Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Marketing Trends That Matter for Every Business

Seems that every conversation about marketing these days somehow raises interest in “what are the big trends in marketing?” and “what’s hot in marketing?”.  While some so-called trends may be fleeting, there are a number of recent and future trends that have or will change what and how we do marketing.

Here’s a list in no particular priority or sequence of the more frequent marketing activities and trends encountered on a daily basis:

Social Media – no question that social media has a huge impact on marketing and will continue to be one of the most prevalent trends in marketing for the foreseeable future.

Marketing Automation – there is growing interest and use of marketing automation software to plan, manage, execute and track marketing campaigns in a more structured, integrated and consistent manner.

Sales 2.0 – although there are many interpretations of what Sales 2.0 means, the primary aspects of this trend are the convergence of sales, marketing and customer collaboration using internet-based technologies and tools for improved performance.

– internet-based technologies, automation systems and database capabilities have vastly improved the availability of relevant and accurate data for analysis, performance measurement and management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing.

Metrics – there has been an explosive increase in the definition and use of standardized marketing metrics over the past several years to measure marketing performance and results in a consistent and comparable manner.

– while still a nascent trend and technology, location-based media and marketing to deliver relevant content specific to a user / customer / buyer’s location will become an increasingly important and effective approach for reaching target audiences.

Mobile – mobile technologies continue to play a more prevalent role in everyone’s personal and business life.  As mobile capabilities continue to improve and evolve, and usage increases, marketing must reach their target audiences through mobile technologies.

Inbound Marketing
– the trend from traditional ‘push’ style outbound marketing approaches such as print advertising, direct mail, trade shows, email blasts, etc. continues to shift to more effective and measurable ‘pull’ style inbound marketing methods such as search, websites, content, social media, etc.

Content – buyers and customers want information and resources to make informed buying decisions.  Content marketing uses educational, informative and authoritative content delivered in multiple media formats such websites, newsletters, white papers, articles, videos, etc. for specific target audiences.

– is one of the most important tools and resources for marketers across all types of businesses.  Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has become a sophisticated marketing strategy encompassing both Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Placement methods.

Integrated Marketing – persistent campaigns and consistent messaging across multiple channels such as websites, video, online and other media advertising, content and collateral.

Adaptive Brand Marketing – the shift from traditional command-and-control and/or hub-and-spoke approaches to collaborative approaches that include new technologies and social media.  See article ‘Adaptive Brand Marketing – More Than Just Four New Ps’ for more information.

Customer Loyalty – means that a customer desires to continue doing business with a company based on their positive experience and satisfaction.  Marketing is increasingly charged with measuring and improving customer loyalty, providing loyalty programs, and driving customer-specific campaigns to get more sales from existing customers.

– traditionally marketing primarily used demographics to define market and customer segmentation based on tangible characteristics.  The use of psychographics to define target audiences and market segments based on aspirational, opinions and value characteristics enables improved targeting and more relevant messaging.

What do you think about this list and what you’re seeing and experiencing?  Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2010 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC.

Are Businesses Measuring the Right Social Media Metrics?

The results from a recent survey done by MarketingSherpa caught my attention.  They asked over 2,000 marketers what metrics they use to monitor and measure the impact of using social media – here are the results courtesy of MarketingSherpa:
Social metrics chart from MarketingSherpa
Three significant observations about these survey results caught my attention:

  1. The top 2 metrics are about presence – number of visitors and network size.  These are interesting data for analysis and market intelligence that could produce tangible results for targeted campaigns.  While having a large number of social media visitors and followers doesn’t necessarily translate into business results, it appears that companies are currently primarily focused on establishing and building their social media presence.
  2. The 3rd and 4th highest ranked metrics are about reputation – no question that brand, product and company reputation are huge considerations for social media and should be diligently monitored and measured.  The surprise is that only 56% and 50% respectively use these metrics which means that almost half of the companies surveyed don’t know what social media commentary and sentiment is expressed about their brand, product or company.
  3. Leads generated only ranks 6th with 48% monitoring and measuring this outcome from their social media activities.  This is an alarming observation for me.  Marketing shouldn’t do anything unless it eventually supports and/or produces sales for the company.  Presence and reputation are all important contributors for supporting and producing sales, but leads generated is a more tangible measure that everyone in the company understands.  But more than half don’t bother to measure this!
The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it. ~ Sergio Zyman

The results of these types of surveys can be interpreted in many different ways depending on one’s perspective.  The results of this survey are very similar to my own observations and anecdotal information.  Maybe it’s an evolutionary process that will shift focus and measurement to more tangible outcomes over time.  It will be interesting to see the results of this same survey in subsequent years.

How does this survey correlate with your social media monitoring and measures?  What observations do you have about this?  Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2010 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC.

Why Many Businesses Still Fear Social Media

Social media has come a long way over the past couple of years.  Some businesses have successfully embraced social media for marketing, growth, new opportunities and interactive engagement with customers and buyers.  But a number of studies published in recent months indicate that many businesses still have fears and concerns about widespread use of social media as shown by this sampling of findings from various studies:

  • Research from Russell Herder / Ethos Business Law:
    • 51% of senior management, marketing and human resources executives fear social media could negatively impact employee productivity
    • 49% of this group claim that social media could damage company reputation
    • 40% of companies surveyed block online access to social media for any purpose.
  • Results from a poll of system administrators by IT security and control firm Sophos:
    • 63% worry that workers share too much information on social networking websites
    • 66% are concerned that employee social networking could endanger company security
    • Approximately 50% block or restrict access to social networking sites
    • Productivity, data leakage and malware are primary reasons for blocking or controlling access.
  • A study commissioned by Robert Half Technology:
    • 54% of U.S. companies ban workers from using social networking sites
    • Only 10% of 1,400 CIOs interviewed said that their companies allow employees full access to social networks during work hours.
  • A global survey by Avenade and Coleman Parkes Research identified key barriers to adoption of social media technologies as:
    • 76% are concerned about security
    • Senior management apathy at 57% of companies
    • 58% fear using unproven technologies
    • 50% fear a negative impact on productivity.
  • A Nucleus Research survey revealed:
    • Employee productivity drops 1.5% at companies that allow full access to Facebook in the workplace
    • 87% of those who use Facebook at work had no clear business reason for doing it.

In spite of these fears and concerns, many business executives do understand the potential value of social media.  For example, in the same Russell Herder / Ethos Business Law research, senior management, marketing and human resources executives perceive the following potential value of social media for their businesses:
  • 81% believe social media can enhance relationships with customers
  • 81% see social media value for building a company’s brand
  • 69% think it’s a viable recruitment tool
  • 64% think it can be a customer service tool
  • 46% believe that social media can enhance employee morale.

This is an interesting dilemma for marketers.  Most of us know and understand the huge potential of social media and social networking for marketing.  Many of us have successfully used social media and social networking for marketing activities and plan to do more.  If everyone in a company has some role or contribution to marketing and sales as they should, then how do we deal with these fears, concerns and apathy that will impede progress for making social media and social networking an integral part of a business?

Something else to consider is the impact of these fears, concerns and apathy at customer or prospective buyer companies.  If over half of companies are blocking or restricting access to social media, it means the social media-based marketing programs won’t reach at least half of the intended target audience.  Good reason to continue using traditional marketing channels as the social media channel matures and hopefully overcomes the current fears, concerns and apathy.

Have you faced these issues in your marketing work and how have you handled it?  Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2009 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC.