Target Marketing October 2014
Virtual reality and 3D environments offer marketers a new world of ways to engage, connect with and delight customers. Imagine creating virtual environments that not only lets people virtually explore places, products and services, but also use social media to share that 3D world with others. What could your 3D world look like? Here are just a few possibilities:
Every month or so, we meet here in the pages of this magazine and talk about all the great things direct marketers can do with today's marketing technology. There's a lot of innovation going on.
“I’ve spent a lot of time telling young adults that I mentor not to worry if they don’t know what they want to be,” says Dawn Zier, CEO of Nutrisystem and Target Marketing’s 2014 Direct Marketer of the Year. “It will all fall into place. I started out as an engineer, and I landed in a very different place from where I started 20, 25 years ago. And I really don’t see how in 10, 15 or even 20 [years], with rather limited personal experiences, that people can really know what they want to do. My advice to people really is to dream big, work hard, and don’t be afraid to change if you go down one path and realize that it’s not the right one.”
International marketers need to be in all online channels to maximize exposure to their audience, says ChannelAdvisor. In its "Multichannel E-Commerce Study" announced on Aug. 13, the Morrisville, N.C.-based SaaS e-commerce solutions provider details benchmarks for global e-tailers.
Boardroom publishes newsletters and books to make its 55-year-old and older readers happier, healthier and wealthier. So it stands to reason that the Stamford, Conn.-based health publisher would want to do the same for itself.
Dawn Zier is thriving in the frenzied pace of an Internet-ruled world for at least two reasons: Seemingly impossible challenges intrigue her, and she's chosen to live by her parents' words to "be the best that you can be." So far, that mentality is serving her and the company she heads well. Zier, the president and CEO of Fort Washington, Penn.-based weight loss meal plan provider Nutrisystem, is largely credited with turning the fortunes of her company around. Taking the position in November 2012, she inherited a company that had seen sales plummet 42 percent since 2008. Under her leadership, Nutrisystem added data-driven programs and is expecting soon to see "revenue growth for the first time in seven years," Zier says.
Many business owners (or mid-sized business marketers) are always aghast at the budget required to market their products/services. In direct marketing in particular, ever-rising postal costs, printing and even data management sticker shock can stop a project in its tracks. The question is: How can you best use your precious marketing budget to accomplish the most? The answer is to work smarter, not harder:
Have you measured your email list churn rate recently? You don't want a leaky bucket with more leaving than joining. Check this twice a year. A growing list of recipients provides you with boundless opportunities. Having a strong and vibrant list of email sign-ups is a lifeline for any marketer. The more people on your list, the more chance to market effectively to them. We'll focus on tactics to make sure your pipeline is growing and not stagnant.
By 2007, the only sound coming out of Newsweek was a death rattle. A half-million subscribers were cut from the rate base; in 2008, more than 100 staffers were axed; and, in 2012, editor Tina Brown folded the print edition and announced the future was digital. Whereupon, Newsweek totally dropped off of my radar screen.
The phrase "multichannel campaigns" is one of the most common in today's marketing vernacular. To a marketer, a multichannel campaign also means dealing with key challenges: Which channels should a campaign focus on? How will they be measured? Where should the bulk of marketing spend go?
In my humble opinion, "mindless gab" is the perfect descriptor for social media, an activity of which I am largely not a fan, though a sometime participant. Now I am gratified to find new research supporting my point that social media marketing 1) has a very low return on time invested (ROTI) and 2) is therefore, to a large extent, mindless gab. Let's look at some studies:
The next game-changer in mobile technology has arrived. Marketers looking for the newest interactive experiences are finding it in 3D environments and 360-degree experiences. With hardware and software tools available now, and the promise of even more on the horizon, the applications are limited only by the imagination of marketers and the skill of developers. One thing is certain: We’re quickly moving toward the practicalities of virtual reality.
Content marketing requires a total re-imagining of what “marketing” really means. With content marketing, brands are becoming publishers. But too many brands are still thinking like “brands”—with the old mindset of crafting sales pitches and assuming the audience will pay attention to whatever is put out there. Instead, content marketing requires marketers to change their mindsets: They need to start thinking like publishers.
As digital marketers, we can cite countless studies that illustrate how our customers want more relevance
How closely do you track what’s happening at the Federal Trade Commission? If you’re like me, it’s sporadic. But recently, while researching a question on the FTC website, I realized I need to pay more attention. Here are four areas I plan to track more closely in the coming months: