People-based marketing – what is that? And isn’t that what all marketing should be? Isn’t the entire marketing industry already concentrated on people – their needs, wants and individual behavior characteristics? Well, you’d be surprised! Stick with us to find out!
How do you define marketing?
Do you think of it in terms of what big brands are offering you to buy every time you come across an ad on your phone, TV or on the big screen? If so, is it an effective approach? Do you allow it to be the only factor in shaping the way you feel about a particular brand or product? Or is there something more to effective modern marketing?
“Marketing is the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and/or services”, or so states The Balance.
However, in today’s oversaturated market where everything is for sale and at the tip a consumer’s fingers, is there such a way of singling out the best product or service? What is more, how is Jack from Hamilton, Ontario to know where to go in order to get the best possible car repair service? Is he to blindly trust commercials and ads he sees on his devices or all over town? Or should he roll the dice with the first vehicle repair shop he can find when his car breaks down?
Let’s go back to the definition of marketing for a second. In the opinion of The Balance, it can be further expanded:
“Marketing is the process of letting consumers know why they should choose your product or service over those of your competitors. If you’re not doing that, you’re not marketing – it’s really that simple. The key is to find the right method and to define the right message to educate and influence your consumers.
Companies make the mistake of thinking that marketing is just one thing, but it’s actually much broader than that. It’s everything the consumer encounters when he does business with you. This includes advertising, what he hears by word of mouth, and the customer service he receives. It includes the follow-up care that your business provides. All these efforts fall under the umbrella of marketing and creating a decision within the consumer as to whether to choose your company initially or for repeat business.”
It is getting increasingly hard to earn consumer’s trust, is it not?
As people are constantly bombarded with gimmicky marketing campaigns for an unlimited number of products and services, it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out in the crowd. Marketing a product or service is simply not enough anymore – it’s up to the company behind it to put its own reputation at stake and a seal of quality of sorts.
And that is exactly where customer service comes into play!
Great customer service is the way to show all the people who come into your shop that you care about them and their opinion. Moreover, a favorable opinion will make that customer not only come back, but also bring their friends, colleagues and whoever else is there.
Providing the best possible experience to Jack is as important as it is fixing his car at a reasonable price. Why? Because that may be the only thing that will make you or break you in his eyes.
Let’s put ourselves in Jack’s shoes.
He is stranded on the side of the road because his car has unexpectedly broken down on him. He is slightly panicky and concerned about his vehicle. So he finds your vehicle repair shop online and decides to go to you for help.
If Cindy, the receptionist at your shop welcomes him with a warm smile and a helping hand, he will immediately feel a little bit better, right? Getting right on fixing Jack’s car will certainly be a plus in his book seeing as nobody likes waiting, correct? And if he is visibly satisfied with not only the job done on his car but also the payment service and a “You’re always welcome back” goodbye, he will come back, surely?
That is great customer service and, by extension, great marketing, people!
As some of you here may be asking if this approach is applicable to digital marketing, we are here to say: Yes, absolutely! You just need a different channel of communication with your customers. Just as you don’t need a physical store anymore to sell clothes, you don’t have to talk face-to-face with your customers to point them in the right direction. Instead of a clerk coming down the aisle and help a grandma choose an ugly Christmas sweater, you can just have her talk to the customer support team on live chat. As you read in one of one of our previous posts, it should come as no surprise that immediate answers to customer inquiries lead to purchases, so make customers feel cherished and they will come back and be loyal. Don’t be afraid to communicate with them, as they can give you great feedback about the good, the bad and the ugly about the way you run your business.
Aside from live chat, you can also use company Social Media profiles to actively communicate with your customers, not just to engage them and promote content.
You can solve their real-time problems in a somewhat informal setting, thus telling them you are always there for them. What also helps create a better picture about your company and the way you treat customers is the fact that every comment they may leave about you and their experience with you is out there for the world to see.
Not only that, but every such review that doesn’t garner a reaction from you is reflected badly upon your reputation.
“The best way to counteract any consequences negative reviews might have on your business is to act on them. Show that you care. Respond to a bad review as soon as possible and with good arguments about not only the reasoning behind your company process but also the way you will improve it. That way you will show the person leaving the negative review that you are willing and prepared to do everything you can to truly better your product/service and their customer experience.” – Aleksandar Mitic, Account Manager at TheIuvo
So, think about it. What does it cost you to provide excellent customer service and create loyal customer base?
All you really need are great interpersonal skills of the employees who believe in the company and whatever it is you are selling.
It doesn’t take much to show Jack from Hamilton kindness and pay a bit of attention to his problem while he is explaining it. By showing him he is important to you, you are putting him first. The loyalty that is born from this kind of customer service cannot be bought with ads.
“It’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.”– Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”
If you want us to show your customers you care about them, contact us today and let us take your business to the next level!
With Social Media platforms changing their policies often, the number of hoops a company has to jump through to reach customers increases. It is no longer so clear-cut as to what spam and what quality content is.
That’s why we asked Nemanja Zivkovic, our General Manager, what the solution to higher quality promotion is.
“We should all work on building our own Personal Brand. Employees of each company will be the biggest influencers for that company and its clients/customers when this mindset finally takes place. It needs to help them develop their personal brand, document their skills, become visible, and in that way the company can become visible, too.”
To learn how to be a successful representative of your own expertise, but also the company you work for, see the 10 tips for effective personal branding in our new infographic.
If you need help bringing your business to the next level, we are the right choice for you! Contact us today!
When it comes to your professional career, where does your identity as an employee ends and your personal one begins? Are they one and the same or do you like to distinguish yourself from the brand you work for? Do you see yourself being just another cog in the system or do you prefer to stand out?
Let me set up a situation for you…
Two people are working together in the same company (in the digital marketing industry, for example) for no matter how long. Let’s call them Chandler and Joey.
Chandler went to college and got a respectable degree to his name (which is how he landed the job in the first place), while Joey never finished college, but showed a lot of actionable knowledge during his job interview.
Chandler thought he would stay in the same company until he retires, while Joey always thought he would eventually move on.
Chandler always slacked when it came to attending company seminars, broadening his knowledge and sharpening his skills, while Joey never shied away from learning new stuff, even on his own.
Finally, Chandler never thought he had to show everything he knows to his colleagues or even the world, but Joey was quite enthusiastic about creating a LinkedIn profile where he wrote about his everyday work challenges, problems, dilemmas, but also resolutions, inspirations, and individual insights.
One day the company had to downsize. Who do you think was offered to stay?
Moreover, who do you think decided to stay?
Until just a few years ago, it was unacceptable for an employee to draw a clear line between their employee brand – as a professional employed by a specific company – and their own personal brand – as an individual expert in their field who happens to have a job.
That basically meant you had to show up for work, join your team and do only what is expected of you.
However, it appears this mindset was abandoned recently.
For one, you need a unique and rich personal brand to showcase what it is that can be achieved by only you and no other employee.
If you just blend in, then what is your value to the employer?
Gone are the times of countless people working the same factory jobs.
It’s the dawn of 21st century – you need to stand out!
Let’s see how to make the shift, or better yet, how employee mindset differs from the personal one:
As you can see, it’s no longer acceptable to be just “one in a sea of the same”, to rely on your college degree to get a job, or even hope that once you do get a job, you will stay there forever (and you don’t have to keep learning).
Instead, in these modern times, you should actively be working on cultivating your own personal identity and understanding how it fits in the company brand (instead of the other way around).
Educating yourself in the professional context and demonstrating to your coworkers in which areas you excel all the while creating a self-driven career – that is the mindset you should adopt as soon as today!
That is precisely why Joey was the one who was asked to stay in the company (yes, you guessed right!), and it’s also why he declined the offer.
By making a name for himself in the digital marketing industry, he was given numerous opportunities for other employment even before his current position was in danger.
Therefore, he had options to choose from – options he created by building his own personal brand.
How exactly did he do that?
He created his own fans, so to speak.
He extended his reach by building a relevant and productive online presence.
Smart move, right?
Especially having in mind that it is estimated that by 2020, 75% of news will be computer generated. Therefore, there is a lot of marketing jobs in the air at this point. And not all of the people currently employed are irreplaceable.
So it’s good to think ahead, but there is another question there as well.
Are you even allowed to do build your own personal brand?
According to Mark Schaefer, as much as 50% of employers block their workers’ Internet access because they don’t want them wasting time on Social Media during work hours.
However, there are benefits to companies letting their employees spending time on Social Media and working on personal branding, such as:
1) Raising workplace productivity by connecting with people from the niche when you need a quick solution to a work problem.
2) A Social Media break has proven to be a quiet and economy-friendly way for workers to get refreshed and motivated to get back to work.
3) Social Media certainly is a modern way of acquiring new ideas, knowledge and skills.
4) Workers can be quite effective promoters of company brand as well through sharing interesting industry or company related content on their Social Media profiles.
Actually, let’s stay on the last point for a minute, shall we?
We cannot neglect the general opinion that by using personal employee brands to tell company brand stories, you actually add credibility to both the brand and the story itself.
You would’ve put your own name only behind something you can support, right?
Then it goes to say that you would think highly of a brand its own employees are glad to stand behind as well.
Therein lies the value of employees standing as company’s spokespeople, but it also gives it the opportunity to stand out from competition and have extended reach.
However, a company that has a specific strategy can only reap benefits from employees representing it on their private Social Media accounts:
1) Set clear guidelines to the kind of Social Media behavior is acceptable (don’t disclose company secrets, don’t post sexually explicit content, don’t swear or be offensive, etc.)
2) Create company brand content that is easy and exciting for employees to share, comment on, and otherwise use on their own Social Media accounts (share company editorial calendar, send suggestions, etc.)
3) Encourage and recognize employees’ efforts which are contributing to boosting company brand through their personal ones (commend them during a staff meeting, send a company email or newsletter, send a personal handwritten note), etc.)
Additionally, it says a lot about the company taking care of its own people – by letting them spread their wings even if that means they may move onto something better in the process.
There are companies out there – some big corporations, some small businesses (as well as those in between) – or, at the very least CEOs and HR executives, who encourage their employees not only to cultivate personal brands and go to interviews in other companies, but also tell them openly what financial and other benefits they have been offered in exchange for transferring.
The reasoning behind this kind of attitude is that they consider that to be the best way of finding out what is happening on the job market, what it takes for valuable employees to stay working for them and ultimately, how honest and satisfied they are in their current position and company.
Finally, we can definitely agree that both modern companies and their employees can greatly benefit from personal branding.
The more people grow professionally, the more opportunities they will have inside and outside the company.
By the same token, the more their star employees are prominent in the industry, the more companies they work in will grow.
It’s a win-win situation, isn’t it?
If you want to grow your business with us, all you have to do is contact us today! We are more than happy to be your partner!
As the e-commerce and marketing industries evolve simultaneously, so do the trends pushing them forward. That means we should all do our very best to keep up with the constant changes if we want to stay not only current and relevant, but also successful in our fields. That is precisely why we have come up with 10 tips to include in your e-commerce marketing strategy for 2018 you should read about right now!
1) Voice search will take over
More and more people are choosing to speak to Amazon’s Alexa or OK Google, instead of typing their search queries, which is a trend that is showing no signs of disappearing anytime soon. In fact, Google announced that its Google Assistant was installed on more than 100 million devices in 2017. You might think that laziness or quick pace of life is getting the best of people, but voice search is slowly becoming a standard in households as well with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home devices getting more and more popular.
eMarketer estimates the number of US voice-enabled digital assistant users will rise by 14.1% (to 69 million) in 2018, while the number of voice-enabled speaker users will climb 27.6% (to 45.4 million). These certainly are impressive numbers that should put some things into perspective for both e-commerce business owners and marketers – things have to change. The SEO and content strategies are now to focus on conversational language as well as giving potential customers ONE – THE MOST USEFUL RESULT – since that is what will be presented for voice queries.
So, don’t hold back, give exactly that!
2) Mobile will be the (only) way to go
If you have read one of our previous posts on how to successfully advertise on Social Media in 2018, you know that mobile is the most popular way to browse the web – 51.4% of all traffic in 2017 came from users on their mobile devices. Somewhere around 70% of searches are projected to come from mobile in 2018, so if you’re not working on your business’s mobile presence, you’re only marketing to 30% of those searches.
But there is more to it – understanding consumer mobile behavior fused with location data opens a whole new world of mobile advertising opportunities. Take this example: Mary and John go bowling every Saturday evening at their local bowling alley and like to post pictures of the good times they have there on their Facebook pages. As an e-commerce business owner who happens to sell bowling equipment and is willing to invest in Facebook Ads, Mary and John are your perfect potential customers – you are safe to assume they will be interested in what you have to sell and they are getting ads about their favorite pastime.
3) Customer experience for the win
If you are an e-commerce business owner, you must be aware that customer experience can make or break your business – customer loyalty partly depends on the quality of customer service. Not only during online shopping, but also before and after a realized purchase. Moreover, factors like unreasonable compensations, long dispatch periods, query resolutions, or monotonous customer service leads to poor customer experience. That is why customer reviews are not to be neglected – they provide you with the picture of what you might be doing wrong, while also giving you the opportunity to show you are willing to improve BECAUSE YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS.
One of the ways e-commerce customer experience can be enhanced certainly is through the proper implementation of artificial intelligence (as you might have read in one of our previous blog posts The Role of Humans in the Age of Robots). However, we are not there just yet, so it’s still up to us humans to change our ways of doing business in correlation to other people.
4) Augmented reality ads will be making their boom
Even though there are some out there thinking augmented reality in digital marketing is just a passing thing, with a short lifespan, we have to say that the whole concept is not without its merit. For one, you don’t need any additional equipment like you do for experiencing virtual reality – no buying one more high-tech headset. It’s technically available on most of mobile devices already in use. Additionally, there are practical uses for e-commerce business owners and marketers, as you can deduce from the amount of popularity Ikea’s furniture placing app Place is gaining.
Such a great example of augmented reality being part of our everyday lives.
5) Artificial intelligence and machine learning will take the reins
With copious amounts of data having been collected over the last decade, now it’s come the time to consolidate and use it to deliver a striking, to the point and useful message from the seller to the buyer. The big brands (Amazon, Google, Facebook) are already doing it, but now it’s time to let us all in on the secret.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will have to be utilized to deliver automated messages to customers based on their customer lifecycle activity. This is the promise of personalized marketing – available inventory, historical customer behavior and activity from third party sources all synthesized into one big and information wealthy system. What we are actually on the verge of is instant customer need satisfaction – practically eliminating the time between the moments of making the purchase and it being delivered to your doorstep.
How about that, folks?
6) Live chat will become the indispensable part of e-commerce websites (where it hasn’t already)
Did you know that 44% of consumers said live chat was the most important feature a company could offer?
Why, you ask?
Because customers appreciate a helping hand from a live person while in the middle of online shopping. Among those who favor it the most, Millennials take the crown since it gives them the feeling of using popular messaging apps. Therefore, for both of these reasons, we can only expect this number to grow.
By the same token, 79% of businesses that have implemented live chat on their websites have seen a positive effect on sales. Not only have their customers been less reluctant to make that first purchase on their e-commerce websites, but they have also become repeat or loyal customers. Investing in a live chat platform that makes seller-buyer communication quicker, smoother and ultimately more successful can only grow a business and is worth every cent.
So, wait no more – give your customers what they want.
7) Micro-moments marketing
We can all agree that we live in a fast-paced world, right? There is a ton of information available to everyone with Internet access all day every day – just waiting to be consumed.
Can we also agree that it’s a good thing? Never in the history of man has acquiring knowledge and being in the know about other people been so easy. In most parts of the world, gone are the days of letters traveling for months to reach their final destinations and bring valuable news.
But is it good for marketers? That is the question of the hour, people!
With consumers being overwhelmed by various formats of content – ads, promotional emails, Social Media posts and everything else – how to get noticed? Let’s dig even deeper, how do you stay in people’s memories even after they have seen, read or listened to whatever it is you had to say? You do micro-moments marketing! You focus on providing the most useful solutions to their problem be it “What is the capital of Canada?”, “Where to eat near me?”, “How to write a novel?” or even “How where to buy the latest book by Diana Gabaldon?”.
That way consumers’ attention is captured by your brand, product or service, and you have the chance to deliver.
8) GDPR will change the way marketing is done
According to the overview by Jatheon Technologies Inc, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be coming into effect on May 25, 2018 with the intent to:
- Harmonize and unify (often inconsistent) data privacy laws across Europe
- Protect the EU citizens’ private electronic information and enhance their privacy
- Simplify the regulatory environment within the EU
- Change the way organizations approach data privacy
- Give more power to the regulatory bodies to take action against organizations that are in breach.
While that is a serious matter in itself, what you are probably wondering is how that will affect marketing efforts.
“It [GDPR] instantly changes marketers’ ability to ‘spray and pray’ and get away with it,” explains Paul Schmidt.
GDPR will be deployed to European market only for now, but the rest of the world will keep the vigilant watch on its results, depending on which, it will follow in Europe’s footsteps. Until that happens, we are all left with taking measures to be compliant, aren’t we?
9) Social advertising transparency will be expected
In 2017, Facebook and Twitter have announced their intention to make the advertising process transparent following the accusations against several Russian citizens that they were using these two Social Media platforms to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. Their efforts will be focused on making it easier to find out who the advertiser is, how much they are spending and how the ads are targeted.
Moreover, Facebook intends to allow anyone to see what ads a page is running, even if they are not being targeted by the ads. When it comes to political ads, the information will be deeper – showing the amount spent, number of impressions and the ways the ads were targeted. Twitter will be creating an “ad transparency center,” showing all ads currently running, how long they have been running and targeting information.
So get ready, people! The future is coming.
10) Amazon will dominate e-commerce marketing
We all know of a certain e-commerce giant by the name of Amazon, right? But what you may not be aware of is the (not so surprising) fact that is it fast becoming a “digital advertising powerhouse”. To drive that point home, let’s just say that eMarketer expects Amazon’s net US digital ad revenues to increase by 42% in 2018, reaching $2.35 billion!
If you are wondering where Amazon’s strength lies, we have two words for you – search and display. On the one hand, the Search feature enables brands advertising on Amazon to get highly effective Cost-Per-Click placements while attracting quality consumer attention. On the other, the Display feature gives advertisers insights into user interests based on their Amazon searching, browsing and purchasing activities. As the ad spending on Amazon gets higher and higher, why don’t you join all the (not so reluctant) brands and enlarge your customer base?
Having in mind all that was said here, we have a lot to look forward to in 2018 as far as e-commerce marketing is concerned. In addition, we are also here to help you improve your business in a joint effort. So contact us today and let’s see how we can do just that!