The Power of Google

Imagine life without Google.  No search engine in general.  Without this vital tool, a sort of key to the internet, users would have to know exact web addresses, learn about websites through other vehicles, and answer those every-day questions we all type into that search bar from time to time using our own methods.

Google is as important to marketers as it is to consumers.  Brands can gain status in Google’s search results either organically or by paying for the space.  The video below explains how each of these methods work.

Google AdWords have also changed the marketing game.  This pay-per-click tactic features ads on relevant search results pages (as designated by the brand), and is only paid for when the consumer actually follows the link.

Such tools are absolutely essential in today’s digital landscape, and marketers do well to capitalize on the opportunity to engage in search engine marketing (SEM).

Storytelling in a Digital World

Digital storytelling in the marketing landscape has become a sure-fire way of engaging and creating a connection with your consumer.  Just like any story, there are several elements to consider when creating a story for a brand.

What really makes a good story? (Infographic)

One method of telling a brand’s story is by developing a creation myth.  A creation myth is a back-story put to creative use that explains how the brand came to be what it is today.  Such stories allow the brand to establish its roots and what it stands for in a creatively limitless manner.

Another consideration for a brand’s story is the hero.  Will the main character in your video be the hero?  The brand?  Best yet, turn your audience into the hero.  Give them a sense of pride for being loyal to the brand.

A final consideration that I will discuss is the idea of “flipping the negative.”  Brands often find themselves with a reputation or a connotation that may be less than desirable.  Great marketing uses storytelling as a way of mending this ideology by addressing it head on and flipping it on its back.

For more clues to effective storytelling, I would encourage you to watch this Ted Talk given by filmmaker Andrew Stanton, writer of Toy Story and WALL-E.  Check it out!

The Pros and Cons of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are increasingly popular methods of obtaining the capital needed to invest in a new business venture, project, or experience.  Crowdsourcing.org describes these terms as follows:

“Financial contributions from online investors, sponsors or donors to fund for-profit or non-profit initiatives or enterprises. Crowdfunding is an approach to raising capital for new projects and businesses by soliciting contributions from a large number of stakeholders following three types of crowdfunding models: (1) Donations, Philanthropy and Sponsorship where there is no expected financial return, (2) Lending and (3) Investment in exchange for equity, profit or revenue sharing.”

Crowdfunding has been both praised and criticized.  There are many in the school of thought that crowdfunding is a completely legitimate way of raising capital and that using this method gives equal opportunity to emerging entrepreneurs and experienced business people alike.  Others, however, believe that online crowdsourcing  undermines the value of building something from the ground up.

Which side are you on?

Mobile See, Mobile Do – Ten Fascinating Facts That Might Surprise You

It is no secret or surprise that consumers have grown an extreme attachment to their personal mobile devices.  Let’s discuss some fun facts from comScore about today’s mobile environment.

1. In 2014, mobile dethroned desktop in the number of global users.

Mobile stats vs desktop-users-global

2. 42% of all time spent in apps on smartphones is spent in the user’s most used app.

3. Multi-platform is trending up as PC-only trends down.

Split-mobile-desktop-retail

4. Mobile-only internet users now exceed desktop-only internet users.

Single Platform Users' Share of Total Digital Population

5. While personal computers control the work day, tablets are the most popular device for evening entertainment.

6. Facebook is the world’s leading app in terms of unique visitors.

7. Mobile eCommerce is growing exponentially next to PC.

8. Almost a third of total page views in the UK are performed on mobile and tablet.

9. E-commerce is steadily moving to mobile.

10. Facebook has the highest median age of all social networks at 37.5.

Which of these statistics stood out to you the most?  Did any of the above points surprise you?

The Webs We Weave

dmm

“It has never been a more important time to know how consumers are behaving than in today’s fast evolving digital environment.” – Nielsen

The evolution of the World Wide Web has been a quick one, but consumers catch on quickly.  Marketers who strive to remain a step ahead of the game can achieve this success by way of true consumer understanding in the digital environment.

Nielsen discusses the many ways in which consumption habits have shifted in recent years.  For example, the increasingly prominent practice of second screen viewing adds dimension to overall program experiences by extending beyond the television screen into the hands of consumers.  Another notable trend is the frequency in which consumers visit social media sites.  Last year, almost half of users visited social networking websites every day.

Maintaining a working understanding of consumer behavior is the best way in which marketers can develop communications and effective campaigns that will truly resonate with the audience.

D-ID: Digital Identity

Corporate web design can make or break a brand’s reputation.  This user experience should be prioritized right alongside with a retail shopping or customer service experience.  Websites are major opportunities for brands to exceed a consumer’s expectations, which is why it is so hazardous for a brand’s site to struggle to merely meet them.

Several elements should be considered when building a corporate website.  According to Hubspot, informative content is the most important aspect of a corporate website.  Design and presentation follows by a small margin.

web-design-in-b2b-online-marketing

The website design process may be a lengthy one, but it is well worth the investment.  Research should be conducted just as in any other marketing communication, and considerations should be made to the user interfaces across platforms (i.e. mobile vs desktop).  Also, E-commerce features should be tested and secure, so as to provide a safe shopping experience.

A-Web-Site-Designed

With online purchases accounting for a greater portion of total sales year over year, brands are finding success in providing an exceptional virtual consumer experience.

The Value of the Smaller Segments

Today’s market is inevitably different than it was just a generation ago.  The buying power of minorities has skyrocketed, and businesses do well to recognize and act upon this insight.

Understanding minority groups such as Hispanics and African Americans and tailoring messages and delivery to these audiences is a step in the right direction toward securing brand loyalty.  For example, the knowledge that Hispanics are often early adopters of new digital media could help identify the best methods by which to reach them.

nielsen

When marketers generalize their message to reach the broadest possible audience, the communication is, to many, lost in translation.  Sometimes, this notion is quite literal. The Elaboration Likelihood Model, when applied to marketing, suggests that consumers process information in one of two ways: centrally or peripherally.  Central processing indicates that the consumer is actively engaged and it more likely to retain the information being presented.  Peripheral processors are less enduring, because they lack either the motivation or ability to fully grasp the communication.

elm_21645934

In the instance of non-English speaking Americans, or those to whom English is a second language, a generalized message may be processed peripherally because consumer is unable to understand the content.  Others in a particular minority group may be unmotivated to process the information because it was presented in a way that led them to believe it doesn’t apply to them.

Overlooking these minority groups and others could be detrimental to a company’s bottom line, especially as diversity in America continues to increase.