Integrated Marketing Communications – IMC for short – connects marketing teams, making sure that all brand messaging and communications are aligned and consistent. With the united front that IMC provides, companies are stronger and better able to communicate both internally and with external parties like customers, prospects and partners.
But what is an IMC really? To fully benefit from the advantages that a fully integrated marketing communication strategy offers, it’s important to understand exactly how it works. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore the powerful impact that an IMC provides. First, though, we need to establish a few basics, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.
What is Integrated Marketing Communications?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) helps marketing teams connect all of their communications and messages to keep consistent branding. Essentially, IMC is the strategy that takes your marketing department from separate initiatives and activities, with different messaging and approaches, to one interconnected approach. IMC takes all the various marketing activities, collaterals, and channels and merges them with one branding message and tactic.
Consider all the elements that make up a marketing department for a moment. There’s marketing – consumers, products, services, corporate -, public relations, content, creative, perfromance, and lead generation, to name a few. Marketing is a very large field after all, so it’s no surprise that the many different aspects can sometimes clash into each other without something to unify them.
Enter integrated marketing communications, the unifying force that can tie all the different marketing targets, objectives, and strategies together. Bridging the gaps between the disparate marketing agendas is key to advancing any overal marketing goal and reaching any company KPIs.
Examples of an Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns
There are several great examples of IMC campaigns, many of which you’ll not even have noticed when you’ve come across them. All we see is the end result, a consolidated, integrated message that touches us in all the right ways and motivates us to purchase the products or services they’re advertising. Take the following two campaigns for example:
1. Always #LikeAGirl
Feminine care brands like Always and Dove are consistently trying to be the voice for good. They adovcate for self-esteem and inner beauty. Knowing that their products start to play a role in young girls’ lives usually around the same time that they also start struggling with their self-image and self esteem, Always is always determined to make a difference. The effort they’ve put into their campaigns has won them multiple awards from various institutions.
2. Snickers: You’re not you when you’re hungry
Many of us feel ‘off’ when we’re running low on energy, and we need a pick-me-up. Snickers hits the nail on the head with the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. It’s one of the most well-known advertising lines to date and chances are that you’ve seen the ads somewhere whether on television, at a bus stop, or on YouTube.
Both these campaigns deliver a single brand message to their audiences, integrated and consolidated brand messaging. We don’t see what it ties together, and that’s the point – all that we know is that there’s a message and it’s clear. These campaigns tie together all of Always’ and Snickers’ messaging across the marketing board and because of that solidarity the advertising resonates more strongly with its audience.
Integrated Marketing Communications pulls together otherwise disparate strategies and brand messaging. By bringing everything together under one banner, companies strengthen their marketing and branding both internally and externally. As in all things, a united front is a stronger front and sends a stronger message.
Are you looking to strengthen your brand messaging? Would you like to run IMC campaigns that empower your company? We can help with that!
Planning to hire a content marketing agency to manage your company’s content? Whether you need landing pages, blog posts, infographics or other types of content, it’s important to find the right fit.
Do you think all content marketing agencies are the same? We’d like to tell you different—every content agency develops and executes on campaigns differently. Each agency also has a unique team that brings a diverse mix of knowledge, skills, and creativity to the table.
There are two things to consider when searching for the “best fit” agency—the nature of your business and the kind of content an agency can produce. Overlooking these runs the risk of failing to add value to your brand.
Before we share tips for selecting the right content marketing agency, let’s first discuss what the role of content marketing agencies should be.
What Does a Content Marketing Agency Do
The name itself is self-explanatory – “an agency that creates content”. However, its goal isn’t just limited to content creation. It should, through its expertise, help your business to leverage the content to establish your online presence.
Content pieces (i.e. blog articles, videos, landing pages, social media posts, etc.) may help spread a positive brand image across the Internet for your business.
A content marketing agency should also work on marketing initiatives for the created content to help your business achieve the following:
Attract new leads
Keep customers engaged
Increase conversion rates
Track and monitor progress
Update the content strategy
So now that you’re aware of the role of a content marketing agency, let’s tackle something more interesting. Below are four tips on finding a content marketing firm that best matches your specific needs.
According to CMI, 72% of B2B marketers said that content marketing strategy is a critical factor in content marketing success. The respondents with a documented strategy report more successful campaigns than those with a verbal strategy only, or no strategy at all.
When looking for an agency, ensure that they can develop a specific strategy that meets your business’ needs and goals. During a pitch, you can request for a general content strategy for your industry and analyse their response.
Examine the proposed content marketing strategy and check if it addresses the following questions:
Who are your target customers and what content types best suit them?
The strategy should take a stab at defining your target audience, customer touchpoints and the content types needed to reach them.
What goals can you achieve using content marketing?
An agency should identify the goals that your business can attain through their content marketing strategy. Typical goals include increased website traffic, more leads, greater social media engagement, and so on.
How content marketing-related processes are streamlined?
The content marketing pitch should discuss who will be producing and managing your content. It should also present the tools needed and give an overview of the workflow and processes if you were to work together.
Great things in business are never done by a person; they’re done by a team of people. This popular Steve Jobs quote may come in handy when doing an agency search.
You should spend some time chatting with the agency’s team members to check whether there’s rapport. Doing this will also let you know if they have the needed expertise to achieve your goals.
For example, if you want to increase website traffic via search engines, social media and email marketing, the content marketing agency should have staff who specialise in those platforms with proven past results.
You can’t expect a content writer to develop SEO-optimized content if he or she lacks knowledge about key SEO requirements. That’s like asking a pastry chef to prepare the main course in a restaurant—it’s possible but the results aren’t guaranteed.
Besides focusing on achieving your goals, it’s also nice to work with professionals who can market your content without making a cultural faux pas.
Your content marketing agency should anticipate any sort of misinterpretation during the ideation process.
The Pepsi commercial mishap also proves the need for a content team with different opinions, cultures, and beliefs. The more diverse a team is, the greater the chance to spot probable misconceptions and complete tasks efficiently.
Without proper tracking, it’s hard to determine whether your content marketing efforts are working. You would not be able to analyse whether your different content supports your overall marketing and business goals.
This is where you should consider the ability of content marketing agencies to measure, interpret and analyse your content performance. A good content marketing agency should have analysts and the right tools on hand to perform such activities.
During your assessment, ask how they would measure your content performance and work towards aligning with and achieving your goals. They should be able to provide you with an effective measurement plan with metrics that help gauge your goals.
This chart from CMI’s Vice President of Marketing, Cathy McPhillips, can serve as your reference:
Typically, content marketing agencies utilise measurement tools like Google Analytics to track, analyse, and report on performance. Examples of such reports are Site Content reports. This report lets you look at your website’s traffic and further segment it to determine which source the traffic came from.
Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages report
4. Know Who You Are Working With
It’s important to know who you will be working with before entering into any new business relationship. Evaluate first the agency’s reputation and the work they do to ensure a fruitful partnership.
Ideally, it should be free of ethical or legal problems, have relevant industry experience, and most importantly—have a roster of happy and satisfied clients.
It also helps to look at their website. As a content marketing expert, their website should be filled with timely, helpful and excellent content. They should practice what they preach and use content marketing to market their own agency’s services.
While browsing through their website, check for past clients vouching for their work. Positive client testimonials are proof that the agency and/or their services offer great value. If they don’t have any public testimonials, ask them if they can provide you with a pitch deck consisting of their present and past clients.
Lastly, have a conversation with them. An in-person or virtual video meeting will make it easier for you to gauge their transparency and confidence. Ask them questions such as “Who will handle the campaigns?”, “How often would the status meetings be held?” and so on.
Content marketing experts should be able to respond to your queries and enlighten you on their work procedures. They should brief you about how they research and plan out content, produce the content pieces, and monitor or analyse the performance.
Summing It Up
Content marketing isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a tried and tested approach that can drive profitable customer actions. So if you want to drive content marketing success, tie-up with a content marketing agency that understands your needs and goals.
Whether it’s to drive more website traffic, capture the audience’s attention, increase brand engagement, or improve brand recall, 2Stallions can help you out. We will run an analysis of your website and develop a plan based on your existing analytics data and your desired outcomes.
Excited to get started? Request a quote today and be sure to tick on content marketing under the services of interest field.
Articles sensationalizing the “death” of SEO are clickbait. Google commands over 90% of worldwide search traffic today. In short, SEO is never going to die. If your company wants to prosper online, you need SEO.
An example would be the featured snippet algorithm update in Jan 2020. Featured snippets (short texts that answer a search query) now count as one of the ten web page listings on the search results page (SERP).
This means that when you focus on SEO for your company, you need to also try and appear in featured snippets – something that wasn’t part of the SEO scope just a year ago.
Before we dive into the five reasons your company must optimize for search engines or become obsolete online, let’s explore what SEO is.
What Is Search Engine Optimization
Short for search engine optimization, SEO is the process of optimizing a website and its content to be discovered through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.
The practice involves understanding what people would search for on a search engine to find businesses in your industry —including the words they use, type of content they prefer, and answers they seek.
As a business, it becomes easier to connect with these people by developing content that adds value to your audience by solving their needs, optimizing it so it ranks on Google’s 1st page and driving organic traffic back to your website to convert into more sales for you.
Why Your Business Needs SEO To Prosper
Let’s go through some key reasons your company needs to invest in SEO to do well in the digital space.
1. The Best Place To Hide A Dead Body Is On Page 2 of Google
The mystery shopping services provider worked with 2Stallions to improve its website traffic for a niche audience on the Internet.
Over a two-year span, our agency worked with them to conduct thorough relevant keyword research, on-site and off-site SEO, and coupled it with strong, fully-optimized content marketing efforts.
These initiatives yielded excellent results. In a niche industry, AQ Services grew their organic clicks to 1,949 from 22,333 impressions and were ranking for 26 keywords on the first page of Google, previously having ranked for none.
Every converted lead from these clicks potentially generates tens of thousands in revenue for them. They can rest easy that due to their SEO efforts, they are the first name that potential leads click on when searching within their niche industry.
Over the long-term, their investment and the investment of the many other companies that invest in SEO pays off with multiple returns on their initial investment.
This reason alone should convince most readers, but if you’re not, carry on reading.
2. Focusing on SEO Will Improve Your Bounce Rate
Are you guilty of clicking the “Refresh” or “Back” buttons when you land on a website from a search result that doesn’t load quickly enough for you or if the content isn’t relevant? Of course, it is your choice whether to stay on or leave any website.
What if the same thing is happening on your website though? What if potential leads are leaving without interacting with your brand because your webpage design took too long to load or your content isn’t compelling enough?
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page).
A high bounce rate indicates that your content (i.e. webpage, article, etc.) didn’t match the user’s intent (i.e. what they were looking for) or that your website is loading too slow and they got impatient.
A big part of search engine optimisation is technical and on-site optimization. This is achieved with a laser focus on a fast-loading website and performing keyword research followed by optimizing your website content to be high-quality and relevant so that it would rank on Google.
This, in turn, lowers your bounce rate and helps you to rank higher and generate a lot more leads over the long term.
In short, investing in SEO leads to better user experience on your website and the creation of better quality of content that is optimized to be found on Google.
Since 2015, Google has made it official that over 50% of searches now happen on mobile and in 2019, they started rolling out mobile-first indexing, showing the significance of mobile to digital.
So why does this mean YOUR business needs to invest in SEO?
Think about how people use their smartphones. Whether on Android or iOS, when they need to find ANYTHING, they turn to Google as their de-facto.
Looking for a place? Open Google Maps and type in a search. Looking for information? Open their browser and type in the search term to get results from Google Search or use Siri or Google Assistant to do a voice search.
A major part of SEO these days is Mobile SEO and Local SEO. These strategies help to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and is indexed or found on search via mobile devices and Maps.
Failing to do this means the only traffic your brick-and-mortar business will likely see is opportunistic foot traffic.
4. Have an App? Your Apps Are Discovered Via Search Too
The mobile era has also ushered in a deluge in mobile apps. In fact, more than 90 percent of all smartphone users have various apps installed on their phones including a social app, utility app, entertainment app, search app, and shopping app, among others.
These apps can be found in app stores like Google Play or the Apple App Store. Unlike Apple, Google incorporates its app store in its search engine results.
According to a Google report, about 27% of users find applications through a search engine and growing. While the number using Google Play directly to search and download apps is still higher, the future trends show optimizing an app for search engines still makes great sense.
App search could be an important driver of app installs in the very near future. That’s why businesses with a mobile app should implement an SEO strategy to rank their apps on search engines.
5. Content Marketing and SEO Are Partners In Crime
Oftentimes, companies do not want to invest in SEO because they are already investing in content marketing and fail to see the connection to SEO.
An article from The Guardian states: “It looks like Google has tired of its old friend SEO and is instead cosying-up to the new kid on the block, content marketing.”
This certainly makes it sound like there is no need for SEO if you’re investing in content marketing.
The evolution of the search algorithm has led to success via the original SEO fire dwindling over time. Content marketing is the gasoline that can ignite the wildfire digital success for your business. However, it is just the fuel. Without SEO, there is no fire to begin with.
Content marketing relies on SEO to get audiences to your website. Producing high-quality content if nobody reads it is useless.
SEO, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on content marketing for success – it can also be applied to business websites without a blog or a content marketing strategy. However, success will take much longer.
Content marketing pieces such as blogs, videos, eBooks, or even your website itself needs keyword optimization, quality backlinks and technical SEO requirements to rank on search.
In short, do not discount SEO just because you have invested in content marketing. This, in fact, is more reason to invest in SEO.
Parting Tip – Befriend Search Engines (or Google)
Search is the first stop on the Internet for most people in most cases. If you don’t befriend the search engines, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities and the chance to grow your business even more.
If you’re looking at SEO but unsure where to start, 2stallions can be your SEO partner and help you with your digital success, as it has done with many other clients.
If you’re still unconvinced, drop us a message through the comments and we’ll help you answer your concerns and queries to make the right decision for your company.
If you’re still using an Android or iOS device’s voice-search feature, search engines are still relevant. If you use Google for research, then search engines can still be used for content marketing.
Some marketers believe search engine optimization (SEO) is dead. The reason behind the belief: social media advertisements and mobile applications make content marketing more effective. They believe spending on SEO nowadays is a waste.
However, the industry is still growing. According to SearchEngineLand, research by Borrell Associates shows that businesses have spent about $65 billion on SEM campaigns. The researchers note that the industry can grow to $72 billion by 2018. Their reasons include the decline of traditional advertising, increasing fact-checking attitudes of audiences, and sophisticated techniques.
Sophisticated SEO is spot on. SearchEngineLand’s Stephan Spencer writes that SEO is a “shape-shifter.” He writes about how it has changed in practice over the years. Modern SEO is a far cry from just optimizing headers and meta-tags. It is now about monitoring “entities” or subject-specific keywords and informative content. Spencer also highlights the importance of UX (which Google measures).
SEO has changed with the advent of Web 2.0’s appearance and technicalities.
SEO plays a vital role in any business. In 2009, Marin Search Marketer helped improve Century Novelty’s overall revenues by 20%. The 1951-established party decors and supplies business saw new light online after the project. Marin Search Marketer focused on creating keyword-bidding goals to minimize their paid ad budgets and maximize ROI.
Another example of SEO success is this one project of Prime Visibility (now known as WPromote). The company helped Compass-Guard Security Systems improve its sales by using SEO targeted content and a PPC campaign to minimize paid ad spending costs. The result of their 2005 search engine marketing efforts increased content visibility by 79.4%. The business site had 278 CTA button clicks per month, effectively increasing their leads.
Never underestimate the power of a reliable SEO agency willing to provide excellent results. If you need to look for one, you must make sure to note these five characteristics.
Five Characteristics of a Reliable SEO Agency
1. Assess their Assessment
Most SEO firm sites want you to send your email and your interest in scheduling a free appointment. Take the plunge; sign up and wait for their correspondence. Their online correspondent will ask you through an email to detail your business, its performance, and SEO goals. The free consultation, just like the real thing, will take time. The correspondent may likely ask for more information; remember not to provide delicate ones crucial to your business.
Once they provide you a final recommendation and quote, assess their assessment. Ask the firm how they came up with the milestones and methods. Inquire why they feel strongly about using the indicated procedures. Finally, question them how they measured the projected results.
If you want to make an informed decision, then you need to use the free quotations of other prospects, too. It may take some time to wait for each assessment. However, it will be worth it because a data-backed, informed decision will significantly save your business time and money. You can have a free quote here.
If they’re willing to, ask their tool’s tool accuracy, too.
2. Performance Metrics Guaranteed (and Fulfilled)
Reliable SEO agencies want to help you genuinely. It might seem silly to believe a copy that talks about their passion for data, analytics, and seeing growth. However, some firms sincerely feel it is their goal in existing.
These companies know the realistic metrics they can achieve for your business. Reputable agencies will need to know your goals for the SEO campaign, the timeframe you expect it done, and the budget you have to implement it. You will have several meetings with them. The goal of these interactions is to adjust certain metrics to achieve your goals within a realistic timeframe and budget.
Reliable companies will advise you on the type of digital marketing style advantageous for the company. They can create drafts for ideal and realistic plans to show you the difference between timeframes and budgets. SEO agencies you can depend on will never begin any project without your approval. They will also include in the contract all agreed metrics they intend to deliver for your business.
3. Years of Experience
An SEO company that is has been around in the industry for years indeed sounds impressive. Digital marketing as a whole is a continuously-changing environment. For a company to survive a year, they must have provided excellent service to their previous clients. However, make sure to observe their methods and assess their assessment (as mentioned earlier). If you do this, you can maximize your investment in these long-established companies.
If an SEO company strongly caters to you, it wants to achieve one of these two things. It might want to expand their services and learn with you. It could also be that the firm is confident because it had handled cases similar to yours. You can answer this question by asking them for their portfolio of case studies.
Some companies publish these case studies on their site. Some firms can digitally send them for your reference. Make sure to prioritize studies and service renditions similar or relevant to your industry.
If their portfolio is informative and data-packed, then the more helpful it will be for your evaluation. Take note of the set milestones and the results. See if they met these goals. Next, check the space of time between each procedure implemented and achieved the goal. These small details will help you make an informed decision in using the firm’s services. Meanwhile, feel free to check our previous works here.
5. Feedback from Trusted or Similar Businesses as Yours
A reputable SEO company can forward you to customers they serviced. On their pages, you can also find a list of client feedbacks. Most of these will be positive. You can email the agency and ask them to provide customers with your reference. Prioritize references for industries similar to yours.
Make sure to ask about the referred client’s goal during their project. Have them describe the firm’s attitude. Discuss scheduling and milestone achievement frequencies. Ask about the overall working system and logistics of the company. The more informative their answers, the easier it is to know whether the SEO firm is reliable or not.
SEO is an industry that is bound to get bigger than its current stature in the next few years. Social networks, target-centric search engines, and applications might invade specific markets. However, users will still keep on researching regarding particular, and search engines are vital to doing this.
You will need an SEO firm to help your content and advertisements reach the top of results pages. Outsourcing SEM campaigns will be better for your business. Having a team dedicated to the task is time and resource-conserving than having an in-house equivalent.
Neuromarketing is a term that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years. But somehow, the exact definition of neuromarketing seems unclear. For me, the best way to define neuromarketing is that it scientifically studies the brain to benefit marketing. For example, medical technologies like brain scanning and brain activity measurements are used to gauge a person’s response to different marketing elements like packaging, videos, ads, billboards, etc.
Have you ever gone through an entire aisle of potato chips in the supermarket and had to choose one among the multitudes of bright collared packaging? It turns out, the brand you pick might be the work of your brain’s preference.
Surprisingly, the photo of the chocolate chip cookie on their packaging failed to garner great reactions amongst the test subjects. As a result, Chips Ahoy redesigned their packaging with a “resealable” tab that was more clear and a cookie visual that is more exciting (with flying chocolate chips).
Simply put, making sure that people will like your packaging is one great way to steal their hearts.
Have you ever heard of the story about limited edition Nike sneakers causing mayhem among “sneakerheads” on opening day? Well, there is a reason for that and that has something to do about Neuromarketing.
The effect of consumers love for limited editions and limited-time offers are called marketing with scarcity. Marketers put limitations on a product like timed offers and dwindling supplies to pressure them into buying fast. Creating a sense of urgency for the customer has been a technique that has been used countless times and has proven to be so effective. Think midnight sales, limited edition items, and McDonald’s McRib.
Image by Summit Evergreen
Think about this, a report by Experian has noted that emails with words of urgency have a 14% higher open rates and a whopping 59% higher transaction rates. Marketing scarcity rushes the consumer mind and is a great tool to turn up the sales.
Companies are taking their marketing efforts to another level nowadays. This includes giving their customers an experience that goes beyond sight and sound. As marketers keep learning more and more about how the consumer mind works, we are going to see a lot of marketing elements that utilize the other senses – smell and touch.
A good example is the video game, South Park: The Fractured but Whole. In order to promote the game, the developers invited journalists and bloggers to try their latest gadget, the Nosulus rift. This gadget is supposed to be an accompanying peripheral for their game that emits an ungodly odour for various scenes. This blends perfectly well with South Park’s crass humour.
Suffice to say, the journalists love it and the story went viral. This just goes to show how various companies are turning their attention beyond visual marketing.
Headlines are one of the most important elements in advertising and its impact has not waned to this day. Oftentimes, headlines are what grabs the attention of people in an ad. So making sure that your headlines are attention grabbing and exciting is very important to surprise the human brain.
Here is a great tip: Try a technique called “Hippocampal Headlines.” This means that you can use familiar everyday phrases and tweak them a bit. This type of headline activates the brain making your headline more eye-catching and memorable.
For example, Silver Patron tequila used the slogan “Practice Makes Patron” as a twist on the familiar phrase, “practice makes perfect.”
Neuromarketing in web layout aims to improve your visitor engagement and conversion rate. This is based on the cognitive preferences utilised within your website’s content and design. Little things such as the font, colour schemes, and layout have an effect on the visitors.
The study revealed that people are more inclined to explore websites that are designed vertically. Neuromarketers explained that the vertical design sends a signal to the reader’s brain that there are more contents below, as opposed to the horizontal design. You can also read more about how you can optimise your website in our Design page.
Neuromarketing is here to stay
Neuromarketing is a relatively new player in the realm of business. However, the effects and results of neuromarketing have been impressive, to say the least. Marketers should be on the look-out for future neuromarketing trends such as eye-tracking and biometric engagement.
The consumer mind is still continuously evolving and companies have turned to science to keep up. There are still so many opportunities to explore and a lot of research to be conducted. With that, it definitely looks like that neuromarketing is here to stay and is definitely worth a look at.
The year has passed by quickly, and new budgets, organisation changes, and rapid digital innovation that may disrupt many big businesses are already out there.
There were some drastic changes in the consumer goods industry in 2016. AB-Inbev took over SAB Miller for a merger of more than US$100 billion, making them now the largest beer company in the world.
Here are some of the changes that the Asian consumer goods industry is experiencing.
1. Rapid Growth In Asia – 2017 And Beyond
While Asian powerhouses like China and Japan are going to experience a slight dip when it comes to growth in 2017, while other economies within the region are predicted to perform quite well. India leads the growth with a GDP increase of 7.5 percent this year according to a report by International Monetary Fund. Vietnam will continue to be a fast-growing economy along with the Philippines and Malaysia .
2. Direct From Manufacturer To Consumer Via Online
Consumer goods marketers are trying to find ways to create direct-to-consumer (DTC) to communicate with their customers directly. While this would only be possible up to a certain degree decades ago, digital channels have now enabled manufacturers of various industries to engage with their customers directly.
According to a report by Forbes, there will be a 71 percent growth in manufacturers who sell directly to their consumers. Moreover, more than one-third of consumers indicated that they had bought items directly from the manufacturer’s website last year. Marketers of these consumer goods manufacturers now realise that using tools like social media, email, mobile, and apps to converse with their customers is the way to go.
Nike, a very well-known consumer goods manufacturer, has been putting more effort to connect with their customers by improving their digital presence directly. They have managed to grow their sales further by launching NIKEiD, which is an online service that lets customers customise their gear. The direct to consumer campaign was responsible for 22 percent of Nike’s total revenue in 2015. Here’s a video to better explain NIKEiD:
3. Weakening Retailers
As stated above, manufacturers are starting to engage their customers directly, and this is weakening the retailers. Some time ago, manufacturers had to rely on their retailers to sell their goods and engage their customers. However, new digital channels have allowed manufacturers to bypass their retailers. Consider the following figures from Digital Clarity Group:
Nearly half of all consumers are already visiting the manufacturer’s website with the intention to buy.
Direct to consumer is a way for manufacturers to keep all the profit. Net margin per unit doubles with direct to consumer. A vendor interviewed for this research mentioned that the increases among customers are from 50 percent and even as high as 400 percent making their overall margin better.
Manufacturers who are now selling DTC have customers who are more engaged and loyal. They are now able to promote a customised product assortment to customers due to the availability of data on the customer’s purchasing habits.
These factors are the strong-suit of start-ups such as the Dollar Shave Club, which we first mentioned in Chapter I. They have mastered how to converse with their customers over different digital channels authentically. Six hours after the release of a video with their founder talking about their product in a very humourous way, the blades were sold out, and their website
Since consumers now have access to information about products online, they have a stronger ability to compare brands, pricing, and reviews. These make companies such as Dollar Shave Club who has built good customer relationships, even more valuable to big manufacturers.
4. Increasing Importance Of Direct Sales
Under Armour Inc., a huge rival of Nike in the sports apparel space focused on e-commerce sales as well as factory outlets and had a great start on 2017 regarding DTC. They had a 23 percent increase in DTC revenue in 2016 and is still looking for more ways to reach consumers directly. A huge part of this success is attributed to various websites that the company launched in places like Thailand and Belgium in 2015.
Most businesses have focused on this aspect this year. Aside from the juicy profit margins reaped from DTC models, it will also allow companies to control their branding story and message that they want to tell customers.
DTC has a myriad of benefits. While big brands do make a killing when it comes to sales through retailers, they are still at the mercy of those retailers when it comes to customer experience. That is why direct sales and e-commerce is going to be huge.
5. Nurturing Direct Consumer Relationships
As more and more manufacturers are going DTC, nurturing those customers from direct sales is becoming more important. Gatorade, a beverage brand that has a particular core market, which is “competitive” athletes, has been very successful when it comes to building DTC relationships.
A report from Prophet mentioned that Gatorade had realised that 75 percent of competitive athletes spend time online to learn more about their sports. Because of this Gatorade’s Mission Control Center was born. It analyses and logs the customers’ online comments about Gatorade’s wares and helps the brand understand what their customers want, get new ideas for future products, and allows them to adjust their marketing accordingly. Check out how it works in the video below.
6. Rapid Evolution Of Delivery Services In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia includes 11 countries and more than 620 million people. Among the population, there is a huge chunk aged 30 and below with disposable income. It does not come as a surprise that many businesses are finding opportunities to innovate and provide valuable and more convenient services. One such service is home delivery which is expected to grow at an average of 14 percent by 2020 in Asia Pacific.
The popular ride-sharing app, Uber, realised this and launched UberEATS, an on-demand meal delivery service. Utilising the current network of drivers and riders, food from the customer’s favourite restaurant is delivered quicker than the usual delivery services. Check out how convenient UberEATS is:
Uber, however, was not the first one to do this. They are currently competing with other popular brands offering similar services like Grab, Food Panda, and Deliver. The demand for delivery in Southeast Asia is already significant, and it can grow even more, especially for developing nations. Check out the graph below.
The supply chain in consumer goods is a vital process and includes shipping and transportation. Many businesses will start dwelling more into automated logistic management to make the customer experience even more convenient.
Most Asian countries certainly have a lot of room to make in the logistic environment, particularly the rapidly developing countries in South East Asia. Amazon, although known to most people as an Internet retailer, has been developing an automated grocery store that eliminates long lines at the check-out counter.
The store called Amazon Go is equipped with machine vision technology to automatically identify which shopper took an item off the shelf or which shopper removed an item from the basket. Here’s a video of the most advanced shopping technology to-date:
8. Logistics – The Key To Reaching Consumers Directly
Another exciting development that Amazon has in the works is a drone that will deliver your items right to your doorstep. A patent was filed, and it describes a drone that uses magnets, parachutes, and spring coils to release packages during flight. Check out the video below:
In Southeast Asia, Lazada has partnered with an e-commerce logistics start-up to compensate the slow and sometimes unreliable shipping companies available locally. It might not be as high-tech as what Amazon has been doing in the West, but it sure is a good start.
9. Fast Up-Trading To Premium Products
A few years back in Malaysia consumers began trading up to more premium products. Apparently, consumers who live in countries that are becoming stronger economically are more willing to trade up their usual brands to a more well-known and higher quality brand.
One product that is benefiting from this up-trade is baby milk formula. It turns out that mothers today know a lot more about better caring for a child because of more accessible information. Consumers are willing to spend more on premium brands since it meant more scientific research were done and better ingredients were used on the product.
They see premium and more expensive brands as far more superior than cheaper priced products. And with Asia’s economic rise, it is already apparent that a lot of premium brands have a gap to fill in the market.
10. Reinvestment Of Profits Into Asia
With Asia’s steady growth in recent years, it makes sense that the European brands are taking notice. Two major European FMCG brands have recently expanded their operations in Southeast Asia – Unilever in Thailand, and Nestlé in Vietnam.
Unilever Thailand’s chairwoman, on the other hand, mentioned that their expansion is the biggest investment in the past 20 years and that she has high hopes for it. She also said, “Thailand is a strategic country for Unilever globally due [to] its good geographical location, which can serve as a hub for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community, while the number of middle-class consumers here can reach 50m by 2020.”
Asian consumers are starting to be more concerned about a brand’s attitude towards sustainability. This became one of the reasons why the Asian FMCG sector is important in a financier’s portfolio. The recent investments from these European FMCG giants will certainly have other big brands looking to put their money into these emerging markets.
11. Unleashing Future Growth Through Business Model Disruption
Marketing leaders know that disruption is a good thing. One disruption that already began is the changing of the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Placement, Price, and Promotion).
Current marketing leaders are changing industries by incorporating modified key frameworks like the 4P’s. Here are the redefined versions:
Think more of Service (not just product) – Adding services wrapped around the product increases the value proposition and makes the brand more personalised. Service adds value to the customer. Famous auto insurance company Geico has a brand promise that says “15 minutes or less can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” By making a bold statement, Geico tells customers that they value their customer’s time.
Access (not just placement) – Brands that are more accessible have a huge advantage over those that aren’t. Amazon Japan is an excellent example of this by allowing customers to shop online and pay through any of their 50,000 convenience stores nationwide.
Variable Pricing (not fixed pricing) – Consumers can now have the option to choose what they need and get what they paid for. Amazon has been doing this for a while now with their prices changing every ten minutes.
Engagement (not promote) – Directly engaging customers and encouraging participation to experience the brand helps develop a more lasting relationship with the brand. The coffee giant Starbucks is excellent when it comes to engaging customers, the company is splattered across all social media platforms and is quite busy responding to mentions as well as apologising to customers with bad experiences.
12. Entering Emerging Markets Digitally – Better Late Than Never
The growth of emerging markets gives rise to millions of consumers that have higher spending power. With this comes the endless potential for digital platforms that can further bring more choices and communication channels to consumers.
The gap is still huge for brands who plan to enter emerging markets digitally. This is because of the consumer population, of which majority falls into the Millennial bracket, who demands more premium and exclusive products.
In Asia, Lazada has been dominating the e-commerce business and valued at $1.3 billion. Despite this high valuation, it is still expected to grow rapidly in the years to come.
13. Increase ROI With A Digital Data-Driven Approach
Data-driven marketing utilises customer-related data to deliver the right message to the right audience, at the right time, and drive the right consumer behaviour. The beauty of this approach is that everything is measured and you will see which areas you need to improve on, and it also eliminates ineffective marketing.
People visit your website because of two things: it is either they are looking for information to add to their research of a product or service, or they are looking for information to urge them to make a purchase. Targeted content help steer customers into sales funnels, which is why more than 85 percent of brands implement content marketing strategies and enjoy great ROI after a one-month evaluation.
Content must engage the audience. Marketers understand this; a well-made and positioned content help introduce the products and services as a solution. Engaging content today comes in the form of blogs, videos, and social media posts.
Content marketing helps develop your business brand. Well-researched and helpful content boosts your authority on the subject. The increased trust of your audience helps your website generate more leads and conversions.
Content Marketing is Not Just for the Big Brands
Small businesses and startups aren’t the only ones who can benefit from content marketing. Numerous multinational companies use content to engage their audience in different social media platforms and avenues that allow their audience to provide feedback. In this manner, they collect information to improve their products and services.
For instance, one might think that Rolex can go decades without making marketing efforts due to its established brand. However, the people who run Rolex know that if a brand doesn’t keep up with the pace and stay relevant, a competitor can easily swoop in and steal the show. Now, what exactly can you do to market a product that is already successful?
Rolex products rely on old-fashioned, glamorous, and prideful beauty. It could be to Rolex’s advantage, but it can also be their downfall. At any time, consumers can suddenly decide that it’s time to debunk the old and go for a more modern brand, making it possibly one of the reasons Rolex has increased their social media activity and campaigns.
Using social media sites like Instagram to keep their products relevant and within everyone’s line of sight, Rolex uses its beautifully crafted photos of brand watches all over social media. Their goal could be to remind their target audience of why Rolex is the embodiment of a sophisticated lifestyle.
Why Should You Invest in Content Marketing?
Great Potential For Significant ROI
Returns come in different ways: it can come in the form of customer acquisition, brand visibility, brand reputation, and inbound traffic. These are all beneficial for your business. Marketing experts agree that content marketing, when done correctly, has great potential for higher ROI, just look at the graph below.
You may not necessarily get a dollar for every person who sees your content, however, your company will see benefits in many different forms. With an effective content marketing strategy, you will experience a return in the form of customer acquisition, brand visibility, brand reputation, and inbound traffic.
It’s Inbound Marketing (Pull Marketing Instead of Push)
Precise investments are important in marketing. That being said, when marketing your product or service, you have to filter out potential buyers from dead end leads. Content marketing allows you to present your business to customers who would strongly convert to your brand.
Think of it this way, a person with no interest in your industry will not bother to click through your link or advertisement and are less likely to go past your landing page. With that in mind, it should be clear that asserting any promotion efforts to such individuals will be a waste.
Other Strategies Can Benefit From It
The great thing about content marketing is that it will not only generate returns for your company, but it will also push your other marketing strategies to perform better. In order to be effective, you must establish a mindset that considers content marketing as the core of all your strategies.
Analytics provides data that helps you plan ahead all marketing efforts for maximum efficacy. For instance, your email marketing campaigns can strongly benefit from a consistent content marketing strategy. Since you are already creating content for your social media marketing campaign, why not take things a step further? Find out which of your content received good feedback and traffic and reuse them for your email marketing efforts. Using your best and proven content as a landing page means a higher probability to drive more conversions.
Perhaps the best benefit with an excellent content marketing strategy is for social media campaigns. Considering that you have a steady flow of helpful and informative articles published on your website, you can use these as social media posts to generate more leads. This will attract more followers, viewership, and help establish brand identity. Just check out the data below.
Brand Authority (Thought Leadership) Will Be Stronger
The quality of your content develops your brand profile. If you implement an effective content marketing strategy, you can easily become your field’s primary source of information. It helps create authority and reliability, an important factor in marketing and advertising.
Let’s say that you run a fitness center and decided to utilize content marketing. You start posting two to three SEO-optimized blog posts every week and eventually catapult your website’s ranks in search engines.
Months before summer begins, people begin scurrying for ways to remain or become fit. If they find your business first, your fitness tips and programs become their immediate solutions to achieve their body goals. Ultimately, readers and followers can become actual customers who you would never have reached if it weren’t for the internet and content marketing.
Builds More Trust With Consumers
A reliable brand creates trust with great content. If readers find your content engaging, entertaining, and helpful, you can build trust with your audience quickly.
When people get used to seeing your content every week or so, they begin to think of your business as a trusted resource. When the time comes that they are in need of services or a product such as yours, they will recall your useful and memorable content.
Converts Better Through Lead Nurturing
We all want to guide our target audience down the sales funnel. Content marketing does the job effectively if you understand your audiences effectively to deliver the best content for them. Through lead nurturing, you can hit all three stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, consideration, and decision. You can also read more about it in our article, “Turn Visitors To Customers With Conversion Funnels.”
Let’s say that you run a fitness hotspot with an active content marketing campaign. You are likely to target a certain demographic within your area and have posted weightless tips, healthy recipes, and the like. After months of consistent weekly published content, you’ve made yourself known to your market. However, they aren’t purchasing your programs or getting a membership to your gym – yet.
Right now, your audience is simply aware that you exist, hence, the first stage of the buyer’s funnel. Now, summer time is just around the corner, and everyone suddenly becomes self-aware and wanting to get himself or herself in shape. They remember all the articles and videos you published not too long ago and start to consider making a move towards a fit summer body. They may start re-watching your videos and click through your website for more content, possibly hoping to get fit on their own.
However, not everyone can get the results they need on their own, and there will be a percentage of your audience who’d rather get the help they need from a professional. Your content has helped them improve, but they also realize it could be difficult to undergo without proper guidance, the latter an issue resolved by your business brand.
Content Marketing Is a Must For Your Marketing Campaign
We can talk for days discussing all the benefits you can reap for your business through content marketing. However, among all the reasons we’ve discussed so far, there is one that stands as the ultimate truth; content marketing is today’s most effective way of getting things done.
Content marketing is the bridge between your services and your customers. Information, whether used as a tool to convert customers or to provide research data for prospective customers, will always be in demand. Using this information to your advantage using efficient content marketing methods is the difference between your business and your competitor.
Effort-filled content marketing will drive inbound leads, establish brand awareness, and guide people down the sales funnel. Whether you are targeting short-term solutions, such as improving your pay-per-click advertising or a need to increase your leads or long-term strategies that involve brand development and rebound marketing, well-developed content and copy will leave a positive and compelling impression that significantly improves the possibility of high ROI.
Google’s core business is continuously improving its algorithms to predict and rank the most relevant organic search results to show to you. Today, it has grown to a mega-sized corporation that includes YouTube, which it paid $1.4 billion for in 2006.
As of April 2017, YouTube is the second most popular site in the world according to rankings released by Alexa Internet, a web traffic analysis company. Over the years, Google has brought the same approach to ranking videos on YouTube, with marketers increasingly using it as a business promotion tool. So, what’s in it for you as a business? At its simplest – the more views your video gets, the higher you rank on YouTube. However, those views can translate into the following benefits for your business:
Appearing not just on YouTube, but also Google search results
Higher traffic to your website or online store
Greater brand awareness amongst your audience
Increased trust in your brand
A wider reach for your brand
In addition to that, Cisco predicts that the by 2030, 70% of the Internet will consist of videos and 30% will be a mix of other things. Psychologically speaking, most people would prefer to watch a video rather than read a lengthy article about a certain topic. Hence using video will improve readability. But, there is a limit. You should stick to a length of 3-10 minutes per video to improve retention rate. As you can see from the Wistia graph, engagement drops off badly from the get-go for videos longer than 10 minutes.
If you’re convinced to take YouTube videos seriously as a driver for your business, then read on to learn about how you can dominate Google through the use of YouTube videos.
Step #1 Create the video
Creating a video is the most obvious step when it comes to ranking your YouTube video but it also presents the highest barrier to entry. The longer the video, the more expensive it will be. A minimum charge of US$250 is standard for a 90-second explainer video amongst freelancers, with the usual trade-offs of quality versus price.
You can also try creating your own videos if quality is not a major concern and you have time on your hands. There are apps such as Powtoon that help you to create your own professional looking videos. Just remember to make it short and sweet.
Step #2 Create a YouTube channel
Using your Gmail account, you can create a YouTube channel for your company. Be sure to have your brand name within the name of the channel.
Step #3 Upload Your Video
When uploading, make sure you fill in a description and add appropriate tags. I recommend you write around 200+ words for the description and add at least 10 tags that consist of targeted keywords and related keywords.
Step #4 Optimize the Video
You can further optimize the video by changing the “location,” “language,” and “upload date” from the advanced settings page.
Here’s an Example
Let’s assume you own a powerlifting gym in Hong Kong called Strong Culture Gym, and you want to promote it online. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to use YouTube videos.
Before you start investing in videos though, find out which keywords you should target. The best tool to use for this is the free Google Keyword Planner. You can find out more about using it here.
Below is the step-by-step process on how I ranked Strong Culture Gym:
First, I researched keywords for gyms and decided to go with “best powerlifting gym in hongkong” as it is specific and likely to provide the best ROIs from viewers despite lower search volume
Next, I created a 3-5 minute video about powerlifting
Then, I created a YouTube channel named “StrongCulture Gym” – using the brand of my gym
Finally, I optimized the video on YouTube
I added several appropriate keywords about the gym, together with related keywords, to the description and tags
You should also add annotations to your video to create clickable links directly on the video but since that requires having a website, which this hypothetical gym does not, I decided to make do with a phone number in the description to allow viewers to contact the company
And voila! Upon publishing, I see a near instant result directly on Google HK search results
Not all examples may yield instant results, especially for very high competition keywords. And sometimes, after an initial surge, the result may also disappear from the 1st page if it doesn’t generate sufficient engagement.
However, for many businesses, YouTube still presents a massive opportunity to generate awareness. Google’s algorithm tries to show structured snippet results on the 1st page search results, and videos are a great type of those that deliver better click through rates (CTRs) for Google.
Quick FAQ To Dominate On Google With Videos
We’re used to minds racing when we explain the potential of YouTube to businesses we work with, followed by some quick fire questions. We decided to save you and ourselves some back and forth by answering some of the most common questions asked to dominate Google using YouTube videos.
Will this method always work?
No, it depends a lot on your keyword research and video optimization. The key is to find niche keywords that get you the targeted traffic. Don’t just aim for search volume.
Will my videos also give me instant results like your example above?
Yes and no. If you try for very high search volume keywords that convert, you will have a harder time ranking those keywords. Having said that, not many companies are using this technique yet – so you can use this to get a jump on them. You can maximize exposure with a well-thought out content strategy and uploading videos regularly that add value while targeting different keywords.
Will my video stay on the 1st page forever once it is there?
We both know the answer to that. The 1st page of Google search results is the most volatile, and it requires a sustained effort to keep your videos there – similar to SEO for your website.
While we hope that our short primer on how to dominate Google through video provides most of you with food for thought, and spurs action in some, we cannot stress enough that optimizing videos to rank on Google can be time-consuming so don’t get discouraged.
If your business is looking for such services or advice, check out our SEO service page. You can also leave any questions, concerns, and comments below.
There is no way of stopping the mobile revolution that is currently happening in our world. More people prefer using their mobile devices to surf the internet than the Desktop PC. This is most likely due to the convenience and also the growing sizes of our mobile phones.
Think about it, there are probably even times where you use your phone to browse the web even when you have a desktop PC available. This is because mobile phones are normally within reach and could be used anywhere that has a 3G or 4G signal. Plus, with the “phablet” era continuously heating up, mobile phones are getting screen sizes that make surfing the net easier than the past smaller models.
The same trend is happening in Asia where a huge population currently resides. According to China Daily, the country of China has already exceeded 1.3 Billion mobile users in 2016. And a whopping 30 percent of those mobile users are 4G subscribers. To give you a good perspective of that surge, there are 386 million 4G users in China which are triple from the number of users in 2014. And if you think about it, this number does not even include users who connect through Wi-Fi with their mobile devices.
Another big example is India. According to the Economic Times, India will have over 500 million mobile internet users by 2017. The same article also mentions a recent survey that prepaid smartphone users spend about 72% of their time accessing online content and only 15% making voice calls. That definitely says a lot about how the purpose of mobile phones has changed over the past few years.
And this is the main reason why your company should be adopting a mobile-first strategy. The trend of mobile phones as the dominant device is going to keep rising as the years roll by. Phones are getting more powerful every year and are inching towards desktop PC-like power and response. Your company should start adopting a mobile-first strategy or risk getting left behind.
Steps to having a mobile marketing strategy for your company
Make sure that your website is mobile responsive
There is a good chance that your website is already mobile friendly. But did you know that you still need to make your mobile website adaptive to various devices? Mobile phones have varying screen sizes, not to mention the numerous tablet sizes that plague the market. Make sure that your customer is having a pleasant time on your website no matter what device he/she is on.
The boom of the mobile phone industry has made a lot of big companies re-think of a new idea of payment. Mobile wallets work by using near field communication (NFC) to transfer data from your mobile phone to the payment reader. This makes it fast and convenient for people dealing with their transactions.
Large companies like Starbucks are already using mobile wallets as a means for their customers to purchase. It would be a wise move for any company to start rethinking the way people can pay.
Start thinking apps
Mobile phones and apps come hand in hand, and plenty of companies have already taken advantage of this fact. This is because app usage is at an all-time high especially in places like Asia. Did you know that Asia is now the biggest market for mobile apps? According to lnternational Business Times, mobile app usage in Asia grew to 77 percent and has surged ahead of markets like the US in 2014 and 2015.
The main cause of this increase is the rise of shopping apps in various Asian countries. The same study found that usage in shopping and lifestyle apps have tripled in the span of one year.
With this study, it is pretty evident that e-commerce is booming in Asia. Companies are figuring out that apps help create a direct marketing channel between them and their customers. Apps can be valuable in creating loyalty programs, promotions, and an easier shopping experience. Asia’s top online fashion retailer Zalora, for example, has a mobile app that makes it possible for users to place coupon codes (normally found on their website) and enter that through the app.
If a company really wants to adopt a mobile-first strategy, then thinking about having an app might just be the best move to show commitment.
Making your emails mobile responsive is not particularly hard. First of all is to find out what email clients tend to use. Once you have that data, see if that email client can support various applications like video.
Phone screens are much smaller than desktop screens so make sure that you use bigger fonts in your email. Good mobile-optimised emails have fonts that do not need any zooming in from the reader. Check out the following image for a side by side comparison of a small font on mobile and a large font one.
De-cluttering your emails from less useful links and long paragraphs is also helpful in making your emails more mobile friendly. Make your words shorter and your headlines more concise. People don’t want to be overwhelmed with so many things happening on a 5-inch screen.
Also, put touch friendly buttons on your emails. Don’t forget to utilize sharing buttons so you could take advantage of the power of social media. Lastly, use a single column layout to make it friendlier to the eyes of mobile users. Check out this great email design from Superthings that looks great on a mobile device.
Image by SuperThings
Don’t forget about SMS marketing
Despite cheaper online chat apps increasing in use, there are still companies sending us standard text messages with promos and ads. The reason is pretty simple – SMS messages has a whopping 82.1% open rate.
That makes SMS one of the most potent marketing tool for companies. Footwear retailer, Payless, still uses SMS to create awareness of their products through various promos. Below is an example of one of their SMS campaigns.
Your SMS campaigns must have a clear call to action. For example, use simple keywords like BUYNOW or GETPROMO as what they should type before sending it to a number. SMS campaigns mostly fail because of unclear instructions which can cause users to leave your message quickly.
Keep in mind that you will need compliance before creating SMS campaigns. Check which entities govern the mobile industry in the country you wish to deploy your SMS campaign.
Take your company mobile in Asia
Mobile use in Asia is booming and marketers already started taking notice. There is no stopping this trend and it looks like companies are already taking a mobile-first approach. Emails, websites, and apps are just a few of the major things that a good marketer needs in order to be ready for the mobile-dominated future. With the rate of new technology and innovations, the next few years will be quite interesting in the field of mobile marketing.
Do you have any stories and experience about creating a mobile marketing strategy for the Asian market? Please feel free to write them all down in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!
Ever since man began selling his wares, the art of persuasion was never far behind. Marketing has always been at the heart of commerce, but it was in the Industrial Revolution where things really took off. The introduction of mass production heralded the need for more sophisticated methods to inform consumers about the new products being created. Thus the birth of the modern marketing tactics.
In the 1940s, competition amongst businesses started to intensify. Marketing suddenly became more sophisticated in a sense that various brands started dabbling with the idea of building customer relationships. To some extent, the bigger brands managed to foster some bond with their consumer, while the others that didn’t, typically failed and died. The race to build customer relationships was on.
The majority of marketing techniques used back then were based on pure instinct. This does not always yield the best results, because of this, businesses who could afford to buy and analyse data began using it. Suddenly, companies started targeting their customers with better precision and accuracy. Bigger brands were using these data not just to improve their overall marketing strategies but to strengthen their logistic operations as well.
Data quickly became a valuable commodity with multinational companies and companies solely offering data services were born. These companies help marketers see the complete process of events that leads a customer to purchase what you are selling and why they love your brand.
But if you have started employing data-driven marketing tactics for your company, then good for you. In a recent survey by Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Winterberry Group, 40.9 percent of marketing professionals have reported a growth in revenue from data-driven marketing related efforts.
However, in the graph above, you will see that there is still a huge chunk of marketers that experiences no change in revenues. That means as a marketer, you should never be complacent with your marketing efforts to avoid being in a revenue slump.
6 Ways To Drive Your Company Using Data
Let’s take a look on how you can push your data-driven marketing efforts even further and finally hit the revenue you want.
1. Rethink Your Customer’s Journey
As marketing channels become bigger and mixed, data suddenly plays a significant role in making sure that the customer experience is as seamless as possible. A lot of times, someone goes into a department store and looks at their mobile device to learn more about a product on the shelf. The customer will then have the option to buy it right there or go home and purchase it online.
According to Marketo, 65 percent of consumers start on a mobile phone and out of those, 61 percent then continue their journey on a laptop. But that is not the entire picture when it comes to customer journey.
Algorithmic attribution is a model marketers can use to excellently measure the success of each point of the customer’s journey when purchasing a product. This is becoming increasingly important, especially in today’s world where customers jump from one device to another before buying something.
With the fierce competition, most companies experience today, relying on the general demographics to create your buyer persona is no longer sufficient. Creating content that will appeal to your customer and give you that coveted ROI is much more challenging.
Your customers are different individuals and have varying likes and dislikes. Marketers of today need to cast a wider net in creating content that is more personalised and fit their customers’ needs and wants.
Take Arby’s for example; they succeeded in using data to figure out what type of message and channel works well for their customers. They knew (with data, of course) that their customers use TV and Twitter connectively to watch the Grammy’s.
Arby’s social media director tuned in to watch the show too and waited for opportunities to engage himself in the conversation real-time. Check out the tweet below:
The Twitter world loved it and re-tweeted it 77,000 times. This an exquisite example of how you can use data to create content that will connect with your audience.
3. Email Provides Great ROIs
By 2020, there will be 3 billion email users worldwide, which is significantly more than the 2.6 billion users in 2016. Given that data, it is not such a bad idea to push this powerful marketing channel even further.
Posting something on Facebook alone is not enough and might not give you the results you want. Facebook Custom Audiences is where you can use email addresses and create a custom audience for your company. Facebook will then use the emails you’ve listed and match it with actual Facebook users. Just define your audience, and you now have the power to reach the people that matter to you.
4. Measure, Test And Adjust Your Marketing Efforts Using Data
Think about this; you may have a great video paid ad running on one of those popular news sites. Your sales are up so without looking at your data you figure that the ad may have something to do with it. But after a while, you decide to check the data, and you find out that you are not hitting your target market with the ad. Your sales increase was due to something else, and in this case, it was not the video ad.
By measuring your marketing efforts, not only will you know which one works, but you will also eliminate any need for guesswork. This is the beauty when your marketing relies on data, the need for any “gut-feel” type of marketing approach is considerably lessened, and everything can be backed up by data.
Once you know what works, you can allocate more resources to that channel, test it out, and gather more data. Through constant measuring and testing, you can continuously mould a personalised and highly immersive customer experience that cultivates a long term and profitable relationship with your target audience.
5. Integrate Your Online Platforms With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of those must-haves if you want to acquire some useful data in your online marketing. If you have a WordPress site, you can easily add Google Analytics via this plugin. This will enable you to find out how visitors search for and use your website and it also uses universal tracking, which lets you track users across devices and platforms. Another nifty feature is page analytics, which helps you figure out which pages and sections of your website are getting more attention. All this information is in real time, so you can react and adapt quickly to different trends.
However, before going into any of that, you need to set up your account through Google Analytics. It will only take about three steps, and you are ready to go. You can also create multiple accounts if you have more than one website. A good tip would be to use services like Cyfe to efficiently manage your website. This service allows you to monitor multiple websites and best of all – you can integrate it with Google Analytics for a more convenient way to track multiple data from various websites.
Once you have Google Analytics integrated with your website, you will be able to track or collect useful information like audience demographics, interests, location, language, and site visits.
As mentioned above, Google Analytics can also help you learn about the behaviour of your visitors. Lastly, Google Analytics can give you data regarding how many conversions your website has received and the path your visitor undertook to finish that conversion (i.e. how many landed on your website via your Facebook page.
A marketing automation software can send out thousands of emails automatically to your clients on a regular basis using a time that is set by you. The software can also determine which of your leads are ready to be engaged and which of them need a bit more time. This is done by the software recognising which of those possible leads are engaging your marketing efforts more.
Data is at the heart of this software – Marketing automation can also give you information on how successful your marketing campaigns are and where the leads are coming from. Without the need to do the heavy lifting of sending out emails and guessing which leads to pursue, the sales team could focus on closing deals with the hottest leads.
How efficient is marketing automation when it comes to determining the hottest leads? Simply put, the software can tell you when your lead is browsing your website in real time and will inform you through email that this will be the perfect time to call.
Marketing Automation software helps maximise the efficiency of your marketing and sales team. If you really want to have a data-driven company, getting a marketing automation software might just be your best bet.
Data Is The Future Of Marketing
There is very little doubt that cultivating a data-driven company is the future and the battle for the hearts of the consumer is bound to intensify in the years to come. It will still be up to the marketer to interpret information and turn it into a sound and effective strategy.
Data-driven marketing, however, is going to make marketers’ lives so much easier. It helps them focus on what really matters and create stronger bonds with customers that continuously evolves in the future.
Do you have any experiences regarding data-driven marketing? Let us discuss it in the comments section below – we would really love to hear your thoughts!