Wednesday, 8 June 2016

SHOPPER MARKETING - The Path-To-Purchase-and-Beyond

Shopper Marketing differs from Consumer Marketing mainly because the consumer and the shopper are not necessarily the same entity and a shopper of a brand or item typically browses that brand or item in different media or channels.

Shopper Marketing targets the individual or prospect in a shopping mindset, says Venky Shankar - Professor and Coleman Chair in Marketing and Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies, Texas A&M University.

Here are few excerpts from his publication SHOPPER MARKETING 2.0.

Shopper Marketing is the planning and execution of all marketing activities that influence a shopper along, and beyond, the entire path-to-purchase, from the point at which the motivation to shop first emerges through to purchase, consumption, repurchase, and recommendation.

The Indian retail industry with the largest number of retail outlets (12 million stores) accounts for 10–11% of GDP with sales a turnover of US$ 456 billion and constitutes 6% of the total employment. The organized and the retail market share is pegged at 5% (US$ 21 billion) of the total sales and is growing at a CAGR of >25%.

In this new environment, to formulate and executive effective shopper marketing strategies, managers need better understand the complete picture of how online, offline, mobile, and in-store marketing influence shoppers in the path-to-purchase-and-beyond cycle.

The rapid rise in shoppers’ use of mobile devices, medium, and channel and the widespread use of social media are enabling manufacturers and retailers to use out-of-store shopper marketing activities through this medium and channel.

The end goals of Shopper Marketing are to better meet shopper needs, improve customer relationships and loyalty, increase sales, and enhance return on investment. To achieve these goals, manufacturers, service providers, and retailers must focus their shopper marketing activities on influencing shoppers, increasing the probability of purchase through all the stages in the path-to-purchase-and-beyond.

Share your thoughts on Shopper Marketing in the comments section below!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Tips to "handle" Twitter for better results

Any successful B2B social media plan includes strategies and tactics to forge relationships and build a brand. Building a brand through social strategies doesn’t happen overnight – it requires a sustained commitment using effective strategies for engagement and relationship building.
This holds true when marketers consider building a presence on Twitter – only marketers who use the right strategies build and contribute to lasting social engagements. To understand which strategies attract followers and boost lead generation, consider the following 12 tips. 

1. ReTweeting

If something is valuable, marketers should share it – this is what ReTweeting is all about. ReTweeting accomplishes three goals; one, it allows you to share additional relevant information with your followers.  Two, it shows respect to the follower you are ReTweeting and three, it exposes the person you’re ReTweeting to your followers, potentially expanding their network.  It’s also a good idea to thank followers for ReTweeting your tweets with a simple reply like “Thanks for the RT!”.

2. Reporting news

Today, news moves at the click of a button. When news breaks in the B2B arena, consider sending out updates and insightful information to followers and encourage them to share it with their audience.

3. Original content

One key to B2B social media success is sharing original and insightful information. Sharing content from other B2B sources is a given, but be sure to include links to your own content from newsletters, B2B blogs, white papers and other sources in your tweets.

4. Hashtags

On Twitter, getting your content in front of a particular audience is as simple as a hashtag. Adding a targeted hastag to a message  can put that message  in front of potential prospect searching for information based on that hashtag. Research tags already in use and utilize them in your B2B social media campaign.

5. Thank you

Although simple, thanking someone for sharing your message goes a long way. As part of a total relationship campaign, share and thank all those who spread your updates.

6. Listening

Understand what’s being said about a brand, service or product by listening on Twitter. Utilize keyword searches and hashtag monitoring to identify and engage with prospects while boosting lead generation through B2B social media.

7. Offline events

This effective way to promote online events works equally for offline events. Utilize Twitter to send out resources and insights to offline events, such as industry and user conferences, before, during and even after.

8. Customer service

Consider using Twitter to answer questions on products and services or customer service issues. Not only does this give customers and prospects faster results, it gives marketers valuable statistics for B2B social media campaign strategies.

9. Keywords

Consider researching keywords relating to a brand, product, and service niche and learn the needs and wants of prospects.

10. Tools

Going beyond the default interface, third party Twitter tools and clients increase  productivity, search and other operations. With these tools, you can schedule, import and effectively manage numerous accounts associated with Twitter.

11. Other networks

Powerful B2B social media strategies dictate using multiple networks and tools. Consider integrating other networks and content platforms including: Facebook, B2B blogs and LinkedIn. Some allow automatic or scheduled updates from or to Twitter.

12. Lists

Twitter lists not only give marketers the opportunity to categorize resources within lists, it lets those contacts know the marketer considers them as go-to resources for particular subject matter information.

Source: Marketo

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

CHECKlist for creating NEW CONTENT

Marketers are working hard to create great content that can be used to create sales leads, drive website traffic, promote brand, and educate customers and prospects.  Unfortunately, not all content is created equal.  To ensure you get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you must follow these six rules:
  1. It is not promotional – promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire, both critical com­ponents of content marketing.
  2. It is relevant – generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader will not result in increased success. When writing content you must make sure it will be useful to the reader, regardless of whether it supports your company message.
  3. It closes a gap – content marketing should answer a business question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort by the organization.  An added benefit of this useful information is it’s ability to be used in lead nurturing. 
  4. It is well written – poorly written thought leader­ship may not only provide poor results, but may also hurt the company’s reputation. Take time to ensure content is presented in a thoughtful man­ner and is free of errors.
  5. It is relevant to your company – if the content you create does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.
  6. It gives proof  – since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure that content you create gives proof either through quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.
Keep this as a check list when you are creating new content, and review again for it goes live.  And this checklist isn’t just for white papers, content includes everything from webinars to articles to videos.

Source: Marketo

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Six Ways To Strengthen Your Story Pitch

Reporters and bloggers are inundated with news tips and story ideas every day. How can you make your news stand out to cut through the noise? 

Follow these six rules for better pitching to make reporters pay attention and generate more media hits.

Do Your Research

A successful pitch starts with sending your news to the right reporter. Go to the publication’s website, check to see who writes about your industry and read their articles. If you don’t determine the right contact, your pitch will end up in the trash folder.

Create a News Angle

Journalists have to deliver value, which means you do too. Reporters often won’t pick up product or corporate announcements, so explain the value your story provides.

  • How will it affect readers’ lives?
  • Why should they care?
  • What is the compelling angle that makes your announcement real news?
Get to the Point

Journalists don’t have time to read through a long, wordy pitch. Don’t waste words “setting up” your news — get to the point and cut the fluff. Deliver your news in as few words as possible while still communicating your key messages.

Pay Attention to Detail

Never underestimate the power of proofreading. Make sure names are spelled correctly, facts are checked and grammar and punctuation are on point. Even small slipups will cause your story to lose credibility.

Leave Them Wanting More

A well-written pitch will prompt a journalist to follow up with you for more information. While you should clearly communicate the important points of your news upfront, leave room in your pitch for a follow-up conversation.

Build a Relationship

The constant nature of online news presents a unique opportunity to build a relationship with journalists. Identify key industry publications and/or journalists, and comment and share relevant articles that they publish. When you add value to the conversation, journalists will begin to recognize you, and could eventually seek you out as a source when they’re on their next deadline.

Stick to the tactics above to establish your brand as a credible source of information and forge relationships with journalists in your field. It’s a sure way to get your news in front of the people who matter most: your prospects and customers.

Friday, 29 August 2014

How To Publicize Your Publicity

Getting your business mentioned in the news is incredibly exciting. Whether it’s your local newspaper or The New York Times, media coverage builds credibility and makes your brand more visible to customers, investors, and other stakeholders. It promotes business growth and leads to new opportunities.
So don’t stop when you get in the news. Instead, leverage your press coverage to get even more publicity and generate business. Here’s how.
Publish a news release
Coverage in a top-tier or influential publication often warrants a news release of its own. Online news distribution services like PR Web make it easy to issue targeted news releases.
Coverage in a credible, third-party news outlet is instant validation for current and potential customers, employees and investors. An online news release is a fast and visible way to publicize it.
Share your news
Keep your company website updated with your latest press hits and clearly display that coverage on your homepage. When your company earns a press mention, post the link to Facebook and tweet it multiple times over the course of a week.
Use your coverage as validation
When you pitch your next story, use your existing media coverage as evidence that you’re a respected resource on the topic. Include a link to the media mentions on your website, and relevant links to third-party stories that feature your business.  
When journalists, bloggers and other members of the media begin to see your brand showing up in the news, more coverage will follow.  

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Think Like a News Editor for Content Marketing Success

Blogging and social media offer marketers the opportunity to publish their own content to attract customer attention, as well as pitch the media.
This strategy requires a balance of content that provides fresh news while also covering ‘evergreen’ topics.
For best results, think like a news editor. Create a regular mix of current events, original research and timely commentary for all-round reader engagement.
Here are three key elements you need.
Monitor and anticipate trends
Use social media to participate in larger conversations beyond just pushing out your company news. The more your brand interacts with timely content, the more people will see the brand, and its digital offerings.
Monitor trends in the news, pop culture, and the lives of your customers. Map out how your brand can participate in these conversations, via social media, blog posts, or other appropriate media. Don’t get involved in every conversation. Instead, focus on stories that relate to your overall brand strategy and messaging.
Create evergreen content that your customers need
Know your customers’ pain points, busy seasons, challenges and strengths. Create ‘evergreen’ content and address long-term issues that don’t go out of date.
When your customers search topics that regularly impact their lives, you already have relevant content out there. Customers and reporters alike will come to rely on your brand as a resource for their research, they’ll become more engaged with your timely content as well.
Leave room for real-time
24-hour news is your brand’s opportunity to offer instantaneous commentary. Remember the Super Bowl blackout? Oreo’s social media team was on standby and capitalized with timely humor. No one could have anticipated the blackout, but they seized the opportunity as it happened.

For maximum effectiveness, create an editorial calendar. Consistency is key: by regularly publishing quality content, you can drive more traffic, more leads, and more revenue as you nurture those leads into customers.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

How many online reviews does your business have?

You probably need more. When choosing a business to buy from, customers search for reviews by other customers. If you haven't got any, you're in danger of being overlooked.
Don't fear the added attention of online reviews. While you can't control what consumers say about your brand, there are ways to foster positive reviews among your customers. Here are four steps to achieving them:

Expand your social horizons.
We know who the heavy hitters are when it comes to social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When it comes to referrals, though, several other networks are worth your attention. Yelp!, OpenTable, and Foursquare are huge for customers leaving tips and reviews. Be sure to log in and see what's being said about your business. Then…

Spend some time there.
While it's absolutely necessary for your business to have a presence on multiple social channels, you can't stop there. To get the full value of social media, you need to maintain an active, up-to-date presence on all of your business's social outlets. If your customers see a Facebook page that isn't updated, or see that other customers' comments and reviews haven't been acknowledged, they will see no value in leaving a review themselves—unless it's negative.

This also goes for networks like Yelp! and Foursquare. Take the time to interact with customers who leave reviews. Acknowledge positive reviews and address negative reviews. You'll encourage feedback and responses, which in turn will lead to positive referrals.

Encourage your customers to leave referrals and make it easy for them to do so. This can be as simple as having a call to action on receipts, in emails, or on other marketing materials such as: "We want to hear what you think! Leave your feedback online at (insert link)." Sometimes, a simple request is all it takes.

Incentivize and reward.
It's no secret that people are more apt to do something when they get rewarded for doing it. Some ideas to consider for encouraging customers to leave reviews include: awarding points toward future purchases, entering reviewers into a contest or giveaway, or recognizing them as a "brand expert" for other customers to rely on after they've left a number of credible reviews.

You might encounter some negative reviews. However, the positive effect of having an active, involved presence online will outweigh the risks. It will provide a perfect platform for addressing complaints when they do occur, giving you a public opportunity to turn negative into positive. That's what effective PR and marketing is all about.