Engagement Marketing

young consumer excitement


Unlike traditional approaches to marketing where you specifically target prospects with direct response offers, engagement marketing allows your audience and potential customers to interact with you and shape how they would like to communicate with you.

Engagement marketing begins when an interested person takes an action to begin an interaction with you.

Engagement means someone is interested in listening to you, and you must engage that person in order to achieve your business objective while fulfilling their interest. As a commercial entity you will implement engagement marketing to drive your interested audience toward one of the following two key business objectives:

Cultivate the individual as an advocate of your thought leadership and market image. Advocates will recommend your products and services enthusiastically to their network of friends and business colleagues.
Encourage a dialogue with the individual to help them to make a purchase decision. An engaged customer is likely to become a loyal repeat customer.

Here are easy tips on engagement marketing to attract customers:

  • Develop an engagement strategy – To be successful you must prepare a clear plan and approach for your engagement marketing. Your plan will have to include how you will reach out to your listeners and how you will be able to respond and interact with your engaged participants.
  • Integrate with your marketing mix – All aspects of your marketing communications mix should include a ‘call to action’ for engagement from simply requesting comments or postings at your blogs or forums to encouraging reviews on your products and services.
  • Focus on content and relationship – Focus on relevant and interesting content as the key to engaging with your audience. Understand that building genuine relationships with content that is important to the individual is the best way to achieving the two key business objectives for engagement marketing.
  • Promote subscriptions – Use permission based techniques to encourage subscriptions with optimized web forms, RSS registrations, refer to a friend and social network sharing.
  • Invite listeners to interact with your Blog – Establish a culture and enthusiasm for engagement by encouraging your listeners to contribute with comments, suggestions and even as guest writers to broaden the points of view and resources available to your connected community.
  • Conduct surveys and polls – Run frequent surveys to give opportunities to initiate engagement while learning from and about your listening community. Use a surveys or web polls to start the dialogue that is relevant to the individual.
  • Engage with social networking – If you have not heard of Face Book, MySpace or Twitter that are behind the social networking phenomena, you must not waste anymore time, go straight to these sites and understand how these sites that are capturing literally mil¬lions of people who are actively engaging on these sites every day. These sites work because social networking communities need to share and want to know what their circle of friends and relatives are up to. Find out how you can leverage the engagement and sharing of your content using these social networks.

Remember, once you have an interested community engaging with you, make sure you keep the lines of communication going, learn and adjust your strategy to ensure your engagement marketing will delivery bottom-line results to your business by increasing your customer base and repeat sales from your engaged customers.

Is responsive design necessary?

Aaah, the good old days.

It was a much simpler time… Websites were straight HTML. Screen sizes were about the same size and ratio. 640 x 480 at 72 dpi.

search engine optimization ted360


Wow, have things changed, and for the better. It has caused me pain and angst seeing perfectly good Websites become obsolete before my eyes. With the introduction of smart phones, tablets, and wide screen displays on both the laptop and desktop, the challenge is to make sure your Website looks good on them all. While not an easy task… it is a necessity to say the least. Because now more than 51% of activity online is from smart phones and tablets, just seven years ago it was 12%.

So now we at least know the challenge we are dealing with. Make your Website look good on all devices at the same time. And here’s the kicker. Now Google will derank your site (push it down in the search results) if it is not mobile friendly. They are doing this because they now how much traffic is from mobile devices and they want to make sure the experience for the end user is the best it can be.

 

Digital marketing is really worth it.

Marketing, branding & digital solutions for small business. ted360


Digital marketing is a popular topic and that’s not likely to change as we enter the new year.

Still, there are some businesses that don’t think it’s worth the time and money, wrongly assuming that digital marketing is just a fad.

[source: AllBusiness] This contributes to the fact that 39 percent of American small businesses said they hadn’t executed any marketing initiatives for at least six months, according to a Capital One Spark Business survey.

Deciding whether or not digital marketing is worthwhile comes down to individual companies. However, the majority of small businesses that run the numbers and utilize successful methods discover that digital marketing is the key to greater customer retention and increased returns.

Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

If you want to determine if online marketing will benefit your company, you need to weigh both the pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing on a small scale:

Pros: Some of the most prominent advantages of digital marketing revolve around affordability and a quick return on investment. Not all aspects of digital marketing will be in a price range small businesses can afford, but social media marketing, blog content, in-house videos, and customer reviews are all highly affordable. More importantly, these are forms of digital marketing that small businesses can use with ease.

Digital marketing is also an effective way for consumers and businesses to learn more about each other. It’s a much closer connection than might occur with traditional marketing tactics because it allows the two parties to interact directly. According to research by myBuys, 72 percent of consumers connect with brands through an integrated marketing approach. It’s hard to make that many connections with just traditional marketing tactics.

Cons: Small companies often shy away from digital marketing because methods don’t always work. Digital marketing is highly subjective to customers and their habits, and businesses won’t always get strategies right the first time. Unfortunately, many firms choose to listen to stories of failure rather than stories of success.

In order to experience the full benefits of digital marketing, businesses of all sizes must go through a trial and error process in which they learn from their mistakes, change their tactics, and try again. Only then will marketing from a digital standpoint reveal its full benefits.

Start Digital Marketing Today

If you’re a small business owner who isn’t yet using digital marketing, now is the perfect time to start. There are many tactics that can make digital marketing a more prominent, useful part of your strategy. Here are a few ideas:

Form a team or hire a third party marketer. If you don’t have the manpower, the latter is a better option. Your team will need multiple strengths that vary in specialization, from advertising to social media. You’ll also need to assign a healthy budget and instruct your people to use it wisely–but avoid discouragement if they make mistakes at first.

Focus on social channels. This is by far the cheapest form of marketing, since you can join most social networks for free. It’s also the best place to directly engage your customers.

Be willing to constantly improve. As mentioned, much of digital marketing is trial and error. When you make a mistake, you must be ready to change your strategy accordingly. This kind of mindset will help you achieve impressive returns on investments and a successful marketing strategy in the future.

Don’t give up on digital marketing before you give it a valid try. It’s important for businesses of all sizes, and those that wish to stay competitive will make digital marketing more of a priority.

Technology is changing asset management.

Web design for financial services


In the old world of banking, savings and investment professionals viewed the world as two classes of people, wealthy clients and ordinary people.

The first category where offered wealth management services, and the latter where offered a savings account.

[source: Hernaes] However, banking customers were developing more sophisticated needs and the rise of self-service investment and trading platforms captured the attention of the mass affluent segment when they arrived in the mid- to late nineties. As a result, the securities industry reached a stagnation in growth and ultimately major consolidation of the brokerage industry.

Changes in the regulatory landscape also challenge status quo in the asset management industry through MifID II and Retail Distribution Review (RDR). Key takeaways from the UK market shows that the implementation of RDR has led to an advisory gap, leaving 5,5 million banking customer “underadvised”. This strongly favors self-service platforms, and players like Nutmeg has seem tremendous growth following the implementation of RDR in 2013.

With the rise of robo-advisors and intelligent automation, asset managers and financial advisors are potentially facing the same fate as the retail stock brokers. According to a survey conducted by the CFA Institute, the majority of respondents, which included more than 3,000 chartered financial analysts around the world, view asset management as the industry most at risk from disruption by automated investment tools.

Robo-advisory is a fraction of the market compared to overall assets under management, but the industry is preparing for a much more competitive future. That future is one of greater choice because “robo-advice represents the democratization of wealth management,” according to Dirk Klee, Chief Operating Officer at UBS Wealth Management. Too meet this development, UBS have developed their own robo-advisory service containing investment options that were previously only available to the distinguished few are offered wo a wide range of customers. UBS recently launched online wealth manager, SmartWealth, which lets people gain access to the Swiss bank’s investment expertise with as little as £15,000 to invest. The previous investment threshold was £2 million.

While incumbents are still addressing traditional clients, the demographics and user behavior of the typical customer is changing. Marketplace lending is not only a source of capital for SMEs and individuals, but offers an additional asset class for private investors that where once only available for wealthy clients as well as receiving a AA- rating from Fitch and Aa3 rating from Moody’s on the most senior notes on a securitization of parts of the loans portfolio earlier this year.

There is also a disconnect between the rising economic power of women and the fact that women are still a disproportionately small portion of the world’s savers and investors. The rise of everyday banking services that integrate savings as a part of daily spending behavior lowers the barrier to start saving money will also have a profound impact on future customer behavior. Their high frequency, tech-savvy approach demands and uses a variety of self-service channels and services, including personal finance management (PFM) tools and financial alerts. According to Javelin research, this demographic named ‘Moneyhawks’ are the most profitable customers banks don’t know they have.

Even though much of the change is focused on the front end, it will ultimately affect the whole value chain. Low interest rates and global trends are correlating increasingly with fund performance, and explains over half the average stock returns, favoring low cost ETFs over active asset managers. As active managers are struggling to outperform the market, Vanguard is lowering account fees to as little as 30 bps, compared to 100+ bps from a typical managed fund.

There is nowhere to hide in the changing landscape of financial services, and asset management is no exception. There will still be room for the human element in asset management, but technology will play an increasingly more important role. At the end of the day, the democratization of wealth management has the potential to make previously unavailable investment alternatives accessible to a much larger market.

 

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