Unilever VP- Global Marketing & Analytics, Mr. Shawn O’Neal has described how his organization is leveraging Twitter in order to maximize marketing gains post thorough business analysis. Just as a sample, the ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s was put to the test and using social media analytics it was understood that the same sold best on Saturdays. But for this to happen, Twitter conversations mentioning the brand were critical on Thursdays and Fridays just prior. People Data Centres (PDCs) have been established to track tweets. Because of the vast amount of data generated, it is best if the established PDCs do the work rather than the main company itself as this is not core functional area.

Story-Teller is a digital marketing agency which has tied up with Hub-Spot to provide inbound strategy to various clients. Social media has revolutionized the market in such a way that inbound leads’ conversion rates are much better than other forms. Sales deals close quicker and staff turnover is reduced as this involves less of activities such as cold calling. The quality of traffic generated is of higher level and the buyers usually get the sense of being helped rather than being sold to.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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