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Social Customer Era

I was talking to a friend who works with Juniper Networks sometime ago and he was talking about how his company is building up the Application Infrastructure, Network Infrastructure etc. He was giving me a heads up on how things are converging. He also told me how it is essential to identify someone [read customer] through his device and publish relevant content. The device may be a desktop, a wifi enabled laptop, may be a mobile phone, a smart phone, may be a tablet and a host of other devices [may even be an IP TV].

The idea is to get the customer hooked on to your brand. We know any Enterprise has multiple brands – Customer Brand, Employer Brand, Supplier Brand and so on. In each of these markets the Enterprise has to excel. Today, the Customer eco system has evolved much and the Customer is the center of all actions in an Enterprise. And the Customer can contact your Organization through any device or through any media – the traditional phone call, email, Social Media, Your Corporate Website, through your Partner Website, Search Engine etc. You should have an eco system to not only capture “him” but also serve him the way he expects to be served.

Today’s customers are really smart. It is not just sufficient to keep them happy. It is essential to keep them engaged always. You can use a host of tools to keep him engaged. Think of occasional email, social media, blogs, wikis, podcasts, webinars and more.

Upgrade your Systems to meet the expectations and further delight him.

Welcome to Social Customer Era.

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Life Time Value [LTV] of a Customer

Are you maximizing your revenue potential with your clients? Are you extending your Customer Life Cycle? Are you able to acquire net new clients, retain them and most importantly are you able to improve your profitability? Are you engaging your clients enough to drive their buying behaviour and get their mind share? Are you able to sustain that engagement? Are you using digital tools and technologies to improve your customer engagements and customer relationships? Is your Organization customer centric? Are your customers loyal to your brand? What are you doing to build their trust and confidence in you?

In essence, have you measured the Life Time Value of each of your customers and worked towards improving the relationship to increase that Life Time Value ?

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Email Marketing Campaigns

In case you are running email marketing campaigns for your company:

Do you profit enough from your email marketing campaigns? Is your email marketing campaign delivering the desired results? Are you ensuring that your email is delivered to the inbox and not to the junk folders? Are you able to track the click through open rates [CTOR] and conversion rates? Do you know which days in the week are best suited to execute your email marketing campaigns?

Are you able to integrate your marketing campaigns and results with your CRM? What email metrics and web analytics you wish are available to you? Do you use smart tools to manage your PPC Campaigns or Search Marketing? Do you wish you had an integrated tool to run all your marketing campaigns – email marketing, web, search engine marketing, social media marketing and also analyze the results so that you fine tune your next campaign for better ROI ?

These campaigns help in Identifying, Acquiring and Retaining customers, in the smartest and the most economical way. Period.

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Click Through Rate [ CTR ]

How often your email is deleted without being opened? What is the open rate? Do you measure the open rates? If you can analyze the conversion to open rates, it can help you refine your target segment further. Clients after opening your mail, are they clicking on the links that you have provided in the email? This is measured as click through rate. But still this doesn’t ensure your conversions. Clients may not convert even after clicking. They may even add your products to their shopping cart and leave your site without purchasing  anything. Sometimes, click through rates are high but the conversions aren’t. If you use web analytics with your email marketing campaigns, you will be able to analyze and find the answer for this problem. Segmentation is the key and a good web analytics tool would give you options to segment as well.

Other factors such as the content, creative design of the email message, frequency of your emails, email opt-in process itself, subject line, deliverability of your emails, working links in your message etc also affect your click through rates.

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Landing Page Optimization

What do you do after you get traffic to your website through your email marketing campaigns. You need an attractive landing page to convert that traffic.

Most of the companies that are into online marketing don’t use Landing Page and the links are simply directed to their home page. Primarily most of them don’t realize the importance of Landing Pages and also they don’t have a tool that can help them create a landing page in minutes without any help from IT. When you have a tool that can create a landing page in simple steps such as – create, publish and track, it will be a breeze to design a landing page for every campaign. When you have web analytics tracking code, you will be able to see what these visitors did after they reached the landing page.

You can also personalize the landing page content to each target segment. You can automatically fire email triggers to Send welcome messages, confirmations, reminders, birthday wishes and other transactional messages. Having a landing page and having it attractive and customized [write this down] is very strategic to your business.

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Web Analytics & Data Driven Marketing

Web analytics is the process of analyzing the behaviour of website visitors. The effective use of Web analytics enables a business to attract more visitors, improve the experience of Website visitors, retain or attract new customers and increase the dollar volume each customer spends.

It is not sufficient if you just track only open rates and unsubscribe rates of your email campaigns if your goal is to improve business for your company. You should be able to track average time each visitor spends on your site, the exit rate of visitors, where visitors left your site and where they lingered, and the pages they visited after the landing page etc.

Benefits of Web Analytics includes but not limited to:

  1. Better and Robust ROI tracking – Your email drives visitors to landing pages on your Website, and your analytics tool will see your email campaign and follow the visitor throughout their visit and purchase. Then, these email campaigns can be directly associated with costs, revenue, and conversions from your visitors and you will be able to determine the ROI of each email marketing campaign with greater precision.
  2. Better email creative – Based on analysis on the positioning of links and the results you will be able to understand which positions in the body of your email are profitable and which are not.
  3. Effective targeting of prospects – Let the Web analytics reports drive your content and offers. If your products are just sitting in a prospect’s shopping cart without a “checkout”, send your prospect an email offering a coupon to incent purchase.
  4. Integration with other sources of information – you can design a special offer to those who have purchased twice in the last one year and also have referred five friends to your site.
  5. Improved diagnosis of problems – For example, an email campaign might have a great click-through rate but a poor conversion rate. Segment that campaign and look at navigation to determine why visitors were distracted or why they did not make a purchase and make a special offer to those customers.

Data Driven Marketing is performed by basing the decision on data and not on someone’s “gut feel” and the benefits of it includes:

  1. Learn how to measure and maximize the ROI of your online marketing programs and Web site
  2. Improve conversion rates
  3. Identify online revenue-enhancing opportunities

Save on the cost of customer support by improving your site design using data-driven analysis.

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E-mail Marketing

The runaway success of social media is great news for us as marketers. Social Media has the potential to engage your customers like never before. And Email Marketing is still one of the best options to engage your customers. Email from a trusted source get higher open rates; faster, better response rates; and quicker conversions and higher ROI. Hence you need to have a Social Media Strategy in place if you are interested in connecting with and engaging existing customers and finding new customers through the existing customers.

Your email marketing campaigns should have the ability to enable your recipients to post your message across many social media platforms such as – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr etc. Social Media helps you to expand the reach and maximizes the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, it provides a better way to engage with the customers and get feedback, it improves Search Engine Optimization [SEO].

It builds your brand, drives your website traffic, helps you to build your opt-in list organically and last but not the least it offers a fresh perspective on customer service and loyalty.

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Pay Per Click [or Search Engine Marketing or SEM]

Smart PPC Management is the need of the hour.

PPC or pay per click is the most discouraging forms of online marketing. You would be competing on thousands of keywords without knowing which ones are worthy.

You need a tool that can save your precious time and simplify your search marketing by running all your Google and Yahoo! campaigns from a single interface without logging in to multiple websites and different interfaces. The tool should help you grow your revenue by quickly discovering high ROI keywords and find relevant keywords without having the need to log in to multiple keyword suggestion tools. The tool should have the built-in keyword research that delivers more relevant suggestions that the free tools offered by search engines.

PPC Optimization feature is essential in such a tool. The tool should be able to quickly spot problems and should be able to monitor, measure and check in order to achieve more effective PPC management. The tool should also tell you which keywords work and which ad creatives work.

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Digital Marketing Campaign

Today the marketers who use integrated digital marketing tools are successful. First, let us talk about online marketing Vs offline marketing. Marketers know and say that half of their marketing dollars is wasted. But in offline marketing, they don’t get to know which half is wasted. This problem has been fixed in online marketing. Marketers can get to know which half is wasted and hence fine tune their next campaign accordingly. The other reason to move to online marketing is because that is where most people are.

You can be called a Data Driven Marketer if you use data to base your decision instead of your gut feel. Using Web Analytics, you will be able to gather data on how people interact with your campaigns and website and you can use this information to drive better performance.

Your Online marketing tools essentially should have the following features:

  1. Should be able to drive traffic to your website using a email marketing solution
  2. Should be able to monitor and improve email deliverability
  3. Should be able to nurture leads and gain conversions through personalized follow-up campaigns using dynamic content according to the demographic attribute of the clients or the site behaviour of the clients and visitors.
  4. Manage and optimize your pay-per-click advertising campaigns from a single interface.
  5. Maximize conversions by developing dynamic and personalized landing pages.
  6. Analyze and refine your online marketing campaigns with deep and real-time reporting.
  7. From the start of the email campaign or a click on the ad campaign till the conversion on your website, the data needs to be integrated.
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Positioning

In an overcrowded market, it would be difficult to position a product or a service unless you stand out with a unique communication strategy addressing your target market. The communication should create a niche for your product or brand in the minds of the clients. Let us get the facts straight. If there is a market leader we need to acknowledge it first. Then we should relate to the market leader on how your product or brand is different in spite of not being the market leader. Enough and more examples can be discussed how you can relate to the market leader and still make an impression with the clients. Clients usually remember the market leaders and if you can create a niche for your brand and relate it to the market leader, you have more or less achieved your goal. After all, clients need an alternative to the ones they are used to for a variety of reasons. The reasons would differ for a consumer market and a Business to Business market. Ultimately, it is possible to create a niche for your brand if you do soul searching and come out with that Unique Selling Point [USP] why at all clients need to buy your product or brand. May be since you are not a market leader, you would work harder [which is good for the clients], you would be flexible [which means you can customize], you can be a trusted partner [while the market leader is busy acquiring new clients, expanding markets, launching new products] etc.