Does Your Marketing Strategy Enable Customers to Have an Experience?

The fast changing technology which allows us to be connected perpetually with our “social” world through mobile is completely changing the way in which we behave and how we live our life. This has serious implications for organizations including its marketers and leaders.Now the marketing communication cycle cannot be seen as a hierarchy of steps in sequence. Today, technology enables the consumer to take couple of steps like awareness, interest and evaluation almost simultaneously and even move through the cycle towards trial at unimaginable speed. Word-of-mouth is now instantaneous with a just a click on “thumbs down” button. It now important to understand the speed with which a consumer now wants to try your product and be ready for it at every point of interaction with the customer.Trial has become important for consumers. If they cannot physically try, they expect to be able to experience value themselves before making a decision. This is true for not only start-ups but also for established products. Perception is overshadowing reality. Our corporate strategy needs to enhance belief by delivering experience value at every consumer interaction point by bringing the physical and digital worlds together for customer engagement and satisfaction.

The 10 best Digital Marketing Stats we’ve seen this Week

Extremely interesting digital marketing statistical figures have been assembled. On e-commerce websites, cart abandonment rates have risen to a high of over 76%. Half the e-commerce websites’ problems have as yet remained unidentified. The UK in particular has ramped up efforts with record spends on advertisements in the first half of 2015. John Lewis retail’s mobile traffic share has increased by 60%. Around three-fifths of marketers are active on social media channels, yet those at board level usually aren’t. Just 3% of news feed of Facebook is sponsored. Microsoft meanwhile remains the top brand across social media platforms. Within the health and beauty retail segment, it is Beauty-Bay that leads the pecking order. Around four-fifths of consumers are seeking increased customization. The searches for Aston Martin have increased on e-Bay by more than a third within just a week.

What Customers Want from Social Commerce

The future of social commerce,that is, buying and selling on different social media platforms is more than just promising. With numerous available tools, brands can convert their social media presence into an effective sales channel or a mall. However, customers would need a reason to get involved in social commerce.

For those brands which want to take advantage of social commerce, Jay Chang briefly discusses the major players including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as well as how they work.

Social commerce consumers want an authentic experience, that is, “soft sell” and “engagement” as compared to “hard sell” and “sales pitch.” Use of user-generated content is recommended because people trust other people. Also, customers want shopping to be hassle-free, that is, a simple transaction process. Social commerce has potential to save time and effort of consumers by eliminating the frustrating internet search process. Lastly, brands need to make differentiated promotions to motivate buyers to buy on social media.

Every social network and every brand is different. What works for one may not work for another. So experiment, review and change your selling and marketing strategy and tactics continuously

10 Ways to Turn Online Marketing Into In-Store Sales

 New research suggests that the best method to enhance your in-store sales is to improve your online messaging. Actionable shopper-specific content based on the overall marketing strategy delivered using technology is key to increasing in-store sales. Apart from messages that build brand awareness, targeted and personalized messaging which is personal, local and contextually meaningful will be required to push up in-store sales. Local means more than just location and includes who, what and when. For instance, it may help to get the consumer inside the in-store to purchase when he is near the in-store with a actionable shopper-specific message. Another critical action required is that different teams working mobile, web, e-commerce and social media marketing should be working under a unified marketing strategy in a coordinated manner instead of in silos. This is because customers want and should logically be approached with the same actionable shopper-specific message at each touch point. According to Chad Brooks, if you want to establish an effective digital marketing strategy so as to increase in-store sales, all you have to do is read and follow the 10 steps that he discusses in this article.

A Deep Dive into Marketing Technology: Which Tools Should Manufacturers Use

Every year, as part of its budgeting process, every company has to decide it’s budget for sales and marketing including what marketing tools and technologies to invest in especially for manufacturers. It is important that the marketing tools and technologies acquired by the manufacturers do not end up wasting budget by  complicating the technology strategy of the company with different platforms, disconnected data and toolsets. Also, one needs to make sure it fits with the technology selected under the corporate strategy.

Jenni makes a great effort to assist manufacturing marketers to navigate through the complicated world of available marketing technologies which have the ability to be plugged into the existing CRM or ERP system of the company. Here she discusses marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Pardot, Google Analytics, AdRoll- the paid advertising tool, Call tracking technology system of Marchex and DialogTech, Crazy Egg- the conversion rate optimization tool and Tableau- the reporting tool. So before you decide on which marketing tools and technologies to invest in, you may save time and money by considering Jenni’s recommendations.

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

The online marketing industry not only complicated, global and volatile, but is fast changing and exciting. Keeping up with the latest trends or adopting them is not only expensive but also not easy. Early adopters can be a step ahead of the competition while laggards can miss out on the available highly profitable opportunities.

Jayson feels that 2016 will be an exciting year for online and digital marketing based on the seven trends that he discusses in the article. He predicts that Video ads will offer limitless opportunitiesbecause now Google owns YouTube and has also decided to adopt thein-SERP video advertising . Also, dedicated apps business will grow exponentially and mobiles, as expected, will continue to dominate over desktops as already mobile traffic as overtaken desktop traffic in ten countries. Other trends like increasing use of digital assistants, virtual reality, wearable “smart” devices and technology and Internet of things are gaining traction and need to watched and tracked. Just read this interesting article for more details about these trends of 2016.

Twitter makes a pitch to be the ‘world’s ‘Biggest Social Marketplace’

An interesting development in the ecommerce world. After testing a Buy button on its platform for nearly a year, Twitter is aiming to become the “world’s biggest social marketplace” by permitting Best Buy Co., adidas AG and Pacific Sunwear of California and other US retailers to sell through it’s “Buy Now” button. This opens up tremendous opportunities for retailers to easily sell through Twitter’s platform especially smart phone users as now there would be no need for shoppers to click on retailer’s site. Twitter has been making steady moves to become a significant player in the ecommerce business. For instance, it allowed it customers to browse and shop for goods without exiting the Twitter. Similarly, othersocial networks like Pinterest and Facebook are also showing keen interest in adding e-commerce facilities on their platforms like the “Buy it” buttons. Competition is heating up to make social networks into effective marketing platforms. Find out how you can take advantage of this marketing opportunity and include selling through social network part of yourmarketing strategy.

Digital Skills A Priority for all Employees, Not Just Millennials

One always hears employers complaining that the incoming new employees do not have necessary skills including digital skills while older employees are not willing to learn new skills. Karen’s article discusses the findings of a study which basically rubbishes the claims of the employer on both counts.

The study reveals that acquiring digital skills is a priority for all employees and they not only understand its importance for their career but also understand its benefits to the organization they work for. One of the three surprising findings of the study was that older employees also actively enhance their technical digital skills and contribute to digitally transforming the workplace. The other that the barriers to effectively using the digital skills of employees were primarily management related. The most surprising of all, that younger employees thought that the senior management lacked understanding of business technology.

The study suggests that organization should bring the multi-generational workforce together to remove the perception that there is a disconnect between the younger employees and senior management. A excellent read for ideas on talent management.

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