Glossy descriptions of fantasy markets should not be confused with real customers.
The meat of this piece is the list of questions the author asks the client about their target audience - and the reason this is important is that it dives into segments/personas and the level of details too many avoid.
And I would also suggest that this article is proof as to why you need to write the business (and marketing) plan - so that people can react to what's on the page and help make it stronger. It's impossible to improve 'vapor' - so put it down on paper and discuss it. Question it. Challenge it. Make it better so you can work smarter.
What are your thoughts on business plans? Marketing plans? Audience segmentation? Buyer personas? Are they worth the effort? Do they help you save time? Produce more profitable results?
Here are some key considerations to think about when starting your own bespoke online community, be it a customer community or an internal social network.
Fantastic post - clear, concise, practical. And you should be thinking about starting your own online community because you control the experience for your audience versus relying on someone else like Facebook or LinkedIn or ...
Infographic on Social Media tools used in Business to achieve realtime achievement and growth and profits in long run with geo location, bookmarking, daily deals offers
Interesting but I am struggling with why B2B marketers are interested in fan-building on Facebook...hopefully that is built on some market insight/research? And one thing is for sure, we are in a "test, measure, evaluate, modify, repeat" mode - which is great.
What are you doing to test/measure/improve your social media activities? Are you starting with a strong strategic plan built on market insight?
The average Web site conversion rate is a little more than 2 percent. In other words, nearly all of the people who visit a site for the first time leave without some form of desired action.
My initial reaction to retargeting was "Interesting but annoying, if not frightening" because I felt stalked. I felt that my privacy had been invaded and there were people watching me that I didn't want watching me.
Personal reaction aside, this post offers some interesting insights while also raising some important questions.
Is retargeting more effective in the B2C or B2B market?
Is retargeting more effective for buyers further in the buying process? (See #10 and #11)
#5 raises some questions in my mind too. What is meant by 'new customer' - a lead or a purchase? Is that increased brand awareness positive or negative?
With almost 60% of consumers have a neutral reaction (#3), is there a way to motivate them to "postive" or "very positive" rather than "negative' or 'very negative'?
What have been your experiences with retargeting? Why are you using it? How are you measuring success? Are you monitoring for any negative impact?
McDonald's came out with its strongest acknowledgment yet that customer service in the U.S. has suffered recently, and that it blundered by introducing too many new menu items too quickly.
This article captivates me for a variety of reasons...but let's discuss the details.
Does your company culture [a] allow input that would have slowed the pace of new products in order to ensure better customer experience, [b] pushed out all those new products and blamed problems on the front line employees, or [c] admitted that, in retrospect, the new product strategy was too aggressive and made to ensure greater success moving forward?
Sometimes we have an idea that's so wonderful that we overlook the challenges that arise - and sometimes those ideas can kill the business by failing to meet the customer's expectations.
I kind of admire the leadership team at McD's for admitting they made some mistakes - and I just wish they had thought it through before pushing all that change onto the front line employees and the customers.
That said, there is no perfect way to do this...life happens. But what about your business? If someone stood up early on and voiced concerns - well, do you have the culture that would allow that honesty? How would it be received? When things go wrong, do you look for why and how to fix as well as not repeat - or do you just blame, fire, move on?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of moderating panel discussions on the importance of a strong working relationship between CMOs and CIOs at the Direct Marketing Association 2013 Strategic Summit and the Forbes CMO Summit.
The C-suite better start figuring out how to play together in order to promote greater success. What is your company doing to make sure that everyone at the top is working together?
Retargeting emails that include a discount trains customers to always expect one.
As you prepare for the end of year rush, trying to pull in all those sales sitting on the table....take 3 minutes and read paragraphs 2-4.
Now, how will your pricing strategy be impacted over the last 50-days of the year? (Keep your pricing where it's at...and use the time to remind the buyer about the benefits they are missing out on...and what that is costing them.)
What do you think? Focus on the unique benefits they will enjoy? Or drop your prices and train them to wait for a lower price?
"It only takes $5 to $10 to reach an average of 1,000 viewers in digital marketing; compared to $10 – $487 in its traditional counterpart. A stark 99 percent difference, it makes CEOs think why they haven’t fired yet their marketing manager for investing in direct mail, which by the way only provides 44% open rate. A study done by eMarketer in 2012 also revealed that more and more advertisers are investing in Digital Media as time goes by. For instance, in 2012 alone, an average of 22.5% US companies spent advertising in the aforementioned; and this trend is projected to grow up to 29.2% come 2016."
I strongly disagree with this and here's why.
I've been measuring traditional campaign performance for 30 years so I don't buy the 'easier to track' argument.
What I have experienced is younger, less experienced marketers that cut their teeth in PPC/SEO/Email show their ignorance concerning how to track traditional marketing. (One explained that using unique toll free numbers was too expensive at $2000 per number per year. Unfortunately the actual cost is about $100 per number per year, on the high end.)
And as for the low cost per lead, there are too many out there confusing an inquiry with a lead which drags the CPL calculation down. I prefer looking at the cost per sale - it's more relevant anyway.
Don't get me wrong - digital marketing has it's place but traditional is not dead when used correctly.
According to Forrester Research, U.S. e-commerce sales are expected to hit $370 billion by 2017 – that’s 10 percent of retail sales.
I’ve been involved in marketing for more years than I sometimes care to admit – but to give you a hint, it was in the early days of “1 to 1 marketing is key”. And over the years, the technology has been there to offer relevant, personalized content – within certain parameters and under certain limitations.
That’s just going to require marketers to do a better job of segmentation, developing accurate personas and then thinking about (and testing) messaging and offers as well as presentation.
It can be done. It takes some time to develop the personas, messages and offers as well as the test plan.
My hope is that this becomes a huge area of differentiation for businesses in the coming year…because the data is there, it just needs to be put to work.
Most companies have reams of data they could be using to impact future customer messages, offers and calls to action. But most of those companies either don’t use that data, or don’t realize it exists in the first place.
That’s part of the problem Lattice Engines is trying to solve. Brian Kardon runs marketing at Lattice, and was also the CMO at Eloqua in it’s early hockey-stick-growth days.
Check out the entire article (link below) - it's short, sweet, clear and insightful. The key takeaway is that you have a lot of data and are scratching the surface of its potential.
How do you take advantage of your data - a little common sense, creativity and the right data. And if you're not comfortable doing it yourself, it's not that expensive to bring in a skilled data analyst for a brief consultation.
Digital channels are ‘on’ 24/7, a fact that’s as true for brands as it is for traditional media. Organizations struggle to keep up, not to mention remain relevant. All marketing organizations must now consider to what degree they will function in real time.
New research from Industry Analyst Rebecca Lieb and Senior Researcher Jessica Groopman defines Real-Time Marketing (RTM) and identifies the top six RTM use cases in which savvy organizations are leveraging the ‘Now.’ This research addresses the benefits and advantages of RTM over traditional media approaches, as well as some of the key challenges and risks that accompany it.
A very interesting report with some real-world examples and a 12-step process for planning and executing real-time marketing. The questions this seems to raise focus on how to leverage your existing resources and create the processes for successfully execution. (I can see some biting off a little too much and failing.)
What have your experiences been with RTM? What are your key take-aways? Are you planning on rolling out RTM in 2014? What are you learning as you go through the planning process?
Step by step, detailed case studies on getting traffic from Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Jon Morrow and many more.
Interesting information here - jam packed with information. I am still working my way through all the links/information but so far, it's been a nice blend of new insight with support for existing beliefs.
Check it out and let me know what you like and what you don't like. I would appreciate the feedback.
Companies contact centers cant compare to their websites when it comes to using data to spread customer satisfaction and generate revenue.
Frightening. Your call center is a revenue center...not a cost center. That is, if you are looking at it properly - and based on this article, most aren't looking at it properly.
Take these two factoids:
The primary use for data, named by two thirds of respondents, is “managing agent performance.”
Half of contact centers collect and use data around customer satisfaction, but more than a third collect none at all.
Yes, hold time and other metrics are important but what's the point of answer a call in under 2 rings when the rest of the experience SUCKS from the customer's perspective?
What are your call center agents there to do? What do they need to do it effectively, efficiently and in a way that your audience leaves positive impressed if not amazed?
Does your call center focus on the right metrics - are they dashing to answer calls, end calls and process as many calls as possible OR are they focused on delivering a unique, valuable customer experience?
Functions & features of products become more commoditized, the holistic customer experience of dealing with your brand becomes the real differentiator
We bought a Dyson vacuum pretty early on and we're very happy with the better performance it delivered vs. our older vacuum. But that's lasted a short time...mainly because once we purchased the product, the communications stopped. We were romanced but once I gave them what they wanted, they ignored me. (I felt used. Cheap.)
Now I look at the other options at much lower costs and realize that the chances of buying another Dyson are pretty low. So much for LTV.
We bought iPods for my wife, daughter and myself years ago...and within a few weeks, Apple released an new iPod that offered more for less. And when I asked if I could exchange our iPods for the new version, I was told that wasn't possible. Great product but when it died a few years later, I stopped being an iPod owner because of that experience and the changes in the marketplace that gave me acceptable alternatives.
My point is this...the product is important. The price is important. The distribution channel is important, and so is the promotion. But things change in the market and you need to make sure that your customers enjoy a unique valuable experience over their lifetime...not just the short time before and after the purchase.
What are you doing to stay in touch with your customers that increases your chances for retaining them? For those of you that sell products/services that are purchased on a less frequent basis - how do you deliver value in the years between purchases?
The most effective approach to marketing isn’t advertising, or PR, or SEO, content marketing, inbound marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, social media marketing or any (blank) marketing.
Marketing, great marketing, has and will always be about the customer. Know them. Understand them. Talk with them. Provide them with fast, easy access to relevant and accurate information. Help them find unique, valuable solutions to their needs and wants.
Crappy marketing has been and will always be about pushing whatever crappy offering you have onto the unsuspecting populace. That's why I, like the author, struggle with a marketer that is channel focused and not customer focused. And it's why I struggle with tactics that are focused on pushing an offering on the buyer - beating them into submission, if you will.
What do you think? Focus on providing the customer a unique, valuable solution? Or focus on pushing whatever you have to push until you have nothing left to push?
What marketers say their top challenges are, and the opportunities that come along with them.
Hmmm. "Accurate targeting" is, for me, #1. That means reaching the right person at the right time with the right message and offer via the right channel. Then, I would go with "Effective process for responding to inquiries" which includes everything from messaging to data capture and contact strategy. Basically, you want to quickly provide the inquirer with fast, easy access to relevant information AND capture what you need to evaluate performance and determine next steps (qualify and prioritize inquiries/leads). Finally, #3 for me is take the appropriate next steps. This is where you analyze what happened and take next steps so that trust is established, the individual is engaged and you can start moving them through the buying process. (#3a is using that insight to improve things that ad value to the audience - and that should increase ROI.)
Then I would go with staying current, learning new things.
But what would you say? What are your reactions to the article?
Have you ever pushed a crosswalk button a thousand times because you're in a hurry and you're concerned it "didn't take?" Today, in Toronto, I pushed a button and it lit up to tell me, "Hey, yes yo...
Effective communication has always been about providing others with fast, easy access to relevant and accurate information in a timely manner and appropriate tone. We just tend to overlook some opportunities where that might be appreciated - like the crosswalk button.
Ubiquitous internet connectivity and information overload have changed the landscape of brand and customer communications forever. For stats fans, that
An interesting read - but at the end of it, I am left wondering "Has anything really changed?" We still need to know our audience so we can create and deliver relevant messages and offers so they will notice us, give us some time to prove we can help etc. Then it's all about engagement - sharing information to become better aware of each other and decide if there is the potetial for mutual benefits.
What has changed? More channels. More crap in the way, distracting our target audience from us.
Maybe the biggest change is that the buyer is becoming increasingly numb to all the content thrown at them...I mean, who doesn't have a couple of white papers availabe? So capturing their attention is more difficult because of the noise and the challenge of finding the best media. (In the B2B world, I am seeing a lot more success with direct mail and cold calling than search and content marketing.)
What do you think? Anything in this article really stand out?
Learn 5 great tips for converting more leads with email marketing. Email marketing remains one of the most effective communication vehicles...
Nice post...I would have suggested the following:
 Good list.  Relevant and motivating messaging and offer.  Clear presentation (so it is clear what you want them to do and why it benefits them.)  Testing strategy (email, landing pages - test creative, message, offer).
Couple of things to consider. First, when the study reports that "...only 45% of customer enroll in loyalty programs...", ask "who was invited to enroll?" In the old days, some would on;y invite those that met certain criteria and avoided those that failed to meet that criteria.
Second, what is 'loyalty'? Is it that they continue to buy from you - or is it that [ex] you are their primary solution provider and you get 90% or more of their annual spend?
Third, the most popular channels for reaching consumers are....but are they the most effective? Are they popular with the program members or your staff? (I belong to several programs and get direct mail with special offers that motivate me to buy a whole heckuva lot more than the daily/5x per week emails.)
Fourth, what's the plan for motivating under-performers into etremely loyal customers? Think of this as a graph where one axis is amount spent or percentage of annual purchase, and the other axis is the amount of time they have been your customer. And through segmentation, you have identified buyers that are like your best, most loyal customer that are under-performing. What are you going to do to capture more of their business?
If you have any questions, reach out and ask me. If I can answer them, I am always happy to do so.