Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Videology—a digital advertising platform and solutions provider— recently released a report showcasing research on the link between digital video advertising and offline sales results for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand advertisers.
CPG is an extremely important category for digital video, comprising 22% of total video ad impressions—more than any other sector—according to a Videology Q1 2013 analysis.
“After 50 years of television-centric marketing, (CPG advertisers) know the right television equation to move product off the shelves. But data has the potential to bring this same level of ROI confidence to other media—including digital video, the natural complement to a brand’s television spend,” the report stated.
TV is still king
“Television is still king for CPG advertisers because they know what works and what doesn’t to move product off the shelves,” added Scott Ferber , CEO and Chairman, Videology. “We need to similarly define video’s value by showing how video ad exposure equates to sales success. And, as this study proves, we can.”
Videology analyzed over 186 million video impressions served across online and mobile video for CPG advertisers to determine digital video’s ability to drive key sales metrics including Penetration Lift, Unit Velocity Lift and Sales Velocity Lift using Kantar Shopcom data.
“The proliferation of media platforms offers brands more choice for when, where and how to capture consumers’ attention,” saysKatie Casavant , CEO, Kantar Shopcom . “Brand marketers from across the CPG landscape use Shopcom audience data and campaign impact measurement to optimize their media planning, buying and execution for maximum conversion return.”
Report highlights include:
- All online video campaigns analyzed drove an increase in Sales Velocity Lift from 4% to an impressive 35%.* However, since ad campaigns often correspond to promotional pricing efforts, Sales Lift on its own does not tell the whole story.
- Lift in household penetration is perhaps a truer gauge of performance. An increase in the number of households purchasing a product after exposure to a brand’s video ads ranged from 9% to 28%.*
- When the number of households buying the brand increases (Penetration Lift), more units are sold (Unit Velocity). In the study, lift in Unit Velocity ranged from 8.5% to as high as 30%.*
- Audience targeting based on purchase data performed 20% better than demo targeting.
- Demo targeted ads, however, still drove stronger lift than the control group. Overall, both targeting sets play a role in successful online video campaigns, with demo targeting providing scale and purchase-data targeting driving specific lift metrics.
- Completed views and total reach were the two most important metrics for increasing product penetration and driving units sold. Click through rate was not associated with a higher lift in sales.
*Compared to the control group not exposed to the ad.
This research was conducted using Sales Impact, Videology’s ROI attribution and tracking tool for brand advertisers.
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Maritz Loyalty Marketing unveiled the results of a comprehensive study into U.S. consumer loyalty programs, including what American consumers consider to be the highest rated programs, the first annual Maritz Loyalty ReportTM: U.S. Edition,
“Maritz has been designing and running consumer loyalty programs across North America for more than 25 years,” said Bob Macdonald, president and CEO of Maritz Loyalty Marketing. “Our expertise and unique approach to brand loyalty, combined with the insights we glean from this study, help clients drive significant business results by continuing to improve the effectiveness of their brand’s engagement with customers.”
The following programs rated highest in terms of overall satisfaction within each respective category in the Maritz Loyalty Report:
- Financial Services – Chase Ultimate Rewards (84 percent)
- Entertainment – Carmike Cinemas Rewards (79 percent)
- Retail programs – Kohl’s Rewards (73 percent)
- Hospitality / Hotel – IHG Priority Club Rewards (67 percent)
- Grocery – Kroger Rewards (83 percent)
- Airlines – Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (58 percent)
Room for More Cards – A Cause for Concern
The Maritz Loyalty Report results suggest that 71 percent of members would join more loyalty programs, even though the average member is already enrolled in 7.4 programs. The report also found that members are only actively participating in 63 percent of the programs in which they are enrolled.
“Our study revealed that 47 percent of members have stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. This number is disconcerting for program operators, yet of even greater concern is that only seven percent of these defecting customers actively defect – meaning, they actually formally request to leave a loyalty program,” said Scott Robinson, senior director of loyalty consulting for Maritz Loyalty Marketing. “Given the high percentage of passive defection, it is paramount that loyalty marketers proactively identify the early warning signs of disengaged members.”
“Our approach to lifecycle management and member communications enables our clients to understand and react to these early warning signs and develop highly engaged members, who are less likely to shop for a competitor brand,” Robinson added.
Getting it Right
Overall, 65 percent of members are satisfied with the loyalty programs in which they participate. The Maritz Loyalty Report also includes customer ratings on more than 35 program attributes. Some of those attributes, also considered key drivers of satisfaction, include:
- Program values: pride of membership, program uniqueness, meeting customer needs, etc.
- Program mechanics: ability to earn and redeem points, quality of rewards, etc.
- Ability to interact with programs: website, mobile, customer support, etc.
- Program innovation: program freshness, access to exclusive events, personalized experiences, etc.
- Communications from programs: means, relevance and frequency of communications, etc.
Top programs rate similarly on many of these attributes, and the top program tends to discern itself from next-best programs by ahigher rating on only one key attribute. In some program categories, such as retail loyalty and airline loyalty, top-rated programs and next-highest rated programs score similarly on all attributes. In these competitive categories, the attribute on which the highest-rated program discerns itself from next-highest rated programs is a secondary and differentiating driver.
“The implication for program operators,” said Robinson, “is that in order to be competitive, especially in categories with many largely undifferentiated programs, it is essential for programs to deliver effectively on both the key drivers of satisfaction and also the secondary drivers of satisfaction.”
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Four in 10 top marketing executives say they are not well prepared to meet their objectives, citing a lack of funding and inefficient business practices as the main impediments to improved performance, according to global research by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).
The research also reveals a growing commitment to digital marketing and analytics capabilities to tackle an increasingly complex customer environment.
“There is a clear performance gap between the demands of the marketplace and the ability of marketing organizations to apply the digital technology talent required to be more effective.”
According to the Accenture Interactive report, Turbulence for the CMO, 70 percent of the executives believe that corporate marketing will undergo a dramatic overhaul within the next five years and that their organizations must create a digital direction that will help them achieve higher revenue and increase market share.
Performance gap seen
“Marketing executives are growing increasingly concerned that tight budgets and the lack of a clear strategy for implementing digital technologies – are hurting their company’s ability to compete in the digital age,” said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive.
“There is a clear performance gap between the demands of the marketplace and the ability of marketing organizations to apply the digital technology talent required to be more effective.”
The report shows that the need for change is being driven by increasingly demanding customers who expect more relevant interactions with brands. According to survey respondents, consumers’ expectations for relevant, targeted experiences are having the greatest long-term impact on marketing strategy (65 percent).
Rising Investment in Digital Capabilities
As a response to these issues, significant steps are being taken to close the digital performance gap. The survey results show that two-thirds (66 percent) of marketing executives will be allocating at least one quarter of their budget to digital marketing next year, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) say that more than half of their spend will be on digital marketing.
The survey shows that marketing executives also plan to invest more in their analytics capabilities, which are especially useful as the demand for multichannel marketing continues to increase.
To help retain and grow their customer base, nearly half (48 percent) of the executives say they will spend more on managing customer data, 40 percent will increase budget spend on web analytics and 39 percent will spend more on marketing analytics. They are also taking a closer look at their use of marketing channels, ranking in-person contact with front-line employees, corporate website, media coverage and social media as the most important channels.
In order to obtain the greatest results, marketing executives say they are looking for more innovators – both by adding to their full-time staffs. Half of the executives said they would begin an internal reorganization to become more digitally focused, and more than half said they would be hiring more people with the necessary digital skills (52 percent) or providing their existing staff with digital training (55 percent).
“The growing investment in digital capabilities will help marketing executives improve their understanding of changing consumer needs and manage multiple channels,” said Whipple. “However, improved performance will require more than new digital and analytics talent. The challenge of digital transformation is how to implement beyond marketing and across the entire enterprise.”
Improved internal and agency collaboration
While a majority (55 percent) of marketing executives said they were satisfied with the level of collaboration with their outside agencies, there is a disconnect between their expectations and results.
Only one-third (36 percent) of marketing executives said that their agencies execute flawlessly, and 36 percent said that the agencies are not able to deliver what they promised.
Additionally, only 44 percent said that agency partners help marketing executives transform their marketing organization, which is a clear goal for marketing executives in 2013.
Improving collaboration to hit targets
The study indicates that for many marketers, improving collaboration between business units can help them achieve their targets. Nearly one in five executives (19 percent) said that inefficient business practices currently hinder their ability to improve marketing performance and return on investment, while 17 percent said a lack of funding hurts these efforts.
Learn more at: www.accenture.com/cmo_insights.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
For recent or soon-to-be graduates, internships can be a valuable bridge to a first job. But securing one of these opportunities may be easier said than done, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests.
Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) advertising and marketing executives interviewed said their agency or firm does not offer an internship program. Students who do manage to land coveted internships may receive more than just experience: Among companies that offer internships, 63 percent provide compensation.
The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “Which of the following best describes your company’s internship program?“ Fifty-eight percent of respondents said their company does “not have an internship program.”
Following is a breakdown of the results among the 42 percent of executives who said their company offers an internship program:
Offer paid internships, and interns must prove they are
active students receiving course credit………………………. 52%
Offer unpaid internships, and interns must prove they are
active students receiving course credit…………………………. 28%
Offer paid internships with no requirement of
student status…………………………………………………………… 11%
Offer unpaid internships with no requirement of
student status……………………………………………………………. 7%
Don’t know/no answer……………………………………………………. 2%
In a separate survey of advertising and marketing executives, nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said the opportunity to identify new talent is the chief benefit to their business of offering internships. Receiving extra help on projects was the second most common response, cited by 28 percent of those interviewed.
“One of the greatest challenges for new graduates seeking employment is a lack of professional experience,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.
“Internships provide an opportunity for individuals launching their careers to apply their skills in a business setting, learn more about the type of work environment they prefer and make valuable professional connections that can serve them well in the future.”
Farrugia added, “Competing for internships can be challenging because many of the candidates are students and haven’t yet acquired the skills, work samples and experience that will make them stand out. Often, the decision comes down to how the applicant presents him or herself. A positive disposition can go a long way.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for landing a coveted internship:
- Go ahead, jump the gun. Get a leg up on the competition by starting your internship search early. Research organizations of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of your personal and professional networks well before the school year ends.
- Be prepared. Most employers require a resume, cover letter and portfolio from internship applicants — so make sure yours are in tip-top shape. In addition, have a business-appropriate outfit ready should you be called in for an interview.
- Consider your options wisely. While internships that pay well are attractive, it’s also important to consider whether the position will provide exposure to a range of projects, people and experiences. The most valuable internships offer plenty of opportunities to learn and acquire skills that support your professional goals.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Managers are stretched thin and appreciate those who listen actively, exercise sound judgment and don’t require constant feedback. In your application materials and in interviews, emphasize your ability to take direction and work independently.
- Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.
One mistake brands sometimes make today is that with digital and social media so prevalent, they sometimes think “We don’t need print, TV or traditional marketing anymore.”
That’s usually not the case, says Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. “People don’t live in their computers,” she says. “They drive, watch TV. Looking at your customers’ lifestyles and figuring out how to reach them in all kinds of places is critical.”
An avid fan of technology and innovation, Sargent’s approach merges new media with traditional marketing. Before founding BrandSprout, she spent 20 years leading marketing strategy for businesses ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500, including UPS and BellSouth (now AT&T).
As a senior marketing executive, she had global responsibility for branding, marketing strategy, communications and product management functions. Sargent has been quoted in Fox Business, Huffington Post and Social Media Today. She holds an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Read her blog at www.Fresh-Sprouts.com.
Participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit
Sargent is among the digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs participating in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15. She also appeared at the event last year and you can read our interview preceding her presentation, “In the Age of Social Media, Companies don’t fully control the brand” here.
“It doesn’t make sense to try to reach customers from only one angle,” Sargent says. “You should start with a strong understanding of your target market and what they enjoy doing, what’s appropriate for them, where they are hanging out, what they’re reading and where they’re interacting.”
Sargent notes that while you could spend a lot of money on hard core research, you could also find out much of this information by “Talking to your customers in the field. Observe their behavior. Drill down on how they found out about you, who else they looked at, options they considered, and why they chose you. You’ll find good ways to get in front of them.”
Look for the most effective approaches
You will really want to look at the most effective approaches, she adds. “You might get in front of them 10 ways, but some are going to be better than others.”
Just as a quick example she says, “Someone waiting in a bus shelter will see a sign there, but if you’re in traffic, you might not notice a sign on a bus going by.”
You have to think about not only where you’ll get their attention, but also, where can they potentially take action?
Don’t do too much
One mistake marketers make, she says, “Is trying to do too much and cover the waterfront, be on every social network. That’s not productive because you spread yourself too thinly. Find the right places to connect with your customers.”
Even then, you have to think about what is appropriate for each social network. Photos of a company bowling team might work well on Facebook, but not on LinkedIn.
On a website your customers frequent, you might choose to have a pop up offer a newsletter if it offers a gateway to content they are interested in, she suggests.
“At the same time,” she warns, “You don’t want to jump in front of them if it’s not relevant to them. Find those opportunities where it is appropriate to get in front of them and they can make mental connections as to why you are there.”
Merge online and offline efforts
One thing that is particularly important – which she will discuss in more detail and with examples at the Digital Summit, is the need to merge offline and online marketing efforts.
“You have to be careful not to seem creepy,” she says, “such as when you download a brochure and the next thing you know your phone is ringing.”
Instead, she says, “If someone is engaged on a website, take it further. Can we give you something in hard copy? An invitation to an event we’re hosting? A workshop? Those are great for the more complex sale.”
For retail, offer a coupon, get them in the store. “For someone without a history with the brand, getting them to come in is a big deal.”
It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s not the kind of thing you can do and say you’re done, she notes.
A continuum, not set it and forget it
“It’s a continuum. The market changes. There are new opportunities for connecting with your customers. You need to be more nimble than ever.”
Once upon a time companies could do an annual marketing plan and that was it. “Now you have to do it every month,” she says. “People who go through the set it and forget it process end up spending more money than they need to by not optimizing their program.”
Finally, Sargent says, “Make sure you know how your digital marketing affects your overall corporate goals. It’s not about having 10,000 leads, it’s about having leads that bring you customers to help you grow over time.”
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Sales and marketing departments can improve the way they interact according to a new survey from KnowledgeTree. The survey digs deep into the disconnect between the departments. The same series of questions were asked to both teams, with surprising results.
- Does marketing provide the right set of tools to salespeople? 87 percent of marketers say yes, but only 66 percent of salespeople believe this to be true.
- Does marketing make it easy to find tools? The vast majority of marketing respondents – 84 percent – believe they’ve done a good job in this area. However, just barely half (51 percent) of salespeople feel that the right tools are readily accessible.
- Do sales teams know what tools are available to them? More than 75 percent of sales people think they know about everything available. Marketers disagree – only 65 percent feel that salespeople are aware of the resources that have been created for them.
- Are the tools being used appropriately? 72 percent of salespeople are confident they’re using the right sales tools at the right time during the sales process. Marketing teams aren’t so sure – a surprising 61 percent disagree.
- Do sales use the same tools repeatedly? 42 percent of marketing teams strongly believe that salespeople are able reuse their tools. In reality, sales only uses the same tools 22 percent of the time, realizing very little ROI from the investment marketing makes in these materials.
- How fresh are the sales tools? Marketing teams feel that they’re staying on top of this, with 68 percent reporting that they update sales tools often. However, sales teams feel that marketing could improve here, with only 44 percent in agreement. Using outdated collateral means that ineffective messages are going to the market.
- At the end of the day, is sales satisfied with the tools marketing provides? While no sales people were “strongly satisfied,” a full 50 percent were “satisfied” – suggesting there is room for improved teamwork.
“Compelling sales tools get deals closed, but this data illustrates that this is a major area of friction between sales and marketing,” said Daniel Chalef , chief executive officer of KnowledgeTree.
“When salespeople find the tools they need, it multiplies win-rates and dramatically reduces frustration. We’ve seen first-hand customers boosting revenue by unlocking the value of their sales and marketing collateral.”
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Small businesses spend between $1,000 and $2,500 on their social media marketing. Marketing Weekly has created an infographic suggesting how small businesses can make the most of their advertising on Facebook.
According to a study by Vertical Response, 90 percent of small businesses use Facebook and 32 percent of companies post at least once per day. Enterprises don’t often have a lot of money to spend on marketing and have to make the most of cost-efficient initiatives and best practices.
You can find a larger version here. Click on infographic on the right.
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Encouraging consumers to feel ownership of products they haven’t yet purchased can backfire because consumers tend to see themselves in the products they own, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
“Companies assume that consumers who are made to feel ownership of a product prior to purchase will prefer it over competing products, but this can actually have the opposite effect and lead consumers to judge the product less favorably,” write authors Liad Weiss and Gita V. Johar (both Columbia University).
Companies encourage us to feel a sense of ownership of their products even before we buy them.
For example, Nike allows consumers to customize sneakers online before buying them, while Apple promotes a feeling of iPad ownership through ads that give consumers a “driver’s seat” perspective of an iPad owner.
Consumers project themselves onto products
Consumers, however, tend to project their personal traits onto the products they own. For instance, when a consumer who is not very creative owns (or feels she owns) an Apple computer, she may associate her own lack of creativity with the computer.
The authors identified a flip side to this. In a series of studies, consumers perceived products they did not own as different from themselves because they projected their “anti-self” onto them.
May become less appealing after purchase
This was especially true when consumers were made aware of not owning a product (while shopping for it). When consumers who felt they were uncreative were made aware of not owning an Apple computer, they perceived the computer as more creative.
“Products we are attracted to prior to ownership may become less appealing once we feel that they are ours.”
Companies seeking to induce consumers to feel ownership of products prior to purchase should verify that prospective customers have positive self-regard on relevant personality traits before they induce them to feel product ownership. By doing so, they can reduce the likelihood that this will backfire,” the authors conclude.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Invodo, a business video firm, has suggested a new set of eight rules for video marketing for retailers and brands, based on a just-released study, “How Consumers Shop With Video,” done in partnership with the e-tailing group.
The rules are as follows:
- Rule #1: Give consumers what they want: More product videos.
- 67% of consumers engage with videos regularly, which is a 34% increase over last year (50%).
- 45% of consumers have watched at least five product videos over the past three months, significantly above last year’s 36%.
- Rule #2: Don’t prematurely bury the PC.
- Mobile video usage is growing fast, but the PC remains the most common device for watching videos.
- In the Invodo-e-tailing group survey, consumers were asked on which devices they have watched a product video over the past three months. Surprisingly, 81% said the PC, while smartphones (43%) and tablets (35%) have made gains.
- Rule #3: It’s an omnichannel world. Think about the consumer first, the platform second.
- Retailers and brands need to treat PC, smartphone, tablet and in-store users as the same shopper, at different points of the purchase cycle, and deliver video across every platform.
- 62% of consumers surveyed said they can gather enough information after watching a product video on a tablet to make a purchase, compared to 49% of smartphone owners.
- 57% of consumers said they watch a video on their smartphone while in a store for research before making a purchase.
- This shows that PC users often watch product videos when they are in a “ready to buy” mode, while smartphone users are more likely to watch product videos when they need more information on-the-go, such as when they’re in a store.
- Rule #4: Focus on video for the product page first, before the homepage or brand page.
- Consumers watch videos on the product page more often than any other location, and they watch these videos in search of information that helps them decide whether to purchase.
- 55% of respondents in Invodo’s survey watched at least one product video on a product page over the past three months, beating the home page (42%), brand page (34%), category page (20%), video gallery (14%) or banner advertising with video (13%).
- Brand videos and “explainer” and how-to videos on the homepage or in a buying guide are where your marketing team may want to go first, but those are nice-to-haves for a retailer. Product page video is the must-have, according to consumers.
- Rule #5: Give consumers video across all product categories.
- It doesn’t matter how complex the product, or how much explanation is needed, consumers are still looking for videos.
- Asked which categories they’ve watched at least one product video over the past three months, respondents cited consumer electronics (40%), computer hardware and software (26%), automotive (25%), music/DVDs/videos (25%), clothing and accessories (24%), food and wine (20%), toys and video games (19%) and health and beauty items (19%). They also cited less complex items, like pet supplies (12%) and jewelry and watches (12%).
- Your marketing team may prefer to add highly detailed videos to only a few product categories. They would deliver higher ROI by broadening the video catalog coverage.
- Rule #6: Focus on delivering key product information, and don’t worry about arbitrary time limits.
- Debunking the “30 second sweet spot” myth, Invodo’s 2012 study found that 37% of consumers will watch a video longer than three minutes if it’s educational.
- Consumers spend an average of 2.77 minutes watching product videos that include demonstrations, compared to 2.40 minutes for videos supporting a brand’s value proposition.
- Rule #7: Create videos that will help consumers feel more confident in a purchase.
- In the new Invodo-e-tailing group study, 57% of consumers said they were more confident in a potential purchase and less likely to return an item after watching a product video. This was an increase from 52% a year earlier.
- Rule #8: Make professional-quality videos.
- More than half of consumers (54%) said they preferred more “polished,” professional-looking videos, according to the 2012 Invodo-e-tailing group study.
- Just 30% of consumers said they were inclined to buy a product after watching user-generated videos from peers.
“It’s clear that despite increasing adoption of online video by retailers and brands, many myths about video continue,” said Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo.
“Based on two consumer research studies and our own expertise, these rules will empower retailers and brands to maximize their video investment. They will also put to rest a lot of the misconceptions out there that can stand in the way of success.”
These rules build upon the 2012 study “Captivating Consumers through Cross-Channel Video”, also conducted with the e-tailing group. Invodo has found that some of the myths dispelled in the first study persist in the marketplace and is addressing those myths with the “Eight Rules.”
How Consumers Shop With Video is based on a survey of 1,073 U.S. consumers, who completed an online questionnaire in December 2012.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Are you using your mobile device to enhance your TV viewing? Parks Associates, says new mobile and app research shows that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices and second-screen apps as alternatives to traditional remote controllers and interactive program guides, among other things.
Younger viewers even treat their mobile devices as as a primary screen in many instances.
The research firm found 36% of smartphone owners and 35% of tablet owners search for product/service information on the device while watching TV.
Over one-third regularly use apps to search for show-related information or check listings while in front of the TV.
“With second-screen offerings for TV shows like Breaking Bad and Glee, companies are catching up to current habits of viewers, who are already interacting with their mobile devices while watching TV,” said Heather Way, senior research analyst, Parks Associates.
All this second screen use provides marketers with additional opportunities to reach consumers with general and targeted offers.
Personally, we access HBO and Netflix on our Kindle Fire occasionally, but most often we are also using our laptop while watching TV. We haven’t found the online or digital “extras” for most programs very compelling as yet. We do see more and more people tweeting to programs during their broadcast hours, particularly the cable news shows. Younger viewers, however, may see their mobile screen as their prmary, not their secondary screen.
“Almost 20% of millennials (ages 18-30) access pay-TV programs via their service provider on their smartphone. For many of these viewers, mobile is not the ‘second-screen’ but just as important, or more so, than the TV screen.”
Monday, March 11th, 2013
As the web has evolved, WordPress has become a dominant platform for the building of websites and blogs.
According to online learning company,lynda.com, it is easy to use and includes many perks like making websites easy to find and allows for a large variety of templates to be used, many of which are free.
With recent changes and updates it’s good to know exactly how to successfully manage the publishing platform.
“Why do people choose WordPress themes for their websites?” Asks Sam Philips, SEO and business development manager at QArea, in a recent article inSocial Media Today. “Because they don’t have to spend lots of money to get one of them and WP themes can make any type of website look professional.”
Your website is home base
Susan Gilbert, marketing expert and author a SusanGilbert.com in Issaquah, Washington, believes that, “a website is an extremely important piece of online real estate.”
In fact, several recent marketing studies have shown that blogs, not social media, drive the most business for companies and brands.
Gilbert adds that having a fully developed blog or branded site will help a person or company get noticed both online and offline. “It’s what goes on business cards, gets linked in the social media profiles and, in general, is the hub of all the online activity,” Gilbert states. “It’s the home base.”
Her new videos will help anyone who is using WordPress, while Susan’s emphasis is on websites for authors and entrepreneurs. Her short video series provides step by step instructions that range from two to five minutes in length making the small tweaks available in WordPress easy to learn.
Get a security plugin
As longtime WordPress users here at the TechJournal, we strongly recommend installing a security plugin and firewall such as Wordfence (there are other, stronger security programs available too).
Cyber attacks are rampant and some bot networks scrape your content just to sell your competitors information about you. You may even want to block some countries unlikely to do business with you but very likely to add to the number of cyber attacks you have to fend off.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Nearly 95% of all national advertiser campaigns now leverage some form of location targeting in mobile, according to the quarterly Mobile-Local Performance stas report, which is derived from xAd’s network.
As a consumer’s exact location has shown to be a powerful factor in reaching and engaging desired mobile audiences, advertisers have started to shift from standard geo targeting, often seen in desktop or traditional marketing (based on standard geo boundaries such as zip, city or DMA areas), to geo-precise targeting, which leverages mobile’s unique ability to target users based on their specific location.
The report revealed that search behavioral targeting (targeting based on geo-precise mobile search behaviors), grew 212% from Q1 to Q4 2012 – more than any other mobile targeting technique.
Search behaviorial targeting saw most growth
Although search behavioral targeting saw the most growth, geo fencing (the ability to reach a consumer based on a set proximity or distance away from a specific place or point of interest) was the most popular targeting technique overall, ending the year with over 55% of campaigns utilizing this type of targeting. Standard geo targeting, on the other hand, declined from 64% of campaign targeting in Q1 to just 13% by Q4.
This rapid shift in targeting focus can be attributed to the increased performance and efficiency experienced through more precise mobile targeting techniques.
Across campaigns that leveraged more precise geo targeting, ad waste was reduced on average by 20-30%, while ad performance increased by double digits. Search behavioral targeting provided the highest lift on average, increasing performance 60% over the industry benchmark.
Place-based targeting second
Place-based targeting was a close second, delivering a 55% lift. Throughout the year, xAd’s display and search ads performed well above industry standard performance rates, with locally targeted display averaging a CTR of 0.8% and targeted search a CTR of 8%.
“Mobile users are in constant motion, so their circumstances and needs are continually changing,” said Dipanshu Sharma, CEO at xAd.
“As a result, mobile targeting technology that serves the most relevant information to users, based on their exact location, will deliver the highest conversion rates for advertisers.
As geo targeting techniques become more precise, advertisers can still achieve massive scale by working with partners that allow access to the billions of available mobile ad impressions nationally, enabling them to maximize ROI across a host of specific mobile audiences.”
- Likely because mobile users are typically on the go, the top businesses searched via mobile throughout the year continued to be local restaurants and/or businesses related to travel such as gas stations, transportation and hotels.
- Top growth categories were Entertainment (including bars and clubs, theatres and sporting events/venues) which grew 184%, Health & Beauty (including beauty salons & spas, gyms, hospitals and other health services) which grew 50%.
- In terms of advertising, only one of the top three search categories made it into the top advertising categories – showing a slight misalignment between mobile user demands and specific advertising penetration by vertical.
- Regarding location of search, the South lead with four out of the top 10 cities for active mobile search activity throughout 2012.
- The South also came in tops, tied with the Midwest, for most targeted cities for mobile advertising.
To download a copy of Mobile-Local Performance Stats visit www.xAd.com.
Monday, March 4th, 2013
The modern marketer is a hybrid creature who combines content, brand, and web marketing who needs both art and science to boost return-on-investment for clients.
So says “Defining the Modern Marketer: From Real to Ideal,” a report created in conjunction with BtoB Magazine that offers in-depth insight into how marketing’s role has evolved to include both art and science and more specifically, what skills and technologies marketers need to improve ROI.
Modern Marketer Defined
The study found that the modern marketer persona is ideally three-fold – a hybrid of content marketer, brand marketer and web marketer.
These three “marketer types” were chosen by survey participants when asked about the current modern marketer role.
Five areas make up the marketing scorecard
Successful marketing, however, includes more than three roles and should factor in the use of marketing technology (CRM systems, marketing automation), analytics, targeting, conversion (prospect to customer) and engagement (the right content through the right channels).
These five marketing areas were chosen to make up the ideal modern marketer scorecard. The ideal modern marketer has the optimal percentage of all five skill areas – adding up to 100 percent.
However, when it came time for survey respondents to rate themselves based on the five core skills, their current performance was barely passable, adding up to only 65 percent.
The Right Blend of Art and Science
Respondents recognize it’s crucial to have both art and science as part of their marketing efforts.
But while today’s modern marketer needs to be equal parts creative, analytical, and tech savvy, survey participants feel unprepared to handle the science side of the equation.
The scorecard revealed that marketers gave themselves the lowest ratings in the areas of analytics and marketing technology.
Marketers need to focus on getting the right tools and technologies in place to address the science of marketing in 2013 and beyond.
Traditional Marketing Tactics Dominate While Content is On the Rise
Despite an onslaught of new vendors in the social media space, B2B marketers today still very much rely on more traditional digital channels, including email and their company websites.
When asked to rank the three most important channels for a marketer’s organization, the survey found that the company website, email, and face-to-face events topped the list in that order.
Content marketing helps provide the right information for these channels and according to the survey results, is still in high demand as respondents declared content marketing as “very important” to their overall marketing mix.
Roadblocks to Become Modern Marketers
The survey also identified the major obstacles marketers face as they try to become more modern. Respondents pointed to lack of budget and poor data analytics infrastructure as the two top roadblocks.
“The B2B buying process has fundamentally changed,” said Joe Payne, CEO, Eloqua.
“As prospects conduct the bulk of their research online, sales reps enter the buying cycle much later. The process has become marketing-driven and today’s marketing team plays a critical role.
“Marketing is adopting new digital strategies to improve the buying process and more importantly the overall customer experience. This study presents a deep view of where marketers stand today and where they need to go to be successful.”
Friday, March 1st, 2013
A Samsung Smart TV.
If you want to dramatically increase the ability of your video ads to drive consumer action, using both television and online video does the trick.
New research from Videology, a digital ad platform, found that action conversion rates increased 40 percent in consumers exposed to both television and online video advertisements compared to the control group (those not exposed to the digital advertisement).
Action conversion includes actions beyond a simple click through, such as searching for a retail location, building a product profile, downloading a coupon, or other actions that suggest intent to purchase a brand’s product or service.
Optimal frequency mix
Videology found that an optimal frequency mix of 7-9X on television and 7-9X on digital video drove the highest overall conversion rate of all combinations.
Those exposed in the 7-9X frequency range for both television and digital video saw a 230% lift in action conversion compared to the control group. Other findings:
- TV frequency alone does not specifically correlate to action conversion.
- Those who were exposed to an ad online first are more likely to take action.
- Increased digital frequency drives increased action conversion.
In addition, Videology’s research showed that while Ad Recall topped at 54% for TV only campaigns and 59% for video only campaigns, there was 64% Ad Recall for TV & online video campaigns.
This research was conducted with the help of Videology’s TV Amplifier(SM) product, which is designed to link television viewing behavior to online viewing habits, utilizing Nielsen’s cross-platform measurement data. Download the full report here.