The 4 Keys To Success In This Environment

We know all the ways things have changed this year. We also know how much trends ,such as  relying on digital marketing channels, has sped up. It makes us wonder what we can do to survive and adapt with these changes. Here are four keys to success.  

Chart for 4 Keys To Success In This Environment
  1. Reinforce existing relationships. Which means reaching out and keeping in contact with existing and previous customers. Email and social channels are a great way to do this. Having up to date email and other information in your CRM is therefore, critical. Personalizing messages can help you stand out. It’s also important to figure out what channel your customers prefer to buy from you. Compare the current channels to what they preferred before this year to see the direction you should be focusing.  
  2. Pivot to digital and drive immediate revenue. Without money coming in, it’s very hard to build a strategy for the future. Therefore, make sure your team and any tools or tech you need is ready to go. 
  3. Acquire lower funnel customers. A lot of customers now are skipping the “passing interest” phase. They do research, find you, then buy. Making it easy for customers to find you when they are looking is important. Capitalize on lower funnel customers by knowing exactly how they got to you. One way to do that is by utilizing Pixel data. (Want more information on Pixels? Click here.) 
  4. Position for success as this reverts back to “normal.” Have a plan. One thing to think about when building your plan is to create structures with the shifts in buying habits shift in mind. Test and experiment with different types of engagement now to see what channels to focus on on the future.  

What do you think the key to successfully navigation the new marketing landscape is?  

 
 

How To Make Personalized Ads Less Creepy

Personalized Ads

We all have heard the jokes about how our phones are listening. Our phones, and tablets, and watches, and computers, and smart speakers. Therefore, when we get super personalized ads it can feel a bit creepy. Like, how do they know my name? and I was literally just talking about this? So, how can we find the balance between personalized marketing and creepy personalization?

Why do we need personalized marketing in the first place?

In order to stand out in this digital world, brands need to communicate with their customers in a way that shows that the brand cares about the same things their customers do. This is especially true in social media. Social media can feel like customers have 1-on-1 relationships with the brand they follow. They can build relationships that feel personal.

Here’s a few ways to make personalized marketing effective and not jarring:

  • Start with the information you have about your customers. It’s difficult to know what your customers want if you don’t know who they are. Look at your 1st party data. What are your most common demographics? What are their interests? How would they most like to be communicated with?
  • Use the tools available. Marketing automation platforms and CRMs can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to segmenting data. Many of them are designed to help create simple, personalized messages.
  • Have a well thought out plan. Do you have a mapped-out customer journey? Knowing where in their journey your customers are makes a big difference in the types of personalization that will work for them. Think about nurturing. Pay attention to the details. Make sure that the little things that can be annoying such as, getting an abandoned cart email even though you’ve already come back to purchase it, are gone.Get rid of triggers that are connected to repurchasing products commonly only purchased once. (looking at you, toilet seat.)
  • Know when to walk away. Keep your data clean. If someone has never opened an email it might be a good idea to take them off your list. Their data could skew your demographics and could make understanding what personalization your active customers need difficult.
What’s the creepiest personalized advertising you’ve ever seen?

3 Types of Alternative Black Friday Campaigns

Calling Black Friday the biggest shopping event of the year is an understatement. In 2019, consumers spent $7.4 Billion online alone. This year more than ever, online spending is expected to grow. What are some ways to stand out online this holiday season?

Instead of the usual ‘one-day-only % off’ sale, campaigns focused on other things can be a great way to set you brand apart, gain awareness, and increase conversions. Here are three examples.

#1 – the Anti-Black Friday.

Black Friday REI
REI 2015

Taking a page from REI’s #OptOutside campaign, focusing on not buying anything on Black Friday can be very effective. Since 2015 REI closes on Black Friday and uses #OptOutside to encourage people to spend the day outside, which goes along perfectly with their brand mission and has helped grow their online community. Due to the longevity of the campaign and community it has created, the Opt Outside campaign helps increase REI sales year-round.

Another company using the Anti-Black Friday approach is the skincare company Deciem. In 2019, closed their stores and blacked out their website to protest the hyper consumerism focused Black Friday. Instead, their holiday campaign focused on “shopping slow.” For the entire month of November, every product was on sale. The longer, inclusive sale increased sales and helped reinforce their brand ideals with their customers.

Deciem 2019

#2 Highlight Your Mission

Many companies use Black Friday as an opportunity to show their customers what their brand ideals are. Donating to charities is a popular way. For example, Patagonia is known for alternative Black Friday campaigns but one especially effective one was 2016. They pledged to donate all their Black Friday sales to grassroot organizations that aligned with their brand goals. The campaign ended up generating $10 million in sales, over 5xs their goal!

Patagonia 2016

The fashion company Kotn did something similar. Instead of sales, they promoted that they were going to donate Black Friday weekend profits to a charity that builds schools in Egypt, where the cotton used in their products is grown.  

Kotn 2016

#3 Make it an event

A great example of this is MeUndies’ 2016 campaign. They promoted a Facebook live event for Black Friday. As more people joined, they unlocked more discounts and promotions. The event ended up with over 13,000 viewers and had a conversion rate of over 25%, which is 13x more than their average!

All of these brands used a day usually clogged with advertising to redirect their customer’s focus. They reminded people of their band mission and goals and helped strength their connection to their customers. What fun ways have you seen company handle Black Friday?


What’s Working in Marketing- 2020?

Eleven months into 2020, it is safe to say, this year has had a lot of surprises. So, what has working in marketing this year? Here is what we have found:

1) Customer Experience driven marketing.  This encompasses a lot of things. The main things that we have found to be successful in 2020 are brand storytelling and personalization.

Our brain is literally wired to seek out and respond to narratives. And no matter what is happening around us, that isn’t going to change. We are going to connect and respond better to brands that tell us a story and bring us along on a journey. How are some companies implementing this strategy?  YouTube series, podcasts, active social medias are popular first steps. (Learn more about customer journey’s here.)

Personalization is a big key in reaching your customer’s heart. Using the customer’s name in things like email subject lines is a good first step. Beyond that you can use audience segmentation to separate your audience into groups that share common characteristics like demographics and behavioral information. Using your audience segments to target your message to things that each group are actually invested in can greatly increase how personal your marketing will feel to the customer.

Utilizing Multi and Omni channel marketing strategies will also increase how smooth your brand experience is for your customers. (Learn more about building audiences here and here.)

2) Email. More than 50% of people in the US check their personal email over 10 times a day. Most people say that it is their preferred way to communicate with brands. Although “the end of email” has been threatened may times in recent years, 2020 has shown us that email isn’t going anywhere soon. For many companies, email became the only way they could communicate with their customers this year.

That means the margin for error with sending emails is relatively small. So. don’t forget to preview your email with different providers and devise before your send!

(Here are more email tips and tricks.)

3) Responsible consumerism and business practices. More than ever, consumers are aware of the effect their purchases have on the environment and on society and they want to buy from companies whose values align with theirs. People expect companies to actively fight injustices and be visibility support causes.

What has worked for your marketing this year?


How To Digital Advertise Effectively

With things changing around us so quickly, having a long-term advertising strategy can be a challenge. We need real time audience data as much as possible. How can we build an adaptable audience in this rapidly changing world?  

One of the biggest changes in advertising this year was the extreme shift to digital. In an eMarketer poll, 56% of people said that they increased their online shopping this year. And 14% said that they shopped online for the first time. The way we shop has also changed. Because of the increase in online shopping, we tend to make faster, more impulsive purchase decisions. What does that mean for advertising?  

Before the necessary shift to digital, brands could interact with customers in a wide variety of ways, often spread out over large physical distances. Billboards, signs, posters, newspapers, and magazines all exist with in different physical spaces. With digital advertising however, we are all competing for the same ad space. That ad space is worth more now has less guarantees attached to it.  


Having the right audience is the foundation for your campaign…..

Asking yourself simple questions about your clientele such are gender, age, income, and possible other interests can make it easier to target more efficiently.  

What can you do then make sure your potentials are seeing your brand? Start with the right people. A lot of marketers view the audience as a small detail or a piece of the puzzle. Having the right audience is the foundation for your campaign. Asking yourself simple questions about your clientele such are gender, age, income, and possible other interests can make it easier to target more efficiently.  

Having a general idea of your audience is a good first step. Slowing narrowing down that audience helps reduce costs. A trigger-based campaign is a good way to do that. For example, you can send an email to a large amount of people who fit your initial criteria rather cheaply. Since social ads are more expensive, you then only need to advertise to the people for clicked or opened your email. You can then retarget them with Direct mail. Learn about your audience from each channel individually then apply it back to your campaign as a whole.   

As difficult as it can be to have to shift an entire advertising strategy, it can be also be a great opportunity for growth. Using different channels can help you take a step back and look at your campaigns and your potentials in a new light. What have you learned about adapting strategies this year?