Category Archives: Measureable Marketing

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5 Rules to Ruling Facebook

6a00d83451b9ea69e2019b00420565970d-500wiFacebook remains an attractive social media platform and marketing destination, first and foremost, for its  +1.28 billion monthly active users as of June 2014. Aren’t convinced?  It’s all in the numbers…

  • 802 million users log onto Facebook daily
  • 1.01 billion mobile active users
  • 29.7% of users are ages 25-24 years old (Largest Demographic)
  • High Growth Rate: 5 new profiles created each second

Source: Zephoria

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Already on Facebook? Here’s how to own it:

1. Bylines are your Best Friend – The average time spent on an Facebook is only 20 minutes (Infodocket). Coupled with limited attention spans, content and advertisement overload, it’s critical to keep your text light. Rule of thumb: if it doesn’t fit within a 140-character tweet, start over. 

2. Timing is Everything – You can now determine your fan’s Facebook schedule. Down to the very hour. If your users are primarily on Facebook from 8-10 pm, post away. There’s now an explanation for a scarcity of likes during weekday mornings. According to Bit.ly, Thursdays and Fridays experience 18% higher engagement.

3. Get Friendly wIth Facebook’s Insights – A 7-day snapshot of what your brand’s page is doing right and what its doing wrong. A Google Analytics for Facebook. Analyze your posts reach, whose liking your page (M/F, Origin, Language), and what posts are driving customers to your page.  ldksfa

4. Be Human – Engage with your customers. With so many seamless communication methods and pathways, focus on building relationships with your customers. Know their interests and values. When they reach out to ask about a product or an event, be active and inviting in your response. Remember, this is an opportunity to acquire a life-long customer (or deter one) so, get to know them.

5.  #Hashtag –  Albeit, there’s truth in Mashable’s article “Does Facebook Really Need Hashtags?,”yet Facebook’s adoption of hashtags was a natural progression and will remain a useful tool to streamline trending topics on Facebook. While creating a more user-friendly experience for users (clickable hashtags allow users to discover what they like), the tool allows for more synergy between Facebook and social media sister Instagram. Try and keep hashtags relevant and to a minimum.

TIMES SQUARE HEART WALK 2

Love Branded in Times Square NYC

TIMES SQUARE HEART WALK 2A client that spends absolutely zero dollars on paid for advertising anywhere in the US wanted to know my opinion on a special “deal” they received for a Times Square G-Tron (digital billboard) opportunity the other day. He received a “discount” offer for $75K USD for 15/30 second spots from Light Years Media.
The offer was for four (4) spots per hour, 96 spots per day a total of 35,040 annual spot package. The package included the video creative (with whatever my client already had prepared, which is basically a logo and product shots, and maybe a lifestyle image or two).
Yes, Times Square is a busy place and the “deal” price for a year-long campaign is sane enough, especially to be seen in a major commercial intersection between Broadway and Seventh Avenues and 42nd and 47th streets where 1.5 million people pass through each day.

The Geoffrey Tron Screen (the G-Tron) marketing collateral claims that 4.7 billion retail sales are generated annually.  Now that sounds amazing, but is it the brand on the screen that generates that revenue or every single store, restaurant, and retailer in the Times Square collectively? Very confusing and perhaps a bit misleading for my client.

While this type of marketing may seem enticing, it is important to understand that this is really about branding – getting your name out there – without expecting any real measurable data. Sure 1.5 million people per day is fantastic, but are these your people? Your customers?

Other “facts” claimed in the PDF sent to my client –
– 547.5 million people pass through Times Square each year
– 10 million viewers see live shots of Times Square on national TV each year (yeah, for a quick one second scan)
– 9 million visitors annually (once again, are these tourists your target market?)

What intrigued me even more were the little known Times Square Annual events listed in their brochure –

The Times Square “Kiss In” – which evidentially takes place every five (5) years on the anniversary marking the end of World War II

Taste of Times Square – in June is an outdoor food festival with top restaurants and the city street performers

Valentine’s Day renewal of vows which is free to everyone

The June Solstice – a gathering to find peace and tranquility (okay I can’t stop laughing) in Times Square.

A run through of NY’s Finest on St. Patrick’s Day. Enough said.

And a preview of the Best of Broadway performances – free in September.

Oh and then there’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, “Good Riddance” Day on December 28th in Times Square complete with a mobile shredding truck and of course New Year’s Eve for the big ball drop.

My client was rightfully concerned that their brand did not have distribution or key brand messages to support something with this type of exposure. I also recommended we cover the basics first with a more customer-centric approach.

He believed that in general this type of thing – slamming $75K down on a digital billboard – works better for a known brand to continue top of mind messaging. Agreed.

Photo in today’s post – the “heart walk” in Times Square reconstructed out of boardwalk debris left over by Hurricane Sandy.

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Hero Marketing

 

Marketing can never substitute great products and services that people just love. Reality is, an awesome product or service will market itself. Any noise made beyond that will just support organic word-of-mouth growth.

Hero marketing begins with great product development.

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Measurable Marketing and Customer Insight

Forget about the traditional market research model of surveys and demographics. The internet now has us measuring customer behavior in real time, closer to the actual moment of purchase.  Companies that can help your brand  discover how to give your customers what they want, when they want it –

Graph Effect  will help you find out more about your target audience than just what they give a “thumbs up”. Watch this quick tutorial on their Facebook page.

Companies such as RichRelevance, Certona, Baynote and Monetate all offer the ability to personalize information to specific audiences based on their online and in store behavior.

RichRelevance powers personalized shopping experiences for the world’s largest and most innovative retail brands, including Wal-Mart, Sears and Overstock.com.

Certona enables online retailers to personalize their entire customer experience by delivering individualized product and content recommendations in real-time, increasing average order value and revenue per visit.

Baynote equips ecommerce executives with new power to give consumers what they want, when they want it. Brands can understand buyer intent and engage consumers by offering the most relevant products and content as interactions are occurring – across chat, social, email, mobile and landing pages.

The beauty brand, L’Occitane explains how monetate has helped them integrate weekly promotions through their email campaigns and website pages.

Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Ertell,  explains how monetate works – taking data that we know about people and adjusting the customer experience along the path to purchase.

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Membership Program Marketing in 2012

Sometime last month we were sitting around the conference room table with a team of executives brainstorming ideas to help their partners increase sales and customer loyalty. One of those in the room with a short-term thinking “mind-set” brought up the “fact?” that in her experience she found that customers who signed up for gym memberships would continue to pay for the membership, even if they didn’t work out at all,  for an average of 14 months after signing up.  The charge would just appear on their cards and it wasn’t until over a year later, these member customers would wake up to the fact that they were pouring money down the drain.

This “experienced” professional was proposing this membership model as a revenue driver and was asking the team to think short-term while charging customers a membership each month – on top of the service price they are already paying, with the thought that these same customers would forget they signed up and continue to pay the $9.99 a month on their cards for the year to come.

This is the same type of greed-induced strategy that got our economy where it is today. Now, it’s a good thing that customers everywhere are all the wiser and are completely aware of scams like this one proposed.

This kind of thinking also reminds us of the recurring charges that customers get stung with (and that web companies are under investigation for) which you can read about here.

Membership Programs in 2012

Your membership program has to bring real value to the table in order to even appeal to new customers and keep existing customers loyal, especially in this day and age. The real fact is, customers are too smart and watching every penny they spend. Membership program enrollment is down and there have been three major reasons for this decline – economic changes, demographic shifts, and technology.

Now, new technologies can enhance a great membership experience -from social media platforms that celebrate customers who promote your business to data mining tools that help target your customers, and help keep them coming through the doors.

If you are considering adding a membership program to your business, think about what you have to give to attract and retain customers. Consider your business model, your customer’s purchasing behavior and think along the lines of –

  • Programs that offer real value and no risks
  • Possible discounts with every purchase and no restrictions
  • Cash prizes and upgraded shipping
  • Special savings that translate to 15% to 35% off retail prices
  • Exclusive promotional offers void of black out dates and messy disclaimers
  • VIP membership events
  • First dibs on new products, appointments and services
  • Product guarantees and free offers
  • Upgrades and same product/service add ons
  • Co-marketing programs with synergistic businesses

In other words, your membership program must contain a well-defined value proposition that resonates in today’s environment.

Smart companies think like Zappos.com  and American Express –

  • Consider not charging a membership fee
  • Offer valuable services like free overnight shipping and
  • expedited returns

Once you have developed a valuable membership program you must consider how much you have to spend on spreading the word (marketing the program)- through e-mail, newsletters, in-store signage and website updates as well as social media platforms. Your employees should also be ambassadors for the program and able to relay its value to customers. This happens with proper training and real support.

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Successful Brand Integration Measurement

No doubt, the advertising world is changing, with more ways being developed to help companies integrate their brand into paid for advertisements while creating a more dynamic experience for their audience and a less invasive one for the consumer. The idea of brand integration has been around for a long time, but when incorporated into a 360 degree marketing strategy with a link to social media platforms, this form of marketing can make a big impact on sales and brand awareness.

Television programs are giving brands the opportunity to plan their ad schedules with pre-programmed licensing and placement of their products right into plot lines. Technology now exists to also embed special features directly into video content when placed on the web.

Creating authentic content

The highest quality integrations are perceived as editorial content and that starts with working directly with the writers and producers of the program. For more on how to create the most authentic product placement, read this article.

Product placements like these, do not come cheap. A brand integration deck from Martha Stewart, offering four to six-minute placements, with Martha mentioning your brand name and demonstrating your product with a brand expert can start at $200K. A one minute segment for an edited version of the same, $30K. Creating a 360 degree strategy should include a complimentary social media campaign with contests and conversations on Facebook and Twitter linked to television brand integration.

Measuring success

In an ad buy like this, measuring successful engagement rates becomes very important. It’s not just about a remarkable increase in impressions or big jump in visits to your website. It’s about measuring an increase in product orders and average order size.

Successful engagement rates are all about results. Return on investment should be at the core of all marketing partnerships. What should be measured?

What type of lift /spike in page views is your digital medium experiencing?

If you create a post ad survey –

  • Measure logo recognition and unaided brand awareness.
  • Consumer sentiment.
  • Decision to purchase.  A rise in consumer purchase intent.
  • Association of key brand attributes across all media platforms.

How many downloads of your mobile app?

How many entries did your sweepstakes pull in?

What %-age increase in web conversations/mentions?

Did your campaign increase audience awareness, change opinions?

Did your campaign include sampling? Calls to a hotline? Downloads of a complimentary guide?

Was there an increase in store visits?

Did your tweet become a trending topic?

When done properly, brand integration is a creative way to show how your product or service works, why or how your product or service should be used, and can (although there are increasing rules around it) be a great way to attach an implied celebrity endorsement.

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Winning Marketing Strategies

Your marketing goals should strengthen your brand equity and focus on winning strategies that aim to –

  •  Increase your revenue
  •  Build market share
  • Decrease price sensitivity
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Increase your ability to attract and retain high-quality employees

All marketing strategies must focus on driving significant business results.

Marketing strategy checklist

Does your strategy –

  •  Clearly define what differentiates your company from the competition?
  •  Focus on precisely who your target customers are and what matters to them most?
  •  Determine whether you will be a market game changer, leader, follower  or niche player?
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Out Fox the Competition

So you’re building a brand new business from scratch. Out of nothing but a need you saw and an opportunity to fill it. How exciting.  The smart way to start is by incorporating  marketing, PR and design into every detail; right from the beginning. Building your business around key marketing strategies is the roadway to success because you are constantly thinking about how to attract new customers.

Marketing Operations  is about performance, financial management, strategic planning, marketing resource, and skills assessment and management.

So, how are we doing it for our businesses? It started with our mission statement, to the font we choose for our logo to the brand colors and icon, which like Google’s,  changes often, so as not to tire or bore our future fans.

At the same time we are structuring our new business to move quickly. Filling out online forms with the IRS and government agencies that require permits and licenses to operate.  Even those will be exposed and transparent to our future customers and partners, helping us to market and promote our business in a way that builds respect and trust. It says to the world, we are compliant and we are committed.

The test market survey we just created will help us grab the details we need to tailor this new business to our future customers right out of the gate.  After we gather the data, we’ll know what our customers want, when they want it and how they want it, giving us the ability to succeed even quicker than if we hadn’t.

You can also learn from some of our mistakes. We should have used an online survey creator instead of taking hours to create an Adobe Acrobat PDF. Think about how quickly your data can be collected and analyzed with a program like this survey tool. Other’s include  Google’s free survey maker, Wuffoo, Polldaddy, Zoomerang and Vizu.

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Marketing & PR Facts & Stats

Thanks to MarketingCharts for these 2011 stats and facts.
Did you know – Facebook users don’t like to refer, big banks face a trust deficit and boomers spend the most online? More from Marketing Charts 2011. . .
  • Worst time to schedule an email offer to your customers is 10 am to noon. This is considered the “do not disturb” zone. Your customers are more likely to be focusing on work or home-related chores.
  • Best time to schedule an email newsletter with offers is 7 pm to 10 pm when recipients are more likely to respond with an average of 25% more open rates.
  • Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the 3 Top Three Social Networking Sites by US Market Share of Visits with Yahoo Answers, Tagged and LinkedIn right behind.
  • YouTube, Hulu  and Bing Videos are the 3 Top Video MultiMedia Websites by US Market Share of Visits with AOL, Yahoo! and iTunes in the running.
  • Foursquare leads the way in deals and checks in as the most popular location-based application. Facebook Places, Gowalla, Yelp and Google Latitute lag behind.
  • QR Code scans increased by 4,549% between Q12010 and Q12011. Mostily scanned by women in the family.
  • 76% of businesses are using social networking for business objectives and 64% of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing plans.
  • 6 out of 10 Twitter followers are existing customers.
  • There are 200,000,000 million registered Twitter users and 450,000 new Twitter accounts created every day.
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Micro-Marketing – Zooming in on New Customers

Zooming in on a specific concentrated/targeted market can be an effective way to increase customers and sales revenue. It requires a very strategic focus and time spent studying the current customer mix, how they shop and what they do before and after they arrive at your business.

We have a goal to double our client’s customer base in 30 days. Our biggest weapon will be word-of- mouth marketing, giving current customers a rewarding incentive to tell just one friend or family member to try our client’s services.  Doesn’t it seem much more doable when you break it down into simple bites?

Here are five of the tactics that we believe will help us to reach our goal.

  1. Email current customers with a double rewards program incentive for each friend/family member they bring in by the end of October along with the creation of point of purchase signage at reception and check-out in case they miss the email. Be sure to encourage them to forward the email from their phone and invite friends on Facebook.
  2. Participate in mid-month customer appreciation events at the local chain of gyms with one location across the street and another about 9 blocks from this location. We found out about these customer appreciation days by just walking into the gym one day to introduce ourselves.
  3. Investigate the costs of hosting a table/booth at street fairs and festivals within a 20 block radius for micro-branding.  (More and more of these festivals are popping up around the holidays – a great way to find original and hand-made “Esty” like gifts).
  4. Offer gift certificates and products as prizes for the local YWCA events (two blocks away from our location). Again more branding on the Y website and to their fans and followers.
  5. Inviting bloggers in for a complimentary service to help spread the word through earned media. Also sharing tips and advice from our experts to their readers/visitors.