Blog : Marketing

International markets drive a new definition of service

International markets drive a new definition of service

For many companies, their market has been redefined because of the internet. A good or service offered to a traditionally domestic market can now catch the attention of an international audience. Being able to understand and respond to the needs of clients from any location provides an advantage to a company.

Most nations employ English as either a primary or secondary language. This approach helps to breach barriers to your business. Having a well-designed website and utilizing search engine optimization strategies will allow customers and clients around the world to see what your company is capable of doing.

Refining the scope of the markets that you want to address is critical when taking your business global. According to Forbes, you want to “Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business.”

Successful international marketing is similar to marketing in the United States. You have to identify customer needs that your company can address. Make sure your products and services, can address them more completely than competitors in that market sect.

Customers will base their loyalty to a company based on how well their needs are tended to, especially on an international scale. Global customer service is important to any consumer. A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits.

As you consider global expansion, one thing to keep in mind is that you never want to make a move that will diminish success and hard work on home soil. Domestic sales are what got you to where you are and will be the key to expanding that success.

Neglecting your foundation and home market to pursue global markets can easily backfire. By maintaining a strong balance between both markets, you will create a strong brand image at home while slowly establishing yourself internationally. This will allow a company to maintain their core mission while responding to its international potential.

It will take time for a small company to take their business international. But with the right steps and commitment, a small business can find itself competing with larger known businesses and gain the same amount of success.

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results page (SERP). Complicated algorithms examine tremendous amounts of data to produce these results.

To facilitate this workload, search engines now employ the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This change has made it necessary for legitimate digital marketers to refine their efforts to maintain quality in terms of technical SEO and content development.

The artificial intelligence learns and uses natural language processing, meaning that AI SEO becomes smarter and more human-friendly. AI is trained by using known data, such as:

  • Content

  • Links

  • User behavior

  • Trust

  • Citations

  • Patterns

The AI systems then analyze that data using user experience, big data, and machine learning to develop new ranking factors. The process is capable of producing marketable results most likely to meet user needs.

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that helps process its search results. The system uses an entirely new way of processing queries. This portion of the search engine’s core algorithm looks at search terms that have not been used before and compares the keywords against other searches to determine what type of results the end user is looking for.

Google’s RankBrain is just one form of artificial “narrow intelligence,” which means that, while it can perform things better than a human in one specific area, it is still a relatively weak form of artificial intelligence.

Yet, AI offers marketers insights that will improve ad campaigns. Adopting AI specifically for SEO efforts presents marketers with tactics that enable them to rank higher in search engines and get their ads seen by more people. The data provides insight that enable you to optimize a website, build links with the high-authority domains, and identifies the best keywords to use for each webpage.

Artificial intelligence has now progressed into deeper learning. While combined with search engine optimization, the list of possibilities to perform tasks has brought a whole new way to produce search engine results.

The execution of SEO has changed because Google, Bing, and all the other search engines are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the content of pages.

When SEO is combined with artificial intelligence there are improvements in the results that come from search engine optimization.

Business transparency

Business transparency

Business transparency is the practice of making all company information available to the public. This can include anything from data to revenue to future plans, but the bottom line is that it’s available to everyone — customers, business partners, and employees. While transparency isn’t a new concept in marketing, its popularity continues to increase. In 2014, 68% of consumers said that business transparency was important to them. Just two years later, that number had jumped by 26%. Business transparency is becoming more of a priority for consumers, meaning businesses are starting to take a long look at shifting over to a transparent business model.

If you choose to offer more transparency to your customers, it might start off with the feeling that you’re airing your undergarments to the public. However, transparency has the potential to work miracles. In fact, a whopping 94% of consumers say that company transparency affects their likelihood of buying a product. Truth is, consumers are tired of being treated as “targets.” Business transparency shows your customers that you value them as humans and not as dollar signs.

One of the most well-known successes of a company utilizing transparency is McDonald’s Canada’s ongoing campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions.” The campaign aimed to debunk rumors regarding the quality and production of their food. The company has answered over 42,000 questions and increased customer trust by 46% since its launch.

Buffer went even further. Company transparency is such a core part of their values that they’ve even received some backlash. The company makes all of their information, from salaries to code to emails, open to the public. The result? An increase in revenue by one million in less than a year.

Other than the initial shock of baring it all for your customers, transparency marketing is one of the easiest ways to turn first-time customers into long-time returners, especially for small businesses. It builds the reputation of your company at no extra cost or manpower. Making company practices accessible and visible to customers develops brand loyalty and distinguishes you from the masses. Consumers today are slow to trust, so making information available to them from the get-go establishes rapport and assures them of your authenticity.

What is social media marketing?

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of Internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media in order to achieve your marketing goals. This includes posting text and image updates, videos and other engaging activities. These may include tools such as a hashtag, which drives audience interaction and engagement.

The use of social media in marketing has brought new consumers to businesses by expanding their audience and directly targeting the audience on platforms that they use every day.

Your business type should inform and drive your marketing strategy. When building a social media marketing strategy, it should reflect the following questions:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Gathering data will allow you to pinpoint exactly what the consumer wants and how to engage their social media. When marketing is introduced to social media, consumers automatically participate subconsciously, which then drives sales for a business.

Great content and a consistent brand image are what will drive your social media marketing. By staying consistent with your brand and other forms of marketing, consumers will be able to retain your products and relate it back to your business’s core identity.

Social media marketing has expanded due to the increase in usage of sites that target consumers use the most. The most common social media site include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Social media marketing is effective whether the company acts alone or has collaborated with others. In 2015 emojis became a trend among social media users. Brands picked up on this trend and started to use the emojis as well.

Taco Bell, who has an interactive social media presence among the youthful demographic joined in on the trend. Users simply had to tweet at Taco Bell with taco emoji and another of their choice, and the brand would tweet the user back with a humorous mashup of the two images.

Other companies such as Urban Decay used Pinterest to get users excited about a new makeup collection by creating a contest on the social media site where the winner would win tickets to the sold-out music festival Coachella.

Social media marketing has become a powerful marketing tool due to the usage among its target audience and growing youth population. It is an advantage to businesses on staying up-to-date with its audience, but also increase sales as well.

Integrity in marketing

Integrity in marketing

Marketing integrity is not just a virtue; it is a driver of choice. The main role of a marketing agency is to find ways to increase brand loyalty and customer sales for any given company, but a false advertisement could lead to a loss for the company.

In today’s society where fake news is everywhere, customers will stick with companies based on integrity and loyalty. Unless it is a last resort, no client will stick with a company that has lied to him or her. Yet, numerous companies have been known to be misleading in their marketing efforts.

In 2006, more than 75% of Opinion Research respondents said they preferred to buy from a company that operates ethically, even if they have to pay more. Yet how can an agency use expert writers to promote itself or provide clients with integrity? By taking a step back and analyzing their practice with these simple steps, a company can raise their loyalty and sales:

  • Prepare ahead by informing yourself, your staff, and your clients of the importance of integrity in marketing.
  • Look for evidence that integrity is important to a writer before you hire them, and emphasize that it’s important to you as well.
  • Give the writer only facts you can prove.
  • When reviewing a writer’s work, make sure that everything they say is true. A good writer will know how to phrase truth creatively, so the message is interesting as well.
  • When you find a good writer, commend them and keep going back to them with future assignments.

In his book, John Blumberg acknowledges that a great leader will take risks in not knowing and will be grounded with a core set of values, “we don’t go running away from our values, we go drifting away. And one day we wake-up in a place we never meant to be drifting in a direction we would never have chosen.”

The greatest loss of a company is the missed marketing of an unleashed set of core values. Customers base their choices on a guaranteed product. The false advertisement could lead to problems such as government agencies that have reportedly fined the pharmaceutical industry in excess of $3 billion in the past few years because of allegedly misleading marketing and sales practices. 

According to the adage, “A leading medical-device company admitted not long ago to failing to inform doctors about a potentially fatal flaw in their aggressively marketed heart defibrillators. The company’s stock price plummeted and the firm was eventually sold and rebranded”.

This could cause potential harm to the consumer but will cause more harm for the company. Integrity marketing is based on values that companies should abide by, yet not all feel that morals matter with business.

Real-Time Marketing and your audience

Real-Time Marketing and your audience

With technology changing daily, consumers’ need for immediacy has become an expectation. Communicating with your clients through social media isn’t just a leg up, it’s a necessity to keeping your company ahead of the game. Although real-time marketing has been around for a few years, its appeal kicked into top gear during 2016 with multiple social media companies introducing real-time sharing to their sites. These new features offer businesses a cheap and distinctive way to communicate with customers and deliver content of value.

What is real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing is a strategy that focuses on adapting content to fit with current events or timely topics. Before the recent influx of live video features, real-time marketing showed itself mostly through memes or Instagram photos. Now, you’ll see it more regularly through Facebook Live webinars or Instagram stories.

Why use real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing ultimately allows you to humanize your brand. It creates an organic feel to communicating with your clientele. Customers are seeing your brand advertised on the same medium that they see pictures of their niece or videos of an old friend on vacation. This unique aspect of real-time marketing creates an authenticity that you won’t get elsewhere.

How does real-time marketing work?

Real-time marketing primarily works through social media. It allows your company to respond to events or topics related to your product immediately. Although this doesn’t mean that it needs to be a lengthy blog post. Something as simple as sharing a photo can offer an authentic contribution to the conversation that creates a bond between the company and its customer. For example, when the power went out during the 2013 Superbowl, Oreo responded with a Twitter post: “Power out? No problem.” The attached image was just one oreo, spotlighted, with the tagline “You can still dunk in the dark.” The clever post received over 15,000 retweets.

Within the last year, Facebook and Instagram both introduced real-time sharing features, and more and more companies are taking advantage of this platform. In addition to helping build relationships with customers, using real-time marketing creates a sense of urgency, encouraging consumers to act immediately. Many major brands have benefited from this strategy. Marc Jacobs, for example, introduced its 2017 fashion line via live video streaming. Fortunately, you don’t need high-tech equipment or an endless budget to utilize this strategy. Social media alone can help you use real-time marketing to build company-client relationships and provide unique, diverse content.

How much time do we spend on mobile devices?

How much time do we spend on mobile devices?

Society is addicted to the use of their mobile devices. Developers and advertisers need to understand these behaviors to compete in the marketplace.

A recent study has shown that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. When added up, it amounts to 23 days a year. U.S. adults spend 20 minutes daily in apps, while only spending 11 minutes per day via mobile websites. Nearly 80 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

Time is money.

According to emarketer, five trends will influence the amount of time spent on mobile devices:

  • Efforts to make the mobile web faster and slicker
  • Messaging apps evolving into platforms
  • Retailers investing heavily in mobile advertising
  • The rise of mobile video viewing
  • Upgrades to smartphone operating systems

There are now nearly more mobile phone subscriptions (seven billion), than people in the world. Those who have access to the Internet, access it with more than one device.By the end of 2010, mobile data had grown twice as much as voice data. From the beginning of 2014 to the beginning of 2015 mobile data usage grew 55 percent.

Consumers now own an average of five devices. The time that consumers spent on those devices grew slowly over the course of 2016.

Not all the time spent online is distributed equally across platforms, apps, and websites.

Companies have to compete for a single consumer’s attention across an average of five devices. The result is that publishers, brands, and business must accept that apps need to be designed for cross-device usage to get the attention they desire.

Contact Colure’s Project Managers to discuss your visions for successful software development and marketing to move your project forward.

Examine your User Experience (UX)

Examine your User Experience (UX)

A user experience is “the totality of the experience of a user when visiting a website”.

In recent years, improving the user experience (UX) has been prioritized by many companies. Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock has said that when it comes to retail, “relevance wins”. A personalized online experience holds an appeal that is impossible to replicate in a physical store.

Recommendations or specific content based on details like previous purchases pique audience interest. This increases the likelihood of future visits and higher revenue. It adds a human element to the online experience.

Improvements in UX are intuitive. For example, an online retailer will learn to stop recommending winter coats to a customer if they begin to browse swimsuits. This kind of reactive change based on consumer behavior has been implemented by Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, LinkedIn, and nearly every other major online presence.

According to Invesp, retailers that utilize customer information to cultivate an individualized experience see a 56% boost in repeat sales. When done discretely, customers appreciate the increased ease of use that this provides.

Yet, 71% of companies do not use this technology. This is a missed opportunity for wider consumer appeal. In this crowded market, appealing to one’s audience over the competition is extremely important. Failing to adapt to new technology can lead to obsolescence.

The data harvested by mobile apps only heighten a company’s ability to tailor a personalized UX. Location-based advertising and push notifications allow for more opportunities to attract customers. Discovering when and how a customer interacts with your content help you to learn how to market to them. Targeted content helps your brand in becoming relevant to any user.

What consumers want most from a company’s online faction is ease of use. Flashy graphics and interactive content can be nice, but do nothing to simplify the experience. Your site or app only needs to succeed in selling itself. Working to create a user-oriented experience should be your main focus.

Mobile app retention rates

Mobile app retention rates

Mobile app retention rates decrease by more than 75% within the first three months of downloading an app. By the one-year mark, only 4% of users still engage with an app they downloaded the year prior. Numbers like these highlight the importance of retention rates when dealing with mobile marketing.

Retention can be defined in different ways. Some companies choose to focus on simply getting users to revisit the app. Others look for engagement with specific features. How you decide to measure retention rates depends on your industry and the nature of the app. For example, an e-commerce app might emphasize user engagement more than a music-playing app. Either way, the goal is to get users to come back.

Mobile app retention is vital to the growth of a company. A high number of users is useless if they churn early on. Instead, a small number of users that repeatedly return to the app offers reliability and lead to stronger relationships between the business and the customers.

Ways You Can Increase Retention Rates

  • Target your mobile audience. Casting a big net to catch a bunch of users will yield a very low percentage of returns to your app. Instead, focus on marketing your app to a segmented group of consumers who are more likely to engage with the app continually.
  • Evidence has shown that push notifications can increase retention rates by at least 20%. Personalizing those push notifications to the individual user increases retention rates even further.
  • Give special attention to users within their first month of downloading the app. By developing a consistent engagement early on, you create a habit in the user that they’re more likely to continue.
  • Invest in beta testing your app to make sure you’ve developed a quality product. If the app isn’t user-friendly, all the marketing strategies in the world aren’t going to make it appealing to users.

User acquisition has consistently been the emphasis in mobile marketing, but the attention needs to be shifted to retention. Mobile app retention rates ensure consistent engagement with loyal customers, which means a longer lifespan for the app and the company.

The importance of online micro-communities

The importance of online micro-communities

Online micro-communities help to define a customer’s needs and definition. If you follow a fitness ‘guru’ on Instagram, you have probably seen sponsored posts promoting health supplements or gym memberships. This reflects the prevalence of micro communities in social media. A brand can most easily gain traction among people with relevant interests.

Focused content means targeted engagement. Sticking to what is pertinent to your industry will lead to higher revenue. The best way to grow and keep your following is to only promote relevant content.

A critical action is discovering which social networks your target market. Seeking out popular users in relevant industries is also vital. Their support will direct followers to your page.

Using the power of micro-communities is a straightforward way to find your target consumer group. Once you have cultivated an audience, that user following will expand out. Those with similar interests can be introduced to your brand through social media engagement, such as their peers’ ‘likes’.

Engagement should be valued over community size. 5,000 Facebook Likes is nice, but 5,000 people on a mailing list or using your company’s hashtag is even better. Promote your brand, not just your business.

Having 10,000 to 100,000 followers is statistically proven to be an influencer’s sweet spot. As a page’s follower count grows, their interaction levels tend to decrease. The term is ‘micro influencer’ for a reason.

The effects of going viral are short lived. It rarely leads to continued success. Broader recognition can mean easily getting lost in the sea of other huge brands. It is therefore vital to recruit influencers with a more specific demographic.

Asking Kylie Jenner to promote your investment firm will get you some clicks. Will they convert to revenue and continued engagement? Probably not.

When promoting your company, stick to what makes sense. Utilize the right kinds of social media. If you don’t know how to engage, find people who do. The benefits of finding the right niche will be invaluable.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a growing field for decades, but the uprise in virtual assistants in the home has opened a new channel of advertising. With it comes new challenges. Virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, give consumers a hands-free, hassle-free way of looking up information, keeping track of their plans for the day, or even trying new recipes. But the marketing industry has been hit hard by consumers’ new ability to make purchases or browse the internet without being exposed to a traditional advertisement.

AI brings both benefits and pitfalls to the marketplace. Marketers have new tools at their disposal, but they’ve also been given quite a few hurdles to jump through.

Pros of AI:

  • Virtual assistant devices offer better, more precise data that’s willingly volunteered by consumers. For example, Amazon gets detailed, individualized data with every task Alexa takes on.
  • AI creates a discrete form of advertising that doesn’t feel like a marching band of business owners trying to sell you their products. For example, ask Alexa to buy you a soda, and she immediately suggests the top two products, one of them being a 24-pack of Izze Sparkling Juice drinks. Izze drinks are getting quick advertising to interested customers disguised as a casual conversation. Consumers don’t recognize advertising as easily in this new and unmarked territory.

Cons:

  • Now that consumers are able to order a new product or search something on the internet without even pushing a button, the emphasis on digital marketing is threatened. Desktop and mobile devices have been the biggest platforms for reaching consumers. Only time will tell how AI will modify the relationship between customers and new businesses.
  • AI devices are always listening to all sound sources in the home, waiting to be activated. AI marketing is supposed to be the next big leap in marketing, but what information is gathered, how, and what happens to that data? What price are customers willing to pay for those advancements. Privacy in our homes is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Will consumers give up that right by agreeing to a software licensing agreement? Sometimes, with no marked path to follow, a fresh line will need to be drawn when it comes to what is ethical and what is business-savvy.

AI emphasizes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) more than anything. Recommendations by virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are based on the top results in search engines. Making sure that your service or product is at the top of the list will allow your business to wedge its way into those recommendations. AI management of various details in our lives can be a great asset. The question becomes, “what will be the cost of that growth?”

What is “cost per registration (CPR)”?

What is “cost per registration (CPR)”?

In order to measure the fiscal health of a company, businesses must measure key performance indicators (KPIs). One critical measurement is determining the cost to acquire one new paying customer. For subscription base companies this model is known as cost per registration (CPR), or cost per acquisition.

The New York Times is in the media industry. In a simplistic model, the media outlet sells subscriptions as one of its revenue streams. For every subscription that the Times sells, some money is spent to cover the cost of advertising. Their net gain is the amount spent on advertising subtracted from the funds raised by the new subscriptions purchased.

No business can avoid this cost. To stop all advertising is to lose subscribers. Subscriptions cannot be attained without advertising. Yet, if there is no reliable consumer base, the Times cannot afford to spend money on ads.

Casual readers who have not purchased a subscription cannot be counted upon as a revenue source. Their inconsistency does not allow them to be relied upon for long-term sales. However, they can be persuaded to become subscribers. Special promotions that are tailored to their situation or lifestyle will increase subscription sales.

For example, repeat visitors to the Times’ website could be re-targeted for a free trial to the print version of the paper. If enough of these readers decide to continue with the service, the Times will have made more money in the long run. Or, existing subscribers could receive a discount flyer for the New York Times’ weekend edition. The revenue lost by giving a discount will hopefully be negated by a wave of new subscriptions.

A careful balance between advertisements and subscribers is the only way to maintain a successful, profitable business. If properly organized, any additional costs taken on in this model will be negated through sales revenues.

CPE Engagement

CPE Engagement

As consumers change the way they interact with brands, so do the advertising strategies that market those brands. The most common model of advertising is still Cost Per Mille (CPM), in which the advertiser pays the publisher per every thousand impressions (viewings) the advertisement gets. Unfortunately, this model is becoming outdated. We’re bombarded with thousands of advertisements and brand exposures every day, all competing for our attention. With that said, the average person actively interacts with only 12 of those ads.

What is Cost Per Engagement Advertising?

Cost Per Engagement (CPE) is a combination between Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Cost Per Click (CPC) models of advertising. In CPA, the advertiser only pays the publisher when their ad leads to a sale (or acquisition). CPC works by paying per click on the advertisement. CPE acts as a hybrid between these two models, in which the advertiser pays per engagement with the advertisement.

Engagement refers to any active interaction with an ad. What counts as an interaction varies from advert to advert, and can be anything from pressing the pause button on an advertisement video to typing out a word.

Why use Cost Per Engagement Advertising?

  • CPE motivates users to interact with your brand instead of merely passively glancing at it. Whether the interaction is answering a question or sharing a post on social media, you can be sure that they’ve recognized and connected with your advertisement on some level.
  • CPE delivers accountability that other models cannot give. It guarantees you (the advertiser) that the user has interacted and connected with your brand, with no ambiguity.
  • CPE ensures that you get your money’s worth. By paying per engagement, you can be sure that you’re getting value for publishing your ad. If users aren’t interacting, you don’t pay.

In essence, the publisher is offering something valuable to the user in return for their interaction with your advertisement. Hulu, for example, offers users the ability to watch their favorite television series for free in exchange for watching 90 seconds of commercials. This is a particularly attractive deal when considering broadcast networks show an average of 13 and a half minutes of ads per hour.

CPE advertising can be highly effective, especially when paired with audience targeting. By finding the right publisher and efficiently targeting your audience, you can reach users in an innovative way that counteracts the selective attention of consumers.

Data visualization

Data visualization

Data visualization tools create graphic representations of business data to make information understandable and meaningful. By doing so, they can bring insight to your marketing strategies and shed light on trends, patterns, and possible changes that affect your business. These insights change with growing technology. The modern visualization tools make viewing data simpler, more accessible, and easier to apply to your marketing strategy.

These tools essentially allow you to look at data from a bird’s eye view. The wider scope means more accurate results. So instead of taking a small sample of data and applying it to your larger consumer audience, you can rake through your entire customer database for more precise results.

Data visualization also gives you the freedom to uncover trends within highly specified categories in your customer database. You can analyze customer data based on purchase history, demographic, or response rates to campaigns and use it as you fine-tune future strategies. The tools even give you the ability to study correlations between specific services or products so you can personalize future offers to your customers.

One of the primary reasons data visualization is important is that it helps to draw meaningful conclusions from the data and make the most of the numbers. By doing so, it can reveal patterns and trends and give hints into upcoming opportunities to interact with your consumer audience. This is especially significant because it not only gives you a direction in which you can move forward; it also gives insight into previous campaigns. Getting a more granular knowledge of your strategy can show you where you’re wasting money and where to focus your spending in the future.

Data visualization tools do all of this while cutting down on time and resources. There’s no longer a need to hire a specialized IT worker to sift through the numbers. Even marketers with a very basic knowledge of analytics can easily navigate and react to the system.

As technology rapidly advances, data visualization allows for more complex analytics at an almost instantaneous rate. Quite literally, it allows you to do more with less by giving you a more comprehensive analysis of your data with fewer resources.

Using market segmentation

Using market segmentation

The internet creates useful technologies for personalizing your marketing content. This is market segmentation. The medium allows you to address your audience by name, give them specific recommendations based on their interests, or send them discounts that they’re more likely to respond to. These technologies allow you to utilize market segmentation and develop strategies to personalize content like no other medium can do.

What is market segmentation?

Market segmentation is a form of targeted marketing that allows you to personalize your marketing campaigns to the taste of the individual client. It uses information about your consumer audience—such as demographic or psychographic—to personalize your marketing strategy. It also allows you to automate this campaign strategy instead of analyzing every client profile individually. You might want to send different email campaigns to clients of different ages, or varying advertisements to clients in different locations. In short, consumers get specified advertisements, and your business wastes less time targeting the wrong audience.

Why use market segmentation?

In addition to leading to an average 19% increase in sales, a personalized web experience allows you to develop strong relationships and client loyalty. Do you know that appreciation you feel when your barista knows your drink before you order? That works for marketing too. Users are constantly bombarded with advertisements. Personalizing your campaign to the individual develops a unique and valuable human connection.

Four points for market segmentation:

  • Determine what your most valuable clients have in common. Age? Zip code? Education? This can give you hints about what they value and what they will respond to. It also gives you insight into what consumers you should be targeting to bring in new clients.
  • Use dynamic content—HTML content that changes based on the viewer. Dynamic content might recognize them by name or change the content of a form based on their occupation. In short, it makes the client feel recognized and valuable.
  • Collect data before you collect an email. Doggyloot, a retail company that sells products for canines, asks subscribers how big their dog is before they sign up for emails. The idea is that products for big dogs are only sent to customers with big dogs. The result? Their click-through rate for these personalized email campaigns is 410% above average.
  • Utilize social media. While automation can be great for setting up campaigns, it can also be frustrating for clients when used too much. Social media allows you to create real person-to-person interaction. The consumer feels cared for when they’re not forced to talk to a robot to get their question answered. Plus, talking with your customers helps you know what they need and personalize the marketing campaigns you send them.

Ultimately, market segmentation works for the benefit of the consumer and the business. The consumer is only getting advertisements that they’re interested in and the business is getting the most from their marketing campaign. Although working to target demographics can take a little more work, it ensures that your marketing strategies are worth the work you’re putting in and will bring the best results.

Object-Based Targeting

Object-Based Targeting

Object-based targeting allows companies to focus the content of an advertisement to match the content posted by a consumer. If you post pictures of dogs, this technology will marry canine-themed advertisements to appear in your social media.

With real-time social media playing such a big role in the lives of consumers, it was only a matter of time before somebody grabbed ahold of the reigns on real-time advertising. Snap Inc. took a big leap last year by patenting a new technology that will change real-time advertisements in a central way. The technology will allow advertisers to target Snapchat users in a uniquely personal way.

Snap Inc.’s object-based targeting will enable advertisers to promote their product based on the content that Snapchat user posts to their account. If a user snaps an image of a new pair of Nikes, they’re likely to see ads for footwear.

Snap Inc. has yet to enable the technology on Snapchat, but it’s expected that the new features will bring in a significant revenue increase and user growth. In fact, they expect to make between $500 million and $1 billion in 2017 — a big jump from the $59 million they made in 2015.

Consumers repeatedly respond more to image-based advertisements than to written content, so object-based targeting offers a way to speak the language of your consumer audience. Behind Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top social media sites. Both of these rely almost completely on visual content. Not only is it more engaging, but visual content makes your advertisement more memorable. Research shows that when people listen to information, they’ll remember 10% of the information three days later. If that information is paired with a relevant image, they’ll remember 65% of the information three days later.

Snapchat’s new feature will mean that advertisements can be targeted even more specifically than they already are. Advertisers will be able to respond to users automatically and instantaneously, virtually serving up a user’s interests on a silver platter.

Content Distribution

Content Distribution

A successful content distribution strategy utilizes already existing channels such as Twitter, Reddit, or the good old-fashioned email list to promote your content. More importantly, it targets your client demographic and reaches out to them through media that they respond to. There’s hardly any point in putting time into creative Snapchat stories if your client demographic is over the age of 50. You’d be far more likely to make an impact through email.

We spend a lot of time talking about the power of content, and that’s valid. Compelling, engaging storytelling is a huge part of drawing in potential clients. But, you may be wrong if you think a posted article or shared Instagram story will create a new stream of clients. Sharing that valuable content is only half the job; the second half is distributing the content for users to engage with.

5 ways to promote your content:

  • Email subscription lists are vastly underrated. Social media gets all the hype these days, but the reality is email is still hugely effective. Its lack of advertisements and ability to act as a portal to other forms of media means it’s still a huge part of marketing to clients.
  • Influencer marketing relies on social media users with a lofty reputation to promote content for them.
  • Twitter ads are effective because of their conciseness. Their short and sweet nature is attractive to the impatient and hurried consumer.
  • Push notifications offer an immediacy and responsiveness that you just can’t beat. Research shows that they boost engagement by 88%.
  • Facebook dark posts are a fairly untapped medium. In short, they allow you to post multiple advertisements to Facebook, each targeting different audiences, without making your own News Feed look cluttered or spammy.

Millions of tweets, posts, videos, and stories are shared every minute. Being selective about how and when you share is vital to your success. While authentic content is significant to reaching potential clients, the value is moot if no one is seeing it. A distribution strategy gives reach and dynamism to your content.

Genuine storytelling

Genuine storytelling

In the world of memes, tweets, and Snapchat stories, it’s easy to assume that engaging consumers means trimming things down. With an audience that has a shorter attention span than goldfish, slimming down marketing strategies to 160 characters seems like the way to go. But statistics show otherwise: engaging and emotional marketing strategies are far more successful than stereotypical promotional advertisements.

Authentic storytelling gives your brand personality. It allows your audience to connect with the company in a way that stands out among the fast-food style content that floods users’ Facebook feeds. This might be through longer-form blog posts, video production, or audio postcards. But the bottom line is that authentic storytelling focuses on developing a human connection. It sells your product or service with discretion, emotion, and relatability.

Tips for authentic storytelling:

  • Use sensory words. Amazingly, your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. Smelling coffee and reading about coffee trigger the exact same reaction in your brain. By using sensory details, you create a memorable story that humanizes your brand.
  • Use emotion to your advantage. Research shows that emotionally engaging marketing messages are twice as successful as promotional advertisements. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is Apple’s 2016 holiday commercial.
  • Know your audience and what they value. You wouldn’t talk to your boss in the same way that you would talk to your brother. Similarly, you have to understand your audience before you can have a conversation with them.
  • Be genuine. Numbers, formulas, statistics—it’s easy to get lost in these things. Developing a relatable story that’s organic and fresh will engage consumers in a way that standard promotional marketing just can’t live up to.

This unconventional strategy brings personality and energy to your brand. It gives your company a distinct voice in the industry, actionability to move your brand forward, and deeper insight into the values of your customers. Building these connections with your audience allows you to grow customer loyalty through common interests, beliefs, and standards. It starts a conversation, engaging consumers in a new and vibrant way.

Set your mobile marketing strategy on fire with these marketing tips

Set your mobile marketing strategy on fire with these marketing tips

Guest Blogger Joel Lee us with his insight into mobile marketing strategy:

When you want to set your mobile marketing strategy on fire, you have to understand your audience. You have access to your customers in an instant through the use of SMS mobile marketing. This is a powerful tool, once you learn how to unleash this power your marketing efforts will show significant results. Whether your business is small and just getting started, or you have numerous locations, you can develop a mobile marketing strategy that reaches customers and boosts sales both online and in person.

Your Opt-In Texting Campaign

You need to develop an opt-in campaign that allows you to send marketing text messages to your customer base. Customers sign up, either in store, through a text, or through email. Once they opt-in, you are allowed to send text messages. The messages must contain language that makes it clear how to stop receiving messages to comply with regulations. You can send customers texts about time-limited deals, send links to your blog content, and offer insider information to your business through text messages.

Make Sure Your Website is Ready for Mobile Use

How your website is designed matters. Optimizing your website for use on mobile devices is essential when you are trying to improve your mobile marketing strategy. There’s no point of getting customers to visit your website if it isn’t easy to navigate on a mobile device.

Develop an App for Your Business

Smartphone users love apps when it comes to interacting with a business. For example, opening up a Dunkin Donuts app, the customer can drive up to the window, order a coffee, and then pay just by having the app on their phone scanned. This makes purchases for the consumer easier using their mobile devices. It takes time, effort and money to develop an app for your business, but the payout is worth it.

Allow Shoppers to Pay With Mobile Devices

When you make paying for your goods and services easier on your customers, they aren’t going to go somewhere else to make the same purchase. This means you need to set up a way to accept mobile payments. This is done by finding a payment processor that can accept payments on behalf of your business for a nominal fee. Look around to find the right provider for your specific needs.

Engage on Social Media Platforms

When you want your mobile marketing strategy to work, you have to engage on social media. Facebook, the number one social media platform, offers businesses a variety of tools to engage with potential customers. You will need to build up a base of followers, but also provide relevant content to your followers. Whether you create links to your blog, or you have great deals you want to share, they won’t mean anything if the posts aren’t seen by anyone. To engage your customer base, ask thought provoking questions, reply to all comments, and be mindful of what you share on a daily basis. Keep changing up your strategies and try different deals to see what works.

Author Biography:

Joel Lee

Joel Lee is the SEO marketing specialist at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their coordinated marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms.

Authority and Reputation Positioning

Authority and Reputation Positioning

Establishing yourself as an authority within your industry allows you to pave the way for industry developments, rather than following in others’ footsteps. At one point, the leading industry authority may have been the business with the biggest ad budget. A prospective customer 30 years ago may have flipped through the yellow pages and settled with the first listed company. With the rise of the Internet, it’s become increasingly difficult to create customer trust and loyalty.

An industry authority holds a unique type of responsibility that exceeds simply having expert knowledge. Their wisdom is specialized and personalized, allowing them to make decisions to move the industry in a specific direction.

Being an authority in your industry gives you credibility.

According to Zipf’s Law, consumers’ verbalized preference of a brand directly correlates with their actual buying habits. They’ll intentionally narrow their possible choices of a brand until there are a couple preferred products. In other words, the companies which have established enough rapport will be the competitors who remain. Lesser known brands will no longer be the choice of consumers. If your company is the one they think of when they think of that industry, it will be the one that customers continue to go to.

Developing this trust is vital because it turns one-time customers into lifetime customers. Loyalty creates shorter sales cycles by reducing any doubt or worry potential clients may have about working with you, and develops long-term relationships that develop a consistent revenue stream. In essence, authority leads to brand recognition, and in turn, profitability.

There a few steps you can take to becoming an authority in your industry:

  • Develop a specialization. Companies that have a specific niche focus have a specific client focus. Specialization allows you to personally cater to clients.
  • Choose the right channels of communication. Understanding the demographic of your audience will allow you to better know where they’re getting their information from and develop a relationship with them. What social media sites do they use most? Do they respond better to videos or images?
  • Understand what your clients value. Knowing the age of your target audience is one thing, but understanding their behavior is just as important. Creating a psychographic profile your audience will help you provide a product or service that they value.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. As an authority, you’re not following the status quo. You’re setting it, allowing others in your industry to follow your lead.
  • Address industry changes openly. Be innovative; being an authority in your industry isn’t going to come from doing what every other company is doing.

Studies have shown time and time again that when bombarded with choices, customers will go with the product brand they’re familiar with. In the same way that a customer in a grocery store will pick up the Heinz ketchup bottle because they recognize the brand, your customers will rely on the authority in your industry. Developing trust and establishing yourself as an authority is key to building customer loyalty.

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Advertisements today can be overwhelming to consumers. Especially in the last decade as advertising has come to focus upon online consumerism, customers are constantly bombarded with popups for the latest and greatest products. The negative response to this shift in marketing has led to a need for innovative and unique technologies that avoid overwhelming consumers while still reaching an audience. Indoor location technologies, such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons, is one of these innovative designs.

What are BLE Beacons?

Bluetooth Beacons are wireless devices that draw attention to a specific location, within a finite space. A clear example of a beacon is a lighthouse: its light draws attention from offshore ships, letting the ships know their distance from the lighthouse and the shore. Bluetooth Beacons do the same thing in a virtual environment, allowing brick-and-mortar businesses to send out signals to mobile devices in the immediate area.

Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons, also known as Bluetooth 4.0, are just as their name suggests. They do the same thing in practice while maintaining low energy consumption.

How do BLE Beacons work?

The wireless device draws attention to its location by periodically putting out a radio signal. This radio signal consists of a small packet of data, usually advertisements. A beacon at a sports store, for example, might periodically send signals for current deals on hiking boots. Compatible mobile devices within close proximity to the beacon (usually about 100 meters) would then receive those advertisements, triggering applications to prompt responses like push messages or actions.

Why use a BLE Beacon?

Bluetooth Beacons, in general, allow businesses to deliver highly contextualized and personalized advertisements to their customers. Unlike other indoor location technologies such as GPS and NFC, Beacons are hyper-localized and specified for indoor environments. This means that the customer isn’t going to get advertisements for every store in the mall, but they also don’t need to be standing directly next to a product to receive an advertisement.

BLE Beacons also cost 60-80% cheaper than classic Bluetooth Beacons (although classic Bluetooth is recommended for more complex applications). Their low-energy consumption allows them to last much longer than the classic Bluetooth Beacon. The BLE Beacon stays in sleep mode unless it is actively configuring a connection, so it can last up to 3 years on one coin-cell sized battery.

Who benefits from using BLE Beacons?

Both Classic Bluetooth and BLE Beacons can be beneficial to a company. Classic Bluetooth can handle larger amounts of data, but BLE Beacons are ideal for transmitting advertisements to applications that periodically use small amounts of data. This, in addition to their low-energy consumption and cheaper cost, means that small businesses may benefit from using a BLE model over classic Bluetooth location technology.

The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon technology increased by $40 million between 2015 and 2016. The benefit of being able to personalize advertisements to customers continues to appeal to businesses, and it’s expected that 4.5 million beacons will be active by 2018.

What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

The emphasis of digital marketing has continually shifted over the past three decades. For the last few years, our industry has been consumed by content marketing. Now, a marketing shift toward influencer marketing has grasped our collective attention. The product or service is falling subordinate to the salesman’s sales-pitch.

Influencer marketing relies on the individual’s popularity or reputation to draw market share to a company’s bottom line. A person’s online persona can sway the choice of thousands of followers in an instant. Their popularity enforces the value of the product, encouraging followers and fans to buy the product. If a consumer finds the influencer enticing, often all that is needed is a simple Tweet to bend a market.

The rise in social media has created a far stronger illusion of intimacy between big names and average people. Instead of relying on traditional media, consumers can go directly to a politician’s Facebook page, or see pictures of a celebrity’s child on Instagram. This direct connection between influencer and follower deceives the follower to trust an influencer in the same way that they might trust a friend or family member. Influencer marketing offers a new type of digital and mobile advertisement that appears far more organic and natural.

Goals when engaging influence marketers:

  • Plan in advance. The use of influencers requires research and focus. A scattered, shotgun approach to marketing runs contrary to the use of influencers.
  • Be strategic in your selection of individuals. Each influencer has a specific audience that follows specific individuals. Each audience has its own habits and tastes. Select a palette of influencers to facilitate your goals.
  • Allow the influencer to use his or her own voice. Influencers have a following because of their brand; they speak with their own voice. This is why you hire them. Let them do their job.

Influencer marketing allows the company to step deeply into the consumer’s circle of trust. In the same way that we are more likely to listen to a good friend, consumers rely on social media to construct their reality. As marketers take hold of this opportunity, consumers become less hostile and more accepting of endorsement by influences.

If you want guidance selecting the elements of you next marketing campaign, contact Colure’s advisory team.

Big Data Analyitics

Big Data Analyitics

The recent digital explosion has not just been limited to devices and mobile applications. The analysis of large sets of digital data is now more important than ever. The growth and practicality of digital analytics in recent years has made it more accessible for companies to take the leap into data mining.

Big data analytics allows you to assess large sets of raw data to reveal patterns, trends, unknown correlations, industry trends, consumer preferences and other valuable sets of information. You can take that valuable information and use if to generate new revenue, better service, and improved efficiency. Big data is very important because it can give companies the edge they need to give them a leg up on the competition. Leveraging data-driven strategies will lead to increased competition and innovation.

With Big Data, companies can acquire more in-depth knowledge about how their business operates, which in return can lead to improved performance and decision making. If you want to know the quantity sold of a particular product or service, you can track that with big data. If you want to know which products did not perform well you can track that with big data. If you want to the particular demographic of who bought your product or service, you can track that with big data. The possibilities are becoming endless. Amazon has been using big data to take their business to the next level.

The online retailer has been using big data to extract large amounts of data on consumer names, addresses, payments, and search inquiries. They also use this information to improve customer relations. Netflix has also used data analytics to find ways to improve their entertainment streaming service. They have an abundance of data that they use to provide insight when it comes to analyzing the viewing behavior of their subscribers giving them information n what content they should pursue and in which markets, both domestically and internationally.

To get ahead of the competition you have to understand where you are as a company and know how your company stacks up against the industry leaders. Big data analysis gives companies that opportunity to close that gap and create leverage for themselves. Big data, provides insight your market, your clients, and yourself.

Consumer-Generated Content

Consumer-Generated Content

There is probably no greater assurance in life than human testimony. Seeing someone providing support for a product or service you’re considering may be all you need to make a final purchase decision. If you take a look around, user-generated content is everywhere. Content created by actual consumers is becoming the go-to method to increase customer loyalty. The first-person narrative is quickly becoming a primary marketing channel.

This technique, coupled with the growth and effectiveness of social media interaction, is a deadly combination. This method gives businesses the ability to pass the brand-building responsibilities to the consumer. The purchase cycle begins with the customer and ends with another client. Why create external content when original user-generated content is available?

This new advantage leans on the customer’s interest to hear more views of people who were once in their position. The direction selected by those and have had a positive outcome with a particular product or service.

The more convincing a user can be in their first-person content, the more enriching the experience will be for the customer who is receiving that message. Satisfaction can come from of a picture filled with joy & commitment, a story with an excellent description, or an experience filled with uncontrollable emotion. Comfort can come in many forms, as long as it is a testimony that inspires your users to investigate an innocent way to brand your business.Close to 60% of retailers and 61% of brands are using consumer generated content in their social media campaigns. The most efficient campaigns focus on these five principles:

  • They concentrate on the basics
  • They stay in it for the long run
  • They listen to the customer
  • They let the customers share their story
  • They allow everyone to be a stakeholder

86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indication of the quality of a brand. Let’s help each other and share the experience.

If you need guidance to cross that bridge from one customer to the next, contact our Development Team.

Exploring the consumer purchasing journey

Exploring the consumer purchasing journey

The traditional purchase decision process has been transformed into the new buying decision journey. What used to be a narrow funnel of steps taken by the customer to reach an investment decision, has evolved into a circular path that takes into account diverse consumer experiences. The purchase decision journey has been compressed, but this compression does not mean that the trip is now simpler. In fact, it means just the opposite due to today’s technology that has evolved within the purchasing cycle. It is a series of consumer experiences, without a defined beginning or endpoint.

The purchase decision journey described by McKinsey begins with consideration, followed by evaluation, then enters the continuous cycle, also known as the loyalty loop. The components of the circuit include the purchase, experience, advocacy, and the bond, which will lead back to the acquisition. The cycle will repeat in a never ending circle, until the consumer leaves. A marketer’s goal is to lock the customer into the loyalty loop. To do this, marketers have to forget about traditional strategies and now must proactively personalize the consumer’s next step in the purchase decision journey.

The mission has changed for consumers and companies. For consumers, McKinsey proposes that the systematic narrowing of the initial consideration set no longer occurs. This is a result of businesses taking advantage of the purchase decision journey. Many companies who understand the buying decision journey have eliminated the steps of consideration and evaluation that consumers would typically undergo. Marketers can optimize competitive advantage by using automation, proactive personalization, and contextual interaction throughout the journey to create and maintain loyal customers.

Advertising and promotion alone cannot suffice with the recent purchase decision journey in existence. To reach success, companies must come to this realization and work toward innovation. As the presence and utilization of marketing, media expands, companies’ approaches must change to reach the consumer before the journey begins. The efforts of marketers do not stop there; it is necessary for them to continue to engage with the customer throughout the cycle to create a personalized experience.

Lastly, communication has shifted into a conversation. Originally, marketers were the sole communicators and consumers were the receivers. A relationship between marketer and consumer has now formed because of the presence of two-way conversation that replaced one-way communication.

The path of the consumer purchase decision is no longer a process that comes to an end. Rather, it is an endless journey. Where the buyer steps on or steps off is unknown. What is known is that the marketer can no longer take the consumer for granted.

Advertising and the Olympic Games

Advertising and the Olympic Games

The 2016 Olympic Games are upon us. This year, Rio de Janeiro plays host to the world’s finest athletes. They have converged upon Brazil to discover who is the best-of-the-best. While this venue remains the largest stage for national pride, corporations have established a long history using these games to highlight their dominance in the advertising marketplace.

The history of these games date back as far as 776 BC, but the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 AD, appropriately in Athens, Greece. There, we saw the Olympic Games generating revenue through advertising for the first time.

Traditionally, the rules surrounding the relationship between athletes and advertisers were quite tight. During the Rio Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has provided more breathing room for advertisers. As a result of the negative feedback from athletes, regarding the advertising restrictions during the 2012 London Olympic Games, the IOC revised the restrictions contained in IOC Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter.

According to Rule 40, “except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer, or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture, or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games”. The rule was established to prevent over-commercialization, protect official Olympic sponsors, and focus on the athletes performances, not ads. Under Rule 40, only official sponsors had complete ownership of advertising during the Games. In addition, athletes were banned from tweeting or publicly mentioning their unofficial sponsors.

The Rule 40 revision still bars athletes from posting about their sponsors but allows unofficial sponsors to feature their sponsored athletes in ad campaigns during the Games. However, the ads cannot mention Olympic terminology. These terms include Olympics, Rio, summer, medal, victory, gold/silver/bronze, and performance.

Yet to qualify for these changes, U.S. athletes and unofficial sponsors had to submit waivers to the United States Olympic Committee by January 2016. In addition, the ads must have been in-market by March 27, 2016; for unofficial sponsors, this can be a problem. In order to stay relevant to the Games, those campaigns had to start in March and keep circulating until August. That can get extremely costly for brands, especially for small businesses.

Big corporations, like McDonald’s, Samsung, and Visa are all Rio official sponsors. These official sponsorships can cost as much as $200 million. This limited list of big brand sponsorships hold contracts with a select, few Olympians. The restrictions imposed by Rule 40 may do damage to the lesser-known athletes who don’t have as much recognition as other competitors.

During the Olympics, athletes tend to be at their earnings peak. Without being able to fully leverage their Olympian status, athletes cannot financially capitalize upon their global publicity. The Rule 40 change has allowed athletes and sponsors to think creatively on how to market themselves in ways that comply with the restrictions.

Under Armour, an unofficial sponsor, sponsors 250 Olympic athletes. The brand created a widely circulated ad with Michael Phelps that has been airing throughout the Olympics. The ad revolves around Phelps swimming to a song with the lyrics “the last goodbye”. The ad alludes to Phelps last Olympics while promoting the Under Armour brand. With Phelps’ Olympic prominence, it doesn’t matter that the ad is not an Olympic sponsored ad. The ad exudes Olympic undertones.

Although official sponsorships can use the Olympic ring logo and terminology, if an ad has a prominent Olympian people will think of the Olympics. Now that unofficial sponsors can now run ads with Olympians during the Olympic Games, the value of official sponsors may be devalued. With everyone on a more evenly leveled playing field, each marketing campaign fiercely competes to capture the consumers’ attention.

Social media marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing (SMM)

Business Basics

Every hour of every day, social media allows people to consistently create and share information. This constant interaction has driven companies to fully embrace social media as a vital marketing tool. It aids them in displaying their products; manufacturers connect with their returning and future customers. With over 2.3 billion active social media users, a company’s robust, social media presence will continue to solidify the company’s earnings.

Social media marketing (SMM) allows companies to market their brand on social media sites to increase traffic to their websites and stores. The goal of social media marketing is to raise brand awareness on a platform that the customer uses daily. By displaying ads on a site, home screens, or creating a company page with updates, customers are repeatedly exposed to the company profile and products. If the customer likes what the company has to offer, the customer is likely to share videos, images, ads, and articles about the enterprise. This media span reaches potential clients who have not seen the brand’s web presence. SMM allows companies to increase their brand recognition and draw in, as well as retain, customers.

Shoe manufacturer TOMS saw a huge boost in their brand recognition with their #withoutshoes campaign on Instagram. In 2015, Toms designated one day a year as “One Day Without Shoes Day.” Each year on that designated day, the company asks users to post one barefoot photo on Instagram with the hashtag #withoutshoes. For each post, one pair of shoes is donated by TOMS to a child in need. Not only did the campaign rapidly spread, but TOMS also established itself as a socially conscious driven brand. This type of savvy promotion allows customers to feel that their photo contribution and any purchase of TOMS shoes will add to a larger, positive impact on the company.

As seen in the TOMS campaign, social media marketing can increase web traffic, raise brand awareness, and broaden audience bases. Camera manufacturer GoPro frequently uses their Instagram account to show the quality of their product. GoPro extensively uses user-generated content for its Instagram page. Besides their company photos, GoPro encourages users to send in pictures of their best shots with their GoPros. This type of social media marketing not only promotes their product but helps customers to consistently use their GoPros and send in their photos with hopes of being featured on the account.

The prominence of social media in society has created a strong personalized sense of marketing. The life-blood of social media is built upon allowing people to create and share information with others. By marketing brands through ideas, social media allows people to be exposed to products they may not find elsewhere. This type of industry is not bound by a geographical location nor an allotted time slot; it is readily available. Whether the appeal comes from an ad, company page, or a friend’s referral, social media marketing is essential in staying relevant in peoples’ lives.

Programmatic Native Advertising

Programmatic Native Advertising

We’ve all had the experience of mobile pages loading almost instantly, littered with gaping holes in the text. After a few seconds, we see those holes filled by an advertisement that finally drops into place. A significant reason for this lag-time is the different file types used to create those mobile pages. Often times, when that ad finally appears, it may not quite “fit” the page.

By its very nature, mobile content has to be powerful. It needs to be nimble on delivery. To meet the needs of the mobile user experience (UX), Google created the open-source format, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Their end-purpose is to load mobile data quickly regardless of the mobile platform.

Users expect close to an immediate load, but studies show that “an alarming 77% of (mobile) publisher’s today, their web pages take more than 10 seconds to load…and the average is actually 19 seconds.” The same studies show that publisher’s “who can deliver this content in five seconds or less earn twice as much (search volume) as those at the average point.”
Paul Muret VP, Display, Video & Analytics, Google

Google announced the AMP format in December 2015; soon mobile screens were rapidly filled with new content. This covered the main content of the mobile pages. Unfortunately, the advertisements were still left dragging with a format that took longer to load, thus creating the gaping holes.

The solution was Google’s release this month of AMP for Ads. This format allows for advertising content to load at the same rate as the page content. Google also announced AMP for landing pages. This way, all mobile content is delivered seamlessly without the time gaps.

What about the mobile UX?

This technology translates to a cleaner transmission of page elements. But how do you tackle the issue of merging content, context, and UX? The answer is the Programmatic Native Advertisement in their DBM (DoubleClick Bid Manager). In short, Google has created an environment where advertisements are built from scratch to maximize each individual page load.

Before now, the artwork for a mobile ad was selected from amongst three or four established graphics previously built by a graphic artist. As an ad was called up, the best fitting graphic was chosen for that request/platform. Now, when an advertisement is requested to fill a unique audience/seller/publisher combination, the ad is crafted from scratch to fill that request. Each of the elements of those artworks is individually uploaded. The computer decides the best selection, configuration, and layout of those separate elements, relative to the audience. This programmatic approach allows for a fluid display of content across all campaigns and platforms.

Think of it this way – currently, a graphic artist may use a graphic design program to craft a polished graphic. That artwork may consist of 30 or 40 layers of visual elements. When they’re finished, a couple of polished elements are presented as options dependent upon the needs of the ad. Now imagine taking a collection of those graphic elements and tossing them all into a bowl. Programmatic Native Advertisement will select a specific cluster of those elements to create a new graphic, for each page load. The ad will be built to fill the screen, platform, size, device, all built in context to the user.

The beauty in this development is not so much the uniform data transfer rates, as it is the context in which the advertisements are experienced. The ad’s form and function will be subordinate to the mobile user experience (UX). This technology adds a unique flexibility to advertisements in the mobile universe. Gone are the days of guessing how to best craft your mobile message. If you have questions about addressing your audience, contact Colure’s development team.

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Technology that helps to improve fitness is continuously growing and expanding. The goal of many of these apps or devices is to transfer information seamlessly from the physical world into an app. This particular niche has proven to be a goldmine. The wearable technology industry is projected to be worth $34 billion by 2020. Tracking is currently a large component of these technologies. By providing the ability to track steps, flights climbed, and calories burned, the fitness technology provides detailed insight into a wearer’s life and fitness habits. From there, the wearer can improve or maintain fitness levels.

This booming industry could be either an opportunity or a threat of independence to traditional gyms and fitness clubs. One fitness club, Equinox, took the opportunity when Apple and Nike released HealthKit. The fitness chain engineered its own digital platform with Apple. Personal trainers could now access customer’s accurate data to tailor fitness programs to the customer’s needs.

One non-traditional fitness app made by a gaming company boosted their net worth by 7.5 billion dollars. The company, Nintendo, created the app Pokemon Go with Niantec and the Pokemon Company. This app features the use of a smartphone’s GPS and camera system to make a highly interactive game. The player must walk around in the real world to move their virtual avatar in the game. The avatar will randomly encounter Pokemon. Then the app uses the camera to place the creature as if it is in your “real” environment. You also need to take a certain amount of steps to achieve accomplishments. The Pokemon franchise is so huge and well known that players of all ages download the game. Many users reported that the game is helping them boost their fitness since walking is a necessary component of playing the game.

All this tracking and fitness apps and technology creates a jackpot for mobile advertisers who use data. Since most use GPS, companies can get a detailed look at the lives of their consumers. Additionally, they can receive information about your general state of wellness, health conditions, diet, etc. from these apps. All this data could be sold to create more detailed advertisements, similarly to the online data tracking that already exists. This may be an issue of privacy for many. Others may enjoy having advertisements that are more relevant to their needs and wants.

The fitness technology industry is exploding with growth. Companies who take advantage of this trend will have a potential to reap major benefits. Contact Colure’s mobile advertising team to provide a solid go to market plan for your next mobile app.