Brand Marketing

Is Your Brand Marketing Effectively Reaching Consumers?

As modern technology gets more and more sophisticated and permeates even further into every facet of modern life, brands and businesses are trying to understand exactly how this technology is impacting and changing the way consumers interact with them and their products, and how technology is affecting the way consumers make purchases.

A new report from Coversant, Epsilon and Loyalty One shows that there is a definite shift in how customers shop and engage with brands in previous years compared to now. In fact, if you aren’t willing to adapt to meet the high expectations consumers now have, you run the risk of getting left behind. The report showed that almost two thirds (65%) of consumers feel that companies are sending them too many irrelevant, impersonal communications.

One of the biggest ways to create a connection with your target audience is to focus on providing them with personalised communications that make them feel uniquely valued by your business. According The 2017 “Holiday Retail Outlook Report,” 87% of millennials are very likely to shop at a retailer, if that retailer provides personalised offers. That is a staggering percentage of millennials, and it is one that is only likely to increase across all age groups as time goes by.

There is also a generational divide that affects what individuals are looking for from their shopping experience. Millennials are concerned with factors such as price and value, but also place an emphasis on the functional and emotional aspects of the shopping experience. Baby boomers, meanwhile, care more about product quality and reliability, as well as price and value. Comparatively, top influencers on Gen X shoppers include the speed of checkout and ratings and reviews.

According to Elliott Clayton, vice president of media UK at Conversant: “Consumers expect a lot more from brands today. They certainly do not want to be inundated with mass, irrelevant communications and it is only by focusing on true personalised communications that brands will be able to build a mutually beneficial relationship with consumers.”

Interestingly, whilst there is a huge emphasis on buying online, it hasn’t completely erased the consumer’s desire for businesses to have a bricks-and-mortar presence. While 80% of consumers now buy online and have gifts delivered, over half of consumers prefer to buy products online and pick them up in store. Additionally, 51% of consumers like to browse and purchase items in store while reading product reviews online. This shows that consumers across the board are looking for an integrated shopping experience that combines all the benefits of online and in store purchasing.

Clayton went on to say that although “most consumers are buying online, the purchasing process is still operating across multiple channels. Retailers and brands need to have an ongoing one-to-one conversation with consumers across all consumer devices, including offline. Using data is key for brands to stop just serving up the same ads and instead have tailored messages to reach consumers on an individual level across all channels.”


Whilst the idea of using influencers is hardly new or innovative – it goes hand in hand with the principle of marketing your business via good word of mouth – it is certainly something that has hit the zeitgeist in a big way in 2017.

Is Influencer Marketing Just a B2C phenomenon?

Whilst the idea of using influencers is hardly new or innovative – it goes hand in hand with the principle of marketing your business via good word of mouth – it is certainly something that has hit the zeitgeist in a big way in 2017.

You can barely glance through any well-known person’s social media accounts without catching them singing the praises of the latest purchase they’ve made, perhaps along with a handy link for any of their followers who want to make the same purchase. When done well, it’s a great way for you to reach a huge target market by only having to interact directly with one person and their team.

While influencer marketing has readily apparent benefits for a B2C company, for many, the question still remains: can influencer marketing have a valued position in a B2B company’s marketing strategy?

We think it can, but the issue is a lot less clear for B2B companies than it is for their B2C counterparts, where marketing strategy tends to be a simpler affair. So, here are some of the basics you need to consider if you want to start developing influencer marketing strategies for your company.

Work on your brand story

Before even thinking about trying to find influencers you need to make sure your brand story and message is airtight and well defined. Make sure you have the story of your brand down, and that you are not only considering how this story is relevant to your target audience, but that this content is built with your influencers in mind.

Know your audience

It is important to know exactly who your target buyers are. You need to ascertain who the decision makers are in your target businesses who will have the final say in whether or not to buy what it is you are selling. Finding out who this target audience is will then allow you find out where this audience goes for information.

Find their influencers

Finding out who your target audience uses as trusted third party sources of information will allow you to pinpoint with greater accuracy who the most effective influencer will be to reach them.

Look for people who are experts on topics that relate directly to your business. Find out who your target audience follows on their social media channels – particularly LinkedIn – and follow them as well. Make a point to search regularly through twitter and follow people relevant to your product / business. Engage with these people on their social media and see if they have blogs you can interact with in a meaningful way.

Don’t just look for the mega popular people with the most followers either, and try to focus on people who have more actionable than vanity metrics. When finding influencers for your B2B company, a deft hand is better than broad strokes. It is better to look for highly niche focused influencers who offer opinions on specific issues that you know you can trust than a broad strokes person with a large audience but small credibility


Do You Know How Much Digital Downtime Could Be Costing Your Business?

Do You Know How Much Digital Downtime Could Be Costing Your Business?

We’ve all experienced that moment of frustration; loaded up a website to read a breaking news story, to buy something you’ve been saving up for, only to be greeted with an error message. The website is down. You may refresh the page a few times to see if it fixes itself, then you might plan to check back on the website in a few hours. But in reality, you probably won’t.

As the consumer in this situation, it’s annoying. As the business, that period of time where your website has crashed and people can’t access it could prove not only to be costly, but to damage your reputation as well.

This is the case according to new research published by Wirehive.  The report, titled ‘The Marketing Cost of Downtime,’ surveyed 1,000 UK consumers and found that a whopping 45% had been shut out of a website they were visiting to buy something during the week before they were polled. Almost 10% of those polled said they had suffered a failed online journey between six and ten times within the same period, while 55% reported difficulty in reaching a site to check a product or service out.

Wirehive’s report also revealed that digital downtime is costing companies more than just money. Of those surveyed, over two thirds (68%) agreed that their opinion of a brand would be negatively affected by downtime on its website. Additionally, 57% agreed that they might be put off buying from a brand in the future because of downtime, showing how seriously consumers take being inconvenienced.

This is a problem Wirehive believe is endemic on the internet. In ‘The Marketing Cost of Downtime,’ Wirehive state that a shocking 95% of websites are not currently fit for purpose, with digital assets on platforms with an “unacceptably high level of risk.”

Wirehive calls for marketers to take notice of the damaging implications poor web hosting has for a brand’s reputation. It is noted that there needs to be more integration between marketing and IT departments, as marketers are consistently more conscious of brand reputation than their IT counterparts.  According to publisher ClickZ, 88% of IT respondents view their company infrastructure as cutting edge, compared to just 61% of marketing respondents.

In closing the report, Wirehive director Kevin MacDonald states that “Consumers, and to an extent marketers, take domain hosting for granted. This report has highlighted how a broken online journey can ruin your brand’s reputation and, worse, dent your sales. It has also attempted to quantify the cost of being offline, which makes grim reading.”

MacDonald goes on to advise; “We’re on a mission to make understanding the intricacies of hosting, and finding the right solution for your business, a marketing industry standard. Get it right and your customers will have a satisfying experience while your organisation saves money and face. In a digital world, this should be front of mind for all brand guardians. It’s time to change the way you think about website hosting.”


Is SMS marketing an untapped goldmine?

Is SMS marketing an untapped goldmine?

You may be of the opinion that SMS marketing is a vestige of a bygone era, being taken over by more advanced forms of mobile marketing as more and more of the general population take to using smartphones. According to a new white paper published by leading UK SMS marketing platform Textlocal, however, you’d be wrong, very wrong in fact.

The white paper, titled ‘The State of SMS,’ takes a look at mobile marketing in a society which, according to the latest estimates from Ofcom, has a massive 91% mobile usage among UK adults, with 71% smartphone usage.

Time and again throughout the white paper, the statistics show that SMS marketing is the fastest growing marketing channel in the UK, with a huge amount of potential for businesses. At the end of 2016, 37.2 million consumers had opted in to receive business SMS, with this figure expected to rise to a staggering 48.7 million by the year 2020.

Not only is SMS marketing the UK’s fastest growing channel, it is also one of the most effective. According to the white paper, of the 7 billion business texts that will be sent this year, an average of 98% of mobile users will read the text, while 90% of those 7 billion will be read within the first three minutes of being sent.

SMS marketing has also been found to outperform mobile marketing – such as mobile search advertising & video bumpers and banner ads – in many different categories. For example, SMS has an 8% response rate for taking the action of going in-store to make a purchase, double mobile advertising’s 4%.

Furthermore, of the 37.1 million people who receive business SMS, the response rate revealed by ‘The State of SMS’ is 23.5 million, a proportionately huge number. Compared to the peak email response rate of 23% across all industries, the fact that the white paper lists the average response rate for a bulk SMS campaign as 32% shows just how effective SMS marketing can be, preferred ahead of even Facebook, Twitter and app push notifications.

But it seems that businesses aren’t yet taking advantage of all SMS marketing has to offer, as, across all researched sectors, businesses will only operate the SMS channel at 38% capacity, which means they will fail to reach more than half the consumers who are willing to receive business SMS.

However, according to Jason Palgrave-Jones, Marketing Director of Textlocal, this could all change in the shape of an increasingly “mobile-first” society, with SMS taking its rightful place among other marketing channels. “My point is; there’s a change in emphasis and businesses are starting to take note of text messaging. Of course, like any other marketing channel, SMS requires a certain level of thought.” Palgrave-Jones states; “But the underlining fact remains; SMS is here and will continue to grow in 2017.” So it is up to businesses themselves to realise all the potential that SMS marketing represents in the years to come.


Adapting To Future Market Trends

 

The first weeks of January are usually regarded as being one of the grimmer parts of the year. The yuletide festivities are over and done with, the skies are grey, the days are short and the bills for most of the Christmas excess are only just beginning to roll in. Add to all of this the fact that you have to cope with people endlessly asking what your New Year’s resolutions are and it’s not difficult to understand why many people wish we followed the example of large parts of nature and just spent a few months in bed.

If you run a business, however, hibernating isn’t really an option, so it’s probably best to look January square in the eye and take it on in the best way possible – by looking forward. January may not be much fun in its own right, but it does represent the start of a whole new year full of possibilities, opportunities and challenges. Here are just a few of the marketing and advertising directions in which businesses are adapting to see dominating 2017:

Conversations with Machines – 2017 could be the year in which voice recognition technology becomes a truly mainstream phenomenon. To a degree this is already happening, with the emergence of Amazon’s Echo device, but we’re still at the stage at which the technology is the province of early adopters and the most tech-savvy sectors of the market place. The fact that we’re still being treated to media coverage detailing not always easy to believe accounts of people ‘accidentally’ spending huge amounts of money via Echo (or discovering their children have done so) – something which is actually difficult if not impossible to do – is indicative of the fairly nascent nature of the technology. As it becomes more widespread, however, it will be imperative to adjust marketing content to make allowances for the fact that many initial enquiries in the future will be spoken out loud rather than typed into a search engine.

Interaction – the issue of voice recognition naturally leads onto a consideration of interaction with your customers. Social media has already made it possible to create a two way ‘conversation’ with your customers, but even the most well managed Twitter or Facebook account is going to involve a degree of delay between enquiries being made and answered. Voice recognition technology, on the other hand, will make it possible, for this ‘conversation’ to mimic real world interactions. Consumers will come to expect real time interaction of this kind, whether it’s via voice, live streaming or location based content.

Omni-channel – omni-channel has been a marketing buzzword for some time now, and 2017 could mark the year in which it becomes a genuine phenomenon. In simple terms, it means linking the separate channels via which your customers and prospective customers interact with you, offering a seamless experience both on and off-line. Put basically, the person behind the till in the store will be able to access the online order you made earlier that week, whilst search results accessed on a smart phone will be ready and waiting when you log on via your lap top or tablet.

 

Here at Positive Results Marketing, we design and develop digital and traditional advertising services for customers of all sizes, specializing in creating stylish, modern websites, digital marketing and traditional advertising. Call us today, and grow your business to its full potential.

 

Positive Results Marketing, Ltd.
#111
239 Kensington High St.
London, W8 6SA
020 7316 3096

 

Positive Results Marketing, Ltd.
1st Floor Holborn Gate
330 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7QT
0207 203 8477

 

 


Understanding Social Media Platforms

Many businesses, particularly during financially difficult periods, opt to cut their marketing budget before cutting virtually anything else. This is a mistake, of course, since effective marketing is what draws income in the first place. No matter how effective the product or service which you provide is, it won’t have the expected impact if the target audience don’t get to hear about it, or aren’t convinced to invest in it.

As a marketing agency, we’ve witnessed companies making this mistake time and time again. All too often, the assumption is that the marketing effort can be handled from within the company, but this is to severely underestimate the degree of expertise involved in effective marketing and advertising. When it comes to handling aspects such as email marketing, ppc advertising or creating a custom mobile app, leaving an amateur in charge makes no more sense than asking an unqualified office worker to deal with plumbing in the company washroom.

In recent years, the drive toward taking marketing in-house has been driven by the rise and rise of social media. Since the basics of setting up and using the various social media sites which are available are relatively simple, business owners make the leap of assuming that assembling, mounting and keeping up an effective social media strategy will be equally straightforward.

The truth, however, is that each social media platform has its own characteristics and will work more effectively with different forms of marketing aimed at different sectors of the public. An understanding of these differences is imperative if you are to use social media as an effective marketing tool, and to illustrate the point we’d like to share a few of the most striking statistics regarding the different platforms that are available. Gathering, understanding and utilising statistics of this kind is part of the job we do, and it’s why we’re a marketing agency that can deliver effective results time after time:

Facebook

83% percent of parents with a child between the ages of 13 and 17 are friends with them on Facebook.

The average Facebook user has 155 friends. The average woman has 166, the average man 145.

32% of Facebook users say they regularly engage with brands.

Twitter

49% of Twitter users follow brands or companies, making them three times more likely to do so than Facebook users.

42% of Twitter users learn about products and services through the platform

41% comment on products and services via twitter

19% use the platform to access customer service support.

Instagram

68% percent of Instagram users regularly engage with brands.

Instagram users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than those using other platforms.

A 2015 user survey found that 60% percent of users discover new products on the platform.

Pinterest

Two-thirds of the Pins on the platform come from a business website.

Pinners are 45% more likely than those on other platforms to be introduced to new brands.

45% of mobile users access the site for inspiration while out shopping.

LinkedIn

Half of users say they’d be more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.

94% percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to share content.

LinkedIn drives more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B blogs and sites.

YouTube

64% of gamers downloaded a game after seeing an ad for it on YouTube.

Those viewers who complete a TrueView ad are 23 times more likely to visit a brand channel, share the brand video or watch more by the brand.

Statistics taken from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/