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How does B2B social media differ from B2C & strategies for building a great digital business

1

“It’s a no-brainer strategy” to use Black Friday and Cyber Monday content to also sell subscriptions, said Chris Erwin, founder of commerce consulting firm Rockwater. That’s because it’s about monetizing the audience in every possible way. If a publisher is seeing a surge in traffic come to its commerce or content channels, then it makes sense to spread that audience to other areas of the businesses as well and engage and monetize them through subscriptions or use that surge to sell advertising, he said.  

Digiday: How Wired leveraged Cyber Week readers to increase subscription revenue

2

“Facebook’s discriminatory recruitment and hiring practice is routine, ongoing, and widespread,” the complaint reads. “It discriminates against U.S. workers because of their immigration or citizenship status, and it harms them by limiting their ability to apply, to be considered, and to be hired.”

In simple terms, prosecutors believe Facebook was hiding job listings reserved for visa-bound workers that the company had already contacted and knew it wanted to hire. But in its rush to clear the lane for its preferred applicant, the company allegedly violated important labor rules.

The Verge: The Justice Department is suing Facebook for side-stepping visa rules

3

Facebook reported last year that around half of auto consumers say that recommendations from friends and family are influential when deciding which new brand to buy, and 77% indicated that posts on social media had made them consider buying or leasing a new model.

That’s a significant consideration, and now, Facebook’s providing more tools to help car dealers connect with potential buyers on its platforms.

Facebook has added three new elements to its automotive promotion tools.

Social Media Today: Facebook adds new tools for automotive advertisers

4

We have a simple, five-part approach to building new businesses: breakout, blueprint, build, boost, branch. How do you rapidly identify the idea that would drive a lot of value? How do you flesh it out in a blueprint so you can assemble the plan and the team? How do you quickly work cross-functionally to build the actual business—not just the product but the commercial and operational elements? The last two parts are taking the kernel of a business and boosting and scaling it quickly and then thinking through how to potentially spin it off.

McKinsey: Building a great digital business

5

Hybrid Theory uses Facebook to create brand awareness by informing its audience about current industry topics like statistics that enable the followers to always relate the interesting information to the company. LinkedIn is used to communicate the company’s expertise, with the objective to get in touch with potential customers by showing off concrete solutions for their needs. 

The content and objectives on social media should be designed according to whether the company is a B2B or B2C company. However, content should be adapted for the different platforms and their different audiences. 

The Drum: How does B2B social media differ from B2C?

6

The next evolutionary stage of technology depends on completing the transformation that will make silicon architecture as flexible, efficient and ultimately programmable as the software we know today. If we cannot take major steps to provide easy access to ML we’ll lose unmeasurable innovation by having only a few companies in control of all the technology that matters. So what needs to change, how fast is it changing and what will that mean for the future of technology?

TechCrunch: AI’s next act: Genius chips, programmable silicon and the future of computing

7

Whether advertising can make a difference to a company’s survival depends on how brands approach their marketing communications. As Debenhams has proved, high profile above-the-line brand building does not guarantee commercial success. But if a brand takes a bottom up approach, starting from the customer perspective – listening, learning, adapting and then optimising appropriately – the advertising outcomes will be more valuable, as the marketing communications can inform decision-making.

By reading the signals customers are giving them, rather than relying on the subjective opinions of boardroom members and partner agencies, marketers will avoid bias and focus on what shoppers want from the retailer.

Campaign: Could a marketing rethink reduce the chance of another Debenhams?

8

In the plan, the Commission says the forthcoming political ads transparency proposal will “target the sponsors of paid content and production/distribution channels, including online platforms, advertisers and political consultancies, clarifying their respective responsibilities and providing legal certainty”.

“The initiative will determine which actors and what type of sponsored content fall within the scope of enhanced transparency requirements. It will support accountability and enable monitoring and enforcement of relevant rules, audits and access to non-personal data, and facilitate due diligence,” it adds.

TechCrunch: Europe to put forward rules for political ads transparency and beef up its disinformation code next year

9

While they embrace their individuality, Gen Zers believe that they are better together, leaning into communities on social media to connect with others. Communities can be formed around an array of things such as neighborhoods, hobbies and support groups, providing a place of acceptance and belonging. According to a study commissioned by Facebook IQ, 30% of Gen Zers believe that a commitment to community can help brands communicate more effectively on Instagram and spark meaningful connections.

Advertising Age: The rise of Gen Z

10

He says that the huge growth in digital advertising has helped deliver scale, but not necessarily the right kind. There’s too much focus on identifying someone without thinking about how we connect with them more meaningfully based on the context. Affleck says an “obsession” with targeting, precision and accuracy has replaced established marketing theory and norms.

“Because we can identify someone, we have forgotten about the context in which we are talking to them, the mood they are in, and their mindset. Are they sitting forward, are they entertained? We’ve almost just forgotten all of that and are just hitting people with endless comms.”

“It is utter, utter nonsense,” he says. And so, plugging the strategic context into these hugely expensive media buys is the group’s selling point. At a time when budgets are tighter, clients must get more bang for their buck.

The Drum: The pandemic could awaken marketers from ‘dumb period’, says Havas Media’s Patrick Affleck

SMS marketing is blowing up

With search and social becoming ever more congested, churn rate going up and performance of email marketing flattening out, DTC marketers are branching out.

And SMS marketing is blowing up.

As a channel, it’s still nascent but it’s been growing steadily in the last 18 months.

In an interview with Digiday, Digishop Girl’s CEO told that 70% of their clients are already using SMS to find new ways to reach and engage customers.

In the same article, an investor and advisor to the DTC brand Judy explained that SMS campaigns are getting around 70% CTR and upwards of 25% Conversion Rate.

I gotta say that’s pretty impressive considering Mailchimp’s average open rate is 21% and CTR is less than 3% which isn’t too far from other industry benchmarks.

SMS can be a very personal and intimate communication channel.

I’m a bit torn, to be honest.

SMS and text messages are by far my favourite way to reach out to friends and family.

I was 28 when I finally gave in to talking to people on the phone and taught myself not to get anxious anytime my phone buzzed.

It seems that DTC marketers know how big a deal it is when someone signs up to receive as SMS and they’re being mindful of that when planning their campaigns.

You can check out many examples of SMS marketing in use here and here.

For the time being, it seems that SMS marketing is working for DTC brands but it remains to be seen if and to what extent other consumer brands can use it as well.

Past surveys have shown that people do want to receive service-related information such as an appointment reminder but will they like brands to bombarding them with SMS marketing. 

I have my doubts.

One thing is certain. There are new opportunities for brands that embrace empathy and offer personalised experiences as people continue to reward them with loyalty and engagement.

That said if you’re really serious about using SMS as a way to have ongoing conversations with your customers, you need to look for ways to prove the value of the service before you press send.

Finally, an actual use case for AR

You probably weren’t expecting to read about luggage this summer. Neither was I.

Until I read about how an online retailer of bags, eBags, got 112% increase in mobile conversions AND a drop in customer returns all because of using AR (Augmented Reality).

Pokemon Go started the AR craze but the reality of it, so far, hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

Many brands have been playing around with the tech but everyday use is still lacklustre.

In the meantime, it’s nice to see what we can expect from AR in e-commerce.

Google’s 3D ad-format is coming out of beta.

And it’ll be available to everyone.

Not to mention that the greater influence of Amazon in e-commerce isn’t leaving brands much choice other than to set up shop in the marketplace.

More Amazon, though, means smaller margins. Plus putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t strategic.

Creative solutions are how you can make your own ecommerce site attractive to customers.

And AR makes it easier for customers to experience the product in a more complete way – as they would in a physical store – which is never a bad idea.

Setting your client up for success on Amazon

Amazon is enjoying ever-increasing sales. For them, the pandemic is just good for business.

Selling on Amazon is looking pretty attractive right now.

Who doesn’t want access to millions of customers? Or not having to build your own supply chain?

But going on Amazon can’t just be convenient. It needs to make strategic sense.

Amazon’s scalability comes from the network effect: attract buyers, which attracts seller which ultimately leads to more buyers.

Take this advice from HBR on building an Amazon strategy that benefits your (or your client’s) business and protects you from price wars and Amazon’s biased marketplace policies.

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Contactless car retail is here

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could buy a car the same way we buy shoes from Zalando?

Sure it’s possible but for the most part, buying or selling a car is built around in-person interactions.

A business model put under stress during the pandemic.

According to an analysis by BCG, at the peak of the pandemic in April car sales in the EU were 80% lower vs April 2019. And just last month the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association revised its 2020 forecast down to -25% growth in new car registrations.

Things may look bleak right now but there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the more ambitious dealerships.

For one more Europeans believe that using a car is the safest mode of travel after the lockdown is lifted. And as Google’s trend analysis pointed out, people are willing to buy a car sooner if they could complete the purchase online.

A car dealership from NJ seems to have acted on this advice.

Patch wrote about how Bezel-Busch partnered with Looney to create a seamless and contactless process for people to purchase cars during the pandemic.

So what did this transformation include?

According to the article, “Looney created conceptual videos for Benzel-Busch’s new COVID-19 resources, including “Express Buying,” allowing customers to virtually select/customize vehicles of their choice, as well as “Complimentary Valet Service” and the industry’s first “360 Sanitize,” a deep clean that lasts up to three to six months and kills 99.9% of germs/bacteria/viruses.”

And what of the results? 

“new users increased by 180%, while website sessions soared by 159%. Direct site traffic also rose 51% and impressions increased from 365,000 to more than 96 million. Overall, Benzel-Busch had one of its best sales years in history in 2019.”

Devastating as it is, COVID also turned out to be the mother of many new inventions. I hope that more car dealerships will offer a better, seamless and contactless way to purchase new cars for introverts like me.