Best cheap web hosting indiaclickDiscount codes for godaddycomparisons providesearch?screening2017How much is web hostingIntuit checks coupon codesmbs blog

Category Archives: Marketing Technology

The Future of Marketing

By | Business marketing, customer centric marketing, Marketing Technology, Marketing Tools, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

I was asked the other day to explain the role of a marketing manager. It is a good question because it has changed so much over the past few years. I love this Gartner map that outlines all the areas that a marketer needs to be across today.

Gartner_DigitalMktgMap_1500

Lets look at each section in turn.

Strategy – Understanding market opportunities, cultivating markets and customers, generating demand and awareness.

Marketing Management – Business processes and tools associated with implementing the marketing activities

User experience – the discipline associated with creating customer experiences that meet business objectives.

Analytics – the process of  discovering meaningful patterns in data.

Creative – services and tools that supports the implementation of marketing programs.

Ad Tech – managing advertising through all the channels (web, social, offline, mobile) – targeting, design and bid management, optimising and reporting and automation.

Real Time Data – can now be provided by geotargetting and other technologies to assist us reach prospects on the fly

Search – to help get found and find things on the web.

Social – applications, technologies and environments that build social communities

Mobile – communication, applications and wireless devices (smart phones, tablets, portable computers)

Emerging technologies – new technologies that consumers are adopting, 3D televisions, solar cars, google glasses. Only very early adopters. 5% of the market.

So as I see it the role is enormous. In the coming years I see more experts being created around each area of expertise. The intersection between customer centricity, strategy and technology is my sweetspot. Learn more.

To learn more go to the webinar. or download slides

Here is a good slideset on the future of Marketing

How to create a competitive advantage?

By | Branding, Business marketing, customer centric marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing, Value Proposition | No Comments

What else can you do to stand out from the crowd?

  1. Collaborate. Whether we like it or not customers are in the box seat. They choose to visit your website, view your ad or open your email and they can click delete, navigate to another page or change the channel in a nano second! As a small business, you are uniquely placed to collaborate with your customers. You can do this using social media tools like Facebook, and forums, blogs and Tweets. Innovations are best when they come from the customers because they are telling you (in many cases) a better way to do something! Invite customers to be a part of your planning. Creating a collaborative culture in your small business with your employees contributing freely can really help too!
  2. Offer Understanding and Insight
    Communicating with your customers could be as simple as a phone call or online survey. If done with sensitivity to their needs and not in an annoying five-page survey it can be something that provides great insight for your small business to change something that was losing you business or create something that will give you a competitive edge.
  3. Share your story
    Stand for something and make it count! So many companies still just don’t get it. People buy from those they know, like and trust. How can they get to know you if all you have on your website is the same old company spiel? Your potential customers are making decisions about whether to contact you every day. Give them the whole story so they can make a decision based on what and who you really are. Freshbooks is a good example of this. Remember, you don’t have to try to make your story inspiring, it just has to be real! Read Tell to Win by Peter Guber which tells the importance of storytelling in business.
  4. Make Work Fun and Easy
    How likable are you anyway? The journey, the process and the prospect of working together has to be enjoyable for you and the client. Marketing is not a one-off activity, but an integral part of the business model. Inject some whiteboards, smarties and have a sense of humour! All services have an opportunity to create a customer experience that is enjoyable.
  5. Be Customer Centric
    Step into your customer’s shoes every day. One of the most fundamental changes you can make is to step through the customer touch points in your business and consciously think about them. This awareness of how they feel at each stage in your process makes you change how you do things. Small businesses are best placed to be customer centric but it does take a mind shift. Look at your website, storefront, business card, flyers, staff and services from your customer’s view point. Now should you change something? The answer is always yes.
  6. Fail quickly but create an idea-based culture
    No one will ever get fired for trying something new. If you can create a culture where you and your team are prepared to try ideas and experiment you are likely to hit a few jackpots!
  7. Love your Employees. Would you want to work for you? Employees are the soul of your small business; this is because your customers can feel instantly if they have walked into a positive or negative environment. If your employees are happy you are half way to creating a great brand. Something as simple as bean bags in the coffee-room, a punching bag (good one Pete), and some nice flowers planted in the garden outside your office, can make a world of difference. You have to take responsibility for setting the tone and then allow your employees to add their own flavour to it.

These seven principles are simple yet very effective and can set you apart from other businesses. How can you take these strategies and improve your competitive advantage today? Love to know.

 

Multi-devices have enabled us to be the curators of our lives

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Marketing Automated Technology, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing | No Comments

We are a nation of multi-screeners. Most of our time is spent in front of a screen. 77% of us view TV with a device in our other hand. Google’s latest research uncovers our cross-platform behaviour as we use multi devices often at the same time to achieve our goals. With technology advances in online devices, we can now choose how, when, what and who to engage with 24 x7. We are the curators of our lives.

Key findings of Google’s Research includes:

Two types of screening behaviour:

  • Sequential screening where we move from one device to another to complete a single goal
  • Simultaneous screening where we use multiple devices at the same time
  • Google has found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity.
  • 80% of searchers happen on smart phones as a spur of the moment
  • We spend on average over 4 hours in front of screens a day to communicate, Browsing the internet – 81%
    Social networking – 72%
    Online shopping – 67%
    Research/Search – 63%
    Managing Finances – 46%
    Planning a trip – 43%
  • The time spent on screen devices per day is broken down as follows:
  1. TV – 43 minutes
  2. PC/Laptop – 39
  3. Tablet – 30
  4. Smartphone – 17
 What does this mean for marketers?
Is our attention span getting shorter? Google’s research suggests that multiple screens make us feel more efficient. So we are multi-tasking and multi-screening! I know my attention is at least fragmented between all the devices I have. If I see something on TV and want to probe deeper, I go on my iPad. Even my seven-year old plays with his Super heroes or reads his comics and then Google games, download Apps and connects with other gamers online, all at the same time.
We are on-line more than ever before and because it is easy and available part of me does feel like I have the control to choose what I want to consume, perhaps for the first time.I know I am not alone in this feeling. Most of my peers now choose when and what to watch on their iPad not TV. Conversations revolve around the latest App someone has found for recipes or to help our children read online. We are seeking out our own unique interests and communities to enrich our lives, learn and just have fun. Our behaviour has changed markedly even over the last 18 months.

We are so connected and able to be responsive and “always on” or impulsive. This has huge implications for marketers as we aim to understand the environment that our customers live in. We need to understand this new multi-screen and multi-tasking behaviour to design the best experience for our customers. With around 10% of media interactions non-screen based, if you are not online and connected you are invisible. It is easy to predict with this changing landscape that new opportunities will and have be created for all sorts of businesses. As customers decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore,  it is more important than ever to understand your customers behaviour as part of your marketing strategy. This attention and empathy to customers creates opportunities from the  from the the smallest business which now can gain visibility by reaching a new audience.
The key for truly great marketing is to know your customers and this means their likely behaviour. Understanding this ever connected landscape is step 1. Step 2 is building a strategy to navigate through it to ensure you are in the right place, at the right time with the right resources.
 Google now has a great info graphic describing our new behaviour.

 

Business is social, your customers are asking for it

By | Marketing Technology, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, Thoughtleadership and Content Marketing | No Comments

This video from Salesforce gives a good overview of how technology is changing our businesses. How do you collaborate with your customers? Have you embraced technology? Have you embraced social media? Learn why you should. Collaboration, marketing, selling and business is in a huge transformation. I see it every day. It is time to make the commitment to shift your thoughts around how you do business or be left behind.Digital Marketing E-News – Marketing Technology changing business – http://eepurl.com/qvJFf

Does your website get found in online search?

By | Marketing Technology, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Here is some great information from GrowthPanel on how to determine if your website content meets your potential customer needs

Search marketing is about gaining visibility on search engines when users search for terms that relate to your product/service/organization. For most companies, ranking highly in search results isn’t luck – it’s a result of solid effort in one or both categories of search marketing.

  • Organic Search:  When you enter a keyword or phrase into a search engine like Google or Yahoo!, the organic results are displayed in the main body of the page.When prospects search for information about your products and services, it’s important to rank high in search engine results. By “optimizing” your site, you can improve your ranking for important search terms and phrases (“keywords”). You can also improve your ranking by getting other important sites to link to yours.
  • Paid Search:  Paid search enables you to buy listings in the “sponsored” area of a search engine. There are a variety of paid search programs, but the most common is called pay-per-click (PPC), meaning you pay for a listing only when a user clicks your ad.

Search marketing in B2C is straightforward — searchers look for products/services to purchase or research prior to making a purchase decision.

For B2B, it’s a little trickier. Just like consumers, business buyers use search engines to find products and services. Studies show that most business people research problems, potential purchases, and prospective vendors online, and they use a search engine to facilitate the process. And the higher the price of the product or service, the earlier in the process they begin their search.  A search marketing firm, Enquiro Search Solutions, conducted a study among nearly 1,500 businesspeople and found that:

  • 93% research business purchases online and 89% of that group uses a search engine
  • 64% start the research process with a search engine
  • 83% of business users prefer Google

The higher the price of the product/service, the earlier the buyer uses a search engine for research. Business buyers also tended to use search early in the buying process:

 

  • In which of these buying phases were you when you used a search engine?
  • Percent
  • Very early in research, little knowledge of product or service
  • 46.2
  • Later in research phase, some idea but wanted comparisons
  • 30.2
  • Knew exactly, wanted reviews/articles
  • 11.3
  • Knew exactly, wanted to find best place to buy
  • 12.3

If you’re B2B, what does this mean for you? Below are some suggestions. When you understand users’ needs as they search for solutions, you can improve your site to meet their needs.

 

Visitor Stage % Ideas for Improving Your Website
Very early in research; has little knowledge of product or service 46.2 Focus on creating trust and educating your prospects. Prospects at this stage aren’t ready to buy, so make them comfortable that you’re a resource. If you try to close the prospect now, you’ll fail.Make sure your website offers valuable, unbiased and general information. Prospects aren’t ready for detail at this phase; they need basic information about the solution and how it’s relevant to them.

Create content that shows how your solution generally differs from other broad options.

Create a white paper that prospects can download by providing some basic information so you can follow up when the time is right.

Encourage visitors to call (or allow you to call) to provide information.

Later in research phase; has some idea but wants comparisons 30.2 Encourage visitors to call and speak with a rep.Provide comparisons to enable them to easily see how your solution compares with your competition.

Offer a quote or more detailed information if they provide very basic information so you can follow up.

Late in process; knows what s/he wants; needs reviews/articles to choose a specific solution 11.3 Offer case studies and articles that are easily accessed from the homepage – these prospects are closer to buying and know what they want.Encourage visitors to contact you for a detailed quote or to purchase.

Provide comparisons to enable them to easily see how your solution compares with that of your competition.

Use testimonials and endorsements to provide social proof.

Knows exactly what s/he wants and is ready to buy; wants to find best place to buy 12.3 Make it very easy to buy the exact product/service they need – they should be able to easily find it from the homepage.Make sure you deliver the product info they want in the fewest number of clicks possible. The more they have to hunt for information, the more likely they are to leave.

Make sure the checkout process is simple with all information (like shipping) disclosed early.

Make sure your return policies, warranty information, and other details are simple and logical to find.

Evaluate Search Marketing Options

There are two basic categories of search marketing: organic search (referred to as “SEO” for search engine optimization) and paid search (referred to as “SEM” for search engine marketing).

Category How It Works How You Do It
Organic Search (SEO) When you enter a keyword or phrase into a search engine like Google or Yahoo!, the “organic” search results are displayed in the main body of the page. If you don’t find what you want on the first page, you may click several pages deep, then try another term if you’re unsuccessful.Search engines “spiders” or “bots” visit websites, grab information and calculate the site’s subject matter.

The engines return sites that the database believes are most relevant to your search.

If a user is searching specifically for your company/product/service, you may show up on the first or second pages without doing anything special to your website.However, if you want your site to show up when a prospect is looking for broader information, you should “optimize” your site to show up for different search terms.

“Search engine optimization,” or “SEO,” can be a complex topic. Yet there are simple things you can do to greatly improve your rankings and generate free traffic to your site.

For some businesses, generating only a handful of additional serious prospects can make a substantial difference in revenue. Using SEO may easily produce these additional prospects.

Paid Search (SEM) Marketers bid for placement for selected keywords or phrases. There are different types of programs including the most popular “pay per click” (or PPC) option – a marketer only pays for the listing if the user actually clicks the listing.PPC is a true pay-for-performance program, can generate very targeted traffic and it is instantly measurable.

Paid listings are displayed differently than organic listings. They may be displayed at the top, side and/or bottom of the page (varies by search engine).

Google and other content networks also allow you to pay to place text, display and video ads on other sites, triggered by content that is relevant to your selected keywords. This is covered in 21 – Online Advertising, since these ads don’t display on search engines.

 

To generate traffic through paid search, you create an account with one or more paid search networks. You then choose your program, your keywords and phrases, and enter bids for placement.When your program goes live, the network bills your account for the traffic you receive. For example, if you’re running a PPC campaign, you’ll be billed for each click on your listing.

You’ll need to designate a “landing page” for these campaigns, and you’ll want to make sure your landing page is designed to convert your visitors so that they continue to click deeper into your site. For example, if you used your existing home page, it might not be specific enough for your visitor, and you may loose them.

A good paid search program involves continuous keyword research, careful monitoring of your bids, and strong focus on converting your click-throughs into active prospects for your company.

Here you can evaluate your marketing goals to determine if SEO, SEM or both are right for you.

Marketing Goal SEO SEM
Need to generate traffic very quickly X
Need to generate more traffic and have time to research, rewrite and potentially redesign your site to capture more qualified traffic X X
Need to generate as much traffic as possible to your site X X
Want to generate traffic to very specific subject areas on the site X X
Want to invest in a long-term search marketing program X
Want to generate traffic for a wide variety of keywords X
Want to launch time-sensitive campaigns that focus on very specific topics or offers X
Want to build more brand awareness through publicity X  X
Need to establish a stronger brand presence on the web X  X
Have a very small marketing budget and are looking for measurable, repeatable programs to generate leads X X

In SEO, your ultimate goal is to get your site listed in the top 10 Google results (the first page) for a few targeted search terms that your prospects are using. Most keywords have a great deal of competition so the task is challenging, but you should still try to rank for very targeted terms. At the very least, your prospects need to find you in the top 10 when they enter your company’s name in the search bar. To optimize your site, you’ll need to make sure its content, design and underlying coding are attractive to search engine spiders, the programs that crawl the web, decide what each page is about and rank pages against other.

What to do next?

If you would like some help setting up your SEO visit our Digital Marketing Services Page.

Are you lost about how to market your business online?

By | Business marketing, Facebook Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Is marketing online in the too hard basket? Well these days if you aren’t online your business may as well be invisible.

At MacInnis Marketing we have become Digital marketing gurus. We didn’t start that way but over the past 5 years we have honed our skills because of the dramatic change in customer interactions online. With this revolution has come a whole new way to market and thus Digital marketing services are now a big part of a small business marketing kit-bag.

There is only one problem. Most small businesses still don’t have the time to understand it and so can be paying for a service without really understanding its value. It is understandable as the terminology let alone the technology is confusing.

We help educate you to be able to make informed decisions and ensure that you receive a report and measurement of everything we do online. We match your marketing goals with the technology and ensure your budget serves you best.

 

Ready to learn more Click here.

Take our Marketing Health Check I'm marketing savvy!