Archive for the ‘Business Strategy’ Category
Rena’s expertise in every aspect of food, from recipe creation for the home cook to food service design to the taste preferences of individual markets, was apparent in every conversation. Equally apparent is her warmth and enthusiasm for sharing her prodigious experience.
We started having extended chats about the food business, the challenges of grocers, the changing tastes in America, and hype versus reality. These conversations have been so insightful and enlightening, we thought we’d share them with our readers.
If you’re faking your way through the digital realm, you’re not alone. A recent survey by Adobe on “What Keeps Digital Marketers Up at Night?” shows that “less than half (48%) of professionals who consider themselves primarily digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing. A majority of digital marketers haven’t received any formal training in digital marketing: 82% report learning on the job.”
Outrageous? Not really. Getting up to speed, assessing new platforms, deciding whether to jump in and how to execute on brand is time-consuming, and most marketers a) didn’t grow up with digital media and b) have other calls of duty.
It’s our job to make your job easier. To that end, here are 6 quick Do’s and Don’ts to know right now.
No faking required.
Is it August already? For the kids it’s back to school, for the rest of us, it’s time to lock and load on our marketing plans for 2014. If your frontal lobe is a bit rusty, these will help: some of our favorite planning tools and overviews.
The Things to Come
This will get you started with a 30,000-foot perspective. Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins delivers an informative glimpse of the future in their 2013 Internet Trends report. They have been spot-on for many years and the projected changes for marketers are great “food for thought”, especially if your strategic plan goes further than 2014.
Once again, I’ve discovered something obvious: there are two kinds of people in business; insourcers and outsourcers. And it makes a world of difference to know which one you’re dealing with.
For years I was an in-sourcer; I would never pay another person to do something I thought I could do myself. Design a powerpoint? Sure! I knew the program, I could draw a box and color it in. What’s the difference? Create our own bookkeeping system? Why pay Quickbooks when I had Excel spreadsheets?
Computers exacerbate this tendency. It’s natural to think that a program gives you a capability to do something well. And for the past three decades, business consultants have pushed the cult of cost-cutting. Notice what that’s done to our economy?
With promises to drive sales conversion through the roof, here comes marketing automation — delivering improved email targeting, real-time triggered messages, customer relationship management integration, and stay-in-touch campaigns. Businesses around the globe are implementing automation with success. Their seeing lower overheads and more customer intimacy. They’re gaining access to useful return-on-marketing-investment (ROMI) metrics, because automation tracks the effectiveness of marketing at every point of the consumer experience, letting them see what’s working and what isn’t. They’re also achieving faster revenue growth. In fact, research by Marketo, Forrester, CSO Insights and others shows that automation platforms stand to increase the 20% of leads that are sales-ready by 50%, all while reducing average cost per lead.
With the number of US smartphone owners officially passing more than 50 percent of the population, marketers realize that these devices are shaping consumer behavior and purchase decisions at astonishing rates. Shoppers’ ability to access the internet on the fly affects all stages of the purchase cycle. Consumers constantly reach for their phones for product reviews, price comparisons, coupons, and product information.
Case in point, we recently attended a Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) panel on Maximizing Mobile Moments. A beauty industry marketing expert from L’Oréal Paris spoke on how the company is utilizing mobile in innovative and effective ways.
L’Oréal Paris launched a new responsive design web platform in early 2013 that creates a unique, customizable session for each user. Kelly Solomon, Vice President of eCommerce and Multi-Channel at L’Oréal Paris observed, “Consumers are more informed than ever and often know more than sales associates.” (Q: How will this affect your associate training and sales support?)
Given the multiple ways consumers can get coupons – through events, in-store tastings, store affinity card programs, etc…we are always curious about what’s most effective for redemption.
We discussed it with Associate Professor Leonard Lee of the Columbia Business School, who, as it happens, did his dissertation on “Shopping Goals, Goal Concreteness, and Conditional Promotions.” The findings are fascinating.
Brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on in-store promotions, often with results that are hard to measure.
The provocative title of a new study out of Columbia University suggests that those efforts may not only be ineffective, but actually have a dampening effect on sales. In the study, titled When Shopper Marketing Backfires, the team coined their findings the ironic prudent-spending effect. They suggest that shoppers who consider themselves impulsive may actually act less impulsive in the presence of prompts like promotions.
Before you thrust your BOGO dangler through your heart in despair, and give up on promotions forever, let’s look a bit deeper at the study, and what you can take away from the findings.
Imported brands have challenges that ‘native’ American brands can’t imagine. Your branding, for starters, is often dictated by a ‘global’ home office with little insight into the American market. The U.S. looks like an enormous pot of opportunity, but with over 600 different grocery chains, the splintered distribution system is simply baffling to the home office which may be dictating your marketing budget.
Add to that the growth of private label, which often pits your own product against you. You can’t turn down the bulk margins of private label supply, but it doesn’t help your own struggling brand.
So how do you compete?
Internal Gaps, Vendor Gaps, Strategic Gaps.
Many clients have one or more of these critical gaps in their capabilities, and its keeping them from achieving their marketing potential online. Is this you?
You have Internal Gaps
How’s your technology and in-house capabilities?
Website platforms have evolved tremendously in the last few years providing greater flexibility and actionable insights. You need to be working with tools you understand and control in-house.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you in control of all of your digital assets? Or is it “that vendor from 2 years ago”?
- Is your staff able to update and maintain to your online presence quickly and efficiently without the help of developers and designers?
- Do you have web analytics and the in-house capabilities to translate online behavior into actionable insights?If you answered “no” to two or more of these, you need to consider whether your technology and in-house capabilities are holding you back.
Are you allocating enough resources to online?