiences at scale across multiple channels, and that this more sophisticated approach can have the greatest long-term impact on the success of their programs.”

“Consumers are demanding more personalized relationships with their favorite brands, so as marketers we must provide our customers with the most relevant content at the right moment throughout the customer journey,” said Alexandra Braunstein, Senior Marketing Manager at XO Group Inc., a global media and technology leader with brands like The Knot and The Bump. “Responsys shares this vision and because of our partnership, we’re delivering increasingly individualized and relevant content, which keeps our customers more engaged and improves brand loyalty.”

Responsys’ survey found that nearly half (44 percent) of consumers are less responsive to non-personalized, or “mass-marketing” messages. Perhaps this apathy is a reflection of the survey finding that nearly two thirds (64 percent) of consumers see personalization as a sign that the brand values its customers. Roughly one half feel respected, understood by and have a sense of loyalty and connection to brands that personalize digital communications.

Marketers are ultimately responsible for driving sales and Responsys’ survey found that when messages are personalized, more than half of consumers (53 percent) are more likely to purchase from that brand. The impact is even more positive on younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 who are 65 percent more likely to purchase from brands that personalize the content delivered to them.

With two-thirds of consumers who engage with brands using multiple channels to do so(2), the survey also found that consumers value personalization across all points of interaction, with the most (67 percent) saying it is important for brands to personalize email communications, followed by social media (44 percent), SMS (40 percent) and web display ads (36 percent). Again, younger consumers (18-34) are more likely to place importance on personalization across channels.

In being more targeted and relevant in their communications, brands are also increasingly expected to honor consumer preferences around when, where and how they should be contacted. Responsys’ survey found that nearly two thirds (63 percent) of consumers believe it is important that brands manage their digital communications in line with consumer preferences and more than half (52 percent) trust brands that enable consumers to share their marketing preferences more than brands that do not. Of this group, 66 percent say that if a brand gives them the ability to express their preferences, they are more inclined to purchase from that brand.

Article Source: http://markets.financialcontent.com/stocks/news/read/24702269/The_Consumer_Has_Spoken

20 under 40 headshot - 2013The other day I was on a phone call with a friend of mine. We marveled at the money people dump into traditional media. Thousands for radio, TV, direct mail, yellow pages… the list goes on and on. But the return those businesses are seeing on that traditional marketing is so minimal, is it really worth the money?

Marketing has a lot to do with the status quo. People know traditional marketing. They can see it, feel it, touch it. They understand how to utilize it, and they know since it’s been around so long their customers will know what they’re seeing, feeling and touching as well. The problem is that just because something is familiar and “traditional” doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for your business.

Small business owners have a bad habit of obsessing over new customers. That’s really why they use traditional marketing; it’s broad spectrum. Small business owners rely on mass marketing to hopefully entice a few customers who see their message to come into their store. But did you know that a current, loyal customer could be more valuable to your business?

Roughly 12-15% of customers are loyal to a single retailer. Doesn’t seem like a big number yet, does it? But that 12-15% of your customers typically represent between 55-70% of your sales. Now those customers seem a lot more valuable to you, don’t they?

So what I have a hard time understanding is why businesses choose to spend an incredibly large amount of time and money on marketing that’s aimed at such a broad audience. It costs 5-7 times more to find a new customer than to retain one. Implementing a loyalty solution and utilizing mobile marketing can mean the difference between keeping those most loyal customers and trying to rush as many new people through the door as possible.

Mobile marketing is a highly targeted form of advertising, geared toward those customers you know like and buy your product. When you thank a customer for being loyal to you, by offering them an incentive or reward, you show them they mean something to you. That you understand their business is what keeps you making money. And this targeted advertising, because it’s something new, exciting and high-tech, makes small business owners nervous. They don’t see how valuable it could be to their business.

People know there should be a better way to market to consumers in 2013. Savvy merchants are in the market for new, exciting technology that can help them implement better marketing solutions. And they will be a start of a much larger ground swell.

geoffWhy do people buy bottled water they can get for free out of the tap?

Why does advertising work on everyone else, but not me?

Why do advertisers keep repeating an ad over and over?

We all too often miss the subtle changes we make in our lifestyle based on influences that occur in our environment. From the toilet tissue we buy to the color of hair dye we choose, most consumers are not making choices exclusively for themselves but are also doing what they believe will make others happy.

Through the subtle persuasions of advertising and marketing, we become convinced of a product’s value over time. We get more of a sense of security in our decision to purchase a product the more we see it and the more others seem to be using it. Traditional marketing aims to convince us of majority buy-in and credibility. This is what creates the “buying environment” Jeffrey Gitomer refers to in The Little Red Book of Selling.

Mobile marketing vs traditional marketing is far more direct and panders to our impatient two-second attention spans we all have and gets right to the point. “Come in today”, “Call now” or “Buy now!” are all call to actions you rarely hear or see in traditional advertising.

Mobile marketers need to be careful not to disrupt this buying environment consumers are used to. A push notification with a deal or exclusive offer can be fun and engaging, but too many offers can lead to the consumer losing the sense of exclusivity and begin to perceive the merchant as desperate.

Take a lesson from tried and true traditional marketing and slow things down a bit. Offer information and education, but not always a DEAL. Find ways of engaging customers without screaming “buy, buy, buy!”

Do you know what the top three Google searches are for mobile marketing? The first is “mobile marketing,” and the second is “mobile media.” But the third most popular Google search about mobile marketing is “What is mobile marketing?”

Data like that suggests that businesspeople are still trying to wrap their heads around this growing and evolving industry. If people are still asking what mobile marketing is, then they’re probably also struggling with how to use it to drive leads for their business.

With that in mind, we’ve written this blog post and created an infographic called The 17 R’s of Mobile Marketing. It’s based on a chapter from Go Mobile, the best-selling mobile marketing book in America written by HubSpot VP Marketing Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner, a HubSpot customer and founder of the 60 Second Marketer.

The 17 R’s of Mobile Marketing, which we elaborate on below, should help you ease your way into the world of mobile and show you some best practices for using mobile marketing to generate leads for your business. As always, feel free to embed the infographic on your own blog or website.

17 R's of Mobile Marketing Infographic FULL SIZE

1) Review your web analytics to determine what percent of your visitors are using mobile devices to access your website. A simple way to check this is to use Google Analytics, which provides data on whether your visitors are coming in from a desktop or a mobile device. If you’re a retail location, your mobile visits may account for up to 50% of your total traffic. If you’re a traditional B2B company, your mobile visits may be closer to 15%. Either way, tracking mobile visits vs. desktop visits can give you insights into how your prospects are finding information about your products or services.

2) Relevant messages are a critical part of mobile marketing. A great way to keep them relevant is to ask people who opt-in for mobile marketing messages to indicate their interests when signing up. For example, if your company is taking part in a trade show, you might encourage people to sign up for a free giveaway by scanning a QR code at your booth. When they scan the code and opt-in, you can ask them to indicate their business interests, which will ensure that future messages to them stay relevant and meaningful.

3) Request feedback from your subscribers on how they perceive your mobile marketing campaigns. This can be done through regular email, or via a mobile survey subscribers can answer via their smartphone. If you’re requesting feedback via smartphone, keep questions short and closed-ended. Questions like “Can you rate our customer service on a scale from 1 to 5?” are great. But open-ended questions such as “Can you explain your most recent customer service experience in the form below?” won’t be thumb-friendly and should be avoided.

4) Recruit customers and prospects that are receptive to your mobile marketing campaigns.  If your target market is between the ages of 14 and 45, the odds are they’re smartphone-savvy and would be likely to connect via a mobile marketing campaign. But if your target market is under the age of 13 or over the age of 65, mobile marketing may not be your best option since mobile usage is lower for those segments.

5) Registering for your mobile marketing programs should be easy, so keep forms extremely short. Forms that are thumb-friendly will get better results than forms that are longer and more in-depth. As a side note, even if your forms are short, your privacy statement shouldn’t be. Prospects and customers will want to know how their information is being used, so be sure to provide an easy way to read the fine print.

6) Rate the usefulness of your campaigns to your subscribers on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most helpful. By doing so, you’ll be able to track the percentage of your campaigns that provide high value. Why is this important? When someone provides your business permission to reach them via their mobile device, they’ve given you a very personal invitation. (Think about how many people keep their mobile phones by their beds, and this will all make sense.) Therefore, your mobile marketing messages should provide something of genuine value. In other words, be sure to send them more 10s than you send them 1s.

7) Region or location-centric messages can be very valuable to your customers – particularly if the subscribers are encouraged to visit a location for a special promotion. SUBWAY sandwiches in the U.K., for example, sponsored an opt-in SMS campaign where customers received special offers via text when they walked by SUBWAY locations. Similar location-based campaigns have been run on the B2B side of the equation, most notably at trade shows where location-based banner ads were deployed to people participating in the event. When you deploy mobile marketing messages that acknowledge the recipient’s specific location, you’ll generate a higher conversion rate. Ultimately, that results in a better ROI.

8) Reminders about time-sensitive information or tasks are another great use of mobile marketing messages. Doctors and dentists are using SMS to send appointment reminders to patients. And TV networks have run mobile ads that allow people to set up reminders on their mobile calendars about program schedules.

9) Respect the frequency of mobile message use. One study by CTIA.org indicated that text messages are read within 4 minutes of receipt compared to 48 hours for an email message. Since people read some mobile messages immediately, the wear-out factor is higher than with other forms of marketing. Keep that in mind when deploying your mobile marketing messages – too many messages will result in a high unsubscribe rate.

10) Return important notifications to keep customers updated on the status of their engagement with your company. “Your order is being shipped” and “Here is your tracking number” are two helpful messages that customers would like to receive once they’ve opted in to receive messages from you via mobile. Always include a reminder that says, “Click here to opt-out of future messages like these.” Providing that kind of flexibility builds trust with prospects and customers.

11) Respond to “Reply” texts quickly. Text messages from prospects and customers are just as important as a phone call or an email. Unfortunately, they’re often overlooked or fall through the cracks. Be sure to have systems in place that prevent this from happening since there are very few things that will frustrate a customer as much as being ignored.

12) Record and document any issues or feedback concerns, then act on those concerns in a timely manner. Sometimes this may mean a change in the campaign strategy or it may simply mean a change in tactics. Either way, by keeping track of feedback and concerns, you’ll be able to adjust your campaign and improve your results over time.

13) Responsible campaigns and programs will encourage customers to look for the next notification. Design your campaigns to be brief yet tantalizing for your target groups. A successful mobile marketing campaign provides something of value with the promise of additional value for people who stay engaged. That’s why mobile apps like Foursquare and SCVNGR often provide extra bonuses for people who “check in” more than once.

14) Referral campaigns can be a great way to gain new subscribers and customers. One way to do this is to run a mobile banner ad campaign that, when clicked, sends an email or text message to the mobile user’s friends. By providing this “forward to a friend” feature, you’ll get more bang for your buck and improve the ROI of your mobile marketing program.

15) Rely on good systems and software that not only deploy your mobile marketing messages reliably, but also measure and provide statistics about campaign performance. The old saying “Garbage in, garbage out” is as true in mobile as it is in other forms of marketing. The more reliable the data that goes in, the more reliable the results that come out.

16) Reality is that mobile marketing is new, and therefore not many companies have fully adopted a mobile marketing strategy for their business clients. While the vast majority of companies have plans to launch mobile marketing campaigns in 2012, up until recently, most companies didn’t even have a plan in place. Have patience knowing that this is a growing segment – and the growth is definitely accelerating.

17) Rapid adaptation to new trends and techniques in mobile marketing must be incorporated into your plan’s strategy. If a mobile campaign is not working, or if there is a better way to implement a program, don’t be afraid to change your plans. Also, the world of mobile users often expect there to be frequent changes – so set routine changes and improvements as part of your strategy.

There are so many changes happening in mobile marketing today that it’s hard to keep up, but that shouldn’t discourage you from diving right in. The fact is, your consumers are using mobile almost every hour of every day, so shouldn’t you use it, too? Let us know your thoughts on what’s working for you in mobile marketing.

Article Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31103/The-17-R-s-of-Savvy-Mobile-Marketing-INFOGRAPHIC.aspx?source=Blog_Email_[The%2017%20R%27s%20of%20Savvy%20]

geoffAdvertisers are lying to you. They want you to believe that you need to consistently get new customers through your doors. However, it’s important to realize that you already have the customers – what you really need to be doing is keeping your customers coming back consistently. Loyal customers will be your biggest form of advertising through word-of-mouth and recommendations to friends. Watch my video to learn more!

your advertisers are lying to you video