How much digital marketing is enough?

How much digital marketing is enough?

Could you be wasting time, money and effort on too much digital marketing? Let’s look at how you can establish how much digital is enough for your idea, start-up or small business.

With your digital strategy you need to decide how much of your valuable time & resources you are willing to dedicate. In order to do this, there are a series of questions which you need to ask yourself; spend some time thinking about this because the digital world is full of smoke and mirrors. It is suggested that you undertake some basic background research with your current or potential customers. You’ll be surprised how much you can find out. Here are some questions that you can ask:

1. What proportion of your target audience are using different digital platforms? Within this chapter the you will explore the most popular types of websites and social media. The point here is that if your customers prefer to use Twitter then there is little point in focusing on Facebook. So find out what your customers are using, by asking them.

2. Which content and promotions are your audience interested in? Once you know the preferred digital and social media choices of your customers, then review what they’re looking at and try to find out which promotions most interested them. TripAdvisor is an example of this; find current clients and follow the reviews that he or she is placed. This will give you an overview of what they like and what they dislike; similarly look to see if they review car hire or transfers, or whether their comments say they have used particular promotions. What are they sharing on Facebook? Which websites are they talking about on Twitter? You can build quite a detailed image of your customers’ online behaviour, which will help you plan for it.

3. How are competitors using the platforms – benchmark what’s working for them? You may have to become a mystery shopper! It goes without saying that as a small business you will sign up to the digital communications offered by your close competitors. So, how many followers do they have on Facebook and Twitter? What online marketing are they doing using their websites? What seems to be working well for them? Then you can emulate their success, adapt it and then improve it. So a quick audit of your competition is important.

4. Reviewing your own analytics, sales and customer insights. Within this chapter we will discuss online analytics and marketing research; digital marketing leaves a rich trail of data which can be used to analyse and evaluate the success of your campaigns. You need a critical mass of traffic to do this. If your digital approach generates one visitor per day, digital marketing may not be the right route to your customers, and you may prefer to use more traditional promotional methods. However, if you can grow your traffic to 10, 50, 100 or 1000 visitors per day, then you have data which can be used for analysis.

Keep it simple. If you post some interesting content and your traffic increases, then you know you got it right. If you put effort into writing material and there is no noticeable increase in traffic, then you need to change something. You need to deal with this at a basic level. There is a lot of hot air spoken when it comes to digital marketing and you need to be prepared with some basic knowledge to help you overcome the pitfalls. Unless you can justify a huge expense on digital marketing, do not do it! Start small, simple and proficient and go from there.

5. Setting broad goals and vision/mission for the organisation. If digital marketing is central to your business offering, then the online experience needs to have some broad goals and a central vision. So what is your vision? What will your business look like in five years’ time? You can change your vision as time rolls out, but you need a central purpose for your online business. So, what will it be?• Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. (Facebook 2016)
• “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.” (Investopedia 2016)
• Coca Cola’s mission is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference. (Coca Cola 2016)

6. Get more specific with SMART objectives (specific/measurable/achievable/realistic/timed). Finally, you need to translate your vision and purpose into SMART the objectives. For example:

• To increase traffic to 10,000 visitors per day within three years.
• To have 30,000 registered e-mail addresses in your opt-in mailing list within 24 months.
• To sell 10 items per day through your online store within six months.
• To achieve 5000 Twitter followers in a single year.

Let’s make sure that you are not doing too much social. It’s important to get as many bangs for your online buck as possible.

20 Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

Networking for entrepreneurs and small businesspeople often involves meeting new contacts and developing existing relationships. Generally, you will attend a purposefully organised networking event. Look for general networking opportunities in your local trading area, or one organised by your trade/market association. Here are some tips to get you organised so that you make the most of your networking opportunities.

  1. Research the networking event beforehand, and try to find out who will be attending. Visit their websites and try to get some insight into their businesses. Make notes.
  2. Have a wide network. Reach out to others and use every networking opportunity. Target contacts and find out where they meet for networking.
  3. Have an elevator pitch or business summary ready; this means be prepared with few focused sentences to explain in plain language what you do and why you are networking.
  4. Get there on time. Turning up early might give you chance to meet the organisers, and to meet other early-birds.
  5. Be efficient and realistic. Connect with others that are useful to you now, or will be in the future. You don’t have time to connect with everyone, so don’t work the entire room.
  6. Speak with others. Sounds obvious but you are there to network. Try to build rapport quickly. Have an opening question, such as Tell me about your business, explain to me how your business works for customers or describe how you get new customers. Prepare some before you arrive.
  7. Don’t be afraid to listen to other groups, and to join in. If you have something in common, then it is important that you begin the dialogue. Expect others to listen in to your discussion, and to join in too.
  8. Have goals, but keep them reasonable and don’t spread yourself too thinly. For examples, try to make 2 new contacts.
  9. Dress appropriately. If smart dress is required, then dress smartly. If you don’t dress smartly as part of your business’s ideology, then where what make you feel comfortable – within reason of course.
  10. Remember, just be yourself. You are the most important part of your business.
  11. Remember your business cards. Make notes on the cards themselves to remind yourself why you need to network that contact. Only hand out your card to people that will value it; if you have rapport, then ask for a business card from the contact, and expect them to do the same with you.
  12. Give a firm handshake and look the contact in the eye. Smile.
  13. Get your elevator pitch or business summary ready. However, try to not turn the discussion into a sales pitch. You are not selling, you are networking.
  14. Listen to your contact’s elevator pitch or business summary. Ask a question to show that you are engaged and that you understand. Try to be interested in the conversations. Be passionate about your own ideas. Try not to hijack somebody else’s conversation.
  15. Be willing to end the conversation politely. Thank the new contact, and explain that you’d like to meet a few more people during the event. They will understand because they are attending with similar goals.
  16. Perhaps you might be in a position to introduce other networkers to each other. You may form an informal mini-network.
  17. After the meeting or event, review your new contacts. Follow up contacts quickly. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, or add them to your database. Make relevant notes.
  18. Use social media to connect with relevant contacts. As with your business card, don’t try to work everyone. Be efficient and focused.
  19. Once you have connected, develop the relationship. For example, send them a sample; ask them for a meeting, or invite them to become a customer or a supplier.
  20. Why not organise your own networking event? Or, you could volunteer to support an event or networking opportunity organised by others.

Social Media Audit

Social Media Audit

The social media audit is an important part of the digital marketing planning process. Social media is an opportunity for consumers to generate their own content, and many of the top-ranking results of an Internet search will result in social media content – in relation to companies, brands, and products and services. User Generated Content (UGC), for example Trip Advisor, is a reliable way of Informing consumers’ decision-making.

social-media-audit

Why do we need a social media audit?

So what a digital marketer needs is a tool to audit social media within the competitive environment, i.e. relative to competitors. The digital marketer will be trying to work out the best way to ‘feed’ the digital marketing funnel, and he or she will also need to monitor/measure any discussions about his or company. This is where a social media audit fits in.

It’s a systematic examination of social data to help marketers discover, categorize, and evaluate all the social talk about a brand. (Quesenberry 2015)

Keith Quesenberry developed a social Media auditing tool based upon the principle of the Five Ws, which is an approach used in journalism: who, where, what, when and why. If you add ‘How’ then your source is Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Elephant’s Child:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Let’s adapt the Five Ms to suit social media marketing, as does Quesenberry. This is Marketing Teacher’s adapted version.

1. Who is creating content using the digital medium? Is it you? Is it an influencer? Is it a competitor?
2. Where is the digital content? Which digital media platform is being used for content? Such as You Tube or Facebook.
3. What is the content on the social media platform? Is it textual content, and video, a photo, is it a story, etc? Does it use a ranking system? What is the feedback like?
4. When was the social media posted? How often does it get posted? What was its reach? Was it shared?
5. Why is the content generated? What was its purpose? Is it a campaign, a complaint or simply a user’s opinion?

The next step is to rank and prioritise your observations based upon these five criteria. How important is it to your social media marketing strategy? Here is Marketing Teacher’s adaptation of Quesenberry’s social media audit. For more detailed information, we recommend that you revisit the original article.

Here are some basic instructions for the social media audit:

1. Please print out the social media audit template from Marketing Teacher.
2. Complete there ‘who’ column. ‘You’ will be your business or your assignment organisation.
3. Then go through ‘where, what, when and why’ and insert the tick symbol (cut and paste the image) to select the appropriate element. You can tailor the audit to suit yourself with the ‘+’ symbol.
4. Finally rank or score the importance of each element using numbers 1-10, or Booz balls. That’s it! It’s time to do your own social media audit.

References

Quesenberry, K. A. (2015) Conducting a social media audit, Harvard Business Review, November 18th, 2015.

TOWS Analysis

What is TOWS Analysis?

TOWS analysis is a tool which is used to generate, compare and select strategies. Strictly speaking it is not the same as SWOT analysis, and it is certainly not a SWOT analysis which focuses on threats and opportunities. This is a popular misconception. TOWS may have similar roots. TOWS is a tool for strategy generation and selection; SWOT analysis is a tool for audit and analysis. One would use a SWOT at the beginning of the planning process, and a TOWS later as you decide upon ways forward.

There is a trade-off between internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors and opportunities and threats are external factors. This is where our four potential strategies derive their importance. The four TOWS strategies are Strength/Opportunity (SO), Weakness/Opportunity (WO), Strength/Threat (ST) and Weakness/Threat (WT).

TOWS Analysis

Four TOWS strategies

Strength/Opportunity (SO). Here you would use your strengths to exploit opportunities.

Weakness/Opportunity (WO). Indicates that you would find options that overcome weaknesses, and then take advantage of opportunities. So, you mitigate weaknesses, to exploit opportunities.

Strength/Threat (ST). One would exploit strengths to overcome any potential threats.

Weakness/Threat (WT). The final option looks least appealing; after all, would relish using a weakness to overcome a threat? With Weakness/Threat (WT) strategies one is attempting to minimise any weaknesses to avoid possible threat.

TOWS Analysis – Simple Rules.

  1. Like many tools, models, concepts and frameworks, TOWS is subjective. It is only as robust as the data which you include within the model.
  2. Use other models and frameworks to support your strategic choices, such as Ansoff’s Matrix Porters’ Generic Strategies and others.
  3. Strategy will include internal development for growth, merger, acquisitions and joint-ventures.
  4. Be as specific as possible and avoid grey areas.
  5. Always rely on your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right, then maybe it isn’t right. Tak another look at simple rule 1 above.

 

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the demographic of people who were born just after the Second World War; this would give the baby boomer generation an approximate date of between 1946 and 1964 .  World war two ended in a 1945, and as a rule of thumb baby boomers are the children who are born as the war ended, as families settled down again.

The name baby boomers described many different people , and in this article you must appreciate that it would be too simplistic to over generalise .  Nevertheless, here are some interesting facts about baby boomers. Richard Adler, is Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto, CA, where he recently co-led a project on Baby Boomers: The Next 20 Years. Here is his TED Talk.

Baby boomers grew up at peak levels of income, and had a general belief that things would improve over time.  In fact, they did. Baby boomers have worked for almost all of their adult lives , they had good pension schemes , they paid for housing when it was relatively cheap, and many had the opportunity to retire early . They’ve lived for a long time , and they will continue to live for much longer.

Arguably baby boomers thought of themselves as a special generation, at least one which was superior and different to those that proceeded it. 71-76,000,000 American children were born between 1946 and 1964 and this is a relatively high number. In Britain for example, baby boomers held about 80 per cent of the UK’s wealth, and are happy to spend money on holidays and experiences.

Here are some relevant and interesting facts about baby boomers :

  • Born between 1946 and 1964. Two sub-sets:
  • the save-the-world revolutionaries of the ’60s and ’70s;
  • and 2. the party-hardy career climbers (Yuppies) of the ’70s/’80s.
  • The “me” generation.
  • “Rock and roll” music generation.
  • Ushered in the free love and societal “non-violent” protests which triggered violence.
  • Self righteous & self-centred.
  • Buy it now and use credit.
  • Too busy for much neighbourly involvement yet strong desires to reset or change the common values for the good of all.
  • Even though their mothers were generally housewives, responsible for all child rearing, women of this generation began working outside the home in record numbers, thereby changing the entire nation as this was the first generation to have their own children raised in a two-income household where Mom was not omnipresent.
  • The first TV generation.
  • The first divorce generation, where divorce was beginning to be accepted as a tolerable reality.
  • Began accepting homosexuals.
  • Optimistic, driven, team-oriented.
  • Envision technology and innovation as requiring a learning process.
  • Tend to be more positive about authority, hierarchal structure and tradition.
  • One of the largest generations in history with 77 million people.
  • Their ageing will change America almost incomprehensibly; they are the first generation to use the word “retirement” to mean being able to enjoy life after the children have left home. Instead of sitting in a rocking chair, they go skydiving, exercise and take up hobbies, which increases their longevity.
  • The American Youth Culture that began with them is now ending with them and their activism is beginning to re-emerge.

Baby boomers references, eBooks and links

Six living Generations in America

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/booming/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38558116

 

 

 

Rocket Internet’s Business Model.

Rocket Internet’s Business Model.

This is an interesting example of where the company bases its business model upon the ability to be second or third to market. Let’s think about this in more detail, because it makes total sense – the first companies to get to market experience the costs and the huge learning curve that is associated with any start-up which enters a new and emerging market. If there is no advantage to being first it to a market, or if the market is new and expanding and has room for many new competitors, then this is a really good business idea. Some would argue that Rocket Internet is a ‘disruptive’ organisation.


The clone factory is based upon Rocket Internet and their business strategy for dominance in Germany and other parts of the world. So the company does not really have a new and innovative idea; essentially it waits and watches how other innovative online and digital start-ups enter new markets, then it quickly invests time and resources in developing its own version of its competitors’ idea, adapting and improving it.

Rocket Internet’s Portfolio

By having a vast portfolio of these types of start-ups, rocket Internet has developed a strategy whereby it will see many of the start-ups becoming successes, whilst others will diminish fadeout. The business model will hopefully deliver successful companies in the long-term. Here’s another issue, investors in these companies will want to see returns in the medium, if not the short term. However, these tech companies which may not see a return for many years to come. However, these will be the new cash cows for investors as these markets mature and as customers are satisfied.

Its chairman, the charismatic and future thinking German entrepreneur Oliver Samwer, find himself continually reasoning and explaining the need to think about the medium to long-term. These new businesses are cutting-edge and pioneering. In fairness to Samwer, his companies are disruptive and ‘clone’ is a little misleading.

Some examples of rocket internets new clone businesses include Bonativo (Farmer’s market online), Carmudi (to buy and sell vehicles), EatFirst (super-fast takeaway food), EverJobs (for jobseekers) and Easy Taxi (arguably an Uber clone).
Oliver Samwer Interview – NOAH15 Berlin

Marketing Crossword.

Marketing Crossword

This is a free marketing crossword. This example contains many of the basic marketing tools and models that you might find in an essentials of marketing course. Why not post your answers below? Enjoy.

Marketing Crossword

ACROSS
6 What is the topic of this crossword?
7 What do you charge for a product? One of the 4Ps.
8 What analysis contains political and economic, and ends in ST?
9 SMART refers to what?
10 What ‘Life Cycle’?
12 Whose four-celled matrix contains market penetration?

DOWN
1 What is distribution? One of the 4Ps.
2 What is advertising? One of the 4Ps.
3 The ‘what’ mix?
4 Neil H. ‘who’ describes the marketing mix in 1965?
5 Whose four-celled matrix contains cash-cows?
11 What analysis contains opportunities and threats?