What makes a great leader, how to empower your employees to achieve greatness.

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, career, Marketing

We know that great leadership steers the business into the right path to success and eventual success. Some good number of start-up business have crashed along the way because of poor leadership, but on the other hand, successful big brands have enjoyed some great leadership that effectively managed people and resources. To become a good leader is more difficult than certain literature portrays. Sometimes, people still fail to become great leaders even after several years of study as a leader. This raises the question of what makes a leader?

Some say it takes years of concentrated study, while others believe great leaders are born, possessing the inherent gift of leadership. Well, we know it can’t be all study that makes for good leadership. There are certain traits that good leaders are said to possess. A more significant question here is whether all those traits that distinguish leaders from other people are genetically inherited or cultivated through experience and hard work?

 

Are leaders born or they become leaders in the process?

Recent studies indicate that only 30% of what makes a good leader depends on genetics, while the rest depends on skills which can be learned and improved through training and experience. Furthermore, according to Andersen’s observations, there is a 10–15% of the population that does not have what it takes to become leaders, no matter how hard they try and how well they train themselves. The remaining 85–90% can improve their leadership skills and become good leaders.

Marshall Goldsmith and Howard Morgan conducted research, in which 88,000 managers who attended a leadership development training were carefully observed. The findings of the study suggested that those managers who reflected on their experience in the training program and tried to implement what they learned, became more effective leaders.

Therefore, leadership is not only a matter of good genes, but it also requires a significant amount of training and hard work for potential leaders to exploit their full potential. Let us explore those characteristics a leader should have in order to be considered successful.

 

Traits and attributes of a good leader

 

1. Integrity. This can be described as the cornerstone of leadership. Leaders who possess integrity treat their followers with honesty and justice, by following up on their promises and not making discriminations in their judgments. They are consistent with their core values, demonstrating them through their everyday actions. They also possess a strong ethical code, which helps them distinguish right from wrong on a moral perspective.

2. Humility. This is a character that makes leaders open-minded to reflect on their mistakes and learn from others in order to improve. Good leaders put their egos aside to admit their flaws and work on them. To achieve that, they should seek feedback from their followers and fellow leaders.

3. Empathy. This makes a leader understand what his followers are experiencing and share their feelings and emotions, especially when bad news is concerned. However, just being able to understand how someone is feeling may not be enough. Good leaders should act compassionately to try to comfort their followers and reduce the pain they might be experiencing. Taking time to listen to their fears and concerns is a good step towards that direction.

4. Passion. This relates to a person’s drives, motivating him to exert the necessary effort to be successful in his field. Without passion, a leader will not only fail to perform under the expected personal standards, but he will also fail to contribute to his team’s goals. How can a leader persuade his followers about a vision if he does not feel passionate about it in the first place?

5. Good judgment. Leaders should assess different situations and decide the best course of action, while being under constant pressure and sometimes having to face tough decisions, especially in periods of crisis. It is crucial to be able to control their emotions and not let them interfere in the decision-making process. As far as decisions are concerned, stereotypes may be a dangerous trap, clouding the leader’s judgment and therefore need to be dealt with. Good judgment is often the difference between success and failure for a company.

6. Exceptional communication skills. This will help leaders build connections with their followers. Given that we spend around 80% of our workday involved in some form of communication, it would not make sense if we did not try to achieve the best outcomes from this. To do so, we need to start listening carefully to what other people are saying and try to open a productive dialogue with them.

 

Leaders should lead by example. As role models for other people, leaders should jump into action, understand what is expected of them and live up to those expectations. Through this, not only will they inspire other people to participate actively in the process, but they will also show them the way to be successful. In other words, a good leader his employees to achieve greatness.

 

Empowering your Employees to achieve greatness

Here are ten ways a good leader empowers his employees to reach their full potentials.

1. Give employees generous boundaries. Define the boundaries within which an employee can make his or her own decisions. In doing so, you give them the freedom to act. For example, if you allow a customer service rep to spend up to 20% of a customer’s annual fees on keeping that customer happy, you enable the rep to solve a problem without consulting a manager.

2. Listen intently. Too many managers try to get employees to say what they want to hear. “Tell me we will hit our sales target.” This is nonsense. It is far wiser to listen carefully for the truth.

3. Believe in your employees. The best managers get outstanding performance from ordinary human beings. If you wait for a team of superstars, you will be waiting forever. Discover what each person does best. Find better ways for people to support each other. Bring people together to promote and encourage each other. Then believe 100% in these partnerships and collaborations.

4. Forgive mistakes. If your team isn’t making mistakes, then you aren’t reaching high enough. But if you punish mistakes, you will encourage overly-conservative behaviour. Establish clear differences between acceptable errors versus mission-critical offences. Example: It is OK to test a new advertising method and discover it does not work; it is never OK to engage in false or deceptive advertising.

5. Provide growth paths. People change. If you don’t give people room to grow, you will force them to either leave your business or grow stagnant. Even if it is inconvenient for you or your business, you must provide robust ways for your employees to grow.

6. Praise effort. Don’t focus on talent; focus on effort. Over the long run, the effort is far more important than talent. Also, by praising effort, you will encourage people to learn and grow, rather than just to stay focused on the one or two things that come easily to them.

7. Ask powerful questions. Instead of making rash demands or constantly telling employees how to do something, try talking less and observing more. Then, when you start actually to understand what’s happening, express your observation in the form of a powerful question. Remember this question, and wait as long as necessary for the right answer.

8. Earn trust. It’s easy to be there for an employee in good times, but will you be there in bad times? Too many companies annihilate their employees in tough times. Layoffs are not OK. Cutting the bottom 10% of your workforce each year is a barbaric practice. Never hire a person unless you are willing to support that person through thick and thin.

9. Give employees time. You can’t always give each employee as much money as they would like, but you generally can provide them with time. This includes time to learn, time to experiment, and time to manage their personal affairs. Time produces better results.

10. Set your own ego aside. Too many bosses want to be the smartest person in the room, but if this is always true, you have utterly failed as a leader and manager. Avoid pontification and bluster. Talk less and listen more.

You will see that to be a good leadership requires a lot of sacrifices. You can’t be a successful leader if your impact is not felt on the workforce (followers). Check for the traits you already have for good leadership, improve on them. Then, acquire more leadership traits and take leadership courses to be a better leader. And in the end when success eventually comes, celebrate your team members, not yourself.

Why you need Outbound for Inbound Marketing!

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Marketing, UX

Years have taken its toll on outbound marketing. It is now seen as expensive and time-consuming, where it once was trendy. But whatever is said of outbound marketing, there is still real value in it when done correctly. In fact, you can develop a sort of symbiotic relationship between inbound and outbound marketing tactics in order to create an even stronger overall marketing strategy.

 

What is Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is when you attract an audience to you. For example, you create great content on your website, and you end up getting visitors from social media, Google etc.

With outbound marketing instead of waiting you reach out. You identify a group of relevant websites/contacts and reach out to them to promote your product, service, content etc.

 

Which is preferable?

Inbound and Outbound need each other to produce results. Inbound marketing is fantastic for building a brand presence and awareness amongst your audience. However, there are drawbacks with Inbound. Just because you have brought an audience to your site and got them engaging with your content, does not mean that they are going to convert any time soon (or ever). Brand awareness and building a presence online takes time — and without those immediate conversions and results, smaller companies and startups may struggle to keep investing in Inbound strategies.

Inbound is excellent for the long haul, but client acquisition (especially acquiring the RIGHT kind of client) takes time. Outbound in the earlier stages can help fund your inbound investment and help you through the less financially stable stages of a startup. Or indeed, if you are more established, outbound helps you leverage sales from Inbound leads or Inbound audiences. What Outbound can do is work to leverage your Inbound efforts actually to make a sale.

Here are four key areas that Outbound can support your Inbound strategies.

 

1. Outbound Helps with Prospect Profiling

Prospect profiling is key for both Inbound and Outbound approach — to make a sale you need to have an understanding of who you are selling to. While Inbound can generate content to attract certain groups of people interested in specific areas to your site, Outbound allows you to reach out directly to those people with a message tailored to them. Because you can see how prospects engage with your offering first hand when you are fielding responses from an Outbound campaign, these strategies also enable you to paint a clearer picture of your target persona, which in turn allows you to create more specific and tailored content to draw the RIGHT kind of people onto your site.

 

2. Outbound Helps Leverage Your Content

One of the most fundamental reasons for Inbound not working is the fact that marketers and copywriters forget what the end goal is — making sales. While educational and inspirational content might draw people to your site, persuading and convincing your audience are the keys to seeing any ROI. The means of distributing content in the Inbound way, principally through social media networks, has also fundamentally changed. Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have changed their algorithms and are no longer as accommodating to links as they once were. In order to be profitable, how we think about content distribution has to change. Using outbound email campaigns to circulate content, or indeed display retargeting on particularly product-based content, can help not only distribute content in a greatly saturated marketplace but also see conversions from your content.

 

3. Outbound Helps Convert Visitors on Your Website

Display advertising, a digital outbound technique, has a notoriously low ROI. The average clickthrough rate of display ads across all formats and placements is just 0.06%. What is worse, there are now 198 million active ad block users around the world. Display advertising and retargeting can also be frustrating — with 33% of internet users find display ads utterly intolerable.

By identifying content and landing pages which indicate a higher degree of interest in your service, you can ensure your banner ads are being served to visitors who have signalled intent. What it means is that you are not wasting budget on people who just fall under your demographic industry and geographic criteria but will focus instead on people who already have an interest in solving a particular problem.

 

4. Outbound Techniques Can Grow Your Web Presence and Online Reach

Another way around content saturation and the competition on social media is to leverage other people’s reach to increase your own. Influencer marketing is a way of cutting through the competition. Referrals speak louder than any paid campaign. Sourcing influencers is where Outbound methodology comes in. Reaching out via email and social messaging and communicating your offering will grow your network and provide a potential channel for content distribution.

Influencers can also provide guest writing posts and quotes for your articles — which increases your reach when they share on their networks and means a higher number of visitors on your site. Writing guest posts for other publishers or company websites is another way of increasing your brand awareness and reach.

While effectively an Inbound strategy as it is content-based, getting featured on a website involves reaching out to publishers and partner companies and building a relationship. Again, email is an invaluable tool here and creates possibilities where other channels can’t.

These 5 steps will simplify measuring your social media ROI.

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Canberra, Marketing, Social Media

It is important to get clear metrics on your social media return on investment (ROI). Don’t let people fool you into believing that social media is optional and not measurable. Social media gives you the largest audience you desire and should be a key component of your business strategy. You have to measure the effect of ROI after adoption to confirm that your marketing efforts are working.

Brands that don’t measure ROI do so because they find it difficult keeping up with changes in algorithms and implementing the new tools that hit the marketplace.

These 5 steps will simplify measuring your social media ROI.

1. Set Social Media Goals. ROI can be measured in a variety of ways: through customer acquisition, lead generation, clicks, revenue, contest entries, etc. It all depends on your goals. Before you can track and measure your ROI, you need to determine your goals, so you know which factors you ’re, and what success looks like. Reach, traffic, leads, customers and conversion rate are the metrics Pamela Vaughan on HubSpot suggests you consider determining social media marketing success.

2. Determine the Right Platforms. Your social media goals and resulting strategies must align with your platforms. Some fan bases are primarily on Twitter, others on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Find where your audience spends their time so you can position your plan to be successful. For your campaign to be meaningful and measurable, the big picture must be broken down into smaller goals. Again, these goals differ based on your overarching KPIs. For businesses looking to map revenue to social media, your social media goals might be product purchases, customer signups or free trials. For companies wanting to track brand awareness, social media goals might be brand mentions, followers or impressions.

3. Set up Google Analytics to track conversions. Knowing the right tool to use is essential in measuring social media ROI. Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to set up trackable goals and monitor how often visitors complete the actions you define. Your ability to retain and convert your audience depends on how informed you are about their behaviour on your site.

4. Report Findings and assign values to KPI. Reporting your findings is crucial to the social media ROI process. It should be done correctly and consistently. You can choose to do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or all of the above. Once you have selected your goals and set up your tracking, tackle the monetary value of these goals next. There are several different methods to choose from:

• Lifetime value: How much do you earn from each customer on average?

• Lifetime value multiplied by conversion rate: How much is each possible visit worth to you based on the percentage that converts?

• Average sale: How much is the average purchase through your site?

• PPC valuation: How much would you end up paying if you were to use ads to achieve the same social media results?

Zoomcar, the largest car rental company in India, is an example that helps to illustrate the value of assigning dollar values to KPIs. The company uses social marketing to drive mobile app installs, where users can make a purchase (its key conversion metric). Zoomcar knows that its lifetime value of a customer is $70 and that 40% of its mobile app users make a purchase. Therefore, it knows a mobile app download is worth $28 and can strategise accordingly.

5. Benchmark against your competitors. Benchmarking is a good practice to keep your firm in the marketplace. Compare your social media efforts to your competitors, and you can uncover areas of opportunity for your organisation to stand out and be heard through the noise. Learn what platforms are most successful in reaching your targeted audience. Learn how many posts competitors are publishing per day so you can see what works.

Are we really giving our lives over to Google and Facebook?

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Digital Design, Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Facebook could be dying right now, but it isn’t, though its usage among younger people has been declining for years, in the face of competition from upstart rivals such as Snapchat, internal disruption from Facebook-owned Instagram, and a general sense that Facebook is full of old people and parents.

But the backlash isn’t a generational thing any more. We’re all losing control of our data, both online and off, and we’re starting to kick back.

Not only is the sprouting #deletefacebookmovement picking up steam (although it will take a few weeks before hard numbers are available about how many have followed through on their words), but people are also beginning to look up, as if from a daydream, to ask: how exactly did we end up in this situation? Why did we give up our privacy so willingly? And how can we get it back?

The 50m profiles harvested from Facebook by a Cambridge Analytic partner under the guise of research are a vast data store, but they pale in comparison with the amount of information the company holds on its users. At the same time that Facebook turned off the spigot that had been used to pump industrial quantities of data of its platform, the company opened up the second set of floodgates: the Facebook Audience Network, which allows third parties to track, profile and advertise to Facebook users wherever they find them on the internet. Do you think someone is stalking you? Think Facebook.

Facebook isn’t a social network. It’s barely even an advertising company. It’s a data analytics firm, which manages to use its position as the middleman for a vast proportion of all human communication to find out everything there is to know about its users, and the users keep growing. A babe born into the world today gets a phone tomorrow, and it is a ‘Hi, Facebook, I’m all yours to spy on, though I’ve got no much secrets yet.’

If you think you’re a passive user of Facebook, minimising the data you provide to the site or refraining from oversharing details of your life, you have probably underestimated the scope of its reach. Facebook doesn’t just learn from the pictures you post, and comments you leave; their algorithms learn by viewing all the content and posts you read and which you don’t. It learns from when you stop scrolling down your feed and how long it takes you to restart; it learns from your browsing on other websites that have nothing to do with Facebook itself, and it even learns from the messages you type out then delete before sending.

This data life isn’t limited to Facebook. Google, famously, is in the same underlying business, although the company is a bit transparent about it. It tries to say to you, ‘Hi, I’m watching you. Don’t you like it? Never mind, I will wait for you still (for a shock, try going to the “My Activity” and “Location History” pages to be vividly reminded that Google is tracking everything). Amazon is building a modern surveillance panopticon, replete with an always-on microphone for your kitchen and a jaunty camera for your bedroom, purely to sell you more stuff.

Change is coming, all shiny and gallant like a knight. In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – overhauls a continent’s worth of rules around a clear principle that the only person who can ever own an individual’s data is that individual. Olejnik describes the law as a “good starter” but notes that even it will still need to be “reviewed and updated on a regular basis”.

But if I don’t give my life over to Facebook and Google (they have them anyway), who should I give them to?

 

A Way Out: Internet of Things???

With the number of connected devices set to top 11 billion – and that’s not including computers and phones – in 2018, the Internet of Things will undoubtedly continue to be a hot topic.

The internet of things connects objects to networks and exploits the data that is generated. Most of this information is machine-to-machine. For example, a Boeing 777 may generate 20 terabytes of data per engine per hour. Most of the “things” seen as being part of the internet of things are focused on supply chains and machine & system performance, not on consumers right now, but this will change.

At its core, IoT is simple: it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other. The popular, if silly, example is the smart fridge: what if your fridge could tell you it was out of milk, texting you if its internal cameras saw there was none left, or that the carton was past its use-by date? You see, that is a fridge to die for, not Facebook, though they both begin with ‘F’!

Where it’s most common, in Britain at least, is home heating and energy use – partially because the government is pushing energy companies to roll out smart meters (although it has been questioned whether it can be delivered on schedule). They have smart functions that let you turn on heating remotely, set it to turn down the temperature if it’s a sunny day, or even turn off when there’s no-one home. Some can tell the latter with motion-sensing cameras, or simply by seeing that your smartphone (and therefore you) has left the premises.

IoT is more than smart homes and connected appliances, however. It scales up to include smart cities – think of connected traffic signals that monitor utility use, or smart bins that signal when they need to be emptied – and industry, with connected sensors for everything from tracking parts to monitoring crops. Just think of living a Sci-fi novel on Earth.

By 2020, it’s claimed that up to 100 billion devices will be connected to private networks or the internet. The data this creates is crunched by secret algorithms analysing how machines and systems work, how economies function and, increasingly, how humans live.

Unlike those enthusiastic and well-rewarded Scandinavian programmers, you and I don’t generally opt into the internet of things. The “trade-off” of consumers sacrificing privacy for convenience or lower prices is history.

How will the internet of things affect business and work?

This all depends on your industry: manufacturing is perhaps the furthest ahead in terms of IoT, as it’s useful for organising tools, machines and people, and tracking where they are. Farmers have also been turning to connected sensors to monitor both crops and cattle, in the hopes of boosting production, efficiency and monitoring the health of their herds.

We can’t count the examples, and all we can predict is that connected devices will likely creep into most businesses, just the way computers and the web have. When the efficiencies are with tools or plants, it’s easy to appreciate the potential benefit, but when it’s office workers who are being squeezed for more productivity, it could take on a bit of a dystopian shade.

Is IoT real or Utopia?

No matter where it is or what we call it, IoT is real – but what it will look like in the future is something even Google can’t answer.

Customer Loyalty In The Digital Age: The Importance Of AI And Machine Learning

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Digital Design, Marketing, Social Media, UX

Winning customer loyalty is the goal of any good brand, but how can this term be translated into the market in the digital age?

Customer loyalty implies to the behaviour that is beneficial to the business and can be categorised into three groups: customer retention, advocacy (support or recommendation of a brand and its products) and purchasing.

Various factors influence these behaviours, but we all agree that customer experience, which is undoubtedly the focus of today’s marketplace, plays a huge role in promoting the three. And with the improvement of AI, optimising customer experience from the very first branding came to a whole new level.

From the development of mobile applications to the impact of digital marketing on a wider scale, artificial intelligence and machine training are becoming essential tools brands use to promote customer loyalty – and that is why.

 

These are just some of the critical points, and they are enough to illustrate how marketing is being transformed, as AI is used to analyse data and therefore to guide user decisions. Opportunities are expanding, and the best digital marketing agencies are paving the way.

To find out more about the most relevant digital agencies around the world and how they apply the latest technology in their world, you can use the DAN catalogue of digital marketing agencies and explore their sites.

 

 Predicting Customer Behavior

Using machine training as part of the analysis of AI and Big Data, marketers now have an insurmountable advantage when it comes to establishing predictive predictions.

Using machine learning systems can collect and analyse data that will help predict things like:

● Which prospects are likely to respond to specific offers

● Which types of goods customers will want to buy further

● Preferred devices and channels used to reach the brand’s website, and so on.

Personalise Experiences Of Customer

The AI solution enables businesses to redirect the site to the needs of the user, providing a personal experience that makes it easy to engage in navigation and make it easier to navigate. With real-time technology, AI can estimate the mood and the user’s behaviour in order to understand the current preferences, and then automatically convert the website to the collected information.

The e-commerce website and store thus attracts micro-opportunity opportunities and optimise the overall user experience by determining the appropriate price threshold for each user, displaying private ads, serving the content of the videos, and recommending the appropriate ones.

This personal experience ultimately leads to stronger relationships between consumers and brands and makes the shopping experience a pleasure.

 

Removal of communication barriers

Not long ago, most people were completely sceptical about the idea that artificial intelligence systems could establish better interaction with humans. Switching to 2018, we are witnessing the widespread use of chatbots in websites and e-commerce stores. Not only that, people like to communicate with them.

Machine learning enables chatbots to communicate naturally and talk to customers like a real shopping consultant. But that’s the way it is: it might do its job better because it can assess the user’s reaction and offer them personalised offers in seconds.

In an era of high expectations, chatbots are the only ones who can meet expectations around the clock. Be cautious; these virtual assistants can continue to evolve and provide better service, which plays a vital role in improving customer loyalty.

 

Conclusion

As a result, AI integration is changing the landscape of website development, with a company with expertise, that benefits more than others. Marketers looking to implement AI solutions on websites that use stable platforms such as DesignRush to search the company’s list of website developers using various filters, and then compare profiles and offers accordingly.

With the advancement of technology and the emergence of new solutions, the latest developments in artificial intelligence are shaping the customer experience in the digital age. In addition, brands and developers are focusing on how to optimise the customer experience so that loyalty is encouraged in a highly competitive environment. In view of this, it is fascinating to see how machine learning can be used to engage in highly personal and human interactions that fundamentally attract attachment.

5 Tips: On building customer advocacy for your brand

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, UX

Have you ever bought a product so good you called up your best friend and convinced him to buy? If you have, congratulations, you have become a customer advocate for that brand!

Customer advocacy is when your customer reaches the optimal stage of faith, belief and trust in your brand. Where instead of selling or promoting the merits of your own brand, your customers do it for you.

Here are 5 things you can start doing now to foster engagement, encourage advocacy and turn your existing customers into unpaid advertisements for your brand.

1. Check your mood.

When your customer picks up the phone to call or walks into your office or showroom, how are they received? Every customer interaction matter. Whether you are making or taking a call at 11 am or 3:30 pm, the energy needs to be consistent. Communication – whether written, in person or across the printed or digital – should express an openness, enthusiasm and appreciation for your audience.

2. Communicate future benefits.

Human view of the future tends to be positive. Frequently more positive than reality. This is something that propels us forward and keeps us happy. Creating a positive future association between your brand, product or service and your customer is a way to leverage this process. Attach positive emotion to your brand experience.

3. Pay attention to details.

Consistency and thoughtful touches over time accumulate to create an impression for your customers that is brag-worthy. Do you offer something that makes a difference? Is the digital experience or face-to-face interaction personalised and pleasant? Don’t underestimate the value of an unexpected ‘extra.’ Discounts, exclusive events or special access, aren’t these things you would brag about if you were in the shoes of your clients and given those?

4. Milestone Marketing

Celebrating your relationship with your customers is a sure way to keep them happy. ‘Milestones’ can be personal, like their birthday; occasional, like Father’s Day or Christmas; or they can relate to your business, such as spend levels or celebrating a goal of some sort. The thinking here is a sense of value and unexpected surprise. If you were remembered and celebrated by a company you’ve been buying from after three years, for example, you might think to mention this to a friend.

5. Discuss it

Coupled with ‘all the little things’, perhaps it’s time to sit down with your team and talk about what makes the experience of your brand great. Keep doing these things! But remember to ask yourself – what else could you be doing to make it greater? It’s these touches of excellence that take you beyond the ordinary and give people great things to say about your brand.

Strive to be different. Do beyond what everyone else is doing. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and do to them what you would like done to you. Implementing some of these ideas into your business strategies can help you maximise your greatest asset, keep them happy and at the same time win a bigger audience for your brand.

5 INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MARKET YOUR DESTINATION

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Digital Design, Marketing

The best incitement to going on a tour is hearing or reading a traveller’s experience of a particular destination. Today’s travellers seek to experience. Out-of-the-ordinary experiences are what truly compels people to pack up and visit your destination. As a destination marketer selling a seemingly endless amount of travel experiences, how do you successfully sell your destination’s unique story?

 

Here are our 5 innovative ways to market your destination.

Become the All-In-One Source

A significant disadvantage of the widespread of blogs is that relevant information is everywhere and just a click away. The challenge for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) is to stand out of the crowd. Since travelling is about the experience, you need to create a splendid user experience from the very beginning. Make your DMO site the central hub for all information that might be relevant for travellers. As part of your hospitality marketing strategy, have sections where people can find out more about your city beyond what is fun for leisure tourists. This includes local society, traditions, environment, and business. By placing all of this information in one place, you’ll make it extremely easy for visitors to learn about your city and culture. That way your DMO site will be their one-stop destination for all travel information.

Create Niche Itineraries Instead of Listing Attractions

One unifying aim of travel – be it for business or pleasure – is to see something new and different. These are certain attractions in various destinations. The most common way to promote a destination is to create a grand list of attractions, restaurants and hotels and allow people to select what they’re interested in. Everything the destination has to offer comes to a la carte. Usually, the only alternative is to take a guided tour. Instead, build out custom itineraries based on visitor’s interests or by neighbourhood. For instance, The Ultimate Day for Organic Cuisine in Portland or A Day of Heart-Racing Adventure in Salt Lake City. Targeted itineraries are a much more fascinating way to present your destination while making it easier for the different types of visitors that come to your goal determine what they should do in your city.

Engage Your Current Ambassadors

In hospitality marketing, the most powerful stories of your experience usually come from people who have already visited your city and talked about it. Social media helps you effortlessly find these brand ambassadors and get what they have to say. These enthusiastic people are the ones who are uploading several vacation photos, commenting on your posts, or writing their own blog posts. With social media, you’re in a great position to find out how you can even further help and engage these vocal visitors to reach even more people.

Make it Easy for People to Share Their Experiences LIVE

It is normal for people to become chatterboxes after a trip. It takes special skills to bottled up an excellent travel experience. Most times we want to share the experiences right as they are happening, but we find restrictions to do so. Other times, we decide to share later and eventually forget to do so. Take advantage of this. Help travellers remember. The smallest efforts can help in marketing for hospitality. Even a sign that says, “Tag us in your photos and we’ll add your image to our own photo gallery” can serve as a trigger for people to share their experience. Or, take a hint from museums. Since most times photo-taking is off-limits, museums are now including photo stations or kiosks that allows visitors to “pose” in front of one of the more popular exhibits and upload directly to Facebook or email to yourself.

Champion Your Lesser-Known, Exclusive Experiences

Take stock of the experiences that make your destination stand out in a traveller’s memory. Take heed. The most exclusive experiences aren’t always the most famous. While everyone knows about Chicago’s Skydeck atop Willis Tower, how many people know about the decadent, all-you-can-savour artisan chocolate buffet at Peninsula Hotel? Or, besides the iconic Eiffel Tower, another fascinating piece of Paris history can be found in the city’s catacombs, a 200-mile network of old tunnels, caves and quarries lined with skulls and bones. Don’t just focus on the apparent experiences in your town, but put some marketing effort in the experiences that are amazing on their own.

What’s AR marketing, should you care? A case study of Pokémon GO and the effects and benefits of AR marketing

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Canberra, Desgin, Digital Design, Social Media

What’s AR marketing, should you care? A case study of Pokémon GO and the effects and benefits of AR marketing

 

If this term doesn’t sound new to you, you probably are keeping tabs with technology, or you read a lot of science fiction. For now, augmented reality (AR) is still mostly a novelty, and its newness alone contributes to its ability to surpass print, online, and television advertisements in terms of shock-factor.

Augmented reality (AR) comes with such ideas as using new technology to influence how we dress, what products we use, and the advertising we see on a daily basis are all experimentations in the combined world of digital marketing and AR. The field is still relatively new and doesn’t have a lot of competition currently. However, with digital marketing on the rise, it is becoming more of a campaign strategy.

Augmented reality (AR) marketing takes the reins from virtual reality platforms to create a new, interactive consumer experience. The has grown popularity right now, its growth is expected to reach $117.4 billion by 2022.

As little as five years ago, consumers knew little or nothing about this marketing tool. But AR has become a marketing strategy that businesses need to become educated on.

 

So, what exactly is AR?

AR involves using computer-generated images to enhance the real world around you. While it seems like a futuristic concept, and the movies sometimes portray it as such, it has actually been with us for quite some time. Some of the first forms of AR included the controls on the dome of fighter jets. They showed the pilots temperature, airspeed, and eventually obstacles and targets while flying.

With time, the technology has advanced so much that a pilot basically just needs to read his controls to fly the plane.

Before we commence, you should see where AR differs from VR. It is quite suicidal to interchange both.

 

Difference between AR and Virtual Reality (VR)

Just so that we have a mutual understanding here, AR and virtual reality (VR) are two completely different concepts. AR is computer-generated images added to your experience of the world around you. VR is computer-generated images that take over your visual field, and you are able to interact with them in a way that mimics the natural world. VR requires special glasses to block out the normal vision, which makes the computer-generated images seem like reality.

Advantages of being first to use AR Marketing

1. Because it is a new field, it allows room for creativity. We have seen some unique takes on the technology, which also makes them more memorable.

2. There is also room to make a name as a company by designing a campaign that everyone will remember.

3. It encourages engagement between the consumer and the company, creating a relationship that is more interactive than other forms of advertisement. In the world of marketing, interaction typically leads to more sales for businesses. An Application that allows customers to interact with products before purchasing them give potential buyers more confidence.

4. AR combines entertainment with practical use to bring a whole new level of engagement with digital marketing campaigns.

Now let’s visualise what we’ve been talking about. Let’s see what Pokémon Go made of AT.

 

Pokémon GO: An AR Case Study

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality smartphone game based on the immensely popular animated series, Pokémon. Since its launch in July of 2016, the application has become a critical and cultural phenomenon, lifting Nintendo’s market value by $7.1 billion and has surpassed the ranks of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Pokémon GO is paving the way for AR marketing. Historically, consumers have been slow and hesitant to adopt new marketing technologies pushed heavily out of the gate – take, for example, QR codes. What Pokémon GO has been able to do is personalise a new marketing technology so much so that consumers do not realise they are being marketed too.

This is promising news to marketers because, as augmented reality continues to grow at a staggering pace over the next couple of years – to an expected $4 billion by 2018 — consumers will be more primed for future implementations of marketing through AR.

Using augmented reality HUD (heads-up display), Pokémon GO users can capture digital Pokémon around their communities, collect items found at “Pokéstops”, and battle other users at community “gyms”. Both Pokéstops and gyms were pre-determined – public spaces such as parks, landmarks, and churches – upon release of the app. Some small businesses were also included in the Pokéstops mix, which has significantly increased foot traffic and sales to their locations. As a result, more small businesses are now looking to become Pokéstop and capitalise on the popularity of the app.

At one point in July 2016, Pokémon GO opened up a request form for businesses to become Pokéstops, but it has since been removed. Many have suggested that Nintendo is acting strategically, given the impending release of advertising opportunities on the application. In the meantime, non-Pokestop businesses are using strategies such as discounts to attract players of the game.

 

The effect of Pokémon GO AR on advertising industry

Presently, there are limited paid opportunities on Pokémon GO, but new opportunities will be released soon. Marketers only have the ability to use “lures” – an in-app purchase that costs $1/piece – to attract Pokémon to a Pokéstop and entice all users of the game. Lures offer existing Pokéstop businesses the opportunity to drive even more foot traffic to their locations. Aside from “lures,” businesses have found creative ways to infuse Pokémon GO likeness – things like discounts and content strategies – to drive organic traffic.

Nevertheless, Niantic – the Google-owned developer behind Pokémon GO – is reportedly releasing sponsored locations that will be available soon, with McDonald’s rumoured to have the first go. Moreover, it has been reported that businesses will be charged on a cost-per-visit basis, similar to the cost-per-click used in Google’s paid search platforms.

Marketers may be executing Pokémon GO campaigns over the course of the next few months, but it is important to note that usage and excitement over the app could wane.

Also, marketing on the application may not align with all client business strategies, which should be a consideration before pursuing a campaign as well. Using them on these brands might be like dressing a horse in a shirt.

However, Brands ranging from Manchester United to Ikea to FX to Burger King to the Gorillaz have all experimented with the medium, indicating just some of the possible use cases. Snapchat and Facebook have rolled out several AR lenses and features, both of which are still very early in their development.

Pokemon Go has shown that the medium can be popularised, easily accessed by consumers (unlike AR’s cumbersome cousin VR), and there are monetisation options.

It has inspired mobile titles like Snatch, a real-world prize stealing game, that shares some DNA with Pokemon Go, and at MWC, virtual reality headsets lay limbless as marketers ran about in full business attire trying to snatch a Koffing or a Kedabra.

The bottom line, however, is that Pokémon GO has potentially set a bigger stage for augmented reality and given us a glimpse into a more robust digital marketing future which you should be a part of.

How well do you know your customer??? Why this information is your own gold mine.

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Canberra, Desgin, Marketing, Social Media

How well do you know your customer??? Why this information is your own gold mine.

 

The crux of creating a marketing buyer persona is to effectively targets the right prospective customers.

This post will teach you how to research buyer personas to reveal preferences and behaviours that will help you deliver successfully, targeted social media campaigns.

But first,

What is Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a research-based representation of the ideal buyer for a company, created in the form of a fictional person. They embody the behavioural characteristics of someone who needs your brand’s product or service.

Marketing buyer personas incorporate information on a buyer’s demographics, location, interests, etc. They also outline the consumer behaviour of a company’s ideal buyer. Personas look at who a company’s typical buyers are, what those buyers want to buy, and how those buyers think. They help marketers understand their current and prospective customers better by examining why consumers make buying decisions that they do.

Why are Buyer Personas Important to Marketing?

Having an established buyer persona is an integral part of an effective marketing campaign. It defines the type of customer a brand is targeting, by looking at their needs, wants, and concerns, as well as their purchasing behaviour. Marketers use buyer personas to narrow their focus on attracting customers who meet their buyer criteria.

Companies that know their ideal customers have a huge marketing advantage, because, for one, they can tailor content to their customers’ specific interests. Having relevant, useful content personalised for an ideal consumer also helps companies with search engine rankings. A well-researched and defined buyer persona strengthens a brand’s content marketing campaigns and its overall marketing strategy.

How Researching Buyer Personas Improves Marketing Campaigns

You can use the findings on consumer conversations on social media about the affinities of specific audiences (such as influencers they follow and sentiment around specific topics) to inform your campaigns and content planning. The key is understanding your audience before you start planning your campaigns.

Insights gained from audience intelligence tools can serve as a foundation to connect with your audience at the right time and with the right visuals and copy.

Below are tips to better understand the behaviours, perceptions, and moments of a specific audience segment to better your marketing campaign

1. Narrow Audience Segment Research by Clearly Describing Buyer Personas 

Create a buyer persona around what you already know about an audience’s behaviours. Use brand monitoring tools to help understand relevance, growth, and topics associated with your industry. Then apply your own suppositions of how your audience will react to a piece of information.

Clear buyer personas let you immediately narrow any search and save you from shuffling through heaps of irrelevant data for each campaign.

For example, suppose your gin brand wants to market a new gin product, something themed, affordable, and yet trendy. Because you are very well aware that the general audience for gin is broad, and you are keen to isolate and segment your audience so you can tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly, you create the following hypothetical buyer persona:

Millennial, between the ages of 21 and 28, who works in the city, enjoys a recreational lifestyle, and frequently visits the most popular, trendy, and stylish local bars with friends and work colleagues over the weekend

You will find that the hypothesis for your desired audience segment highlights age (21 – 28), location (city), time (weekend), preference, and behaviour (trendy, stylish bars with friends and work colleagues).

This then enables you to focus your attention on researching the social behaviours, attitudes, and preferences of this particular audience segment to confirm whether the new gin product will go down well with them or not. Based on your findings, you will either adjust the absolute characteristics of their persona or create additional personas.

2. Unravel Audience Segment Behaviors and Preferences through Social Media

Social media analytics, especially those of Facebook and Twitter, have become much more powerful. They offer a decent amount of information about the audience you are engaging on the channel.

Still using the gin brand, let us illustrate how you can use Twitter Analytics to discover demographics, lifestyle, and consumer behaviour of any audience segment.

•  To open Twitter Analytics, click your profile photo and select Twitter Analytics from the drop-down menu. Then click the Audiences tab at the top of the page and select All Twitter Users from the Followers menu.

•  Next is to filter the audience data. Click on the Add More Filters field and select Millennials from the pop-up menu.

•  Now browse the demographics, lifestyle, and consumer behaviour of Millennials to decide whether this audience has the characteristics of your buyer persona.

•  Click the Lifestyle tab to see information on interests and preferred TV genres. Because a more significant percentage of this audience segment shows a preference for televised sports, it is good news for a sports-themed gin cocktail.

•  Click the Consumer Behavior tab to ensure your audience segment brand preference. Premium brand preference is good for our gin brand.

When you’re satisfied with the social data you have gathered, the next step is to combine it with data from other sources.

3. Inform Campaign Planning With Trending Search Data

Analyse activity around specific trends and see how your social media findings stack up, using free tools like Google Trends.

For our example, a search for gin and cocktail in Google Trends over a 7-day period reveals a consistent spike for the term ‘gin’ as the weekend begins, with Friday and Saturday showing the highest volume. You see that this data tells you the time of day at which “gin” and “cocktails” are popular search terms based on web search data, and can inform ad delivery and social posts.

Google Trends also shows you where gin has been searched for the most — thus offering you further insight into the location of a primary target audience.

You can take action with this.

4. Assess and Apply the Data

Looking at the data snippets provided as an example, you can see that your buyer persona is valid: Millennials are fans of sports and drama on TV, and they also have a preference for premium brands.

Web search data shows that gin and cocktails are popular terms on Fridays and weekends, and reveals sub-regions in which gin is searched for the most. You can use this research to inform social media marketing campaign decisions.

Based on this data, your gin brand can be confident Millennials in the U.S., and it will engage with your sports-themed cocktail.

Use Studies, Stats, or Surveys to Correlate and Contextualize Findings. You can choose to test whether your evaluations are fair. For example, say your gin brand wants to contextualise some data you collected on demographics. You believe, based on a dataset, that gin is consumed more often in Europe.

A quick search on Statista will reveal to you relevant industry stats that support your belief that Europeans drink more gin than Americans.

Are you having trouble locating statistics to contextualise your research? Conduct your own surveys with tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys.

These suggestions on researching buyer personas for more successful marketing campaigns are not exclusive to the example (gin brand) given. Try it for your brand and remember that a well-researched and defined buyer persona strengthens a brand’s content marketing campaigns and its overall marketing strategy.

You heard you need a Marketing Marketing Campaign, but what does that really mean? Well, here’s my killer guide to developing a winning campaign.

By: Jonathan | No Comment | Advertising, Canberra, career, Desgin, Marketing, SEO, Social Media

You heard you need a Marketing Marketing Campaign, but what does that really mean? Well, here’s my killer guide to developing a winning campaign.

 

What is a Marketing Campaign or Strategy?

To best understand this, we know that to win an electoral position you need a campaign and to fight a war, you need a good strategy. It is no different from businesses. To win your buyers over, you need a strong marketing campaign, and for your business to hit success, your marketing strategy has to be top notch.

For many companies, marketing campaigns are the primary method for both communicating with their market to reinforce their positioning, and for customer acquisition.

Good campaigns follow a theme and include a series of touches with the market. It’s noisy in the marketplace, and a message delivered once through a single medium rarely makes a difference. While there’s no magic number regarding the best frequency for a message to make an impact, opinions range from three to twenty times, with seven being an old marketing adage. Seven, a magic number.

Many marketing campaigns contain an overarching theme, which can be leveraged over extended periods with multiple variations, or different elements, to tell an entire story.

An example would be The Duck campaign launched by the American Family Life Assurance Company in 2000. While the company had been in business since 1955, it had only a 12% brand recognition rate before the campaign launched. The company used the Kaplan Thaler Group to improve its name recognition. Kaplan created a new character, the Aflac Duck, who appeared in ads featuring customers who had trouble remembering the insurance company’s name. In the commercials, the duck appeared in the background and quacked the name “Aflac” (while usually ending up in a funny predicament).

You’ve seen them, right? As a result of the long-running campaign, Aflac’s brand recognition jumped from 12% to 90%, and increased sales catapulted Aflac into a leadership position in the supplemental insurance market.

In 2013, the campaign kept evolving. The duck recently got hurt; now you can use Facebook to send the duck a get-well card.

A more recent example is what Heineken is doing using the UEFA Champion’s league. You see football stars living out stories where the beer made them fantastical or improved their match viewing experience.

Large consumer marketers like Alfac typically use ad agencies (both traditional media and digital media agencies) to design their campaign creative, handle the media buys, and track results. These are often multimillion-dollar endeavours and have brought us such memorable advertising campaigns as:

•    “Just Do It” – Nike

•    “The Most Interesting Man in the World” – Dos Equis

•    “Where’s the Beef?” – Wendy’s

•    “We Try Harder” – Avis

•    “Absolutely, Positively Overnight” – FedEx

 

Marketing Mediums for Campaigns

While most small- to mid-market companies can’t afford the multimillion-dollar ad budgets from the Madison Avenue agencies and other great names, they can create compelling and memorable campaigns leveraging different media such as:

•  Online media, including interactive ads and banners on websites

•  Print media

•  Social media

•  Publicity

•  Direct mail

•  Email

•  Radio

•  Television

•  Telemarketing

•  Events and trade shows

•  Search engines

•  Outdoor media

Marketing campaigns are more than just advertisements. Complex campaigns leverage multiple mediums, use a sequence of messages over an extended timeframe, support positioning, define a brand experience, and handle the campaign fulfilment and selling.

Campaigns can also be simple – using a single medium, with a single message and call-to-action.

If you’re planning a group of campaigns for your marketing plan, it’s good practice to start with your annual goals and work backward to develop campaigns to meet those numbers. For example, when you know how many new customers you need, you can calculate how many leads you’ll need, and then design campaigns to generate that number of leads throughout the year.

With solid planning, a jolt of creativity, and a focus on measurement, you’ll be in a strong position for success.

Your marketing campaigns are the vehicles for connecting with your marketplace, to generate leads and sales, and to position you like that certain “something.” So, drive them well, and do avoid smoking or driving over the wheels, thanks.

 

Guides to developing winning Campaign

Put figures to your goals

•  Plan your campaigns to meet your annual revenue and volume goals. For example, if you’re trying to generate 100 new customers, figure out how many leads you’ll need and when you’ll need them.

•  Think about how you’ll use different media. For example, if you’re B2B, your sales team may be able to generate 30% of your leads through prospecting; the rest may come from telemarketing, email, social media, direct mail, search marketing, webinars, trade shows, etc.

Create campaign ideas and strategies and target your audience

•  Identify all of the business goals that will need marketing support. You may need campaigns to generate and nurture prospects, to sell direct or through a channel, or to market to existing customers.

•  Evaluate ideas and options (traditional sales activities, Internet marketing, social media, telemarketing, direct mail, email and publicity) to determine which ones are most effective for meeting a particular goal.

•  With more specific targeting, you can speak more directly to the prospect and raise your response rates in the process.

Throw in your key messages and your call-to-action

•  If you include every detail about your offering, it’s easy for prospects to become overwhelmed. Move a prospect just one step at a time.

•  Be creative — your market is bombarded with messages daily, so grab their attention and engage them.

Make a clear budget and estimate your return on investment

Projecting marketing ROI is a powerful exercise that forces you to think through and estimate results for the critical metrics of your campaign:

•  Impressions, or exposure to your campaign creative

•  Conversions, or those who act from the impression

•  The steps required to move from a conversion to a customer

•  The number of units sold, and the profit from each

•  The items of your campaign budget

•  The estimated ROI of your campaign

Plan your fulfilment and actualise it

•  Your fulfilment processes can help or hurt your close rate, so be sure you outline your requirements. For example, if you’re running a campaign where prospects request a software demo, and it doesn’t arrive for a week, your prospects may lose interest.

Plan to measure

When you measure your campaigns, it’s easier to gain budget approval the next time around. You’ll also know exactly which programs produce the highest return.

•  Establish how you’ll measure each campaign. If there are variables you can’t measure, decide how you will account for those results.

•  Identify how you’ll capture the data you need – unique phone numbers, unique URLs, etc.

Regularly test and improve

•  Even on a small campaign, you can evaluate your ad, your copy, your list or other factors before you spend your entire budget.

•  Choose a subset of your list or two versions of the advertisement; test them in small quantities and choose the best one for rollout. Then you can test a second variable against the winner of the first test.

•  Keep the testing cycle going and track your results over time. You’ll improve your response rates and your return on investment.

Remember that as you can’t go on a date looking tattered and sad, so you can’t grow your business without a couple of winning marketing campaigns. People will fold their hands with big frowns on their faces while they watch you play out your big dry joke if try without marketing campaigns or strategy. Wouldn’t you want to have the last laugh? Then think good marketing campaigns.