Happy new year everybody! Being as it’s Friday you should all have shaken off your hangovers and ‘back to work blues’, and are once again productive members of your teams driving sales and growth, and performing invaluable work for your employers. 2014 will be your most productive year yet! No pressure. If you can focus through your imminent departure from your desk to drink your local dry, have a look at some of the cooler posts from this baby year.
Rand (@randfish) hits us with his expectations for this year in digital marketing, and breaks down his performance from his own predictions a year ago. Some of his thoughts on this coming year are quite radical. For example, did anyone see Pinterest overtaking Twitter as a source of referral traffic by year’s end? Even if current trends continue, there is no telling how the digital landscape might change in 12 months. If Pinterest does indeed become recognised and a sharing powerhouse, one might expect it to either get bought by someone else, or for it to file for an IPO and become beholden to shareholders who might have a heavy hand in it’s daily business, as we have seen in Facebook’s clumsy attempts to monetize it’s userbase. Other predictions include:
– “Content Marketing” will outpace SEO and “Social Media Marketing” on people’s CVs.
– Google will experiment with SERPs entirely lacking in organic listings, as they push paid results and direct/instant answers.
– Twitter will look into Facebook-style profiles for it’s corporate customers and power users to give them more control over their Twitter output.
Although not news for most of us, this is a well written summation of how retargeting works and why it works. It also makes the valuable point: when retargeting doesn’t work (and can’t be expected to), such as redundant retargeting after the purchase or if the user was put off by something unrelated, such as deceptive shipping costs or a badly coded/buggy website. Even worse, clumsily implemented retargeting can be actively irritating for the customer and propagate distaste for the brand. Smart retargeting can be one of the most powerful tools available to you and can multiply your conversion rate significantly.
– At the most basic level, retargeting will remind a customer of “their former desire to purchase”.
– As maybe 2% of visitors to a website will convert on their first visit, there are significant sales gains to be made.
– However, bad retargeting can be worse that useless, and there has been some visibly discontented tweets remarking that retargeting is invasive and bothersome.
Lead generation is critical for almost all online businesses, especially in the early days when you’re still running out of your folks’ garage. Some great companies with great ideas stumble at the first hurdle for lack of effective marketing; you might have the best dogecoin miners/internet kettles/etc on the market but if no one knows, no one will buy them and you’re SOL. With the revolution of internet business, customers online who are just trying to get on with their day are struck with a biblical flood of no-target advertising, usually in buggy flash banners that causes their desired webpage load slower and makes them grumpy. This article is all about the smarter ways of generating buzz, which generates leads.
– Engagement: a positive and two-way relationship with a customer yields it’s own rewards; not only do you have a sale, but that customer will talk and do your marketing for you.
– Make sure that the rest of your UX is up to the task. There’s not a lot of point in putting together a killer retargeting campaign that attracts thousands of leads if they all bounce because your website looks like it was coded by a middle school IT student in Notepad.
– Efficient tracking of metrics and numbers is critical; if an avenue isn’t producing leads, it needs to be discontinued.
Sometimes you have to look backwards to see the way forwards. A fairly meaningless statement in isolation but in this particular case it certainly does make a solid point. Here we all thought we were pioneers! Over one hundred years ago, Michelin realised that no matter how solid their product, with so few cars on the road, there was an upper limit on how much money they could make on tyres. So they put together a guide to encourage people to use their cars, and if they didn’t have cars, to buy a car so they could go visit! And with that, the Michelin Guide was born, and persists to this day as an authority on road-borne sightseeing. Did you know that on the first print run, there were over ten times more Michelin Guides produced than there were cars in France?
– Effective identification of the customer base and of a problem that would otherwise have remained beyond their control.
– Expanded into other countries, and in doing so carried the Michelin brand into new markets.
– Useful content is generally the best content. The Michelin brothers didn’t Powerpoint or infographics or promoted tweets (for various reasons), they saw a solution to a problem. There probably wasn’t a lot of debate as to whether they should output this guide as a book, a travelling show or by notes carried on pigeons.