Tick Yes Blog

Tag - digital marketing

How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand.
By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend.
We have tips to help you optimise each of the most popular channels draining your media budget. One tip is important for all of them:
Stay in control of budgeting and targeting. If you’re new to a channel, keep watch on your audience and don’t scale until it’s profitable.
Here’s how you’re going to achieve better results without breaking the bank, and figure out the right time to scale for each campaign.
 
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads are considered a staple in the marketing world – simply because they work.
A recent study shows that integrating SEO efforts results in a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits. Because of this, marketers are increasing their spend in SEO.
According to MarketingProfs, nearly half of digital marketing budgets are spent on search, with 31% on paid search and 18% on SEO. U.S. spend alone will top $45 billion by 2019.
If you’re one of those marketers spending nearly half of your budget optimising for search, measuring success by click isn’t going to be enough.
#1 SEO Tip – Always run campaigns with conversion tracking.
You’ve got to know what happened after a prospect clicks. If it led to a product purchase, then which keyword, ad group or campaign triggered the conversion? Conversion tracking will show you which ones are – and are not – worth bidding on.
 
Ad Retargeting
Search engine marketing (SEM) retargeting means targeting website visitors who did not convert yet, often through a third-party vendor. It’s effective, but is an area where media spend can get out of hand.
Research showed 56% of customers retargeted after visiting the cart, didn’t want to make an immediate purchase. Marketers then invest in bringing them back to the cart – what a waste.
In fact, over two-thirds of visitors who intend to make a purchase never make it to the checkout cart. This suggests that marketers are failing to create campaigns that are tailored to visitor intent.
# 1 Ad Retargeting Tip – Use conversion analytics to figure out customer intent – specifically, why some customers aren’t completing their checkout, or converting.
Once you identify the group that doesn’t have the intent to convert, you can stop spending your budget retargeting them, and reallocate to maximise results from those that do.
 
Content Syndication
Content syndication packages can be highly effective if you’re generating top-quality content, but are hard to pin down in a budget since pricing packages vary widely depending on the media outlet you’re syndicating with.
They’re very effective for generating leads, as according to Inc, 70% of people want to learn about products through content versus through traditional advertisements.
The trick to reducing your syndication spend is to be very picky when choosing media outlets.
#1 Content Syndication Tip – Focus on the right media outlets, and once you find them, don’t keep spending if you’ve stopped seeing a return.
Keep an eye on results from certain media outlets, and continue reallocating budget to those performing best.
 
Social Media Ads
In 2015, global analysts predicted a 33% increase in spending for social media ads. This is because over 50% of (business-to-business) B2B marketers rank social media as a “very” or “somewhat” low cost ad option.
Social media can be low cost, and can drive unprecedented amounts of engagement if targeted correctly. Avoid this one common mistake – spreading your budget across every social media channel out there.
#1 Social Media Ad Tip – Choose the right social media platform.
Which platform is converting the most leads? As an example, a bakery is going to perform much better on Pinterest than the latest cloud security software.
 
The key to reducing your media spend while increasing your results is to find where your audience wants to see you the most. With robust conversion tracking and by following industry best practices, you can make your marketing budget stretch farther than you ever thought you would.
 
Image: Shutterstock Australia
 

Why Email Marketing Runs Rings Around Social Media

Just like the fashion trends, marketers tend to change their mind about email marketing, particularly when it’s compared to social media.
It’s a case of: RIP email marketing. Wait, it’s alive! No, it’s actually dead. Hold your horses, it is ALIVE! What’s going on?
As a team that works with email marketing every day, we believe quality engagement and sales leads can still be generated through email. As long as it’s done well, of course.
I know what you’re thinking, how dare I turn my nose up at social media; it’s the way of the future, it’s going to solve world hunger and have your babies! It will wake you up with a skinny latte every morning.
Don’t get me wrong; social media can be an important part of your marketing if it makes sense for your business. But don’t put it ahead of email marketing.
Where’s the Proof?
You want evidence that email marketing is the digital performance king? Here are a few figures:

Email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey).
72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media (Marketing Sherpa).
Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate).
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI (Campaign Monitor).

More Numbers
Picture a full cup of rice as the number of emails sent out every day. In comparison, daily posts on Facebook and Twitter would be just ten miserable grains. That’s because email has almost three times as many user accounts than all social media channels combined (MailMunch). That’s 2.9 billion emails all up.
In the same breath, every single web search made on every search engine every single day is just 1/100th of daily email traffic.
Too many marketers are too busy chasing the latest Google algorithms and keyword magic bullets that they’ve neglected their email marketing strategy.
Quality Over Quantity
You’ve now seen email’s reach and the amount of traffic it has compared to social media platforms. If you’re thinking traffic doesn’t mean much and a small quantity of well-targeted marketing aimed at quality traffic will nail larger amounts than a couple of hundred shotgun pellets sprayed at random; you’re right. That is precisely why email trumps social media for quality and quantity.
MailMunch compared the performance of email and social media marketing in an interesting way. Let’s assume you have 2,000 people on an email database, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Based on industry averages, this is the exposure/engagement your target market would have with your messages:

435 people will open your email
120 of your Facebook fans will see your update
40 Twitter followers will see your tweet

But it gets worse. Here are the average click rates by channel:

Email marketing: 3.57%
Facebook: 0.07%
Twitter: 0.03%

Email is Personal
You thought Facebook was the most personal medium? Think again.
First, consider the above stats and comparisons. Second, the majority of people don’t go to Facebook for 1-on-1 online conversations; they open their emails.
The inbox is like the Holy Grail – people guard it highly and once someone allows you access it means that they’re interested in you or your offering on some level.
Email Gets More Attention Per Customer
You are more likely to get face-time with your leads if you use email, not because they’re hanging around their inboxes more than their Facebook pages or searching Google, but because email makes room for repeated contact.
In fact, it’s ‘invasive’ contact. It’s right in their mailbox, and that’s very different from posting a status update or tweeting which can get lost in the tsunami of online content.
Provided your content is worth reading, your customers and prospects are more likely to take a minute to open that email.
Email is a Transactional Medium
People expect to receive offers in their inbox, so their tolerance levels are a little higher than on social media where they just want to be, well, social.
Through email, you can train customers to expect offers from you while imparting value and positioning yourself as a thought leader. In turn, customers will start to look forward to receiving your emails.
And since you can make unlimited contact with them over time, you are significantly more likely to catch them when they are ready to buy.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance.
Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far.
So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign.

Know Your Audience
Contrary to the opinion of many, Trump is no fool and knows his audience incredibly well. He has identified the pain and passion points of his supporters and has moulded his campaign accordingly.
As a digital marketer, this should be the first thing you do when devising a strategy. You need to know who you’re targeting, how to address their needs with valuable content and then get them to take action.
Yes, it sounds obvious but it’s astounding how many digital campaigns don’t have any compelling customer reasons for being.

Engage Your Audience at Every Touchpoint
Trump is particularly well-known for his power to motivate, outrage, and entertain his audience on Twitter but it’s not the only platform that his campaign uses.
Today’s campaigners are connected through multiple digital channels and are faced with an array of methods to reach out to their voters. This brings opportunity and challenges in equal measure. Get your content’s message, tone, and platform right, and you’ll win loyal supporters. Get it wrong, and your audience clicks over to the next hot thing.
Engaging with your audience through relevant social media platforms is important. While Facebook will always take a leading role, this year’s election campaign has seen candidates reaching beyond the social giant to more niche platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Zig when Everyone Else Zags
From suggesting he paid Hillary to attend his wedding to the claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with JFK’s assassination, Trump marches to his own beat.
He does the opposite of what other politicians have been taught to do, but clearly it’s working.
Hillary Clinton says that all is wonderful with the USA; Trump says the complete opposite. By graphically highlighting the country’s problems real or supposed he offers the ultimate solution: him. America will only be great again if you vote for Trump.
The takeaway here is to take chances. Do something different. When everyone is focusing on eBooks and blogs, create a podcast or set up a Periscope account. When everyone goes horizontal, go vertical.

Want to Stay in the Game? Don’t Be Boring!
How many times have you listened to Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz? Do you remember a single thing they said or tweeted? I can’t either.
So how about The Donald?
Like most of us, I can easily rattle off any number of quotes, tweets and incidents from his campaign. Many of Trump’s tweets have taken on a life of their own, garnering enormous global coverage.
What does this tell you about his marketing?
Right from the outset, Trump has been outrageous, disrespectful, rude, controversial and, without fail, utterly compelling.
While his opponents were trying to cut through by spending many millions of dollars on advertising, Trump’s messages and style have earned him more free publicity and media time than all of his erstwhile Republican opponents: combined.
In the marketing world, Trump’s content stands head and shoulders above his competitors and makes people take notice. As a marketer, if you market the same old boring content everyone else is putting out there, no one’s going to see it or care.
From a content marketing perspective, be like Donald, not Jeb.

Build Rapport with Everyone, Even the Haters
This is a risky way to approach a digital marketing campaign but if your brand is ready to take a little heat, you can even get value from your haters.
Of course, while most of us don’t want to “feed the trolls,” Trump has a knack for beating his detractors
to the punch. When Ted Cruz didn’t endorse Trump on day three of the RNC, Trump was quick to tweet about it and turned a negative into a positive. Brave and smart.

Manage Your Brand or Domain
You may have heard about Trump redirecting Jeb Bush’s website to his own. Due to poor brand management, Bush’s team forgot to renew payment for their domain which meant that the address became available to anyone else. Trump’s team grabbed the opportunity and automatically redirected all visitors to his website.
Lesson: don’t be a digital dill. Make sure your domain payments are up-to-date or outsource management to someone who knows what the hell they’re doing!

Lessons Learnt
Trump understands just how dramatically digital communication has changed the way we engage and has invested in his online presence. He has more than 23 million social media followers / likes, dramatically more than any his competitors for the Republican nomination. And 50% more than Hillary Clinton.
Like any successful digital marketer, Trump maintains an active presence and regularly tweets, posts and interacts with both friends and foes alike. He also stays abreast of the latest digital trends (he announced his intention to run on Periscope).
Offensive, buffoonish or smart? Whatever you feel about the man, there’s no denying his masterful use of digital marketing. There a thing or two we can learn from The Donald; or at least from his campaign.

Images:
a) Getty Images, Tom Pennington
b) Twitter
c) CNN Money

How to avoid digital dead ends

Have you ever noticed that so-called ‘express lanes’ on the road or in stores are often slower than the normal lanes?
While I know it’s easy to go on auto-pilot when performing mundane chores like driving or shopping, it amazes me that people so often follow the actual signs instead of reading the signs around them.
Because we humans are inherently disengaged, conflicted or uncertain as to what we should do in many situations, we’re attracted to people and things that can give us clarity, focus and direction. This is particularly the case when we don’t know a great deal about the subject at hand.
Charismatic leaders understand this. The more effective they are at providing a clear and compelling way forward, the more followers they attract. Not that their chosen path is always a good or rewarding one as history has shown on many occasions.
Digital marketing, as a discipline is failing miserably in giving marketers a clear way forward. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.
It’s not for want of trying, however. You could spend all your time consuming books, courses, podcasts, webinars, articles and conferences on digital this, mobile that, programmatic whatever. It’s information overload, the sworn enemy of clarity and focus.
What ends up happening is that huge dollops of dollars are being spent on doing digital stuff with no clear idea as to why it’s being done.
I was in a brainstorming session a few years ago with our client and their creative, media and PR agencies. The solutions that were put forward to increase awareness and drive sales of the client’s brand were all based on just doing digital stuff. Let’s sponsor Shazam, let’s run targeted Facebook ads, let’s do cool banner ads, let’s do pre-roll YouTube ads etc. Lots and lots of stuff.
My suggestion about first creating a strategy, engaging with consumers via email and phone to better understand their interests and needs and THEN rolling-out select digital stuff was met with a deafening silence. I was obviously a buzz-kill.
It’s no wonder clients end up going down expensive digital dead ends when they consistently receive advice that amount to just doing lots of stuff. The people giving the advice often know just enough jargon to confuse the people (clients) receiving it.
This doesn’t have to be you.
Here are the four key questions you need to answer when planning and implementing your digital program IF you want it to deliver actual results beyond views, likes, clicks and opens:

What do you want?
OK, it seems like I’m trying to teach you, an experienced and savvy businessperson how to suck eggs. Sorry. But for this rant to actually resonate with you in the context of all the hot air you may have been fed, I need to boil it down to the basics.
Is your market aging and you need a younger demographic? Are your competitors doing a better job than you of building awareness / relevance in the market? Do your customers buy on price and not much else?
These are the types of grunty sales and marketing problems that you need solutions for. They’re exactly the problems you can and should be looking to digital marketing to help you solve.
Marketing strategies and digital marketing strategies are not mutually exclusive. They must be intertwined. You must know what you want to achieve commercially before a coder’s keyboard is struck in anger.
If your digital partner doesn’t get what you’re looking to achieve outside of what can be done on a computer, mobile phone or a tablet, get a new partner.
What do your customers want?
I know, it’s obvious, but why do so many digital programs seem self rather than customer serving? One of the exciting aspects of web marketing is that it’s relatively easy to find the customers you’re looking to influence. So there’s no real excuse to be inward or focus group oriented with your digital programs.
The internet is the ultimate home of people seeking answers, solutions and to have most of their needs met. As with all types of marketing, the better we meet those needs the more successful we will be.
Often, the main solution web browsers are looking for is to make a connection with others who are ‘just like me’. We’ve achieved phenomenal results by simply asking customers to – confidentially – tell us their story as it relates to the product / service we’re marketing. Usually for no incentive other than the satisfaction of being heard.
Billions of dollars of value are being wiped off bottom lines in many industries because of many companies’ failure truly understand what their customers want. The default reaction: cut the price.
Do online surveys using third party lists if you don’t have your own; send an email to your customers asking for their opinions; put on a series of wine and cheese chats in your office; do targeted Google / Facebook ad campaigns driving prospects to a survey page. Heck, get on the phone and just talk to a bunch of random customers! Or do all of the above.
Your customers don’t care about your new website, app, eDM, social media page. Unless of course those platforms give them something that they want. If you use the access you have to your customers / prospects using various digital means, any or all of these may be appropriate. But you don’t really know if you don’t ask.

Think Long-Term
Unless you have a here today gone tomorrow offering, your digital vision needs to extend beyond the next six weeks or months. Try six years – for starters.
I get that marketers tend to be career butterflies but if you do your job effectively, your brand’s customers are not. We all are looking for long-term relationships: with our spouses, friends, work colleagues and of course, brands. Those types of relationships don’t happen after a 6 week burst. That’s a start, but the true value for everyone involved only becomes apparent over the years.
The same applies with your digital programs. Companies who view digital through the prism of the next quarter or year’s results are leaving money on the table.
By all means launch with a bang, get consumers engaged and excited but make sure you have a compelling answer for “now what?”. If senior management are looking for a ROI directly attributable to your investment in digital after only a few months in most cases, you may have a problem.
I’ve seen many cases of clever short-term digital campaigns with no follow-up strategy. This is old paradigm thinking: run my ad today and watch the sales fly tomorrow. The main advantage with digital vs. traditional advertising is that it’s much easier and more cost-effective to create assets – e.g. email / mobile databases / social media engagement.
And what can assets do? Provide a return over many years. Your 2016 digital budget should be directly returning money to your organisation in 2021 and beyond.
Stay the course

Don’t get bored with your digital campaign. Make adjustments by all means based on customer feedback but resist the urge to try something new when the old way could be working just fine.
Many marketers love shiny new things in the name of keeping up with changing consumer interests and needs. Which has some validity. The problems arise when you keep having to continually start from scratch, rather than build on what you did before.
Like relationships, if it’s the right one you hang in there through good and bad times. Customers don’t care when your budget starts and finishes; if you disappear for six months, one of your competitors has probably stolen your thunder – and customer.
Invariably, there are countless opportunities in your market for you to launch successful digital programs simply because most companies are not planning and acting in a structured way like this.

Use this formula to steer a course through the maze of digital options. Don’t just ask “what are we going to do?” WHY you’re going to do it is an infinitely more important question.
When you read and understand the signs that are all around you’ll be much more likely to get where you want to go. The alternative is far less appealing.
 
Images:
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The Shock of the (Digital Healthcare) New

We love digital healthcare. We’ve been providing digital solutions for healthcare marketers since 2001 and continue to be delighted by the results that can be achieved.

 

But it has never been easy. Far too often the organisation and its highly cautious, process-focused approach cruels any chance for our passionate clients to realise our mutually crafted vision for
their brand/s. The clients who have been able to navigate through the internal roadblocks have achieved some excellent, measurable results.

 

Hopefully, the inherent aversion to the ‘new’ will be replaced with the realisation that digital can HELP pharma companies and brands to achieve their marketing, sales and customer objectives. Why? Simply because virtually everyone uses and relies on the internet every day. We as persuaders need to be where our clients are.

The alternative is that we’re looking at a world that was, not one that is and will be.

Images:
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Digital Marketing: You Know ‘What?’ but do You Know ‘Why?’

Isn’t digital marketing fun!
So many things you can do: websites to build, apps to create, social media updates to post, emails to send. It never ends. No wonder everyone wants to work in digital. You can fill your day doing the sorts of things you do after work anyway. And you get paid for it; bonus!
If playing with shiny new things is…your thing, digital is irresistible.
There’s only one teensy weensy question that’s should be asked by the buzz kill types (usually senior management): why are you doing it?
BEWARE: there are plenty of people who can tell you what you can do with digital, but far fewer who can look holistically at your brand and business and give you a commercially meaningful answer as to why you should do it. And, how digital strategies can help you to achieve your sales and marketing objectives. Which they can.
If you don’t have an integrated digital strategy – as opposed to a digital implementation plan – tread carefully. When you ‘do digital’ just for the sake, in all likelihood all that will happen is that you will deplete your budget and have nothing to show for it. Apart from the shiny new things, of course.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image: 

Serious Numbers

This week we achieved an incredible milestone. Our humble musings about all things digital, marketing and heck, life as we know it clicked over to a zero number of reads; lots of zeros in fact. Since ‘The Message’ was launched in 2011 our posts have been read over 400,000 times; by 266,000++ visitors no less.
Seriously.
So a BIG thank you. It’s astounding that our small blog that we haven’t really marketed in any meaningful way beyond a little bit of social sharing has been so popular. Of course there are many blogs that probably boast these types of figures every month but we never thought we’d be a able to attract even a fraction of the numbers that we have.
Did I mention thank you?
While we’re talking numbers, here are our five most popular posts (in order of number of reads) all of which still get major traffic every month:
1. How social media is helping beat cyber-bullying
2. Caveman porn
3. Instagram Joins the Video-posting Trend
4. A brief history of culture jamming
5. Are Anonymous’ days numbered?
OK, need to get back to work. 500,000 beckons!
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Images:
In Life and on LinkedIn, Saying “Thank You” Can Take You a Long Way

 
 

The Email Strikes Back

Imagine a time long, long ago: 2002.
Facebook was but a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. ‘App’ was nothing more than my nickname. Big data sounded like a Clint Eastwood movie. And digital marketing, well that meant banner ads, websites, My Space profiles and spam emails.
Good times.
Fast forward to today and boy, it’s SO much more exciting! Digital technology is infinitely more ingrained in our lives and all manner of platforms, programs and strategies are now available to digital marketers.
There’s only one problem: those pesky bean counters keep on wanting you to deliver a profit from your investment in digital.
Hate that.
There is good news, however.
If you thought Facebook’s 1.4 billion users was impressive, how about another digital platform that has 3.9 billion users. It has a 300% higher conversion rate than social media with sales that have 17% higher value. And here’s the kicker: for every $1 spent on this platform, the average return is $44.25. That’s a lot of beans to count.
So what is this amazing digital platform? It’s, wait for it, EMAIL!
Email? Are you serious? Email is so, well, old and boring.
Yes, compared to all the latest digital, mobile and social media thingamies, email marketing has whiskers. It hasn’t had the digerati WOW factor since the 90’s. And if you’re waiting for an invitation to deliver the keynote at a digital marketing conference dissecting your highly successful email marketing program, don’t hold your breath.
For a time there, the figures suggested that email was on the way out. According to the McKinsey iConsumer survey there was a 20% decline in email usage from 2008 to 2012, inversely proportional to the increased popularity of social media, instant messaging and mobile apps.
Given that many marketers have the attention span of a tsetse fly, the endless new digital tools to play with are tailor made. You get your head around Instagram and then along comes Pinterest. You master YouTube and then you have to contend with Periscope (or Meerkat). Heaven!
The key problem that digital technology has created for many marketers is that there are so many new platforms and methods to learn about that the ‘what to do’ has taken the focus away from the ‘why to do it’.
I’ve seen millions of dollars spent on ‘doing digital stuff’ with no clear strategy as to how the activity will lead to increased sales, awareness, new customers or more satisfied existing customers. As for a longer-term vision that builds on the momentum that’s been created by the initial digital campaign, forget about it.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Smart marketers have been focused on building digital assets since the 90’s; starting with opt-in email databases through to active communities on target market appropriate social media platforms.
While the jury’s still out on putting all your eggs in the social media basket, there has been a clear resurgence in email marketing’s appeal.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s 2015 State of Marketing report found that for 73% of marketers email is core to their business. Tellingly, 60% see email as a critical ‘enabler’ of their products and services this year compared to 42% in 2014.
Even though there hasn’t been anything new to get excited about with email since Adam was fretting over the Y2K virus, the savvy among us know that if it’s results you’re after email marketing is what you should be doing.
Not that the humble email in and of itself is anything special. As with any type of marketing, the magic is not in the technology or the delivery method, it lies in the ability of that marketing initiative to take the target market from point A to point B.
As you’ve no doubt experienced, in the hands of amateurs and villains, email has the power to damage and dilute a brand. How many deathly dull email newsletters have you received that talk all about the sender and nothing that’s remotely interesting to you?
And then there’s spam.
It could be argued – convincingly – that any commercial email that doesn’t focus on what your market is interested in and what can help them is spam.
So be warned. You don’t have to be selling dodgy medical cures or timeshare apartments for recipients to hate you for wasting their time and clogging up their inbox.
Conversely, effectively crafted email marketing is still what it has always been: an incredibly flexible, highly targeted, trackable and results-generating strategy.
Here’s a fun exercise: compare the cost per personal contact for email versus any other sales or marketing method. We did this recently for a client’s Business-2-Business email marketing campaign and compared it to their salespeople calling on the same number of customers who opened the email. There was around a $275,000 difference in favour of the humble email. It’s enough to give those bean counters palpitations.
By all means do the fun digital stuff; it may not achieve terribly much but it sure as heck can look good on your CV.
However, if you’re the person responsible for generating leads, driving sales and serving your customers more effectively, email marketing could well be the solution, digital or otherwise, that you need.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Email Marketing

 
 

Context Marketing

Last week I binge watched a new ABC TV series called Glitch. While it’s an Australian series to proud of, most noteworthy is the fact that viewers have been given the choice as to how they view the show.
Traditional viewers can watch the series over 6 weeks where they’ve always watched: on TV. Non-traditional – in the main, younger - viewers can watch the whole series on iView, ABC’s streaming service via their device of choice.
Netflix did the same by uploading all 13 episodes of its sensational House of Cards Season 3.
If you needed more proof was that marketers no longer run the show this it. Consumer ‘hyper-choice’ is the new normal.
Today, social media, digital and content marketing are the tools. Context is the strategic glue that binds.
What does that mean?
It means that we need to anticipate that our products and services will be used in so many more ways, place and times than were ever anticipated even 5 years ago.
Sure, we’ve been hearing that the consumer is now in charge ever since the internet sputtered to life via a dial-up modem.
With advances in our technical connectedness, however the context in which we choose to consume has not just evolved our choices, it has also evolved our expectations.
All of which makes it pretty tough if you sell something pretty standard like tomato sauce. Or Derek Jeter bobble-heads. Or calculators (remember when a phone was a phone and a calculator was a calculator? Good times).
This contextual paradigm shift has confounded some very clever folks across a range of industries including the media, publishing, music and travel.
Other industries, of course have risen and thrived. Gaming, IT security, micro-niche websites are examples.
So what to do to make sure you stay ahead and allow your customers the latitude they clearly expect?
Here are our context marketing tips:

Anticipate
Plan for the fact that your customers expect to be in charge of how / when / why they use your products. No longer doleful followers, we’ve been spoiled by choice. Unless you’re selling something unique, desirable and breathtakingly compelling, you need to satisfy this yearning..or else.
Promote
Let customers know about how wonderfully fluid your offering is. You’d be surprised how few marketers ‘get’ that the world has changed. Uploading a website or posting funny photos on Facebook and Instagram does not a masterful marketer make.
Leverage
How can you link and associate your offering with those that are similar to provide an optimal customer experience. Cross and up-sell in the old parlance, the strategy has never been more important. I’m a huge fan of the smarty who came up with the McDonald’s Happy Meal that bundles together a range of food and toys to make kids happy and their parents spend more. What’s your Happy Meal solution?

The upshot of all this: focus on lateral ways you can market and sell.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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When to Go All in Online

I’ve had an interesting experience this week. Someone I had never heard of or met proactively contacted me and wanted to connect on LinkedIn. And via email.
And on Skype.
And on Facebook.
Kudos for a shock and awe approach to connect with a prospect. It didn’t work though. I didn’t accept any of her invitations no matter how impressive her persistence and cyber-stalking skills were.
As someone who also proactively contacts people with whom I’d like to do business I have great respect for her energy and application. It’s just her judgement and of course her offering that caused me to not engage with her.
While I had obviously been vetted by the business I run – I assume my dashing good looks didn’t figure too highly as a selection criterion – her ‘try every digital touch point in one hit’ left me cold.
This is what I wrote about in my book Customer Romance (www.customerromance.com). We customers need to wooed before we’re won. Heck, we may not even be right for you or vice versa. But if you show me that I matter and that you want to get to know my needs, fears, wants and desires and then MAYBE we can take it to the next level.
Try liking my last LinkedIn Pulse article, or leave a comment. Take a position on one of our articles on our Google+ page. Re-tweet what we tweeted an hour ago.
Take an authentic interest in me and what I’m doing and the law of reciprocity may kick in.
It’s a lot of work isn’t it. And ultimately, it may all be for nothing as I may STILL not be interested in what you’re selling.
But that’s what it takes to form a relationship personally or professionally. Nothing is ever guaranteed. What IS guaranteed however is that if you go too far too soon you’ll invariably be rebuffed and then there’s no way back.
One of my favourite digital marketing sayings is ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’. Yes, I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Skype but trying to connect with me on most of these over the course of 12 or so hours when I’ve never heard of you is a little much.
Perhaps it my Australian reserve coming out but without getting to know me you probably didn’t know I’d feel that way.
Now before you suggest that I get over it, having empathy and understanding as to how your beautifully crafted sales and marketing initiatives will be received by your target market is critical to your success or otherwise.
If you want your audiences to be receptive rather than resentful, get up from behind your desk, walk a mile in their shoes and try to genuinely look at what you’re doing from THEIR point of view.
It’s marketing 101 but it’s not easy. You’re infinitely more aware of what you need rather than what they need. But that’s why we’re called sales and marketing professionals. We have the judgement to know when to hold and we know when to fold (thank you Kenny Rogers).
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