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Posts Tagged ‘B2C’

Promotional Marketing: How to use promotional marketing to build brand awareness

July 5th, 2016

I’ve gotten the nickname “Coupon Queen,” because I love a good deal. It’s hard for anyone to turn down a 50% off sale from their favorite company. Promotional marketing uses special offers to raise a customers’ interest, to influence a purchase and to even stand out among competitors. As marketers, our main goal is to use tactics like this to boost awareness in order to build the community for our brand.

A few months ago, I wrote a post on building customer experience by looking at event marketing while we prepared for MarketingSherpa Summit. Before getting started with the event marketing process or the launch of your content, the truth is there is a whole production that begins before that. You have to start with your promotional work. As we are now gearing up for MarketingSherpa Summit 2017, I interviewed Erin Fagin, Senior Marketing Manager, MarketingSherpa, on her role with promotional marketing.

Promotional marketing includes advertising, public relations and sales promotion. Whether you want to inform the market, increase demand or differentiate a product, here is an introduction to promotional marketing that can help you drive the traffic that you need for your product.

 

Phase 1. Establish your objective

Erin is responsible for the MarketingSherpa brand, with majority of her focus being on MarketingSherpa Summit. She said this includes the “entire brand perception, experience and voice, and how we are positioning ourselves to our followers and customers.”

As a marketer, the first question you want to ask yourself is, “What are we trying to achieve?”

Everyone’s goals are going to be unique to the company; for example, our main objective is to grow our community. This is where your past can become handy in the future planning process. Take a look at past campaigns and data collected to analyze what previously worked and areas where improvements can afford to be made.

Erin has built a portfolio of ideas that were inspired from past campaigns. However, she strives to involve her team in as much as the process as she can. A collaboration session is key in this step.

 

Phase 2. Build your strategy

Research is the most important asset in your strategy, whether formal or informal. Using that available data on your current or past audience engagement is going to benefit your campaign heavily. Organizing your route to the end goal while showing the value is going to be challenging yet rewarding in the end.

Marketing with internal stakeholders provides the beginning foundation, and external stakeholders can also provide a valuable perspective to the strategy. Here is where the buy-in from those involved comes into play. Your team and leadership has to be convinced to change the nature of the existing or previous strategy to be on-board from the very beginning, because as you move on to the next step, that buy-in is going to be to be crucial.

Budget is a piece to always take into consideration at this stage. If you have the flexibility to share a budget with other departments, utilize the resources to combine efforts to cut costs. With the remaining funds, you may have room to experiment with your strategy.

 

Phase 3. Execute your plan

Three core components in creating this plan to execute are:

  • Clearly defined goals
  • Establishing resources
  • A realistic project plan

Identifying the milestones needed to achieve your goals is going to be the first step. In this marketing optimization post, I walked through steps that similarly tie into building a promotional strategy when improving marketing efforts.

The content messaging is one of the core pieces in your promotional plan. Think about, what you want to say to your customers and how you want them to interpret your content. At the end of the marketing asset, put yourself in the audience’s shoes. How likely are you to be motivated to take action by clicking on the CTA or sharing the information?

In a Buzzstream article, “How to Create a Winning Content Promotion Plan,” Stephanie Beadell presented a well-developed framework to building a successful campaign. What I found thoroughly valuable were the starter questions for marketers to ask during the crafting section:

content-promotion-plan

 

Erin added that she begins by taking a crack at developing the content needed for her promotions and then solicits feedback from her colleagues on the marketing team. The content team is brought in the process as well to copy edit and ensure that the voice of the brand remains consistent. Utilize as many departments as your company has available. You also want to change your copy to reflect where it will be shared, she said, whether with a segmented audience and of course for unique social media channels.

Determining when and where your content is distributed is the final step.

Ensure that you aren’t overwhelming the audience with multiple sends, and map out your promotional periods in advance if you can. Understand your audience and where their motivations are, whether it is through direct mail or email. But don’t be afraid to take risks and test new mediums. Establish how technology can be of assistance as well – can paid search, print ads and retargeting help in your marketing efforts?

When your team comes within reach of the objective or achieves the overall goal, celebrate with your colleagues because your hard work has paid off. Communicate the success with your entire company and internally share the information. And don’t forget to use this promotional marketing strategy you’ve created as a baseline for the next one.

 

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How Integrating Customer Service and Marketing Can Build Successful Consumer Marketing

June 7th, 2016

This week, the MarketingSherpa team is running the official Media Center at the world’s largest ecommerce event – IRCE 2016. We’re interviewing speakers, industry experts and brand-side marketers to bring back ecommerce lessons for you. To get notification when this year’s interviews will be available visit our IRCE 2016 Media Page. Until the videos are up, here’s an interview from last year’s event. 

When you go to a restaurant and your customer experience before the meal arrives is terrible, you’ll most likely refer to that restaurant as being terrible, even if the meal was amazing. Customer service has the power of leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Customer service and marketing now work together more than ever. At the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015, Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, interviewed Katie Laird, Director of Social Marketing, Blinds.com, on how her team was making amazing strides with their customer experience.

Here are a few components to transforming customer service feedback internally to build success in your company.

Read more…

How maurices Increased ROI by the Strategic Use of Omni-channel Marketing

May 27th, 2016

“The real challenge is that the path to purchase isn’t just a single step anymore,” said Ali Wing, Chief Marketing Officer, maurices.

The clothing retailer has addressed this in two ways, Ali said.

  • Putting in place attributions in order to organize which channels receive credit
  • Transitioning analysis of those attributions from a transactional approach to that which includes well-rounded customer data

“We’re attaching customer data so we get a long-term value in understanding the customer we’ve acquired, versus the transaction we just acquired,” said Eric Bibelnieks, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics, maurices.

 

Many marketers struggle in a transition of this nature with understanding which data points are important when it comes to understanding your customers, and Ali has a specific approach that helps her and her team.

“I don’t care as much about absolute precision in any one of the channels. I care about a criterion that I consistently apply and then watch for patterns, because patterns tell us more than the nominal amounts in any one of the channels right now,” she said.

Read more…

Maximizing Multiple Marketing Platforms for Success

May 20th, 2016

After 35 years in the industry, Chinese Laundry, a privately held women’s footwear company, continues to expand its influence season after season.

During Internet Retailer Conference Exhibition (IRCE) 2015, MarketingSherpa’s Courtney Eckerle spoke at the MarketingSherpa Media Center with Scott Cohn, Vice President of Ecommerce, Chinese Laundry.

Scott spoke about how marketers tend to establish processes or utilize platforms that work for specific projects or campaigns, but don’t always think about how it affects our customers.

“The biggest challenge we had is that they [platforms] were perpetually out of sync. So our inventory, pricing and a whole variety of other things that a customer expects to be consistent across channels, just weren’t consistent,” he said.

Whether you are looking to condense your blog platforms to update your content strategy or want to build product awareness, Cohn shared two key takeaways on maximizing multiple marketing platforms:

 

Be on the lookout

When undertaking a technology innovation, how do you begin to think about where you pain points lie?

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Landing Page Optimization: Which ninja turtle is your page?

April 12th, 2016

Turtle SketchAssuming you don’t live in a shell, you have probably seen or heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re the immensely popular superhero group that began as a comic in the 80s, and reached peak popularity in the 90s, and to this day, maintains a cult following with children and adults alike.

Even as fun and interesting as the premise is, we can still ask the question: Why have they stayed so popular over the years?

My take is it’s because of the characters.

The dynamic brothers, consisting of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, have so much variety in their personalities, which allows them to approach problem-solving situations in any multitude of ways. This also allows for a lot of creative freedom on the creators’ end.

Personality is what captures an audience, as well as builds a brand.

Your landing page has, or can have, just as much personality as a character, whether you realize it or not. Below are four different characteristics of landing pages, named after the four different turtles:

  • Leo:  clear, simple, collected, peaceful
  • Raph:  aggressive, loud, attention-grabbing, urgent
  • Donnie:  calm, intelligent, factual, to-the-point
  • Mikey: fun, silly, lighthearted, nonchalant, social

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How to Market Your Event – the Zumba Way

April 5th, 2016

It’s finally here, the moment I’ve been waiting for: ZINCON 2016! The Zumba® Instructor Network Convention has been the talk of the year amongst Zumba instructors worldwide. In our world, it’s the most secretive, yet thrilling, event of the year.

Being a participant in the buildup to this convention reminded me that event marketing is an opportunity to leverage in-person engagement and build relationships with your customer.

In planning, every company’s approach will differ, but your execution has to be tight. Your overall goal is always to make an impact on your customer, and Zumba is a fantastic example of how to do that.  As a new instructor myself, all I’ve heard over the last few months was how valuable and fun ZINCON has been in previous years, which only made me want to Zumba my way there!

ZINCON Navigation

As I went through the process of registering for this event, I wanted to share three tips I found interesting in Zumba’s promotion of this special convention.

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Brand Marketing: 5 tactics to understanding customer experience

February 16th, 2016

Marketing is constantly evolving, because your customers are. It continually begs the question: what is currently working to grow brands?

I interviewed three brand owners from Expedia.com, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Ancestry who are leaders in digital marketing to understand what’s working and what’s not for brand growth currently.

First of all, what is a brand owner? Those who build, grow and sustain brands that reflect their company’s principles, values and value proposition, to ultimately influence consumers to believe in and purchase their product/service.

And these brand owners are definitely feeling the squeeze.

“We all live in a world of limited budgets and need to make those dollars extend as far as possible,” Vic Walia, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Expedia.com, said.

According to Kathi Skow, VP Brand Marketing, Ancestry, “With the measurement tools now available, we can see near real-time results on marketing efforts. But brand marketing’s influence is measured through a more qualitative and longer-term lens, so we’re having find new ways to prove its impact on the business.”

“The biggest challenge is how we are leveraging digital platforms,” Lisa Holladay, Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said.

The top issues facing brand owners right now include:

  • Needing more/better insight from data to understand customer journey
  • Needing better predictive data models for behavior (i.e., who is likely to buy?)
  • Proving the ROI of brand investments with results/data
  • Needing to better connect and communicate with customers
  • Growing new markets/growing outside the U.S.
  • Building trust with customers and overcoming customer skepticism
  • Profiling customers and understanding/influencing their customer journey (use of data)

So what’s working to overcome these issues and help brand owners to grow their brands?

Read more…

How 4 Brands Effectively Responded to Customers

January 8th, 2016

When Cheerios came out with its gluten-free line, social media platforms erupted with Celiac and gluten-intolerant customers celebrating. Perhaps following in the wake of the Chex cereal flavors, Cheerios listened to consumer needs and created a product line to appeal to a very specific subset of customer.

Then the worst thing happened to a brand that had capitalized on being allergen-friendly — customers started getting sick.

It was determined that the way Cheerios was processing its gluten-free grains did not keep them from being cross-contaminated with wheat and oats, resulting in many gluten-free consumers becoming quite ill.

Cheerios GF Cereal

 

Although the brand made a huge mistake in how it was producing the product, this shouldn’t take away from the main effort: a brand listening and responding to consumers. And while Cheerios should have been far more careful, it is important to see a major brand adjusting its product model to try and respond to consumer wants, and then readjust once more when it made a mistake.

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How One B2C Leveraged Social Good to Increase Ecommerce Sales

November 17th, 2015

Introducing a whole new customer segment to your brand can be a challenge for marketers. Especially when your brand transitions from catering solely to professional specialists to the general B2C market. That’s the challenge the team at mybody skincare faced when they were looking to expand from selling to physicians to also selling directly to consumers.

Abby Traister, Vice President of Marketing, and Mike Nelson, Marketing Director of Online, both of mybody skincare, sat down with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, in the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015 to discuss how the company used a combination of social media virality and support for a good cause to introduce this brand to its B2C audience. By supporting a charity that was personally related to mybody skincare’s founder, the company was able to do good while introducing its brand in an authentic way.

According to Abby, mybody skincare had only marketed to physicians prior to March 2015. Around that time, a B2C ecommerce site was introduced but it wasn’t seeing as much traffic as the mybody skincare team wanted. The team then saw an opportunity to combine its dedication to philanthropy to promoting its new product line.

The company’s founder, David Watson, is a chairman on the board for the charitable organization Bring Change 2 Mind, which works to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Because the company had a personal connection to this organization, it decided to partner with Bring Change 2 Mind and donate a percentage of mybody skincare’s new product online sales to support this organization.

“A lot of people wanted to get involved, and so it was a great way to get our products out there in the hands of the consumers who have never heard of us before, drive traffic to our site and help a good cause all at the same time,” Abby said.

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How Ancestry.com Personalized Its Offer Page to Specific Customer Segments

October 30th, 2015

Every marketer wants to help their customers discover something. Even if your product or service is not as personal as family history, that doesn’t mean that your marketing can’t be personalized.

In the case of Ancestry.com, the team uses information from users’ family trees to search its vast collection of historical content and records. While making a family tree is free, users must sign up and become a subscriber through an offer page to access any of the content.

“Our mission at Ancestry is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history,” Emily Titcomb, Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Ancestry.com, said.

The offer page can be accessed through a variety of paths on the Ancestry.com site. However, despite Ancestry having 2.7 million paid subscribers around the world searching 13 billion pieces of digitized content, the offer was the same for everyone.

Watch the full session replay on MarketingSherpa.com: Inbound Marketing: How Ancestry.com increased conversion by 20% with reduced choice barriers and targeted content

Ancestry

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