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Small business guide: How to invest your digital advertising dollars - Washington Post

Small business guide: How to invest your digital advertising dollars - Washington Post | IMC |
Small business guide: How to invest your digital advertising dollars
Washington Post
No matter what you're selling, be it software, sneakers or sandwiches, marketing your products to your target audience is critical.
Kimberley Mar's insight:

This article has opened up my mind to how powerful digital advertising really is and how it is advancing. No matter what the company is selling, marketing its products to the target audience is critical, and doing it the right way is vital. Advertising is shifting towards digital media channels. By doing so, businesses are keeping up with trends as they consider the right strategies and platforms to target their customers. Facebook and Twitter have been considered successful channels in this article as businesses can affordably target not just groups/wide audiences but also have the ability to target specific individuals (some that aren't already current customers). In-line advertising is used via these channels as it uses personal information (e.g. supplied by the FB user) to pinpoint specific customers they want to reach in order to present marketing materials tailored to them. Email is another digital channel increasingly used by businesses, however the success rate of the customers opening the email is seen to be as low as 10-15% of emails. The right content needs to be displayed in email in order for the participant to actually be interested in opening it. By including special offers that can't be gained elsewhere are essential for drawing attention. This article explains that the use of text messaging has proven to be a more successful way. The open rate of texts is seen to be around 90% as text are seen to more urgent/unexpected compared to everyday emails. Nowadays, businesses are adapting the use of GPS technology to push their offerings via a text by locating the closest stores to the individual's mobile device. Finally, a new concept to me is the idea of creating loyalty cards on phones. Loyalty cards are a key customer retention tool used by businesses. Since customer collect numerous amounts, businesses can now do this via mobile devices. This use of technology will bring back existing customers whilst creating a situation for customers to talk about this innovation through social media. It is important for businesses to consider all digital media advertising options before sealing the deal and blowing their budget. 

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4 simple steps to improve consumer engagement

4 simple steps to improve consumer engagement | IMC |

Brands that don't understand online behavior engage with consumers at the worst times. Here's when customers are ready to shop and how to best connect with them.


Brands live and die by their ability to understand and target consumer behaviors. When digital marketing strategies align with consumer online shopping behaviors, it's a major accomplishment for brands eager to capture their share of the digital marketplace.


The catch is that marketers often base digital spend on assumptions and perceived consumer behavior rather than the actual ways consumers interact with brands online. As a result, investments designed to improve consumer engagement -- email promotions, social media interactions, mobile spend -- frequently miss the mark, compromising the brand's ability to connect with the right consumers at the right times.


The misalignment of brands and consumers is even more relevant during the holiday shopping season. For instance, a recent study showed that half of consumers are influenced by social media when making online purchases, but only 8 percent of Facebook campaigns and 4 percent of Twitter campaigns focus on money-saving promotions. Unless big brands effectively calibrate their marketing strategies to align with actual consumer behaviors, it's unlikely that they will be able to achieve holiday sales targets -- not to mention sales goals for the rest of the year.


Continue Reading .... 

Kimberley Mar's insight:

This article reinforces the importance of improving consumer engagement for a brand. The survival of a brand is based on understanding and targeting consumer behaviour, which are vital to comprehend in order to maximize your brand's potential. For instance, online brands need to align their digital marketing strategies with consumer online shopping behaviours in order to capture a share of the digital market place. In order to do so, marketers need to understand the 'actual' ways consumers interact rather than make assumptions or perceptions of consumer behaviour. From this article I have extracted 4 concepts that a company could perform in order to improve their ability to engage with consumers via online channels of marketing: 1) Start Early, in relation to emailing promotions and including free shipping options, discounts and exclusive offers which will drive purchase decisions. 2) Segment Audience, by targeting shoppers with frequent and  urgent messages that have deadlines for offers in order to avoid message fatigue. 3) Consider Timing, relates to the release of the promotional material at specific times of the day when consumers are most likely to be online. By understanding these consumer buying patterns, marketers are able to establish a system that will release promotional materials at peek hours. 4) Leverage Mobile, will take advantage of the constant use of the mobile phone by enabling consumers to view messaging and interact with the brand via online platforms accessed via their mobile. High levels of consumer engagement are vital for the survival of a brand and once achieved, allows for comprehensive and consistent marketing strategies to be implicated. In conclusion, by aligning digital channel promotions with the real-world consumers behaviours, in the long term result in increased return of investment and establish strategies that deliver results. 

Kier Segui's comment, September 26, 2013 4:46 AM
Hey Martin this is a good article you have chosen. Understanding consumer behavior before engaging with consumers is very important. If you understand how your target consumers behave then it will be easier to identify the best possible way of engaging them. Also by understanding your consumer you gain knowledge into what they like and what engages them. Therefore you can tailor a strategy best suited for that consumer.
Joly Yuan's curator insight, September 26, 2013 10:37 AM

This article is mainly about specific consumer engagement, referring to the online retailers. The article states how to improve consumer engagement when digital marketing strategies align with consumer online shopping behaviors. It is suggested that the best ways to improve consumer engagement is to have the right timing with the right consumers. Then the author indicates that there are four useful steps to improving consumer engagement. Firstly, it is better to start early to promote specials, discounts, and exclusive offers to consumers. Secondly, bands need to segment their consumer, and send more frequent and urgent messaging to reminder audiences to shop with us. Thirdly, the marketers should understand when the right time for consumer online shopping. Lastly, marketers should interact with the consumer on mobile more frequently. In my opinion, this article is really helpful for understanding ways in which businesses can improve consumer engagement.

Shichi Zhong's curator insight, May 14, 2014 12:21 AM

Good article and very clear points. It mentioned that social media is now a very important tool to develop consumer engagement. I agree with this opinion, most people now choose online shopping rather than go to the physical stores. This is actually a marketing change from physical to online model. If companies want to improve consumer engagement they should pay more attention to social media area and online sale model. This is the future marketing key element. The author talk about 4 steps to improve consumer engagement,  these steps can truly help marketers to develop the market well via social media tools and therefore gain the consumers


How has Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) contributed towards the evolution of Brand communications?

How has Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) contributed towards the evolution of Brand communications? | IMC |
Introduction Over the couple of previous decades, research on IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) has generated immense discussion leading to interesting contribution to the evolution of IMC a...

Via Angelina Singh
Kimberley Mar's insight:

This article clearly redefines IMC as a 'strategic' approach (not just a marketing concept) that helps develop firms to be more valuable in successfully reaching their brand communication objectives. The strategic approach allows the firm to synergize elements of the communication mix. Schultz & Schultz describes the strategic process as helping firms plan, develop and evaluate their ideas in a structured manner that allows them to develop a brand communication program, involving their internal and external stakeholders. This system approach is clearly driven by customer data and consumer brand awareness.

The IMC concept heavily depends on communication activities, via multiple media channels used by the firm, creating synergy for the firm. As a whole, IMC is heavily influenced by a range of factors including; technological development, internalization of the global economy, deregulations, the current customer market place and the ever changing customer consumption patterns. These factors influence the customers' behaviour and perceptions of the brand. Because of these factors, firms need to rethink their strategies and objectives and develop them in relation to the current realities of the marketing and communication approach. This has been performed by many firms through switching their communication approaches from tactics to 'strategy'. By producing strategically driven IMC, it allows businesses to develop a dominant and attractive brand and brand equity.

Kristoffer Erdal Klemetsdal's curator insight, May 10, 2014 10:14 PM

Imc is not just considered a marketing concept but also as a whole strategic business process. 

Its importante to have strategical focused Imc process that can drive the business to develop not only powerful but also attractive brand and brand equity as factors for the success of the organizations

MinhThanh_Ha's curator insight, September 29, 2014 8:44 AM

Integrated Marketing Communication is seen as the key of the success of brands. Based on that, brand can build strong relationships with its targeted consumers and attract/create new potential consumers.

IMC also helps marketers to notify, convince and remind consumers directly or indirectly of the brand's image and message. IMC brings a lot of benefits to most business. Integrated marketing communication can drive business to develop powerful and attractive brand and brand equity as dominant factor for the success of organisations.

It builds brand equity by establishing the brand in memory by applying some marketing communications: advertising, public relation, personal selling, etc.

Rachel Chen's curator insight, October 2, 2014 11:29 PM

The success of the brand relies on the foundation created through their brand management programme. Brand management programmes should be match up with the fast pace of technology and must be well aware of introducing their brand to the right consumers at the right time and right place. Brand management programmes should be match up with the fast pace of technology and must be well aware of introducing their brand to the right consumers at the right time and right place. Build strong relationships with its targeted consumers and attract/create new potential consumers. IMC also helps marketers to notify, convince and remind consumers directly or indirectly of the brand's image and message. IMC brings a lot of benefits to most business.

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You Should Be Marketing on Pinterest

You Should Be Marketing on Pinterest | IMC |

Pinterest's share of social-media referrals soared from .68 percent to a whopping 26 percent in just one year, generating more than 400 percent more revenue per click than Twitter and 27 percent more than Facebook.

Via Nicole Smith
Kimberley Mar's insight:

As an avid Pintrest user, this article really opens up my mind to the reasons  certain pins are created by companies by using Pintrest as marketing tool. The facts highlighted in the article are amazing considering Pintrest is not the 'biggest' social media channel. The article states that the Pintrest share of social media referrals rocketed from 0.68% to 26% in the time frame of only 1 year. The social media channel generated 400% more revenue per click of the mouse than Twitter and 27% more revenue than Facebook! This shocks me because Facebook and Twitter are much more well known social media channels compared to Pintrest which is only a recent discovery for me, which I established from my friends's account. I was mesmerized by the ability to electronically hoard images and am always 'pinning' everyday. I enjoy Pintrest because there is ALWAYS some new to see and be engaged in, compared to Facebook where you keep refreshing your news feed to find the same images. The article states the by using the social media channel: Pintrest, it increases the likelihood of purchase for the company. It is a free marketing channel so why not take advantage of it? The figures claim that shoppers referred by Pintrest are 10% more likely to go through with the purchase than viewers from other social-networking sites. It is important for marketers to understand how to engage their potential customers through Pintrest in order for them to follow up on the purchase. Rather than just pinning images of what the company provides there are more options to create with your pin in order to fully engage and retain the audience. It is important for companies to understand that their members of the social-media audience are there to be connected with and to learn about the product offerings rather than to be pitched or sold too. This is a key fact to consider as a company so that they can successfully attain the audience and transform them into customers. In order to do so, they need to offer creativity and value through their pins by incorporating the use of humour, interesting facts, statistics and advice. Pintrest is ideally about engaging the consumer via the use of the senses. It is important for the company to create visuals that are appealing to the eye and use words to stimulate the viewer's imagination. This ties into another social media channel, Instagram, where companies use the channel to create brand awareness through images by including visuals and wording to engage consumers. In order for companies to successfully establish and use their Pintrest account, they need to consider the reasons for the incorporation of their pins. There needs to be thought behind why they created the pin. Some examples that companies can include are: info-graphics (facts about their industry, consumer habits and information about their product or service to initially inform new users and create awareness.) Also the use of images that evoke images is key through using enticing words and phrases to engage the senses of the viewers e.g. food pins would incorporate words like "succulent" and "mouth-watering" to make the viewer feel hungry which is established through the senses. Other beneficial pins that companies could produce to engage customers would be the use of videos and tutorials about DIY and insights into the production process of their goods. The use of videos is one of the highest forms of engagement on Pintrest as it is incorporating numerous images together. Also the use of call to action is important to incorporate in their pins e.g. providing a promotion code over an image, directly linking the viewer to the site where the sale occurring. This form of marketing has said to increase engagement by 80% through the use of 'click here' or 'repin this' as it entices the consumer to get involved and excite them about the possibilities of winning a competition or being linked to an online sale. These links to the site are vital and it provides an easy way for viewers to be exposed to the full experience of the company and hopefully pursuing the purchase that they have been waiting for. 

Nicole Smith's curator insight, March 10, 2014 7:07 PM

As someone who doesn't use Pinterest I found this article really interesting as it does not initially strike me as a medium that could be used for effective marketing. According to IMC, however, those on Pinterest are actively looking to spend money (unlike those on Facebook or Twitter). 


I think this medium would work best with businesses that are marketing products, rather than trying to create brand awareness. In my opinion it would go hand-in-hand with an instagram account, or complement video advertisements.

Freda Lim's curator insight, May 15, 2014 5:58 PM

As a Pinterest user myself, I believe it is one of the possible social media platforms businesses should be marketing on. However, there are a few things to keep in mind that in order to be recognized or seen,  image content should at least have a logo or brand name associated with the hashtags or within the picture itself. This way when people scroll through and see what they like, they tend to try and figure out where to get it from.  I'm one of those  curious users too. That way, it's a better way to increase brand awareness and receive  an increase in consumers. 

Bayley Lord's curator insight, May 15, 2014 8:41 PM

I found that as a user of pinterest, I am always on the platform just to look and get ideas for certain services and products. I found this article very interesting as I didn't think businesses use this medium as an effective marketing because I personally thought it was just people posting pictures and products they like or are interested in, but i guess this is how people get the ideas and go purchase the products. 


This platforms is actually a good IMC because it engages consumers and gives options of what products or services to buy. for brand awareness i don't believe pinterest would be that effective because there are so many photos and different pins, that one brand might get over looked and forgotten about. where as a product could be displayed in different ways and maybe not by the same company.



Integrating Marketing Communication to Build Brand Equity

Integrating Marketing Communication to Build Brand Equity | IMC |
Marketing programs play an important role in building up of brand equity. Marketing communication needs to be flexible in current technology driven environment where consumer are internet savvy and have access to information.

Via Angelina Singh
Kimberley Mar's insight:

It's all about building brand equity! Marketing programs are designed to do so in relation to the product, price, place and distribution channels involved. These factors are necessary to assess as they help build upon the brand's image and enhancing the brand's awareness. Marketing programs are performed through the medium of marketing communications e.g. advertising with the aim of building brand equity. In order for this to be pursued, marketing communications need to establish the points of similarity and difference with their competition. Also by gaining an understanding of consumers' impressions of the brand will enable marketers to develop a strong consumer based equity and in the future, a lasting relationship with them. It is vital for marketing communications to be flexible due to the current day technology driven environment with internet savvy consumers who can access the internet as an information gathering process. Another aspect that marketing communications need to be perform, is the effectiveness of conveying the message. By understanding the current state of consumers' brand awareness and brand image, marketers need to question, what it is that they want in this current state? Once designing a communication program, keeping in mind the states of similarity and differences (competition), marketers need to assess the desired effect and the depth of the brand knowledge that was/was not created. This cycle will be forever referred to as a new 'desired' state is created. In order to design a successful marketing communications program that will lead on to creating brand equity, one major factor needs to be established. Marketers need to ensure that connections are made with consumers and that they can effectively communicate the brand to them. Thus creating strong brand awareness and image and in the long run, creating powerful consumer based brand-equity. 

Vetida Namprasert's curator insight, August 11, 2013 6:18 AM

I found this artical really useful and easy to understand the basic of how to start creating the strong brand equity. To be able to create a strong consumer based brand equity is to start from understand a marketing communication program and think carefully about how to crate the most effectively communication about the brand and build up a strong brand awareness and image. there are so many important point that the marketer need to consider to be succesful to produce the effective brand communication such as; catchy communication, find a chance to experience consumer, how to pass the message across and measure.

Maybelle O'Connell's comment, August 19, 2013 7:11 PM
I agree with Vetidas comment and how it is important to build strong brand equity. The articles points out how to develop an effective marketing communications programme in order to establish the connection between customers and brands.
Aimie White 1085804's comment, August 20, 2013 6:03 AM
While the essence of the article is on the right track, it seems to be a particularly descriptive article highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of certain forms of advertising and branding, but it seems to emphasise the need to spend a lot on advertising and then research the effectiveness of the advertising. I would think that a marketer would want to identify where the awareness is lacking before spending on advertising. interesting though.