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Posts Tagged ‘B2C’

How to Market Your Event – the Zumba Way

April 5th, 2016
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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
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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?

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How 4 Brands Effectively Responded to Customers

January 8th, 2016
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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
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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
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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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2016 MarketingSherpa Awards: Customer-focused campaigns that drive results for 4 award nominees

October 2nd, 2015
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2015 MarketingSherpa Readers' Choice Award WinnerWe will be evolving this year to keep up with our audience — you.

This year’s MarketingSherpa Awards extend beyond just email marketing and include marketing campaigns across all disciplines. All year long, MarketingSherpa covers compelling stories in the B2C, B2B, email and inbound spheres, so why shouldn’t our yearly awards?

The three-month process of rewarding talent is a serious endeavor. The selection process included 50 hours of pre-screening more than 300 submissions, followed by 15 hours of group deliberation by our panel of five judges. As we searched through stacks of awards and speaking applications, we were looking for a team that could carry on the legacy of previous years’ winners.

It’s now your turn. We’ve narrowed the submissions down to four of the best campaigns, and you can now vote for your Readers’ Choice Award winner through November 10. After voting, please share your favorite nominee or insight on social media.

All of the campaigns met our judging criteria:

  • Be transformative
  • Be customer-centric
  • Be innovative
  • Offer transferable principles that marketing peers can apply to their efforts
  • Display strong results

From here, it’s up to you to decide which one deserves top honors.

Have different criteria? Thoughts to share on any of the campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

Among many others, here are four lessons you can expect to take from this year’s Awards:

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Marketing Metrics: Do your analytics capture the real reasons customers buy from you?

April 16th, 2013
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How can you track the most impactful elements of your marketing funnel? Let’s start with an analogy …

I once had a crush on a girl.  I talked to her every day, but she rarely took notice of my existence.  She liked the “bad boys,” and I was kind of a nerd.  It seemed as if the stars were aligned against us.

I tried asking sweetly, coming up with inventive date ideas, even appealing to her sense of pity, all to no avail.  Finally, after a year or so of trying, I wrote her a letter telling how I felt.  She finally accepted my invitation and we went on a date.

My takeaway from this exchange was letters work best. (Admittedly, my letters are particularly awesome.)

What I didn’t know was my letter had relatively little to do with her decision.  Years later, I asked her why she finally decided to go out with me.  She admitted my persistence played a role, but the bigger factor was how she had her heart broken by one of the afore-mentioned “bad boys,” and decided to give a nice guy a chance.

I was floored.  I had no idea these events had ever transpired, and more importantly, had vastly overestimated my letter writing ability.

What I had was essentially a last click attribution model. This is the way in which countless organizations currently measure conversions.  We, as an industry, have come a long way in terms of being excited about measuring and testing our marketing efforts.

However, looking at the last click before conversion as a sole contributor to the conversion decision is as near-sighted as assuming the young lady accepted my date invitation based upon my letter writing skills.  The letter was a factor, but it wasn’t the only factor.

I need a better model.

 

Where should I spend my marketing dollars?

Using the last click attribution method, I can determine the value of a conversion generated from an email campaign.  I might arrive at the conclusion my marketing dollars are best spent on building email lists and optimizing email campaigns.

While there may be truth in that statement, it’s only partially correct.  The real story in this scenario might be a customer first interacted with my brand when a friend shared a product review on Facebook.  From there, a likely scenario of events could be:

  • The customer visited and liked my Facebook page, and then left.
  • Weeks later, I launched a new product via Facebook post.  The customer saw the post and then left the platform to do some research.
  • While researching the new product on Google, a PPC ad appeared and convinced the customer to click through to my site.
  • Once on the website, the customer joined my email list.
  • Two weeks later, I sent an email which the customer subsequently viewed and converted, purchasing my product.

From this example, it’s obvious the customer was nurtured to conversion through a series of interactions including social media, PPC, landing pages and email.  Now, how much of my marketing dollars should go to each channel, since in this case, they were all obviously necessary for conversion?

 

Attribution models

Solving this problem requires the use of a different attribution model, and not all attribution models are created equal. I remember how happy I was when I learned there were multiple varieties of steak.  I had always eaten sirloin, because that’s what my dad always cooked.  So, you can imagine my excitement the first time I tasted filet mignon!

Similarly, there are a wide variety of attribution models to suit everyone’s taste.

One example is the linear ratio model, which is a dynamic model that attributes different values to different purchase and research phases. For instance, it might:

  • Attribute 5% of revenue to Facebook for the research and awareness piece of our sample transaction above.
  • Assign 25% of that revenue to PPC ads.
  • Finish by assigning 70% of the attribution to the email campaign that caused the click.

There are many  implications to using a model such as this. The social media manager is very happy because he just went from being a nonexistent entity in this conversion to owning 5% of the revenue.

The email manager might not be quite as happy, but the marketing executive should be thrilled.

There are many more models to experiment with. First-click, U-shaped, custom models and linear modeling are just a few. We’re getting closer to really understanding why people buy our stuff, and how they arrive on our pages.

Moreover, we’ve attributed our revenue to particular interactions along the funnel, which should get us started in the process of assigning value to each marketing activity we undertake.

To learn more about each of the above attribution models, see Google Analytics’ definitions here.

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Social Media Marketing: A look at 2012, part 1

February 2nd, 2012
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a popular blog post on using social media profiles for login on third-party websites rather than the more traditional form field registration. The post featured research from Janrain, a social Web user management platform, and some additional commentary from Larry Drebes, founder and CEO of Janrain.

That topic was very specific and applies to one marketing issue — gathering data from website visitors.

Janrain’s research found that Facebook is the clear favorite for social login at 42%, followed by Google at 29% and Yahoo! at 11%.

 

Click to enlarge

 

In preparation for the innovation panel Wednesday afternoon, February 8th, at next week’s MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012, I also had the chance to speak with Larry about the social channel in more general terms, and to get his take on where it is heading and what marketers should be thinking about over the next six to 12 months.

Tomorrow’s blog post will feature the thoughts of panelist Loren McDonald, Vice President Industry Relations, Silverpop.

Here is the result of my conversation with Larry:

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Content Marketing for B2C

December 23rd, 2011
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This week’s consumer marketing newsletter article wrapped up 2011, and featured four B2C trends to watch in 2012: the mobile marketing channel, local search, online privacy and the new features in pay-per-click advertising.

These choices were based on the 80 (give or take a few) interviews with consumer marketers that my reporting colleague, Adam T. Sutton, and I conducted over the past year. One B2C trend that received serious consideration, but didn’t make it into the article, is content marketing.

Sure, content has its place in any overall marketing strategy, but I’ll bet when many marketers hear “content marketing” as a channel, they think B2B – whitepapers, lead nurturing campaigns, third-party validations within specialized industries, etc.

In fact, content is becoming an important part of consumer marketing efforts.

I’m going to present several case studies and how-to articles from this past year that illustrate just how important it truly is. (Note: MarketingSherpa articles often feature numbered tactics. In this blog post, I’ll call out several specific tactics within linked articles.)

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B2B Marketing: Finding ideas from the ‘wrong’ case studies

October 20th, 2011
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I am going to take a shot at a B2B marketing taboo that I and my colleagues encounter on a regular basis. I certainly do not expect universal support, but I freely invite you to speak your mind in the comments.

While at the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in Boston last month, Jay Baer tore the robes off of this taboo and forced the audience take a good look at it. Here’s what he said:

“I have done a fair amount of speaking at B2B conferences and every once in a while someone comes up to me … they say ‘well, that was great, but you use some examples that are B2C.’ Get over it! I’m going to use some examples in this presentation that are B2C. I am going to offend your territorial sensibilities. You’re making way too big a deal out of this.”

Baer was speaking about social media marketing. I agree with his sentiment (although “get over it” is not the exact phrase I’d use) and believe this concept applies to channels beyond social media. Read more…