The Social Media Effect

Possibly the most appealing aspect of social media marketing, is the viral nature of the industry.  If one can make their message appealing to clients and followers alike, there is an opportunity for the message to be spread father than the initial marketing efforts.  This level of sharing is what most marketing endeavors aim to accomplish, and the challenge is creating a message that is appealing to their audience.   The recent “occupy” efforts taken throughout the country, provide an excellent example of the power of social media outlets.

From September 20th 2011 to November 25th 2011 there were over 2.8 million tweets centered on the topic, and on certain days there were over 300,000 tweets recorded.  The first day of the Occupy Wall Street movement, where an estimated 1,000 people attended, produced over 70,000 retweets. When police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment and severely injured an Iraq War veteran from the U.S. Marines, the event resulted in over 103,000 retweets.

While the nature of the incident is not easily mimicked by companies, noting the infectious nature of social media can greatly benefit ones advertising efforts.  An image from Social Reflexion looks aims to visualize the impact of information sharing over social channels:

As portrayed in the diagram, sending information through one source can ultimately travel over various channels, both increasing brand awareness and improving search engine results for your products.  Starbucks, which is now valued at over at 4.1 billion dollars, has strayed from more traditional forms of marketing, and has relied on customer experience and viral social media campaigns.  Its successful use of the medium proves that even international companies can base their advertisement efforts in these channels.

As long as one can create a message worth sharing, individuals will share with their spheres of influence, increase website traffic and improve your search engine ranking all resulting in brand awareness.

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Improve Email Effectiveness Through Segmentation

One of the most cost efficient forms of promotion is email, and according to internetreailer.com, 92% of all businesses will use email as a part of their marketing strategy.  Companies that send out mass messages to all of their potential clients run the risk of creating message fatigue among recipients, and often experience lower open rates with their emailing efforts.  The key to capitalizing on direct email attempts seems to lie with segmenting potential customers based on multiple criteria.  Through proper categorization, businesses can cater their messages based on the target audience enabling them to make more meaningful contacts.

Email Overload

Certain industries such as sporting apparel, have products or services that appeal to both men and women.  Companies operating in this industry may have certain lines that appeal to both segments, but also offer items that focus on one specific demographic.  If companies would create two different emails, one titled men’s apparel and the other titled women’s apparel; they could increase their open rates up to 20% according to Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations at Silverpop Systems.  Each email could first focus on the particular clients interests, then provide links to similar items or different product offerings.

While cost effective email distribution is used by most companies, a Forrester survey found that segmenting costumers in email efforts was only done by 58% of e-retailers.  Out if these companies that do use segmentation, 73% of them believe that preference based segmentation has been an effective tool in their advertizing efforts.

The areas of segmentation can start with demographics such as gender, but are not limited to such plain limitations.  Using the proper analytical tools, companies can identify all individuals who have shown interest in paintball, who live in a certain zip code, who are between 18 and 30 and invite them to a college night paintball game.  In the same respect, e-commerce organizations can monitor buyer behavior, searching browsing data, website traffic and buying habits of its customers to refine its emailing practices.  Ben Ardito, vice president of professional services at e-Dialog said, ”We can capture that information and create business rules that say, if over time, this recipient clicks on shoe offers 50% more than any other category but doesn’t make a purchase, that triggers a shoe offer to them.” in an interview with internetretailer.com.

With this level of audience awareness, companies can target specific demographics to maximize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. There is measured success in segmentation, the real challenge companies now face is identifying these characteristics in their clientele.  Information is collected from various sources, and the sheer abundance of data can sometimes make it difficult to sift through.  In order to benefit from this data, one has to process these characteristics into meaningful figures to take effective actions.

 

Source:

Internet Retailer Magazine

Increase ROI through Mobile Advertising

As individuals continue to utilize technology in their every day life, they are spending more time on the mobile devices.  This increase in mobile device usage has outpaced the investment into mobile advertizing, and possibly leaves room for greater expansion into the mobile marketing industry.

According to figures presented by emarketer.com, individual usage of mobile devices increased by 30 percent from 2010 to 2011.  This change coupled with the decline of some traditional forms of media, has people spending more time on their phones than on newspapers and magazines combined.  However; this change is not equally reflected in advertizing budgets spent in perusing mobile forms of advertisement.  Whether the discrepancy comes from lack of awareness of the change, or a conscientious decision to employ other forms of media for advertisement, there is a potential to benefit from this shift of consumer attention

These figures depict that 10 percent of consumers time is spent with mobile devices, but only  0.9 percent of the advertising dollars are spent to capitalize on mobile media.  The budgets allocated to print media are now at higher levels than the attention paid to them.  Noticing this trend may offer companies an advantage by investing their money in more profitable endeavors.  When businesses invest their advertising dollars into high traffic channels, there comes the opportunity to increase their ROI.

Marketing spending

Mobile phone usage has also shown a measurable focus on consumer spending, according to Clickpoint Software reports.  Their figures show that 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help them with shopping, from comparing prices, to finding more product info. 77% have contacted a business via mobile.  With the majority of consumers conscientiously using their mobile devices for purchasing decisions, the channel stands out as an essential tool for any marketing strategy.

With the greatest discrepancy of time spent on and ad spending of all channels of information distribution, mobile advertizing may have the greatest potential for beneficial marketing results.