Autospeak-Straight Talk contains articles covering digital and social media marketing social communities and events marketing

Ho-Hum - Consumers Find Ecommerce 'Old School'

(Posted on Apr 8, 2014 at 03:34PM )
Picture Consumers are bored with the online shopping experience and want something new. But online and pick-up-in-store options are no longer a novelty for consumers. They want more.

Budgets are shifting to improve the experience of Web sites and ecommerce systems. Management and delivery tools continue to gain traction with brands, because many want to improve their customers' digital experience before the major year-end holidays. A Forrester Research study reveals that 45% will focus on content management, 26% on ecommerce platforms, 23% on digital asset management, and 21% on testing and optimization 21%. The study surveyed 148 digital customer experience professionals about their strategies for the next 12 to 24 months.

On-site search requires an even better experience than traditional engines like Bing, Google and Yahoo. If there's any doubt that consumers are fed up with the experience, the white paper, Your Site Experience Is Old School, from Compare Metrics tells all. It analyzes site navigation tools and online shopping experiences in an effort to explore how to double the average order size of Web purchases and highlight opportunities for retailers. The basis for the paper comes from a study done with the eTailing group earlier this year.

"Consumers prefer to browse vs. search," said Garrett Eastham, CEO of Compare Metrics, making the distinction of looking through the merchandise and action of discovery vs. the tactical act of typing in a keyword looking for something specific. "The more relevant the inventory the more likely consumers are to engage and make a purchase."

The white paper reveals that shoppers often go online for inspiration. They believe it's more efficient searching through the Web site than racks and shelves in the physical store. This gives them an opportunity to make a purchase as well as to find design ideas.

In fact, 67% of consumers go online to browse and window shop for fun. Some 90% of shoppers spend the majority of their time shopping online when they know exactly what they want. When it comes to discovery and navigation of Web sites, consumers gave the experience five out of 10 points.

Some 73% of consumers said Web site category filters eliminate products that consumers wanted to see. Shoppers are also becoming less tolerant with inefficiencies in on-site search. Some 4 out of 10 consumers don't trust it, and 64% said they would rather have simplicity in the search process.

The white paper suggests increasing the sites' "wow factor" by focusing on commerce-driven content, as compared with pure editorial content, available naturally on the site rather than outside, the shopper's chosen discovery path. Make it easier to find products. Some sites are two complicated, have too many options and load slowly. Most of all, don't limit products or only show best picks. This will alienate those with a different taste in product. Consumers will close the browser and go on to the next retailer with an easier ecommerce system.

By Laurie Sullivan, writer and editor for MediaPost

How to use #Hashtags to Increase Your Online Presence

(Posted on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:18AM )
If you have ever questioned yourself on how to utilize hashtags, This infographic by Quicksprout will give you some insight on the benefits of hashtags and different ways in which to use them.

4 Real-Time Engagement Strategies

(Posted on Apr 3, 2014 at 11:52AM )

This year’s Super Bowl was proof of the opportunities available to marketers to engage consumers during live events. In fact, during the Super Bowl, AT&T’s data usage almost doubled from 388 GB in 2013 to 624 GB this year, and Verizon reported an 800% surge. Consumers stay glued to their mobile phones at all times during real-time events, earning their position as a key place to grab and/or maintain attention through interactive mobile campaigns.

real time engagementWhile large, well-known events are the bright and shiny object of real-time event engagement opportunities, there are numerous other options available that can be just as effective at building quality relationships with consumers. Think: in-store promotions, restaurants, internal conferences and more. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these engagement tactics. Each company, its objectives, goals and audiences needs to be evaluated in order to ensure positive results.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when planning your next live-event or real-time engagement campaign.

1. Commit. This isn’t a one-time thing.

The success of real-time engagement is contingent upon it not being a one-time effort. Live events and other real-time experiences should serve as a jumping off point or part of an overall plan for year-round engagement and consumer interaction. If it’s a one-time activation, you risk losing the connection that you just put time, effort and—if its a landmark event—a lot of money into.

A brand that’s rocking real-time engagement at live events is the Country Music Association (CMA). In 2013, CMA Music Festival organizers, and its website, encouraged attendees to sign up for mobile alerts so they could get access to seat upgrades, stage change notifications, chances to win VIP experiences and priority seating in 2014. Festival marketers can use this text data to interact with attendees, see which bands/artists received the most interest, and update fans on plans for the upcoming festival this year to encourage repeat attendance.

2. Make it strategic.

Marketing strategies to engage consumers during real-time experiences need to align with your company’s overall business goals and objectives. While live events and real-time engagement can be fun ideas that make a “splash,” you need to make sure these strategies strategically align with your company’s plans for customer engagement and will provide positive results toward the big picture. So, if your aim is to drive traffic to your website, make sure the mobile call-to-action encourages site visits. If you’d like to increase your company’s social media following, then make sure the campaign or promotion lives on social media channels and encourages interaction on those channels.

After seeing a huge increase in mobile usage and interaction in 2013, Mellow Mushroom, an Atlanta-based pizza chain, wanted to create a way to engage with customers in-restaurant. In partnership with Coca-Cola, Mellow Mushroom created a “Spin the Coke Bottle” game to not only capitalize on the real-time interaction opportunity but to also drive sales. This campaign was an in-restaurant, mobile experience where guests scanned a tabletop QR code to interact with their tablemates via a series of playful conversation starters and trivia questions, centered on music. During the promotion period, guests also received a 10-character Mellow Mushroom code when they purchased a qualifying Coca-Cola product at the restaurant. Each code earned a sweepstakes entry toward a VIP trip to the 2013 American Music Awards and LiveNation Concert Cash.

3. Choose your social channels wisely.

A challenging task for real-time engagement can be deciding which social media channel to use for a campaign. Instagram and Twitter are often popular choices for live events because of their frequent-post culture and the ability to easily follow unique hashtags. When choosing a social media channel, brands need to ask themselves and do research into where their target audience is most active. If your target audience mostly uses Facebook, and you have a contest available only on Instagram, you risk reducing interaction opportunities because a consumer isn’t active on the channel you chose. With that in mind, this is why multi-channel capabilities are always a best bet for submission-based campaigns.

Ever order the five try-on glasses frames from Warby Parker? The primarily online retailer allows customers to select five frames to have mailed to their home to try on for free—knowing you can’t possibly choose one frame from a large selection of styles and colors. If you need a second opinion on which glasses to choose, you can reach out to the brand via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with pictures in the different glasses to receive quick advice on the pair you should go with. Warby Parker offers this service on a variety of social media channels to allow customers to interact where they prefer.

4. Don’t think of mobile as a single entity.

Smartphones have ensured that consumers have almost the same capabilities on their mobile devices as they have on their tablets and desktop computers, which is why all campaigns should aim to deliver consistent, cross-channel functionality. For real-time engagement, mobile functionality is necessary to enhance and accelerate the communications cycle for the consumer—making the conversation occur right then. A best practice is to make sure your programs have consistent capabilities and interaction opportunities through mobile apps, browsers and messaging to make it as easy as possible for customers to engage with your brand.

Live events and real-time engagement is an under-utilized tool for marketers. While brands can span across a variety of activation opportunities, there is a major opportunity for large and small brands alike to create a real-time, interactive experience for their customers. Take a look at your company’s goals, objectives and strategies for the year, and see where a real-time experience could increase the success of one, or more, of your tactics this year.

By Aron Clark

Aaron Clark is vice president of mobile sales and operations at HelloWorld (formerly ePrize).

Also Read "Real Time" Events Marketing

Social media can play a role in Business process management

(Posted on Apr 1, 2014 at 12:45PM )
Today, organizations need to be able to execute at the pace of global change. Those that adapt to trends before their competitors can create a defensible advantage. But firms may not be able to do this unless they have access

to real-time market data and can rapidly align their organizations to the new priorities. Too often, legacy processes prevent companies from having that agility.

Fortunately, social media offers firms a chance to strengthen the communications supporting process improvement. Leading organizations are already using the power of social media to shape their business process management, or BPM, agendas.

Although the use of social media in BPM may still be in its infancy, its potential for increasing the agility of business processes is immense.

Social tools can make the ‘’process of process management’’ much more nimble by delivering information about needed improvements.

If, for example, there is a quality issue in goods received, immediate online communication between customer and supplier can help the parties address the problem and improve the process.

Social media can also be an excellent tool for bridging the gap between external networking and internal integration.

 For example, an organization’s information technology department can use social media to communicate with the engineering division as it works on new products, often creating a tighter feedback loop between the two departments than existed previously.

Transparency has long been an ingredient of the success of process-driven organizations.

Social media can make transparency easier, gathering and disseminating the feedback that improves existing processes and creates new ones.

Companies can use community-building software or blogs to solicit input from stakeholders in order to gather information that can be used to improve internal- or external-facing processes.

This use of digital channels can become part of the process of process management.

Our research, published in last year’s “Value-Driven Business Process Management,” indicates that fewer than 20 percent of processes truly differentiate a company in the eyes of its customers.

Social BPM can identify and validate those processes that really make a difference.

Those that don’t should be candidates for standardization and automation.

Organizations that embrace social BPM will become more agile, improving their ability to deal with volatility and leaving competitors struggling to evolve.

(Mark Pearson is the managing director of the Operations consulting group at Accenture.)

Learn more

It's Time to Redirect Your Marketing Budget To Include Inbound Marketing

(Posted on Mar 31, 2014 at 04:17PM )

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu

With Q1 about to come to a close, it’s time for businesses to begin the process of analyzing quarterly results. This means diving into the numbers and evaluating how business is going. For many small business owners this can be a painful process particularly if business results are in the toilet and the sales pipeline has slowed to a trickle.

Are your revenues stuck in neutral or declining?

As the old Dylan song says, “The Times, They Are A-Changing’.” It’s no longer business as usual. The internet, Google and social media have rapidly shifted the playing field and for those companies that have been slow to It’s Time To Redirect Your Marketing Budget To Include Inbound Marketing image Revenues Declioningadjust to these new dynamics, it may seem like business has become difficult overnight.

While it is convenient to blame your business woes on macro-issues like the politicians in Washington, the poor economy or global climate change, it’s possible there may be a simpler and more painful reality.

Your marketing strategy really sucks!

Many businesses quite frankly are stuck in an outdated mode of thinking when it comes to marketing their businesses, using traditional marketing techniques suited to a bygone era.

Traditional marketing, or outbound marketing, is comfortable because it’s conventional, safe and has worked in the past. Included in these “legacy” tactics are:

  • Yellow Page Ads
  • Brochures and Flyers
  • Coupons
  • Door Knockers
  • Cold-Calling
  • Direct Mail
  • Radio
  • TV Spots
  • Telemarketing

Sure, it’s still possible to reach a great deal of potential customers with these “shotgun” methods aimed at any potential customer that can fog a mirror. However, chances AREN’T good that a random recipient of your marketing collateral is just sitting around waiting to purchase your product or service, particularly if they were not searching for it in the first place.

For many businesses, good money is being thrown at these strategies with little to no tangible results.

Buying Behavior Has Most Definitely Shifted

While traditional marketing methods have remained the same for many companies, buying behavior has changed drastically over the last decade. Cold-calling is perceived as a rude intrusion, and direct mail is intercepted by gatekeepers and thrown away before it’s even opened.
It’s Time To Redirect Your Marketing Budget To Include Inbound Marketing image Buyers Have Changed
The most significant trend however, is the ability for buyers do their own research online prior to stepping foot in a showroom, or prior to scheduling an appointment with a sales person. The internet is the “great equalizer” that has tilted the sales process in the favor of the purchaser.

60% of the research and decision-making is done prior to you knowing that a prospect is in the market for your goods or services, and if your website is not optimized to
capitalize on this trend
, your business is in serious T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Inbound Marketing Allows You to Connect With Your Ideal Customers

In order to respond to this dynamic shift in behavioral patterns, inbound marketing has emerged as the new paradigm for savvy companies of all sizes to transact business in the digital age. Inbound marketing allows you to interact with businesses and consumers during the research and decision making process and capture the attention of your most coveted prospects along their journey from problem identification through purchase: their “Buyer’s Journey.”

By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business, nurtures them, helps turn them into customers and if executed flawlessly, keeps them coming back for more.

Some of the most important tools to attract your ideal customers to your site and show how much you care as businesses are:

Blogging- A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

Premium Content- Premium content development includes eBooks, white papers, slide shares, Infographics, videos, podcasts and webinars. These items provide quality information that educate, inform and guide your prospects through their journey.

Social Media Engagement- You must share remarkable content and valuable information on the social web. Social media engagement, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest have become the go-to methods of engaging with prospects. These tools allow you to put a human face on your brand. It is necessary to interact with your prospects where they hang out online.

Keywords- Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. To make sure you are appearing prominently when they search, you need to carefully and analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

Pages- You must optimize your website to appeal to and speak with your ideal buyers. Transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

It’s Time to Redirect the Marketing Budget

Talk to any small business owner and they will tell you that this shift in consumer behavior is easily recognizable. Just go to a restaurant or coffee shop and take a look at the people glued to their mobile phones, laptops It’s Time To Redirect Your Marketing Budget To Include Inbound Marketing image ItsTimeStackK on 123 Mand tablets. Intuitively we know that things are different than they were even just a few short years ago, and for all but those few with their heads in the sand, this radical shift is evident.

Understanding this trend is the easy part, but knowing what to do about it is an entirely different matter. It’s a tall order for many business owners to shift away from marketing tactics that have provided great results in the past, and moving towards this unknown world. However, for those that wish to survive and thrive in the coming years, this move is necessary.

It’s time! In the midst of THIS quarterly review, DIVE into the numbers and look at where the majority of your marketing dollars are flowing.

An inbound marketing budget, particularly for B2B businesses will contain line items such as:

  • Collateral development and production
  • Content development specialists
  • Email programs
  • E-newsletters
  • Graphic artists
  • Market research
  • Marketing software
  • Metrics/data analysts
  • Mobile marketing specialists
  • PPC
  • Printing
  • PR specialists
  • SEO/keyword research
  • Social media specialists
  • Special events
  • Sponsorship
  • Website development/re-engineering

If your budget contains none of these items, and you are still throwing the majority of your money at trade shows, advertisements, entertainment and dining and a whole host of offline other marketing tactics, you have some work to do.


Because right now, your ideal clients have a problem that your business is ideally positioned to help them with. While you are reading this article, they are searching online this second to understand their problem, and they are looking for “great” companies to do business with.

The question remains.

Are They Going To Find You? It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work! What’s in your budget?

By David Cuevas

Non Hispanic Whites to Drop Below 60% of the Population by 2019

(Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:16PM )
The US population (excluding Puerto Rico) is becoming increasingly multicultural, and more than 40% of the population will belong to one of the 3 major ethnic groups by 2019, according to a recent report [pdf] from Geoscape. This year, non-Hispanic whites are estimated to account for 62.1% of the US population, down from 75.8% in 1990. By 2019, that figure will be down to 59.5%, as Americans of Hispanic and Asian origin will grow to represent about one-quarter of the population.

AdvertisementThat’s a drastic change from 1990, when these groups combined to account for 11.6% of the population. Between 1990 and this year, the share of Americans of Hispanic origin has doubled from 8.8% to 17.7%, while for non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islanders, their population shares are up from 2.8% to 5.1%.

Based on these trends, Geoscape projects that the non-Hispanic white population will drop to a minority by 2040. In late 2012, the Census Bureau forecast that the US will become a majority-minority nation in 2043.

It’s no surprise, of course, that minority groups are growing at rapid rates, but the extent to which these groups are contributing to America’s population growth are noteworthy. Between 2010 and this year, Geoscape estimates that Hispanics (60.3%), Asians (14.5%) and Blacks (12.7%) will have combined for 87.6% of the country’s population growth. Between 2014 and 2019, they’ll comprise 88.9% of population growth.

How does that work out in absolute numbers? The study forecasts that there will be an additional 1.7 million Hispanic Americans per year between 2014 and 2019, along with about half-a-million more African American and non-Hispanic Blacks and roughly 580,000 more non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islanders.

In sum, among the projected 334.1 million Americans in 2019:

  • 198.9 million will be non-Hispanic white;
  • 64.8 million will be Hispanic;
  • 41.5 million will be Black; and
  • 19.3 million will be Asian and Pacific Islanders.
Of course, these minority groups have various characteristics, and can broken up into sub-cultures across different variables, including language.

Among Hispanics, for instance, Geoscape says that:

  • 22% are English-Dependent;
  • 31% are Bi-Lingual English Preferred;
  • 14% are Bi-Lingual;
  • 19% are Bi-Lingual Spanish Preferred; and
  • 14% are Spanish-Dependent.
In terms of acculturation, some 16.8% are English dominant, born in the US, 3rd+ generation with few Hispanic cultural practices, while 13.1% are Spanish-dominant recent immigrants (less than 10 years ago) who have primarily Hispanic cultural practices and identify with their home country more than the US.

Asians, by comparison, tend to be more “Westernized.” Some 38.3% are English-dominant, born in the US, 3rd+ generation with few Asian cultural practices, compared to 13.3% on the other end of the spectrum, who speak nearly no English, recently immigrated as adults, and primarily engage in Asian cultural practices.

Though they hail from a diverse array of countries, Asians are most likely to be of Chinese and Taiwanese (24%) origin, with Indian (19%) and Filipinos (18%) the next-largest representation.

By MarketingCharts staff

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America's New Baby Boomers

A Market Not to be Ignored

Revenue Opportunities Marketers Can't Afford to Miss

(Posted on Mar 24, 2014 at 01:18PM )

As competition intensifies, coming in all new shapes and sizes, global e-commerce organizations face challenges in differentiating their offerings with key audiences. To succeed, marketers cannot afford to miss opportunities to improve the effectiveness, reach, and return of their marketing and sales programs.  Yet, a recent survey we conducted with 160 global retailers found the majority are missing out on significant opportunities to use tools that already exist in their arsenal to improve theROI of marketing campaigns.

According to the survey, online retailers are prioritizing their e-commerce platform, site search, and SEO, as well as mobile and customer-focused analytics. Still, nearly 60% admitted to not using site search reports and information to enhance marketing programs, and only 25% say they integrate site search data into email marketing campaigns to better customize offers for customers—implying there is still a great deal of value organizations can pursue, from integrating site search information to integrating their marketing campaigns.

Interestingly, half of the survey respondents said they are not doing more with site search to enhance marketing and sales programs due to limited resources, while nearly 30% say they just aren't sure how to do it and 10% note that their existing site search solution does not allow for integration with marketing programs.

Savvy online retailers reap rich benefits from site search

Every retailer knows site search is a must-have element of any online business—yet it's clear they're not taking full advantage of the rich benefits site search can provide to marketing and sales strategies.  With the right approach, online retail marketers can glean valuable insights into visitor habits and buying behavior to help them deliver a richer user experience—which, in turn, can encourage a purchase.

Take, for example, gourmet candy maker Jelly Belly, which uses site search data to ensure that the appropriate top-searched keywords are incorporated into press releases, advertising, and marketing materials. Jelly Belly also uses site search merchandising capabilities to tune results and create landing pages for customized product groupings.

For a previous Cinco de Mayo promotion, Jelly Belly grouped various beans together to create “recipes” for tres leches cake and Mexican hot chocolate. The company then used the URLs of those dedicated landing pages for display advertising, retargeting, and email campaigns. Jelly Belly also dropped a banner tool onto the page to tie the promotional assets from the email or banner ad to the landing page. The result was an 85% increase in open rates for direct mail campaigns.

Site search improves decision making

You don't have to be a master at harnessing a large amount of data in order to make the important information work for you. Data gleaned from site search can be incredibly helpful in the decision making process.

According to our poll, half of retailers currently use site search data and analytics to enhance their business offerings or processes, while 28% use site search data to make smarter decisions related to inventory selection, 26% use site search data to enhance customer service, and 18% use it to augment predictive analytics practices.

The majority of retailers say they have not implemented site search features such as auto-complete with graphics (55%), mouse-over pop-ups (59%), personalized search history (64%), refinements (43%), or a floating search bar (80%). Most merely rely on site search features they have already, such as auto-complete (62%) and refinements (43%) to do the job—a significant miss for these retailers.

The good news is, nearly half (47%) of retailers plan to change their ways, and will work to incorporate more features, functionality, and data gleaned from site search to enhance marketing programs throughout 2014. As they do, there will be more effective ways to propagate information to their consumers, suppliers, and alliance partners that will lead to better online shopping experiences, brand-building opportunities, and revenue generation.

Tim Callan is the CMO of SLI Systems.

How Social Media Helps Events Marketing

(Posted on Mar 20, 2014 at 01:17PM )
Picture After making the necessary preparations for a small business event, you have to come up with a marketing plan to ensure its success. Whether you plan to hold a garage sale, open house, or night out, try to add these social media strategies to promote and boost attendance for the event.

Before the Event

1. Engage with the audience through social media.

Draw in the audience from the outset by allowing them to propose what will take place at the event. For instance, run a competition on different social networking sites and let the audience decide on the venue or choose the keynote speaker, or suggest details about the venue.

2. Show the event details in visible social media channels and well ahead of the event.

Use social media to build momentum and excitement, especially if your event has a prominent keynote speaker or special guests. To do this, use Facebook and Pinterest to create your event page. If it is a business gathering, add a LinkedIn page.

If the event features a guest or speaker, add photos and links where he or she has already presented. Ask the speaker how he or she wants to be introduced. Then share it on your social media channels. It creates an appealing profile for your guest.

3. Add a countdown timer on your company website and share it on social media.

Once the countdown timer reaches a specific point in time, provide engaging updates and share progress during preparations about the distinctive aspects of the event. Provide more and more updates as the time for the event draws nearer.

4. Use a QR code and hashtag for your event marketing campaign.

QR codes and hashtags are helpful to promote events on different online and offline channels such as posters and invitation cards.

5. Create blog posts, an eBook, or a webinar.

Among the popular trends in marketing is to create a blog post, an eBook, a webinar, or to provide any type of downloadable material that provide a glimpse of the event.

For example, you can start an event marketing campaign with blog posts, a dedicated webpage, and a webinar. Each one of these items has to feature an important aspect about the topic to urge users to purchase or grab tickets for the event. You can ask the keynote speaker to be interviewed for a guest blog post or to write one.

6. Let your attendees register online through the company website or a social networking account.

The best way to lure potential attendees to your event is to offer a convenient method to register for it. If the event requires a reservation, use an online registration form such as Planetreg or Evite.

During the Event

Marketing content from events is outstanding, making it crucial to capture everything. You can use the ideas to document all the happenings during the event.

1. Hold a contest for users to submit their content.

Encourage attendees to be participants by asking them to submit photos or video clips of their favorite parts of the event. Feature this content in your social media channels as the event happens.

2. Allow attendees to take pictures with a professional photographer in a photo booth.

Apart from the fun it brings, it is another chance for you to get guest information and stay engaged with the participants.

3. Talk to guests at various times during the event.

Programs such as Ustream allow you to share live interviews. You can ask guests about their expectations before the event or impressions after the event.

Use social media to come up with prize opportunities, such as when guests share their praises about the event. Reward these people with prizes. Then create custom content using guests’ social media updates, and share it on your social media accounts or stream live content at the event using platforms such as Tweetwally.

After the Event

You still can gain awareness about the business and get sales even after the event. There are opportunities to add post-event promotions to your event marketing plan.

1. Share a detailed photo album of the event on social media.

Take pictures, identify the people in the picture, create a compelling caption, and add links to your business website whenever applicable and appropriate. Never miss opportunities like this. You can also ask guests to submit their own photos.

2. Share the highlights of the event through a podcast.  

Ask the special guest or keynote speaker for a podcast interview and do a recap of the highlights of the event.

3. Write a feature story about the event in the company newsletter.

Contrary to most people’s belief, a newsletter still is an important marketing medium for small- and medium-sized businesses. You can share the newsletter across your social media channels.

4. Set up a post-event email drive.

For those who failed to attend the event, add a sales offer that includes links to the photo albums, the podcast, and the newsletter.

By Francis Rey Balolong

Also Read  "RealTime" Events Markting

Ground Zero Could be the Key to the Future of Marketing

(Posted on Mar 18, 2014 at 04:10PM )
Technology has shaped the way we market as a whole and the rapid advancement of technology is providing us with increasingly newer ways of collecting information and getting your message out consistently and effectively.

Knowing what is best for you can often be a difficult decision to make. One clear low cost way is to utilize data that already exists in your company database and an onsite community where you can collect additional data to help you maintain a clearer picture of what your existing customers want and need as individuals and project a customer centric image to potential customers
An onsite community acts as a core social tool that can be combined and used to enhance all your marketing initiatives.  Communities act as a stable platform on your site that you control on which you can build solid marketing initiatives regardless of what is trending on social channels and will act as a magnet for organic search to draw more people to your site.

From mobile marketing to social media to organic SEO your website should be ground zero from which all your marketing emanates.

This infographic created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Masters in Business Administration program shows you more about how technology is impacting how we market.

Click to enlarge


NJIT New Jersey Institute of Technology – Online MBA

User Generated Content Preferred Over TV By Millennials

(Posted on Mar 17, 2014 at 03:50PM )

According to Crowdtap, partnered with Ipsos Media surveying 839 millennial men and women online, millennials reported spending roughly 18 hours of their day engaged with media, often viewing multiple devices simultaneously. Whether it’s called peer-created content, consumer content or user generated content (UGC), the research found that millennials spend 30% of their media consumption time with content that is created by their peers.

This exceeds television consumption and is rivaled only by the time spent with all traditional media types (TV, print, radio), a combined 33%. Millennials are also committed to engaging with social media on a daily basis above all other media types.

Millennials spend more time with User Generated Content than with TV

Share of Daily Media (All Media Types;17.8 hours)

% of Time Spent



Browse the internet / go online


Watch TV (live)


Watch TV (pre-recorded)


Play computer or video games


Go to the movies


Listen to the radio


Read print magazines / newspapers


Share of Daily Media Time (UGC; 5.4 hours)

% of Time Spent



Social networking & content (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn)


Use e-mail, text, chat, texting apps


Talk with others about news / products /brands

Source: Ipsos MediaCT/Crowdtap Jan 2014

Millennials prioritize social networking above other media:

Daily Use of Media Types

Peer Generated



Use Daily

Social Networking (eg. FB, LinkedIn, Inst...)


E-mail, text, chat, texting apps


Talk about products/brands


Watch video clips (eg. YouTube)


Read peer reviews (eg. epinions)


Blog online, post to bulletin boards, etc.



Other Media


Watch TV (live)


Listen to Radio (broadcast/streaming)


Retrieve news, weather, scores


Watch TV (pre-recorded)


Visit news media sites


Read blogs, bulletin boards, etc.


Read print magazines or newspapers


Get product info/buy from a company


Read professional reviews (CNET, etc.)


Banner ad


Source: Ipsos MediaCT/Crowdtap Jan 2014

Given millennials’ advertising savvy and skepticism around media, it is important to deliver a message through trusted sources, says the report. Millennials report that information they receive through UGC is highly trustworthy and trusted 40% more than information they get from traditional media sources (TV, print & radio), including newspapers and magazines.

Specifically, conversations with friends and family are the most trusted UGC format, followed by peer reviews. Conversations with friends and family are trusted 2:1 over TV and radio and almost 4:1 over banner ads. Brands looking for consumers to trust their marketing can no longer rely on tradi­tional media to communicate their messages to consumers. In today’s landscape, it’s peer-created content, or “consumer to consumer marketing,” that drives trust.

The correlation between trust and influence is revealed in the 2013 Annual Edelman Trust Barometer Study, says the report, which finds that trust leads to influence. The more trusted the source of a message, the more likely it will have a positive impact.

Media Trustworthiness (UGC 59%)


% Most Trusted

Product/brand conversations with friends/family


Peer reviews (e.g., epinions)


E-mail, text, chat with friends/family


Social networking & content (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn)


Blogs, bulletin boards, forums, etc.



Other media 39%


Professional/industry reviews (CNET, etc.)


Product info/buy products from a co. website


Print magazines or newspapers


Online magazines or newspapers






At the movies


Banner ads


Source: Ipsos MediaCT/Crowdtap Jan 2014

With 18 hours of media consumption a day, across multiple screens, with channel flipping, tabbing and page turning, it’s a wonder anything stands out and makes a lasting impression, notes the report. Marketers rely on creative to break through the clutter, but often it’s a combination of creative and the right delivery channel. For millennials, user generated content is more memorable than non-user gener­ated content, with peer-created content, including conversations with friends/family and peer reviews standing out the most.

Percent Finding Media Type Memorable

UCG  50%


Media Type

% Finding Memorable

Professional/industry reviews (CNET, etc.)




Product info/buy products from a co. website


Print magazines or newspapers


At the movies




Online magazines or newspapers


Banner ads



Other Media 37%


Product/brand conversations with friends/family


Peer reviews (eg., epinions)


Social networking & content (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn)


E-mail, text, chat with friends/family


Blogs, bulletin boards, forums, etc.


Source: Ipsos MediaCT/Crowdtap Jan 2014

UGC uniquely provides marketers greater access to millennials’ time, a trusted channel to deliver brand messages and a memorable experience. The combination to deliver all three makes UGC more influential on millennials’ product choices and purchase decisions than traditional media.

Percent of millennials who say media type has influence on purchase decision:

  • User Generated Content   53%
  • Traditional Media   44%
  • Banner Ads   23%

Concluding, the report says that professional influencers have the reach and resources to create and share quality content. Consumer influencers have personal relationships that enable their recommendations to carry weight. Together, this combination can drive both reach and powerful influence. As brands continue to aggregate types of influencers and refine their strengths, these programs will likely become a fundamental component of most marketing strategies.

By Jack Loechner,
Center for media Research