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6 Old Marketing Ideas that Still Work! – Checkout How?

Acquiring new customers has never been easy, especially when you are a new brand in the market. Further, with the help of technology and spreading awareness among customers, selling a product required a lot of research and promotional creativity. A few decades ago, marketing was all about printing a few ads and banners for the local streets. But with the present surge of internet and social networking platforms, marketing strategies had a major makeover. To understand these changing trends, it would be a great idea to look back at marketing leaders over the ages.

In 1960s, the ways of promotion were a lot different than it is today. The medium of spreading the word was mostly limited to the three networks; television channels, radio & newspaper. Further, the messages were largely literal and were crafted mostly for female consumers. In those days, the styling was all about suits and cigarettes. A fountain pen and a martini would symbolize status. The consumer on the other side had little purchasing information and accepted anything that was put through.

It was in the 1970s when the first hint of creative marketing was seen. Though most nations were fighting political unrest and economic pressures, the expenditure of consumers too reached an all-time high, propelled by inflation and hoarding behavior. During this decade, ‘Positioning’ was the most popular advertising strategy and it was considered as an effective way of placing the ads of your product in the mind of the target persona. The 1990s brought forward several new brands and we saw a boom in marketing strategies. Door-to-door selling was replaced by electronic marketing and we started using digital media and accompanying technologies for product promotion.

In this ever-growing industry, the core marketing concepts are still the same and very much functional. In this article, I will be sharing my views on those old marketing ideas and will compare the same with the current marketing strategy.

Here is the list of old marketing strategies that are still effective:

#1 Influencers are important

influencers

The idea of brand ambassadors and celebrities was introduced in the 80s, largely by a few big brands. But looking forward, it has been a distinguishing aspect of brand identity today.

It was in the 1980s that marketing became more intense and consumers got more demanding. This was also the period when we saw a rise in the fashion industry. Designer labels like Calvin Klein introduced a whole new range of products and employed celebrities like Kate Moss during the start of her career in the early 90s. Campaigns became more seductive and promotion needed some ambassadors that the end-user segment related to. In this light, we also saw the widespread popularity of jeans in the fashion industry. Currently, we have seen such influencers as well in the fashion industry like Kim Kardashian and Kendal Jenner. In today’s world celebrities have huge followers on various social media platforms and are known as social media influencers, they charge around $10K for a single tweet or an Instagram post.

#2 Believe on Visuals

visual-marketing

Though the world largely buys from the internet portals, visual advertisement still plays a prominent role in choice making. With so many competitors for every single product, it is through creative visuals that marketers can appeal to the senses.

Multiple advertisement mediums have been introduced including TV, radio, billboards, magazines, Internet, direct mail, and newspapers. Advertising became an integral part of the life of an average user since the 1970s and this was well supported by growth in TV usage. Advertisement placing was well researched and scientific and more emphasis was laid upon fact-based marketing. Music was introduced with the advertisement for better brand recall.

Currently, there are plenty of online advertising platforms available in the market like Google AdWords, Media.net, Criteo & AdRoll on which merchant show their ads and it directly reaches the target audiences. These platforms help in achieving huge success because it benefits consumers, advertisers, and companies as well. On the other hand, social media marketing is also a plus point for companies to reach out to the targeted audience. Companies love to promote their Advertisement banners on platforms like Facebook ads, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram Ads which gives great ROI in terms of branding and sales.

coca-cola-banner

#3 Reaching out to customers

It was due to the limitations of technology that our previous generations weren’t able to pass on the information effectively. In old times, businesses reached out to customers via newspaper advertisements, Radio, Banners, TV’s, etc. But today, social media platforms present a solid stage for reaching out individually to customers and groups. Every major brand has a vast social media presence today and has been investing more in social campaigns.

Here, I would like to give a small example of how social media marketing helps companies at the branding level. Coca-cola is one of the top soft drink companies founded in 1886. As per reports it has only served around 9 bottles per day in the first year and today it sells around 1.9 billion bottles daily globally. Coca-cola changed its marketing strategies frequently over time based on the market trends, brand ambassadors and competition. Today Coca-cola has around 106 million likes on Facebook and around 4 million Twitter followers which show that consumers still have faith in this brand. Coca-cola runs impressive online & offline marketing campaigns and tries to reach out to the maximum audience.

#4 Branding is pure business:

branding

Again, the visual impact seems to be the competitive advantage of a brand. One can easily associate with the Nike or Adidas logo, but there are thousands of good sports manufacturing companies. Creative designing and Infographics have certainly taken an authoritative ground. A logo is one of the most important factors when it comes to branding. If you closely see the branding campaigns of famous companies then you will notice that most of the companies use red color in their logo as it is bold primary color and consumers can easily remember the logo for a long time. Most of the companies like Coca-Cola, Puma, Virgin, Toyota, Canon, and Netflix uses the red color in their logo.

#5 Trends are always on the high

Trends seem to be fleeting, changing with every new introduction. As such, marketers and brands at large should be the carriers of changing trends and just not follow them. Here, one needs to understand the trends and predict the marketing strategies in advance to meet the expectations of changing human behavior. If the brand doesn’t change with the trend, it will lose a large market share like Nokia.

#6 Discounts and offers still work

black-friday

While the modern consumer always makes an informed decision, discounts and fair price has always been a welcome move. Discounts and offers have also been a major element to gain a competitive advantage. In this era, the discount and offers are mainly known as Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals. In November & December month which is mainly known for holiday sales, all local & online stores provide huge discounts & deals for consumers. As per fortune report in 2015, online shoppers spent around $4.45 Billion on Black Friday & Thanksgiving day.

The way a consumer thinks will keep on changing but marketing strategies need to be a step ahead and should be able to anticipate the change. Modern consumers have been taught to be completely aware of what they are buying and whether there is a better alternative or not. The challenges for the marketer are thus enormous and it is with creative abilities and wider research that a successful brand identity can be established. However, there are still many things from the early ages of marketing that stick to the core of the process. Marketing strategies have always been about research and understanding our customers. The same will continue to apply.

How Social Commerce Can Change the Future of eCommerce Industry

Opinions always matter when one is about to spend money on a product or service. According to the Google Data, mobile searches for “product review” has grown around 35% in past two years.  Here buyers want to understand what people are saying about a brand before purchasing it online. This is very similar when we ask for help from our family and friends on social media before purchasing a product. This is one example of Social Commerce where a brand is directly benefited from their existing buyers sharing reviews with their friends and families!

Mobile product review“The world is a global village” is a phrase that is commonly used when referring to the advancement of technology. Things have become easier in a way you can access services from the internet from the comfort of your house just by using your phone or laptop. But when it comes to eCommerce, most of the merchant are still not using social media to improve customer confidence. By displaying a reviews of their friends or families, merchant can increase conversion rate of their eCommerce website. Social commerce trend is growing rapidly and will change the future of eCommerce industry if incorporated properly with an eCommerce brand.

The new form of trade involves buying and selling of products and services by use of social media websites as trading platforms. They give consumers and producers a chance to interact conclusively on their brands. This concept can also be defined as the process of using shopping tools to enhance social commerce sales. The concept is mainly to give clients a blueprint of the product or service they wish to buy. These tools also advise clients on the product they wish to acquire. By connecting people from different parts of the globe, it is right to say that E-commerce brought forth social commerce.

Breaking the Norm

Since products are easily accessible once you have the internet, it is easier to know what is trending and at what price. Consequently, a huge demand for the products online is created. While browsing the internet, creatively managed dynamic re-marketing display ads also create a thirst for owning certain products.

Social commerce also has a great advantage of targeting right audiences at the right time. Lets for example, if your product is mainly targeting female audiences, you should be at Pinterest. Out of all adults who use social media in US, 38% of women are using Pinterest as compare to 15% of Men. Here you can plan a precise data driven social media marketing strategy to increase sales from social media websites.

Here is the list of popular social media websites based on their market shares. One can choose the platform by considering macro metrics of their target audiences to convert them into customers:

Source: Statista (January 2018 data)

Endowed with social media marketing tools

This form of doing business is socially driven as it has to use social media sites to further it. It is evident on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which are largely used for commercial purposes. Social Commerce also involves the use of platforms under which users have one on one conversation with other users and can sell their products to them. Statistics show that many customers buy products due to recommendations given by their friends. It also has a peer recommendation where the user can use recommendations of other users before making a purchase. Some also have social shopping where the user is allowed to interact with friends and other users on their opinion of a product.

With the help of social media marketing tools, you can improve the way you use social media to promote your products online.

Well-defined prospects on various Social media sites

Social media and social commerce have a mother and child relationship as they coexist. Different sites have features that make the involvement of social commerce unforgettable. Facebook, for example, has the dynamic ads as a feature for social commerce. The feature connects merchant with consumers from advertisements on the site or from the mobile application. The feature has seen more retailers use Facebook and increase their sales as it connects retailers with millions of consumers on a daily basis.

ASOS has increased their orders 3 times and their return on ad spend by 2.5 times with the help of Facebook Dynamic Ads. Checkout this ASOS case study to learn more about this opportunity:

Facebook has also launched Marketplace where anyone can sell their products like classified websites. This has allowed clients to enjoy social media as they buy products. Pinterest also offers great feature for ecommerce via Buyable pins that allows the client to purchase an item once shared on the platform. The item often comes with reviews and images that allow the customers to make informed decisions about the product.

Instagram is also testing shopping feature since long and hopefully they will launch for all business very soon. You can always run a paid marketing campaign to promote your product using Instagram ads. Once the user clicks on the button, she will redirect to the same product page on your mobile app / website and a transaction can be made easily from that. The feature is easy to use and has encouraged consumers to purchase items as a variety of products are displayed for the picking.

Instagram ad example

Unlimited benefits

Social commerce does provide opportunities to buyers and sellers as it provides a link to both. It gives both an upper hand of interacting with tons of people from all over the globe. The platform favors everyone in the supply-demand chain. Social commerce has become more social in that the purchase of a product is not only done by the buyer himself but by other parties. Traders have a social circle in which they consult one another on different deals that are about to be made.

A buyer may for example post on Facebook for advice or reviews on a product they are willing to purchase. Family and friends often give out their opinion and help the buyer in decision making. Social circles of traders have also been created as this lets them meet on the social platforms where they can easily carry out their deals. Buyers get to know from other buyers on who has high-quality products at affordable prices. Brands also have online platforms where they allow customers to post their reviews and ratings on the brands they have purchased. This gives the buyer a sense of belonging without going all out to experience this.

Some online shops have also given their clients the chance to be more confident as it allows them to fully express their experience with the brand. They are able to post their personal experience using the product on the respective platform. This shows other potential customers why they should use the product and what experience they should expect. For example, GoPro is regularly sharing their customer’s videos and experiences on their official Facebook page. Have a look at one of such video:

https://www.facebook.com/GoProIndia/videos/2015533948701456/

It is all about shopping without limits and therefore making your shopping experience memorable. It also gives brands a more global outlook. This allows traders who are buyers and sellers to connect from anywhere in the globe.

Social media is a source of money as with just a simple click millions of people are exposed to your brand. With the good reviews and exposure, your product could be sold out to millions in a short period. During the NBA championship, the Warriors were able to sell shirts worth $125,000 via Twitter. This has become possible with the presence of different social media sites.

Final Words

Finally, while engaging in social commerce, research is vital as the merchant needs to know whether they are targeting the right channel or not. Being there when your prospect needs you can increase the chance you make a sale. Effective utilization of social commerce can give you an edge over your competitors and to always satisfy your customers. It is a new dawn of commerce.  Adapting to the new technological advancements would favor your business as manufacturers and service providers so as to improve customer experience.

Learn How Social Media Life Cycle can Cultivate Marketing Master Plan

Every new product goes through a strict sequence of stages starting from the initial launch/introduction of the product in the market to growth, gradual maturity and subsequent decline. This life stage of the product is termed as Product Life Cycle and its length is highly defined by market trends, product type, product quality and other factors. Product life cycle or PLC of every product impacts its marketing mix and strategy. Further, sale, demand and marketing strategies applied to the product vary on its exact stage in PLC. Each stage can be extended or shortened according to the requirements of the business.

Also Read – 6 Social Media Management Hacks to Boost Your Productivity

Social media, just like other things is a product, and attaches a PLC to it. If you remember the Yahoo Chatroom, then you already know that once they were a hit, but today, they cease to exist due to various reasons including new products (Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Gtalk, etc), changing demands/trends, spamming and inappropriate usage. Similar has been the fate of MySpace and we can also comfortably say that someday, even Facebook will be a thing of the past. The length of each stage in social media, as already said, depends on how the owners/developers keep up with the change and continue the excitement/adoption by bringing in new technologies and service offerings.

Any social platform will go through four different stages in a PLC. Marketers have and can adopt different strategies to exploit the market conditions fully in each. Here the biggest question for social media marketer is; how to utilize this information to get most out of different social media website?

Here’s explaining each stage and tips on utilizing this information to promote your brand over respective social media websites.

Stage 1: Introduction

Google + was started by Google after receiving an invitation to participate in a “badge of honor” group that was available only to a select few. Pinterest, the popular photo bookmarking website was also initially started as an invite-only platform. The perception of exclusivity was what led to early adoption of the product/platforms and subsequently in faster growth and recognition instead of being commercial.

New websites are constantly being launched by most of them fail to make a mark due to lack of relevant marketing and user experience. Even in case of Facebook, it was launched in 2004 but limited to a select user base till 2005 – 2006 (Except some countries) until the owner had enough market feedback to extend it for people across the globe.

So in this stage: For social media marketers, one should participate in early stage of the launch and understand the opportunities. One should atleast give initial attention and keeps their eye on the growth of website. If you start participation at early stage, your brand will also get advantage of early adaption and grow social media website. Shoutout your brand on various social media channels before 2 or 3 months of launching. Grab the attention of target audience by organizing online contest or free give aways. Social Media is still not the best platform for marketing but it helps in mouth to mouth advertising once you achieve certain level of online audiences.

statista-marketers-chart

Above Statista chart shows how different marketers use social media for branding or marketing their products. B2B & B2C marketers mostly prefers Facebook as their marketing platform because they can easily grab their target audience. Micro blogging site Twitter and professional marketing platform LinkedIn are also very effective platform for marketers. Video marketing has been always on high when it comes to launch major products online because this is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world.

Stage 2: Growth

audience

This would be better referred to as the “I am hearing a lot about this” stage. A social platform grows when people begin to talk about it everywhere. It may be your friends, co-workers, kids or fellow traveller who would give you the happening news. An eagerness and curiosity drives more and more users to experience the “talked-about” product/service and as a result, an overall growth takes place.

Growth means now product/service has reached adequate mass and it is ready for commercial purpose to generate more profit. Other marketers prefer to advertise their product on those social media which are having increasing or high mass. Being a advertiser you must get benefits from this growing audiences and should heavily promote your products and brand. Most of the brands spend their social media marketing budget to websites which are in Growth stage. Advertisements are immune system of any brand so do some paid advertising on certain social media platforms like Facebook & Twitter.

In the growth stage, several changes ensure that the users always find something new to talk about and spread the news. Facebook said to be in the growing stage as it introduces newer elements regularly.

Stage 3: Maturity

business innovation

This is when everyone who possible could have experienced the product and aren’t getting anything new out of it. Maturity is the stage of constancy when owners fail to come up with any new element in the product line. The maturity stage depends upon the flexibility of the product and newer launches in the market. Instagram for instance has a limited service offering as compared to Facebook and it can be quite expected that Instagram will reach its maturity earlier than Facebook. The growth stage needs to be constantly postponed with new offerings, adding new features to users if they are to remain in the market for a longer time. Once your brand became successful then give attention to customer’s online feedback and that is the best maturity level for any online brand to maintain stability in the market.

For marketer, they should decline the spending and divert their budget on social media websites which are in Introduction or Growth stage. If you are getting good ROI from the website, you should keep promoting there but rather than relying on single website, you should start searching for alternative.

Stage 4: Decline

As we all knows that, the expectation of users will always increasing and will demands more and more. When social media websites failed to satisfy users need then service consumption may decline. This is the stage where existing users are quitting their registrations instead joining the network.

Yahoo Chat, Orkut, Classmates.com and MySpace are good examples to understand this stage. Once a product is fully mature, there is little that marketers can do to finally experience the decline stage. Social media marketers should stay away from the websites which are in decline stage and start diverting their budget in finding platform which are in Introduction stage.

Conclusion:

Creativity and research is the key to enabling any social platform go through a long PLC. The wise social media markers must keep their eyes on PLC of the social platform. This information can help you to better understand the performance of platform and can help you to strategize your future social media marketing endeavors. Do you know about PLC status of different social media platform operating today? The answers will always lead you to a better strategy.

6 Social Media Management Hacks to Boost Your Productivity

Social Media is a relatively new channel, which is used extensively by individuals and businesses. It is the go-to medium for the latest news, trends and information on a vast number of topics. Such is the impact of Social Media that some businesses are using it to aggressively market and promote their products, solutions and services. While it is commonly believed that latest technological advancements and an ever-increasing number of Social Media platforms can accommodate the requirements of different scale businesses, juggling a set of activities such as interacting and engagement with the target audience becomes extremely difficult. This is because they need to put in the same level of effort and time for every product and solution on each of the Social Media platforms.

The scenario is likely to remain the same or even get worse, given the fact that Social Media trend is here to stay in the near future with the addition of a more features in the existing platforms. Take the case of Facebook, which keeps reinventing itself time and again. Businesses therefore, have to match the pace with the rapid changes without diverting from their original course of action. This is where Social Media Management tools come in handy. With advanced features and functions, these tools effectively enhance business productivity. To know how these tools can help your business strategies, take a look at some essential hacks.

1. Have a prior plan before you choose any tool

The business environment nowadays is ferociously competitive. Therefore, it is a flawless digital marketing strategy that will give you a smooth sailing and help you stay afloat in the cut-throat competition. Before you chose any tool for Social Media Management, chalk out a plan that will include the platforms to focus, the activities that will drive more traffic, branding or engagement for your business and the amount of time allocated to each project. This is a great way to channelize your efforts while using the tool(s) and bring benefits your way. When you have a clear strategy, it becomes easier to choose a tool that will help implement the same.

2. Multitasking from single dashboard

Just having a social media account on all popular platforms will not really helps your digital marketing plans because you have to actively engage on several accounts at one go and that is next to impossible. Let us assume that you have several accounts each for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. It is not viable to manage all these accounts in real time to carry out your digital marketing activities until and unless you have an “army” of Social Media professionals working for you round the clock! By using unified dashboard, which is a prominent feature of most Social Media Management tools, you can monitor and manage several (sometimes even unlimited) accounts from a single place. This in turn does save a lot of your valuable resources and allows you to carry out other activities.

3. Automatically schedule all your posts in advance

Automation

Sharing content with your target audience is what brings in great visibility for your brand. But then, posting all content haphazardly does nothing but overwhelms your audience and can lead to great confusion. There is also every possibility that they completely ignore your posts because you choose to publish them at the wrong time! Twitter for instance, relies on timely content and to make the most of this platform you need to post your Tweets at a time, when your audience is the most active. Even then, posting an array of content at once will lose the desired impact that you wanted to create, no matter how interesting the topic is! Automated scheduling of your posts across all your accounts using a Social Media Tool does the trick here. You can save as many content as you want in the dashboard and keep them in the pipeline to post them at the right time (and at the right place of course). Another underlying advantage is that you can have fresh content updated on all your accounts, even in your absence. This takes us to the next point.

4. Get post suggestions to publish on all your accounts

The best way to reach out to millions of your potential customers is to keep post topical content on various Social Media platforms. What proves to be a major hindrance in this step is that you need to filter the posts and timely publish them on all your accounts. Use your Social Media Management tool to find relevant content, curate them, save drafts and choose different times to publish them. You can also get the option to publish the same post on different platforms at a given point of time. This saves your efforts as you don’t have to turn the internet upside down for new posts. Just use the tool and get access to unlimited share worthy content on different topics to maintain consistency in publishing across different platforms.

Bufferapp, Socialpilot and Hootsuite are few of my favorite tools that offer all these functionalities I have discussed in point #2, #3. Post suggestion facility is only available in Bufferapp and Socialpilot. Whereas in Hootsuite, you can get post suggestions by following your favorite social media accounts in which you will see their real-time updates that can be scheduled to share at your all connected accounts.

5. Easily analyze your Social Media footsteps

Foot Steps

Another way to enhance your business productivity by using Social media tools is that you can analyze your footsteps on various platforms. These tools bring forth easy to read and comprehend reports of all your Social Media activities and help you gain a much-needed insight. For instance, you get to know which accounts do you derive maximum traffic from, when is the customer activity highest on a particular platform, which posts do the clients appreciate the most and what drives them to take a call to action. This analytics report can be used to work and rework on your existing digital marketing campaign and derive maximum returns on your investment.

6. Available as a mobile app for increased mobility

Now let us come to the most important aspect of enhancing productivity using a Social media tool, which is by using them in the form of a mobile app. Yes, there are tools which are available as web apps as well as mobile apps. All that you need to do is install them in your handheld devices and get instant access to the dashboard and manage your Social Media activities. This gives you mobility and empowers you to take fast decisions on the spot, without having to be glued constantly to a seat. Feedly is one of my favorite app that allow me to add RSS feed from my favorite blogs. I can easily share interesting content with my social media account directly from Feedly dashboard.

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In a nutshell, it is not that tough to capitalize on the best features of Social Media tools for enhancing your business productivity. Just implement these hacks and there will be no looking back for you!

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