Author Archives: Roy Revill

18 Beautiful New Ebook Templates [Free Download]

Did you know that landing pages have the highest conversion rate at 23% than other types of signup forms? But landing pages don’t convert visitors to leads all by themselves — without attractive and compelling offers behind them, they won’t generate the tons of leads for your sales team that you want them to.

That’s why it’s so important to create valuable content people want to download, and then package it in a way that’s visually appealing to your readers. A big part of the ebook creation process is making it look both professional and attractive so people want to read it and share it.

We know not every team has someone in-house who can (or has time to) whip up a slick, highly shareable ebook design. But we have good news: You don’t need to be a designer by trade to design beautiful ebooks yourself. With the right resources and approach, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

We created ebook templates to help make this process easier for you — and they were so popular that we decided to revamp the offer for 18 new-and-improved ebook templates for you. We hope these templates minimize the time you spend on the details of design, allowing you to concentrate on writing valuable, lead-generating content your readers will love.

Download the Templates Now

Start With One of These Free Ebook Templates

Here is a preview of some of the ebooks you’ll find in the template bundle:

1. Artistic Theme

example page from the artistic theme that reads "creative ebook template with an artistic theme" in purple along with a dynamic photo of a laptop with purple screen

This template uses white space so that you can have your colorful headers, eye-catching graphics, and stunning images do all the talking. It includes several layout options so that the design is kept fresh from one page to another.

2. Professional Theme

example page from the professional theme that reads "creative ebook template with a professional theme" along with a photo in the center and banded blue background

Create a professional but bold feel with image-based title pages and thick, bold fonts. This template also includes photo-heavy pages, making it perfect for a showcase or inspiration guide.

3. Honeycomb Theme

example page from the honeycomb theme that reads "An Intro To This Topic of Your Choosing" in yellow against a blue background where the bottom half is repeated honeycomb shapes

Speaking of geometrical shapes, this one uses hexagonal shapes in the background and for emphasis, providing a striking honeycomb theme. In addition, you’ll also find page layouts for quotes and captioned photos, making it a good choice for ebooks with a variety of types of content.

With these slick new templates, you’ll be able to:

  • Create beautifully designed ebooks without either the cost of a designer or experience with InDesign/Illustrator/Photoshop.
  • Choose from six different ebook designs across three different platforms (Adobe InDesign, PowerPoint, and Google Slides), and even add your own brand colors to any of them in a few quick steps.
  • Spend more time writing awesome content and less time getting the layout right.
  • Use all of the stock images provided in the templates, free of charge.
  • Save your ebooks as professional and attractive PDF files that are ready for download.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Business Continuity | Reinvention & Digital Transformation

When COVID-19 showed up and became a global pandemic, no one had a playbook – let alone the definitive one – on how to respond and adapt your business continuity to the unprecedented challenges it brought.

As stay-at-home orders and social distancing went into effect and business trips, conferences, and gatherings of any significant size were canceled, we were quickly reminded of how vital the face-to-face human connection is to doing business.

We had little choice but to pivot to all available digital resources for conducting business internally as well as with customers and partners. For many, that meant a major transition to completely online sales and service, as was the case for Minnesota-based Legacy Toys, which had been established and developed based on providing an in-store, hands-on customer experience.

However, owner Brad Ruoho told Fortune that “he had to quickly pivot his business and accelerate plans (which were already in motion before the pandemic) to build an online store immediately.” Ruoho said, “We grew so quickly from literally shipping nothing to shipping several hundred packages a day.”

Adapt and advance your business during a pandemic

The traditional office culture of commuting to a physical office building and gathering with colleagues or traveling thousands of miles to meet with clients has been such an ingrained way of conducting business that many organizations were reluctant or outright refused to offer a work-from-home or virtual option. Why? Because that’s the way we’ve always done things, and nothing was forcing us to change. Enter: COVID-19.

The world discovered simultaneously how much it needs both the human and the digital aspects working in collaboration to enable life and business to pivot, adapt, and reinvent normal. It’s nothing that digitally mature businesses didn’t already know. But such scale and diverse application required continued innovation and adaptation to each unique context and circumstance, whether business, education, social, or personal.

While in-person office life is sure to remain important in many respects, thousands of companies discovered that they can indeed function with a largely remote workforce. Because they had to.

Suddenly, the world had to find ways to manage stay-at-home orders while working, schooling, socializing, and even entertaining from home. Thankfully, digital tools had been developed to the point of enabling these many adaptations across sectors, industries, and businesses.

Now it is time to recognize that the digital era has fully begun. Finding ways to begin, continue, and accelerate the digital transformation of your business is now a clear necessity for moving forward into the post-pandemic world. Ready or not.

That world is still developing and ever-changing and is sure to present many unforeseen challenges. But we can be sure of a handful of lessons that we’ve learned since early 2020. These lessons are not so much best practices as they are guiding principles for reinventing business using digital solutions to create a better world for all people.

Leverage real-time customer insights

Even before the pandemic, customers were changing from moment to moment and businesses used intelligent digital tools to gain real-time insights from customer data to keep up with evolving consumers. Data analytics helped businesses see changes in their customers’ behavior and better understand what they need, want, and how they’re feeling. This enabled data-driven action to effectively respond in real-time.

According to Deloitte, “COVID-19 painfully shows that digitally native organizations that are “insight-driven by default” show much higher resilience… These organizations are equipped to manage the crisis more smoothly, and we also expect them to recover and excel faster…”

Companies with greater digital maturity have been able to respond with agility to customer needs. And sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic as it changed even more rapidly and drastically than it had before.

For example, many companies found innovative ways to respond to customer needs by making services and resources available, such as making the Adobe Creative Suite available to college students when they no longer had access to tools in university technology labs during the Spring 2020 semester, in addition to other programs offered to help students and faculty continue to be creative and productive.

Enable agile communications through the pandemic

Here’s where your real-time, data-driven customer insights become actionable as you adjust your messaging and communications accordingly. With information and, consequently, customer and employee sentiment changing so quickly and so often, it’s essential to be able to pivot your communications with agility based on real-time data.

Many organizations established regular newsletters, updates, and digital channels for sharing company communications with employees and customers as well as providing spaces for them to ask questions and find out how colleagues and counterparts across organizations and industries were responding and adapting.

According to a McKinsey report, “Leaders may be inclined to defer to governments and media outlets for clear and simple safety instructions. Don’t. Employers often underestimate how much their employees depend on them as trusted sources.”

Creating centralized spaces for communication and engagement with employees has been important for Walmart, as their employees have used OneWalmart, the company intranet site, to stay informed about rapidly changing policies as well as access resources. Helping employees feel engaged and informed will help them to be more confident, engaged, and productive on the job as well.

Nurture human connection as an essential aspect of your digital transformation

This is what makes agile communication so important since communication is essential to human connection. Monitoring and supporting employees during the adjustment to working from home, which included schooling children from home as well, has been a major area of focus during the pandemic to ensure mental and physical health. Part of that effort is checking in on your employees, maintaining communication to keep them in the loop and engaged with each other and company culture. This has taken the form of Zoom happy hours, trivia nights, and other virtual social events.

Some ways to maintain the sense of connection and engagement alongside integrating digital transformation include continuing onboarding welcome traditions, check-in emails, and measures to fight burnout as well as make meaningful connections.

Ultimately, communicating clearly and authentically, providing spaces for engagement among customer and employee communities, and demonstrating care and concern for your employees and customers as human beings will continue to develop and strengthen your company culture and brand value through the pandemic and beyond.

As we’ve heard before, digital and human transformation are complementary, two essential aspects of the same process. Machine computing power and algorithmic intelligence expand and augment human capabilities, and uniquely human traits such as empathy, strategic thinking, and contextual awareness make effective use of machine learning insights. The human connection remains essential.

Embrace the digital revolution

As Stacy Martinet, VP of Marketing Strategy and Communications at Adobe, said, “We’re not going back. The digital revolution is here. This is the beginning of whatever chapter is next, and whatever people learn now will serve them well for this next era.”

The old normal isn’t coming back. And that’s a good thing. Make the best of the challenges and opportunities to grow and evolve, for you and your customers. Work, school, business, entertainment, travel, and everyday life must change, and we have this opportunity to shape our reinvented world.

Get more in-depth insights into the reinvention of normal and check out the Adobe Business Continuity Playbook for lessons on adapting and advancing your business during a pandemic.

The post Business Continuity | Reinvention & Digital Transformation appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

What Is a Domain Name & How Much Does It Cost?

A domain name is the website address people type into their browser to visit your site, such as www.yourbusiness.com. Every website is required to have a domain name as it’s how people find and view sites from the web. Domains cost around $12 to $15 per year and can be purchased directly from a domain…

The post What Is a Domain Name & How Much Does It Cost? appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Finding Success with Healthcare Loyalty

Healthcare is one of those things that people take for granted — until they don’t. If anything has been learned from the ongoing pandemic and its effect on people, loyalty and commerce, it’s that healthcare is alternately a service, a product, a commodity, and a necessity, depending on need, greed, and sundry other factors.

On the consumer side, it can be a medically necessary purchase or discretionary, with ample ambiguity in between, e.g. probiotics, weight-loss products, sleep aids, analgesics etc. In managing the myriad of concerns that compose healthcare for consumers, what is the touchpoint that comes to mind first? Is it the consumer’s primary care physician, insurance company, favorite pharmacy, or a local hospital? Because of the daily transaction nature that is fundamental to pharmacy, we vote for the pharmacy as the primary touchpoint for people seeking to manage all things related to their health and well-being.

Now, during the pandemic, healthcare has become elevated beyond “essential.” But impulse purchases and discretionary spending are taking big hits due to self-quarantines and social distancing. Healthcare loyalty programs can provide a legitimate yet stealthy way to stimulate customers in this difficult time, and we’ve found both major pharmacy chains and healthcare providers prescribing diligent offers to connect with their customers and build customer loyalty. For retailers, healthcare marketing can tie it all together and when done right, should neatly bridge the need vs. want gap.

US Companies pave a path for healthcare rewards

In the US, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid each have fully functional customer loyalty programs. CVS is listed first because they pioneered customer loyalty in this category. The ExtraCare program offers members to earn 2% back in ExtraBucks Rewards on general purchases with accelerated bonuses and special deals through data driven offers and its ExtraCare Beauty Club. Members can access deals by loading to their ExtraCare card, scanning their card at store kiosks, or waiting until they checkout, with scanned items determining additional discounts. Members need to spend a minimum of $50 in qualifying purchases or otherwise reach a minimum of $1.00 in ExtraBucks® Rewards by the end of an earning period to earn rewards. Earnings are not carried over and members must collect their quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards during the 45-day period following the earnings period. Long chided for longest purchase receipt in known civilization, it is quizzical that a program meant to promote healthy living and productive choices would communicate with its members through paper, lots of paper.

Walgreens launched Balance Rewards following CVS in the market and takes a more digital approach to program communications while offering the equivalent of just 1% back on daily purchases. Members earn 10 points per $1 spent on almost everything in store and online. They can unlock additional savings with paperless coupons, special promotions and members only offers. Ultimately, accumulating 1000 points earns a $1 reward. Additional rewards can be earned when the Beauty Enthusiast program is added to membership. Every qualifying purchase adds up to the $50 spend requirement. Balance Rewards has created a partnership with AARP and, when members link a Balance Rewards account and AARP membership, earn 50 points per dollar spent on Walgreens brand health and wellness products, receive valuable coupons via email each month and earn 1.5x points for participating in “healthy choices” programs. The clearest contrast between ExtraCare and Balance Rewards seems to be Walgreens focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and rewarding members for participation and activity. There are several versions of a 4 week health challenge available and progress can be tracked by self-reporting or connecting a health and fitness device to your account. The gamified approach to living a healthier lifestyle is something to build on.

Rite Aid had a loyalty program in place years ago and became a partner in Plenti, the coalition program emanating from the halls of American Express. After Plenti ceased operation, Rite Aid relaunched with wellness+ Rewards℠, where members can earn one (1) Point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. Customers identify for credit using their wellness+ card by entering a phone number at the register. Accumulated points earned qualify members for tiers which offer discounts on purchases. Tier qualification is determined based on the number of points accrued by the customers in a given 6-month period (periods are defined as January 1 – June 30, and July 1 – December 31 of each calendar year), with Silver Tier (250 – 499 points) unlocking 10% discount and Gold Tier (500 points and higher) delivering 20%. Points are reset to zero on January 1 and July 1 of each calendar year.

Making customer loyalty efforts more complex for Rite Aid is their acquisition by Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2015. For now, the brands continue to operate separately, but it would not be a surprise to see some merging of the two programs in the future.

Canada finds success with healthcare loyalty

Canada is estimated by many industry observers to have the most well developed and mature customer loyalty market in the world. Shoppers Drug Mart operated a highly sophisticated and effective loyalty program which made great use of collected data to deliver personalized offers to its members. In 2013, Loblaws acquired Shoppers for an announced $12.4 billion and its loyalty program is now merged with the PC Optimum program, the successful program operated by Loblaws.

Using the exigencies of healthcare to build loyalty is a win-win proposition and earlier this year Rexall Pharmacies (owned by McKesson since late 2016) launched Be Well, a principally app driven loyalty program designed to bring customer’s health and wellness management into one place.

Rexall is a leading drugstore operator with a history of innovation and growth, dedicated to caring for Canadians’ health “one person at a time”. Today, Rexall operates over 400 pharmacies across Canada. The Be Well program was launched to serve the needs of its broad customer base and the timing was not deterred by world events, including the pandemic. In addition to managing a sensitive economic period, Rexall shifted its business model for loyalty. Previously, Rexall participated in the Air Miles coalition rewards program and ended that association at the end of April and launched the Be Well program on May 1st.

The change in loyalty business model can be complex for any brand and we asked loyalty expert, Mike Hughes, CEO Exchange Solutions, for insights on this process:

“Both coalition and proprietary loyalty programs are used by retailers to execute their growth vision, especially in Canada. For Rexall Pharmacies, a switch to the proprietary Be Well program enabled Rexall to implement their strategic vision of making health care easier and more rewarding by combining health and wellness with loyalty. Whether in health and wellness, apparel, grocery, convenience or any other category, enterprise retailers need to assess the needs of both the business and their customer’s needs when designing and implementing a loyalty and customer engagement program. Rexall Pharmacies did just that, which led to a successful program launch in the midst of a pandemic in May.”

The program offers a bevy of simple tools, advice, and personalized ways to collect and earn points, add manage and refill prescriptions and take advantage of personalized offers. In addition to pushing prompts for prescription refills and other relevant medical alerts, integration with Apple’s Wallet in IOS enables contactless payments, and Family Sharing, which allows purchases by up to six family members to aggregate, enables points to be earned within the family or group — a handy feature. The app also delivers sales and other promotional offers and provides a health-assessment tool for self-diagnosis.

Be Well’s loyalty program is straightforward and easily understandable; earn 10 points for every $1 spent (25,000 points = $10 redeemable cash value). Digital offers delivered via email or the mobile app are personalized using customer history and spending. These offers can accelerate the path to redemption for members, for example, Be Well recently offered 20,000 points for any spend of $50 or more on “just about anything in the store”. That equates to one big shop in the store getting the member very close to a redemption level in just one visit. The prescription-refill tool is sticky and makes it easier for customers to ensure they don’t run out, with timely notifications. There are also senior and student discounts and a tie-in with CARP, the Canadian equivalent of AARP.

Consumers are seeking more from their pharmacy retailer as they find value in accessing all health information in one place and being able to manage prescriptions as well as products that help them stay health and well. The structure and components of the pharmacy loyalty programs in market today reflect these desires.

We believe the future development of these loyalty programs will provide even more ways for consumers to act on a proactive approach to healthcare, including wellness assessments and making plans for becoming healthier.

The post Finding Success with Healthcare Loyalty appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

How Broadcast Journalism Helped Me Pivot to Social Media Management

Pivoting from a career in broadcast journalism was a big decision for me.

I loved everything about a newsroom environment: the breaking news, researching topics, identifying sources for stories, and feeling like I had a pulse on trends and issues taking place in the world.

I was successful at it, too. In fact, I worked at some of the biggest news corporations in the world, including CNN, ABC News, CBSLA and others.

However, at some point — because I was spending so much time on social media listening for breaking news and looking for story ideas — my interest in social media evolved.

I knew I wanted to make a transition, but I was scared of taking a leap and pivoting to social media marketing.

Today, I can tell you that I’m so happy I did. I learned that my job is not my entire identity, and through journalism, I have so many transferrable skills to thrive in any industry.

Switching careers can feel exciting, but comes with feelings of self-doubt and anxiety.

Here, I want to highlight how broadcast journalism helped me succeed in social media, and tips you can use if you’re considering a career shift of your own.

7 Takeaways From Journalism You Can Apply to Social Media

1. Ask the 5 W questions.

Who? What? Where? When? and Why? These questions are ingrained in any journalist.

The foundational questions to news gathering also apply in the context of content creation, marketing plans, and any content strategy. For instance, any marketer likely asks these questions daily:

Who is this message for?

What is the core message we want them to take away from this?

When (and where) are they most likely to be to consume this message?

Why should they care?

“Why” also goes a little deeper in social media. The internet is flooded with information and it’s your job to capture someone’s attention — and hold their attention for your content.

Why would someone click on this ad?

Why are we targeting this group?

Why is it important that they see this message?

The root of these questions have helped me cut through the jargon of promotions and company announcements to get to the root of the message in the simplest words.

Pro Tip: In journalism school, I learned to simplify the facts by “explaining this story to my mom.” This framework has really helped me simplify information down to its core. I practice this often when trying to take a complex company announcement and whittle it down to its simplest takeaway.

2. Focus on the core story, not the details.

When it comes to creating content, journalists have a unique element they bring to the table: storytelling.

Some people may get caught up in numbers, the tagline, a paragraph in an announcement, and so on.

As a former journalist, I think about the core of the message we want to convey in a social post.

The key takeaway could involve visual elements and emotional triggers, but its foundation will include a concise message or story.

3. Keep up-to-date on industry and competitor trends.

The advantage journalism has provided me when it comes to conducting research is that, even if you have an intuitive sense of your audience, your journalism instincts still compel you to “look into it” and confirm your hypothesis.

For instance, for conducing market research — including what my audience is feeling, thinking, struggling with, dreaming of, reading about, etc. — I put my “investigative” hat on and look within Facebook Groups, or other websites where people can leave comments or questions (such as Quora or Amazon reviews) to gather information about what my audience is seeing, thinking, and feeling.

Additionally, a couple of keyword searches gives me a framework to work with while doing research.

Referring to the latest studies, trends, and reports helps me identify any overlaps and enables me to be a successful social media professional because I keep a pulse on issues that are top-of-mind to my audience.

A little research goes a long way in social media content and writing.

Journalists are naturally curious people, so we sometimes find ourselves entertained by trends and topics that get people talking. We like to quickly parachute in on behavior like this and figure out what the hype is all about, source who started it, and figure out why it’s taking off.

It’s amusing, to say the least, but this innate skill in journalists has helped me in social media because I can (for the most part) keep up with the latest memes, videos, or other trending news that’s popular that day or week. It also helps me recall previous news events or trends that were popular in the past.

Context of topics, audiences, and trends helps me while making editorial or marketing decisions and creating content.

4. Create quality content, even with minimal assets.

When it comes to content creation, journalists have had to work with little or major constraints when it comes to telling a story. You might have only a few usable sound bites, poor video quality, or you’re working with only sound.

Broadcast journalism helped me feel comfortable with improvising and maximizing any assets available.

I learned how to do video, audio and photography editing. I learned different storytelling formats such as radio, TV, print, and online, as well as how to distinguish each piece (i.e. infographic, video, blog post, listicle) and how to adapt them to different social media platforms.

I learned to do this in the most concise way possible, which helped me tremendously while writing short headlines and easy-to-understand text that includes a call to action.

5. Write concisely, and make every word count.

Whether it’s copywriting, writing in a brand’s voice, creating catchy headlines and titles, creating copy that converts a user, incorporating a call-to-action, or enticing a reader to learn more … it’s all important in social media.

Broadcast journalism helped my social media career with my writing skills alone. Ultimately, packaging information in a concise way is so important in social media.

Twitter has a 280 character limit. However, I’m proud that I learned how to write tweets when it had a 140-character limit — including character counts toward photos, videos, and GIFs that were attached!

Brevity is always a best practice when it comes to writing on social media, and broadcast journalism has helped me succeed in that regard.

Effective writing helps your audience understand you, what you offer, and your value and is a critical skill for attracting an online audience.

Pro Tip: Practice reading your words out loud to catch typos or awkward sentence structures. I learned this while writing copy for TV news and it has helped me tremendously while crafting social media posts.

6. Learn how to communicate effectively in crises. 

Social media is an extension of any brand, and understanding when something is a reputational risk is important.

My career in broadcast journalism helped me identify potential pitfalls or anticipate remarks people might make. The last thing I want to do is appear tone-deaf or miss the mark with marketing messages.

Working in broadcast journalism has trained me to never lower my guard and always keep my eyes open for threats or liabilities in social posts, marketing campaigns, and imagery.

I also understand news cycles, and during a crisis, I’ve learned how to evolve and adapt to new circumstances and information.

For example, during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there were different phases of crisis communication companies needed to understand. It was important to pause, pivot marketing and messaging, and identify pain points and re-position your brand, among other things.

Working with so many PR and marketing professionals over the years taught me about how to “own the narrative” of a brand’s story and to serve as a brand steward on social media.

7. Stay resourceful and help your audience find answers to their needs.

I say I’m a digital content strategist, but really, I’m a professional problem-solver.

If I don’t have an answer, I’ll either find the answer or find someone who does.

Broadcast journalism taught me to be resourceful, help my audience with valuable and actionable information, and think quickly on my feet and pitch smart angles.

I’ve come across so many random scenarios while working in social media, including:

  • Converting and transferring files
  • Helping people with their wifi
  • Syncing folders on Sharepoint
  • Identifying fonts
  • Pitching a story on behalf of the company
  • Finding alternative channel or format to communicate a message
  • Sourcing video to its original owner

You name it, I’ve probably helped someone figure something out, and because of it, I’m an invaluable asset to my team and my company.

I solve people’s problems (in person and online) which makes me feel like I’m doing a great social service.

Journalists have a big opportunity in the marketing, social media, content strategy, storytelling and advertising space — if you are on the fence, I encourage you to take the leap.

8 Ways Digital Rewards Can Help Marketers to Stand Out

Many of us scroll past ads in our newsfeed, delete emails, or even run to the bathroom during commercial breaks.

As consumers, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and calls-to-action. This is the challenge of marketing: campaigns are everywhere.

And, if campaigns are everywhere, they can be easier to tune out and ignore.

In fact, social click-through rates on ads went from 2.6% in late 2018 to 2% in late 2019, a sure sign that social media users have advertising fatigue.

Ultimately, marketers need to try increasingly new and innovative approaches to grab consumers’ attention. Marketers work hard daily to create the exception: a message that can’t be ignored.

Here, we’re going to dive into one innovative strategy that could help marketers’ stand out in 2020: digital rewards.

Digital Rewards: The Secret Weapon for Standing Out

Digital rewards are e-gift cards, either from retailers or virtual Visa/Mastercards that can be delivered in an instant via a link or email. These virtual rewards can help you stand out against competitors.

More often than not, marketers ask for consumer’s attention without much upfront benefit. Every time consumers see marketing campaigns, they make a decision within seconds — and it often follows the logic of, “if I click this Facebook ad, am I really going to buy this product?” They risk spending valuable time evaluating a purchase, but then ultimately decide not to. Digital rewards minimize that risk by creating tangible upfront value.

In addition, digital rewards are a kind gesture that lets a prospective customer know you value their time. It’s a way of recognizing their engagement and saying “thank you” for their attention. Gift giving is a classic way that humans show warmth and appreciation for others.

Digital rewards enable you to tap into this age-old societal practice and modernize it for the virtual era. By sending personalized digital rewards, you create human connections despite physical distance.

Because digital rewards are a lesser-known tool, you may be wondering how to incorporate them into your current marketing strategy. Below are eight ways to boost marketing campaigns with digital rewards to accelerate engagement and maximize campaign ROI.

Digital Rewards Strategies and Examples

1. Host incentivized webinars for your target audience.

What this looks like: “Attend our live webinar for a $10 thank you gift!”

Why you should do it: Incentivized webinars make it easier for consumers to evaluate your product. Additionally, the upfront value excites consumers and makes these webinars much more effective at lead generation than typical webinars.

Plus, the reward delivery email can be prime real estate to feature follow-up content and calls-to-action. Consumers tend to be more willing to provide data in exchange for coupons, loyalty points, or rewards, making it a powerful tool in accelerating the buyer’s journey.

2. Compensate prospects and customers for taking surveys and sharing feedback.

What this looks like: “Tell us how you’re liking our latest update for a $15 reward.”

Why you should do it: Brand goodwill will come naturally when your consumers feel that you value their time and feedback. Simply saying you appreciate their feedback doesn’t do much to motivate a survey response. Digital rewards create motivation so you can worry less about representative bias and get the answers you need.

In other words, you don’t have to worry about feedback from people who only love or hate your product. You want to capture everyone’s feelings, and digital rewards can motivate the otherwise neutral crowd. With accurate data, your company will have the insights to adapt swiftly to shifting consumer preferences. Most importantly, your consumers will know you truly value what they have to say.

3. Leverage rewards within your ABM program.

What this looks like: Asking for a meeting with a key contact and sending a $25 reward as a thank you for their time.

Why you should do it: If you know you want a customer, digital rewards are a great way to show you appreciate their time. Digital rewards can be a powerful tool to fast track an ABM campaign and get the attention of the right people. Everyone loves receiving gifts, and digital rewards can be the perfect gift for relationship building.

4. Create a referral marketing program to turn your customers into brand advocates.

What this looks like: “Get a $10 reward when you refer a friend. When your friend makes their first purchase, they will also get a $10 reward as a welcome from our team.”

Why you should do it: An effective referral marketing program turns your customers into your second sales team. A University of Chicago study found that non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at boosting performance than cash incentives. Digital rewards for referrals can be an effective lead generation tool that also establishes brand loyalty and goodwill with existing customers.

5. Boost your brand’s online reputation by rewarding customers for writing a review.

What this looks like: “Write a review of our software on Yelp or TrustPilot for a $5 reward.”

Why you should do it: Thanking customers for providing feedback builds brand goodwill. Their reviews will help you leverage word-of-mouth marketing and tap into new audiences who may be shopping for a product like yours.

6. Establish customer appreciation programs.

What this looks like: “Thanks for being a loyal customer! Here’s a $10 reward for lunch on us.”

Why you should do it: Customer appreciation programs establish brand goodwill, increase customer satisfaction, and develop long-term loyalty. Recognize and celebrate customer achievements and milestones with digital rewards. These happy customers will be more likely to engage in positive word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.

7. Reward prospects for attending a product demo.

What this looks like: “Join a brief 15-min demo for a $5 reward.”

Why you should do it: Digital rewards show people you appreciate their time right away. Pairing them with demos helps jumpstart the buyer’s journey and get your Product team the feedback they need to ensure a great product. Like the incentivized webinar, use the follow-up reward email to your advantage by offering more content and calls-to-action.

8. Host a giveaway as a reward for promoting your product or service on social media.

What this looks like: “Post about us on your Instagram to win a $20 reward!”

Why you should do it: Digital rewards can help your brand kick off an influencer marketing campaign without the transactional pressure cash creates. Plus, showing prospects you value their time and social audiences with a reward creates a positive relationship and can help your brand reach new audiences.

However, you don’t want to give $20 to everyone who posts about you on their social pages — it could result in thousands of lost revenue without much to gain.

Instead, host a giveaway where the first 100 posters will receive a reward in exchange for re-sharing your post on their story and tagging a friend in the comments. That way, everyone feels as if they have a legitimate chance to win, and you still have dollars left in your marketing budget!

With the right incentives management platform, you can easily automate these limits and avoid any budget disasters.

There’s lots of ideas above for you to consider, but here’s the good news: you’re probably already executing most of these ideas in some capacity, so just take a step back and see how you can add digital rewards into your current marketing strategy.

Digital rewards are easy to set up and a quick addition to your marketing toolbox, making them a nifty trick to keep handy when you need a boost. An extra bonus is you can easily integrate digital rewards into your HubSpot workflows. “Request to connect” our Rybbon digital rewards app found within the HubSpot Marketplace. Experiment with digital rewards in your next campaign and let the results speak for itself!

How hospitality businesses can bridge the revenue gap during recovery

So, we’re going to talk about THE instagram post. You know the one, Tom Kerridge’s post addressed to no show restaurant customers. In the post he warns individuals that no-shows can potentially be putting peoples jobs more at risk, as hospitality businesses continue the road to recovery. Albeit a little less politely. 

Now, the Text Marketer family are lucky enough to service hundreds of hospitality businesses and well, we have to know… Tom did you send diners an SMS reminder prior to their booking? We mean no disrespect, but honestly, they work wonders! In all seriousness though, the pandemic has had a huge impact. Even now that hospitality businesses are open, due to the guidelines around capacity restrictions, social distancing among customers and staff and PPE requirements, there has been a significant impact on revenue. 

The government has announced a VAT tax cut – from 20% to 5% – on eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, and the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme will be introduced in August. But our advice to Tom, and businesses within hospitality is quite simple. Utilise the humble SMS. There are many creative ways to bridge the revenue gap during recovery but none of them will work without effective communication between your business and customers. Since we are fortunate enough to have seen many successful bulk SMS and SMS Web page campaigns over the last couple of weeks, we thought we’d share some ideas proving valuable for hospitality businesses now.

Continue with take-away services

It’s a no brainer right?! Some individuals might not feel 100% comfortable returning to your restaurant or cafe just yet, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to facilitate more customers without breaking capacity restrictions. Moreover, you can increase brand awareness by introducing branded packaging and if we’re being completely honest, we’ve become quite accustomed to a take-away afternoon tea. 

Top Tip #1: With a simple SMS Web page campaign, you can market your take-away service to customers visually, and include an enticing photo of one of your menu dishes.

Increase delivery options

Introducing multiple delivery and collection options is proving very popular with customers. Branching out from deliveroo to include delivery options via local taxi firms, curbside pick-ups and even implementing delivery services of your own, has been successful among businesses. Ultimately for these services to add-value, they need to be convenient for as many customers as possible. Furthermore, by utilising the humble SMS to support safe deliveries, you can guarantee deliveries will not be left going cold on anyone’s door step. 

Booking reminders

Tom, this one’s for you. And no, this isn’t strictly a campaign idea. But it is worth repeating, especially in the current climate. To maintain social distancing and reduced capacity, for each booking, customers are given a set window for service. As such, it’s more important than ever before that customers arrive on time and are able to make the most of their 90 – 120 minutes. A simple SMS reminder can ensure customers are able to make the most of their booking or alternatively, if their plans have changed, prompt them to cancel their booking in advance, so businesses can amend staff rosters as appropriate. 

Introduce meal kits

As an extension to take-away services, introducing meal kits allows individuals to purchase chilled or even frozen versions of their favourite meals, to cook at home. This option enables businesses to handle more trade, as they can prepare orders in advance and give customers an appropriate collection timeframe. 

Top Tip #2: 160 characters can go much further than you think. So get creative. An SMS campaign introducing or reacquainting customers with your online ordering system, for take-away or meal kits, could prove really valuable.

Boost gift card sales

After more than 100 days in lockdown (yes, it’s really been that long), vouchers may prove to be the perfect pick me up gift for individual’s friends or family members. What’s more, encouraging voucher sales is a great way for businesses to increase revenue in the current climate, and offers customers another opportunity to support their favourite independent businesses.

Reward customer loyalty

Customer retention is key to business success. Afterall, you are far more likely to sell to an existing customer, than a new one. Perhaps now, more so than ever it’s important to show your customers just how much you value them. Businesses can achieve this in a number of ways. To name just a few, thank customers for their patience and support, continue with customer loyalty schemes and offer discounts on repeat bookings or purchases. Making sure your business remains top of mind, for the right reasons as trade returns to normal, will be key to ensuring business survival and success over the coming months. 

Ask for feedback

For many businesses, these new offerings will be exactly that, new. To understand how these are being received by your customers and identify any areas for improvement, it makes sense to ask them. This could be particularly useful if you have opened with a limited menu, and want to know which items to add.

Top Tip #3: SMS surveys are a great way to get feedback from customers. The conversion rate is much higher than that of email, and answering text messages is far more convenient for customers as well. Meaning businesses can base decisions on the answers from far more customer responses. 

If you need any help getting your business campaigns ready, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly team at info@textmarketer.co.uk, they’ll be happy to help.

The post How hospitality businesses can bridge the revenue gap during recovery appeared first on Textmarketer.

4 Ways Fathers Want Retailers To Recognize Them – Now

With parents and kids forced to stay at home due to Covid-19, the desire among fathers to find goods that make their roles as dads easier is intensifying. Now some niche brands, such as the recently launched line called DADZ, are responding.

But where does he find it? At what place do fathers find brands – new and existing – designed expressly for their needs?

(GETTY)

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many retailers to be more creative and opportunistic. This is one such rare opportunity: Retail has a chance to capture a lucrative and expanding demographic just as it is about to hatch.

However, that requires making some obvious investments in merchandising and store layout to prove to fathers that the retailer understands their needs.

Mom Products Outnumber Father Products More Than 3 To 1

It’s not that retailers and brands don’t recognize men as a category – the men’s personal care industry is predicted to generate $166 billion by 2022, according to Allied Market Research. Rather, it appears retailers have not fully distinguished the behaviors and mindsets of fathers as opposed to men in general.

Look up “motherhood” on Target’s website, and it produces nearly 1,300 products. Enter “fatherhood” and it turns up about 400.Recommended For You

The need for goods designed to solve father issues is becoming more evident through social platforms dedicated to this demographic – including Dads 4 Life and Life of Dad, the latter of which counts 3.5 million followers on its Facebook page.

The creators of the line DADZ, including the actor Max Greenfield (of New Girl fame), partnered with Life of Dad to create a focus group to learn how fathers shop and the kinds of goods they wish they could buy. The result is a line of “healthy, performance-minded products.”

4 Things Fathers Know Best

“What surprised me the most was how much pent-up energy and excitement the dad audience had about a brand that celebrated fatherhood as they do,” Greenfield said in an email statement, when asked how the focus group helped shape the DADZ line.

Following are some of the insights from that focus group, as provided by fellow DADZ cofounder and father, Mike Constantiner.

Max Greenfield launches new dad-focused parenting company
DADZ (PHOTO COURTESY OF DADZ)

1. More dads are buying baby-care items. One-fifth of all fathers are the usual grocery shoppers, according to a 2019 Pew Research study, and as of 2016, 62% of younger fathers were more likely than older generations to be the primary grocery shoppers. This was backed by the DADZ focus group – 92% said they buy diapers and groceries most of the time.

2. Dads wish CPG brands acknowledged their parenting. Fathers said they feel like most existing brands treat them with the “old” view that they’re barely involved, when in fact they are very involved and proud of it.

3. Dads geek out about being prepared. One of the fathers in the focus group repurposed his firearms bag into a backup diaper bag, which he keeps in the car. “A lot of these guys turn the dirty parenting duties into a sport or competition,” Constantiner said. “It’s not about bragging that you’ve never changed a diaper … it’s about how fast you can change a diaper.”

4. After their kids’ security and safety, the biggest issue for dads is lack of energy. They feel exhausted all the time, Constantiner said. “They just want to feel like themselves again.” This finding contributed DADZ’s first product, an energy drink mix called Lightning Stick.

Retailers Should Give Fathers A Hand

It is largely up to packaged goods makers to create products for retailers to carry, but let’s not downplay retail’s role – most have private label portfolios, informed by customer data. Extending into the father category seems like a natural evolution. It’s the execution – presenting it in the store, and online – that is more critical to ensuring brand meets dad.

Retailers can use this time, while more fathers are working from home and therefore feeling the pressure of dad-hood, to do the following:

Measure shopping patterns: Retailers can conduct in-store research to distinguish how fathers, versus non-fathers, traverse the store. The findings could help them identify ways to incorporate the products fathers desire without disrupting the flow for other key demographics, including moms.

Test potential father products alongside kid stuff: A classic in-store study concluded that retailers should display beer near diapers because men, when summoned to buy diapers, would likely grab a six-pack. Today, stressed-out dads might prefer wellness products or goods that specifically support the fatherhood role.

Acknowledge dads. Fathers will likely remember a retailer that made a habit of recognizing their efforts. Special “father-kids” shopping days, with promotions for dads who bring their children to the store, might generate new sales.

Acknowledge moms, too. Retailers aren’t likely to ignore this key demographic, but they could benefit by letting mothers know how well fathers are being served at the store. While more men and fathers are shopping, women still influence 70% to 80% of all consumer purchasing, and that likely includes products for their partners.

And that leads to an important bonus: Any effort to bring more dads into the store should help distribute the task of shopping at home. Mothers have been wanting to bottle that experience for generations, and will likely buy from retailers and brands thoughtful enough to provide it.

Bryan Pearson a Featured Contributor to The Wise Marketer and currently serves as a Director and strategic advisor to a number of loyalty-related organizations.

This article originally appeared in Forbes. Be sure to follow Bryan on Twitter for more on retail, loyalty, and the customer experience.

The post 4 Ways Fathers Want Retailers To Recognize Them – Now appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

A Brief History of Productivity: How Getting Stuff Done Became an Industry

Anyone who’s ever been a teenager is likely familiar with the question, “Why aren’t you doing something productive?” If only I knew, as an angsty 15-year-old, what I know after conducting the research for this article. If only I could respond to my parents with the brilliant retort, “You know, the idea of productivity actually dates back to before the 1800s.” If only I could ask, “Do you mean ‘productive’ in an economic or modern context?”

Back then, I would have been sent to my room for “acting smart.” But today, I’m a nerdy adult who is curious to know where today’s widespread fascination with productivity comes from. There are endless tools and apps that help us get more done — but where did they begin? 

If you ask me, productivity has become a booming business. And it’s not just my not-so-humble opinion — numbers and history support it. Let’s step back in time, and find out how we got here, and how getting stuff done became an industry.

What Is Productivity?

The Economic Context

Dictionary.com defines productivity as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.” In an economic context, the meaning is similar — it’s essentially a measure of the output of goods and services available for monetary exchange.

How we tend to view productivity today is a bit different. While it remains a measure of getting stuff done, it seems like it’s gone a bit off the rails. It’s not just a measure of output anymore — it’s the idea of squeezing every bit of output that we can from a single day. It’s about getting more done in shrinking amounts of time.

It’s a fundamental concept that seems to exist at every level, including a federal one — the Brookings Institution reports that even the U.S. government, for its part, “is doing more with less” by trying to implement more programs with a decreasing number of experts on the payroll.

The Modern Context

And it’s not just the government. Many employers — and employees — are trying to emulate this approach. For example, CBRE Americas CEO Jim Wilson told Forbes, “Our clients are focused on doing more and producing more with less. Everybody’s focused on what they can do to boost productivity within the context of the workplace.”

It makes sense that someone would view that widespread perspective as an opportunity. There was an unmet need for tools and resources that would solve the omnipresent never-enough-hours-in-the-day problem. And so it was monetized to the point where, today, we have things like $25 notebooks — the Bullet Journal, to be precise — and countless apps that promise to help us accomplish something at any time of day.

But how did we get here? How did the idea of getting stuff done become an industry?

A Brief History of Productivity

Pre-1800s

Productivity and Agriculture

In his article “The Wealth Of Nations Part 2 — The History Of Productivity,” investment strategist Bill Greiner does an excellent job of examining this concept on a purely economic level. In its earliest days, productivity was largely limited to agriculture — that is, the production and consumption of food. Throughout the world around that time, rural populations vastly outnumbered those in urban areas, suggesting that fewer people were dedicated to non-agricultural industry.

Source: United Nations Department of International Economic and Social Affairs

On top of that, prior to the 1800s, food preservation was, at most, archaic. After all, refrigeration wasn’t really available until 1834, which meant that crops had to be consumed fast, before they spoiled. There was little room for surplus, and the focus was mainly on survival. The idea of “getting stuff done” didn’t really exist yet, suppressing the idea of productivity.

The Birth of the To-Do List

It was shortly before the 19th century that to-do lists began to surface, as well. In 1791, Benjamin Franklin recorded what was one of the earliest-known forms of it, mostly with the intention of contributing something of value to society each day — the list opened with the question, “What good shall I do this day?”

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 10.29.31 AM.png
Source: Daily Dot

The items on Franklin’s list seemed to indicate a shift in focus from survival to completing daily tasks — things like “dine,” “overlook my accounts,” and “work.” It was almost a precursor to the U.S. Industrial Revolution, which is estimated to have begun within the first two decades of the nineteenth century. The New York Stock & Exchange Board was officially established in 1817, for example, signaling big changes to the idea of trade — society was drifting away from the singular goal of survival, to broader aspirations of monetization, convenience, and scale.

1790 – 1914

The Industrial Revolution actually began in Great Britain in the mid-1700s, and began to show signs of existence in the U.S. in 1794, with the invention of the cotton gin — which mechanically removed the seeds from cotton plants. It increased the rate of production so much that cotton eventually became a leading U.S. export and “vastly increased the wealth of this country,” writes Joseph Wickham Roe.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 1.55.09 PM.png
Source: Gregory Clark

It was one of the first steps in a societal step toward automation — to require less human labor, which often slowed down production and resulted in smaller output. Notice in the table below that, beginning in 1880, machinery added the greatest value to the U.S. economy. So from the invention of the cotton gin to the 1913 unveiling of Ford’s inaugural assembly line (note that “automotive” was added to the table below in 1920), there was a common goal among the many advances of the Industrial Revolution: To produce more in — you guessed it — less time.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 2.19.12 PM.png
Source: Joel Mokyr

1914 – 1970s

Pre-War Production

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 2.25.52 PM.png
Source: Joel Mokyr

Advances in technology — and the resulting higher rate of production — meant more employment was becoming available in industrial sectors, reducing the agricultural workforce. But people may have also become busier, leading to the invention and sale of consumable scheduling tools, like paper day planners.

According to the Boston Globe, the rising popularity of daily diaries coincided with industrial progression, with one of the earliest known to-do lists available for purchase — the Wanamaker Diary — debuting in the 1900s. Created by department store owner John Wanamaker, the planner’s pages were interspersed with print ads for the store’s catalogue, achieving two newly commercial goals: Helping an increasingly busier population plan its days, as well as advertising the goods that would help to make life easier.

Wanamaker_Diary_TP2 (1).jpg
Source: Boston Globe

World War I

But there was a disruption to productivity in the 1900s, when the U.S. entered World War I, from April 1917 to the war’s end in November 1918. Between 1918 and at least 1920 both industrial production and the labor force shrank, setting the tone for several years of economic instability. The stock market grew quickly after the war, only to crash in 1929 and lead to the 10-year Great Depression. Suddenly, the focus was on survival again, especially with the U.S. entrance into World War II in 1941.

GDP_depression.svg
Source: William D. O’Neil

But look closely at the above chart. After 1939, the U.S. GDP actually grew. That’s because there was a revitalized need for production, mostly of war materials. On top of that, the World War II era saw the introduction of women into the workforce in large numbers — in some nations, women comprised 80% of the total addition to the workforce during the war.

World War II and the Evolving Workforce

The growing presence of women in the workforce had major implications for the way productivity is thought of today. Starting no later than 1948 — three years after World War II’s end — the number of women in the workforce only continued to grow, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That suggests larger numbers of women were stepping away from full-time domestic roles, but many still had certain demands at home — by 1975, for example, mothers of children under 18 made up nearly half of the workforce. That created a newly unmet need for convenience — a way to fulfill these demands at work and at home.

Once again, a growing percentage of the population was strapped for time, but had increasing responsibilities. That created a new opportunity for certain industries to present new solutions to what was a nearly 200-year-old problem, but had been reframed for a modern context. And it began with food production.

1970s – 1990s

The 1970s and the Food Industry

With more people — men and women — spending less time at home, there was a greater need for convenience. More time was spent commuting and working, and less time was spent preparing meals, for example.

The food industry, therefore, was one of the first to respond in kind. It recognized that the time available to everyone for certain household chores was beginning to diminish, and began to offer solutions that helped people — say it with us — accomplish more in fewer hours.

Those solutions actually began with packaged foods like cake mixes and canned goods that dated back to the 1950s, when TV dinners also hit the market — 17 years later, microwave ovens became available for about $500 each.

But the 1970s saw an uptick in fast food consumption, with Americans spending roughly $6 billion on it at the start of the decade. As Eric Schlosser writes in Fast Food Nation, “A nation’s diet can be more revealing than its art or literature.” This growing availability and consumption of prepared food revealed that we were becoming obsessed with maximizing our time — and with, in a word, productivity.

The Growth of Time-Saving Technology

Technology became a bigger part of the picture, too. With the invention of the personal computer in the 1970s and the World Wide Web in the 1980s, productivity solutions were becoming more digital. Microsoft, founded in 1975, was one of the first to offer them, with a suite of programs released in the late 1990s to help people stay organized, and integrate their to-do lists with an increasingly online presence.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 9.58.58 AM.png
Source: Wayback Machine

It was preceded by a 1992 version of a smartphone called Simon, which included portable scheduling features. That introduced the idea of being able to remotely book meetings and manage a calendar, saving time that would have been spent on such tasks after returning to one’s desk. It paved the way for calendar-ready PDAs, or personal digital assistants, which became available in the late 1990s.

By then, the idea of productivity was no longer on the brink of becoming an industry — it was an industry. It would simply become a bigger one in the decades to follow.

The Early 2000s

The Modern To-Do List

Once digital productivity tools became available in the 1990s, the release of new and improved technologies came at a remarkable rate — especially when compared to the pace of developments in preceding centuries.

In addition to Microsoft, Google is credited as becoming a leader in this space. By the end of 2000, it won two Webby Awards and was cited by PC Magazine for its “uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results.” It was yet another form of time-saving technology, by helping people find the information they were seeking in a way that was more seamless than, say, using a library card catalog.

In April 2006, Google Calendar was unveiled, becoming one of the first technologies that allowed users to share their schedules with others, helping to mitigate the time-consuming exchanges often required of setting up meetings. It wasn’t long before Google also released Google Apps for Your Domain that summer, providing businesses with an all-in-one solution — email, voicemail, calendars, and web development tools, among others.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 6.35.20 AM.png
Source: Wayback Machine

During the first 10 years of the century, Apple was experiencing a brand revitalization. The first iPod was released in 2001, followed by the MacBook Pro in 2006 and the iPhone in January 2007 — all of which would have huge implications for the widespread idea of productivity.

2008 – 2014

Search Engines That Talk — and Listen

When the iPhone 4S was released in 2011, it came equipped with Siri, “an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking.” Google had already implemented voice search technology in 2008, but it didn’t garner quite as much public attention — most likely because it required a separate app download. Siri, conversely, was already installed in the Apple mobile hardware, and users only had to push the iPhone’s home button and ask a question conversationally.

But both offered further time-saving solutions. To hear weather and sports scores, for examples, users no longer had to open a separate app, wait for a televised report, or type in searches. All they had to do was ask.

By 2014, voice search had become commonplace, with multiple brands — including Microsoft and Amazon — offering their own technologies. Here’s how its major pillars look today:

Pillars_of_Voice_Search-2.png

The Latest Generation of Personal Digital Assistants

With the 2014 debut of Amazon Echo, voice activation wasn’t just about searching anymore. It was about full-blown artificial intelligence that could integrate with our day-to-day lives. It was starting to converge with the Internet of Things — the technology that allowed things in the home, for example, to be controlled digitally and remotely — and continued to replace manual, human steps with intelligent machine operation. We were busier than ever, with some reporting 18-hour workdays and, therefore, diminishing time to get anything done outside of our employment.

Here was the latest solution, at least for those who could afford the technology. Users didn’t have to manually look things up, turn on the news, or write down to-do and shopping lists. They could ask a machine to do it with a command as simple as, “Alexa, order more dog food.”

Of course, competition would eventually enter the picture and Amazon would no longer stand alone in the personal assistant technology space. It made sense that Google — who had long since established itself as a leader in the productivity industry — would enter the market with Google Home, released in 2016, and offering much of the same convenience as the Echo.

Of course, neither one has the same exact capabilities as the other — yet. But let’s pause here, and reflect on how far we’ve come.

2015 to 2020

Smart Devices are Everywhere

The Amazon Echo was just the beginning of smart devices that could help us plan out our day. We now have smart thermostats that schedule our heating and cooling, refrigerators that notify us when we’re low on food, TVs with every streaming service we need, and a handful of other appliances that schedule themselves around on our lifestyle.

While some might worry that smart devices could limit our level of motivation and productivity, others might disagree. Smart devices often free us up from mundane tasks while allowing us more time to focus on more productive things that are more important.

Big Data Powers Business Productivity

With technology like artificial intelligence, automation, analytics tools. and contact management systems, we are now able to gather more data about our audiences and customers quickly with the click of just a few buttons. This data has allowed marketers, as well as strategists in other departments to build tactics that engage audiences, please customers, generate revenue, and even offer major ROI. 

Want to see an example? Here’s a great case study on how one successful agency used AI and analytics software to gather, report, and strategize around valuable client data.

Offices Rely on Productivity Tools

We’ve come a long way from Google Calendar. Each day, you might use a messaging system like Slack, a video software like Zoom, or task-management tools like Trello, Asana, or Jira to keep your work on track. 

Aside from keeping employees on task, these tools have been especially important for keeping teams connected and on the same page. As modern workplaces increasingly embrace remote and international teammates, they’re also investing in digital task management and productivity tools that can keep everyone in the loop.  

Looking to boost your digital tool stack? Check out this list of productivity tools, especially if you’re working remotely. 

Where Productivity Is Now — and Where It’s Going

We started this journey in the 1700s with Benjamin Franklin’s to-do list. Now, here we are, over two centuries later, with intelligent machines making those lists and managing our lives for us.

Have a look at the total assets of some leaders in this space (as of the writing of this post, in USD):

Over time — hundreds of years, in fact — technology has made things more convenient for us. But as the above list shows, it’s also earned a lot of money for a lot of people. And those figures leave little doubt that, today, productivity is an industry, and a booming one at that.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in January 2017, but was updated in July 2020 for comprehensiveness and freshness. 

3 Ways to Move Faster and Be More Strategic with Marketo Engage

“The times they are a-changin’.” With more people working from home than ever before, in-person events replaced with digital experiences, budgets are being rescoped, and brands are focusing more on serving rather than selling. It’s a time of reflection for many personally and professionally. It’s also an opportunity to pause, take stock, and prepare for the new normal that is quietly emerging.

In most organizations, just getting started with marketing automation, programs tend to be more technical than strategic. Marketo Engage is the Ferrari of marketing automation with an abundance of capabilities to streamline operations and provide valuable insight beyond clicks, views, and registrations.

Here are three ways you and the marketing operations team can leverage Marketo Engage to increase efficiencies, resulting in more time to strategize and soar to the next level.

1. Think Scalability and Growth

Marketo is a robust Marketing Automation Platform. One of the key features is Standard Program Templates and Tokens. At a basic level, programs contain tasks to complete and help manage event registration, track downloads, or send email campaigns. Having a centralized set of design assets, helps to eliminate redundancy and duplicated work across your organization globally. When set up correctly, Marketo program templates and tokens help your marketing organization become more streamlined and efficient, saving you time and money—while helping you to answer key questions on how to better target your market and improve conversion rates.

Marketo tokens are often used to personalize emails and landing pages with the recipient’s name, but they can also be used to improve conversion and efficiency and make maintenance more manageable. Program tokens allow you to level-up within a program and move beyond simply populating a field with information from the lead file.

Program tokens enable you to define content at the program asset level, all at once, for emails, landing pages, and other elements. Such as defining creative elements for your templates, like colors and images, enabling you to simplify new program setup and increase consistency across all of your programs.

You heard right! Marketo tokens enable you to dictate format to manage the look and feel of your email design across multiple products or regions with one template, while all other elements of the template remain unchanged.

Then there are layered tokens:

  1. Inherited: Brought over from folder tokens; default values are maintained

  2. Overwritten: Inherited default values are changed for a particular program

  3. Local: Unique to a specific program; can be updated when new tokens are created

A use case for using layered tokens would be if you had a high volume of programs across multiple regions and products, the layered tokens would help you define numerous parameters e.g. footer information based on region, product URLs and other key elements. This would involve a folder structure with layered tokens, which eliminates the need for multiple design templates for each region.

Marketo has more than 100 tokens to help you with almost every aspect of your programs. For example, tokens can also be used to track hidden form submissions, enabling you to collect lead information related to specific pieces of content, rather than asking people to fill out forms—creating a better user experience and useful tracking and reporting on your program results with assets tied to them.

In order to use this strategy successfully, you’ll need a good understanding of what your organization can centralize and how other programs can tap into those centralized processes and assets. Once you have your needs outline, for sure you would see scalability at its peak.

2. Prove Contribution to Marketing Spend

Although we began this article with “the times, they are a-changin’,” there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, marketers are increasingly required to show the value added and how programs are impacting the business. The times of how many clicks are gone and it’s how many MQLs were created and how many converted. Channels and tracking campaigns are the foundation for Marketo program reporting. 

When you define and track the proper statuses, you’re able to measure the impact of your programs beyond tactical measures, such as click-throughs and downloads to look at MQL conversion and how your programs are impacting the business. As they say, “What you cannot measure, you cannot track” and with Marketo Engage if it is set up correctly, it is a piece of cake.

3. Think Globally at the Start to Drive Business Impact

When building out your initial Marketo Engage templates and programs, consider how you might integrate these across regions globally to eliminate redundancies in processes, or to mitigate inconsistencies in lead processing, in addition to long-term maintenance of your programs and assets.  You’ll be glad you did!

Having a centralized global approach to standardization such as changing lead scores, synching with your CRM provides consistency in how a lead is handled.

Center of Excellence is the key here and it is powerful yet simple to achieve this with Marketo Engage.

Time to Soar

Don’t set it and forget it, perform an overall assessment regularly so you can be proactive instead of spending valuable time reactively putting out fires.  Spend time to audit Lead Scoring, Programs, Key Metrics, and Business Growth. Run key metrics to analyze and reevaluate how to make the most of your Marketo Engage investment.

And don’t think you have to do it all yourself!  Part of a good strategy is to leverage those with the expertise and experience you may not have inhouse, giving you the resources you need when you need them.

The post 3 Ways to Move Faster and Be More Strategic with Marketo Engage appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

SiteGround vs Bluehost: Pricing & Features Comparison 2020

SiteGround and Bluehost are leading web hosting providers that offer comprehensive hosting plans. At first glance, each appears to offer very similar services. However, upon further inspection, the two web hosts best serve two different users. We scrutinized the two in order to help you determine which is the right fit for your small business…

The post SiteGround vs Bluehost: Pricing & Features Comparison 2020 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Retail trends gaining momentum post-Covid19

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic’s impact on the retail industry was swift and significant. Consumer behaviour literally changed overnight with the government implementation of lockdown, and even now stores have reopened, retailers have a lot of work to do to reclaim the revenue lost during lockdown.

That being said, initial signs are positive, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a 13.9% growth month-on-month for June; and arguably retail more so than any other industry, is expertly equipped to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour. So, while things are still relatively fresh, we thought we’d highlight some of the retail trends which have gained momentum during and post-Covid19. 

Golden age of localisation

Local convenience stores have experienced a huge surge during lockdown, with many individuals wanting to avoid large queues and public transport. As such, Co-op won a 7% share of the market in April (last achieved in 2011) and George MacDonald, Executive Editor of Retail Week, was recently quoted saying we may be entering the ‘golden age’ of retail localisation.

The way MacDonald describes this ‘golden age’, is as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for independent stores to strengthen and secure their unique place on the highstreet. And with a recent study revealing that 55% of polled UK adults want to shop more locally, this certainly seems to be the case. 

Brand communities

For this one, we’re simply going to reference the weekly ‘clap for carers’. As Izzy Ashton, deputy editor of insight puts it –

Marketing is now less about the hard sell, and more about pulling customers into a brand’s community”. 

Creating a community among customers is a great way to promote customer engagement and retention. It can be achieved in a number of ways – loyalty schemes, customer competitions, for example best use of a product or best caption for a brand post.

Really how this is achieved will be dependent on your business model, brand and customer audience. But with a recent survey reporting that 8 of 10 recipients considered their local high street vital to their community, it’s easy to see how valuable this could be for local retailers.

The continued rise of eCommerce

Naturally, eCommerce has experienced significant growth during lockdown. The way we see it, this has been largely driven by two main factors.

The first and obvious is that lockdown forced the closure of any store deemed ‘non-essential’ and the second, is the growing number of silver surfers getting on board with online shopping.

Only time will tell if the older generation will continue to adopt a more digital approach, but interestingly, in June when stores were able to reopen, online retail sales continued to surge, reporting a 33.9% year-on-year growth. So the data does suggest that consumers will be sticking to online shopping, for the immediate future at least. As such, enhancing eCommerce offerings is essential. Just two great examples include – extending returns policies and diversifying delivery options. 

Additionally, this serves as a reminder of how important it is for retailers to provide customers a smooth omnichannel experience:

Not a recent quote, but the point still stands. 

Green consumerism

Early on in lockdown, many consumers were struggling to buy their usual, favourite products. While this does relate mainly to food purchases (does anyone remember how difficult it was to find flour and eggs?!), it has definitely impacted purchasing behaviour more generally.

Ultimately, not being able to buy the usual food shop for the week, left some questioning how much they actually need. Additionally, as many individuals have had to take voluntary pay cuts, been furloughed, or may have even lost their jobs, it logically follows that individuals are being more mindful of their spending. This has led many consumers to trade off, or trade down on some of their favourite products.

But perhaps most remarkably, 47% of customers identified as trading off are focusing on more environmentally friendly brands. Thus it’s likely this will continue to be a focus for consumers and consequently retailers.  

Fashion subscription businesses

Fashion retailers were one of the hardest hit when the coronavirus crisis first emerged, with a reported 23.1% year-on-year decline for March. But with retail sales picking up and stores reopening, many are thinking about how best to safeguard their business for the future. In recent years, fashion retail subscriptions have really grown in popularity, and as 33% of Brits reported that the main reason for not using a subscription style service was that they enjoyed shopping in person, this group of consumers could be much more open to the idea post-lockdown. Given that retailers are still reporting a significant decline in footfall, it’s certainly worth investigating. 

As the title suggests, none of these trends are new to the retail industry, the pandemic has simply emphasised them. To businesses already benefiting from the changes, it’s paramount marketing efforts are focused on how to retain the additional revenue, and for businesses elsewhere, it’s time to adapt.

As always, any change a business makes is only as effective as the communication of said changes, to their customers. So when your business is ready to launch a customer campaign, remember our experienced team is on hand to help. To get in touch, simply email info@textmarketer.co.uk or call 0117 205 0202.

The post Retail trends gaining momentum post-Covid19 appeared first on Textmarketer.

How to Engage Gen Z; Learnings From Youth Marketing Summit, London 2020

Generation Z are a tough audience for loyalty programmes everywhere; they have different expectations and needs, sign up and engage far less than older demographics, and seem to operate by a very different rulebook. In the UK, it’s no different. UK Research undertaken in January 2020 by Mando-Connect and YouGov found that just under half (49.1%) of men aged 18-24 are members of a loyalty programme and only 56.7% of women aged 18-24. That compares to a national average loyalty programme membership in the UK of 76%. However, the research also found that, whilst they do not join programmes, they are in fact very positive towards loyalty — 79% of 18-24s think loyalty programmes are a great way for brands and businesses to reward customers; 60% think all brands should offer one. That is far higher than the national averages of 72% and 52% respectively.

By: Charlie Hills

So, if Gen Z like loyalty so much, but aren’t currently joining programmes, what can we do as loyalty marketers to engage them? We attended Voxburner’s digital conference “Youth Marketing Strategy Online London” to capture some new insight and ideas for how to engage this audience. The conference is touted as part of a series of global events and virtual festivals demystifying the changing trends, habits, and attitudes of 16-24s — the consumers of the future. Where better to find out more.

Learning One: Offer genuine help during tough times

In “The New Abnormal: Why Hope, Community and resilience are the way forward”, Sean Pillot De Chenecey spoke compellingly about the need for brands to be trustworthy, reliable, and competent to really engage Gen Z. He checked Aristotle for guidance for modern brands “the virtuous brand does virtuous things for the right reasons”. Brewdog and Ben & Jerry’s were held up as 2 great examples of virtuous brands, doing the virtuous things for the virtuous reasons.

During Covid-19 we have seen many loyalty programmes in the UK step up. At the most basic level we have seen programmes change their terms and conditions so that members don’t miss out. Simple things like changing voucher durations, or giving members longer to add points can make a real difference to how members feel.

But it’s the programmes who have gone further that really stand out. Programmes like Accor Live Limitless who are helping to try and find a vaccine with a long running partnership with Institut Pasteur, or Marks & Spencer’s Sparks who, as well as recently relaunching, added significant new charities to those that they support.

This author however would like to see programmes go further, especially to engage Gen Z. How could programmes step up and help the charities that matter most to this age group? Or, could programmes be even more active and help Gen Z directly. All charities are really in need of funding at the moment. And Youth focussed charities are no different. Charities like Centre Point who are trying to end youth homelessness or The Princes Trust who help get young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education, and training are in need of support. At the least, Loyalty Programmes could encourage members to donate to these charities, either directly or through their loyalty currency. But I think they could and should go further. How could your loyalty programme actively help young people? Could you make direct donations? Could you repurpose your products, services, or rewards to help (like Brewdog did)? Could you promote the charities and good causes (like Ben & Jerry’s does)? Could you even take more direct action — for example, sharing your expertise and resources?

Learning Two: Help them resolve their conflict between ethics and value

The conflict this Generation have between making ethical choices, and value choices came up as a broad theme through-out the conference. They want to do the right thing, but they can’t afford it as funds are limited and priorities conflicted. In the Youth Trends 2020 Panel, Josh Akapo explained, “I like spending money. It’s also impossible to be completely ethical in this modern day and age.”

Brett Booth and Luke Hodson of Urban Nerds continued the discussion. They highlighted the clash between ethics and value in fashion “Fresh Garms” is everything. If they have £100 to spend this weekend, 56% would spend it on new clothes. They prioritise looking good. But three quarters have access to less than £400 per month. So it creates a tension. Experience comes second in terms of how they spend. This audience prioritise looking good”. But they want to make ethical choices too, they just can’t always afford to — hence the popularity of fast fashion like Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, despite ethical challenges.

So what can programmes do? The answer is simple. Invest to offer them high value, ethical rewards, that offer them the status they crave. VOXI Drop (who recently won the coveted Loyalty Redefined Award at the Loyalty Magazine Awards) is a great example of a brand offering ethics and value to inspire Gen Z. Recent Drops have included 15% off ASOS, along with a cool prize draw to win one of 20 x £50 vouchers or the chance to win the ultimate “working from home bundle” or free games from Fanatical. It’s not hard to identify the rewards that will engage a Gen Z membership, you just have to think differently.

Learning Three: Talk with them, not down to them

I attended a fascinating panel discussion “What’s in a word. Brand engagement in the age of #BLM” featuring Joi Freeman of Remnant Strategy, Eleshea Williams of The Black Curriculum, and Hayel Wartemberg of Word on the Curb. A really important subject, well handled by this expert panel.

The panel discussed systematic racism in Britain. Hayel was armed with facts and stats from Word on the Curb Research. Did you know that the average white household has £280k in wealth, and the average Black African household in Britain has one tenth of that? Eleshea went on “black people are disadvantaged in every pillar of society in Britain.”

The suggested solution was compelling. Ask. Listen. Talk. As Loyalty Marketers, do we genuinely do this enough? Hayel said, “they want relationships with brands where they have equity — these are the ones that will succeed in positive brand engagement. Talk with them, not down to them.” Brands need to do more than just donate, brands need to educate. Gen Z want brands to engage with them on this important subject, but make sure you get it right “55% say that if you get it wrong, they will consider not purchasing with you again.”

The critical learning was the importance of asking, talking, listening. For example, when surveyed, 56% of Gen Z felt the decision was wrong for BBC and Netflix to take down ‘Little Britain’ without consulting the black community first. Research should be a cornerstone of every loyalty marketer’s approach to engaging Gen Z.

Learning Four: Digital culture just got even bigger

Ed Vaizey, the Former Minister for Technology, talked about the important of culture for young people today, citing the rise of user generated content during lockdown as a great way that young people have been able to express themselves. As well as looking at Youtube, downloading films, playing video games, watching esports and more. His advice? “If you want to reach young people, the best way to do it is through culture”.

He went on to talk about a “fundamental change” that has happened — the even bigger rise of digital. He talked people’s first thought will no longer be about the live experience, but how the digital amplification of events will be a “parallel thought”. How can providers share their content more broadly? “People in the arts are much much more aware now of the enormous audience out there that, even after Covid-19, can’t visit them.”

The implication for loyalty is awesome. Whereas in the past, tickets to live events were expensive, hard to get to and inaccessible to many members, the rise of digital experiences means that we, as loyalty marketers, can offer high quality experiences to many more than we ever could before, at far lower cost. The latest show on Broadway to a global audience? No problem. The latest gig at the O2 to millions? No issue. The opportunities to innovate the experiences themselves are also vast — from back stage meet and greets, to hanging out with your mates, to digital behind the scenes explorations — all these can be done digitally now. Gen Z are ready to experience these new types of reward experiences and I’m sure they will also be able to tell us how to make them even better.

Conclusion

Youth Summit provided a fantastic overview of the Gen Z audience, what we need to know, what we need to think about and above all else, a wealth of new data and insights to inform our approach to engaging this critical audience in loyalty.

Next steps for me include a thorough review of Voxburner and Student Bean’s new Youth Trend Report 2020, covering 6 key trends:

  1. Values vs Consumer Desires
  2. Gender Redefined
  3. News on Social
  4. Shoppertainment
  5. Recommerce
  6. Activism 2.0

As well as analysis of how Students shop now, and the all important Youth 100 — their favourite top 100 brands. Netflix came out as no 1 overall, followed by YouTube and Spotify. In fashion, ASOS was no 1, followed by Nike and Primark (an eclectic selection). And in Health & Beauty, Lush and The Body Shop dominate. Check it out for other sectors!

I will also be connecting with the great speakers and specialist agencies and consultancies who featured to see what we can do better to engage Gen Z.

Charlie Hills is a featured contributor to the Wise Marketer and is the Managing Director and Head of Strategy at Mando-Connect.

The post How to Engage Gen Z; Learnings From Youth Marketing Summit, London 2020 appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

How Video Consumption is Changing in 2020 [New Research]

In 2020, video is more important to consumers than ever before.

Each day, we stream our favorite shows, watch explainer videos on YouTube to learn something new, or follow events, Q&As, and interviews via live video.

Unsurprisingly, video content’s current popularity is due in part to millennial and Gen Z consumers. These age groups are more connected to the internet than older age groups,, and prefer to be entertained or learn new things from online videos.

At this point, marketers know that they should be leveraging video in their marketing strategy. According to HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing report, video beat out heavyweight contenders like email, blogging, and infographics as the most used type of marketing content.

The interest in video isn’t surprising or new. Throughout the last century, we’ve seen video move from black and white televisions to smartphones and tablets. As consumers have seen this content become more available at our fingertips, brands have discovered a number of new ways to implement video in their marketing.

Now, rather than relying on a commercial during our favorite sitcoms to learn about a product, we’re inundated with marketing videos all over social media, streaming apps, and search result pages.

Video isn’t going anywhere, but it is always expanding, changing, and evolving to fit new consumer needs and new platforms.

As this content continues to evolve with each new generation, marketers should continue researching video consumers’ interests, hobbies, and behaviors.

In this blog post, I’ll highlight six research-backed ways video consumption habits are changing and how marketers can respond strategically.

How Video Consumption is Changing in 2020

1. Consumers are beginning to rely on marketing videos from brands.

In the past, consumers would visit websites, look at online reviews, watch commercials, and maybe search out a few YouTube videos to learn about a product. Now, with video being accessible on every major social media network, they are learning to rely more heavily on this type of content in their research phase.

While brands are seeing higher engagement than ever from video marketing, consumers increasingly expect to see this type of content from brands. Even back in 2018, a whopping 87% of consumers said they wanted to see more video from brands in the next year.

In 2020, it’s likely that the expectation of brands to provide marketing videos has gotten even stronger. Each day, consumers use product demos, video reviews, and unboxings to learn about products before they buy them.

What do increasing video content expectations mean for you as a marketer? Well, if a prospect is interested in a product or service in your industry, looks for video reviews or tutorials, and can’t find any related to your brand’s offering, they might buy a product from another brand.

Why? Videos give consumers the opportunity to see how a product or service works in real life, discover any flaws before purchasing the item, and identify perks that they might not learn about in the text-based description. This content might also appear to be more authentic than a heavily edited product shot, which can boost a consumer’s trust in a brand or offering.

2. Half of Gen Z and Millennials “don’t know how they’d get through life without video.”

To some, this isn’t that much of a shock. Each new generation has watched more online video than the last. However, when it comes to those under the age of 34, videos have more of an impact on daily life than ever before. In YouTube’s survey, 50% of people in both generations said they “couldn’t live” without video in their daily lives.

Aside from using video for entertainment, both millennials and Gen Z prefer to watch videos for information gathering purposes. Even when it comes to learning about a new brand or product, these age groups prefer video explainers, product demos, or other marketing videos to simply reading about a company online.

With millennials nearing 40 and Gen Z beginning to gain full purchasing power, there’s a good chance that these two age groups will take up a major portion of your audience soon if they  aren’t already.

At this point, marketers aiming to attract these two generations should consider testing out video strategies on social media or their own websites. While these age groups might regularly use video for entertainment purposes, it’s also likely that they’ll use it to learn more about products or brands worth investing in. If there’s a great video recommendation or tutorial out there for a product they’re interested in, they might find it, watch it, and use that content to confirm that this purchase is right for them.

3. Video consumers want to relax — or escape — from daily life.

In the past, older generations might have turned on their favorite TV sitcom or gone to the movies to escape from the stresses of daily life. While the platforms have changed as younger consumers take over the video market, the instinctive need for relaxing or entertaining content hasn’t.

When asked to rank the reasons why consumers watch video content, YouTube survey participants said they primarily watch videos in order to, “relax and unwind.” Additionally, the fourth most common reason that people watch videos is that the content makes them laugh. Additionally, people cited, “Makes me forget about the world around me,” as the seventh most common reason for watching videos.

Image Source

As a marketer, you shouldn’t put all of your time and money into just creating mindless content that will relax your viewers or give them a laugh. But, you can keep in mind that many viewers are still looking to be entertained or intrigued by your content.

Even when you’re creating an informative marketing video, you can consider experimenting with funny anecdotes or adding other entertaining qualities. Interested in adding fun elements to your next marketing video? Get inspired by major brands that effectively used humor in their marketing.

4. Consumers want to learn more about their niche and passions.

Aside from looking for escapism, YouTube viewers are motivated to watch content that teaches them new things, especially when related to their passions, interests, hobbies, or social causes. While the second most common reasoning for watching a video was it, “teaches me something new,” people also said they prioritize content that allows them to “dig deeper” into their interests or “relates to” their passions.

Odds are your product relates to someone’s interests, hobbies, passions, or career. This is the type of person you’ll want to watch and enjoy your videos.

Creating a buyer persona and target audience around this type of person will help you identify video topics that they’ll value, benefit from, and remember your brand for publishing.

5. Consumers don’t care if your video looks like it has a big budget.

There’s a common misconception that marketing videos need to feature the biggest Hollywood stars and must be shot in a high-priced studio. In 2020, as marketers are increasingly producing video remotely, this myth has definitely been debunked.

But, if the evolving video marketing workforce hasn’t convinced you that low-budget videos can still be effective, here’s what YouTube discovered in its survey:

When asking consumers to rank the top reasons they watched videos, surprisingly “high production quality,” and “famous actors” neared the bottom of the list.

top reasons consumers choose to watch a video

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Aside from ranking high-budget video features as the least likely reasons for watching videos, millennials and Gen Z differ from older age groups in that they’re more accepting of user-generated content over professionally made videos. This might hint that brands can leverage content created by their own customers or fans when creating marketing videos:

Consumers views on user generated content

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At this point, there are plenty of ways to produce an affordable video with solid quality from any home or workspace. And, while it will still take time and money to launch this content, effective marketing videos made anywhere can boost your level of brand awareness.

6. Younger generations are watching longer content.

The average Gen Z member has an online attention span of eight seconds. That’s four seconds less than millennials. But although Gen Z’s attention span for general online surfing might be quite short, long-form videos that interest them can grasp their attention — and keep it.

video consumption demographics

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The adoption of long-form content with each new generation isn’t new. According to YouTube’s study, millennials also watched longer-form videos more often than their Gen X predecessors.

As a marketer, you’ll need to keep the attention spans of each new generation in mind as you set the pace for your video content.

Your video has mere seconds to catch a millennial or Gen Z member’s attention as they’re aimlessly scrolling through a social media feed. However, if your video captures viewers immediately and then continues to offer entertaining, valuable, or interesting information throughout, these age groups might watch the whole thing — even if it is on the longer side.

Before you put a marketing video online, re-watch it from the point-of-view of a somewhat busy consumer. Then, ask yourself, “Does this video pull viewers into the action quickly and keep their attention?” If you’re worried that parts of your video seem dull, you might want to shorten it. But, if your team thinks it’s entertaining or informative the entire time, you can experiment with publishing your longer-form video and learning from its results.

Navigating Video in 2020

With each new generation, the video world will continue to evolve.

However, at this point, the video landscape is changing in favor of marketers. Not only do consumers prefer to learn about brands via video content, but they use it as a necessary tool in the information-gathering phase of their buyer’s journey.

Additionally, the vast majority of video consumers now strive to learn something new about an interest or hobby, rather than just using video to entertain themselves. This means marketers can harness educational videos in their strategy and offer consumers content that relates to their niche, while also marketing a brand or product.

In 2020, you don’t need a high-priced video budget to succeed as a marketer. You just need to create content that engages, educates, and intrigues your audience.

To learn more about how to create a winning marketing video — even on a budget — check out this how-to post. For tactical promotional tips, check out The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing.

The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics in 2020

Are you confused — even intimidated — by Google Analytics? Good news: you’re not alone. GA is notoriously complicated.

In fact, when I first started to delve into GA’s waters, I wondered if I’d ever truly get it. There were so many concepts to learn and reports to run. How did people ever conquer this thing?!?!

Lots and lots of reading plus some trial and error, it turns out.

I’m not saying I’ve reached total mastery — there’s always something new to pick up — but I’m vastly more comfortable.

And I want you to be, too. So, here’s the cheat sheet to everything I’ve learned over the years. This guide might be long, but it’ll take you from zero to hero in ~6,000 words. And if you still have questions, let me know! I’m @ajavuu on Twitter.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics, or GA, is an analytics tool that gives you an extremely in-depth look at your website and/or app performance. It integrates with Google’s marketing and advertising platforms and products (including Google Ads, Search Console, and Data Studio) making it a popular choice for anyone using multiple Google tools.

What other types of people is GA popular among?

Other marketing analytics options, such as HubSpot, can give you all the data you need with much less work. Oh, and here’s another aspect of GA you’ll want to take into consideration:

Is Google Analytics free?

There’s a free and a paid version of GA (the latter is called Analytics 360). Small and medium-sized businesses will likely get all the features you need from the free version. Enterprise businesses need to upgrade if you want:

  • Advanced funnel reporting and attribution modeling
  • Roll-up reporting
  • More views, dimensions, and metrics per property
  • Unlimited and unsampled data

Paying for 360 also gives you access to dedicated support, including your own account manager. This alone can make the subscription fee worth it.

And about that subscription fee? It’s not cheap. Analytics 360 begins at $150,000 per year (invoiced monthly) and increases after your site receives more than one billion monthly hits.

360’s cost will price out many businesses. However, if you have the budget for both the service and an agency or in-house analyst to manage your analytics operations, consider investing.

Now, what steps will you need to follow when setting up GA? Good question.

How to Set Up Google Analytics

Before you start using Google Analytics, you’ll have to set up a Google account. This means you must have a registered Google Account email address and password.

Once you’ve created a Google account, that doesn’t mean you automatically have access to GA — rather, you have to register for Analytics (which we’ll review how to do in the next section). But the important thing to note as you go to set up GA is that you can only access the tool by using a valid Google account.

Additionally, to set up GA properly, you’ll want to understand the various layers of the tool — specifically, the hierarchy.

Google Analytics Hierarchy

Here’s a look at the GA hierarchy:

Let’s dive into each of the sections within the hierarchy.

1. Organization

The organization is the highest level. It represents a company. For example, our organization is HubSpot, Inc. One organization can encompass multiple GA accounts.

Organizations are recommended for larger businesses, but not mandatory.

2.Account(s)

Accounts are not optional. Using Google Analytics requires at least one (sometimes several) accounts.

An account doesn’t mean a user account. I can log into the HubSpot Google Analytics accounts using my Google email ID. HubSpot’s head of technical SEO can also log into the same account using his Google email ID. Our historical optimization specialist can also log into the same account using his Google email ID.

Important details:

  • You can assign one property to each account or multiple properties to one account. Every account can hold up to 50 properties.
  • You can give user permissions for an entire Analytics account, a property in an account, or a view in a property.

You might be wondering, “What’s better: creating a new account for every property or adding every account to the same property?”

It depends on your use case and goals.

For example, suppose you have one website — the Stark Industries corporate site — and five subdirectories, including the Stark Industries blog, careers section, media resources, case studies, and investor relations information.

You want to create separate properties for each subdirectory so the people on each team can look at how their portion of the site is performing, as well as the larger site.

But maybe you have another site that discusses Tony Stark’s work with S.H.I.E.L.D. You want the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to see data for this subdirectory, but you don’t want them to see data for the rest of the website. You create a new account and property for the S.H.I.E.L.D. site.

Property

A property is a website or app. Each property can support up to 25 views.

View

At the minimum, you need two views per property:

  • One with zero configuration — essentially the “raw” version of the view
  • One with filters set up to exclude any traffic from within your company (i.e. a filter for your IP address) as well as bots and spam traffic

A view only captures the information after your filters and configured settings have been applied. And once you delete a view, that data is gone forever. For those reasons, it’s critical to keep an unfiltered view of your data.

Now that you have completed the basis for how how to set up GA, here are the steps involved in using the tool.

Here are the steps involved in using your GA account.

1. Create a Google Analytics account.

First, you’ll have to create a Google Analytics account. Or, sign in to your current account.

2. Add the name, URL, and industry of the website you want to track.

Choose which account you want to add the property to. You should create and name your Property at this point and enter the website’s URL as well as industry and reporting time zone. Then you’ll be able to Create and Finish this step of the process.

3. Add a view to your property.

Go to the account and property you want to add a view to — use the menu to Create a View, name your view, select the type of view (web or app), and answer a few other questions. Remember, you can add up to 25 views to a property in GA.

4. Add your tracking code directly after the <head> tag of your site.

When you create a property, you’ll have access to a unique ID for tracking and a global site tag (code you need to add to each site page you want to measure). This is how you’ll be able to collect data in your property.

Then, paste your global site tag right after the opening <head> tag on each site page you plan on measuring.

You’ll be asked to choose your type of site (static, dynamic, web hosting, Google Tag Manager) so that you can set up the data collection accurately.

(For more, read our guide to installing the Google Analytics tracking code on your site.)

5. Visit your GA portal and verify the code is working.

Lastly, verify your code is working. You can do this by looking at the Real-Time reports section while clicking around on your site in a different tab or on your phone. The report should show at least one visitor to the site (that’s you!)

And that’s pretty much it! After that review, you may be wondering the following:

Do you need to add the GA code to every page of your site?

That’s a lot of manual work — especially if your website has more than 50 pages. Plus, what happens when you create new pages? Do you need to add the tag every time?!

Relax, because the short answer is: no.

The longer answer: you only need to add the tag to every page template. So, if you have one page type on your site (meaning every individual page uses the same header module), you only need to add it to that module — and it’ll be applied to every page.

If you have two page types, you’d need to paste the code into the two separate header modules. Three page types? Three header modules.

And if you use a CMS like HubSpot, this task is even easier. These tools come with a separate field where you paste your tracking code just once. HubSpot users can follow these simple instructions for adding GA.

Additionally, to use GA successfully, you need to understand dimensions versus metrics.

Google Analytics Dimensions and Metrics

I’ve found the easiest way to think about it is:

  • Dimensions = categorical variables. Simple examples include names, colors, and places.
  • Metrics = quantitative variables. Basic examples include age, temperature, and population.

Or as my Data Analytics professor put it, “Metrics are what you can do math on.” Not the most eloquent phrasing, but it works.

Dimension Examples
  1. Browser
  2. Location
  3. Landing page
  4. Device
  5. Customer type
Metric Examples
  1. Sessions
  2. Pageviews
  3. Conversions
  4. Bounce rate
  5. Session duration

In any GA report, your dimensions are your rows and your metrics are your columns.

google analytics metrics

Custom Dimensions and Metrics

GA lets you create custom dimensions and metrics from Analytics data plus non-Analytics data. To give you an idea, suppose you track the membership type of customers who have created an account in your CRM. You could combine this information with page views to see page views by member type.

Or maybe you run a blog. If you want to understand how audience engagement impacts other metrics (like conversions, pages per session, etc.), you could create three custom dimensions for each type of reader:

  1. Advocate: user who shared one-plus posts on social media
  2. Subscriber: user who signed up for your email list
  3. Customer: user who purchased premium access

Using these dimensions will give you invaluable information.

What’s a Google Analytics audience?

An audience is a group of users that have something in common. That commonality could be anything: maybe you’re targeting consumers in Australia, so you have an “Australian audience,” or you want to sell to millennials, so you have a “25-34 audience.”

GA comes with several built-in audiences (including the two I just mentioned, location and age). You don’t need to do a thing to set these up — once you have the tracking code installed, GA will automatically break down your visitor data into these audience reports.

However, you can also create custom audiences. Perhaps you’re only interested in “Australian millennials”; you’d need to make a custom audience that only includes visitors who are A) in Australia and B) between the ages of 25 and 34.

Creating an audience is fairly easy. Honestly, the hardest part is figuring out what you’re trying to accomplish and then identifying the user characteristics that’ll help you do that.

Once you’ve done that, follow these instructions to create a new audience segment. From there you can import a segment to use as the basis for your Audience Report.

That brings us to the next question:

What’s a Google Analytics segment?

A segment is a subset of your data. I like to picture an entire pizza made up of all different slices — one slice has pesto and mozzarella, another has sausages and spicy peppers, another has ham and pineapple, and so on. Metaphorically speaking, each slice is a segment.

You can create segments based on:

  • Users (e.g. users who have bought something on your site before, users who have signed up for a consultation, etc.)
  • Sessions (e.g. all sessions that were generated from a specific marketing campaign, all sessions where a pricing page was viewed)
  • Hits (e.g. all hits where the purchase exceeded $85, all hits where a specific product was added to the cart)

Like audiences, GA provides you with several segments. I wouldn’t stop there: you can get incredibly granular with your segments.

To give you some inspiration, here are a few of HubSpot’s segments:

  • Users who viewed a specific product page and watched the demo video
  • Users who viewed the same product page and didn’t watch the demo video
  • Users who view a specific Academy course page
  • Users who view a specific Academy lesson page
  • Users who view a blog post and a product page

The sky is your limit — well, that, and GA’s segment cap.

Alright, now let’s look at GA Reports. Remember, you can apply up to four segments at a time to any report.

Google Analytics Reports

GA’s left-hand sidebar can be a bit overwhelming. You’ve got six reporting options (all with confusing, vague names), and clicking on any of those only gives you more options.

Let’s walk through each report together.

google analytics reports

Google Analytics Real-Time Report

As the name suggests, the Real-Time report gives you insight into what’s happening on your site at this very moment. You can see how many visitors are on your site, which pages they’re visiting, which social platforms they’re coming from, where they’re located, and more.

While this report is fun to look at occasionally, it’s probably the least valuable. Here are some ways to use Real-Time:

  • See how much traffic you’re getting from a new social or blog post
  • Know immediately if a one-day sale or event is driving views and/or conversions
  • Make sure tracking URLs and custom events that you’ve just set up are working as they should

These are useful, but as you’ll see, the other reports pack a far greater punch.

Google Analytics Audience Report

The GA Audience report gives you a high-level overview for the property you’re currently looking at. Check this report once a day to get a sense of how you’re trending overall.

Underneath “Overview,” you’ll see “Audiences,” as well as expandable menus for “Demographics,” “Interests,” “Geo,” “Behavior,” “Technology,” “Mobile,” “Cross-Device,” “Custom,” and “Benchmarking.”

google analytics audience report

Explore each of these sections to get a sense of what they can tell you about your visitors.

Every section describes an audience.

Active Users

Whoever named this report belongs in the same group as the person who named guinea pigs: “active users” doesn’t refer to users currently on your site — that’s the Real-Time report — and guinea pigs are neither pigs nor from Guinea.

The Active Users report shows you the number of users who visited in the last day (1-day active users), week (7-day active users), two weeks (14-day active users), and four weeks (28-day active users.)

google analytics active users report

What’s the value of this report, you ask?

If you have more one-day users than longer-term ones, you’re struggling with retention. People aren’t coming back to your site or app — you need to figure out why.

I’d also recommend looking at this report with various segments; for instance, perhaps you see that users in a certain age bracket have much better retention than the average.

Lifetime Value

First things first: do you need a refresher on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and how to calculate it? We’ve got you.

The Lifetime Value report gives you a sense of how valuable users are to your company. You can see lifetime value for, say, the users you generated from email marketing versus the ones you acquired from organic search. Armed with this information, you can decide which channel to invest more in.

A few notes: Lifetime Value is capped at 90 days. The Acquisition date range, however — which you can adjust — reflects all the users you acquired in that time frame.

Imagine you’re interested in looking at transactions per user for users you acquired in the week before Black Friday. You’d adjust the date range to that week specifically. Then you’d see the average transactions per user for that cohort over the following 90 days.

Because HubSpot is a SaaS company, not an ecommerce business, I look at goal completions per user, page views per user, and sessions per user by Acquisition Channel.

If my team has recently wrapped up a marketing campaign, I’ll look at the same metrics by Acquisition Campaign.

But if you are in ecommerce and want to see transaction and revenue data, you’ll need to have ecommerce tracking set up.

(By the way, here’s how to track revenue in HubSpot.)

Cohort Analysis

Some people have gone so far as to call Cohort Analysis “the single most powerful report in GA.”

So, how does it work? This report groups users by one characteristic — so far, “Acquisition Date” is the only “Cohort Type” you can use. By the way, Acquisition Date is the day a user first visited your website.

You have several options from there.

  1. First, pick your cohort size: day, week, or month.
  2. Next, pick your metric, or what you want to explore for this cohort. It can be further broken down into Per user, Retention, and Total.
    • Per user means the total count of that metric divided by the cohort size. So if you choose Transactions per user, for example, you’ll see the average number of transactions per user for that cohort.
    • Retention is simple: user retention, or the number of users who returned that day, week or month (determined by the cohort size you selected) divided by the total number of users in that cohort.
    • Total: the total number of sessions, transactions, etc. that occurred for that cohort size.
  3. Choose your date range. GA lets you see up to three months of data.

Now let’s dive into reading the report, because it’s not obvious.

google analytics cohort report

The left-hand column shows you the Cohort Type you picked — Acquisition date, by default — broken down by Cohort Size (day, week, or month).

The first row shows you the totals for all the users in that cohort. Each row underneath that represents the activity in that day, week, or month (in this example, we’re looking at month.)

The row outlined in light blue reflects the Cohort Size you’ve chosen. Remember that data only goes back three months at the max.

The row outlined in yellow shows you the values for the metric you chose (in this case, Goal Completions per User). In the eternal words of Calvin Harris: baby, this what you came for.

Look at the first row. This tells you the average goal completions for the entire cohort in the first month after they were acquired was 1.09. Average goal completions for the entire cohort in the second month after they acquired dropped to 0.09. By the last month, it’s 0.02.

Now look at the next three rows. It looks like average goal completions per user in the first month after they were acquired increased slightly from December to January and again from January to February.

This is pretty usual behavior. Let’s imagine that instead, this report tells us average goal completions per user for February 1-28, 2019 (the last row) was 4.07. Woah! That’s nearly four times as high as December and January.

We’d definitely want to investigate further. And to do so, all we have to do is right-click on the cohort we’re interested in.

Make sure you click on the column if you want the entire day, week, or month analyzed. Click on a cell if you want to analyze only the users who, for example, completed a goal three days after they were acquired on February 27, 2019.

google analytics cohort report

When you right-click, this box will pop up:

google analytics cohort segment

Give this cohort a descriptive name. Change the views to “Any View” if you want to use this segment across your entire property (which I usually recommend), then click “Create.”

Voila — now you can compare this cohort to any other segment in any report you choose.

Google Analytics Acquisition Reports

The Acquisition report breaks down your traffic by source: organic, direct, referral, email, social, paid search, display, affiliate, and (Other). (GA uses the (Other) category when it doesn’t know how to categorize a subset of traffic.)

google analytics acquisition report

From All Traffic, you can click into Channels.

google analytics acquisition by channel

Click on any category to explore each source in detail.

Depending on the category, you’ll see landing pages (which URLs your visitors entered the site on), source (which website brought them to yours), or keyword (which query took them to your site.)

google analytics acquisition report

To see this information presented visually, click on All Traffic > Treemaps. This post walks you through how to read and adjust the Treemaps report.

The next report, Source/Medium, breaks down the general category of traffic (which you saw in “Channels”) into the search engine or domain.

It’s useful if you want to get more granular insight into the ways people are coming to your site. For example, you might notice that a whopping 70% of your referral traffic is coming from LinkedIn, while just 5% is coming from Pinterest. Depending on your marketing team’s priorities it may be time to shift focus.

The last report, Referrals, reveals the specific URLs that sent people to your site, e.g. your referral traffic.

google analytics acquisition by landing page

I like to add “Landing page” as a secondary dimension so you can see which pages on your site are receiving the referral traffic.

Google Analytics Behavior Reports

Out of all the reports in GA, I use the Behavior ones the most.

Site Content

This report gives you a review all of the blog posts, landing pages, web pages on your site.

All Pages

Let’s start with Site Content > All Pages. This shows the top-trafficked pages for your current view and/or segment. It’s useful in and of itself — you should always keep a careful eye on your most viewed URLs — but I especially like it when I’m analyzing traffic growth or declines.

To give you an idea, maybe total traffic to my website has dropped 10% month over month. I’d navigate to Site Content > All Pages and change the date range to this month compared to the last month (making sure the days of the week match up).

google analytics site content

Then I can see the differences in page views by URL:

google analytics page views

This helps me identify which pages received less traffic and contributed to that decline.

Helpful tip: I like to change the “Sort Type” from “Default” to “Absolute Change” so I see the results sorted by the greatest differences in percentage rather than total views.

google analytics

I also add Page Title as a secondary dimension so I can see the name of each page alongside its URL.

Content Drilldown

This report breaks down the structure of your site by subdomain and then subfolder. To give you an idea, for HubSpot we can see data for each of our subdomains, including:

  • blog.hubspot.com
  • developers.hubspot.com
  • community.hubspot.com

And so on. If I clicked into blog.hubspot.com, I could then see aggregated data for:

  • blog.hubspot.com/sales
  • blog.hubspot.com/marketing
  • blog.hubspot.com/service

You get the drift. This report is probably most valuable for those managing highly complex properties.

Landing Pages

Landing pages is another one of my favorite reports. GA defines a landing page as the first page in a session — in other words, the visitor’s first interaction with your website.

There are a few ways to slice and dice this report.

First, if you’re interested in the sources (organic, paid social, direct, etc.) driving users to the landing page, you can add Source/Medium as a secondary dimension.

This is basically the opposite version of the report we added earlier.

Second, if you only want to see which landing pages users visited from a specific source, on a specific platform, or within a specific category, you can add the appropriate system segment:

google analytics landing pages

Maybe you’re most interested in the landing pages that mobile and tablet users see — so you choose the Mobile and Tablet Traffic.

Or perhaps you’re curious about users who ended up buying something, so you choose the “Made a Purchase” segment. There are lots of possibilities here.

Exit Pages

This report shows the last pages users visited in their sessions before they left your site.

That’s a little confusing, so let’s use an example.

I want to find a place to grab dinner with my friends so I search, “Mediterranean restaurants near me.” A place that looks good pops up, so I click on it. First, I check out the menu. They have a hummus sampler — yum. Then I click on their press page. It links to a recent article on Eater, so I leave the site to read it. The reviewer loved the food. I’m sold.

The Press page would be my exit page.

You may hear that you should analyze your exit pages to understand why users are leaving your site — I think this example reveals why that strategy doesn’t always make sense. Just because someone has left doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the content.

Check this report out but take the data with a grain of salt.

Site Speed

This report is pretty self-explanatory: it tells you how quickly your site is loading for users. Obviously, the faster the better — not only do faster pages correlate with higher revenue, but Google’s algorithm takes page load time into account.

google analytics site speed

Site Speed Page Timings

This report delves into the average page load times for each URL. I use it to identify the slowest-loading pages on HubSpot’s site with the ultimate goal of figuring out why they’re taking their sweet, sweet time and how to speed them up.

google analytics site speed

The default metrics are page views and average page load time, but I also recommend looking at:

  • Avg. page load time and bounce rate
    • Change the Sort Type to “Weighted” so you see the blog posts with the highest page views first
  • Avg. page load time and page value

Site Search

First things first: if users can search your website, make sure you’ve set up Site Search in GA. You must enable it for every view separately (here are the step-by-step instructions).

Usage

I typically start with the “Usage” report, which tells me how many sessions occurred with and without one-plus searches. In other words, I learn how frequently people used site search for the view and time period I specified.

Search Terms

Here’s where you learn what people are searching for. Look for themes: if you see the same search terms coming up multiple times, there are a few conclusions you could draw.

Either you need to create new content that gives users the information they’re looking for, and/or you need to better surface existing content so it’s easier to find.

Pay attention to the “% Search Exits” column, as this tells you how many users clicked away from the search results page rather than choosing a result. You can usually infer there wasn’t a good answer for their question (or it wasn’t appropriately titled.)

google analytics search terms

Search Pages

This report displays which pages users are starting searches from. It’s important to think about this contextually. Maybe people are commonly beginning searches from your 404 page — that makes sense and isn’t anything to be alarmed about.

If, on the other hand, they’re starting searches from a product landing page, something’s wrong. The content clearly isn’t living up to the expectations they had when they clicked the ad link.

Loves Data provides a solid overview of GA’s Site Search reports if you want to explore them even further.

Events

A user clicks a button. Then they download a file. Next they watch a video.

No, this isn’t the world’s most boring bedtime story — it’s an example of a GA event. Three events, to be specific.

GA defines events as, “user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web page or a screen load.”

Those user interactions are up to you; you’ll need to add special code to your site or app that tracks the specific actions you’re interested in. Here are the instructions.

If you’re not excited about events tracking already, I want you to get excited. There are infinite possibilities here: if you have an event set up for watching a product demo, and another for clicking a link to an external review of your tool, you can measure how many times each event happened.

Maybe you discover your video isn’t getting many plays. It’s probably time to optimize the current video, make it easier to find on your site, or create a new one. Or perhaps you see that way more users than you expected are checking out the third-party review of your product.

That tells you users want more social proof and testimonials. Since the review is favorable, you might want to put it front and center on your site.

Top Events

This report tracks the events taking place most frequently — pretty straightforward. You’ll see total events (e.g. how many times that event happened) and unique events (how many sessions included one or more occurrences of that event).

If you’ve set values for your events, this report also shows you how the total value of each event and its average value (or the total value divided by the frequency.)

Pages

In this report, you can see which pages generate the most actions. I typically add “Event Category” as the secondary dimension, then filter for the event I’m most interested in.

To give you an idea, my team tracks “Blog CTA.” This event fires whenever a user clicks a CTA embedded in a blog post. To get to the report below, I added “Event Category” as the second dimension, then filtered for “Page begins with blog.hubspot.com” (so I’d only see URLs on the blog) and “Event Category equals Blog CTA.”

Now I can see which posts generate the most CTA clicks. Hopefully you’re starting to see the power of event tracking!

google analytics page

Events Flow

The Events Flow report tracks the order in which events take place on your site. It can tell you:

A) Whether particular events tend to happen first — and if they trigger other events

To give you an idea, maybe users frequently watch your demo video, then click the CTA to schedule a call with a salesperson.

B) Whether certain event categories are more common than others

Imagine you see that videos are played far more often than PDFs are downloaded.

C) Whether users act differently based on segment

For example, perhaps people coming in via organic scroll to the bottom of your pricing page far more than people coming in via social media.

Note: This report is very subject to sampling. (Read more about GA’s data sampling practices here.) Sampled data is usually pretty accurate, but it means the more important the conclusion you’re drawing, the less uncertainty you’ll be able to tolerate.

To reduce the level of sampling, make the date range smaller.

Publisher

If you monetize your website with Google AdSense or Ad Exchange, you can use the Ad Manager and Google Analytics integration to bring information on how your ad units are performing into GA.

I won’t go into any more detail here, but I recommend reading the following resources if you want to know more:

Google Analytics Conversion Reports

If you have a website, you have an objective — probably several — for the people who visit your site.

Ecommerce store owners want their visitors to subscribe to their mailing list, make a user account, add something to their cart, and/or complete the order confirmation process.

Media companies want their visitors to stay on their site for as long as possible and/or view a certain number of pages (all the better to maximize their ad revenue.)

B2B businesses want their visitors to download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, or book a call with a sales rep.

Google Analytics makes it possible to measure all of these things — plus many more.

A goal is essentially a conversion that you’ve defined (which is why this info shows up under the Conversion section.)

There are four main types of goals:

  • Destination: This goal is completed when a user reaches a specific page, like a product page, order confirmation page, or thank you page
  • Event: This goal is completed when a predefined event fires (like the Events you can set up as, well, Events — think watching a video or sharing something to social media)
  • Duration: This goal is completed when a user’s session lasts longer than a pre-set time
  • Pages/screens per session: This goal is completed when a user views a specific number of pages (or screens for an app) per session

The first two are insanely useful. The last two are pretty useless. (If you have an interesting use case for Duration or Pages/screens per session, let me know on Twitter @ajavuu. I’d love to be proven wrong.)

Once you’ve identified your goals, take a look at these instructions for creating, editing, and sharing them. This guide on choosing goal values is also quite helpful.

Overview

Head here to learn how you’re doing goal-wise across the board. I get the most from this report when I compare date ranges and/or look at goal completions by segment.

For example, quickly looking at goal completions by device reveals mobile visitors sign up for the blog newsletter much less frequently than desktop and tablet visitors. That could be because it’s hard to sign up for the newsletter on a phone — or it could be mobile users are looking for one thing and ending their session as soon as they’ve found it. I should dig in more to decide which case it is.

Goal URLs

Knowing a goal was completed isn’t helpful in and of itself; you also need to know where it happened. Suppose you’ve embedded the same form in three separate pages on your site.

It’s great that Daenerys Stark from Dragonstone, Blackwater Bay just filled out your form to get in touch with a consultant, but which page did she fill it out on?

The Goal URLs report shows you. It breaks down conversions by “Goal Completion URL” (read: where it went down.)

google analytics goals

Reverse Goal Path

Reverse Goal Path is the unsung hero of the Conversion section. Well, I’m singing its praises now. This report allows you to see the last three pages a user visited before completing the goal.

It’s useful for goals that aren’t sequential. Maybe you have a contact form that appears in multiple places on your site, or there are two different paths that lead users into buying your ebook. Thanks to this report, you can understand the various ways people arrive at the end destination — and there’s no need to set up a funnel.

I usually filter down to a specific goal completion location or goal previous step 1, 2, or 3.

For example, since I’m interested in seeing which blog posts generated leads from content downloads, I added “Goal Previous Step – 1 containing blog.hubspot.com” to the filter.

google analytics reverse goal path

Here’s what I got:

google analytics reverse goal path

“(Entrance)” means the user came to the site on that step; “(not set)” means the user didn’t complete any steps prior to that one — because they weren’t on the website yet.

For a comprehensive exploration of Reverse Goal Path, take a look at OnlineMetrics’s guide.

Funnel Visualization

For sequential goals, Funnel Visualization is your go-to report.

Going back to the ecommerce example, the last goal would be “Arrived at the order confirmation page.” The goal before that, or goal #3, would be “Clicked checkout.” The goal before that, goal #2, would be “Added something to cart.” And the goal before that, goal #1, would be “Looked at product listing page.”

At each stage, you can see user drop-off. That lets you identify areas where you can improve conversion rates; for example, maybe you lose a lot of users during the checkout process. You change the flow so they can check out as a guest (versus needing to create an account), which dramatically reduces checkout abandonment.

To see this level of detail, you’ll need to map out your goals as a series. If all of your goals are simply the end objective, like “Arrived at the order confirmation page,” you won’t be able to reverse-engineer how users progress.

The Funnel Visualization report also requires you to mark the first step in the goal path as required or not. If you tell GA that yes, the first goal needs to be completed, Funnel Visualization will only show you the sessions where the user first finished goal #1. If a user skips goal #1 and goes straight to goal #2, their session won’t be represented here.

Goal Flow

If Funnel Visualization is the uptight relative who always made you take your elbows off the table and wash your hands before you ate, Goal Flow is the laid-back, fun relative who’d randomly take you out of school to go to the zoo.

All that to say: Goal Flow gives you a lot more freedom than Funnel Visualization. Unlike the latter, Goal Flow shows you all sessions that led to the completed end goal — regardless of whether the user completed the required goal #1 or not.

Another difference from Funnel Visualization: Goal Flow also shows you loopbacks — i.e. when a user goes back to a previous page or refreshes their current one.

If the user skips a step, Funnel Visualization “backfils” it. Goal Flow doesn’t.

If you edit an existing funnel or create a new one, Funnel Visualization will show you all your data from that moment onward. Goal Flow, on the other hand, can show you data from the past.

You can also toggle the Dimension and Level of detail of the report, as well as the segment, to get even more granular.

I recommend looking at various segments to see which convert at the highest and lowest rates — plus where they commonly drop out.

google analytics goal flow

Note: This report is subject to sampling. (Read more about GA’s data sampling practices here.) Sampled data is usually pretty accurate, but it means the more important the conclusion you’re drawing, the less uncertainty you’ll be able to tolerate.

To reduce the level of sampling, make the date range smaller.

Smart Goals

This report is helpful if you’re A) using Google Ads and B) not measuring conversions. Basically, Google uses machine learning to identify your “best” sessions — or those likeliest to generate conversions — and then translates those themes into Smart Goals.

Once you have Smart Goals, you can use them in Google Ads to optimize your ads performance.

Smart Goals are controversial within the marketing community because the data is minimal and businesses will be far better served by setting up their own conversion tracking. Keep that in mind if you decide to use them.

Now You’re Ready to Track

Google Analytics is a highly valuable tool for any business as it gives you tangible data that you can apply to grow your business. Bookmark this guide and come back to it as your data tracking becomes more sophisticated.

Good luck on your Google Analytics journey.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August, 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

PRWeb Versus PR Newswire: Price, Features & What’s Best in 2020

PR Newswire and PRWeb are press release distribution services for small to mid-sized companies. PRWeb excels at distributing highly engaging digital press releases for budget-conscious small companies with little press release experience. In contrast, PR Newswire excels by offering highly targeted, high-reach press releases distribution across digital and traditional outlets for companies with moderate budgets….

The post PRWeb Versus PR Newswire: Price, Features & What’s Best in 2020 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Toluna Rebrands for the Future, Becomes Parent Brand for Harris Interactive and KuRunData

Wilton, CT – July 20, 2020 – Toluna, a leading consumer intelligence platform provider, today has unveiled its new corporate brand identity that builds on its 20 years of innovation and reflects its continued vision to democratize market research. The rebrand not only marks Toluna’s 20 year anniversary but also celebrates Toluna becoming the principal brand and holding company of Harris Interactive and KuRunData. The three companies have a proven history of delivering insights on demand to many of the world’s top corporations, agencies and organizations, employing 1,500 people in 24 offices across six continents. Effective today ITWP, the former principal brand, will sunset from use.

“Our new brand identity shows that Toluna is driving toward the future.  Toluna has always been recognized as a disrupter in the market research industry, and this brand furthers that legacy and identifies us as modern and innovative while decidedly human. We leaned heavily into this idea of reducing complexity –not only in our brand design but in our brand structure. This provides greater clarity to our customers and best reflects how we can quickly get our clients to the solutions they need. Toluna has always offered companies unprecedented service flexibility and quality while upholding its commitment to technology innovation and human insights, and that will continue as we now give our clients around the world a more consistent brand experience,” said Michele Morelli, senior vice president of global marketing strategy for Toluna.

The new brand better reflects Toluna solutions and position in the market because it is centered around innovation, expertise, agility and deep insights.  This translates into a unique proposition: Toluna’s best-in-class automated solutions and panel community of 30 million members paired with the proven methodology of Harris Interactive and KuRunData’s expertise in China and APAC bring unrivaled agility to the market.

“Since our inception, Toluna has been committed to changing the market research industry and working with each of our clients to turn human interactions into insights that will drive their businesses forward,” said Frédéric-Charles Petit, CEO, Toluna. “The days of unscalable research projects taking weeks and months to complete are over. Research now needs to move at the speed of business decision-making so our clients can access real insights in real-time. As we move into the future, Toluna will continue to offer our clients the most agile and innovative services that empower them to select the customized technology-driven resources and global community they need to power their critical business projects”.

Incorporated in the U.K. in 2000, ITWP is privately held by a group of evergreen investors including Frédéric-Charles Petit.

About Toluna

Toluna delivers real-time consumer insights at the speed of the on-demand economy. By combining global scale and local expertise with innovative technology and award-winning research design, we help clients explore tomorrow, now. 

Toluna is the parent company of Harris Interactive Europe and KuRunData. Together, we strive to push the field of market research toward a better tomorrow.

The post Toluna Rebrands for the Future, Becomes Parent Brand for Harris Interactive and KuRunData appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

14 Signs Your Remote Team is Communicating Ineffectively

Every weekend, my friends and I have online video calls to catch-up with each other.

Sometimes it feels like certain people dominate the conversation and others don’t feel comfortable speaking up.

These types of communication issues via remote conversations are actually normal.

In fact, for remote teams communication with co-workers is a challenge that remote workers face daily.

Additionally, according to HubSpot’s findings, non-HubSpot remote workers noted a lack of social connection (29%) and communicating with co-workers (29%) as the two biggest challenges they face being remote.

When your team can’t be in the same space, communication needs to become more intentional. So, how do you do that? And how do you know when your communication needs some work?

Below, let’s review some signs that your remote team isn’t communicating as effectively as possible.

1. Your team has too many meetings.

As a remote worker, I know I’ve had days where I jump from meeting to meeting with no time for a break. Sometimes, this can actually be a symptom of poor communication.

Typically, your team shouldn’t have to meet several times a week. In fact, plenty of meetings can be sent in an email.

Before scheduling a meeting, think about whether that meeting will waste time. If you aren’t sure, then reevaluate whether the content can be sent in an email.

Additionally, keep in mind when you schedule a meeting that every person you invited needs to be there. If not, let them know it’s optional. Plus, think about the length of your meetings. If it can be shorter, make it shorter.

Regardless, it’s important to be intentional when you’re planning remote meetings.

2. You’ve never thought about digital body language.

When you’re communicating via video conferencing, it can be easy to forget about digital body language.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that nothing on camera is subtle and it can feel like you have a spotlight on you.

That means you have to pay even more attention to body language.

For instance, you should still maintain eye contact, speak clearly, and have your video on during remote calls.

3. Team members don’t contribute during online team meetings.

Have you ever been to a meeting where the same people speak up and other team members don’t?

This can be a symptom of poor communication on your team because it might mean that some team members don’t feel comfortable talking during meetings.

On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that some people are more introverted than others.

To ensure that all team members are contributing, consider asking everyone a question and going round-robin so everyone has a chance to speak.

4. Your team isn’t collaborating.

Do you collaborate with your team when the opportunity arises? As a manager, do you notice that your team isn’t collaborating?

If collaboration isn’t happening, this could be a sign that team members don’t feel comfortable reaching out to each other.

Additionally, this could mean that your team doesn’t have the tools they need to collaborate effectively.

For example, on the HubSpot blog team, we use Trello to keep track of our editorial assignments. With this tool, writers can easily collaborate with other team members when they want to lean on them for expertise.

5. There’s no communication throughout the day.

In previous remote roles, I was able to go days without talking to another coworker. While the introverted part of my personality loved that, it was a sign that our team wasn’t communicating well.

The more you talk to people on your team, the more trust you’ll have. This makes it easier to reach out when you need help. That’s why it’s important to make sure your team feels comfortable communicating throughout the day — even if it’s just to send a GIF to the group chat.

While you don’t want to inundate your team with messages, checking in every so often is important for camaraderie and team communication.

6. Emails are overly complicated.

Emails should always be simple, clear, and specific. If you’re writing an email and it’s overly complicated, you might want to schedule a quick Zoom meeting with that person.

To communicate effectively, it’s important to know what channel to use to deliver your message. Sometimes it works in an email, but sometimes it requires a meeting.

7. There’s no agenda or meeting structure.

If you don’t have an agenda or meeting structure, you might not be communicating effectively during your meetings.

Meetings should be organized and structured so they’re productive. Having an agenda will keep you on track.

You might even want to schedule in the five minutes of informal chat before a meeting gets started. This will help team members self-regulate.

If it’s possible, you should always send the agenda prior to the meeting.

However, this isn’t necessary with regularly scheduled meetings. For those, just make sure you’ve set expectations.

8. Your team doesn’t use “Working With Me” documents.

Every member on your team should have a “Working With Me” document that details work habits, expectations, and even interests.

These documents are helpful for managers to learn about their team so they can properly manage communication among various team members.

Additionally, you can also share these with everyone on the team so coworkers can get to know their teammates better.

Knowing each other’s work habits will help build trust and psychological safety on your team.

Instead of spending time trying to figure people out, your team can just talk about it.

9. Norms for communication haven’t been established.

If you’ve ever been stressed about communicating with your remote team, that’s probably because norms for communication haven’t been established.

For example, everyone’s work hours and breaks should be clear. This could mean that everyone is on the same Google calendar or they’ve added a status on their Slack so people know that they aren’t available.

Whatever your team’s method is, make sure that’s communicated among everyone.

Additionally, it might be wise to set expectations in your emails. When you send an email that doesn’t need a response, you might want to call that out.

Setting expectations and norms will help improve communication immensely.

10. Your team hasn’t built psychological safety.

If there’s no psychological safety on your team, then you aren’t communicating effectively.

On remote teams, sometimes it can be hard to feel included. However, the option to be included is so important.

When people don’t feel included, they won’t feel comfortable speaking up.

To build psychological safety in a remote meeting, make sure you go round-robin so everyone has a chance to speak.

Additionally, try to focus on bigger picture conversations and ask people specific questions.

Plus, you can do a “This or That” activity. Doing a quick icebreaker where everyone has to go around and answer a question can help people feel confident about communicating with the team.

11. Your team doesn’t express appreciation for one another.

Forming connections is paramount for communication.

One of the best ways to do this is to express gratitude for each other. For example, people should feel free to congratulate each other in a group chat.

Additionally, you can send birthday cards or just create an email thread of appreciation.

Expressing gratitude is a great way to renew your energy and create a safe space on your team.

12. Managers redo work from team members.

If you’re a manager and you’ve found yourself redoing work from your team, that means you aren’t communicating effectively.

When assignments are sent back with errors, typically this means that the assignment wasn’t clear and expectations weren’t communicated.

If you ever redo someone’s work, that shows that you might not feel comfortable sending edits.

Again, the problem here is all about communication. The only way to improve this process is to … you guessed it, communicate with each other.

13. Assignments fall through the cracks.

Have you ever had an assignment just fall through the cracks? Or perhaps you’re unsure where you left off on a project.

When this happens, it’s clear that you aren’t using a great project management tool that enables communication.

With project management tools, you should be able to see what stage a project is on and collaborate with others right in the tool. By improving communication, assignments won’t fall through the cracks.

14. Your team has a high turnover rate.

If your team has a high turnover rate, that could mean that your communication isn’t effective. When this happens, it’s important to talk to your team so you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

While working remotely can make communication feel harder, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your team is communicating ineffectively, you can use these productivity tips to help.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May, 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

8 Modern Tips for Marketing to Millennials

You’ve seen the articles lamenting the death of certain industries and changing consumer attitudes, all paying tribute (negatively or positively) to a certain generation born in the 80s and 90s. It seems that journalists love to write about Millennials and marketers love to analyze them. Why, though? 

Boomers hold 57% of the wealth in the U.S. and are at peak buying power. With that in mind, is there a reason we never seem to stop hearing about Millennials?

Why Millennials Are Important to Marketers

As Millennials enter their 30s and 40s, often with student loans or young children, they haven’t yet reached their full buying power compared to GenXers or Boomers. Nonetheless, there are multiple reasons to pay attention to this generation: 

1. Millennials are the most lucrative market.

Even though as a group, they haven’t reached their full buying power yet, their buying power eclipses that of other generations. They make up 25% of the population, and with an estimated annual buying power of over a trillion dollars, they are the most lucrative market. Plain and simple: Nearly every marketer today is making Generation Y a priority – or at least working to understand what drives and delights this instrumental group.

2. Millennials switch brands. 

Millennial market research performed by Daymon Worldwide suggests that only 29% of Millennials will buy the same brand, which is a much lower brand loyalty score compared to previous generations. 

This indicates that brands must do more to attract and keep Millennial customers, leading to the need for constant innovation on marketers’ and service teams’ parts.

3. Millennials are tech-savvy. 

According to Pew Research, “Almost all Millennials (nearly 100%) now say they use the internet.” Having grown up with or only slightly before the internet, Millennials are not shy about using technology. This is attractive to brands who sell technology or use technology to sell. 

4. Millennials use devices. 

Pew Research also found that 9 out of 10 Millennials have a smart phone. With widespread device ownership and use comes a higher likelihood of consuming web content, which gives rise to different modes of marketing.

One key element that justifies Millennial domination of the marketplace is the fact this new marketing style – which we’ll delve into in just a minute – isn’t just a fad. Here, we’ll discuss important tactics for marketing to the demographic of the hour and explain why these tactics are lasting ones.

1. Create authentic content.

Millennials are spending an average of 242 minutes online or using apps per day, and they’re craving content-driven media. They’re scouring websites, blogs, and social media because they feel empowered by all of the remarkable content they’re discovering. They’re also sharing, liking, pinning, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, and commenting on all of their findings to impart this sense of empowerment to the online community. So, what makes this type of content really resonate with this group? Millennials trust what they feel is authentic.

Interacting in a user-centric environment is what engages them, as 90% of Millennials say authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands they support. Today, young shoppers’ attitudes and behavior are largely inspired by people they know in person or online, or even strangers who share their interests on social networks. Millennials carry these “advisors” with them on their smartphones and everywhere they go. They trust relevant, authentic opinions from real product users they can relate to. In fact, Millennials believe that user-generated content is 35% more memorable than other media.

For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they simply need to speak their language. People ages 18 to 34 will perk up when hearing or reading words that could have come from the mouths of their peers, as these messages warrant comfort and trust. When you offer your audience content they would proudly share with others, you’re building a real brand-consumer relationship.

2. Ditch outbound marketing methods.

Millennials want to feel connected and involved when it comes to their purchases, and traditional marketing does not encourage this. Outbound marketing methods, like magazine ads, direct mail campaigns, and radio spots, do not impress Millennials. In the mind of a young consumer, these campaigns are impersonal and company-focused, filled with logos and void of any real substance. This generation demands more customer-driven, personalized marketing. Only 1% of Millennials say a compelling advertisement can build trust (Crowdtap).

That’s why these young consumers do a lot of their research via blogs, forums, and YouTube videos. Odds are that an intrusive ad isn’t going to be a deciding factor. While such ads may be relevant to the person’s search history and may put the idea in the their head, seeing it wasn’t their choice. Millennials feel empowered to make their own online choices – which are usually inspired by their peers or other authentic content.

3. Be informative with inbound marketing, instead.

Millennials support businesses that are dedicated to improving their customers’ lives with informative content. Rather than product and service listings, Millennials want e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information – and that’s inbound marketing. They appreciate thought leadership and expertise, so this is your company’s chance to provide killer content that ranks highly in Google and show young consumers that you’re the industry buff.

Mac Cosmetics’ YouTube page is a great example of how brands can offer their audience how-to’s from the experts. People want helpful guidance, and when your company takes the time to provide that, they appreciate it and respect what you stand for. Mac is giving young viewers exactly what they want, where they’ll find it. 54% of Millennials check YouTube daily, so utilizing YouTube is perfect. A Millennial makeup lover is much more likely to tell her friends to check out Mac’s makeup tutorials than show her friends a print ad of Mac talking about how great they are. 

4. Put them first and connect organically.

Millennials want to feel like your content was created with their interest (not their wallet) in mind. When this is the case, they are more organically introduced to purchasing your products or services. Without ever being “pushy,” your educational content helps build strong brand-consumer relationships. People appreciate honesty, and brands with transparent campaigns win.

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And, what’s more transparent than encapsulating the spontaneous adventures of travelers in hostels – with skinny dipping? Hostelworld’s Meet the World advertising campaign, which features genuine travelers that are strangers upon meeting and share a once in a lifetime adventure of skinny dipping, celebrates real travelers in real places who crave adventures, not souvenirs. This successfully speaks to Millennials because it screams “Live!” instead of “Buy!” – and that’s something that’ll stick with them. Most young people would rather have an unforgettable experience than seek out luxury, and Hostelworld gets that. 

5. Market with intention rather than latching on to gimmicky marketing fads.

If you think content marketing is a passing trend, think again! Here are some key examples of how content marketing has succeeded over the years:

  • 1895: John Deere introduces The Furrow, a free publication with tons of farming tips and techniques to help farmers become more profitable. Today, it’s available in more than 40 countries and in 12 different languages.
  • 1900: Michelin Tires released a 400-page auto maintenance guide with everyday drivers in mind, and also included travel tips. 35,000 copies were distributed free of charge before the company started selling the manual for a profit.
  • 1904: Jell-O circulated free copies of its own cookbook, highlighting creative ways to use the unique product. In 2 years, the company saw sales increase to over $1 million annually.
  • 1966: Nike released a 19-page booklet titled Jogging. It was filled with advice on enjoying running as a recreational activity, including posture and striking tips. This brought running, as a sport, to America, and it never once mentioned a Nike shoe.

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We know that Millennial consumers value awesome, authentic content – so it looks like content marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. The inbound methodology, with its emphasis on strong and consistent content creation, is not a fad and will continue to win over your ideal customers. 

6. Be open to collaboration. 

Today, Millennials are interested in having a say and becoming product co-creators. In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. In our society, companies usually create products and hope that their target market will consume them. When it comes to Millennials, they want to be more involved with how products get created. So, companies that enable them to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fueling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand.

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Coca-Cola used online co-creation to gather expressions of its brand promise “Energizing refreshment.” They prompted their audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energizing refreshment in whatever style or format they wished. Coca-Cola gathered these videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs to use in its marketing campaigns worldwide. This method was mutually beneficially in that Millennials all over the world got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them, while helping Coca-Cola bring fresh authenticity to the market. 

7. Push the convenient and practical side.

Millennials prefer use over ownership, saying they would rather pay full price to access an item when they need it as opposed to owning it. These shoppers would rather rent, share, and barter than buy.

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In this new “sharing economy,” mobile services and apps such as Spotify and Airbnb, and fashion sites like Rent the Runway and Relapse Clothing, have taken advantage of this crucial opportunity. This is also a new trend in the automotive industry. According to an analysis recently released by car-buying platform Edmunds, Millennials are acquiring cars – they’re just not buying them. Instead, they’re opting to lease more luxurious, tech-forward cars than they could otherwise afford to buy, such as Ram, GMC, and Lexus models. Capitalizing on this “sharing” mentality is a smart move for modern businesses, especially those targeting Millennials. Offer more creative and feasible options so that, in case consumers can’t yet buy, they can at least try. 

8. Lean into the fun and the experiential.

Young consumers increasingly see the act of researching and browsing for a purchase more compelling than the purchase itself. Millennials tend to crave the experience of shopping more than the purchase. In other words, online exploration is becoming more than a means to an end, with many young shoppers viewing e-commerce as a form of entertainment. This phenomenon has been coined as “Fauxsumerism.” Pinterest is a perfect example of how the shopping journey can also become an act of personal expression. This social platform, which helps users catalog prospective purchases by curating collections of items of interest, accurately reflects the facts that 40 percent of Millennials make wish lists of products they want to buy (The Intelligence Group).

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Successful companies understand that young consumers want to have an enjoyable online browsing experience, which is why brands like Etsy show off their products on Pinterest, making perusing and pinning fun and social. No matter what platform you use, you should market to Millennials in entertaining ways in order to effectively engage them and inspire activity.

Marketing to Millennials is a long-term play because this group is wired for authentic, content-driven, honest experiences that cater to who they are and their voices they yearn to share. Empower them with the pieces they’re looking for in this puzzling world and remind them that, because of their generation, the bigger picture is looking brighter. Keep this sentiment in mind as you consider millennials as one of your buyer personas.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.