2016- The year of connected Customer

The connected customer is very much going to dictate terms with marketers in 2016. Certain transformational ideas business must consider to leverage this trend. Marketing research conducted by Forrester has pointed out that self customer service is now more popular than all other such forms including phone. Thus customer service agencies must consider such methods in-fitted with video based instructions. Instead of large corporations, majority of customer facing mobile apps will be developed by individual developers. Marketers will increasingly invest in e-commerce platforms. IT firms will get more aligned with business needs by developing capabilities in cloud computing, social analytics and Big Data. HR departments must encourage employees to improve health and engagement by using wearable technologies. Chief Marketing officers will invest more in automation by developing buyer personas and buyer process maps. CEOs on the other hand will focus more on innovations. Finally, data driven sales organizations will do better than others in the market.


The Missing link in Marketing Technology

There seems to be a plethora of software tools to help professionals with sales, manufacturing, finance, engineering and customer support yet almost none for marketing. Even the handful of tools that are available are mainly targeted at advertising. This is what makes the job of the CMO really challenging and as a result usually short lived. Marketers are instead using business analytics to measure click-through-rates and recording customer views using traditional spreadsheets. For this a marketing mix has been developed to yield best results over digital media. It follows the chain of ideas then work resulting in results. There is this need to develop marketing technology which can store memory or customer data, sales and trends.

16 Thought provoking Digital Marketing Stats

Some truly compelling statistics on digital marketing have been found that are quite thought provoking. As per survey conducted, 98% of respondents feel that leaders must possess digital skills but very few are actually good at it. Surprisingly SMS delivers six to eight times greater level of audience engagement than does email. Over the Christmas weekend, searches via mobile phones increase by a whopping 500%. This in spite of half the shoppers in UK feeling fearful of getting ripped off during the Christmas period. This was also a period when searches on eBay rose by 50%. Unfortunately for some of the stand alone retailers, their stores get overlooked during this festive season. Several companies’ websites though have bombed due to their under-preparedness to handle such large traffic on Fridays. Business intelligence gathered by Capgemini confirms that sales finalized using smartphones has increased exponentially recently. A negative trend of retailers though is the failure to allow smooth checkouts. Also more than two-fifths of shoppers in the UK are using their mobile phones to find beast deals while present at the concerned store. Instagram has been found out to be the most engaging social media for the B2C segment. In terms of user experience though, it is non-profit firms that are lagging behind.



16 Marketing Goals for your Business in 2016

An online publication has provided is a list of marketing goals that must be targeted for this year. There must be an increased focus on the quality of content not its quantity. A content marketing plan must be well in place. This content must be dispersed in innovative patterns. While Facebook has to be the anchor social media, others such as Pinterest or Twitter have also proven to be ideal channels for digital marketing initiatives. Beyond online modes, companies must renew their efforts at face-to-face sales pitches. It is also important for organizations to find strategic partners who share a similar philosophy. Goals set must be realistic to align with trends. Some firms have even started doling out freebies since it attracts attention but also lets potential customers sample the products on offer. Organizations must themselves execute only such activities that they are really good at, while outsourcing the non-core business operations. Marketers must be proactive to seize opportunities but also be prepared to face unforeseen challenges. Business innovations must be experimented with periodically. It is important to find right mentors in the industry but one can start by being a mentor towards some others as well. Data must be utilized to track market movements. Most importantly, marketers must have fun as there is no point without the element of enjoyment.  


The Social Media spend- impact Disconnect

There seems to be a disconnect between the investment on social media by businesses and its impact. Certain factors are responsible for this divide. A large number of organizations are guilty of not aligning their social media campaigns across various channels. This generates a disjointed digital marketing footprint. This also reflects the lack of clear goals regarding social media. Customer use of social media needs to be better captured using relevant data. Only about a tenth of respondents on marketing research anchored by CMO confirmed they were satisfied by the marketing impact of social media. A set of marketers are not leveraging the potential of their business partners or outsiders to brand their products on social media. Marketing leaders need to possess cross-functional abilities in order to best leverage platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Also as social media is a relatively new phenomena, number of marketers are struggling to develop competencies for the same. Similarly a lot of marketers struggle to attune the social media marketing with the financial side of the organization, using the platforms for only branding where final sales must also eventually generate.

Keeping Customer Experience simple in the Digital Age

There is so much talk regarding digitization in business, yet the customer experience needs to be kept simple. Digital technologies must seamlessly merge with daily chores. Business intelligence gathered by Salesforce points out two important trends which are creating a balance between the physical and digital spaces. The first one was the integration of mobile phones in the buyer journey. Then there is the increased use of CRM. Wearables are also adding to the list of technologies making lives easier. This way technologies as well as its vendors remain agile and adaptable to circumstances.

10 Marketing Strategies your Company needs in 2016

The highly respected Forbes publication has detailed a list of tactics every firm must add to its marketing campaigns this year. Several companies these days are good with attracting viewers to their website but fail to convert due to lack of relevant content on the site itself. Increased usage of data backed business analytics needs to be done. Such analytics will also enable real time marketing where promotions are pushed at the right time to the concerned audience using such metrics from captured data. Customer experience needs to be paid top priority on. Videos are amongst the best ways to catch young audiences and they must be made liberal use of. Buyer personas need to be tagged and segmented targeting needs to executed accordingly. Instead of going all out individually, it will always be beneficial to attach the firm’s social media pages with others groups so that influence based marketing can take place automatically. In current circumstances the mobile phone remains among most potent sales cum branding tools and thus no digital marketing will be complete without a mobile friendly interface in addition to the web. Content must also be well dispersed to the maximum population using a combination of paid and organic methods. A number of firms these days are guilty of working relentlessly yet without proper direction. This needs to be rectified using proper thought leadership from the very top.

Keeping Customer Experience simple in the Digital Age

There is so much talk regarding digitization in business, yet the customer experience needs to be kept simple. Digital technologies must seamlessly merge with daily chores. Business intelligence gathered by Salesforce points out two important trends which are creating a balance between the physical and digital spaces. The first one was the integration of mobile phones in the buyer journey. Then there is the increased use of CRM. Wearables are also adding to the list of technologies making lives easier. This way technologies as well as its vendors remain agile and adaptable to circumstances.

Effective Marketing teams use one rule on Facebook

Big or small firms, all are active these days on Facebook. It has been proven to be the most effective as well as efficient method of conducting digital marketing. However, many players are unable to crack the code of how to really excel at marketing via Facebook. One firm that has succeeded is UK based Lancaster Insurance that provides insurance to vintage cars. The entire Facebook page is full of classic pictures of such cars that instantly attracts the niche audience. Similarly Nike has a page that that showcases all engineering and product test designs. March of Dimes caters to health of babies and their deep knowledge as well as sense of care reflects from the company Facebook page.

4 Technological advances taking Ecommerce to the next Level 

Certain technologies are powering the growth of ecommerce. Online transactions in the USA have risen from a mere 2.8% of the total volume in 2006 to 7% presently. Innovative retailers are now aligning their online and in-person strategies in such a way that customers get sense of brand convergence. The mobile phone is progressively being targeted more using features such as geo-fencing which enables location tracking. Specific geography based notifications can then be pushed to the potential customers. Instead of small retailers marketing individually, platforms such as ‘Garmentory’ let boutiques display their wares at one place. Several customers are worried about cyber security and that is where Blockchain technology is so useful as it is the most powerful tool to secure information. This has helped spike rise in online payments. Retailers are now considering holistic customer experience across the chain. Sustainability is the buzzword. Technology is enabling vast data warehousing operations to take place where information gets tracked before analysis can take place. 

It’s time to Digitize your Marketing 

Conventional marketing is getting exposed for being extremely costly and difficult to measure its effectiveness. The method of gauging business intelligence using customer insights is a painfully long process. Digitizing the marketing process on the other hands provides instant real time analysis of marketing spend vis-à-vis its returns. This has even led to cost reduction over marketing fairs and promotional events. Marketing research conducted by Nielsen has confirmed that 59% of such forums fail to break-even these days as vendors are turning away from them. Digitization affords firms to quickly respond to market demands. Data driven marketing is increasingly being used by competitive organizations according to a study by the Winterberry Group. 

Getting a sharper picture of Social Media’s Influence 

A study was commissioned to understand the influence social media exerts on buying decisions of prospective customers. This study is likely to help digital marketing agencies to better position their efforts over platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. More than a quarter of respondents across Europe confirmed that they are likely to be influenced strongly on their purchase decision by social media. However this figure varied per product category. The percentage was barely 15% for utilities but around 40% for travel. What was also understood is that social media itself is less powerful unless backed by strong influencers. Most successful marketers though needed a mix of digital and traditional modes of marketing to reach the final customer. Offline recommendations still exert substantial influence on prospects. 

How to Transform your Website into a Marketing Powerhouse for a Mobile World 

A study has been concluded on how best a company website can be leveraged as a marketing hub for mobile based business environment. A genuine strategy must be developed for how the website must be used including specific actions to achieve objectives, audiences to be targeted, implementation schedule and maintenance plans. The website must be designed in a way that it is receptive to customer insights from which responses may be directed accordingly. Content is key, so the customer must get valuable and timely matter. The approach will not succeed unless the plans are scalable and abide by budgeted actions. Business analytics must be leveraged to get relevant data from which appropriate action may be undertaken. Nowadays brands get massive amount of visibility on social media so the company website must be linked with specific pages on these platforms. Websites must always include CTAs (Call to Action) so that beyond relevant content, business conversion can also take place. 

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