How do you lose a customer? Provide an inconsistent experience, ignore them, send them irrelevant offers? All great ideas. Your customers will switch to other companies to find better customer service, and nowadays people rely on online reviews as the new word-of-mouth.
How do you keep a customer? And not only retain them, but foster their loyalty to your brand? When customers feel cared for by your company, they will spend more with you. The goal is to offer excellent and consistent customer service, across all platforms of your business.
But CEOs and Marketing Managers know this is easier said than done. You need tools to help you provide the kind of consistent, high-quality customer service that will drive your business. You need Omni-channel communication; a modern tool that ensures a seamless experience for every customer interaction from beginning to end.
Building Customer Loyalty in Today’s E-Commerce World
Every businessperson understands that relationship management is tricky. Fierce competition keeps the pressure on to build your brand so that customers identify with it and are drawn to your story. There are some great strategies to help you do this.
Use Omni-channel communication to segment your customers and build targeted marketing campaigns for those segments. Engage your customers at the right time so they will feel seen and valued by your company.
Psychographic (who are they really? Personality type, social class)
Behavioral (spending patterns, brand loyalties)
With AI-powered automation you can go as niche as you want with your segmentmentation, as well as gather valuable data about your customers and site visitors.
2. Personalize Your Communication
Customers want to know they are important to you. They want one-on-one communication, and research shows they are willing to exchange their private data for it.
When you use a modern tool to gather data on customer buying patterns and behavior, you can provide the kind of personalized experience that will delight your customers. Strategies include:
Offering a time sensitive dealoverlay when visitors try to leave the site
Customizing upsell offers based on the individual customer’s buying behaviors and interests
Presenting an overlay of abandoned cart items as a reminder to your customer of where they left off
And there are many more personalization tactics. Ongoing improvements in marketing software tools can help your business provide the most dynamic solutions for customer needs. AI technology can help you understand and predict buying behavior, share data, and educate customers about your brand – proactively. Give them what they want before they ask for it!
3. Communicate at the Right Time
Here are some ways you can use banners effectively:
Announcing…! Highlight useful information (like Free Shipping) at a key moment in the buying process.
Exclusivity. Peak interest in your brand’s email newsletter or push notifications. Make your customers want to be on ‘The List’.
Raise the Stakes. Add buying pressure by showing who else is viewing or buying the same item right now.
Empowering Growth through Technology
With AI-powered omni-channel communication software your company can create a fantastic customer experience. Features such as the Single Customer View, Detailed Scenarios, and Web Layers (on-site overlays) can help uplevel your marketing strategies.
Single Customer View
It’s untenable to keep track of all customer interactions across different platforms manually. With omni-channel communication, all of your customer connections are tracked – through email, on the phone, through social media, and even at local events – in one place.
The Single Customer View (or SCV) displays your user data profiles. Each profile contains that customer’s site activity, product preferences, purchase history, and more. Having all of this rich data in one view allows for highly specialized segmentation and targeted marketing.
Make sure your SCV offers flexibility, scalability, and updates in real-time, so you can always provide the most relevant and helpful customer experience.
When it comes to managing your segmented marketing strategies, automation is key. Set up communication triggers based on customized conditions, and ensure timely engagement with every customer.
Here are a couple automation examples:
A welcome email to everyone who signs up for the email list
A webhook that alerts you every time someone checks in at your store
Deeper Practical Strategies
All these concepts and ideas are well and good, but let’s delve deeper and explore more practical ways to actually use omni-channel communication. Here are three specific strategies to look at:
1. Optimal Email Send Times
If you’ve become discouraged by your email marketing results, you’re not alone. But there is a way to optimize your efforts here to ensure you’re doing all you can.
Strategy: Set up an email that triggers to coincide with a specific event, such as the delivery of a certain push notification. The algorithm will automatically send these emails at the right moment, returning better email open rates and engaging the right customers.
2. Reinvigorate Abandoned Carts
In 2016, Business Insider estimated that 2.75 trillion in abandoned shopping cart merchandise could be recovered. Would your company benefit from a piece of that?
Strategy: Remind your customers what they left behind with an email, timed about an hour after their last interaction. Include a list of items in their cart and a call-to action. This is a more complex strategy to set up but it is worth the solid, measurable results.
3. ROPO: Research Online, Purchase Offline
With the booming e-commerce market it may be hard to believe that 90% of US sales still occur in person. For companies with storefronts it’s imperative to connect their online and brick-and-mortar worlds in order to store and capitalize on customer information.
Strategy: Start a Loyalty card program that customers can use in stores which links their online profile and data. Now you can combine their online behavior and offline purchase history. Get a more complete customer profile, include them in your targeted marketing campaigns, enrich their experience with specialized offers, and foster that all-important customer loyalty.
Into the Future
It’s essential for any business to stay relevant, and the software tools to keep your company ahead of the curve are AI-powered. Omni-channel communication gives you the power to wow your customers through personalization, automation and targeted marketing. Let this approach increase their lifetime value as well as your own.
Every once in a while, you discover some amazing application that you wonder how you ever did without. I’ve been working onsite a ton with clients and in coworking facilities around the country, but I found it difficult to be productive with just one screen. I was spoiled by having multiple screens at my office, and I wanted something for the road.
A Utah study found that workers showed a 44% boost in productivity for text tasks and a 29% rise for spreadsheet tasks when moving from a single screen to a dual–monitor setup.
I discovered an app for iPad, Duet, which was engineered and built by some Apple Engineers, and it’s been superb. Latency is incredible, I can still utilize the touch screen, and I can even enable touch bar capability on the iPad screen.
Here’s a shot of my remote desk at one of my clients. I’m plugged into a DisplayLink Plugable for the desk monitor and network, then have my iPad Pro plugged in via USB to the DisplayLink. The DisplayLink isn’t a required piece of hardware… it’s just what they have at this specific client.
I can align the displays using OSX’s display settings and I can drag and drop across any screen.
When I leave, I just bring my laptop and iPad anywhere and plugin wherever I am. The Duet app needs to be running on both devices, but setup was a breeze and as soon as I plugged in via USB the monitor was alive. I can even still use the other iPad applications if I’d like.
Duet has made their software available for PC as well!
If there were one industry where a ton of data was being captured on an ongoing basis, it’s in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. CPG companies know that Big Data is important, but they have yet to embrace it in their day-to-day work.
What are Consumer Packaged Goods?
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are items used daily by average consumers that require routine replacement or replenishment, such as food, beverages, clothes, tobacco, makeup, and household products.
According to Bedrock Analytics, the consumer packaged goods industry is estimated to generate over $2 trillion annually in the United States alone. There are thousands of CPG manufacturers attempting to sell tens of thousands of brands, and hundreds of thousands of items into about 300 major retailers. In fact, a manufacturer’s top 5 selling retailers tend to make up more than half of its total sales.
Retailers are demanding more information, insights and direction from manufacturers in order to improve product assortments and increase sales across product categories. While larger CPG manufacturers have the in-house resources to deliver these insights, most small and mid-sized manufacturers do not.
Bedrock Analytics helps CPG manufacturers leverage the power of data analytics to drive growth and win shelf space. The team there was curious if and how CPG professionals are using the data at their disposal.
Interestingly enough, the survey shows that majority of CPG organizations have access to data, but they have little comfort in disseminating the data into actionable results. This is unfortunate, because that data is critical to many of the internal decisions, including:
Marketing and Branding
Presenting Insights to Buyers
Presenting Insights to Executives
They surveyed a selection of CPG professionals, and build survey results into this handy and illuminating infographic.
There's no doubt that intelligence-driven marketing is on the rise. According to Forbes, reliance on marketing analytics to make business decisions has increased from 30% to 42% of the time over the past five years. Download Now
This last week, I was working on remixing a customer testimonial for a client. The videographer they worked with was fantastic, providing all of the raw video and audio to them in the event they wanted to assemble videos in the future. They shared the raw MXF files with me so that I could download them and I instantly realized I was over my head.
My thought was that I was just going to pop the raw videos in iMovie, assemble the conversation, throw an intro, outro, and audio track on them, and be done. However, the professional videographer caught multiple angles from different cameras… and only one view had the premium audio. This is normal if you’re a pro, but was way over my head.
With iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, I only have one video timeline. So, I would have had to edit each camera angle perfectly, then try to match up the video to the audio track – an impossible task. And without the additional camera angles, the video wasn’t going to be as impactful. Time to call a pro!
My videographer has a studio near my home office, so I drove down and chatted with him to see what could be done. He quickly educated me on the limitations of video editing software and showed me how he could easily add multiple video tracks or a separate audio track to his editor and synchronize them with a click of the button.
AJ shared some of AJ’s favorite video editing packages that offer clip synchronization:
Adobe Premiere Pro – that’s a screenshot above of AJ’s favorite video editing software. Premiere Pro is the leading video editing software for film, T, and the Web.
Composer First – AVID is the leading industry standard for editing feature films, Shows, and Commercials. The fact that they made a free version is HUGE! (AJ is also AVID certified)
Hitfilm Express – Hitfilm express is the indy’s indy editor. It’s free as well and it is not only an editor (like premier) but also a compositor (After Effects) AJ usually recommends this one as a free alternative.
FilmoraPro Video Editor – I’ve been using Wondershare’s conversion program and it’s worked flawlessly. I have no doubt their affordable video editing package is just as good – and it offers audio synchronization as well.
Within minutes, AJ had the video ready that I had tried to work hours on. This really made me rethink using iMovie for my video editing. With my Adobe Creative Cloud
license, I can download and learn Premiere Pro… so I think it’s time I upgraded!
So whether it’s multiple video clips with one that has the perfect audio, or it’s multiple video clips and and an additional audio clip from your recorder… these packages will perfectly synchronize both audio and video clips so that you don’t have to!
And, with multiple video timelines, you can align and select that views that you want to make the video more professional and impactful.
Note: I am using my affiliate link for the Adobe Creative Cloud.
The vast majority of requests that I get on Martech Zone are guest post requests. We’re pretty open on these requests as long as they’re not outwardly salesy or just trying to garner backlinks. I’m adamant that the the content we provide be of quality to keep to my goal of helping marketers research, discover, and learn about marketing technology.
The process for a guest post can be a pain, though. While I have a submission process, you’d be surprised at how many people simply don’t answer the necessary questions (or lie about their goal of backlinking… grrr.)
As with every other problem out there, there’s a solution for that! Accessily is a content marketing marketplace where a business can publish their guest post on some high quality websites. In fact, their marketplace now has over 15,000 websites listed (including Martech Zone) where you can make a purchase and publish a guest post.
The publishers can be filtered by their Moz domain authority, page authority, publisher rules, language, and also whether or not you can place a backlink within the content.
As you can see by the few examples above, the cost of publishing an article can be quite an investment… but given the size of those sites, the audience you’re reaching, and the authority they have in the industry, it can be a great investment for a business or agency.
In my humble opinion, I think keeping the prices high is a great way to keep backlinkers out… who survive on cheap pricing and placing tons of links on low quality sites. As a publisher, the fact that I have control over the content and can approve it is essential.
I look forward to testing out the service for my clients as well as seeing how it works for for businesses who hope to utilize my publication to reach a new audience with great content.
Over the last decade, we’ve really seen visitors on websites behave quite differently. Years ago, we built sites that listed out products, features, and company information… all of which were centered around what companies did.
Now, consumers and businesses alike are landing on home pages and landing pages to research their next purchase. But they’re not seeking a list of your features or services, they’re looking to ensure you understand them and that you’re the right partner to do business with.
For a decade now, I’ve been pushing companies to market their benefits over their features. But now, a balanced home or landing page really needs 7 distinct pieces of content to flourish:
Problem – Define the problem that your company solves (but don’t mention your company).
Evidence – Provide supporting statistics or industry quotes that support that it’s a common issue from a trusted third party, primary, or secondary research.
Resolution – Provide information on the people, processes, and platforms that are helping alleviate the problem. Again, this is not where you interject your company… it’s an opportunity to provide information that the industry, practices, or methodology that you use is widely respected.
Introduction – Introduce your company, product, or service. This is just a succinct statement to open the door.
Overview – Provide an overview of your solution.
Differentiate – Clarify why clients would wish to purchase from you.
Social Proof – Provide testimonials, awards, certifications, or clients that provide evidence that you do what you say you do.
Let’s clarify for a couple of different examples. Perhaps you’re Salesforce and you’re targeting financial services companies:
Financial services companies are struggling to build relationships in the digital age.
In fact, in a study from PWC, 46% of customers don’t use branches or call centers, up from 27% just four years ago.
Financial services companies are having to rely on sophisticated, omni-channel communication strategies to provide value and personalize a relationship with their prospects and customers.
Salesforce is the leading Marketing Stack provider to the financial services industry.
With seamless integrations between their CRM, and the advanced journey potential and intelligence in the Marketing Cloud, Salesforce is helping financial technology companies bridge the digital divide.
Salesforce is recognized by Gartner, Forrester and other analysts as the most popular and widely utilized platform in the industry. They work with customers like Bank of America, etc., etc.
Internal pages, of course, can go into much deeper detail. You can (and should) augment this content with images, graphics, and video. As well, you should provide a path for each visitor to dig in deeper.
If you provide these 7 pieces of content on every page of your site focused on driving a visitor to action, you will absolutely be successful. This breakdown assists visitors in understanding how you can help them and whether or not you can be trusted. Trust and authority are always the key barriers to a visitor taking action.
A question that I still get asked by mature business owners is whether or not they should do pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or not. It’s not a simple yes or no question. PPC offers an amazing opportunity to push ads in front of audiences on search, social, and websites that you may not ordinarily reach through organic methods.
What is Pay Per Click Marketing?
PPC is a method of online advertising where the advertiser pays a fee each time their advertisement is clicked. Because it requires a user to actually take action, this method of advertising is quite popular. Marketers can find PPC opportunities across search engines, social media, and a plethora of advertising networks. Unlike traditional ads that are charged a CPM (cost per thousand impressions), PPC charges with a CPC (cost per click). The CTR (click-through rate) is a percentage of how many times users click versus see a PPC ad.
Douglas Karr, Martech Zone
Should you do PPC? Well, I’d recommend having a foundational content library and website with all the bells and whistles before you start spending a ton of money on ads. An exception, of course, is if you’re not sure what content will actually produce conversions. Testing keyword combinations and ad copy in PPC can save you a ton of money and time spent on content marketing if you’re not sure.
I generally advise clients to get a baseline site, a library of content, some great landing pages, and an email program… then use PPC to augment your overall digital marketing strategy. Over time, you can build your organic leads and use PPC sparingly when you need the leads.
As digital experience continues to be the top area of focus for Financial Service companies, the customer journey (personalized digital touchpoint occurring across channel) is the foundation of that experience. Please join us as we provide insight into how to develop your own journeys for acquisition, onboarding, retention, and increasing value with your prospects and customers. We’ll also look at the most impactful journeys implemented with our customers.
Webinar Date and Time
June 04, 2019 02:00 PM EDT
Join Brad Walters, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Salesforce Evan Carl, Account Executive at Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Douglas Karr, Strategic Marketing Consultant at ListEngage, for this ground-breaking webinar!
In today's digital world, it often seems harder than it should be to figure out which marketing activities are actually driving profit and which aren't. Are you using marketing mix models and vendors in the right way? Sponsored by Nielsen. Download Now
Over the last several months, I’ve been assisting Salesforce customers with developing a strategy on how to best utilize their licensed platforms. It’s an interesting opportunity and one that’s actually surprised me. Having been an early employee of ExactTarget, I’m a huge fan of the infinite capabilities of Salesforce and all of their available products.
This opportunity came to me through a Salesforce partner that has an outstanding reputation for implementing, developing, and integrating the collection of Salesforce platforms for their clients. Over the years, they’ve just knocked it out of the park… but they’ve started noticing a gap in the industry that needed filled – strategy.
Salesforce provides countless resources and outstanding use cases to prospects on how other customers are best utilizing the platform. And my Salesforce Partner can accommodate the implementation of any strategy. The gap, though, is that companies often enter into an engagement with Salesforce and the partner without actually determining what the strategy might be.
Implementing Salesforce is not a Marketing Strategy. Implementing Salesforce could almost mean anything – from how you sell, who you sell to, how you communicate to them, how you integrate with your other corporate platforms, as well as how you measure success. Getting a license and sending out logins to Salesforce isn’t a strategy… it’s like buying a blank playbook.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A plan of action designed to promote and sell a product or service.
If you purchased a marketing strategy from a consultant, what would you expect them to deliver? I posed this question to leaders throughout the industry and you’d be surprised at the range of answers I received… from ideation through to finite execution.
Discovery – Before any journey begins, you must understand where you are, what’s around you, and where you’re going. Every marketing employee, hired consultant, or agency must work through a discovery phase. Without it, you don’t understand how to deliver your marketing material, how to position yourself from the competition, or what resources are at your disposal.
Strategy – Now you have the tools to develop a baseline strategy used to achieve your marketing goals. Your strategy should include an overview of your goals, channels, media, campaigns, and how you will measure your success. You will want an annual mission statement, quarterly focus, and monthly or weekly deliverables. This is an agile document that can change over time, but has the buy-in of your organization.
Implementation – With a clear understanding of your company, your market positioning, and your resources, you’re ready to build out the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Your digital presence must have all the tools necessary to execute and measure your upcoming marketing strategies.
Execution – Now that everything is in place, it’s time to execute the strategies you’ve developed and measure their overall impact.
Optimization – Notice the cool wormhole that we’ve included in the infographic that takes our growing strategy and transports it right back to Discovery again! There is no completion of the Agile Marketing Journey. Once you’ve executed your marketing strategy, you must test, measure, improve, and adapt it over time to continue to maximize its impact to your business.
Notice that strategy precedes implementation, execution, and optimization. If you’re developing or purchasing a marketing strategy from a company – that doesn’t mean they’re going to implement that strategy, nor execute it.
In developing the marketing strategy, we identified:
Who their customers were – from their financial literacy, to their life stage, to their financial health, and their persona.
Where their marketing efforts were – how mature their organization was in building a relationship with them. Did they know who they were, whether or not they were educating them, whether or not their customers actually benefitted from learning from them, and whether a customer actually reached out personally?
How was the organization engaging – had the institution asked for feedback, could they assess the questions above, did they have the resources to educate and equip their customers, and was the journey actually personalized?
Did the organization have the resources – our research showed a couple dozen topics that their customers were always researching online – from credit management, wealth management, estate planning, to retirement planning. Customers were looking for DIY tools to help them assess, plan, and execute their finances… and the institutions they were working with should have them all (or at least point them to a great partner).
Was the organization visible in each of the buying stages – from problem identification, to solution exploration, to requirements and financial organization selection, could the organization reach every stage in the buyer’s journey? Did they have tools and resources to help validate the buyer’s findings and help them drive home the engagement?
Could the organization be reached through the preferred mediums – articles aren’t the only medium. In fact, some people don’t even take the time to read anymore. Does the organization utilize text, imagery, audio, and video to reach their prospects or customers where they prefer?
Once implemented, how will success be measured with your marketing strategy? Before you implement a strategy, the measurement capabilities must be taken into consideration so you know it’s working. How long will you wait before deciding how successful it is? At what point will you optimize your campaigns? At what point will you fold them if they’re not working?
If you can answer all of these questions, then you probably have a solid marketing strategy. A marketing strategy will help you uncover, discover, and plan that you need a tool or resource.
From the fintech example above, your company may find that the site is missing a home mortgage calculator so you have in your plan to build one. That doesn’t mean the strategy defines what the calculator looks like, how you’re going to develop it, where it will be hosted, or how you’re going to promote it… those are all campaign execution steps that can be done down the road. The strategy is to build a calculator that you need to reach customers. The implementation and execution comes later.
Strategy is the Gap Between the Need and Execution
As I consult with more and more organizations with Salesforce, we’re knocking it out of the park on these engagements. Salesforce has helped the customer identify the need for a technological solution to help them with their sales and marketing efforts.
The Salesforce partner is there to help them implement the solution for the processes and strategies they hope to execute. But I’m in between the two identifying the gap and working between the platforms, the partner, and the customer to develop the plan to reach their prospects and customers. When there’s consensus between us all, the Salesforce partner comes in and implements the solution, then the client executes the strategy.
And, of course, as we measure the results, we should adjust the strategy from time to time. In an enterprise setting, that could take months to achieve, though.
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Most sites lose about half of their visitors due to slow page speed. In fact, the average desktop web page bounce rate is 42%, the average mobile web page bounce rate is 58%, and the average post-click landing page bounce rate ranges from 60 to 90%. Not flattering numbers by any means, especially considering mobile usage continues to grow and it’s getting harder by the day to attract and keep consumer attention.
According to Google, the average page load time for the top landing pagesis still a sluggish 12.8 seconds. This includes places where mobile internet access is prevalent and 4G speeds are some of the highest worldwide.
That average page speed is way too long, considering 53% of users abandon pages after only 3 seconds — and it only gets worse from there:
What is a good page load speed, then? Near-instant.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. Before we get to that though, let’s uncover more about the importance of page speed.
Clearly, brands are spending huge amounts on ads and expecting to get the most out of their budget. But, when people click an ad — and the post-click landing page fails to load instantly — they likely click back within a few seconds, and consequently, advertisers’ budget is wasted.
The cost implications of page speed are enormous and you should absolutely make page speed a priority moving forward. Here are a few metrics and points to consider as you evaluate your own digital advertising campaigns:
Not only do slow page loads frustrate users, but it also causes Quality Scores to suffer. Since Quality Score is directly related to your ad rank, and ultimately what you could pay for each click, a slow-loading page naturally reduces scores.
If fewer people are sticking around waiting for your page to load, fewer people are getting the chance to convert. They’re abandoning your page before even seeing your offer, benefits, call-to-action, etc.
In retail, for example, even a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.
Which brings us to the #1 page speed solution that addresses each of these issues.
AMP Landing Pages Increase Page Speed
AMP, the open-source framework introduced in 2016, provides a way for advertisers to create lightning-fast, smooth-loading mobile web pages that prioritize the user-experience above all else.
As the leader in post-click optimization, Instapage offers the ability to create post-click landing pages using the AMP framework: