Elaine Fogel


Study Says Small-Medium Businesses Seeing Higher Twitter ROI

A recent study by BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor says that small-medium businesses (SMBs) perceived their Twitter ROI as “excellent” (10-19 times spend; 18.8%) or “extraordinary” (20+ times spend; 12.3%), up from 25% of advertisers in last year’s survey and 17.1% in 2011. But, there’s something missing here.

It’s important to know whether these results represent B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business) companies, or a mix of both? Personally, the results would have more value if they showed B2B and B2C separately. Other studies I’ve read seem to indicate that B2C companies are benefiting more from social media marketing than B2B.

The study also shows that SMB usage of Twitter for advertising and promotion has been steadily increasing over the past few years. In fact, 24.3% of SMBs used Twitter for advertising and promotion this year, compared with 22% in 2012 and 16.1% in 2011.

Other findings: Continue reading

What You Need to Know About On-Demand Marketing

Veruca SaltNever heard this term? You will. On-demand marketing is exactly as it sounds. Servicing customers 24/7. “Not just always ‘on,’ but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.”

According to a recent article in the McKinsey Quarterly, “Emerging technologies are poised to personalize the consumer experience radically—in real time and almost everywhere. It’s not too early to prepare.”

The authors claim that this new technology will have a profound effect on B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing, so chances are that it will also have a major impact on B2B (business-to-business) as well as nonprofit and public marketing. Bottom line? It’s going to affect every small business and nonprofit organization in the next few years, beginning now.

First, let’s look at what your customers will expect:

According to Peter Dahlström and David Edelman, consumer demands will rise in four areas:

1. Now: Consumers will want to interact anywhere at any time.

2. Can I: They will want to do truly new things as disparate kinds of information (from financial accounts to data on physical activity) are deployed more effectively in ways that create value for them.

3. For me: They will expect all data stored about them to be targeted precisely to their needs or used to personalize what they experience.

4. Simply: They will expect all interactions to be easy.

(Want to see this in action? Check out the infographic below.)

One thing is clear, they say: “The consumer’s experiences with brands and categories are set to become even more intense and defining. That matters profoundly because such experiences drive two-thirds of the decisions customers make, according to research by our colleagues; prices often drive the rest.”

Sure, it sounds exciting! Yet, if the objective is to “mobilize to deliver high-quality experiences across sales, service, product use, and marketing,” I can’t help thinking of the resources required to stay in the game. How will smaller-budget entities keep up?

Perhaps, the first thing to acknowledge is that small businesses and nonprofits cannot do it all. You will never have the funds that large organizations have. But, you will need to adopt some new technologies you can afford. Before you even reach this juncture, there’s one thing you can do to prepare.

How to prepare now:

If your business or organization is not 100% customer-oriented now, it is at risk. That means that every individual - from the CEO to the newest hire - must have a customer-focused mindset. No organization can substitute technology to do this.  It must be holistic and fluid with technology complementing the culture. Every touchpoint needs to showcase an amazing brand experience.

You can’t offer a customer service training session and expect this to change the culture. Organizations - no matter their size - will need to subscribe to customer-orientation programs that include training, integration with performance expectations and reviews, incentives and rewards, and ongoing measurement. If a marketing and customer orientation doesn’t exist internally, it can’t exist externally.

Marketing is about to change - again. How will your small business or nonprofit prepare? 

Future of On-Demand Marketing

Are We Losing the Human Touch in Marketing?

Take a look at recent consumer studies and you’ll see that “more and more people are connecting to the Internet - and for longer amounts of time.” Time spent online has increased 21% from 2011 to 2012.

The time we spent on social media in 2011 averaged 59.5B minutes compared with 121.1B minutes in 2012. It has greatly affected how we turn to companies for customer service. Now, 47% of social media users prefer social care (customer service via social media) over the traditional toll-free phone call.

In the B2B (business-to-business) world, a recent social media study demonstrates that using social media is producing more leads. Yet, what many of these studies fail to uncover is how qualified these leads are or how many result in sales?

In the nonprofit sector, studies have documented which social networks organizations are using, how much their networks are growing, and which networks donors prefer for giving. What I have yet to see is the actual ROI of social media fundraising.

Now, I’m not deriding social media or using the Internet. Heck, I am as attached as the next person. What I am questioning, however, is how much are marketers integrating human contact with digital marketing tactics?

We’ve discussed the integration of traditional and digital media channels in cross-channel marketing, but what of the human touch? What do we call that? Are we losing it?

How many B2B salespeople have closed a deal without a personal meeting, phone call, or video chat? How many fundraisers have signed a major gifts donor without a personal meeting? My guess is that the bigger the fish, the more human touch is required.

What has been YOUR experience? How much do you integrate digital marketing with human touch marketing?

The Importance of Internal Marketing

Since I’ll be away from my office all day today speaking at a national conference, I thought I’d write about the topic of one of my two presentations - internal marketing.

So, what IS internal marketing?

It’s when organizations think of their employees as their first market - their internal customers. It’s when all employees are customer-oriented and work together as a team, no matter who their “customers” may be: business-to-consumer customers, business-to-business customers, professional services clients, donors, members, patrons, students… you get the picture.

What’s the purpose of practicing internal marketing?

It helps ensure that employees are effectively carrying out the organization’s programs and policies. An informed staff means one that’s more engaged and invested in the organization’s outcomes.

Internal marketing creates an environment that enables organizations to focus on whatever needs changing internally so they can enhance their external marketplace performance. Happy campers internally mean happy customers externally.

Internal marketing helps organizations deliver better customer service by aligning, coordinating, and motivating employees.

What are the benefits? 
For organizations:
Organizations benefit from higher employee satisfaction and retention. Recruitment and training have costs, so when employees stay longer and are more satisfied with their jobs, that helps organizations save money.

Other benefits include: a customer-oriented workforce, enhanced external business relationships, a better flow of information internally, empowered employees, increased compliance with standards and protocols, and improved brand reputation, and yes, profits!

For employees:
Employees feel more motivated and experience higher job satisfaction. They are empowered to make decisions within certain guidelines and begin to feel more respected and valued for their contributions. This feeling leads to a greater sense of belonging to the “team” as well as responsibility and accountability to employers. Staff conflict wanes and people have better dispositions at work.

Now, who wouldn’t want to work for an organization with a culture like that?
And what does it take? Openness, flexibility, and a desire to do things better for better results. It’s a mindset.

Does your organization practice internal marketing? Tell us what it does that works. If not, what could your organization be doing to make things better?

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