Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Google leaves the rest behind by pressing Fast Forward

Google has partnered up with Wharton University (Pennsylvania) to create a little slice of marketing heaven for the masses on You tube called Fast Forward. The dedicated page is making a splash in the marketing world as they discuss marketing techniques, providing a valuable insight into marketing best practice.

The partnership explores the evolution of marketing in the world today,

“Google and The Wharton School have partnered to gather and provide quick perspective on managing the change in the marketing landscape. As we explore what will define success through marketing’s continual evolution, we aim to share ideas and lessons learned to help keep us all better informed and effective as the game – and conversation – rapidly progresses”.

It’s not surprising that Google have gotten invloved in an area they excel in. But the resource is just that, a resource, we would have thought in light of modern internet trends they would have created Fast Forward as a more community orientated space. Speaking to, and with the marketers of the world. Definately worth casting your eye over though!

The consumer cycle and retention

Not following up is one of the biggest marketing sins you can commit. Here are some statistics which should scare the living daylights out of all of us.

48% of businesses never follow up with a prospect

25% of businesses make a second contact and stop

12% of businesses only make three contacts and stop

It’s a staggering discovery, but only 10% of businesses make more than three contacts. It means they’re losing a small fortune – and you could be too/

Because…

2% of sales are made on the first contact

3% of sales are made on the second contact

5% of sales are made on the third contact

10% of sales are made on the fourth contact

80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

So if you’re like almost half of all businesses and make no more than one follow-up to your prospects… you’re leaving 98% of your income on the table for someone else to come along and pick up.

If that wasn’t bad enough, here’s why it’s even worse than you think. Look at these eye-opening statistics about why people stop buying from businesses:

1% die.

3% move away.

5% follow a friend’s or relative’s recommendation.

9% find an alternative they perceive to be better quality or value.

14% are dissatisfied with the products or services.

And a massive 68% of people leave a business because of…  indifference.

They take their business elsewhere simply because they do not feel valued.

Since you spend a lot of time, money, and effort to get a visitor to your business, if you let them leave because of indifference, you might as well be flushing £10 notes away.

WIN A TWO PIECE HAND TAILORED SUIT!

For your chance to WIN, simply complete the following online survey (The Suit Experience) to be entered into the prize draw to win one of three, fine hand tailored suits. The survey should take no longer than ten minutes, it really is as simple as that.

The survey is being conducted by Pomegranate Media and if you have any questions, please contact us at info@pomegranate.co.uk or call +44 20 7336 7322.

Click here to take part and best of luck.

Internet World event review; Earls Court, London

Just attended the show, its impressive to see the diversity to some extent, of the operations that are developing. However what is slightly alarming is how when you dig below the surface there are so many companies with a similar offering!
CMS, email, web design… Everyone is doing it, the battle is to shout loudest.

What is differentiating all these companies?

I have seen more than 12 simply selling their unique, all conquering cms!

So how do these shows really work? At the end of the day anyone in web should have an impressive site anyway, that’s why I find them and then their content has to be good otherwise otherwise I scream deception, fraud, they are not living up to the promise, its a sham!

So what did I get out of it, well a lot of uncomfortable surreptitious badge staring, as people try to figure you out, some trumpet blowing and plenty of desperate sales guys, many just hired for the day!

However I was about to make my exit when I noticed that Scott Seaborn from Ogilvy was giving a little insight into mobile media, totally intrigued and a little naïve in this sector I had to attend!

Blimey if nothing else that was worth being there for! Far to short of course as they kept it to a mere 25 mins and how Scott managed to keep it to that I will never know, he managed to cram in such an thorough insight. I would have thought for many in that theatre it was truly mind blowing, it certainly was for me.

These guys at Ogilvy have certainly got their eyes on the ball and they have been tinkering with this stuff for a few years now.

From the Guiness Rugby Sevens tour widget to the latest Fanta teen game, its awe inspiring to see just what the mobile medium can actually achieve.

This medium really does make the current multi-channel approaches to marketing seem fractured, through deploying exciting interactive  and often useful apps (applications) from web to phone, the brand that is assigned with the app, not only gains credible exposure but actually achieves the ability to be constantly in view to the user. This ability to develop an intrinsic relationship with the user is so fundamentally powerful, not only can the brand provide a useful function, thereby promoting many integrity and added value messages, but the app can actually generate enhanced conversion to sales.

The difference as Scott put it, is moving from the typical Push marketing approach to the more appealing and effective Pull.

By understanding then utilising the vast array of features and functions a mobile phone can offer, in conjunction with every day actions such as shopping or playing games or travelling, the mobile app ‘creators’ can effectively convert the phone from a primary use tool into a complete ‘personal assistant’.

I hear you say, ‘well isnt that what the Iphone does?’ Now I know that Apples Iphone has obviously provided a relatively open platform for some incredibly innovative and pioneering mobile applications, however firstly the majority of apps currently promote the developer or Apple and secondly this access is obviously based on having an Iphone.

Its taken some time for the UK to really start noticing the possibilities of Mobile and for me today was an impressive wakeup call, keep an eye out as to what Pomegranate will do next!

Duncan Thomas

Do you harness the power of a good review?

Customer-written content, in the form of product reviews, community Q&A and shared stories, can both drive down search acquisition costs and improve natural search results, says Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice

In analysing online retailers with customer reviews, Bazaarvoice has found that more than 97% of the search terms used to find the review content are unique; in other words, without the user-generated content, the retailer would not have received search engine referrals for those ‘long-tail’ specific shopping terms.

The more specific, obscure terms are more valuable — though harder to pre-determine — to the retailer, and this is where customer-generated content comes into play. The more content that exists on your site about a particular product or brand, the more likely it is found by these long-tail searchers. Also, the more specific term mentioned above brings up more products that feature fresh, user-generated content. Our analysis has shown that searchers who land on Bazaarvoice-generated review landing pages use 3.5 to 4 words, while Google’s average search is 2.5 words.

Whats your view, or experience with customer reviews? Any major stats to report, what about the negatives policing etc we would love to know.

Source: Internet Retailing

Competing in a recession

While budgets are restrained in a recession, contrary to what may seem logical, it’s time to invest wisely to get your website in order. Not only does this provide your business with an edge and may well ensure survival but it also puts you ahead of the game when the economy turns round and things pick up.

Recent research shows that lowering prices isn’t necessarily the answer and may end up doing more harm than good. Customer service and client relationships on the other hand, are a great way to distinguish your business from your competitors’. Understandably service levels are improving in the UK and possibly worldwide during this period of hardship.

The big question is can you create a good user experience (UX) without breaking the bank?

Know your audience and their goals

‘Who’s coming to your site?’ is the first question to ask. This may sound simple but it’s surprising how many organisations aren’t aware of this information. Run an online survey on your site to find out more about who your customers actually are. This can then be broken down into a clearer segmentation to give you a basic view of your audience. Tools like SurveyMonkey make this easy and are reasonably priced.

Also find out why people are visiting your site. What are they looking for or hoping to achieve? Only by discovering their needs can you check if the site meets them. And if it doesn’t, you’re armed with this valuable data to direct your efforts in ensuring customer needs are fulfilled.

Check your navigation and search

Browsing and searching are the 2 main ways of accessing information on a website. The online population is split 50:50 in terms of preference for one or the other so both need equal attention and care.

When considering your navigation, think about how your content’s structured and classified. Is it meaningful to your users or is it mired in internal intricacies? Card sorting is the technique to create a user-centred navigation. This doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise requiring a huge investment. Automated tools that minimise the facilitation required and extend the reach can help keep the costs down.

Ensure your site search is clearly identifiable, consistently placed in the top right and forgiving of common typing errors. Are your search results presented in a logical manner? The value of a good back-end search can’t be underestimated as web users now expect the efficacy of Google wherever they encounter search.

Considering a new feature or even a re-design?

Does the proposed change meet site visitor needs? Before embarking upon a change, find out from your customers whether it’s what they want and need. Needless to say, if ever there was a time when ROI needed certainty this is it. User interviews are your best bet here. Make sure the resulting user needs are incorporated into the other requirements that may have been gathered.

The most cost-effective way of making sure the new design is along the right user experience lines is to create low-fidelity, throwaway wireframes and test these with your target audience. These blueprints can be as basic as paper sketches.

Resist the temptation to skip testing and go full steam ahead in creating something that’s nearly finished because the earlier a design’s validated, the cheaper it’s to fix faults and the less effort you’ve wasted.

Free SEO keywords and analytics

Good usability and good search engine optimisation (SEO) go hand in hand. Tailor your site to what your audience is thinking and that’s what they’ll type into the search engines! Want to find out what your site visitors are searching for? Try the Google AdWords Keyword tool – it shows what’s been searched for on a given URL in the previous month.

Another valuable addition to your toolkit is Google Analytics, which lets you analyse website statistics. This allows a strong tie-in of the UX changes to demonstrable ROI, which in turn can only promote buy-in of the user-centred philosophy throughout your organisation.

www.mad.co.uk
Mrudula Kodali, Senior Consultant at user experience consultancy, Webcredible.

Facebook’s U-turn on image policy…

It seems that Facebook’s popularity as a forum for campaigning against controversial issues may have backfired on itself for the first time.

A recent decision by its owner, Mark Zuckerberg, to update Facebook’s terms and conditions regarding the ownership of information once a user deletes their account has caused many to question just how much control they really have of data they post online.

The alteration of the terms without prior notice enraged over 25,000 users to the point where they joined Facebook groups to protest at the restrospective changes. It seems it worked – as Facebook has agreed to revert to its previous licencing agreement until the issues surrounding the information ownership can be resolved.

With the launch of competing social networks, such as Twitter, proving equally popular, we fear Facebook could be treading on thin ice if it alienates users and they opt to go somewhere else.

Read the full story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7896309.stm

Compare the Meerkat.com

This has to be one of the funniest adverts on TV at the moment and a very welcome relief from the dreary comparison site adverts that we’ve been subjected to in the past. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here is the link.

Also, if you’ve got a spare five minutes, it’s worth logging on to www.comparethemeerkat.com.

Too much fun to be had!

Pomegranate’s TV ad’s of the week!

I’ll tell you what is definately going up this week… Eyebrow solos… Think about it, this is clearly the way forward.

You might not believe it but Cadbury’s certainly do. Those crazy chocolatiers have done it again, but is it odd or captivating enough to become the next gorrilla ad? Only time will tell. With eyebrows as fast as these, surely there will be nothing to stop them!

T-Moblie have released a new advert featuring, well their new phone of course! Nice take on the whole ‘flash mob’ thing, this one is really funny!

Skittles have created another advert for the wonder sweet which would seem should come with a health warning ‘May cause hallucinations’.

Four out of five online retailers have digital marketing headaches

Stressed by your inability to track your online marketing spend properly? 79% of the UK’s internet retailers are suffering from the same headache, according to new research from Coremetrics

Four out of five online retailers have digital marketing headaches

A significant 79% of online retailers in the UK are suffering from digital marketing headaches, new research commissioned by Coremetrics has found, and a massive 96% of marketers in the retail sector are not measuring ROI across all of their marketing tactics. Furthermore, 25% do not measure ROI across any online marketing tactics at all.

The biggest marketing headaches are deciding where to spend marketing budget, for nearly a third of respondents, and knowing how to determine ROI on elements of their marketing mix, for 29%. The other main problem areas include:

* Comparing campaigns across vendors and channels (32%)
* Information overload about digital marketing initiatives (23%)
* Understanding relationships between campaigns (14%)
* Understanding which campaigns are driving customer acquisition (9%)

Despite this lack of understanding of how to measure integrated marketing techniques, a third of respondents are expecting to add further online tactics to their marketing mix in 2009. In a bid to entice thrifty shoppers, making special offers was the top tactic expected to be implemented in the coming year. However, ‘special offers’ was the least measured tactic by those who already use it, with 90% not measuring ROI on their efforts.

“Tellingly, all the UK retail companies that have collapsed over the past month have all had a poor web presence, showing that digital is a key weapon in retailers’ arsenal,” says Coremetrics’ Richard Sheppard. “Having a strong and informed web presence, to capture customers that are abandoning the high street, is crucial for retail success in 2009.”