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March 2016 - Posts

  • Retargeting: They Love Me. They Really Love Me.

    Mar 11 2016

    It's one of the great sales conversion tools of our social age.

    Retargeting. You visit a website and it sneakily drops a "cookie" on your computer that tracks you across the Internet; only to follow up later with helpful reminders to buy, buy, buy.

    Some people think it's creepy.

    I think of it as helpful suggestions from people who really care about me.

    Last month, a pair of Donald J Pliner shoes popped up (again) on Facebook. Trendy orange soles aren't exactly my style, but I grabbed them up for only $200.

    iTunes loves my taste in music. When I buy one song, they tell me about twenty others they're sure I'll enjoy.

    I'm now spending $100 a month on music I never listen to.

    Just today, a $2,000 trail bike appeared on my Facebook page. The only trail I ever ride is the sidewalk to Starbucks. But if they're so sure I'll love the dirt, who am I to argue?

    They love me, they really love me.

    Howie Cohen - Chief Creative Officer

  • A Non-Negotiable for Digital Innovation

    Mar 11 2016

    a-non-negotiable-for-innovation-jonathan-orosco If you're familiar with the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP), you understand the importance of implementing build-measure-learn loop cycles whenever you're creating a new digital site, product or service. Learning about your users during this process is informally called "user research," and it can mean the difference between building something expected vs. something truly exceptional.

    User research is different than market research, which concentrates on the consumer in the market economy. Instead, user research focuses on understanding user experience — those experiences associated with interacting with a product or site. How close your digital team is to potential users of the product can ultimately determine how successful they will be throughout its life cycle.

    Sometimes product requirements drafts are seen as set in stone, which may make user research seem counterintuitive to those solely intent on meeting those requirements. There can even be an intense reaction and quiet resistance to research to avoid exploring alternatives, going back to the drawing board or financing additional rounds of revisions. But the most costly path of all is using engineering teams to build and launch a product, then relying solely on analytics to tell you whether it was the right thing to build (better known as opportunity cost).

    Remember, problems in your site will be discovered at some point, and sticking your head in the proverbial sand will only delay the inevitable — at higher costs. Watching users interact with your product throughout the project life cycle has shown to be a critical tool to uncovering the insights that can help lead to true innovation.

    Jonathan Orosco - Interactive Producer

  • How to Jump-Start Your Inbound Marketing

    Mar 11 2016

    Attracting qualified leads to your brand through inbound marketing — the owned and organic content your brand publishes itself — isn't easy. Your team dedicates hours to writing for your company's blog and social channels, but still you don't see an increase in website traffic.

    The solution to your problem could be as easy as incorporating these best practices:

    • Content is king. Create quality content that answers your target's basic questions about an interest in your industry. Make your content shareable, with information that makes them look smart to pass it on. Add infographics, images and video that will capture their attention.
    • Map the buyer's journey. Address their needs at the right time. Talk to their pain points at the exact time they are experiencing them. Remember, your current customers were once strangers to your brand.
    • Personalize the customer experience. Have a one-to-one conversation with each person who consumes your content. Talk specifically about their most pressing issues. As you learn more about your prospects over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.
    • Use multiple channels. Inbound marketing reaches people where they are. Share your content across multiple channels, paying special attention to those that your primary target frequents.

    Multiple inbound tactics that work in tandem — and are driven by strategy — can help you reap the benefits of a pull marketing strategy.

    Tonya Walker - Marketing Automation Manager

  • SMS Marketing: Too Intrusive or a Missed Opportunity?

    Mar 11 2016

    sms-marketing-aaron-dubois Simply put, text messaging is personal. It's the one line of communication that happens among people you know personally — a parent, loved one, friends and companies that you give permission to send you information.

    As of today, 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone, with ownership on the rise among the younger generation. SMS is a valuable a way to communicate with your customers by providing deals, promotions or notifications about their account, like an upcoming bill… but only once they've opted in to receive those communications. Companies doing SMS correctly have a greater understanding of what their target's customer journey looks like, what role each channel plays in the customer journey and how psychology lines up with those channels.

    With smartphone users on the rise, why aren't more brands adopting SMS as a way to deliver content to their customers? Some companies might feel that sending a text message as the first touchpoint is too intrusive, but here are some points to keep in mind when leveraging SMS communication in your marketing mix:

    • Content needs to feel like content they would normally receive via text messaging
    • Value of the text message content should be timely and not spam the user
    • Interactivity should be a two-way street and allow recipients to send "commands"
    • Permission from the receiver to opt in or out with ease
    • Measure how many users subscribed and then dropped off

    When developing your SMS marketing strategy, think about your customers as if they were a loved one — after all, they're the ones on their way to becoming your brand ambassadors...who will love your brand.

    Aaron Dubois - VP, Digital