Category Archives: Marketing

Four Types of Mobile Marketing Campaign You Should Know About

Did you know that the average person spends more time on their smartphone than they do on their desktop? Whether or not this statistic surprises you, what it does do is highlight the importance of mobile marketing to businesses like yours.

Indeed, with the average user engaging with their apps around 15 times a day, there is a whole world of opportunity out there, but the downside to this is that there’s also an awful lot of competing content.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the different mobile marketing techniques and how best to use them. Luckily for you, we’ve created this brief rundown of the big four to help you…

Promotional campaigns

The number one way to spread the word about deals and new content, mobile promotional campaigns should be included in your marketing plans from day dot. An integral means of sharing enticing offers, such methods are used by numerous big name brands to get easy sells, such as the Betfair free casino bonus or the latest two for one from well-known eateries out there. Although they can and should be employed as part of your ongoing lifecycle marketing, they also have a place in highlighting time-limited offers, where a sense of urgency and big flashing letters are invaluable.

Transactional campaigns

Promotional campaigns are an integral part of successful mobile marketing, but so too are their transactional counterparts. Although their branding potential is frequently overlooked, such messages can actually be very useful. The way these messages work is that they pop up following a transaction, such as a sign-up or purchase, or when a confirmation is needed. Going along with the automatic message or email sent out to confirm this action, they’re a great way to communicate your brand values and coordinate your campaigns.

On-boarding campaigns 

If you’re not already familiar with them, on-boarding campaigns are a way of welcoming customers to your company and getting them started on the right track. Although they vary greatly according to the functionality of the individual website or app, the premise behind them is simple: to introduce your brand ideals, help users get the most from your mobile content, and lay the foundations for consistent future engagement. With studies showing that 55 percent of people who are engaged with in the first week after download are retained, such campaigns really are worth pursuing.

Opt-in priming campaigns 

Last but not least, opt-in priming campaigns are your friend. Priming for push notifications or other permissions has been proven to vastly improve a company’s opt-in rates, so you definitely need to know how to do it. Basically, these campaigns focus on finding the very best moment to share the value of opting in with your customers, so a gentle, persuasive nudge can be delivered when they’re most receptive to it. If you need some help with working out how to do that, take a look at this link for eight essential rules of good practice plus examples.

Isn’t it time you improved your techniques and gave your mobile marketing the boost it needs?

The post Four Types of Mobile Marketing Campaign You Should Know About appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Crafting The Mobile Journey

If your loyalty program isn’t already successfully leveraging the power of mobile, there’s a good chance it’s striding a precarious path. But what does a successful implementation of mobile actually look like? Today’s technological landscape is convoluting the path-to-purchase, and consumer behaviors are inextricably entwined with gadgets like smartphones, wearables, mobile payments, RFID, and geolocation. The challenge for loyalty practitioners is to seamlessly integrate these technologies in a manner that will capitalize on the customer’s inherent demand for them, all wrapped up in an economical solution that is deeply woven into all aspects of loyalty engagement. While there’s no easy “one-size-fits-all” answer, the better you are able to visualize an optimized mobile journey, the better you can ensure that real value is being translated to members themselves.

 

Today’s technological landscape is convoluting the path-to-purchase, and consumer behaviors are inextricably entwined with gadgets.

 

The 3 Loyalty Problems Mobile Needs To Solve

Consumers gravitate to mobile devices because they solve problems. While these problems can vary widely from person to person, there are a few salient pain points that are nearly universal in today’s loyalty universe, and identifying them is the first step in crafting an optimized mobile journey for your loyalty program:

1)  Convenience

From streamlining points collection to facilitating product research, a strong convenience factor precipitates most of the rationale behind mobile adoption for both consumers and businesses alike. In the age of instant gratification, smartphones are a natural tool to gain intimate access to members, and for members to be able to engage with loyalty programs in out-of-store contexts. But even in-store, mobile value is married to convenience: about 77% of all shoppers use a mobile device to search for product information while shopping in physical stores, while just 35% are willing to consult an in-store salesperson with product questions, according to a study commissioned by Salsify.

2)  Data

The endless discussion around “Big Data” has reinforced the importance of data collection, and the relative ease with which it can now be achieved – and the age of mobile brings countless more ways to collect and utilize customer information. Mobile devices constantly feed information, and consumers have the power to surrender this data to loyalty programs – but whether or not they are willing to depends a lot upon the value they themselves receive in return. In fact, over 99% of consumers will divulge personal info in exchange for rewards and brand transparency.

3)  Engagement

Engagement is more than keeping a consumer active on your platform. True engagement taps into a higher realm of self-actualization – or, to put in laymen’s terms, “fun”. Mobile technologies allow for ways of interacting with brands that are novel and exciting, creating emotions which should be translated back into the overall mobile journey. New ways of tapping into mobile such as augmented and virtual realities, GPS integrations, real-time offers, and gamification are great avenues to facilitate better experiences.

 

Case Study:

4 Steps To Craft A Great Mobile Journey

Koupon Media has put together an excellent analysis of an optimized mobile journey, showing how mobile offers can be leveraged throughout the loyalty journey and how mobile can continue to be leveraged to maintain ongoing connections and deliver personalized value. The following case study is inspired from their latest whitepaper.

Step 1). Pre-awareness media to encourage mobile engagement

Before the consumer is aware of the program, media such as POS or out-of-home signage can draw attention to it and encourage immediate registration on mobile devices. For example, the customer can see signage for a free cup of coffee if they text in a shortcode and register; this also provides the loyalty provider with the beginnings of a profile on the customer, which can be augmented with more data as engagement continues. At this point, the customer has taken advantage of a one-off reward; full loyalty program registration can be offered to them based on levels of ongoing engagement.

Step 2). Mobile offers can collect further data and drive more interactions

The customer, now expressing interest in further offers by means of their initial registration, can continue to receive SMS offers. These offers can help the loyalty vendor test the waters on a particular individual’s interest level, and can help collect more data. For example, if the customer that took advantage of the free coffee offer also purchases a breakfast sandwich, a personalized offer for an additional breakfast sandwich could encourage them to register additional data, such as an email address.

Step 3).  Incentivizing loyalty registration

The retailer now has the opportunity to incentivize sign-up to a full loyalty scheme. Part of the offer includes the promise of personalized incentives, for which value has already been proven to the customer. At this stage, even more data can be collected, and the deeper features and experiential benefits of the program – such as gamification opportunities and augmented-reality interfaces – can be revealed, creating anticipation that will drive future loyalty.

Step 4). Maintaining loyalty with mobile

The loyalty program is now fully equipped to provide ongoing opportunities for mobile engagement. If a customer has not visited the retailer after a certain period of time, a mobile-delivered message can remind them with an offer. Mobile can also be used to connect to social profiles, for further data and top-of-mind awareness generation, and it can augment in-store behaviors (for example, members at a fashion retailer can use photo recognition technologies to review complementary styles or read reviews after snapping a picture of apparel).

The value of mobile cannot be understated, and the technology is advancing at such a pace that the opportunities for gaining a competitive edge are practically limitless. Of course, only the most innovative strategies will stand out from the competition…and only the best loyalty programs will truly integrate mobile as a seamless, authentically valuable part of the member experience.

Lanndon Lindsay is a reporter for The Wise Marketer.

The post Crafting The Mobile Journey appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

Growth Hacking Promotes Rapid Development—But Can You Sustain It?

Growth hacking strategies can provide rapid results, but if your company can’t carry that momentum, all your efforts will be for naught.

You can’t employ growth hacking techniques if you don’t know how they’ll work in the long run. The entire point is to increase a measurable growth target—not to grow as much as possible and sort out the details later. If you don’t know your objectives, your strategy won’t create the results you desire.

A solid growth hacking plan is essential: It’s the only way to drive both immediate impact and long-term success. Your first step should be your strategic alignment, which occurs when you select the right key performance indicators in your acquisition funnel. The tactics to meet that goal come next.

This is where growth hacking really shines. It’s all about experiment-driven strategy, blending concrete goals and forward-looking tactics to create a sustainable, effective, and long-term growth hacking plan.

What Is Growth Hacking?

The origin of growth hacking was born at Dropbox when the company’s acquisition strategy was failing. The company wasn’t growing quickly enough (or raising enough money), and it was about to go out of business.

Rather than continuously throw out strategies that weren’t driving growth, Dropbox invented growth hacks. The first hacks were basically just referral strategies, but they set the stage for more complex, effective tactics down the road.

Dropbox only discovered that its original strategies were failing because it took a transparent, scientific approach to measurement. The company knew its strategy had failed because it saw major drop-off points in its acquisition funnel. When Dropbox leaders looked at the economics, they realized that no matter how much they optimized, their current course would not lead them where they wanted to go.

That’s all growth hacking is: a framework to launch high-impact, sometimes creative tactics that get you what you want—improved funnel metrics that drive commercial growth. A true growth hacker can build a strategy that leverages data-driven experiments and scalable processes to demonstrate how to meet the company’s goals over time—not just in the moment.

How to Design an Effective Growth Hacking Plan

Growth hacking strategies look different for every company. You first need to find a winning combination of market, analysis, testing, and automation that fits your unique needs. Once you identify the marketing technique that fits your company, you can turn to growth hacking to amplify its power.

Strategy Leads the Way

First, double down on the strategy. Take strategic assumptions and tactics you tested successfully and transform your tests into your control group. Now, your original targets are no longer your goals, but the baseline expectations from which your growth hacking tactics will arise.

Fortunately, growth hacking offers plenty of options for improvement. You could go after retention, using marketing techniques to create repeat customers; SEO, optimizing your web content to boost inbound traffic from search engines; or advertising, eliminating channels with poor performance and pouring more money into effective media. You could also focus on sales, viral marketing, conversions, public relations—anything that increases your KPIs is subject to growth hacking.

The key lesson is: Always continue testing. If something works, make it work better. If something falters, cut the wasted effort and direct it somewhere more productive.

Measurement as a Decision-Maker

Throughout this process, prioritize measurement. You can’t test something if you don’t know how to gauge when it works. Look to the past to gather historical performance numbers, and start asking questions. Why did one KPI grow while another faltered? Which data segmentations generated the best results? Which marketing channels were effective, and which didn’t live up to the hype?

With a firm grasp on history, move to the future. Identify the goals you want to achieve, discern how far away you are from hitting them, and determine what needs to happen to reach your ideal KPIs.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, but growth hacking strategies are designed to be flexible. As you go, ask yourself why parts of the process aren’t working as intended. Maybe you struggle to implement new strategies quickly, so you need to learn to deal with analysis paralysis. Maybe clients keep stalling on approval of creative assets—could you provide better guidelines?

When you find the winning combo, double down on it. Manage it, keep it in the market, scale it, and keep testing. Growth isn’t stagnant; it’s dynamic. As you scale, you’ll eventually hit points of diminishing returns. Before your efficiency and ROI start dropping as spend increases, start looking for the wins of tomorrow by testing frequently and adjusting as needed.

Great growth hacking plans operate in a system. When you don’t know what to do, the set of growth hacking rules you establish ahead of time can guide your decisions. Set guidelines to focus on the best opportunities (and metrics to know what those opportunities are). Establish measurements to tell you when a tactic becomes intolerably ineffective. The more you measure and plan, the better you’ll respond to changes.

Execute & Experiment

The final piece of the puzzle is execution, where you take all your analysis and strategy and put your growth hacking plan into action. Only you know what that looks like, but if you set a firm plan and measurement strategy, you’ll know when it’s right. Then, you can do it all over again, continuously experimenting and refining your way toward scalable growth.

Growth hacking might not be as attractive a phrase as it once was, but don’t let the social media scammers fool you. Growth hacking remains an effective and efficient strategy for businesses that desire rapid expansion. With the right combination of strategy, analysis, and tactics, you can accelerate your growth today without sacrificing your ability to manage that growth tomorrow.

 

Marketober 10.1.18

The post Growth Hacking Promotes Rapid Development—But Can You Sustain It? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Top 26 Postcard Examples & Templates from Top Designers

Business postcards advertise your products and services to your potential customers, building stronger relationships and creating better engagement. Because postcards are a visual representation of your company, strong postcard design ideas are critical to their effectiveness in building your brand. We put together a list of 26 postcard examples and templates for different industries, including…

The post Top 26 Postcard Examples & Templates from Top Designers appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How Your Customers Interact with Offers

In today’s modern era of consumer marketing, it’s all about the offers. There’s an incredible amount of competition in nearly every consumer industry, and for many business owners, the only way to confidently break through this noise is to deliver incentive offers directly into the hands of consumers. A recent industry study from CodeBroker uncovered some interesting insights on the offer preferences of consumers, which can help business leaders better position and optimize offer campaigns.

One overarching theme of the study, and of modern retail thought leadership in general, is that we are now in the mobile-first era of consumer engagement. According to the CodeBroker study, almost half of all consumers prefer receiving and using mobile offers versus paper offers, and those same consumers want to store and redeem those offers directly on their smartphones. Whether you’re a restaurant chain, a retailer, or a specialty services company, it’s all about optimizing the customer experience for mobile. To truly understand and optimize these offers, however, your team must have the resources and tools in place to make confident, strategic decisions.

How can your team optimize offers to better engage with customers?

With industry data available from thought leadership pieces like the CodeBroker study and innovative technological advancement from consumer marketing companies such as Mobivity, retailers, restaurants, and personal care brands can start to optimize the level engagement possible through offers. Here are some creative ways to get started with customer-focused offer solutions:

  • Double-down on text offers: Based on the CodeBroker study, consumers not only prefer mobile offers, they prefer offers delivered via text message. Nearly 60% of consumers say they are likely to use a text offer within one week of receiving it. The average consumer checks their phone every few minutes, and targeted, personalized text messages are the best way to take advantage of this untapped opportunity. Working with a dedicated communication platform such as Mobivity re•ach can help your team deliver SMS messages with personalized offers based on your customers previous buying habits. SMS offers also help drive urgency and increase repeat customer visits.

  • Make offer decisions based on consumer data: According to the CodeBroker study, single-use offers with a higher discount are used more than low-value offers that can be used more than once. Test out different offers with your customers and see which have the best conversion rate. Gathering transactional details from your POS system through a solution such as Mobivity re•capture can also help influence the type of offers and marketing campaigns your team runs. With this data, your team can see how your actual customers are engaging with your offers and campaigns to make better long-term marketing decisions.

  • Start sharing offers with customers instantly: As soon as a customer gives you their contact information, or signs up for your mailing list, it’s time to start sharing offers. According to the CodeBroker study, 68% of consumers are more likely to join a mailing list or share contact information if they know they’ll receive an instant offer in return. Starting off on a good foot with new customers can drive brand loyalty down the road as well as increase revenue in the short term. Think about receipts, for example. These are a necessary part of every transaction, so why not take advantage of receipts as a marketing opportunity? Your team can deliver digital, mobile-optimized receipts with personalized offers via Mobivity re•ceipt, which leverages POS data gathered through re•capture to target offers directly to customers based on their purchase history.

  • 68% of Consumers Are LIkely to Join a Mailing List if They Receive an Instant Offer

  • Optimize and customize offers: As in life, the adage is true that no two customers are the same. While some customers might respond to an online ad (around 23% of consumers, according to CodeBroker) others might be more inclined to respond to an in-store offer (this appeals to a whopping 57% of consumers, according to the CodeBroker study). With the Mobivity re•currency suite of solutions, your team can not only break down how your customers are responding to your offers, you can also modify and update marketing campaigns to better attract new audiences. If you realize that most of your offer redemptions are coming from social media ads, then your team can quickly mobilize new social ads and offers specifically designed to increase customer frequency and profits.


If your team is ready to move into the new era of mobile-optimized customer offers, Mobivity can help get you there. Learn more – schedule your personal call today!

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9 VR Marketing Examples That You'll Want to Steal for 2019

I won’t lecture you on the importance of incorporating virtual reality (VR) into your marketing strategy.

What I will do, however, is share a few fun facts about VR and show you nine examples of this technology used for marketing a product or a brand.

  • By 2020, the economic impact of virtual and augmented reality is predicted to reach $29.5 billion.
  • By the end of 2017, the number of shipped units of VR software and hardware from Sony, Oculus, HTC, and others totaled $2.4 million, up from $1.7 million in 2016.
  • By 2020, the number of VR headsets sold is predicted to reach 82 million — a 1,507% increase from 2017 predicted totals.

VR is being adopted quickly, and adding it to your marketing channels is something you should definitely think about for the coming year.

What Is VR?

VR, short for virtual reality, is a form of interactive software that immerses users in a three-dimensional environment — usually by way of a headset with special lenses — to simulate a real experience. Ideally, VR allows people to simulate the experience in 360 degrees.

Numerous industries are now finding uses for VR in order to transport people to places they might otherwise have to travel to, or simply imagine. While movie companies, for example, are giving audiences the opportunity to experience the movie as if they’re a character in the scene, conventional businesses are now using VR to demonstrate and promote their products to potential customers.

Before we dive into some of the businesses that have found success injecting their marketing with a dose of VR, it’s worth noting that virtual reality has a few key differences from another term you might’ve heard before: augmented reality. Find out what these differences are in the video below.

Seeking inspiration for your own VR marketing campaign? Look no further. Below are nine of our favorite VR marketing campaigns and how they served the company’s marketing strategy.

1. Key Technology: VERYX Food Sorting

Key Technology, a manufacturer and designer of food processing systems, created a Virtual Reality demo that would allow attendees of the Pack Expo food packaging trade show to experience a detailed, hands-on look at how the company’s VERYX digital food sorting platform works. It was part of a comprehensive B2B campaign to grow brand awareness among a target audience of food manufacturers, and VR gave participants a highly unique look at what exactly the process looks like inside of the machine.

While this 360-degree video doesn’t completely replicate the experience, it does indicate the differentiating way brands within such B2B industries as manufacturing can leverage VR to immersively demonstrate their sophisticated technologies and capabilities.

2. Defy Ventures and Within: Step To The Line

When my colleague attended Oculus Connect in October, the most memorable experience for her was, by far, the event’s VR For Good exhibit: a showcase of creative work that used Oculus and VR technology for social- and mission-focused ventures.

One such example of that work was Step To The Line: A short film (that was immersively viewed on a VR headset) documenting the lives of inmates at California maximum-security prisons. It was created by Within, a VR storytelling production company, in partnership with Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship and development program for men, women, and youth who are currently or were formerly incarcerated.

With this unique watching experience, viewers were able to uniquely see what life is like within the walls of these correctional facilities, from the yard, to the cells, to the conversations that take place there.

3. Limbic Life: Project VITALICS

For far too many people, injuries, age, and disease can diminish mobility and equilibrium to the point where walking ranges from extremely painful to nearly impossible.

That’s why the folks at Limbic Life created the Limbic Chair, in partnership with the VITALICS research being conducted by RehaClinic. Pairing this special chair with a Gear VR headset allows users to more intuitively move their bodies (thanks to the chair’s combined neuroscience-based and ergonomic design) while virtually experiencing day-to-day experiences with a rehabilitative use of their hands and legs.

While the research is still underway and no definitive conclusions have been drawn, my coworker had the opportunity to use the chair at the 2017 Samsung Developer Conference and speak with the chair’s creator, Dr. Patrik Künzler.

“Patients enjoy being in the chair and the freedom of movement it allows. They enjoy VR a lot, especially the flying games,” he told Samsung Business Insights. And not only can the VR technology help them physically heal, but it also contributes to emotional rehabilitation.

“When they get up from the chair,” Künzler said, “they’re in a good mood and feel happy.”

Learn more about the conceptualization behind the Limbic Chair from Künzler’s TEDxZurich talk below.

4. Lowe’s: Holoroom How To

Anyone who’s gone through the existential angst of being a first-time buyer knows the unfathomable power of paperwork and finances to undermine the fun of designing or decorating a new home.

That is, until you walk into one of 19 Lowe’s stores that features the Holoroom How To VR experience.

Some homeowners are lucky enough to pay a professional to renovate their home when it needs to be. For others — Lowe’s core buyer — the next stop is the world of do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement, which comes with its own hefty dose of stress.

That’s why Lowe’s decided to step in and help out homeowners — or recreational DIY enthusiasts — with a virtual skills-training clinic that uses HTC Vive headsets that guides participants through a visual, educational experience on the how-to of home improvement.

5. Boursin: The Sensorium

One of my colleagues recently pledged to give up dairy — okay, 48 hours ago — and she already claims to miss cheese, a lot.

You can imagine her happiness, then, when she discovered that the cheese brand Boursin once created a VR experience to take users on a multi-sensory journey through a refrigerator to shed light on its products’ flavor profiles, food pairings, and recipe ideas.

The goal: to raise awareness among U.K. consumers of Boursin’s distinct taste and product selection.

While the VR installment was part of a live experiential marketing campaign, the rest of us can get a taste — pun intended — of the virtual experience via this YouTube video.

6. Adidas: Delicatessen

In 2017, Adidas partnered with Somewhere Else, an emerging tech marketing agency, to follow the mountain-climbing journey of two extreme athletes sponsored by TERREX (a division of Adidas).

And what good is mountain climbing to an audience if you can’t give them a 360-degree view of the journey?

Viewers were able to follow the climbers, Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller, literally rock for rock and climb along with them. You heard that right — Using a VR headset and holding two sensory remote controls in each hand, viewers could actually scale the mountain of Delicatessen right alongside Rueck and Miller.

This VR campaign, according to Somewhere Else, served to “find an unforgettable way to market TERREX, [Adidas’s] line of outdoor apparel & accessories.” What the company also did, however, was introduce viewers to an activity they might have never tried otherwise. Instill an interest in the experience first, and the product is suddenly more appealing to the user.

Check out the campaign’s trailer below.

7. Toms: Virtual Giving Trip

Toms, a popular shoe company, is well known for donating one pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer buys their own pair. Well, this charitable developer found a new way to inspire its customers to give — wearing a VR headset.

The Toms Virtual Giving Trip is narrated by Blake Mycoskie, the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Toms, and one of his colleagues.

As they describe the story of Toms’ founding, their VR experience takes viewers on a trip through Peru, where Blake and the shoe-giving team visit a school of children who are about to receive the shoes they need for the first time.

What Toms’ VR campaign does so well is something cause-driven organizations all over the world struggle to do: Show donors exactly where their money is going. Even without a VR headset, the video below gives you an experience that’s intimate enough to put Toms on your list for your next shoe purchase.

8. DP World: Caucedo Facilities Tour

DP World is a global trade company that helps businesses transport goods around the world. As the company opens new terminals, however, they need a way to show their customers what DP World’s property has to offer.

DP World’s recently opened Caucedo facility in the Dominican Republic is just one of several DP World properties that uses VR to promote its large and often mysterious ships and land masses as they suddenly appear in a community.

Is trade logistics a sexy industry? Not to everyone. But that’s exactly why a 360-degree tour of DP World’s terminal is so valuable here. Show people just how efficient, safe, and crucial these properties are to certain businesses — without making them put on a hardhat and walk through the port itself — and you can gain massive community support.

9. TopShop: Catwalk VR Experience

Just because you couldn’t attend TopShop’s fashion show during London’s Fashion Week doesn’t mean you couldn’t still “be there.”

TopShop, a women’s fashion retailer, partnered with Inition, an emerging tech agency, to give customers a “virtual” seat of their fashion show by wearing a VR headset connected to the event as it was happening.

The groundbreaking campaign put viewers right next to the fashion runway and the seats of the celebrities who were attending. Talk about making sure your brand is inclusive …

Check out the video below, recapping the experience.

Want to see how other emerging technologies will impact your marketing? Check out A Practical Approach to Emerging Tech for SMBs: AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, IoT, and AR/VR.

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19 of the Best Personal Websites to Inspire Your Own

Some refer to it as a full-time job in itself. Others compare it to dating. And several cats over at BuzzFeed think it just plain stinks.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you’re applying for a job, you’re typically asked to submit a resume and cover letter, or maybe your LinkedIn profile. But there are better ways to stand out from your competition, and building a personal website is one of them.

Bio-Templates-Interactive-1-1

Why You Need a Personal Website

Here’s the thing about resumes and cover letters: No matter how unique you try to make your own, for the most part, they tend to read dry. And there’s a good reason for it: It’s supposed to be a single, no-frills page that documents your work experience. And while being concise is good, there’s very little opportunity to convey your uniqueness, or for your personality to shine through at all for that matter.

While a resume is a sole, largely unchanging document, a personal website can be customized and updated according to what you’re working on, or what you want to emphasize. It’s both fluid and current.

Overall, a personal website can serve different goals, but perhaps what it does best is provide you with an opportunity to tell your story. And with 53% of employers reporting that the resume alone did not provide enough information to determine if the candidate would be a good fit, that storytelling element can really help to improve your odds.

If you’re thinking about creating a personal website of your very own, check out the examples below that hit the nail on the head.

Resumes

Whether you create a single-page site or a larger portfolio, the web resume serves as a more personalized option for sharing information and demonstrating your technological skills — and it can be used by all types of job seekers.

Even if you have very little work experience, you can leverage a website to build a better picture of your capabilities and yourself as a candidate, while leaning on your traditional resume to provide the basic background information.

1. Gary Sheng

Personal website of Gary Sheng with a picture of him on the homepage followed by details of his resume

Unlike a standard resume document, Sheng’s website makes it easy for him to include logos and clickable links that allow his software engineering and web development skills to shine.

We love that visitors can choose to scroll down his page to view all of the website’s categories (“About Me,” “My Passion,” etc.), or jump to a specific page using the top navigation.

The “My System” section reads like a company mission statement, and this personal touch helps humanize his work and make him more memorable.

2. Raf Derolez

Personal website of Raf Derolez with black background and large white font creatively outlining his resume

Derolez’s web resume is modern, cool, and informative. It shows off his personality, branding, and developing skills in a way that’s still very simple and clear. Not to mention, his use of unique fonts and geometric overlays ascribes personality to his name in an eye-catching way.

Want to get in touch with Derolez? Simply click the CTA located at the bottom of the page to open up an email that’s pre-addressed directly to him. Or select one of the social media links to connect with him on platforms like Twitter — where the look and feel of the visual assets happens to seamlessly align with the branding of his website. Well played, Derolez.

Twitter profile of Raf Derolez

3. Brandon Johnson

Personal website of Brandon Johnson with black and white resume and space theme

Johnson’s incredible resume must be seen to be believed. Beautiful images of planets help to complement his planetary science background, and animations make his resume more of an experience than a document.

In terms of design, the textured, multi-layered background adds greater depth to the two-dimensional page in a way that evokes feelings of space and the planetary systems, which Johnson’s work focuses on.

4. Quinton Harris

Personal website of Quinton Harris with resume details including personal photography and storytelling

Harris’ resume uses photos to tell his personal story — and it reads kind of like a cool, digital scrapbook. It covers all the bases of a resume — and then some — by discussing his educational background, work experience, and skills in a highly visual way.

Not to mention, the copy is fantastic. It’s clear that Harris took the time to carefully choose the right words to describe each step of his personal and professional journey. For example, the section on storytelling reads:

NYC, my new home, is filled with the necessary secrets to not only propel my craft forward, but my identity as an artist. With every lens snapped and every pixel laid, I am becoming me.

Finally, at the final navigational point (note the scrolling circles on the left-hand side of the page), users are redirected to quintonharris.com, where he goes on to tell his story in more detail.

Website homepage of Quinton Harris that says 'Griot in Training' across the front

5. Sean Halpin

Personal website of web designer Sean Halpin with soft white and green colors and personal avatar

Halpin’s resume is short, sweet, and to the point, which is authentic to his voice and personal branding outlined on the site. The white space allows his designs and copy to pop and command the reader’s attention, which helps to improve readability — especially on mobile devices:

Sean_Halpin_Mobile.pngSean_Halpin_Mobile_Site.png

Best Practices for Resume Websites

  1. Code your resume so it can be crawled by search engines.
  2. Offer a button to download your resume in PDF so the hiring manager can add it to your file.
  3. Keep branding consistent between the website and document versions: Use similar fonts, colors, and images so you’re easy to recognize.
  4. Be creative and authentic to yourself. Think about the colors, images, and media you want to be a part of your story that you couldn’t include in a document resume.

Portfolios

Building an online portfolio is a highly useful personal branding and marketing tool if your work experience and skill set call for content creation. In fact, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, writers, and content marketers can all use web portfolios to show off their skills in a more user-friendly way than a resume or hard copy portfolio.

6. Tony D’Orio

Personal portfolio website of Tony D'Orio showing portraits of people

It’s important to keep the design of your visual portfolio simple to let images capture visitors’ attention, and D’Orio accomplishes this by featuring bold photographs front-and-center on his website. His logo and navigation menu are clear and don’t distract from his work. And he makes it easy for potential customers to download his work free of charge.

Want to give it a try? Click on the hamburger menu in the top left corner, then select + Create a PDF to select as many images as you’d like to download.

Link to create a PDF from Tony D'Orio's personal online portfolio, featuring tiled images of his photography

Once you open the PDF, you’ll notice that it comes fully equipped with D’Orio’s business card as the cover … just in case you need it.

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7. Gari Cruze

Personal website portfolio of Gari Cruze with tiled images of his photography and links to his work

Cruze is a copywriter. But by turning his website into a portfolio featuring images from different campaigns he’s worked on, he makes visitors want to keep clicking to learn more about him. Also, there’s a great CTA at the top of the page that leads visitors to his latest blog post.

His site’s humorous copy — specifically in the “17 Random Things” and “Oh Yes, They’re Talking” sections — serves to show off his skills, while making himself more memorable as well. These pages also include his contact information on the right-hand side, making it easy to reach out and connect at any point:

Gary_Cruze.png

8. Melanie Daveid

Personal website portfolio of Melanie Daveid with script font and simple illustration theme

Daveid’s website is a great example of “less is more.”

This developer’s portfolio features clear, well-branded imagery of campaigns and apps that Daveid worked on, and she shows off her coding skills when you click through to see the specifics of her work.

While it might seem overly minimal to only include three examples of her work, Daveid did her portfolio a service by including her best, most noteworthy campaigns. At the end of the day, it’s better to have fewer examples of excellence in your portfolio than many examples of mediocrity.

9. The Beast Is Back

Personal website portfolio of The Beast Is Back, also known as Christopher Lee, with tiled images of colorful design work

Christopher Lee’s portfolio is busy and colorful in a way that works. When you read more about Lee on his easily navigable site, you realize that such a fun and vibrant homepage is perfect for an illustrator and toy designer.

Known by his brand name, “The Beast Is Back,” Lee’s web portfolio highlights eye-catching designs with recognizable brands, such as Target and Mario, along with links to purchase his work. This is another gallery-style portfolio with pops of color that make it fun and give it personality, thus making it more memorable.

10. Daniel Grindrod

This freelance videographer is another example of a simple but sleek portfolio, organizing the many types of media Daniel’s done into the categories by which his potential clients would likely want to browse. The opening video spot on the homepage — labeled “Daniel Grindrod 2018,” as shown on the still image — also ensures his site visitors that he’s actively creating beautiful work.

daniel-grindrod-portfolio

Best Practices for Portfolio Websites

  1. Use mainly visuals. Even if you’re showcasing your written work, using logos or other branding is more eye-catching for your visitors.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your personality, style, and sense of humor could be what sets you apart from other sites!
  3. Organization is key. If your portfolio is full of photos, logos, and other images, make sure it’s easy for visitors to navigate to where they can contact you.
  4. Brand yourself. Choose a logo or icon to make your information easily identifiable.

Blogs

Consistently publishing on a blog is a great way to attract attention on social media and search engines — and drive traffic to your site. Blogging is a smart way to give your work a personality, chronicle your experiences, and stretch your writing muscles. You might write a personal blog if you’re a writer by trade, but virtually anyone can benefit from adding a blog to their site and providing useful content for their audience.

11. Everywhereist

Personal blog of Everywhereist with green and red homepage

This blog looks a bit busier, but its consistent branding helps visitors easily navigate the site. The travel blog uses globe iconography to move visitors around the site, making it easy to explore sections beyond the blog.

It also features a “Best Of” section that allows new visitors to learn about what the blog covers to get acclimated. The color scheme is warm, neutral, and free of excess clutter that could distract from the content.

12. fifty coffees

Fifty_Coffees_Blog.png

The website fifty coffees chronicles the author’s series of coffee meetings in search of her next job opportunity, and it does a great job of using photography and visuals to assist in the telling of her lengthy stories.

The best part? Each post ends with numbered takeaways from her meetings for ease of reading comprehension. The high-quality photography used to complement the stories is like icing on the cake.

13. Minimalist Baker

Personal food blog of Minimalist Baker with yellow and white website theme

I’m not highlighting Dana’s food blog just because the food looks delicious and I’m hungry. Her blog uses a simple white background to let her food photography pop, unique branding to make her memorable, and mini-bio to personalize her website.

14. Kendra Schaefer

Personal blog of Kendra Schaefer

Kendra’s blog is chock-full of information about her life, background, and professional experience, but she avoids overwhelming visitors by using a light background and organizing her blog’s modules to minimize clutter. She also shares links to additional writing samples, which bolsters her writing authority and credibility.

15. Mr. Money Mustache

Personal finance blog of Mr. Money Mustache with wood themed background and illustrated logo

Mr. Money Mustache might take on an old-school, Gangs of New York-style facade, but his blog design — and the advice the blog offers — couldn’t be more fresh (he also doesn’t really look like that).

This financial blog is a funny, browsable website that offers sound insight into money management for the layperson. While his personal stories help support the legitimacy of his advice, the navigation links surrounding his logo make it easy to jump right into his content without any prior context around his brand.

Best Practices for Blogs

  1. Keep your site simple and clutter-free to avoid additional distractions beyond blog posts.
  2. Publish often. Company blogs that publish more than 16 posts per months get nearly 3.5X the web traffic of blogs that published less than four posts per month.
  3. Experiment with different blog styles, such as lists, interviews, graphics, and bullets.
  4. Employ visuals to break up text and add context to your discussion.

Demos

Another cool way to promote yourself and your skills is to create a personal website that doubles as a demonstration of your coding, design, illustration, or developer skills. These sites can be interactive and animated in a way that provides information about you and also shows hiring managers why they should work with you. This is a great website option for technical and artistic content creators such as developers, animators, UX designers, website content managers, and illustrators.

16. Albino Tonnina

Personal demo of web developer Albino Tonnina with animated homepage showing his work

Tonnina is showcasing advanced and complicated web development skills, but the images and icons he uses are still clear and easy to understand. He also offers a simple option to view his resume at the beginning of his site, for those who don’t want to scroll through the animation.

17. Robby Leonardi

robby_leonardi.gif

Leonardi’s incredible demo website uses animation and web development skills to turn his portfolio and resume into a video game for site visitors. The whimsical branding and unique way of sharing information ensure that his site is memorable to visitors.

18. Samuel Reed

Personal demo of Samuel Reed with plain code themed homepage

Reed uses his page as a start-to-finish demo of how to code a website. His website starts as a blank white page and ends as a fully interactive site that visitors can watch him code themselves. The cool factor makes this website memorable, and it makes his skills extremely marketable.

19. Devon Stank

Personal demo of Devon Stank with black homepage and 'Let's Build Something Amazing Together' written across the front

Stank’s demo site does a great job of showing that he has the web design chops and it takes it a step further by telling visitors all about him, his agency, and his passions. It’s the perfect balance of a demo and a mini-resume.

Plus, we love the video summary. It’s a consumable summary that at once captures Stank’s personality and credentials.

Best Practices for Demo Websites

  1. Brand yourself and use consistent logos and colors to identify your name and your skills amongst the bevy of visuals.
  2. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many visuals at once — especially if your demo is animated. Be sure to keep imagery easy to understand so visitors aren’t bombarded when they visit your site.

Cross-Device Isn’t As Adopted As You Think

The following is a guest contributed post by Keith Petri, Chief Strategy Officer, US, at Screen6

Ad tech is struggling to transition to a state of full maturity, and that’s largely due to the continued acceptance of half-truths and inadequate technological shortcuts. As an industry, we need to demand better, and we need to hold vendors accountable to the claims they make. “Cross-device” is not a term that was made up for marketing materials. It’s a legitimate need among marketers today, and the entire supply chain needs to begin treating it as such.

The truth is that cross-device is being inadequately addressed by many players within the marketing industry, and the vast majority of companies that say they’re enabling cross-device are either openly lying or seriously bending the truth. Why are industry players obscuring the truth about cross-device? Quite simply, because they can.

A Culture of Box-Checking

DSPs and SSPs know they need to be able to list “cross-device” among their capabilities. Unfortunately, most platforms right now are only doing the bare minimum to be able to check this box for their clients.

When marketers say “cross-device,” they mean they want to be able to identify an individual across their various devices and tailor their ad experiences based on knowledge of this individual. But this isn’t the idealistic definition that’s being applied to their campaigns.

Most platforms are currently hacking the concept of cross-device. Some of them do this through simple IP matching, where they tie multiple devices to a single profile based on their use of the same IP address. But IP addresses are not identifiers for individuals. Not even close. These addresses can, but rarely, represent a single device, a router or even a cell tower communication channel. Many people and devices—computers, cell phones, streaming video players, etc.—can communicate over a single IP address, even simultaneously. These addresses can’t be used to identify an individual. They can’t even reliably be used to identify a household.

Many platforms also mislead marketers when they claim to have access to certain cross-device audiences. Let’s say a platform claims to have an auto intenders segment across mobile and desktop. That’s cross-device, right? Not necessarily. It’s more likely that this given audience segment includes auto intenders on mobile and auto intenders on desktop—but they’re not the same people. The mobile audience members are entirely distinct from the individuals who are using their desktops.

DSPs and SSPs today don’t have an interest in building out true cross-device capabilities because they’re not being incentivized to do so, nor are they being penalized for not doing so. This brings us to another deficiency in the marketplace: attribution and verification providers that aren’t accurately measuring cross-device activity.

The Attribution Deficiency

Marketers are partnering with any number of attribution and verification providers today in order to understand the effect of their media spends and ensure all of their supply-chain partners are delivering what they say they’re doing. Such third-party monitoring is designed to keep DSPs and SSPs on the straight and narrow, but that’s not happening in the realm of cross-device. That’s because most verification vendors aren’t handling cross-device attribution appropriately – if at all.

Attribution and verification vendors understand that marketers today are looking for multi-touch attribution solutions that account for cross-device activity. But, like the platforms, they’re only taking bare-bones steps to check the right boxes. Most of them do, in fact, measure activity across channels, but they’re not connecting the activity on different channels and devices to an individual. They’re measuring IDs, not people. Unfortunately, every ID represents only a fraction of a given person.

The marketing industry has been talking about the need and the promise of cross-device for a long time, and rightfully so. I think we can all agree that the need to create seamless experiences for customers and prospects across their ever-multiplying devices is a topic worthy of discussion.

But here’s the problem: thanks to the amount of time we’ve spent heralding the importance of cross-device over the past five years, most advertisers have come to believe that we’ve solved for it. And we haven’t. Not by a long shot.

The post Cross-Device Isn’t As Adopted As You Think appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

How to win in Pharmacy Loyalty

Are pharmacists the best kept “hidden secret” of the pharmaceutical and grocery industry for enhancing loyalty? In an environment faced with the perennial threat of online superpowers like Amazon, the in-store pharmacy or grocery channel needs to start leveraging the power pharmacists can wield over loyalty.

These medical professionals are often the first line between patients and quality care, sometimes sparking meaningful interactions even before doctors and nurses have the chance to say “stethoscope”. In the oftentimes challenging healthcare landscape of the US, their broad accessibility to consumers is a huge factor in their influence. And years of training has empowered them with a wealth of knowledge on a diverse range of topics, critical in building an authentic rapport with consumers and growing equity over time. In the world of loyalty, pharmacists should be considered indispensable nodes of engagement who can connect with consumers on a human level and keep them returning to the store or sticking with the products that are right for them – but does your loyalty strategy appropriately leverage their talents?

Pharmacists: Loyalty Evidence By The Numbers

The data stacks up: patients are more connected to pharmacists now than ever before. In a 2014 study, pharmacists reported spending 20 percent more of their time on patient care services that were not related to medication dispensing than they did just five years earlier. And a research poll conducted last year suggests consumer engagement with pharmacists is becoming even more salient:

 

  • 59 percent of respondents say they ask pharmacists questions often
  • One quarter of respondents have either made or changed a health care decision based on a conversation with a pharmacist
  • 64 percent of respondents think of their pharmacist as part of their health care team

 

Clearly, the infrastructure is well developed for loyalty practitioners to take advantage of pharmacist influence in a strategic effort to strengthen loyalty programs. But in order to see results, which specific marketing ideas might be best to focus on?

1)  Reinforce Convenience

Pharmacists are seeing their role in the store become more generalized, and for consumers, generalization implies convenience. In a loyalty setting within pharma, convenience is an enormous driver of return customers and repeat purchase behavior. In fact, consumers decide to visit pharmacies because of convenience (70%) and accessibility (42%) more than mere cost (32%). With this characterization deeply ingrained into pharmacist motivations, “convenience” should be a tangible factor in pharma loyalty programs. Convenience ploys can take the form of overt tactics like bundle-deals, cross-branded promotions, and timed offers, but convenience should also be rooted deeply into the overarching loyalty experience through concepts such as easy-to-navigate portals and mobile integrations (think text-updates on when it’s time to refill a medication).

2)  Consumer Health As A Benefit

Traditional loyalty programs emphasize cost benefits to stimulate member growth – but in the world of pharma, the promise of effective health maintenance can be an even greater motivator. This position is supported and reflected by consumers’ own behaviors;  for example, shoppers who belonged to a pharma loyalty program were more likely to take their medication as prescribed, helping them keep on-track and lead healthier lifestyles.

“The chance of you stopping (your medication) at one year is 12 per cent lower if you’re going to a pharmacy with an inducement program than if you went to pharmacies without an inducement program.”

Therefore, themes of health and wellness should be woven into the messaging which underpin pharma loyalty programs, and pharmacists are the perfect channel through which to encourage members to take advantage of these benefits. The strategy should have more of an impact on member registrations and ongoing engagement than simply touting cost savings.

3)  Health Information As Content

Pharmacists are now far more than the pill-peddlers of yesteryear; patients are seeking out their advice on a growing spectrum medical queries amidst an increasingly complicated healthcare environment. Loyalty programs need to address this hunger for information, and content-rich platforms can seamlessly transition customers from in-store information gathering to ongoing program engagement. The best loyalty programs effectively draw member attention both inside a store and out, so offering informative, health-themed blogs, articles, or email newsletters written by industry experts (or in an ambitious strategy, even their local pharmacist) is an excellent way of building CRM, hyper-targeting members, and nurturing the connection and positive emotions they feel when speaking to a pharmacist.

Lanndon Lindsay is a reporter for The Wise Marketer.

The post How to win in Pharmacy Loyalty appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

What Does a Successful Brand Refresh Look Like?

Let’s talk about rebrands. No, I’m not talking about when you decide you want to “rebrand yourself” every New Year’s Eve, I’m talking about a brand refresh for your business. As far as refreshing a brand goes, many have tried, and many have dramatically failed. Recall, if you may, the Uber logo refresh in February 2016? The internet had a field day asking themselves what the new logo looked like, much to the chagrin of Uber, who ultimately went back to their traditional black and white logo design. So, yes, it’s a frightening venture to change your brand’s look.

However, when you get a brand refresh right, it will feel right. Think back to the Instagram brand refresh years ago, switching from the traditional camera logo and app icon to a sleeker, rainbow gradient design. It’s both eye-catching and a call back to their previous logo.

You must be asking yourself about now, “Well, Lynnie, then what does a good brand refresh look like?” Well, imaginary reader, take a seat. Because in this blog, I will be giving the red light, yellow light, and green light to three brand refreshes that flipped the company, and it’s ROI, on its head.

Red Light: Tropicana

Tropicana Brand Refresh Example

Consumers can be unpredictable, but before going through a brand refresh, a marketer can’t underestimate their buyer’s passion for consistency. Tropicana learned this the hard way when they decided to change their look.

We’ve all seen them in the grocery store: Tropicana orange juice cartons with the fresh orange stuck with a straw on the front scream ‘refreshing.’ But as soon as Pepsico announced that they were “simplifying” their design to something entirely new, it bit them in a place they had not expected: their wallet.

Tropicana consumers called the new design generic, “store brand,” and even ugly. The fallback of the refresh went as far as causing Pepsico to roll back the refresh and return to their original logo and packaging.

The consumer reaction caused a drop of over 19% in sales. In dollars and cents, that comes out to around 33 million dollars in the refresh period, giving them a major red light in our brand refresh success scale.

What can we learn here? The moral of this (and any) story is that you should always trust your consumer’s passion for consistency and sticking to what they know. Brand refreshes are a roll of the dice for sure, but knowing what keeps your customer coming back to you over your competitor is a great place to start. Don’t gamble until you have all the cards, so to speak.

Yellow Light: Starbucks

Starbucks Brand Refresh Example

I love a good controversy. It’s not quite a disaster, but it’s not smooth sailing either, and it makes for some great debate. When I was thinking of controversial rebrands that had people riding a proverbial teeter-totter, one that instantly came to my mind was the 2011 Starbucks rebrand.

You wouldn’t think that simplifying the logo would cause such tension among Starbucks drinkers, but losing the word “coffee” from “Starbucks Coffee” caused simultaneous outrage and joy.

You have to ask yourself a very simple question. “Do I only drink coffee when I go to Starbucks?” It’s the same question Steve Jobs asked himself when Apple Computers just became Apple. Are we ever just ONE thing? I order a venti nonfat chai tea latte with two pumps mocha and nonfat milk when I’m at my local Starbucks, so no, I don’t only drink coffee there. Starbucks knew that, realistically, by removing the words from their logo, they weren’t making a dramatic change because they are still known for their coffee, but they made enough of a change to remind consumers that they serve anyone who walks through their doors.

The point is that when you’re thinking of going through the rebranding process, while you do need to trust your consumers, you also have to trust your gut. We preach the importance of checking your data before making any big moves all the time, but a lot of rebranding involves instinct, and that’s what Starbucks chose to follow here. If you ask me, I think it was a brilliant idea.

Green Light: IHOP

Starbucks Brand Refresh Example

This is about to be the most controversial thing I have ever written in a blog, but, the data will speak for itself: One of the best brand “refreshes” I have ever seen was from none other than IHOP. You may ask me, “How could you possibly think that changing your name to International House of Burgers is a great brand refresh?” Like I said, it’s controversial, but there is enough data to support that IHOB really knew what it was doing before taking the refresh plunge. I do understand that IHOP didn’t technically change their name permanently, but the results from this summer’s excitement are certainly going to be around for a long time.

This story is relatively new, so time will tell if the stunt will actually turn to sales, but from what I’ve seen so far, IHOB has done something right. One reason to embark on a brand refresh is to regenerate interest in your company and remind people that you’re still around, you’re still relevant, and that you’ve got something new to show them. When your ‘schtick’ is pancakes, but that’s not selling, you need to do something to show your base that you’re not a one-trick-pony.

IHop Brand Refresh Popularity Graph

Let’s be honest with ourselves: In 2018, the goal of doing something drastic is to be talked about on social media. Why do you think the “In My Feelings” Challenge was even a thing? So, when this refresh went live, the internet “blew up.” It was actually found that this summer IHOP was more popular online than it has ever been in the company’s history. Millions of posts about your company’s brand refresh can either be a blessing or a curse, but I believe that IHOP struck a chord with social media enthusiasts. The hype translated from just posts about the refresh itself to a meme later on, so whether you like it or not, IHOP was in the news for months. Oh, and more importantly, IHOP saw a 30% stock gain in the period that the campaign was in effect. Now, I do understand that the jury is still out on whether or not the stunt will cause people to actually want a burger from IHOP, but I must confess, I did try one after the brand refresh was announced, so they had at least one social media user convinced.

Fearlessly Moving Forward

We can learn a lot from IHOP in this case. I mentioned trusting your gut when I talked about Starbucks’ logo, but more importantly than trusting your gut, you have to be willing to take a risk in a refresh. Can’t you just picture the IHOP board room when Pete in the back of the room mentioned he thinks they should change their name to IHOB? Someone probably thought whoever suggested the name change was crazy and that it would tank their business, but sometimes, the craziest ideas are the ones that drive the greatest change. We can also learn from the concept of switching the focus from pancakes to burgers. Just because you’ve been doing one thing for years, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working. Clearly, pancake sales were down quite a bit, so why would you continue to let the Denny’s of the world steal your breakfast sales if you can make a big change to your strategy? A strategy is not a permanent choice. You can always come up with a better plan and make some adjustments. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as switching from breakfast to lunch foods, but you get the picture.

Obviously these examples are controversial, and some of you may disagree that they were “good” or “bad” choices, but there is one thing we can all agree on, and that is that we always have to be prepared for some heat, because not everyone is going to love what changes you make during a rebranding period. But if you stick to your guns and are willing to take the plunge, you’ll find yourself hearing a lot of positive buzz.

What do you think of these examples? Share with us other brand refreshes that you loved in the comments!

The post What Does a Successful Brand Refresh Look Like? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Top 28 Digital Branding Strategies from the Pros

Digital branding allows a business to establish its presence in the digital space through image, content and interactions that appeal to its target market. With digital marketing becoming increasingly sophisticated, it helps to use a combination of strategies to stand out. We curated a list of expert digital branding tips to help business owners create…

The post Top 28 Digital Branding Strategies from the Pros appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How re•capture and re•cognition Work Together to Drive Frequency

As a restaurant owner, you’re pulled in a million different directions. Between keeping on top of menu offerings, guest experiences, and making sure your business stays profitable, you don’t have a lot of time to think marketing strategies. What if we told you we have a solution in our re•capture and re•cognition products that will work hard to provide you with insights specific to your business and is proven to increase your bottom line?

That’s where re•capture comes in. re•capture gathers and normalizes the data from every customer transaction, regardless of which POS system you use. Capturing data from your loyal customers is essential in serving them better, but what’s the point of having mass amounts of data if you don’t know what to do with it? You guessed it, we have a solution for that too. re•cognition takes the data from each transaction, and identifies trends that can have a direct effect on your business. re•capture and re•cognition work together seamlessly – gathering and cleaning your data so you can act on these insights to make your business move.

So, How Does It Work?

One of the ways re•cognition drives better marketing decisions is in-depth basket analysis. Simply put, re•cognition takes inventory of the items consumers commonly buy together. Finding these correlations allows marketers to execute offer pairing – if a customer is buying coffee, past purchase behavior could prove that a cookie would be a good offer to pair with it. These insights give business owners a clear view of the increase in average ticket when these commonly paired items are offered as a combo deal. Customer data gathered by re•capture and analyzed by re•cognition can also allow brands to group customers based on how often they visit or how much they spend, allowing for even more targeted communications and avoiding ‘one size fits all’ promotions. And the best part? re•capture works with almost all existing POS systems already, meaning no expensive and timely upgrades for your brand.

But That’s Not All

re•capture and re•cognition allow for business forecasting – predicting sales and transactions for different items and day parts. Forecasting is useful for owners when calculating how much store inventory will be needed week over week, how many employees will be required during a given shift, or how many subs are sold during a typical month. Forecasting allows business owners to find trends that effect their revenue, such as how the rainy weather changes the amount of soup sold.

Why Wait

These two products work together to provide insights that are invaluable to your business. The sooner re•capture starts gathering data from your POS, the sooner re•cognition will deliver the actionable insights you need. Beginning today hastens the results you see next week, next month, and so on. Business outcomes can always be upgraded!


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart your business and drive customer frequency? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.

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11 Examples of Experiential Marketing Campaigns That'll Give You Serious Event Envy

Work events are really hit or miss. Let’s be honest: How many times have you found yourself anxiously fidgeting with a paper napkin in the corner of a stuffy networking happy hour?

Here’s the thing: It’s not the event itself that prevents you from coming back the following year. It’s the experience you remember having. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best experiences brands have ever offered their customers.

I have a big problem with generic trade shows and industry conferences. That’s why I was not only relieved, but surprised and delighted, when I attended a holiday party that featured a live, interactive version of an arcade game.

An entire room had been curated to look like a video game setting, and people were dressed up as characters from it. There was a giant, real-life scoreboard, boppy electronic music, and best of all, there was no tedious small talk.

It wasn’t just another tired work event … it was an experience. And in our line of work, that sort of thing has a name: experiential marketing.

While a surprising number of people haven’t heard of the concept, it’s kind of a big deal — there’s an entire three-day summit dedicated to it, and 65% of brands that use it say that it positively correlates with sales.

But what is it, exactly? And how has it been used effectively? We found 11 of the coolest experiential marketing campaigns that really break down how it works, and how you can apply those lessons to grow your business.

Experiential marketing might sound a bit like event marketing, which makes sense — experiential campaigns do tend to be event-centric. But there are also times when they have nothing to do with a specific event, as you’ll see from the examples we picked.

When an engagement marketing campaign is event-centric, it’s dedicated less to the type of event — like a concert, festival, conference, etc. — and more to interactions between the brand and the customer. (If you already have an event in the works, check out this guide to adding experiential elements to it.)

These campaigns can take an integrated approach. The primary purpose is to experience a brand in a tangible, offline way, but you’ll still want an online dialogue around it. When you consider that 49% of folks create mobile video at branded events39% of which is shared on Twitter — it makes sense to incorporate a digital element. A branded hashtag, for example, can get people talking about the experience.

11 of the Coolest Experiential Marketing Examples We’ve Ever Seen

1. Refinery29: 29Rooms

For about three years now, lifestyle brand Refinery29 has hosted the 29Rooms event: What it calls “an interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.” As the name suggests, it consists of 29 individually branded and curated rooms — and attendees can experience something different in each one. The rooms are designed and created with brand partners, who range from personalities like artists and musicians, to consumer-facing companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson, and Cadillac.

Each year, 29Rooms has a different theme, with this year’s being “Turn It Into Art.” Attendees, it seems, are encouraged to enter each room and use the surroundings to create something — one room, for instance, invites participants to put on punching gloves and hit punching bags that each produce a different sound when contacted to create a symphony of sorts. A truly hands-on experience, indeed.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Go nuts, but keep it on-brand. An experience should be memorable, but relevant to the people attending.
  • Partner with creators like artists and musicians to create experiences, especially if they are recognizable within the region where you’re trying to build or augment an audience.

2. Red Bull: Stratos

If you were online October 14, 2012, you probably came across a live stream of the “Stratos” jump.

Red Bull has been at the forefront of extreme sports coverage for almost as long as the brand has existed. But in 2012, the company brought its content marketing to new heights — a world-record height, actually.

Affectionately named Stratos, Red Bull’s superterrestrial marketing campaign featured Felix Baumgartner, a skydiver from Austria who partnered with Red Bull to set the world record for highest skydive.

That record: 128,000 feet, about 24 miles above Earth’s surface. Gulp.

To pull off this amazing stunt, Red Bull housed Felix in a small communication capsule and sent him up to the stratosphere using a large helium-filled balloon. And what’s truly remarkable is that his ascent and preparation to jump, alone, allowed him to break another record before landing safely back on Earth (spoiler alert): Red Bull streamed the entire event online, and saw the highest viewing traffic of any live stream ever broadcast on YouTube — at just over 8 million viewers.

Want to see that experience again? Check out Red Bull’s recap video below. I won’t lie, I indulged in a rewatching as I wrote this article.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Don’t underestimate the power of suspense when hosting an event your audience can own a piece of themselves. Being able to witness something new, and maybe a little scary, is such a personal experience. And the better the result, the longer your audience will remember and reminisce over it.
  • Oh, and if you can put your brand in the record books while you’re at it, that’s pretty cool too.

3. Lean Cuisine: #WeighThis

It’s disconcerting how many commercials today tell women to change something about themselves. Sitting on the couch and watching TV for just two minutes, I had already lost count of the number of times that message came up.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see brands like Lean Cuisine, whose marketing used to center solely on weight loss, stray from diet-centric messaging. And its #WeighThis campaign is a great example of just that.

As part of the campaign, Lean Cuisine curated a gallery of “scales” in New York’s Grand Central Station, and invited women to “weigh in.” But here’s the catch: The scales were actually small boards where women could write down how they really wanted to be weighed. And rather than focusing on their weight in pounds — or anything pertaining to body image — the women opted to be measured by things like being back in college at 55, caring for 200 homeless children each day, or being the sole provider to four sons.

What’s particularly cool about this experience is that none of the participants actually interact with a Lean Cuisine product. No one was interrupted, asked to sample something, or stopped to answer questions. In fact, no one was really asked to do anything — the display itself was enough to make people stop, observe, and then voluntarily interact.

Lean Cuisine figured out what message it wanted to send: “Sure, we make stuff that fits into a healthy lifestyle. But don’t forget about your accomplishments. That matters more than the number on the scale.” But instead of blatantly advertising that, it created an interactive experience around the message.

Still, the experience was clearly branded, to make sure people associated it with Lean Cuisine. The company’s Twitter handle and a branded hashtag were featured on the display in large text, which made it easy for people to share the experience on social media. And that definitely paid off — the entire #WeighThis campaign led to over 204 million total impressions.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Don’t interrupt — especially if you’re trying to grab someone’s attention in New York City, like Lean Cuisine was. If you create an experience that provides value to the people who pass by it, they’re more likely to participate.
  • Figure out the message you really want to your brand to send — that may or may not be directly tied to an actual product, and it might be something that your brand hasn’t said before. Then, build an experience around it.

4. Volkwagon: Piano Staircase

Smile, you’re on piano camera!

In 2009, Volkswagen caught people at their most musical by turning a subway staircase in Stockholm, Sweden into a giant piano when nobody was looking. The next day, each step produced the sound of a different piano key as people climbed up and down the stairs. The campaign was a part of “The Fun Theory,” which suggests people are more likely to do something if it looks fun (I happen to agree).

For Volkswagen, however, the message of fun goes a bit further than just catching people discovering a musical staircase on their way to work.

As the automotive industry started to take big leaps into environmentally friendly products, Volkswagen wanted to help make people’s personal habits healthier to go along with it. According to Volkswagen — and its partner, DDB Stockholm, an ad agency — “fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”

According to the video below, 66% more people chose the stairs over the escalator at that particular subway terminal, as a result of Volkswagen’s piano staircase.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • With every marketing campaign you launch, find the “fun” factor. It’s easy to get caught up in how much your brand helps solve your customer’s problem. But what about them, as people, would also bring them enjoyment?
  • Once you find your campaign’s “fun” factor, find the “good” factor. Hosting an experience is your chance to make an impact on your community, not just the users of your product.

5. Google: “Building a Better Bay Area”

Corporate philanthropy is definitely on the rise. Between 2012-2014, 56% of companies increased charitable giving, and Google is no exception. But when the search engine giant gave away $5.5 million to Bay Area nonprofits, it let the public decide where that money would go — in an unconventional, interactive way.

Google allowed people to cast their votes online, but they also wanted to involve the Bay Area community in a tangible way. So they installed large, interactive posters — in places like bus shelters, food trucks, and restaurants — that locals could use to vote for a cause.

Women touching an interactive poster by Google, as part of the company's experiential marketing campaign, Building a Better Bay Area

Source: Google

In the video below, the narrator notes that this experience reaches “people when they had the time to make a difference.” That’s a big thing about experiential marketing: It allows people to interact with a brand when they have the time. Maybe that’s why 72% percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide great experiences.

And that concept works in this experience because it takes advantage of a “you’re-already-there” mentality. In San Francisco, finding people waiting for the bus or going to food trucks is pretty much a given. So while they were “already there,” Google set up a few opportunities:

  1. To learn about and vote for local nonprofits
  2. To interact with the brand in a way that doesn’t require using its products
  3. To indirectly learn about Google’s community outreach

With the help of the online voting integration — and a branded hashtag: #GoogleImpactChallenge — the campaign ended up generating 400,000 votes over the course of about three and a half weeks.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Create a branded hashtag that participants can use to share the experience on social media. Then, make sure you’ve integrated an online element that allows people to participate when they learn about it this way.
  • Keep it local! It’s always nice when a large corporation gives some love to its community — in fact, 72% of folks say they would tell friends and family about a business’s efforts like these.
  • Remember the “you’re already there” approach. Find out where your audience is already hanging out and engage them there, instead of trying to get them to take action where they don’t usually spend their time.

6. Misereor: Charity Donation Billboard

When was the last time you used cash to pay for something?

Tough to remember, right? We’re kind of a species of “mindless swipers” — globally, an estimated 357 billion non-cash transactions are made each year. And knowing how often we whip out our cards, German relief NGO Misereor decided to put our bad habit to good use with its charitable giving billboard.

It was what they called SocialSwipe. Set up in airports, these digital posters would display images of some problems that Misereor works to resolve — hunger was depicted with a loaf of bread, for example.

But the screen was equipped with a card reader, and when someone went to swipe a card — for a small fee of 2€ — the image moved to make it look like the card was cutting a slice of bread.

Even cooler? On the user’s bank statement, there would be a thank-you note from Misereor, with a link to turn their one-time 2€ donation into a monthly one.

Needless to say, this experience required a lot of coordination — with banks, airports, and a mobile payment platform. Because of that, the experience couldn’t just be a one-time occurrence. The people who interacted with it were later reminded of it during a pretty common occurrence: receiving a bank statement.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Visually represent the impact of participating in the experience. People interacting with this display were shown exactly where their money was going — like slicing bread for a hungry family. (Infographics work nicely here, too — check out our templates.)
  • Partner with another brand to create an even better experience. In this instance, Misereor worked with Stripe.com for the payment technology, and with financial institutions to get a branded message on users’ bank statements. (And stay tuned — we’ll talk more about the value of co-branding here later.)
  • Don’t be afraid to nurture your leads. Even if you don’t use something like a branded hashtag to integrate the experience with an online element, find a way to remind someone that they participated.

7. Guinness: Guinness Class

One of my favorite types of marketing is the “aspirational” kind — or as the Harvard Business Review defines it, marketing for brands that “fall into the upper-right quadrant.” Think: luxury cars, haute couture, and private jets. Things we aspire to own.

It’s that last one — private jets — that set apart the Guinness Class experience. For a few weeks, ambassadors dressed in Guinness-branded flight attendant uniforms entered bars across the U.K., where they surprised unsuspecting customers with a chance to win all kinds of prizes.

In order to participate, bar-goers had to order a pint of Guinness. After doing that, they would shake a prize-generating mobile tablet that displayed what they won. They could win everything from passport cases to keychains, but one player per night would get the ultimate prize: A free trip to Dublin — via private jet, of course — with four mates.

What we like about this experience was its ability to associate Guinness with something aspirational, like traveling by private jet. And according to Nick Britton, marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe, that held the brand up as one that doesn’t “settle for the ordinary.

That’s important — and can be tricky — for a brand that’s nearly 257 years old: to maintain its authenticity, while also adapting to a changing landscape and audience. But Guinness didn’t have to change anything about its actual products in this case. Instead, it created an experience that addressed changing consumer preferences — for example, the fact that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a memorable experience or event than buy desirable things.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Think about the things your target audience might aspire to, and that you’d like to associate with your brand. Then, build an experience around that.
  • If you do require a product purchase in order to participate in the experience, make it convenient. In this case, people had to buy a pint of Guinness to win a prize, but they were already in a bar that served it.

8. GE: Healthymagination

Think experiential marketing is just for B2C brands? Think again — 67% of B2B marketers say that events make for one of the most effective strategies they use.

That’s why it made sense for GE to invite industry professionals to experience its Healthymagination initiative. The point of the campaign was to promote global healthcare solutions, especially in developing parts of the world.

GEHealthymagination

Source: agencyEA

To help people see the impact of this initiative, GE worked with agencyEA to create “movie sets” that represented different healthcare environments where Healthymagination work took place: a rural African clinic, an urban clinic, and an emergency room. The idea was that doctors would share their stories — live, in front of 700 attendees — that illustrated how GE’s healthcare technology played a major role in each setting.

When people measure the success of experiential marketing, one thing they measure is how much of a dialogue it prompted. And that makes sense — 71% of participants share these experiences. In GE’s case, the point ofHealthymagination was to get people talking about a pretty important, but uncomfortable issue: Access to healthcare in impoverished parts of the world.

But when you create a way for people to become physically immersed in the issue, it also allows them to acknowledge a topic that isn’t always easy to talk about. And that can have quite an impact — this particular campaign, in fact, won a Business Marketing Association Tower Award.

But fear not: That concept also works for not-so-serious, but equally uncomfortable discussion topics. Just look at how well it worked for Charmin.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Experiential marketing does work for B2B brands. Think about who you’re selling to, and create an engagement that would not only attract that audience, but also present an opportunity for them to experience your product or service first-hand.
  • Get uncomfortable. If your business centers around something that’s difficult or “taboo” to talk about, creating an experience around it can prompt a conversation. But make sure you keep it respectful — don’t make people so uncomfortable that they have nothing good to say about your brand.

9. Facebook: Facebook IQ Live

Facebook — who also owns Instagram — has always understood how much data it has on how people use these platforms. For that reason, it created the Facebook IQ Live experience.

For this experience, that data was used to curate live scenes that depicted the data. Among them was the IQ Mart: A “retail” setting that represented the online shopper’s conversion path when using social media for buying decisions. There was also a quintessential Instagram cafe, chock full of millennial-esque photo opportunities and people snapping them — latte art and all.

The campaign wasn’t just memorable. It also proved to be really helpful — 93% of attendees (and there were over 1500 of them) said that the experience provided them with valuable insights on how to use Facebook for business.

But what makes those insights so valuable? Momentum Worldwide, the agency behind Facebook IQ Live, puts it perfectly: “When we understand what matters to people … we can be what matters to them.” In other words, we can shape our messaging around the things that are important to our target audiences.

And by creating this experience, Facebook was able to accomplish that for its own brand. In creating this experience, it also created a positive brand perception for a few audiences — including, for example, the people who might have been unsure of how to use the platform for business.

Takeaways for Marketers

10. Zappos: “Google Cupcake Ambush”

To help promote its new photo app, Google took to the streets of Austin, Texas, with a cupcake truck in tow. But people didn’t pay for the cupcakes with dollars — instead, the only accepted currency was a photo taken with said app.

And really, what’s better than a free-ish cupcake? We’ll tell you what: A free-ish watch or pair of shoes.

That was the answer from Zappos, anyway. That’s why the brand playfully “ambushed” Google’s food truck experience with one of its own: A box-on-feet — strategically placed right next to Google’s setup, of course — that, when fed a cupcake, would dispense a container with one of the aforementioned goodies.

In order to reap the rewards of the Zappos box, people had to have a cupcake. So while only one brand came away from the experience with an epic sugar high, both got plenty of exposure. And since 74% of consumers say a branded experience makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted, Google and Zappos both stood to gain new customers from this crowd.

But what we really like about this example is how much it shows the value of experiential co-branding. Because Google and Zappos pursue two different lines of business, they weren’t sabotaging each other, but rather they were promoting each other (which is what happens when you pick the right co-marketer).

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Use experiential marketing as a co-branding opportunity.
    • Pick a partner with an audience that would be interested in your brand, but might otherwise be difficult to reach.
    • Make sure your partner would benefit from your audience, too — you want the experience to be a win-win-win: for you, your co-brand, and the consumer.
  • When you do pick a marketing partner, build an experience that requires an “exchange” of each brand’s product or service. That way, the audience is more likely to interact with both of you.

11. Docker: Docker Dash

Docker is a software platform that allows developers to make and run apps on different operating systems — a technology known as “containerization.” By some standards, it’s not the sexiest product you can buy. By an enterprise’s standards, it’s not even the easiest product to understand. Enter: Docker Dash.

In partnership with Jack Morton, Docker used its developer conference, DockerCon 2017, to nurture its core enterprise market with a unique product demo called Docker Dash. What made it so unique? It wasn’t a demo — it was a game. And conference guests weren’t guests — they were players.

Docker Dash was a live video game-style simulation of Docker’s application platform, and it recruited 5,000 of its enterprise attendees to create an app together by solving a series of fun challenges inside the game. Each challenge presented in Docker Dash allowed the “players” to engage a feature of Docker’s product and ultimately complete their app. It was a fun, collaborative way to show enterprise software developers why Docker is invested in the containerization market and the value these people can get from Docker’s product.

Docker Dash got the attention of more than 3.6 million people — those who watched and posted about the event from social media, in addition to those who attended DockerCon in person.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Conference hosts thrive on attendees who network with one another. By creating opportunities for your attendees to collaborate and play together, you allow them to share their ideas — making for more educated customers as a result.
  • “Gamify” your brand. Give people the ability to play and compete for something, and you’ll instill in them a sense of accomplishment that makes them more passionate about your industry.

Clearly, taking some very calculated risks worked out pretty well for these companies. So when it comes to creating an experience with your brand, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box — and don’t be afraid to work together on it with someone else.

Invest some time into thinking about the ways people could interact with you, even if it seems a little nutty. If it’s aligned with what you do and executed thoughtfully, people will be talking — in the best way possible.

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Op-Ed: The Changing Face Of Influencer Marketing

The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Shawn Arora, the founder of LaunchSpark, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI.

The consumption of social media has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Instagram, the mobile social network that Facebook acquired for one billion dollars in 2012 is now worth hundred times more. In terms of monthly active users too, this social media platform has grown from 500 million in June 2016 to one billion two years later.

This dramatic rise in social media consumption has contributed to the growth of a new breed of influencers and micro-influencers. These are social media users with a large following of users who are interested in specific niches.

For instance, a pastry maker who posts pictures of their desserts is bound to gather a following of users interested in pastries. Similarly, a gym instructor posting videos of their training sessions is likely to gain a following of fitness enthusiasts. Using these users to promote your bakery or fitness equipment is a great way to not only reach a targeted audience, but also win the trust of these prospective customers.

At the outset, influencers are much like celebrities who endorse brands in exchange for money. But as the industry has grown, we are witnessing a noticeable evolution in the way the industry works.

Size is not everything

One of the most noticeable evolution in this space is the follower size commanded by an influencer. Traditionally, influencer or celebrity based endorsements have relied on the overall authority commanded by the endorser. Not surprisingly then, the highest paid athletes or celebrities are often those with the biggest following. Their endorsement carries more value than one made by a low ranking celebrity.

With influencer marketing however, the focus is not on the number of followers, but how niche the following is. Marketers routinely advise their clients to seek influencers with less than 5000 followers or so.

There are two reasons why this is the case. Firstly, such influencers have a high percentage of followers that meet a brand’s target group. Consequently, your campaign is likely to reach a larger chunk of users who are prospective customers. Compare this with a celebrity like Kim Kardashian who enjoys several millions of followers who do not all fall into the same demographic.

Secondly, such influencers also offer better ROI. This is because at a low follower count, influencers tend to be less demanding and offer a more thorough review of your product. This is likely to bring greater exposure to your brand and consequently higher conversions.

Focus on conversions, not branding

Influencer marketing is essentially the social media equivalent of celebrity advertising. The focus in its early days was brand building and media exposure. Not surprisingly then, some of the biggest social media influencers were also those who were media celebrities. However, the objective of influencer marketing has seen a significant shift in recent times.

Like most other forms of digital advertising, influencer marketing today is highly monitored for conversions. One ‘Psychology of Following’ study of over 4000 consumers published by Olapic shows that over 31% of these respondents had purchased a product based on a social media influencer post. This also follows the pattern of other similar studies in the past that showed that an overwhelmingly large number of users rely on social media recommendations while making a purchase.

Focusing on conversions is a better way to gauge the success or failure of an influencer marketing campaign. This is particularly vital for micro-influencer campaigns where brand exposure and visbility is not of much consequence. Measuring the conversion rate also enables a marketer to benchmark an influencer marketing campaign vis-a-vis other forms of digital marketing like paid advertising.

Personalized campaigns

Traditional endorsement campaigns that had branding as their sole objective did not deviate much from their core messaging. But with modern micro-influencing campaigns, marketers have begun experimenting with both influencers and the message that they want to market.

For instance, brands may hire several micro-influencers, each with their own niche following, and market various products and offers to these distinct audiences. There are a few advantages to this strategy. If you are launching a new line or are not sure about the most effective positioning statement for your brand, it makes sense to experiment with different ideas in silos to measure and identify the best path forward for the product.

More importantly, the turnaround time to measure conversion rate is pretty short with micro-influencers. Brand building can take several months, if not years. Small businesses with bootstrapped budgets may have well depleted their marketing budget before they can realize the ROI from their campaigns.

While these changes have made marketing using influencers much more palatable to the bootstrapped marketer, this is not to say that traditional influencer campaigns do not have a place in the industry today. Even on social media, celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez continue to be the biggest influencers. They continue to be popular for brand building campaigns and for those products that do not need a niche audience group.

But at the same time, such campaigns are increasingly being used by startups and small businesses to market their wares and build a following for their brand and business.

The post Op-Ed: The Changing Face Of Influencer Marketing appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Spotlight: A quick guide to getting started with Segmentation

Getting started with segmentation? It can be daunting to face the challenge of making the most of customers in transactional databases.  This challenge is made worse by the shiny new marketing automation license sitting up in the cloud, peering down like a Grecian god, targeted campaign thunderbolts in hand.

Service messages can go to the whole base, of course, but blasting the same offer to everyone, because you can, just feels wrong.  And it is.

We are still believers in the original CX mantra, IDIC:

Sounds easy.  Often it is not.

Ellipsis & Co, a partner with The Wise Marketer, has prepared a guidebook to navigating, thinking through, and systematizing your segmentation.  The full guidebook, in the form of this white paper, is available for download here.

The post Spotlight: A quick guide to getting started with Segmentation appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

The Ultimate Guide to Viral Campaigns

  

“He once ran a marathon because it was on his way. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. Mosquitoes refuse to bite him purely out of respect.”

Have you heard of him before? Yes, he’s “The Most Interesting Man in the World”— a fictional character that drinks Dos Equis beer and stars in the company’s viral commercials.

The commercials — which make me laugh every time — are part advertisement, part comedy skit and have a similar theme so fans always know when they’re watching a Dos Equis advertisement.

The company targets its audience of sophisticated beer drinkers in an engaging, creative, and humorous way through TV, social media, and YouTube. The unique campaign created fans around the world that helped spread it across multiple platforms, so much so that people even dress up as the commercial’s main character for Halloween

Dos Equis may not have been 100% sure that their campaign would take off the way it did, but they had a good idea about its potential popularity. 

Similarly, there is no guaranteed way to ensure your content goes viral, but there are certain steps you can take to give your marketing campaign the best chance at success.

 

Many marketers hope for a campaign to go viral — meaning it’s recognized, widely-accepted, and influential. But there’s no guaranteed formula. However, if you think about some of your favorite viral marketing campaigns, you’ll notice some common features. Marketers wanting to reach a bigger audience should keep these attributes in mind when creating their next campaign:

1. It appeals to a target audience.

A successful viral marketing campaign considers the target audience. For any campaign to go viral, it needs to resonate with the audience and make them feel so strongly about your content that they decide to share it with their family, friends, and followers.

Determine who your target audience is in the earliest stages of your campaign creation. To achieve this, ask questions such as: Who do I want to connect with? What content would they feel passionate about? What are their hopes, dreams, and values? Why would they care about my campaign? What will can I do to make them want to share my content with their social network?

2. It has a strong visual strategy.

Viral marketing campaigns require a visual strategy — this guides potential customers to understand your brand through the use of images.

A campaign should tell a story and that story is best told using visual elements that resonate with your audience. Your visual strategy needs to be compatible with your brand and target audience — it should be interesting, informative, and contain some element of intrigue, such as humor or hope.

3. It’s highly creative.

Think about your favorite viral marketing campaign. What sets it apart from others?

Marketing campaigns don’t go viral unless they have a unique, interesting, and innovative idea behind them — your campaign needs to be something new and attention-grabbing.

4. It has emotional appeal. 

Have you seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign? It makes you feel frustrated, insecure, strong, and confident in just a few minutes.

Each commercial shows a person sitting behind a curtain describing their appearance while an artist — who cannot see them — draws their portrait. After the individual is done describing his or her features and the portrait is complete, the curtain is removed. The artist then draws a second portrait of the individual based off what they actually see.

After the second portrait is finished, the artist places the two drawings next to each other. As you can probably imagine, the portrait derived from the individual’s self-description is less attractive than what the artist draws in the second portrait.

In fact, in each video throughout the campaign, the portrait that the artist creates is a much brighter and more realistic depiction of the individual. This is a message about self-esteem and the beauty within all of us.

The campaign went viral because of its relatability and emotional appeal. You need to make your audience feel something — otherwise, why would they want to share your content?

5. It’s easy to share and promote.

Thanks to the internet and social media, sharing and promoting your content with the rest of the world is pretty simple. You don’t need huge sums of money to produce successful photo or video content that can be consumed by the greater population. 

For something to actually go viral, it needs to be shared over and over again. This means you and your company need to share the content first in as many places — and in as many ways — as possible. Then, you need to make it easy for your audience to share it as well.

Enable sharing, embedding, and downloading capabilities on all of your content so your viewers can tag their parents on Facebook, message their best friends on Instagram, or download your video so they can easily turn your content into a memorable GIF. Create calls-to-action or elements that encourage people to send it to their friends. 

Think about asking a celebrity to promote your content if an influencer would fit with your overall message and add value to your campaign. For example, viewers may find your insurance commercial more entertaining and share-worthy if Peyton Manning or Brad Paisley are singing.

6. It’s published at the right time.

You should also consider the date and time that you share your content. Marketers use major holidays — such as Christmas — as well as major events, like the presidential race and the Super Bowl, to their advantage.

More people are scrolling through their social media feeds, watching TV, and keeping up with current events during these times which causes marketers to spend more money on their campaigns. 

Similarly, anyone who uses a platform like Instagram knows what I’m talking about when I say the date and time of your posts matter.

For example, if you post on a Saturday at 8 p.m., most people are out at dinner, seeing a movie, or just hanging out with friends — meaning they are most likely not browsing their newsfeed … at least not as much as they do on Tuesdays

After all of this sharing and promoting, you need to wait and see whether or not people latch onto your content. If so, you could have created a viral campaign. If not, you may have to try again.

Read this blog to learn about the reasons why some older campaigns stand the test of time.

The Advantages of Viral Marketing Campaigns

Creating a viral marketing campaign isn’t an easy or predictable achievement. But if your campaign does go viral, it can mean thousands or even millions of new people being introduced to your brand and buying your products — money in the bank!

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s campaign video went viral, which made them a household name. They were then acquired by Unilever for $1 billion — not bad.

Here are a few more advantages of producing viral content:

1. They can build your brand.

When a marketing campaign goes viral, your audience automatically learns about your company, products, services, and brand. This includes people who may not have ever heard about your company otherwise. This is how some small companies make their “big break” and how large companies stay relevant.

2. They don’t require a large budget.

Some of the most successful viral content is created on a low budget. These days, individuals and companies of any size can film high-quality video and take professional-looking photos all on an iPhone.

Many content creators, or people who simply upload a random video, have found themselves become famous almost overnight. It’s not about the resources and budget — it’s all about what catches the attention of the internet. Marketers don’t always need a large-scale production with a celebrity to make their campaign funny, surprising, relatable, or informational. 

Fun fact:Jonathan Goldsmith, the man behind the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials, had only done a few gigs prior getting his big break when the campaign went viral. 

3. They get your brand in front of a new (and larger) audience.

Campaigns are considered “viral” when they have a large reach. Companies may experience an increase in sales, greater engagement on social media, and a boost in conversation about their brand and products.

This is exactly what happened for Smart Water when they brought Jennifer Aniston on board for their campaign in 2012. The video has over 6 million views on YouTube, and their humorous campaigns have done so well with the public that Aniston was featured in them through 2017.

3 of the Most Famous Viral Campaigns

Now that we have reviewed the features of successful viral campaigns and how to launch one yourself, let’s dive into some of the most popular viral campaigns ever created.

Old Spice: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

Old Spice found that women are the ones to purchase men’s personal hygiene products, so they created an ad that spoke directly to this audience.

The “Old Spice Man” talks directly to the audience in a bold, confident, and humorous way. He tells women that anything is possible when your man uses Old Spice — all while he sails the ocean shirtless, turns sports tickets into diamonds, and rides a white horse on the beach.

This campaign went viral because … well … humor works. It was so successful that it even increased sales for the brand. The commercial has received over 55 million views on YouTube, won an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards, and won the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

ALS: “Ice Bucket Challenge”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge began four years ago and was created to raise awareness for the debilitating disease. For the challenge, you had to pour ice cold water over your entire body and then nominate a friend to do the same. This became a movement that raised $115 million in the summer of 2014 alone. Because … who doesn’t want to watch a family member or friend pour freezing cold water on their head?

Celebrities from around the world started participating, challenging their famous friends, donating, and raising awareness. There was an Ice Bucket Challenge hashtag that gained popularity allowing for the videos to spread easily over multiple social media channels.

Most importantly — the challenge is fun and makes participants feel like a part of a bigger movement, which is why it remains relevant years later.

Always “#LikeAGirl”

This video became a major hit because it directly addressed how phrases that are so commonly used can be detrimental to someone’s self image and confidence. In the video, various men, women, and young boys are asked to “run like a girl” or “fight like a girl”. Then young girls are asked to do the same, with a very different approach: They show strength and confidence in their movements. 

It made viewers recognize how quickly we use female-oriented phrases as insults, and that doing something #LikeAGirl should be seen as inspiring and brave. 

The original TV commercial that came out in 2014 has over 65-million views on Youtube, and the hashtag — #LikeAGirl — remains popular today.

For more great examples of viral video marketing campaigns, check out this blog.

Conclusion

There is no roadmap for making your content “go viral.” You can review what has been successful in the past and try to emulate this, but ultimately, it’s about creating great content that connects with your audience and makes them want to share it. Do this, and you just might find that your brand is the one everyone is talking about. 

3 Productivity Killers and How to Squash Them

Chances are you’re probably not getting as much done at work as you’d like to. Whether it’s your colleague wanting to talk about last night’s sports game, your boss requesting a last-minute status report, or the many phone calls scheduled for the day; all of these things add up and affect your productivity. To be productive and get more done, you need to control your time.

Here are three major productivity killers that are impacting your time and how you can squash them:

Saying Yes

There’s a big movement in the self-help world around saying yes. Saying yes to life and seizing opportunities you usually might not entertain. While there’s a lot of value, too often we say yes to everything and everyone, and our productivity suffers because of it.

Your time is finite. When you choose to say yes to the fourth meeting on your calendar today, to review work for a colleague, to accept a project from an employee, or to deliver another status update report, you’re losing time to work on your highestpriorities. When you say yes too often, you assume everyone else’s to-do list without attending to your own. To accomplish more tasks on your priority list, you need to create a balance between saying yes and no.

To maximize your time, learn to say no. Yes—even to your boss, colleague, employee, client, or potential prospect. That’s not to say that you can and should say no to everything. Ask yourself (and them) if it’s truly a priority, and if it’s a higher priority than what you’re currently working. Don’t blindly say yes at work. Get in the habit of evaluating your priorities and how they will be impacted by saying yes to other tasks.

Distractions

There are far more distractions at work today than there were a few years ago. The internet is at our fingertips 24/7, and it’s tempting us with the latest news stories, sports updates, and social media posts. It’s never-ending. With access to all of this information, many people have a fear of missing out. Missing out on what their friends are doing, on the latest breaking headlines, on Amazon Prime Day PS4 deals, and more. Distraction is an epidemic and it’s killing our productivity.

One study found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. If you allow multiple small distractions to occur in a workday, imagine all the minutes and hours you’ll lose. Eliminating distractions is hard. Most of us are addicted (at least to some extent) to the nonstop news stories and media on our phones. A 2017 Deloitte study found that people check their phones 47 times per day.

To minimize distractions, you first need to be aware of them. Start by tracking how many times you do the following in one day:

  • Stop what you’re doing to check your email
  • Pick up and look at your phone
  • Are interrupted by a co-worker
  • Message with co-workers on a messaging app (Slack, Skype, Yammer, etc.)
  • Open an internet browser to read news stories

After tracking, you might be shocked by how much time you’re spending on these productivity killers. Even people who consider themselves highly productive and focused at work have done this and have been surprised with the results. By pinpointing where your distractions are coming from and how much time you’re wasting, you can begin to minimize those distractions. Are you spending too much time checking email? Turn off email notifications or email completely. Only check your email when you choose to, not when it’s telling you. Constantly checking your phone? Put it away. Place it in a drawer, another room, or in your purse. Don’t let it stare you in the face when you’re trying to concentrate.

If you open an email browser and begin reading a news story, tell yourself to stop. Close the browser and start working on your most important activities. The best way to become distraction-free is to recognize you’re distracted and tell yourself to stop allowing it.

Spending Time on Low Impact Activities

Most to-do lists include high-impact activities—those activities we know will help propel us toward our goals and deliver outsized returns. We call these your Greatest Impact Activities (GIAs). These are where you should be spending the most significant chunks of your time.

However, the reality is that our day-to-day work habits keep many of us from spending our time where we should. We get pulled into multiple meetings. There are 25 things to review for our co-workers. And don’t forget about the 17 calls scheduled for the week. Many of us get lost in our never-ending to-do list working on tasks that are urgent while sacrificing the ones we know can pay dividends. At the end of any given week, many people feel there just wasn’t enough time to get everything done that they wanted to. The truth is, we tend to make time for what’s important.

Ask yourself, did you really need to be the one to proofread that document, print and bind the presentation, run the report, or attend that meeting? Many of us have activities and time spent each week (in some cases, large chunks of time) that we could either minimize or outsource completely. To help combat this and use your energy on activities that will get you the greatest return, identify your GIA every day and focus on it first.

If you want to become more productive, don’t fall victim to these three productivity killers. Learn to say no, recognize and focus on eliminating distractions at work, and kick off your day with your GIA every day.

Are there any other time management tips you’d include? Tell me about them in the comments.

The post 3 Productivity Killers and How to Squash Them appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

25 Creative Ways to Come Up with Domain Name Ideas

Your domain name is your website’s address—it’s what people type on their browsers to view your website. Your domain name also impacts your branding, search engine ranking, and social media marketing. If you need help coming up with the perfect domain name, find out how the pros came up with theirs in this article. Here…

The post 25 Creative Ways to Come Up with Domain Name Ideas appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How to Motivate Your Staff in a Way that Benefits Your Business

When it comes to running a successful business, having the right tools and processes in place are a must. But as any business owner knows, your employees and staff are the keys to ensuring these processes run smoothly and operate at the maximum level. Often, all that separates an under-performing staff from a top-performing one is simple motivation. People enjoy being challenged and engaged, and if employees feel ‘stuck’ doing the same thing day in and day out, your customers can tell, and profits will suffer.

This is why many innovative business owners are turning to gamified employee motivation solutions, which take an innovative, real-time approach to employee motivation. With individual, team, and even location performance metrics recorded and showcased in real-time, employees know exactly how their performance stacks up to the rest of their peers, resulting in higher performance outcomes and increased profits.

What are some added benefits of employee motivation?

With happier, more engaged employees, your team can drastically increase customer satisfaction, upsells, and repeat customer visits. Too often, teams can get bogged down by sales targets, weekly quotas, and location comparison charts, and everything just starts to run together, making little to no sense for the staff actually on the floor. With gamified employee motivation solutions, employers are able to turn motivation and competition into the new normal and create an easy-to-understand set of metrics to grade performance and success.

Other benefits of a gamified employee motivation approach include:

  • More Involved, Engaged Employees: When employees understand how their day-to-day performance is impacting the bottom line of an organization, they are more involved and dedicated to that end goal. By tracking employee performance metrics in a live, universally-accessible location, employees are more motivated to make decisions based on the good of the company. Your organization can expect to see more engaged employees offering up more suggestions and opinions to help move your business forward.

  • Better Accountability and Performance: Employees are also more motivated to perform at a higher level across the board. Most everyone enjoys a little competition, and with gamified employee motivation solutions, the competition is exciting and performance-based. When one Subway franchise implemented an innovative employee motivation solution, the team actually saw an incredible increase in inventory accuracy, less food wastage, and increased employee morale.

  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: Your employees are the face of your organization, and they help set the entire tone for a customer’s visit to your place of business. If team spirit is down or if performance has dipped, it can drastically impact your customer satisfaction rates. When employees actually have ‘skin in the game’, so to speak, and are actively aware of how their actions and output are impacting the company as a whole, they’re more likely to be happier – and make customers happier at the same time.

How to get started with employee motivation.

If you’re not thinking about finding new, innovative ways to motivate your staff, you could be giving up the chance to take both your employees and your organization to the next level of performance. More engaged employees means happier customers, which can lead to increased customer frequency and drive higher profits.

To truly increase your bottom line and step up your employee motivation game, Mobivity’s re•up is the only solution that helps organizations monitor, measure, and reward employees to maximize performance and profits. The re•up solution actually displays employee progress and goals on easy-to-read tablets and monitors so every single person — regardless of location or team — knows exactly how your organization is performing as a whole and at the individual employee level. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and an oft-overlooked source of revenue growth. With Mobivity’s re•up, your organization can:

How to get started with employee motivation.


Mobivity’s re•up works in tandem with the rest of the re•currency suite of solutions to collect customer data at the point of sale and leverage it to drive insightful, proactive decision making. Ready to learn more? Schedule your 1-1 call today to hear about how re•up can be used by businesses to motivate higher performance by their staff.

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Here's How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Story [Pro Tip]

Instagram Stories has extended the amount of time people spend in the app by approximately ten additional minutes. But, while that extra time means more attention and focus on your brand, it won’t translate to much if you can’t get that traffic back to your site.

If you have over 10,000 followers or you’re a verified user, you have an incredibly effective tool at your disposal — the swipe up link. This link enables you to post exciting content regarding a new product, service, or event, and then encourage those users to “swipe up for details”.

But with all that power comes some responsibility. How do you add a link to your story, and how can you use it to its fullest advantage? Let’s dive into that now.

How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Story

I used HubSpot’s official Instagram account for these instructions, since my personal account isn’t verified (I also, you’ll be surprised to hear, don’t have 10,000 followers … ).

1. Take a photo or upload one to your Instagram Story, and then click the icon at the top right that looks like a chain.

2. Here, click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page. If you were interested in linking your Story to your IGTV video, you could choose that option, instead.

3. Type the URL into the text box. When you’re finished, click “Done” in the top right.

4. When you’re ready to publish, click the “+ Story” button at the bottom right of your Story. Now, your published Story has a “See More” swipe up link.

 

Instagram Swipe Up Link Examples

1. @Detoxinista Recipes

Food bloggers such as @Detoxinista use Instagram Stories’ swipe up link to embed recipes on the platform. They wisely post images of delicious-looking food, which incentivizes users to swipe up to learn how to make it themselves. The link isn’t a direct advertisement, but users are directed to Detoxinista’s website, where they can find her cookbook and become familiar with her brand.

2. @Alifedotowsky Clothing Items

If you’re a Bachelorette fan, you might’ve noticed the growing trend among Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants to become product influencers and embed swipe up links in their Stories. As a fashion and style blogger, Ali often takes pictures or videos of outfits she’s wearing, with swipe up links so users can buy the items online. She also often incorporates discounts if users swipe up, further incentivizing a user to purchase an item from a brand’s website.

3. @Popsugarfitness Summer Sculpt Series

One of the most effective ways to use the swipe up feature is to offer your followers something of value, for free. @Popsugarfitness, for instance, introduced a Summer Sculpt series with a tempting offer — “Swipe Up for a 10-Minute No-Equipment Booty-Shaping Workout”. Who could say no to that? Ideally, as users obtain more value from your site, they’ll spend longer on it and become stronger brand advocates.

4. @Reebok Be More Human Campaign

Reebok created a powerful and timely campaign called “Be More Human”, celebrating women’s empowerment through fitness. On their Instagram Stories, they raise awareness for the campaign by showing famous women like Gigi Hadid or Danai Gurira, and when you swipe up, you learn more about Reebok’s campaign and how you can get involved. On the site there are opportunities to purchase t-shirts or donate money, but it’s evident Reebok is committed to staying focused on their messaging above all else, a noble pursuit.

30 days of instagram

 
30 days of insta