When you work in media, you realize there is exactly one thing connecting you to your audience, and that's trust. It's a strong thread, but thin, and it'll tear away faster than a rotten parachute if you start poking holes in it. They say the truth will set you free, but a lie can drop you like a stone.
There’s no single answer to that, but I bet everyone reading this would like to find a way to convert a bit better. I bet we’d all like to know a better way to try new marketing technologies, media channels and platforms. We may not have all the answers, but we’re bringing you a lot of those answers on Aug. 7 at the 2014 Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference!
The other day, Target Marketing's Heather Fletcher posted a story about the explosion of marketing channels in the past 10 years. It's part of a series we're doing on the past decade of direct marketing, and the dominant theme in that series has been this fragmentation of the marketing media landscape, and direct marketing's struggle and evolution to get control of it. That's why we created the Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference, and why we continue it every year.
In an atmosphere where lost time is literally lost money, St. Paul, Minn.-based high-tech holding company Rudder Capital Corp. couldn't afford to continue doing business as usual. It was time to improve its operational efficiency. One of its core businesses—Rudder Home Services, which is a nationwide network of certified installers of services such as DirecTV—could sometimes be way behind on processes its personnel had to do manually, such as totaling the number of unhappy customers who were declining to pay.
With 90 percent of Americans using cell phones, many marketers may not be surprised that studies are emerging showing that mobile customers convert at significantly higher rates than online consumers—even when viewing the same offer. The device that's often with them all day is a perfect one-on-one marketing opportunity. Now all marketers have to do is figure out exactly who's holding the phone.
Sometimes companies have to dig deep and do some soul-searching before exploring new marketing frontiers. But before Santee, Calif.-based water supply company Pure Flo could expand its mostly business clientele, it needed to do some work on the Wild West feel of its landing page efforts that were sending most Web searchers to the homepage, where they had to fend for themselves. Landing page optimization was in order so Pure Flo could gather more leads and improve online conversions.
New media sources might be multiplying like rabbits, but it's comforting to know the tried-and-true best practices of direct marketing tend to perform no matter the channel or medium.
Granted, Kent Tibbils had shown leadership by helping introduce a virtual trade show to ASI Corp.’s repertoire. But the marketing vice president thought the Barack Obama likeness, which his colleagues included as the avatar in his trade show chat window, was a bit much.
More and more, consumers head online to research and make purchases. And for many, the buying process begins in the search engines. Rather than going directly to, say, an insurance company's Web site, the consumer instead searches for “car insurance” and looks at the search results. “In today’s day and age, the average person doesn’t type into the address field to find the site they’re looking for,” says Charles Chehebar, founder and CEO of Web site verification seal provider SealCOS. “They’ll rather search for it and go from there, to avoid having a typo or mistyped term in there.”
Virtually every marketer uses e-mail, but not everyone uses it well. In fact, there are several common mistakes marketers make in their e-mail communications, and in its white paper, Top 20 Mistakes Made by Email Marketers and How You Can Avoid Them this Holiday Season, e-mail marketing solutions provider Listrak tackles ways to combat these mistakes.
Photo networks such as Flickr and Picasa are wildly popular among Internet users, and as you already know, it’s important to be where your customers are. That has never been more evident than today, with the rise of social media use among marketers emphasizing that point.
It's entirely possible that representatives of The TAS Group, the sales performance automation software provider headquartered in Seattle, asked themselves some of the same questions they advise customers to pursue before seizing an opportunity. After all, when the B-to-B company switched e-mail platforms recently, the solution it chose did seem to positively match all of its trademarked sales methodology questions.
Video for video's sake is not the right approach in using this tool for B-to-B direct marketing efforts. A more strategic plan that has proven to produce good results, explains Brightcove, an on-demand video platform provider, in its white paper B2B Marketing With Video, is aligning your video content with stages of the buying cycle for strong results. A few ideas on how to do just that:
With mobile phone penetration at 90 percent in the U.S., according to CTIA, and about half of this wireless phone-carrying audience actively using SMS messaging, mobile marketing is on the cusp of rapid adoption.
Not that LendingTree employees were walking around with pocket protectors, yakking about the Charlotte, N.C.-based online loan offer aggregator's revolutionary mortgage calculators. But it was time to rebrand and add some Web tools that would appeal to more than sure-bet, established Jane and Joe Homeowner. So the company that's spent a decade advising consumers on mortgages went in search of a useful, easy-to-use personal financial planning and advice tool for its site.