Sunday, December 30, 2012

Your Brand is More Important Than You Think

The importance of establishing your brand in the era of Digital Darwinism cannot be overstated. Digital Darwinism occurs when technology and society evolve faster than one’s ability to adapt. Every brand is vulnerable, but no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.
With customers today being increasingly connected, informed, and ultimately empowered, their expectations only escalate. In short, they are more discerning and demanding than ever before. The brand and the brand promise are of paramount importance. Without it, businesses instead rely on fleeting factors such as price, trends, events, gimmicks, and other elements that make it difficult to develop a long-term bond or relationship between a customer and the product or the brand.
When someone asks your customers what is it about your product or brand that draws them to you, what do you want them to say? What do you want people to feel?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

eBay Now Holiday Express App Does Everything Except Open the Gift For You

ebay now
eBay, a company not traditionally known for its personalized customer service, is turning that thought around with their new shopping app eBay Now.

If you live in San Francisco or New York City, you can use your phone to buy just about anything and have it in your hands within an hour. Not wild enough? For the holidays, they’ll include a roll of exclusive limited-edition gift wrap from designer Jonathan Adler.
Imagine this scenario, you’re at the office Christmas party and your co-worker unexpectedly hands you a lovely basket of coffee and treats. You didn’t buy her anything, but no problem – you excuse yourself, rush into a bathroom stall, whip our your phone, pick a similarly priced item from eBay now and before the party is over, you’ve reciprocated appropriately. Sheldon Cooper would be so proud.
eBay Now has two other features that truly define the meaning of customer service. First, they assign a personal shopper who calls you to confirm your order. The person’s picture even shows up on your phone so you know who to watch out for.
Next, they give you the ability to track the buyer as she moves around the city and a quick call button in case you need to give her further instructions. Kind of like watching Santa on NORAD.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Facebook and Pinterest square off in e-commerce

English: Red Pinterest logo

Social media startup Pinterest is competing against the world’s largest social network Facebook for a slice of the lucrative online shopping industry, according to research by software company Adobe.
Facebook was responsible for nearly 75 per cent of all social referrals to retail sites during Cyber Monday on 26 November, while Pinterest drove 15 per cent of the referrals, revealed Adobe’s study. The study analysed data from over 500 customers who utilise the company’s Marketing Cloud technology.
Despite this big gap, the growth of retail referrals on Facebook remained flat compared to last year, while that of Pinterest soared by 100 per cent. Interestingly, the figures for Facebook and Pinterest only comprised two per cent of all the online visits, meaning there’s still plenty of room for growth, revealed Adobe’s Digital Index.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Social Media ROI: How To Define a Strategic Plan

As marketers are tasked with the challenge of doing less with more, there's an increasing demand to quantify the value of social media. Here's a guide to mapping a social media strategy with meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) that align to business objectives for tangible measurement!

Following the Social Media Strategy Funnel

Quantifying the value of social media can be a daunting task. Unclear objectives and numerous metrics add confusion. It's time to ground your social media initiatives with a strategic plan that makes measurement clear and easy.
Start by following the social media strategy funnel. Before diving into tactics, you need to define social media goals that align with business objectives.
Social Media Strategy Funnel
"80 percent of marketers incorrectly begin with tactics instead of goals." -eMarketer Report
Like most marketers, you probably began using social media because it was new and fun."Everyone else is doing it… we probably should too."
Confess already. You're a victim of marketing peer pressure.
Stop the madness! Your time is precious. Don't waste it on tactics that might work. You need a plan to strategically and confidently move forward.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Social Commerce by Definition

A segment of a social network

Chirpify CEO Chris Teso recently weighed in on the social commerce debate by sharing his definition of the term. (Just for the record Chirpify is a social commerce and payments platform for Twitter and Instagram.)
In the opening paragraph of his post, Teso states that the definition of social commerce has changed from recommendations of products by friends that eventually led to sales of said product to link sharing by brands inside social media. With that definition in mind, Teso suggests much of what we call social commerce today is really nothing more than social advertising.
“The problem with this, and previous definitions, is that it’s not actual commerce. It’s merely a link that attempts to redirect one’s attention, and browser, away from a social experience to a traditional e-commerce experience,” remarks Teso. “If a consumer can not pay in-stream on the social network, it’s not social commerce, it’s advertising.”
To him, this has ramifications that apply to conversion percentages, user experience, and data. Not only that, it requires too much of a commodity that is in scarce supply, attention. It also requires too much transactional friction for it to be effective, according to Tesco.
His definition: For commerce to truly be “social,” it must be in-stream, require few clicks and very little thought on the part of the purchaser. “Instant gratification” leads to more sales, pure and simple.
Teso camps on one major social commerce sticky wicket – data analysis: “[W]hen the social platform is disconnected from the commerce platform there is a chasm the data cannot cross.”
Conversely, it’s much easier to prove a case for social commerce when the social identity of the purchaser is directly connected to the purchase intent, which is what Chirpify enables.

Digital marketing drives ROI for FMCG brand

The advertising community wants to be assured of two things when it comes to digital marketing: that it can build brands, and that it can drive offline sales. And while there have been many studies that prove online marketing’s ability to build brands, there’s less proof of the link between online campaigns and offline sales. As a result, FMCG marketers have been hesitant to commit their marketing budgets to digital.

Microsoft Advertising partnered with BrandScience to make a case for digital driving offline sales. The approach used Econometric Modeling, which provides a reliable, cross-media view of marketing. It takes high-quality data—collected over a long period of time—quantifies a brand’s different drivers, and shows how those drivers affect performance. The performance, in the case of this study, was short-medium term sales.

The study revealed some important insights:

  • Online marketing is the second most efficient medium for driving short-medium term sales in the FMCG sector, as recorded in actual sales data.
  • The revenue return on investment (RROI) is greater when online media is in the mix.
  • Increased online investment translates to increased longevity of the online impact.

To learn more about the study’s findings, download the FMCG Econometrics Research Report now.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Loyalty beats price for 57% of online shoppers

The majority (57%) of online shoppers in the UK prefer to shop from a handful of their favourite websites rather than shopping around for the best price, according to research from EPiServer.

The report, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, also revealed that over a third have increased the amount of online shopping they do in the last year, and almost half (44%) have made purchases using a mobile device in the last six months. This is compared to 94% of UK consumers that have shopped on the high street during the same timeframe.
The research suggests that clothes and shoes are the most frequent online purchases (46%), closely followed by CDs/DVDs/video games (45%), and books/stationery (37%).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free delivery is key for customer loyalty

A new Rakuten survey of more than 200 online retailer has found that nearly half (48%) of merchants are concerned about competing purely on price in 2013, and free delivery is still considered to be key to customer loyalty.

39% of merchants polled believed that free delivery remained the most powerful loyalty tool at their disposal. Nearly a quarter (22%) of merchants sought to reward their customers using vouchers and special offers, while 17% used social channels to engage fans with competitions and unique offers. 

The survey also revealed that less than half (43%) of merchants had used social media to promote their business.

Mobile commerce to grow 43% by 2015

Consumer sales transactions completed on mobile devices will grow by 43%, as a proportion of overall interactions, between 2012 and 2015 in Europe, according to research commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services.

In a similar trend to that seen in sales transactions, customer services and mobile-specific market campaigns will experience substantial growth as a percentage of overall consumer interactions – growing 48% and 46% respectively between 2012 and 2015.

The companies reporting the greatest success with digital mobile consumers are those that are quickest to adapt to new platforms such as the tablets. Globally, the leading companies had an average of 25% of their mobile apps designed specifically for tablets; in contrast, the companies with the least success had just 17%.

Buoyed by smart phones and tablets, daily online usage jumps: report

If you work in a digital industry, the ubiquity of the internet is practically taken for granted. But that doesn't mean that the percentage of consumers accessing the internet on a regular basis isn't impressive. And it doesn't mean that percentage isn't growing.
In fact, according to Forrester Research, the number of adults in the United States who access the internet on a daily basis is growing more than one might imagine.
In 2012, Forrester says that nearly half of adults in the U.S. owned a smart phone and just under a fifth owned a tablet. The tablet ownership figure has doubled in the past year alone.
Perhaps even more surprising: a sizable percentage (43%) of consumers have access to the web through a television, either through a gaming console, connected TV or set-top box.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The long tail of referral traffic is short: report

Chris Anderson's book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, sits on the bookshelves (or e-readers) of countless entrepreneurs. For many, it has even been an influential book whose ideas have played a role in key business decisions.
Over the years, however, some have asked "Just how long is the long tail?" and interestingly, in many cases, the answer appears to be "not that long at all."
That appears to be the case when it comes to referral traffic if a study conducted by SEO firm Conductor is any indication.

Android conversion rates higher than iPhone: stats

There is no escaping the fact that mobile commerce has been experiencing considerable growth. Recent research from Deloitte suggested that mobile devices would influence £3.5bn of retail sales this Christmas.
As well as understanding the anticipated growth of m-commerce, it is also important to recognise the devices that are fuelling this growth.
With targeting capabilities evolving, it is possible to segment audiences based on the device they are visiting through and advertisers are able to capitalise on this through targeted promotions.

Google and Yahoo confirm that lead generation has hit the big time

As a general rule in digital, it seems that when Google and Yahoo get involved in something it is a pretty good sign that it is important.

After many years of skirting around the fringes of performance marketing, recent product launches from these two online advertising behemoths leave no doubt that Online lead generation is finally ready to step out of the shadows and into the limelight.
Over the course of the last 18 months, Google have made a few clear moves into the world of online lead generation as they look to carve out new income streams beyond the click. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What do marketers really think about search?

Most large brands now use search marketing. But what are marketers’ priorities when it comes to search? And what trends do they see on the horizon? 

Here are some of the things we learned...

1. Mobile search is delivering benefits

Mobile is widely believed to be a key part of the research stage of the decision making process, if not always part of the final sales conversion. 
And 36% of marketers in the survey consider mobile optimised search effective at delivering return on investment, which means they believe it plays an important role in supporting and driving sales.

How Created Video Content Increases Consumer Engagement

Ragu "Charlie Bit My Finger" ad
An eMarketer report shows a tremendous spike in web video viewership for CPG brands in Q3 2012. While overall video viewing is up, CPG brands exceeded other category viewership numbers.
Compared to retail and entertainment brands, CPG consumers viewed 44% more online video, making them 1.5 times more likely to view content than the average user, this according to video buying platform VideoHub. Completion rates for CPG and food pre-roll video was well over 70% in Q2.
While click rates dipped a bit below industry standards, it’s clear that eyeballs are tuned to CPG content. Of those who engaged with the ads, average time spent was also well above average.
So how is it possible that CPG and food brands are delivering such results? They’re creating better creative content designed to drive awareness vs. elicit a direct response.  Sure, clicks are important, but markets that treat pre-roll more like a movie trailer before the big feature are delivering higher engagement and completion rates than their retail counterparts.