Markigence is a leading digital marketing agency in Delhi (India), specialized in Social Media Marketing, Pay per Click, SEO and Search Engine Marketing. Since 2009, the year of our incorporation, we have developed over 50 visually appealing, user-friendly websites, conducted dozens of social media campaigns, generated qualified leads through paid and search campaigns
Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing methods of starting a passive income in the modern digital marketing landscape. The majority of bloggers/promoters prefer affiliate marketing in the initial phase. Affiliate marketing allows you to earn money even when you are asleep, like literally!
Here is a detailed explanation of each and every aspect of affiliate marketing.
What is the difference between Affiliate Marketer and Affiliate Marketing Merchant?
The product creator or seller in the affiliate marketing is called the affiliate marketing merchant whereas the person promoting the product or services is considered an affiliate marketer. The difference is quite simple but it is important for new affiliates to understand the industry jargon.
Merchants have to pay commission to the promoters as per the terms of affiliation but promoters do not have to pay any type of charges such as joining fee to enter into an affiliation agreement. The only cost of promoting a merchant or a product might be the cost in which a marketer publishes his/her blog. It can be the cost of using a plugin, buying a strong backlink website, or using additional services such as payment handlers.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How it’s Done?
Affiliate marketing is a referral arrangement that uses commission and/or revenue sharing as its framework. You have to promote other people’s products and receive a commission if your audience buys the product. Affiliate marketing works both ways where the bloggers can also contact other promoters and offer them incentives.
For instance, Amazon runs the biggest affiliate program for consumer products. The ‘Amazon Associates’ program allows affiliates to promote every product that is being sold on their website. Any promoter can sign up on their website and generate a personalised affiliate link. Subsequently, the affiliate receives a small commission every time a customer purchases a product.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing has two parties – the creator/seller and the marketer but technically, affiliate marketing has 3 to 4 parties i.e. the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.
The Merchant: This may be the creator of the product, the seller, the vendor, the brand or all of them. It can be either a company or an individual who is selling products and/or services. In addition, they also do not have to actively involved in the process as the only requirement in this scenario is a product to sell. The company or the individual offers commission for each product they sell through referrals. The commission may range from as low as a few dollars to as high as millions of dollars. The amount of commission also depends on the price of the product and sales.
The Network: Although many digital marketers do not consider the network a part of the affiliate marketing process, it should be given the credit for playing the role of an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant. On a different note, both the publishers and the merchant can directly share revenues with each other, but adding a payment handling mediator gives a sense of security and authenticity.
The Publisher/Affiliate: Known by the name of promoter as well, affiliate or publisher is the one promoting the product. This is the part where actual marketing happens. An affiliate can promote one or multiple products from different brands and industries to its potential customers. However, whether a visitor ends up buying the product depends on a variety of factors such as the content, website, promotion, and popular feedback about the quality of the product/service.
The Customer: This is the last but the most important part of an affiliate system. The whole procedure can fail if the consumer does not purchase the product as there will be no commissions to hand out and no revenue to share. Affiliates or promoters try to engage their visitors on every possible platform such as social media and digital billboards through blogs and their efforts only pay off when a visitor buys the product.
How to Become an Affiliate Marketer?
Affiliate marketing is a complicated trade as it requires active engagement on multiple platforms to achieve success. However, starting as an affiliate marketer is not difficult, as you only have to carefully follow a few steps.
Review/Analyse Products/Services in Your Niche: Becoming an affiliate is easy as you do not have to ideate or create a product. All you have to do is review products or services in your niche. However, you need to carefully structure your content in an unbiased way so that it can offer insights on both pros and cons about the product. Internet users are smart and they are already informed about the popular brands and products, and therefore, providing honest reviews of products will also boost your image as an expert in the niche.
Build a Mailing List: It is still one of the biggest marketing channels and you should not ignore it as it can help you gather valuable customer data. Features such as Hello Bar, Exit Gates and a carefully designed sidebar widget with just one Call To Action (CTA) can help you collect email Ids of your visitors and build a mailing list. However, do not try to attain numbers here as the niche you are working in, will not attract a high number of visitors. Only motivated customers will visit your blog and an email list with mere 500 addresses can generate significant amount of sales.
Here, the key is to engage the audience at regular intervals by sending them updates on a weekly or a bi-weekly basis. In addition, you can also send specific CTAs to your potential customers that encourage buying a specific product. You can proceed to the next step once you’ve obtained a number of email addresses.
Educate Your Audience: Webinars is a relatively new concept that is helping both the audiences and the marketers promote their product. Customers prefer a platform that demonstrates/live presentation of a product rather than just reading reviews. You can promote your webinars on online platforms and get people to sign up for it. You can provide detailed information about the product regarding its features, different use cases, pros and cons, and personal experience. Lastly, you can also ask the merchant to provide special deals to the customers who purchase the product through the affiliate.
What are the Popular Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools?
The global affiliate marketing landscape is getting crowded every minute and getting the job done manually is not going to be easy for the emerging affiliates. Thus, certain plugins and tools are available that can help you build a successful affiliate marketing business.
Thirsty Affiliates: The tool is WordPress compatible and it can make the job of manually copy-paste the affiliate ID and URL every time you mention the product in your blog. This is a link management plugin which allows you to add links without any fuss. You can also change the long affiliate links into cloaked pretty links that are more user-friendly in every possible way.
Flippa: This is an amazing website which allows bloggers to leapfrog the process of building an affiliate site from scratch. The website is a bidding marketplace for buying and selling websites. Marketers can buy websites here that have a strong backlink profile so that they can kickstart their marketing campaign.
CJ Affiliate: Formerly known as Commission Junction, CJ affiliate facilitates interaction between advertisers/merchants and promoters to establish the marketing and commission process. Promoters can get paid on the basis of every phone call, website visit, lead, or sales. CJ affiliate allows promoters to work directly with the merchants and therefore, it can be a great starting point.
OptinMonster: Email lit building is an essential part of affiliate marketing which requires precise placement of email sign up forms. OptinMonster is all about adding lightbox pop-ups, sidebar forms, after-post sign up forms, slide-in sign up forms, and floating bars. It can track the performance of each optin form on your website.
MaxBounty: This is an affiliate network that facilitates the affiliate process between the promoters and the affiliate merchants. The network handles everything from connecting merchants and promoters to ensuring and managing payments and additional services such as performance bonuses, international campaigns, etc. The network specialises in partnering up with new and existing enterprises so that the affiliates never run out of campaigns. In addition, the network provides weekly payments and expert affiliate support for helping affiliates with promotional strategies and selecting campaigns.
The world of SEO is always changing and the tactics you were using 2 years back will not work in the current digital scenario. Even if you have been successful in improving your website ranking, you will require new strategies and innovative ways for the desired results. In simple words, achieving and maintaining high rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing require the use of present-day relevant SEO techniques.
There are many aspects such as the content, backlinks, keywords, etc. that you need to manage for an optimised SEO campaign and it is easy for an SEO professional to be overwhelmed by these metrics. Therefore, it is better to implement a few strategies as a framework for your online marketing campaign and then target each aspect individually.
Here is how you can successfully increase the ranking of your website by using some effective SEO strategies.
Long Blog Posts:
SEO experts across the globe always focus on posting quality web content. This is undoubtedly the most essential and fundamental factor in improving search engine rankings though you cannot ignore the length of your blog or article. Articles that exhaustively cover a topic and provide in-depth analysis are sure helpful in achieving better rankings on the search engines.
However, long articles or blog posts are not magic potions that dramatically improve your rankings. This simply has to do with the lifespan of a post. A post with 500 words at the most will not be able to draw attention for a long time due to the shortage of keywords and backlinks. On the other hand, a post with extra 1500 words has a longer life span and it tends to attract backlinks for a longer duration. It is simply short-term posts vs. long-term posts. In addition, in-depth posts also demonstrate your understanding of a specific industry thus, help in reputation building as well.
Bucket Brigade Copywriting:
Content for SEO is not only about keywords and backlinks. The ultimate goal of posting content on the website is to engage users and possibly take them to the point of sales. In the process of ranking websites, search engines also consider the amount of time spent by the users on a specific website. Here, the Bucket brigade style of copywriting comes into play.
This writing style is an old but still relevant way of writing that is similar to a human chain that passes along a bucket of water. If you find a blog post to which you feel glued, there is a high probability that you came across a copy that is written in the bucket brigade writing style. This style focuses on maintaining a flow with a conversational tone and keeping the readers occupied.
Another popular technique used by the writers is Grease Slide Technique that divides the information into several segments and drives the reader through them, also maintaining a conversational tone. This is quite similar to the Bucket Brigade writing style.
You can use it anywhere in your post. Use it as an opening line or in mid-conversation.
It is not as difficult as it seems.
Try it, you’ll love it!
Update Your Content:
Your online content should be in-line with your current marketing objectives. You should publish new content regularly but check the old content in every few months. You should check if your old blogs still contain relevant information or not. This has to do with both the information provided on the blog posts and the SEO tactics that you implemented 2 or 3 years back. Meanwhile, search engines must have changed their algorithm in some way or the other and you need to alter your old SEO tactics accordingly.
In addition, it is easier to add or remove information, or change keywords in an old article. You can change the headline to make it sound more relevant or you can edit the copy as per your SEO strategy. Search engines love fresh content and you may notice a spike in your traffic or rankings after updating the content. Such small efforts will keep your database fresh and relevant for long.
This should also be a wakeup call for SEO professionals who are only focusing on creating new content as their previous posts would only become a waste after some time.
Quality Backlinks and Keyword Research:
Quality backlinks equal to credibility. Quality backlinks divert traffic to your website by making it popular on search engines. These can ensure that you appear in the search results of your target audience.
Now the question arises, how to get quality backlinks? An easy way to obtain quality backlinks is through guest blogging and collaborating with influencers. There is also a possibility that some websites link back to your website without your permission. This is usually not a dangerous situation as long as the websites are genuine and credible. In any case, you have to be careful while filtering the websites and you should immediately disavow the links of spammy or incredible websites. Linking back such websites negatively affects your domain that decreases your website rank on search engine results. There is also a chance that you may lose all your hard work within a day or two.
Similarly, keyword research is an equally important factor that should be finalised before finalising the topic of the blog. This approach lets you scout natural keywords that easily fit within the content. There are various tools that you can use for keyword research as well. The tools are SEMrush Keyword Tool, KWfinder, Google Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, etc. In addition, while targeting keywords, try using slightly long-tail keywords that are not broad in nature.
Optimise Your Website and Analyse Your Website SEO:
An effective way to improve your SEO strategy is to optimise your website and analyse its SEO. Take out some time to figure out the pain points and see how you can improve the functionality of your website. There are many aspects of a website that must be viewed through the perspective of SEO.
Areas that look simple often require more attention. Paying attention to features such as page loading speed, page titles, descriptions, spam scores, optimized multimedia content and Accelerated Mobile Pages (APM) can seriously improve the look and feel of your website along with its ranking. Another good tool is SEO audits as it can help you identify the problem areas, evaluate performance and set goals according to the requirements of your website.
SEO is about being aware of changing trends and using relevant techniques for improving rankings, generating more website traffic and engaging as many as users possible. Do not just optimise your website for marketing or sales. Do it for your target audience, try to realise the issues they may face while navigating through your website and plan your strategies accordingly.
Content packaging and marketing is an approach that focuses on consistently creating and distributing content in such a way that it has a high degree of value and relevance. Content marketing is done to attract and retain a clearly defined audience that ultimately leads to profitable customer action. The goal remains to generate leads that pay economic benefits and at the same time build brand loyalty with the clients.
Benefits of Content Marketing Tools and Technologies
Content is the spine of the website and dictates the brand personality, tonality, and financial effectiveness. Marketing the content with the correct approach and appeal will make your brand stand out from the rest and have a long-lasting persuasive effect on the audience. In the digital era, the ‘content’ of a website, blog or mobile application comprises of text, audio (like a podcast or background music), audio-visual (like videos), graphics (like infographics such as flowcharts, animations, photographs, and logo).
The benefits content marketing include muscular brand awareness. You would not only see a considerable buzz and visibility for your brand but as a content marketer, you will also be able to establish a strong relationship with your target audience. Careful and insightful optimization of text and images on the website can fetch you an improved domain authority (DA) and recognition. Your credibility in the industry will boost closer to an expert level. This will open communication channels with your audience that will subsequently improve your content as you will also be updated of the qualitative feedback.
Because content marketing uses strategic tools to market, persuade and gratifies the needs and desires of the target audience after making a comprehensive analysis. A good content marketing strategy can generate traffic to your website which can, in turn, generate profit on the advertising front. This is also known as ‘double sword marking’ in which you market not only the content on your website but also the traffic you generate to the advertisers.
As another benefit, intelligently improvised Search Engine Optimisation. Creation of tags and meta tags help categorize your website and its content on the search engine your website is registered on. Your website becomes discoverable on the account of relevant searches queries. Search engines have comprehensive and thought out algorithms which have a mechanism to negate half-baked content, so content that is curated well and marketed well grabs a heightened organic viewership.
How Content Marketing Technologies Benefit Content Marketing
Content marketing is a popular tool among digital marketer as they found an additional 538% more success rate than those who don’t. Content marketing is also capable of generating up to 3 times the number of leads at a 62% lower cost as compared to traditional outbound marketing. 61% of the consumers made an action-oriented sales action after reading a recommendation on a blog post. This signifies the power of digital content marketing and its ripple effect on overall sales and branding imaging.
Listed below are some of the creatively amazing content marketing case studies that can help you better understand why and how content should be marketed along with its nuances:
Zomato does an in-depth analysis of their target audience with respect to demographics, psychographics, and geo-demographics. Zomato understands the needs and expectations of its audience’s food preferences and the level of convenience they are ready to bear. Zomato keeps from following a daily posting schedule, but rather comes up with a quality digital advertising campaigns robust in a clean copy, rich in pun and informative insights. Zomato handles Social Media Optimisation (SMO) by packaging the content with relevant hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Buffer is also one with an interesting personality and an, even more, quirkier and eye-ball grabbing digital content marketing. Buffer obeys a strategic digital presence for their customers seeking to build an audience online. The company works on a three-tier model for its content online. Initiated by studying the company personality, the current market scenario for the genre it belongs to and then devising a comprehensive strategy for the client. Enriched with relevant SEO and discoverable content, Buffer makes sure there is an additional strategic inter-client partnering of non-competitive accounts to boost online engagement.
Buffer makes the initial boost by posting blogs on websites with high domain authority to grab the first set of over 100,000 users before incorporating a audio-visuals and infographic content to these blogs and made it highly interactive and shareable.
Top Content Marketing Technologies That Will Trend in 2019
Before you adopt a robust social media and digital media strategy, having a good content marketing strategy is imperative. Search engines identify content that is rich in relevant information. SEO marketing will have to be supported with the spine of good quality content that is in a comprehensible format with a simplistic structure having subheads, introductory paragraph, as well as a well-thought-out conclusion.
Below are listed some of the top and trendy content marketing technologies for 2019:
Voice Search Will Dominate Google Searches
By the year 2020, 30% of the web browsing will be done solely through voice searches, without touching the screen. This will enable the users to go hands-free and use voice recognition technologies like Google and Alexa for browsing on search engines. Unquestionable, voice searches will make a significant searching behavior of users. Since voice queries empower users to multi-task while browsing, voice search is going to make content producers and curators mutate their content and strategize in a way that is similar to the spoken language of people. This brings us to the technology of voice recognition. Presently, Alexa- an Amazon product is manufacturing the technology that is built with ‘6 brains’. This means, that the device can understand even the colloquial language and terms and relevantly answer to search queries. It is a big hit among content providing communication industry and foresees dynamic growth of 62% in the staff skilled in customizable voice recognition content.
Artificial Intelligence Is Bigger and More Content-Friendly than Ever
Artificial Intelligence is empowering audiences through technology like predictive analysis, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Generation Processing. Subsequent years to come would see Artificial Intelligence merging into industries like government and consumer markets across the world. According to reports, the technology has increased two-folds from 61% in the year 2017 from being 38% in the last year. AI will change how content online is marketed in the future using crawlers and robust algorithms over search engines and social media sites.
Additionally, AI will not only personalise but also hyper-personalize the search inquiries that decides the number of clicks and finally the share of advertisements that your content gets entitled to. As content marketers, you must maintain consistency of content as well as incorporating the right amount of keywords and meta tags.
Other technologies like PR strategies address issues that the audience really care about. Updating your webpage with articles or other literature informing your audience about any collaborations, or events your brand has carried out. Additionally, maintaining an inbound marketing schedule is a good procedure for doing content marketing.
Content is the new currency in the digital marketing world. It is a double-edged sword that dictates the persuasive power and the brand loyalty of your organization. Being updated and sensitive to the latest content marketing technology is imperative for maintaining professional relevance.
The advertisement industry is shifting towards automation, and many advertisers now are purchasing digital ads and commercials without associating with print or media companies. As the technology advances, new techniques are steadily being examined to produce facilities encompassing the purchasing of ads. The media users are proposing to include programmatic or automated buying to their online advertising toolbelt not only because it makes ad sales more effective but also practical. In the coming future, programmatic buying will be an indispensable innovation to any media buyers digital strategy.
Several ad agencies are utilising tech associates with access to ad markets, while some are developing their own marketing desks to enable them to purchase media themselves. Revenues associated with real-time bidding (RTB) crossed $1.6 billion in 2017, and approximately 34% of all visual advertising revenues are forecasted to generate from RTB.
What is Programmatic Buying?
Programmatic buying is a compelling medium for marketers and advertisers as it automates all of the processes related to ad sales. With RTB, a buyer can set specifications such as network reach and bid price. A programmatic buy will arrange these specifications with an audience or behavioural data all in the same program. This implies that marketing and advertising professionals can determine the goals, budget, and attribution model while the program quickly adjusts various variables in real time to ascertain the top campaign settings to reach the desired return on investment (ROI). Filtering impressions via algorithms based on behavioural information enables online marketers to be more creative and consume less time reading excel sheets.
Programmatic buying is an all-inclusive term that comprises of leveraging technology and big data including ad exchanges, ad networks, trading desks, supply-side platforms (SSPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), real-time bidding (RTB), exchange-based buying of ad inventory, and ad networks to serve relevant and targeted experiences to users across multiple channels.
The technology does not completely eliminate the human part of the system, but it does exclude the lengthy, dull processes related to manual advertisement buying. Earlier, turning an ad from creative design to visual display involved numerous steps, ranging from analysis, requests and availability, to pricing, purchasing, and uploading. Programmatic buying has modified these actions by taking decisions on the marketers’ behalf by real-time bidding. By omitting the tiresome manual features of ad buying, programmatic has made the process efficient, cost-effective, and transparent. This is a major reason why rising numbers of publishers are using programmatic technology to manage their business.
The Problem Of Ad Blocking
Ad blocking presents a great challenge for programmatic buying as internet users are frequently exercising the technology as a way to block trivial and irrelevant ads. The increase in ad blocking has emphasised the value of presenting customised experiences that add tangible value. Advertisers and marketers must use flexible technology and audience data to give highly-targeted advertisements, which will enhance rather than interrupt a user’s experience.
Automated media mapping through ad exchanges and DSPs (demand-side platforms) produces enormous advantages to both brand advertisers and direct response. Programmatic buying gives a 100% transparent model where buyers can purchase third-party data to select responses and optimise at the impression level automatically.
Is Programmatic Buying the Future?
Buyers approach to programmatic buying has grown with the recent upgrade in technology. An advanced ecosystem has generated around programmatic buying with specialised providers guiding the process and some considerable agencies developing in-house programs. It’s secure to say that programmatic buying will ultimately have an influential market share of online display advertising. With the inclusion of RTB on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, innovative strategies will be presented, and like various digital advertising trends, programmatic buying will become an imperative tool.
Let’s have a look at the top 6 facts you should know now about programmatic buying:
The Growth of Programmatic Buying: According to eMarketer, programmatic buying is on the course to earn up to $14.88 billion of the nearly $58.6 billion in the digital advertising market. That’s almost $5 billion jumps ahead from 2014 when it was deemed for $9.9 billion.
The Importance Of Data: Advertisers can utilise programmatic buying to fan advertisements over the web and evaluate what’s running best mid-campaign. The factors could range from audience segments, geographies, times of day, and publishers. This will help narrow down their target audience accordingly, so as to pay only for extremely effective ads. This is a drastic transformation from traditional ad buying, where an advertiser is locked into the contract and has to run a specific number of ads with a publisher.
Social Media Networks Are Growing: Over the past couple of years, social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have surpassed programmatic ad-tech agencies to sell ads on the web, and not just over their own specific platforms. Keeping in mind the extensive majority of ad-tech companies, these social media networks have an abundance of login information, enabling them to connect user identifications across multiple devices. In the near future, these social network companies will overtake the competition with the probable exclusion of Google.
The Benefit Of In-House Ad Buying: According to Index Exchange, advertisers’ internal programmatic ad buying is the fastest-growing section of programmatic purchasing. Almost 11% of the ads bought via Index were from brands’ in-house teams, and at the figure rose to 15% in a period between 2013-2014.
Mobile Devices Are A Threat: The behavioural targeting abilities of programmatic services are majorly bound to tracking cookies. This is a significant obstacle when it comes to mobile devices where cookies are ineffective. The lack of the cookie application in mobile is creating a challenge for advertisers who wish to run campaigns on a desktop or mobile devices.
Good For Viewability: Sometimes programmatic buying is ridiculed as a collection of fraudulent, nonviewable, and remnant inventory, there are instruments accessible within the platform that enables advertisers to buy ads that are considerably more viewable than others.
While programmatic technology makes marketing easier, the concept can also be complicated as it represents an ecosystem of advertising rather than a particular model of media buying. Programmatic advertising strives to make digital advertising more effective by leveraging real-time data to influence users at the best time and with the most suitable information. At a higher level, applying programmatic could be an expensive operation in-house since all the relevant technology integrations and programs are costly. While outsourcing programmatic isn’t true for all clients, designating resources to skilled partners or agencies with intellectual knowledge and capital might be the best approach to accomplish programmatic buys.
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz to determine the authority of your website. It is measured between 0 to 100 and the higher the DA of a website, the greater are its chances of ranking higher in SERPs (search engine result pages) and generating more organic traffic. Domain authority is a significant factor in determining whether your website pages soar to the top of search engine page rankings or drop down. You can efficiently track the domain authority of any website by installing the Moz extension on your browser or monitoring Open Site Explorer by Moz.
Without identifying your domain authority, you may miss out on crucial traffic and revenue opportunities and lag behind in the competition. Here are a few ways you can improve the domain authority of your website:
On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
On-Page SEO plays an essential role in driving your DA from low to high. It consists of technical factors like keyword placement, page titles, and keyword density.
Let’s have a look at some steps that will help you advance your On-Page SEO:
The density of the keyword: Keep the density of the keyword between 0.5 to 1.5% and avoid keyword stuffing.
Targeted keyword: Select a comprehensive keyword for your blog posts, and go for long-tail keywords as they are easier to rank. Utilise the keyword once in the initial section of your post.
Heading tags: Use heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to highlight the principal points.
Permalink structure: Try and use an SEO-friendly permalink composition which includes your focus keyword.
Meta description: It is important to fill out the meta description, and avoid leaving it blank.
Compose keyword rich headlines: The headline of your blog post should be engaging and keyword rich. It is always beneficial to start your headline with the focus keyword.
Image optimisation: Optimise your images to promote your SEO status.
If you are not managing your SEO, then it may become difficult for your website to rank well on search engines such as Google. On-Page Optimisation is one of the best techniques to drive interested guests to your site.
Concentrate on Internal Link Building
Links are a dominant force for website traffic, making link building an essential feature to drive your rankings up. According to the SEO PowerSuite Link Building Report published in 2017, almost 72% of SEOs said backlinks play a significant role in rankings. If users think that your website has the power and wish to spread your posts and message, they will want to link to your website. The more users interact with your website, the more search engines observe your website as being useful and trustworthy, giving it a higher ranking.
The best model of internal linking is Wikipedia with a DA score of 100. Internal linking decreases the bounce rate and linking older posts will make your current post more captivating and informative.
Draft Unique Linkable Content
It is imperative to write quality content to attain a good DA score. The content on your website not only has to be unique, but also provide value to the readers. Writing quality content requires a great strategy, and the length of the article doesn’t have to be long, but only relevant to the users. Use GIFs, images, and good-quality videos to make your content more interesting and appealing. Also, remember that your website will suffer if you publish short, unnecessary, and uninspiring content. You can even publish statistics and case studies that you have analysed and let visitors learn about your latest findings.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing content:
Plagiarism is a big no-no. Avoid copying from someone else’s website and pasting it on your post.
Use synonyms rather than using the same word.
Try to stay on point and don’t go off subject and discuss unrelated issues.
Build your content in such a way that it looks professional.
Guest Posting or Guest Blogging
Guest posting is one of the best techniques to improve your referral traffic and grow your brand’s authority. Previously, link building was a traditional way used by admins for guest posting and spamming links. This method is no longer helpful as Google discerns the modifications made to the links. Since there are several tools available for reaching the audience, you have to select the website carefully you would prefer to write for. If you guest post on a site that has a higher DA than you, you automatically build your credibility, and users will see you as a leader.
Guest blogging is also an excellent way to spread awareness of your brand. You can guest blog for administrative websites, which will make your brand stand out amongst the crowd, and obtain a marketable backlink.
Make Sure That You Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional but an indispensable feat. If you don’t have a website that is mobile friendly yet, an excellent way to start is to utilise Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and run the analysis for your domain. Google will provide you with a detailed report with tips and suggestions on how to make the website more mobile-ready. Moreover, you can also add AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to support to your website.
Here are a few reasons why having a mobile-friendly website will do you good:
Maximum users search on mobile first and then proceed on a desktop (if required).
Mobile searches are approximately 60% more than desktop searches.
Google is developing a mobile-first index and non-mobile friendly websites will not be included in the list.
Not having a mobile-friendly website will have a negative impact on your overall domain authority score.
Improve The Page Speed
A website that loads faster has an added edge over slower websites. Thus, increasing your page speed will not only improve your domain authority and rankings but also make the user experience more satisfying. This will eventually render more leads, sales, and fresh signups.
However, it is not easy to improve the problem of slow page speed as there are a lot of technical factors involved in it. Thus, if you are not a coder or a developer with sound technical knowledge, it could be quite challenging. So, if you can’t afford to hire a coder to enhance the loading speed of the site, then you can perform the following tasks:
Eliminate redundant plugins
Contact your web hosting service provider and request them to provide you with a statement on your server’s performance. You can accordingly upgrade to a better server.
Optimise the file size of the images on the page
Use a CDN (content delivery network) if you have extensive CSS files and multiple images.
Use an online streaming service like YouTube or Vimeo for broadcasting videos
Improve User Experience
User experience is a huge factor in ascertaining whether visitors choose to view your website or not. If your website links to pages that no longer exist and is difficult to navigate, this will lead them to leave the page before clicking on other links. To improve your user experience and improve your domain authority, analyse your content structure and website navigation, and examine if it is simple to find specific pages by splitting up content into sections and subsections. You can also determine whether specific design choices like font size and colour negatively affect the website’s navigation. Simply redesign your page navigation or restructure your website’s architecture to make sure your user experience is smooth.
Domain authority is essential for a number of reasons as it enables you to assess the overall performance of your website. It also allows you to compare your score to competing websites to know your website’s stand. By identifying the domain authority of other websites, you can select websites which are worthy of linking your content with. This will also help in learning the websites that are industry professionals and good for establishing a relationship. Lastly, always remember that domain authority does not improve overnight, so be patient to see what works best for your website.
Google Analytics is one of the most excellent tools available in the market to understand the traffic on a website. However, it can be challenging to figure out what the various reports mean and how they correlate to your business. Here is the Google Analytics 101 — a guide to everything you need to know.
Why Use Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an easy-to-use and exceptionally full-featured tool. Google has been continuously improving Analytics, and, based on a report by TechCrunch, it is currently utilised by more than 50% of the prime 10,000 websites in the world. Even websites that use other analytics tools usually depend on Google Analytics as a backup tool or for comparison purposes. The feature that it integrates with different Google programs, like AdWords and AdSense makes it much more valuable. Weighing in the fact that most web admins already use at least some Google products, it makes sense to use Google Analytics, because it can integrate well with other platforms.
A Brief History of Google Analytics
Google Analytics was developed initially from the Urchin on Demand software that Google acquired in the spring of 2005. Urchin is currently at version 7 and still produced and accessible through value-added resellers.
The first Google-branded alternative was released in November 2005, and in 2006, additional ideas from Measure Map (developed by Adaptive Path) were integrated into Analytics when Google acquired them. From the beginning, Analytics was accessible only by invitation because the demand for the tool was very high. It wasn’t entirely available to all users until almost a year following its initial announcement – August 2006.
Setting Up A Google Analytics Account
Before you start using Google Analytics, it is necessary to create a Google account. Once you have the access to your Google account, you can go to Google Analytics to set up your new account￼ for free.
Set Up Your Account And Property
Go to the Google Analytics tool and click the Sign into Google Analytics button. You will then receive three steps that you must exercise to set up the Google Analytics tool.
Once you click the Sign-Up button, you will fill out the data for your website.
Google Analytics allows hierarchies to create your account. You can have up to 100 Google Analytics accounts under one Google account, and up to 50 website properties under one Google Analytics account. Under this, you will have the choice to configure where your Google Analytics data can be shared.
There are no right or wrong ways to set up your Google Analytics account—it’s just a subject of how you want to develop your websites. You have the option to rename your accounts or websites. Note that you can’t move a website from one Google Analytics account to another.
Step 2: Add Tracking Code To Your Website
Once you are done, you will click the Get Tracking ID button. You will see a popup of the terms and conditions of Google Analytics. As soon as you agree to it, you will receive your Google Analytics code.
The tracking code must be installed on every page of the website, and the installation will be based on the type of website you own. For instance, if you have a WordPress account on your personal domain, you can utilise the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin to install the code quickly no matter what framework or theme you use. If you have a website developed with HTML files, you will have to add the tracking code before the </head> tag on all of your website pages. You can achieve this by applying a text editor program (such as Notepad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac) and then uploading the data to your web host using an FTP application such as FileZilla.
Step 3: Set Up Goals
Once you are done with the installation of the tracking code on the website, you should consider configuring a small setting in your website’s profile. It is called goals setting, and you can locate it by clicking on the Admin link at the top of your Google Analytics account and then click on the Goals section below your website’s View column.
The Goals settings will tell Google Analytics if something major has occurred on the website. For instance, if you have a website where you produce leads by a contact information form, you would require to generate a thank you page that visitors see once they have submitted their data. Similarly, if you have a website wherein you retail products, you would want to create a confirmation or a final thank you page for visitors to see once they have finished a purchase.
To create a new goal, click on the New Goal button, and choose the Custom option and click on the Next Step button.
You can name your goal something that is easy to remember, select the Destination, and then go ahead with the Next Step button.
Later, enter the confirmation or thank you page’s URL following the .com of the website in the Destination section and switch the drop-down to “Begins with”.
You can then change the value and insert a specific money value for that conversion and click on the Create Goal button to finish the setup.
If you have other similar conversions/goals you would like to trace on your website, you can repeat the steps. With this, you can generate up to 20 goals on your website, but it is best to create ones that are highly relevant to your business. These goals comprise email list sign-ups, lead form submissions, and marketing completions. Depending on your website and its plan, the goals may differ.
This is the simplest way of tracking conversion in Google Analytics. You can analyse the information and documentation in the Google Analytics guide to study more about setting up of goal tracking.
Step 4: Observe The Google Data Analytics
Once you begin receiving Google Analytics data, you can learn more about the website traffic. Every time you log in to your Google Analytics account, you can visit the Audience Overview report. Though, if you own more than one website, you will see the list of websites to choose from first, and then to the Audience Overview report for that particular website. This is the beginning of over 50 reports that are accessible to you in Google Analytics, and you can further obtain these reports by clicking on the Reporting link at the top.
If you’d prefer to watch a video on how to get started on Google Analytics, here’s the linkto a helpful video.
Basic Metrics To Understand The Traffic On Your Website
The Sessions metric gives you the number of interactions on the website over a particular period. One course can include many events and pageviews, as well as e-commerce purchases. The duration of one session is approximately 30 minutes so, if a website guest engaged in a session on the website and returned after a minimum of 30 minutes of inactivity, your report will consider it as a new session.
Page views are the easiest metric that you can analyse as it determines the precise number of pages on your website that have been viewed over a specified period of time. Thus, if someone discovers your website online, clicks through before viewing another four pages, then exits, you would have a score of five page views for that particular user. However, the page view metric counts repeated views of the same page, which can derange your numbers a bit.
Individual Page Views
If you wish to discover individual pages that users are accessing on your website, and don’t desire to insert information where people visited the same page recurring times, you need to observe your unique page views. This report is extracted by looking at unique sessions in which a user is on the website. So, if someone goes back and forth between two pages many times throughout the same session, it will still only show as two unique page views.
Goal Conversion Rate
Google Analytics includes the conversion rate of every one of your goals and gives you the total of their conversion rates. For example, if you have five goals for your website and each one of them has a 20% conversion rate, Google Analytics will show you that the goal conversion rate for your site is 100%. However, as it shows you the summary of all of your goals, it indicates that you still need to put in efforts to make certain that your website performs better.
Bounce rate determines what percentage of your visitors revisit a particular page of the website for a limited amount of time without interacting or clicking on the content. A low bounce rate exhibits that the visitors are more interested in your website. If your bounce rates are high, then you must look at the pages that are making people leave your site immediately. Reasons could be that the keywords are not relevant to the actual content presented. Alternatively, it may further not be clear to the reader where to go next on your site after they have completed reading an article. Other causes for high bounce rates could be technical such as lousy usability on mobile devices or slow loading times. Once you have performed modifications to your page’s layout, content, or functionality, observe your bounce rates to check if they decrease.
If you sell merchandise on your website, understanding which page generates the most sales can assist you to make arrangements that result in more revenue. The Revenue metric shows you how your site has created total income over a set interval and also gives you the option to see which particular pages are raking in cash.
Reporting Tabs To Monitor The Performance Of Your Website
Real-Time reports give you in-depth information about the visitors who are currently present on the site. Hence, as the name implies, you get the data in real-time. In the Real-Time Overview section, you can view the exact number of active users on the site, how many of the website pages are being viewed, the first keywords your active users are using, and a listing of your most active pages with the number of active users on those pages. Besides the Overview, you can compare the other tabs in real-time such as Traffic Sources, Location, Content, Conversions and Events to understand the corresponding data concerning your active users.
The Behaviour report includes information gathered from the actions and behaviour of users visiting your site. You utilise this data to improve the content of your site and to meet the demands and requirements of your visitors further.
Use the Behaviour report to examine the following metrics:
Most to least popular pages on the website
The pages visitors are landing on via referrals or searches
The pages visitors are exiting
The specific path visitors are taking through your website, also known as the behaviour flow
Page load times
Particular sections of the Behaviour dashboard may seem confusing, but pay close attention to the subsection Site Content.
The Acquisition reports show how the users came to your website. It will present you with a summary of your organic, direct, referral and social traffic along with email traffic. If you utilise AdWords, you can understand how your PPC (Production Planning Control) operations are working. All you have to do is proceed to the Admin tab and link your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tab in the Acquisition reports tells you which keywords your visitors searched to arrive at your website. However, to make use of this tab, you require to have a Google Webmaster account and link it to your Google Analytics account.
The Conversions reports show the actions your visitors had taken before they converted. The reports will give you their complete path towards conversion, as well as tell you how many conversions have taken place on the site. There are four different reports in the Conversions tab mainly E-commerce, Goals, Attribution, and Multi-Channel Funnels. The E-commerce reports will provide you with an insight into the action of your customers. The Goals reports enable you to plan and track your conversions. The Attribution reports let you distribute credit for conversions to particular points on the conversion range. Lastly, the Multi-Channel Funnels reports show how your marketing channels are performing to lead to conversions.
Google Analytics gives an extensive collection of tools that enables you to get the data and metrics you must know about before starting a website. The information provided above will help website beginners to get a great jump start to understand how their website is functioning.
Marketing automation application refers to software used by companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing workflows by automating repetitive marketing tasks. In other words, it performs specific manual marketing tasks for you at any given point in time. Here’s an example of how it runs: imagine someone downloads an e-book from your website, the marketing automation software will obtain the contact information from the form, share that lead based upon the data that it has collected, and send them a relevant series of emails over a prescribed time.
Based on a study on “Marketing Automation Strategies for Sustaining Success,” by Marketo & Ascend2, 91% of the most successful marketers agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the success of their marketing goals across different channels. In the same study, it was also reported that 25% of survey interviewees considered their marketing automation approach as “very successful”.
The field of marketing automation is developing at a rapid rate. Adding a marketing automation tool to your e-commerce website is a high return on investment (ROI) strategy and is a necessary element of Inbound Marketing for e-commerce.
However, given the fast-growing overabundance of marketing automation applications available, which is best for your business?
Here are the top five marketing automation applications for an e-commerce website.
Founded in 2011, Windsor Circle is a fast-growing, well-funded startup in the eCommerce marketing automation space. Almost half of Windsor Circle’s features include email, but, in fact, no emails are actually sent from the tool itself. Rather, the system integrates with other popular email tools such as iContact, Emma, Constant Contact, etc. that you might be already using. Windsor Circle also offers an analytics platform, which enables you to segment and analyse e-commerce marketing data for insights. Windsor’s latest features include the ability to segment and target based on behaviours and on-site behavioural tracking.
Windsor Circle is a prominent name when it comes to integrations. They claim to be equipped to integrate with any eCommerce platform available. Any platform that does not support as “pre-built” is integrated over data feeds and comes with a one-time charge of $2,500.
HubSpot is a major e-commerce player and the king of marketing automation application for small to medium B2B companies. While not specifically common in e-commerce, HubSpot is rising in the market where brands are focused on Inbound Marketing and content marketing for higher eCommerce purchases. HubSpot is one of the most comprehensive e-commerce marketing automation applications with features such as publishing a blog, building and advertising landing pages and forms, running an automated email marketing campaign, and managing social media.
It is definitely a one-stop shop when it comes to e-commerce marketing automation. HubSpot has only three pre-built integrations with e-commerce platforms. Each integration was produced by a third-party and comes with a low fee of approximately $50-$100 per month.
Kevy is a new, but a fast-growing contender in the e-commerce marketing automation space. Their goal is to create limited fragmentation for e-commerce websites when it comes to the application they use to manage the business. Kevy is high on personalisation and has all the “basic ” features one would expect out of a marketing automation application for e-commerce websites. The features include cart recovery campaign capabilities, advanced segmentation capabilities, and email design editor. The company’s email designer is one of the best in the industry as it can even change an image’s size, and not just its dimensions. Also, the single-use coupon ability is an excellent addition which helps Kevy take personalisation even further.
Finally, the added pop-up capabilities are super convenient and strong with the ability to personalise and target pop-ups as well. Kevy can integrate with every e-commerce platform available but has stable integrations for BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento for fast and convenient integrations.
Klaviyo is famous as an email software as compared to a full-fledged marketing automation application. This statement is partly true if we look at the features available in the tool presently. The tool was developed to be an e-commerce automated email tool with features such as win-back and cart abandonment, setting up automated campaigns like replenishment, and cross-sell. With Klaviyo, you can quickly build custom templates, and import your files with their extensive variety of integration choices. Additionally, the tracking snippet/pixel enables you to segment the content viewed by a user and not just the products they purchased.
Every e-commerce website has various requirements and goals to achieve when it comes to choosing an e-commerce marketing automation tool. Out of the five application mentioned above, each has it’s individual strengths and were developed to solve several queries for diverse businesses. When you have to make your selection, think precisely about what highlights and features you’ll most likely use and what will be the most significant addition to your business’ productivity and revenue.
Digital Marketing Summits/Conferences work as centres wherein various digital influencers and marketers from around the world come together to promote and appreciate the magnificent work of other digital marketers. It is a way to meet different marketers who have accomplished extraordinary work in their particular field. It is also a guide for marketers to draw motivation from the pioneers in the industry and set their bars high.
The fundamental mission of Digital Marketing Summits and Conferences is to improve support capacities, find solutions for efficient information-exchange methods, understand new marketing techniques, smart how-tos, and best ways to identify market viewpoints. These summits and conferences are especially crucial in developing, communicating and maintaining knowledge and understanding of marketing, business, and administration development through discussions and research at the leading global standards for the profit of the local and global communities.
There are a plethora of marketing summits and conferences available in the market. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent Digital Marketing Summits/Conferences that should consider going to:
Ad Tech 2018:
Ad tech 2018 was held on 8th – 9th March 2018 in New Delhi and is now slotted for 14th – 15th March 2019 at The Leela Ambience Gurgaon. It is one of the most eminent events where Digital Media, Technology, and Communication professionals gather to strengthen partnerships and discuss how to create new ideas and techniques to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving industry standards. Ad Tech focusses on Post-Advertising Era want every digital marketer to have a profound knowledge of not only how the industry works collectively but how they cement the relationship between the consumers and the society.
Digital Marketing Summit Asia
Digital Marketing Summit Asia is a 5-day virtual summit in which more than 20 digital marketing specialists in Asia share their expertise and knowledge in their respective domains. It was first organised in Singapore 2015 with the purpose to help businesses and marketers be well-equipped with fundamental digital marketing knowledge. With speakers such as Mantazh Khanna, Digital Channel Marketing Asia Lead, Microsoft and Edric Subur, Apps Growth Manager, SEA, Google leading the way, several digital marketers understand the digital field.
With an amazing response after the first Summit, Digital Marketing Summit Asia decided to shift the event online to allow more people all around Asia to participate in this event.
Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) Engage
Commenced in the year 2012, Engage is Eastern India’s first Social and Digital media conference organised by PRSI. It acts as a platform for some of the brightest industry minds to connect and unravel the details of the new digital age. In its 7th year of continuation – Engage 2018 will give participants an opportunity to socialise with digital experts who have shown their enthusiasm in the digital marketing field and share their experiences in the digital domain.
This year Engage is going to take place on the 20th of August 2018.
DigiMarCon India 2018
Digital Marketing Conference is one of the largest Digital Marketing Events in India thousands of Digital Marketing Professionals attend it. The conference will take place online from September 19th to 20th, 2018. DigiMarCon India 2018’s main agenda is to help participants enhance their marketing skills; be it strengthen customer support, drive stronger consumer engagement, increase sales or develop lead generation. The 2018 session will focus on expanding brand awareness, improving customer service, building traffic, and attaining insight into today’s modern digital tools.
Content Marketing Summit (CMS Asia):
Content Marketing Summit (CMS) Asia is a leading non-profit summit across Asia-Pacific run by the marketing association where some of the best minds, distinguished publishers, savvy brands, leading practitioners and innovative technology enablers from around the world come together to explore the interesting business of content marketing. CMS ASIA has had world-class digital marketers like D. Shivakumar, Katrina Neal, and Gunjan Soni as speakers in their summits. This year the CMS Asia will be held in Singapore on 15th August 2018.
Attending a Digital Marketing summit or conference is one of the best ways to progress in the dynamic marketing business. At such occasions, you will receive knowledge from the top industry officials while also building a network with marketing professionals.
Netflix, Hotstar, Alt Balaji, SonyLiv: all they have in common is that they are creating truckloads of content for the millennial, available to them at the tap of an app. Hotstar, a 21st Century Fox company, has 70% of overall app download in the category. SonyLiv is a close second at 13% courtesy GEC content and sports content, given the foreign rights to major cricket tournaments and recently-held FIFA World Cup. The unlikely hero Voot is third with 11%, whereas marketing-heavy Amazon Prime Video is fourth at 5%. Surprisingly, the global Daddy of OTT Netflix looms at 1.5% (they also categorise them as premium compared to other OTT players).
The OTT market is believed to be valued at USD 218 million by 2020 and only rise beyond that. The music space is to believed to be USD 270 million by 2020. As of now Google Play music is the market leader, with Saavn as the distant second. Other notable players in the category include Apple Music and Gaana (owned by Times Internet).
Hotstar recently expanded its wings to Canada and US at a monthly subscription price of USD 9.99. Clearly it is a sign of tapping into the NRI market which is sometimes oblivious to the entertainment and sport scene in India. Eros Now, another OTT player, entered South Africa in partnership with Telcel Global.
Industry analysts say that it is original and exclusive content that might separate the leader from others. Netflix recently produced Saif Ali Khan and Nawazzudin Siddiqui starrer Sacred Games (backed by heavy promotion) which has been appreciated by audience and critics alike. The lack of censorship control gives directors like Anurag Kashyap more creative liberty in expressing to the audience (Sacred Games is filled with unprecedented swear words and nudity which is usually censored by CBFC in case of traditional cinema release). Amazon Prime’s latest Comicstaan is already being promoted heavily. Alt Balaji earlier roped in acclaimed star Rajkumar Rao for Netaji:Dead or Alive. Unsurprisingly, all OTT players are allocating significant budgets for exclusive content in order to woo audiences.
The surge of data, courtesy Jio, has give OTT players aspirations to grow into Tier 2,3 and rural marketers also. Given Hotstar is a freemium player, along with a few others, allows users to download apps in big numbers. The drop in smartphone pricing has also encouraged these players to market to bottom-of-the-pyramid for who major entertainment entails GEC content. With OTT picking up, players have also bet on regional content (cared watching regional content on Netflix?). While TV still controls 63% of entertainment medium, it will take years for OTT to catch up. But with data disruption happening, who knows?
When Al Ries and jack Trout penned 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, I am not sure they knew that the laws would become actually so immutable (though many can be contradicted with real life examples)
The authors emphatically say that billions of dollars are ‘wasted’ in marketing by not adhering to laws of marketing, and support it with astounding examples of formidable brands.
So, what are these laws?
The Law of Leadership – It is better to be first than to be better.
The book emphatically cites that it is better, in fact best, to be the first-mover than a better-mover, ie if you are first in marketing, then you are already in the mind of the customer. Isn’t marketing psychological, anyway.
The book cites a resounding example:
“What’s the name of the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Charles Lindbergh, right?
What’s the name of the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Don’t remember, right?”
It further says that the second person was Bert Hinker, and he was faster, and consumed less fuel. Still, it is the first that people remember. Remember Neil Armstrong? I bet you don’t remember who followed him close second.
The Law of the Category – If you can’t be the first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
This chapter is followed by an interesting example, as a follow-up to the first one:
“Who was the third person to fly the Atlantic solo?” You think you don’t know but you know. It was Amelia Earhart. But coincidentally she is better known as the “first woman to fly the Atlantic solo?” You get the law now, right?
The authors emphasise that to succeed you need to super specialise or be the first in the category – e.g. if there is already a stock trader, be the first discount trader; if there is already a beer brand, be the first to introduce light beer, etc. Of course, these are taken, but then innovation in the category is the name of the game!
The Law of the Mind – It’s better to be first in the mind than it is to be in the marketplace.
This is supported by a brilliant example of IBM not being in the marketplace first as a mainframe computer. Remington Rand was the first. So, why did IBM become synonymous with mainframe computers? Because they got into the mind of the customers first with astute marketing.
Another interesting example: “Xerox was first in copiers and then tried to get into computers business. 24 years and $2 billion later, Xerox is nowhere into computers.”
The Law of Perception – Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perception
My favourite quote from the book happens to lie in this chapter when the authors, philosophically and quite charmingly, say: “All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is illusion.”
The chapter undermines the fact that markers often go by objective reality which is not the hallmark of good marketing strategy. For example, would Harley Davidson make a great car company? Probably yes, for a company, not if you go by the law of perception (also articulated at a greater length in law of line extension)
The Law of Focus – The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.
According to the law of focus, the brand needs to be associated with a word or own a word. For example, in the US context (the authors are American), the word ‘ketchup’ is associated with Heinz; ‘driving’ with BMW’; ‘safety’ with Volkswagen; ‘home delivery’ with Domino’s; ‘youth’ with Pepsi. These brands focus on a genre/category/element/trait that becomes synonymous with its product.
The Law of Exclusivity – Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind.
Before I elaborate on this, I can give my own example in the Indian context. Domino’s was the first to own ‘home delivery’ in India in a very nascent stage. Pizza Hut, threatened by the domination of Domino’s, crafted ‘Phd’ and pumped millions of dollars in its promotion. Has PHD attained brand recall value in the category? No, I don’t think so, and I am sure that Domino’s home delivery turnover is much higher than that of Pizza Hut’s.
It is very difficult (the authors say impossible) to change the consumer’s mind once it has been made up. FedEx owns the word ‘overnight’ and has been unchallenged despite hordes of challengers.
The Law of the Ladder – The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder.
The authors quote: “All products are created equal. There’s a hierarchy in the mind that prospects use in making decisions.” The most iconic story in the advertising circles is that of “Avis Vs Hertz”. Hertz was (and is) by far the no.1 and Avis tried, with all its marketing acumen, to topple the top rung of the ladder brand. It did not succeed, and confessed to being an efficient no.2 in what is now an epic advertising story.
So, what’s the maximum number of rungs in the ladder? The answer is 7 (according to Al Ries and Jack Trout). And this is backed by scientific research. According to Harvard psychologist, George A Miller, the average human mind cannot deal with more than seven units at a time (seven seas, seven continents, seven dwarfs, seven wonders, huh!)
The Law of Duality – In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race.
This chapter or law clearly states in that every category eventually it becomes a two-brand race. Pepsi Vs Coke, Surf Vs Tide, McDonald’s vs Burger King, Nike Vs Reebok (not true for all geographies though). The no.3 also tends to vanish after some time, or in some cases, hold significantly lesser percentage of market share. In the US telecom space, AT&T holds 65% of market share, MCI has 17 percent and Spice with 10 percent.
The Law of the Opposite – If you are shooting for the second place, your strategy is determined by the leader
So it says that if you want to be a formidable no.2 you must understand the strategy of no.1. And yes, don’t try to be better, try to be different. Coca-Cola is more than a 100-year-old company, with its recipe safely locked away in Atlanta (only 7 people in the history have known its recipe). So, when Pepsi tried to enter the market, did it try to say it is better? That’s impossible since Coke had already defined the palates of its consumers and taken a strong lead in brand recall.
What did Pepsi do? It knew that Coca-Cola is perceived as a classical cola, so it targeted the movers of the market: the youth. It in fact went on to be called the Pepsi generation. The chapter stresses on the fact that one must not try to emulate the no.1 – that’s a recipe of failure.
The Law of Division – Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories
A market might, and will, start with one category but eventually, like amoeba, divide into various subcategories. Computer is the biggest example, which has now been classified into mainframes, PCs, tablets, laptops (further divided into many categories now). Billboard started as a music rating company but now has several categories like jazz, latin, country, pop, rock and so on.
The conclusion is that brands the look at line extension must put out a new brand to super-specialise in a certain category than trying to be master of all trades.
The Law of Perspective – Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.
The chapter starts with an interesting analogy. Is alcohol a stimulant or a depressant? Well, scientifically it is a depressant. But then when you see bar-goers swinging to music and alcohol do you actually find it a depressant? Quite the contrary, actually. Take this: when the next day, one has a hangover from consuming a few more than body can take, it indeed becomes a depressant. For short term pleasure, there is a long term pain!
This brings one to the law of perspective. Every brand that works on short-time strategy is bound to lose on long term.
The Law of Extension – There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of a brand.
Perhaps, the most arguable law in the book. Giving the example of IBM, the authors argue that IBM was mainly a mainframes company and generating revenues of USD 65 billion; they tried to extend their line (read to be into everything and anything) and they wound up losing USD 2.8 billion!
Is Levi’s selling more jeans or shoes? Is Nike selling more shoes or T-shirts? Is McDonald’s selling more burgers or ice creams? It works on the law of perception. An average Levi’s shop might have more range of other apparels than denims, but is not the market leader (not even close).
That’s where line extension rule applies. But, in my own personal book, it is debatable. Look at Apple, for example!
The Law of Sacrifice – You have to give up something in order to get something.
As opposed to the law of line extension, the law of sacrifice urges brands to sacrifice a product/feature line to be in the mind of the customer or own a ‘word. The chapter focuses on the example of Emery Vs Federal Express. Emery, unheard in some geographical regions, delivered all kinds of packages from small to big. What did FedEx do? It narrowed down to delivering small packages overnight. ‘Overnight’ was the keyword. Come to present, FedEx is a company several times bigger than Emery. In fact, ‘FedEx’ has become a verb!
The Law of Attributes – For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute
You might find it interesting that most successful no 2s in the world have often taken an opposite and effective attribute. Like stated earlier, Pepsi focused on exactly opposite attribute of Coca-Cola. Classic:Youth.
A failure demonstrated by the authors is of Burger King Vs McDonald’s when Burger Kind tried to own the word ‘fast’ from the already much bigger McDonald’s. We all know the strategy busted on its head. Instead, Burger Kind could have gone ahead with ‘adult brand’ which would have been starkly opposite of McDonald’s which targets kids.
The Law of Candor – When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive.
A very interesting concept again by Al Ries and jack Trout, but I doubt how many brands would have the guts and rationale to subscribe to this law, and above all, make a success of it.
To exemplify, Avis did a legendary campaign to confess their ‘no 2’ position. It worked. Volkswagen and Joy perfume applied the same formula and it worked. While it is brave advertising and must be executed well, I am not totally convinced with this idea. What are odds of succeeding if the agency does not execute well, and the examples in the chapter are of pre-digital marketing era, when the consumer did not have a medium to charge his opinion. Follow this law at your own peril.
The Law of Singularity – In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results.
Taking cue from military psychology, the authors stress that it is that one single element in strategy that makes you different. Like, the Allied invasion came at Normandy, a place whose tide and rocky shore the Germans feel would be an unlikely choice for a landing of any scale. Likewise, in marketing, it is that one singular place, where the competitors are vulnerable.
The Law of Unpredictability – Unless you write your competitors’ plans, you can’t predict the future.
This is a rather philosophical chapter where the authors confess that it is not possible to predict future, yet be aware of trends and competitors to create a long-term strategy. Domino’s did it with ‘home delivery’. ConAgra took on healthy food industry with healthy products that were trending in the society. Something similar is happening in Indian space also where healthy food outlets are breaking the trend of eating out = unhealthy food.
The Law of Success – Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure
Again, this focusses more on marketing psychology than a law. The authors have bashed Donald Trump in this chapter for becoming too arrogant and egoistical by craving letter T on the facade of every building, mall, hotel, casino he opened. While he may not have succeeded at some, he became obsessive about his success. I am sure this book was written before Trump was anointed POTUS, and authors might be eating their hats now.
They also credit/blame success for line extensions. When brands become larger than life, they assume that anything under the umbrella brand can be a success (like earlier, I still find it debatable given the success of Apple).
The Law of Failure – Failure is to be expected and accepted.
It is important to accept mistakes early than letting it ruin your business or product line. Xerox entered computer business and let it carry on till it amounted to huge losses. Japanese are most acute with their ability to gauge losses in a bad business, accept it collectively, and fix It. Call it an egoless approach (from the law of success). Americans typically do not take a bold decision unless it helps somebody from the top management. However, 3M is an exception where experimentation and bold ideas are rewarded (clearly, the authors have no idea that Apple exists!)
The Law of Hype – The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press
Most brands that start doing a lot of press conferences to reflect their trouble. When the going is easy, PR is secondary (though in this day and age of disruptive social media, I doubt it). Another example is of New Coca-Cola, which despite hype and marketing, failed to capture the imagination of the audience. The old (called Classic) Coke was re-introduced and instantly became no.1 Today, it sells 15 to 1.
The Law of Acceleration – Successful programs are not built on fads, they’re built on trends.
Fads are like waves – they appear big and trending but they are fads. Trends are like tides – they last and are profitable. Invest in fads that give you long term return instead of short-term fads. Example: Ninja Turtles Vs Barbie Doll – a fad that blowed away vs a trend that lasted the test of time.
The Law of Resources – Without adequate funding and idea won’t get off the ground.
This is for small entrepreneurs. You have a path-breaking idea, and want to market it well, even conforming to the 22 immutable laws of marketing. However, it is impossible to take off until you have required moolah, not only just to market, but develop the product. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had a great idea. But it was Mike Markkula’s USD 91,000 that helped them float the idea.
An ordinary saying goes like this: To raise money, you need family, friends or fools. Now, of course you have venture capitalists.
P.S: This summary/review encapsulates just a few of examples cited in the book. Please read the complete book to absorb the laws in their entirety. Buy it here on Amazon.