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Tag - communication

The Importance of Colour in Digital Marketing

Did you know that the colour scheme of your website could be the deciding factor for converting leads and increasing sales?
Colour is an influential but often underestimated feature of digital marketing. Different colours can affect our moods and emotions in different ways, and they hold a lot of weight when it comes to forming an opinion on a brand or product.
There’s an abundance of research confirming the significance of colour, including this study which found that up to 90% of a person’s opinion about a product is based on colour alone. And that decision is made within just 90 seconds of an initial interaction.
If you think back to your pre-school days, deciding on your favourite colour was probably right up there on your list of priorities, along with learning to write your name and trying to keep within the lines of your colouring book. You might have even snuck your favourite coloured pencils and crayons home in your backpack once or twice. We’re conditioned from a very young age to have an emotional attachment to colour. So it’s not surprising when you consider the importance it has in our purchase decisions.
The Biology of Colour
You’ve probably never thought about colour in this much detail, so, bear with us here. When you look at anything, your brain automatically recognises and differentiates between the different colours you are seeing. But it doesn’t stop there. The eyes send a message to the area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which triggers signals to the pituitary gland, endocrine system and thyroid glands. This cascading effect floods our body with hormones which influence our feelings and behaviour – all in a matter of seconds. If you’ve ever laid eyes on a certain colour, be it in a shirt, a shade of lipstick or a new car, instantly fell in love and felt like you just had to have it – this is why.
The Psychology of Colour

Image from playbuzz.quiz
Earlier, we mentioned colours can affect our moods and emotions in different ways. But, the feelings colours evoke are different for different people.
That’s what makes the psychology of colour so complex.
Let’s start with favourite colours. Most of us have a few, and our favourites are likely reflected in purchases we wear or display like clothes, jewellery and vehicles.
Again, there are countless studies and surveys about colour, but this often cited survey reveals some solid findings about favourite colours according to gender. It found that blue was the most common favourite colour of both males (57%) and females (34%), followed by green (14%) and black (9%) for males, and purple (23%) and green (14%) among females.
So, according to this survey at least, blue and green make great unisex colour options if you want to appeal to a broad audience.
But when it comes to how colours make us feel, things get a bit trickier.
Some brands choose colours that naturally make us think of their product, think mocha brown for coffee, or orange for Fanta. But a lot of branding aims to evoke emotions or feelings in the viewer with the use of colour. This colour wheel illustrates the wide variety of symbolism associated with colours in different cultures. For example:
White commonly represents purity, marriage and luxury in Western society, but in Chinese and Hindu communities it’s the colour of death.
Red is symbolic of good luck in Africa, Eastern Europe and China, but more commonly associated with danger in Japanese and Western cultures.
Blue is associated with loyalty in Western, Japanese and Eastern European cultures, love in Africa and creativity in Hindu societies, but it represents unhappiness for Native Americans and trouble in South America.
Sometimes conflicts in colour symbolism can even occur within the same culture.
Green evokes thoughts of jealousy in Western and Japanese cultures, but also represents nature, good luck, and growth in these same countries.
Purple is associated with decadence and flamboyance in Western society, but also modesty, mystery, and cruelty.
And some colours seem to have mostly negative connotations across all cultures  
Yellow is the colour of illness and deceit for Hindu and Japanese cultures, mourning in Eastern Europe, danger for Native Americans and cowardice for Western and Japanese communities. (Just to confuse you even more, yellow represents health in China and happiness in Western countries.)
Black is associated with evil, death, mourning and unhappiness across Western, Japanese, Hindu and Asian cultures. But it’s also the colour of style and authority in Western society.
Confused? Don’t worry, we were too. But we’ve drilled down to find the takeaway message here, which is get to know your audience and define your brand’s identity. Who are you targeting? Where are they from? What should your colour scheme say about your business? And how do you want people to feel about your brand? For best results, limit your colour scheme to just a few colours, or apply several shades of a single colour.
This graphic by The Logo Company illustrates how major brands have embraced this colour psychology:

Graphic by The Logo Company
Colours that make us Click
Marketers are increasingly A/B testing the colours of links and Call To Action (CTA) buttons on websites and digital marketing campaigns.
The aim is to identify which colour combinations are more successful at influencing customers to click.
You’ve probably already guessed, the results are conflicting…
The Button Colour A/B Test by Hubspot found that Red Beats Green, with a red ‘Get Started Now’ CTA button outperforming the green by 21%.
In another case study, a Big Orange Button, affectionately termed BOB, increased conversions by 32.5%.
And in yet another test, a blue button beat orange by 9%.
We’ve analysed these studies and the underlying common factor is this: the most successful CTA buttons are in a contrasting colour that stands out against the background.
Seeing in Colour
A lot of people assume Facebook’s colour palette is mostly blue because it represents dependability and loyalty. But the main reason is founder Mark Zuckerberg is colour blind.
Colour blindness is more common than you might realise. One in 12 men and one in 200 women are colour blind. There are several variations of the condition, but all colour blindness makes most colours appear different to how they actually look.
Given the prevalence of colour blindness and other vision challenges, websites and marketing materials should be optimised for visual accessibility.
Some solutions for improving digital design for colour blind and vision impaired people is simple design elements, limited colour palette, high contrast text, and incorporating the use of symbols and patterns.
Our Conclusions on Colour

Choose colours that represent your product physically OR colours that are symbolic of your brand values
Take into account the cultural interpretations of colour according to your target audience
Limit your colour palette to no more than three major colours or use several shades of a single colour
Vary the prominence of each colour so they aren’t fighting for attention
Embrace white space
Avoid neon and low-contrast colour combinations which can be difficult to see
Test, test and test again. What works for one brand may not work for you.

As you can see, there is no easy answer to the question we’re all asking – what colours get conversions and sales success online?
By studying the psychology of colour and the many surveys and reports about the most influential colour schemes, we can conclude this is yet another area of marketing that should be customised to each unique brand and audience for the best results.
Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic
Image Sources:

Sourced with permission from

How Digital is Changing the PR Landscape

“PR is persuasion” someone once said. “Persuasion” is a dangerous word in marketing; people don’t want to think of themselves as being persuaded into anything. The Public Relations Society of America has a definition of PR that, although more complex, is much better:

“Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

There you go! “Communication” is a much better word in marketing, and quite telling in the social media age of today. But what’s your take on PR? Do you think of hidden agendas and malicious scheming? Do old episodes of Spin City pop up in your head? This is probably because you, as a lot of people, have a more traditional view (or experience) of PR.
Public Relations is adapting to the new Web. Nowadays, companies aren’t the masters of their own information; consumers are well informed, they know that they have choices and they share information amongst themselves. This alone can create a huge public counter pole, capable of standing up against the biggest of organizations. When information is expected to be only a click away, those who do not offer that information aren’t even considered. Customers can, and will, move on.
Organizations are now being forced into providing total transparency. In an age when everyone is a potential publisher, hiding something will soon raise suspicion. Now this isn’t the end of PR, far from it. Social media has created huge opportunities for those who are prepared to work for it. Quality content deserves to be shared; the holy grail of going viral can make an organization (or individual) into a star overnight. This is where the role of PR comes into it.
Its purpose is not all focused towards JUST media relations, public events and spinning – with social media, PR experts can have the public doing most of the work for them; through creating a portal that pushes out user generated content (which could sincerely be the best thing since sliced bread).
So what about the PR people? After creating that viral snowball, what do they do? This is where it gets interesting; this is where we find the true change in PR. Far from all organizations have social media policies, and every now and then it shows. Social media is time consuming and hard to understand for some – this is why the men and women of PR still have a very important role to play. When everyone can be a media outlet, there is a need for skilled professionals who can coach, educate and encourage – create co-workers who can guide that snowball down the right track, use the digital tools at their disposal to empower and improve other marketing efforts. This is achieved simply by emphasising an edge, a differentiator, a word, an image or even a sound – and making it meaningful and unique so that it will grab people’s attention in the batter of an eyelid. This is where the role of PR is now being moulded around and how its functionality underneath the marketing umbrella has adapted to the digital environment we live in.
Education is key. In a society where the ‘sharing of information’ equals money, we need people with the skills and experience to handle it properly – as a way to build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: blog.commbank.com.au, mashable.com

What You Don’t Know About Social Media

There are many ways to use social media that you may not have thought of…
 
So you’ve set up your company’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. You have an able social media manager at the helm and he or she is part of the digital marketing strategy team. You pay attention to what is being said about your business everyday and respond to complaints accordingly. Do you think you have this social media thing all worked out now? Do you think you are utilizing it for all it’s worth? You may be surprised by what else social media can do to help your company.
Assists your HR Department
To some extent, a person’s online profile might actually serve as his or her work resume, showing where he or she has gone to school and what work he or she has done. Of course we know that not all profiles posted online belong to real people and some information may be false, but it gives your personnel department a guide, a direction where to start looking.
It might also help them keep track of former employees and identify prospective employees and possible candidates for a recruitment campaign. It can even track current employees.  The Internet has a ton of stories about people getting busted by their Facebook accounts, the most common ones being of employees calling in sick, only to post photos of them in very comprising positions and locations.
It’s also worth mentioning that LinkedIn also allows their user profiles to function as resumes.
Serves as Internal Communication
You have always thought of social media as means of communication from the company to the outside world, but have you ever thought of making it work as a means of communicating within the company itself? Aside from improving employee relationship, a social network also gives the ‘smaller fish’ a voice against the bigger fish. Let’s face it, not everyone has the gall to just walk up to the boss and talk to him, even if he or she has a good idea.
But beware, there are pitfalls of having employees in your social circle, you may spew a tirade against a co-worker –or worse, a superior– forgetting that he or she is actually your friend in social media. There have been many cases of people getting fired for mouthing off against someone and forgetting they friended that particular person on Facebook only last week.

The company itself might also be placed at risk or its reputation soiled when its dirty laundry is washed in public. The best thing to do is set up a communication platform account limited only to the employees of that office and make sure it is not mixed with the regular account that reaches the outside world.
Builds Good PR
Your company shouldn’t just keep track of current employees and prospective ones, it should also keep in touch with business partners, customers and other people you are dealing with. Sending them messages during their birthdays, anniversaries or any milestone made public in their account will not hurt your relationship with them. Others may also start to take notice of what a nice and thoughtful company you have.
Protects You from Hackers
Strange as this may sound, it is true. A company without a presence in social media can become prey to anyone who can make a fake online account in your company’s brand name. This has happened to oil giant ExxonMobile and a telephone company in the Philippines, which has long since bought the domain name an activist group once used to spread their message.
Try to think of other things social media can do for your company. Remember that business practices evolve with time, and so does technology and human interaction.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.