Archive | August, 2013

State of Marketing #5: Authenticity Matters

Brands are used to delivering messages, but in today’s digital world where billions of independent social readers exist, marketing requires more. People inherently want a human voice to converse with as part of a brand’s outreach team.

End of Summer: Back to school

There are several dates wich marketeers can put down in their agenda for years ahead. Xmas, New Year and the start of the schoolyear. Now the summer is nearing it’s end the last one comes into sight. AdGooroo knows that this is a keydate. They know the whole world is going back to school and in need of schoolsupplies.

Since everybody is buying online now-a-days they decided to research wich search key-word is most popular and had the most revenue.

“Textbooks” was the top back-to-school paid search keyword last summer for both spend ($829,857) and impressions (18,866,205). The second most popular keyword, “school supplies,” had nearly as many impressions as “textbooks” (17,300,378) but a fraction of the spend ($153,625), reflecting the higher price (and profit margins) of college and high school textbooks compared with general school supplies such as pencils and notebooks.

Below, additional key findings from the study, which examined the performance of 318 back-to-school terms in July and August 2012 on the US Google AdWords and Yahoo Bing networks.

Top Back-to-School Keywords

“School uniforms” was the third most popular back-to-school paid search keyword. “Used textbooks” was fourth, and “soccer cleats” was fifth.

Check the list and see how you can score a big hit this year.

 

 

State of Marketing #4: PR is Marketing!

The lines between PR and marketing have completely blurred. Moving forward as part of marketing, PR’s combined mission is building brand and helping corporations achieve all of their functions, from product development to HR.

How to do more Marketing with the same Budget

All marketing practitioners are seeking ways to save money and get a bigger bang for their budget buck. How to do that isn’t at all obvious. But, sometimes, the answer can be staring you in the face!

No. 1: Seek opportunity in adversity

Inertia, complacency, and overconfidence are your inner demons. Get rid of them. They’ll cost you money. Reading the writing on the wall, on the other hand, is a great place to start to save money.

Too many marketers pay insufficient attention to the early warning signs of big shifts in demographics, technology, and regulation. As a result, they miss out on a great opportunity to proactively innovate to take advantage of those shifts.

Turn adversity on its head and get it to work in your favor. The key is to translate challenges into opportunities (glass half full…) and use constraints to spur innovation (necessity as mother of invention…).

No. 2: Do more with less

Being resourceful in a resource-scare world should be second nature. But it isn’t.

You don’t necessarily need a multimillion-dollar budget. In fact, some of the most successful in our industry are those able to get more from less by applying frugality to every activity they perform. They tend to work for organizations that are efficient, and by that I mean they are frugal in how they design products, how they produce them, how they deliver them, and how they perform after-sales or after-care.

Their frugality shows up not only in their parsimonious use of capital and natural resources but also in how they maximize their limited time and energy. Rather than driving everything themselves, which can be very costly, they rely extensively on partners and collaborators to perform various operations, saving resources, time ,and money.

Try to reuse and combine rather than create something new from scratch.

No. 3: Think and act flexibly

Try walking across a road in Mumbai, India. You’ll make it to the other side only if you’re prepared to think and act flexibly! And there’s no point thinking the Highway Code (Rules of the Road) is going to be your savior when you’re behind the wheel. It won’t. Linear thinking won’t always help. The same is true in our industry.

Western brand owners and their leaders often operate in a black-and-white world that confers a sense of predictability to the order of things. For example, competitors are bad and partners are good; regulations are typically bad for business whereas protectionist policies are good; and although some brand owners may like doing good as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives, they worry primarily about doing well financially.

Yet such binary thinking that’s anchored in deep-seated assumptions prevents brand owners from reconciling priorities, a process that could yield creative, innovative, and highly cost-effective marketing solutions. The sheer diversity, volatility, and unpredictability of global markets demand that we be flexible. Inflexibility will result in failure and a waste of resources.

We must think laterally, out of the box. We must experiment and improvise.

No. 4: Keep it simple

In the developing world, consumers are put off by complexity. Complicated and elaborate communication is costly and can be a distraction. In the Western hemisphere, we seem obsessed with everything being bigger and brighter. We often get seduced by the power of technology. The world beyond 2013 won’t be like that.

Consumers are down-shifting and opting for simpler, more meaningful lives. Brand owners that respond to these attitudes, values, beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors will benefit in the long run.

No. 5: Use the Web

Being part of the community, being yourself, being transparent, being a great listener and a genuine problem solver build trust, and the fastest way to do so with the biggest community of like-minded people is via the Web.

No. 6: Avoid dependency relationships with external agencies

The only practical way to do this is to be focused on outcomes, not just outputs. Share the learning of triumphs and mistakes. By making a commitment to triple-loop learning, you’ll save a fortune in the long run as the agencies won’t suggest strategies that don’t work and you won’t blow a big fat hole in your budget finding out. Learn as you go.

No. 7: Spend less than others say you should

Anyone who’s ever been into a car showroom to buy a new or used car will know that having an idea of what you want to spend can evaporate in the presence of a convincing salesperson who knows how to pull emotional levers and customize the product “just for you.”

It’s not just alloy wheels or a nicer in-car entertainment system, but it’s the extended warranty, freedom of not worrying about the gap in resale value when you go to sell the car at the end of the payments period, and other extras’ that all come at a price. You invariably end up with a figure that’s more than the one you started with.

The same is true in our industry, particularly when designing and building a website. Beware of buying extra bells and whistles. Chances are, you don’t need them.

No. 8: Don’t just spend time with people you know; network instead

In our industry, many of us prefer to keep the company of those whom we know. But growth of a commercial enterprise demands networking. For one thing, building a new relationship with a customer or client could unlock marketing and sales opportunities well beyond the spending constraints of those you already know.

Effective communication increasingly depends on word-of-mouth. And the best way to stimulate effective word-of-mouth is to network. And the best bit is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything if you join a relevant social networking group where you are free to exchange thoughts and ideas.

No. 9: Collaborate with your customers and clients for profit

Why use expensive market research to come up with insights and answers to some of the most challenging sales and marketing issues when you can collaborate with your customers and clients and get them to help you design your products and services in the first place? After all, if they like them, they’ll want to buy them.

No. 10: Know your ends from your means

Winston Churchill, one of the greatest statesmen who ever lived, once said: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

The best communication plans and investment in a range of activities will all turn to dust if they don’t deliver the outcomes you’re looking for. Being outcome-focused rather than output-driven means that you know your ends from your means.

And that’s by far the most profitable place to be.

This article is written by Ardi Kolah and is published before on marketingprofs.com

 

How optimizing marketing saves money and increases sales

Optimizing the marketing infrastructure can save up to 20% of the total marketing budget, and achieve an additional 15% sales increase, according to a survey conducted by MRMLOGIQ among 99 marketing professionals in 22 countries.

Key steps to improving the marketing infrastructure are consolidating and standardizing marketing materials and automating campaign management and production processes. The infographic below contains a brief summary of the survey results. The whitepaper is available for download here.

ADAM’s Technical Propositions Explain Critical Marketing Software Attributes

The acquisition and implementation of enterprise-level marketing software entails a substantial commitment of time, energy, and financial resources for any large organization. Marketing and IT leaders who are responsible for selecting such software must consider many factors as they move through the evaluation process. Ultimately, however, the decision comes down to answering two fundamental questions:
  • Does the proposed solution provide the functionality that will meet my company’s current needs and identifiable future needs?
  • Does the proposed solution provide sufficient flexibility to address unpredictable future needs?

It’s relatively easy to determine whether a marketing software solution will meet your company’s current and identifiable future needs. You can collect information about existing marketing requirements and processes, develop a functional specification for the solution, and carefully evaluate the capabilities of alternative offerings.

It’s more difficult to determine whether a software solution has sufficient flexibility to handle unpredictable future needs. This is a critical decision factor because it largely dictates how durable a software solution will be. In this context, durability refers to how long a software solution will meet an organization’s business requirements.

Assessing the ability of a software solution to meet unpredictable future needs is difficult because this capability results primarily from technical features of the software that are not always apparent. In short, the ability of a software solution to address future needs depends largely on how the software is designed and built, on the underlying architecture it uses.

Because of the importance of this issue, we’ve developed a library of resources that describe the technical capabilities that enhance software durability. We call these resources Technical Propositions, and they’re designed to both explain important technical considerations and discuss the business significance of these technical capabilities.

If your organization is currently evaluating marketing software, or if you plan to begin an evaluation process in the near future, our Technical Propositions will provide important insights for your selection process.

So far, we’ve published four Technical Propositions, and we invite you to access these resources via the links provided below:

Power Tools – Pitfall or Potential for Precision

Two of the most valuable purposes of a marketing dashboard are to help the leadership team understand how Marketing is moving the needle in terms of top line revenue, market share, customer value, category ownership, etc., and to provide strategic guidance. However, one of more perplexing findings from the recently completed marketing performance research conducted jointly by Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing is that while marketers have access to more data, leverage more analytics, and invest in more tools and systems than ever before, marketers continue to struggle to prove marketing’s contribution to the business.  While the majority of the marketers in the study indicated they regularly produce and share a dashboard. The same survey, with results from the 400+ marketing and business leaders shows that just 9% of CEOs and 6% of CFOs use marketing data to help make strategic decisions.

So where’s the disconnect? It appears that most marketers participating in the study use their marketing automation (MAP) or sales automation (CRM) systems to create their dashboards.  While helpful, dashboards typically generated by these systems report on marketing activity and associated costs  – email activity, website activity, social media activity, lead activity- rather than reporting on metrics executives can use to set direction.  It’s not that these reports and dashboards are bad; they are valuable when used to support tactical decisions, but if you want your CEO, CFO and other members of the C-Suite to use your dashboard, it must clearly connect marketing investments and initiatives to business outcomes and results.

Read More…

State of Marketing #3: What is marketing

What is Marketing? In the Internet era, consumers don’t have to accept mediocre media and products, breaking the traditional marketing model. Today, marketing is about attracting and engaging people with great products and compelling stories, and getting your audience to talk about you.

How to Save Budget and Increase Sales with Marketing Operations

Optimizing the marketing infrastructure can save up to 20% of the total marketing budget, and achieve an additional 15% sales increase, according to a survey conducted by MRMLOGIQ among 99 marketing professionals in 22 countries.

Key steps to improving the marketing infrastructure are consolidating and standardizing marketing materials and automating campaign management and production processes. The infographic below contains a brief summary of the survey results. The whitepaper is available for download here or contact MRMLOGIQ for more information.

Great Marketing is Global and Local

In a recent post at the Harvard Business Review blog , Jerry Wind, Stan Sthanunathan, and Rob Malcolm argued that great advertising is both local and global. The authors contend that global enterprises have traditionally faced an unattractive trade-off when it comes to advertising. As they put it, “Global brand advertising can rarely reflect the idiosyncratic characteristics of every market, but the alternative – locally designed advertising – often sacrifices a consistent global message and misses out on economies of scale.”

To avoid this trade-off, the blog authors say that enterprises should pursue a glocal advertising strategy, which they define as, “locally adapting a universally embraced core idea that will resonate in any market anywhere in the world.” As an example of effective glocal advertising, the authors described a 13-year advertising campaign used by Johnnie Walker to reinvigorate its Scotch whiskey brand.

The Johnnie Walker campaign was based on the recognition that men around the world, regardless of culture or nationality, want to advance their lives. The creative expression of this theme was “Keep Walking.” This universal theme was localized through the use of inspirational quotes from multiple cultures. For example, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” by Lao Tsu was used in Asia. Over the life of the campaign, more than 100 “local” quotes were used.

The blog authors contend that an effective glocal advertising strategy has three core components:

  • A global concept that embraces a universal human emotion
  • A global brand vision combined with localized creative delivery
  • An organizational architecture (including corporate culture, technology platform, and necessary resources) that facilitates effective collaboration between global and local marketers

In my view, the points made by Wind, Sthanunathan, and Malcolm about advertising apply equally to virtually all aspects of global marketing. Today, multinational enterprises must pursue both global brand consistency and effective localization simultaneously across all marketing tactics and channels.

Coordinating global and local marketing activities is especially important because the Internet largely erases geographical boundaries, making many consumers both global and local. For example, consumers in Japan or India increasingly expect marketing messages and materials that are culturally relevant and appropriate, but those same consumers can also easily access marketing content that is primarily intended for consumers in the US.

I also agree with the blog authors that both organizational culture and technology play critical roles in effective glocal marketing. Enterprises must nurture a close collaboration between marketers in the central marketing department and those in regional or national marketing offices around the world. Enterprises must also deploy the technology systems and tools that will enable geographically dispersed marketers to collaborate easily and efficiently. Without the right technology tools, timely and effective collaboration is all but impossible to achieve.