People based marketing and how Facebook is changing segmentation

The last 5 years have been lavish in technological leaps! Powerful mobile devices, multi-touch technology, cloud computing and big data compiling and analysis have completely changed the way we live life, communicate and consume content.

 

Of course when life itself evolves, so should marketing! For instance marketing segmentation is changing.

 

And what is changing in real life that impacts your marketing segmentation?

 

  • Cross-device, cross-browser, omni-channel experience is expected;
  • People definitely have more choices combined with less time;
  • That creates a minimal attention span that needs to be efficiently addressed with compelling perfectly tailored and segmented content;
  • Your audience has grown a mind of their own that can get very loud very fast (check what happened to DKNY and how they’ve successfully handled it);
  • If you don’t nurture fans on their own terms, they won’t by passionate about your brand, advocates will be lesser by the day and you’ll find yourself losing them to another brand that does all of this;

 

And that’s what happening today! Marketing and especially online marketing has changed immensely and there’s no way back to the good old days of search ads or media buying only agencies. Audiences are now looking for highly tailored, specific and customized experiences wherever or on whatever they are.

 

People Based Marketing
People Based Marketing

 

We go online differently depending on where we are, the device we have on, the time of the day and mood (discovery, search, entertainment) we’re in.

 

These are great and bad news to publishers and advertisers everywhere!

 

We now need to impact people in a way like never before, and that involves personal, seamless, diversified and creative advertising depending on every one of the above factors.

 

Both a big opportunity and challenge:

 

 

How to effectively segment and market to people?

 

What used to be THE SEGMENTATION STANDARD is still used by most marketers:

Until now users have been identified in the web with small bits of code (cookies) and those bits of code do their jobs very well on defining what ads we see or the customer experience we get, with just one small detail – they do that on the devices they’re stored in.

It’s like with cookies you have to see every single device as a different persona and that’s a big problem…every one of us has/his several personas!

 

Not sure if you do?

Let’s go back and remember the cross-device, cross-browser experience with one simple example:

  • Your work pc is blocking Facebook, Youtube, sports news websites and other not work related web content.
  • You won’t visit them on your work pc but you’ll probably spend lots of time on those websites or apps while in your personal pc, tablet or smartphone. That will happen on your smoke or lunch break, and you’ll probably visited the websites that are blocked on your work desktop computer.

 

That’s why cookies are so very last year. In fact cookies are so outdated that they don’t work cross devices, or with other operating systems / browsers or even with apps. And this is what we do all the time, we keep on hopping around from one device to another!

 

If a marketing agency representing a soccer club was aiming to segment and publish ads to advertise a soccer product and they were using cookie based information only, odds are you would ended up never seeing those ads even if your lunch break persona was really into that soccer club products…

 

Do you understand why cookie based ad serving is very inaccurate? Most times you end up wasting a substantial part of your marketing budget due to poor segmentation.

 

Loud and clear: cookie based segmentation is almost dead and the throne contender is:

 

 

People based marketing, how?

 

Marketing should allow people to have the products they want, where they want them regardless of the time of the day, device or operating system they’re using to access it.

 

People based marketing aims to show the right people, with the right add, at exactly the right time!

And the trick is exactly what the name says: tracking people instead of cookies.

 

How? Here’s how:
– You can access your Gmail account from your work pc,
– Your Gmail account is connected to your Facebook account so Facebook already knows that when you log in to your Gmail account, you’re YOU!
– You have Gmail App or Facebook App on your mobile, YOU again!

 

And you are a real person, with Facebook friends, groups you’re interested and conversations you are engaging on. Facebook stores all your response to topics, catalogs your interests and then builds mile long lists.

 

If you have your location active on you mobile, Facebook also knows where you live (what really comes handy for local business ads), probably where you eat (remember you post pictures of food you love into your Facebook page?) and many other details.

 

After that is just a question of decoding your life and the time of your day in micro-moments.

 

 

Why is people-based marketing so important for every one?

 

In 2 words: RELEVANCY and SEGMENTATION

– If you are a publisher, you’ll want to have the most relevant ads for your audience.
– If you are the audience (aka. consumer), you’ll want to see only the most relevant ads for you.
– If you are the marketer, you have nightmares with ad budget waist, poor targeting and even poorer results. Relevant ads, in the most relevant placements, to the most relevant audiences are a dream come true for marketers.

 

Sounds a bit creepy doesn’t it? It’s because it actually is! But that’s another ball game anyway…

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed it. Got comments or questions?
Just it the comment button bellow!

 

All the best,
Rui

5 Big Digital Marketing Strategies in 2016

My quote for 2016
My quote for 2016!!!

If you were asked to name one volatile always evolving market, online digital market would probably be top of mind. Whether we´re talking search, social, pay-per-click, mobile, apps or email marketing, there is always something happening every time!

To help you focus on what really matters in 2016, I´ve come up with a digital marketing short list you just need to check!

 

For those guys who are not keen on reading, here´s a 15 sec summary:

1.      Mobile is your n.1 screen

2.      Facebook goes business mode

3.      You´re only as good as your content

4.      Know & personalize as much as possible

5.      Video is key

 

Let’s get started now:

 

1. Mobile is your n.1 screen

We already wrote here that mobile searches have surpassed desktop in last October 2015 and this will only increase and fast.

Now that more than 50% of online searches are conducted on a mobile device, there´s no way you can ignore it. If your website isn´t mobile friendly (obviously being responsive helps but is not enough), stop everything else right now and do it immediately!

Mobile has forever changed the way we look at our customers and business. It created an entire new world of opportunities to which Google calls Micro-Moments. There are hundreds of micro-moments you can leverage differently if you just know how.

Not sure about your website mobile performance?

Check it with these free tools:

 

2. Facebook goes business mode

Facebook pretty much killed organic reach (free traffic) for Facebook pages with algorithm changes in Jan 2014 and later on April by deciding to stop Sponsored Stories. Those changes reduced page update visibility in profiles and at the time, although we all knew it would hurt business, many of us didn´t catch what was really behind:

A Google style massive monetization scheme aimed at business and brands alike!

Since Facebook launched its new retargeting mode last October 2015, with greater and enhanced retargeting options and without forcing business to do it through Facebook Ad Exchange, we´ve seen a huge increase on business using this option to reach out for customers that recently visited their company websites.

Retargeting options include demographics and devices (mobile only is a great choice to some businesses) and custom audiences now have the option of been refined by gender, geography, age and marital status.

How does Facebook retargeting works? This is simple done by adding a Facebook conversion pixel very similar to Google AdWords tracking code.

Are you curious enough? Go and try it and then share it here with us!

Check it here: https://www.facebook.com/business

 

3. You´re only as good as your content

We keep on believing exceptional original content is one of the single most important signals to build in digital marketing. This isn´t featured in number 1 because we´ve all been saying it for the last 4-5 years.

Are you able to produce original and differentiated content?

Is it appealing and useful?

Is it easily shareable?

When you produce this kind of content you attract interest and if you do it long enough, in a continuous manner, you´ll probably end up being an authority on what you write.

 

Look a Hubspot example: they´ve built a company out of the idea that sales harassment days are over. They´ve branded a widely known notion of “Inbound Marketing” and helped to start a digital revolution.

If you type “Content Marketing Strategy” or “Inbound Marketing” in a search engine, odds are you will likely find them very quickly.

How does this translates in to your business?

Imagine you own a glass door manufacturing business and that you sell directly.

Sometimes your customers are looking for what you do, not for you specifically because maybe they just don´t know you.

They can go to YouTube or to Google Images and simply write “glass door cabinet”.

They expect to find something useful and for you to be present at that conversation you need to create appealing content that can first position you company correctly, and that secondly passes the idea that you are an expert on what you do: glass doors!

You can do that with pictures, how-to articles, videos, infographics, and several other content types.

Got the picture?

 

4. Know & personalize as much as possible

Personalizing your message is key in 2016 but that´s only possible if you have actionable insights about your customers. Be sure to harvest key data from your customers were ever they may be.

There are 3 very simple things you can do:

  • Use AdWords Remarketing code on your website to get knowledge from your customers.
  • Use Facebook Retargeting code so you can later reengage with them throughout Facebook real estate.
  • Install good CRO (conversion rate optimization) software tools like Hotjar and Optimizely to understand your users paths inside your website, run experiences and personalize.

 

5. Video is Key

Stream video is taking marketing by storm. Video is not a soon-to-fade marketing trend. It´s an actual marketing tool that can powerfully leverage your online efforts and increase your reach and conversions.

Here are some statistics about video in 2015:

  • Online video accounts for more than 50% of all mobile traffic (1),
  • Videos on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more (2),
  • Almost one-third of all people on the internet are on YouTube (1 billion users), and they generate billions of views daily (3),
  • Watch time in YouTube has increased by +60% y/y in 2015,
  • 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in their decision process,
  • Google reported that for TrueView (YouTube video ad format) campaigns completers (people that saw the ad at least for 30 sec) ad increase results in consideration (+45%), favorability (+14%) and purchase intent (+19%) (4),

Note: If you´re interested in up-to-date YouTube stats you can check Socialblade or Statista for more global stats.

Its undisputable that video (along with mobile) is changing the way we marketeers interact with our audiences.

 

 

This is of course my own opinion on the 5 best marketing strategies for 2016 but its true that it all depends on what you already have implemented on your business and your industry overall competitiveness, so I´m sure its always possible to squeeze in a few more strategies in. If you feel something is missing be sure to send me your opinion.

Email Marketing Best Practices in 2016

woman sending email and buying online

2016 is here! New year, New life, New best practices!!!

Email marketing is getting harder by the second, imagine that by the year!

With this New Year of 2016, I´ve took the time to write the biggest RED FLAG´s of email marketing practices.

I like to keep it simple & clean, so I´ll just focus on 5 major issues:

  • Subject Lines
  • Content & Copywriting
  • Segmentation
  • Frequency
  • Mobile everything

So, let´s start with the first:

Subject Lines you should not use!

We all want to be edgy, new, and futuristic. Deep down, to differentiate from the herd…right?

Sure, but your Picasso vein has a time and place and maybe (just maybe…) your newsletter subject line isn´t the right place to put it to a test.

Remember your subscriber’s aren´t your childhood friends. They´re most likely individuals that share some common interest with you but only to a certain point so, refrain from sending shady, obscure, ironic subject lines.

Keep it professional. Explain exactly what you´re selling / advertising / communicating and do that with courtesy. There are several words you should not use, here are some of them…

Avoid using:

  • Buy Cheaper, Huge Discount, $ Off,
  • Bargains, Offer, Cheap, Sale, Stock-off and similar discount-related terms
  • $, €, %, !!! or any other punctuation
  • Invest, Investment, Funds, Cash,
  • Affordable, Save, Trust fund,
  • Credit, Money, Loan and similar
  • Ads, Spam, Junk, Traffic, MLM, Multi Level,
  • SEO, Search Engine, Increase, Freemium and similar marketing-related terms
  • Hidden, Password, Stop, Success and similar generical terms
  • All adult-oriented terms
  • Several pharmaceutical terms
  • Several medical terms
  • Urgency terms
  • Everything free-related

Content & Copywriting

Are you too lazy to write your own amazing and original content?

Great! Stop trying to have a website or blog then…

If you´re copying what someone else has written, why should someone go to you and not rather go to the original content instead?

This goes for content in webpages, articles, opinions and communication channels such as your email marketing campaigns.

Don´t be one more of the same. Be yourself and for sure, you´ll find YOUR audience. If you copy another website, another newsletter, you´re asking to get out of business fast because there´s nothing special about you to offer your subscribers / customers.

Segment, Segment…Segment!

For the content sake, don´t send everything to everyone!

We´re not all yellow and we sure as hell don´t all love yellow, so please don´t shove yellow emails down your customer´s inbox, assuming every single subscriber in your email database loves the same thing.

One easy way to stop doing this and really adding value is by simply adding subscribing options whenever someone decides to subscribe your newsletter.

Eg. Subscribe our newsletter by clicking one or more of the following:

  • News & Stories
  • Online Marketing
  • Paid Search
  • Social Media
  • All the above

This will help you understand which customer is interested in what and then deliver the relevant and more engaging content to its rightful recipient.

Frequency: too much is too bad…

Simply because someone loves chocolate cake, that doesn´t mean he or she would eat chocolate cake every single day of the week, don´t you agree?

Now that you establish that you have readers interested in your content – why else would they subscribe – setup the standards of communication.

Speaking for experience, even if you love a specific topic, that doesn´t mean you want to receive daily or even weekly emails about it.

Give you readers a chance to choose. Just set up a simple but very effective option on subscription:

  • Daily digest (newsletter sent once a day)
  • Weekly digest (newsletter sent once a week)
  • Monthly digest (newsletter sent once a month)
  • Hit me with everything you got (for fans @ our disclosure)

Mobile…Everything

Is there any doubt that 2015 was the year of mobile?

Back in October 2015 Google announced that mobile searches had finally surpassed desktop searches. If literally everyone is using a mobile device to access data, why should you keep optimizing just for desktop?

Ten years ago there was no such thing has a smartphone or a tablet, but they´re no part of our life an most important, our communication habits. The hours of day we access data with it, the type of usage and data we consume through it are of the utmost importance for all type of business. This is remarkably truer and doing nothing is not an option…

Earlier in 2015 Google released a new algorithm change that many quickly named as Mobilegeddon (mix between Mobile and Armageddon). It was basically a mobile friendly update that showed the world the importance Google attributes to a good, mobile friendly website.

What is true for websites applies at the same level to your email marketing campaigns. Chances are a little over 50% of your overall email traffic will be coming from mobile devices, so for me it´s a no-brainer. Hope you feel the same!

Not sure your website is mobile friendly? Check here!

Want to check if your newsletter is mobile ready? Check Litmus software.

 

To conclude

This is it! I´m pretty sure you can find tons of information related to email marketing procedures, but I´m just not in the mood for big, hard to read articles.

We will later talk about deeper levels of segmentation, like Remarketing associated with email marketing, and the use of less or more images or text within the email body.

Also take in consideration that Spam laws are similar from one country / continent to another, but simple tweaks in the law can make a very big difference so be sure to read all applying laws in your case.

Just to be sure, you can also check these useful links:

Definition of Spam

European Union Anti-Spam Laws

United States Anti-Spam Laws

Increase Online Sales – what to do!

For the last years, again and again I´ve been approached countless times and asked the same exact question:

  • What should I do to increase my online sales?

If you´re an owner, sales manager or eCommerce manager, I´m pretty sure you have already asked yourselves this questions at least a couple of times too.

It’s simple “to do” math:

  • Offline Sales are generally decreasing, and has been so for the last years,
  • Online Sales are now the biggest growth driver, with very consistent increases for the last years and no expectancy of slowing down;
  • Online Sales are often associated with higher margins & better average rates;

 

So back to the above question, what´s my answer? I´ll divide that in 4 parts:

 

  1. Have a strong, complete and reliable sales reporting

It sounds 1st grade stuff but the truth is that if you want to increase online sales you need to know how much overall you´re making on all your sales channels and segments; after that is done, you need to break down all third party sales apart from your direct sales and specially your online direct sales apart from your voice or on-store sales. All “glued” with a last year, last week or last day (what better suits your business) comparison;

 

  1. Leverage your brand online

One of the biggest and most common mistakes with digital marketing is when you first try to go for the big buck positioning & search terms advertising. That´s like aimlessly dropping 100.000 flyers of your gourmet wine store in your local city. The odds are to spend lot´s of money and not getting lot´s of sales or even a good amount of awareness.

Being crystal clear: the single most valuable search anyone can make is your brand name. You should always aim to be present when someone (an actual or a future customer) wants/needs to engage with your brand. If they search your name, they´re likely already introduced to your brand proposition (value & promise), so be sure to be the first and most relevant result for anyone searching for you!

That takes us to the next part:

 

  1. Own your online space

Whether we´re talking about search engine marketing or social media, you should own the most relevant positioning concerning your brand and your value proposition to the market. Your website (don´t have one yet? Big huge mistake!) should tailored to answer some very simple questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I offer?
  • Why is it important?
  • Where / how do I get it now?

Your social media presence should not be an ill thought-off pit stop, but a good vibe, good experiences sharing community. Take the change to engage with your customers and prospects without the formal attitude (depends on the business of course).

Very important: create great and useful content for your market and be sure to spread it well, always aiming back to the source, you! This online content strategy tends to build awareness on the community for the type of product / service you provide and grants you with “expert opinion” that you can later leverage on.

Very important: please don´t forget about mobile! Sure your website´s desktop version is very important and you can´t afford to neglect it, but pay very attention to mobile search (meaning tablet & mobile). Mobile has been rising like crazy for the last couple of years and now represents more that half of all online searches according to Google data.

 

  1. PDSA Plan + Do + Study + Act

Have you heard about cycles? Cycles don’t stop and that’s pretty much the basic idea here! Plan, Do, Study and Act – ALWAYS (see image below).

To increase your online sales you need to continually improve your process. It doesn’t matter that your doing today a killer job in getting specialized traffic or you´re reaching a 20% look-to-book conversion. You still need to keep on improving or eventually you´ll be left behind.

pdsa cycle

 

Those are 4 very basic concepts, but they allow you to correctly setup your mindset to grow your online business and watch it getting bigger and bigger!

Did you enjoy reading this post and would like to discover some amazing tools to help you increase your online sales?

Yes? Great! Be sure to follow my blog to get all news first hand.

Best,

Rui

Online Sales Wordcloud