Category Archives: Websites

Survival Of The Fittest: 4 tools for Marketers

High Street Chains that folded

Can your business survive the High Street?

The demise of HMV, Blockbusters, Comet and Jessops in the past two months has brought sharp focus to the high street. Despite the Government’s best efforts in appointing Mary Portas to find solutions to revive the high street, it seems that this current age of technology and the internet could see further casualties for businesses. Such challenges require modern and forward-thinking solutions for businesses to survive and thrive for the future. Here are my 5 suggestions for survival:

1. Improve e-tail offering

The number of people purchasing goods and services using the internet is increasing year by year, with over 10% of total retail sales being made online during December. With e-tailing expected to grow further in the coming years, traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers should improve their online offerings. Techniques such as SEO, multi-channel marketing and branding using social media, responsive and adaptive web design for different devices and user-friendly web pages enhance the shopping experience. Additionally, using discount codes for purchases and loyalty vouchers may increase online purchases for a retailer.

2. Use alternative methods of payment

Mobile payments are becoming an increasingly common method of receiving and making payments for businesses. Services such as PayPal, iZettle and Square have add-on devices for mobile payments. These enable consumers to pay for goods and services in a fast and convenient fashion. Furthermore, NFC technology has caused an influx of payment services such as Google Wallet, Visa mobile and O2’s mobile payment service offers businesses many solutions to accept payments for now and the future.

3. Adopt ‘smarter’ methods in products for consumers

Smart products are becoming more commonplace in society. From smart readers in the home that monitor energy and power usage to sensors in vehicles that assist parking and uses intelligent lighting when driving in certain road conditions. Such innovations can be applied for food packaging, with the use of smart packaging used to detect food that has gone off to reduce wastage. Additionally, other applications for ‘smart’ food could be portion size recommendations (smart labelling) and notification alerts for when food is running out in the fridge. These methods may potentially save businesses money, by using data gathered may provide supermarkets within a particular area about the type of customers that purchase items from their stores. This enables the supermarket to use efficient stock control methods and reduces their food wastage.

4. Ask the audience

With crowd-sourced funding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and RocketHub providing opportunities for businesses and start-ups to raise funds for their projects, this provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to innovate and experiment for new products and services. Also, crowd funding is useful as a means to gauge the viability and popularity of a project, as well as finding new and exciting products to stock for sale. Successful projects include the Pebble watch and the POP charging stand, which received significantly more pledged funds that their original target amount. Finally, using crowd-sourced funding guarantees purchases for your product or service offering provided a business follows through on their promise of producing the product purchased.

What are your thoughts on ways that businesses can survive the high street? Please comment or connect with me on Twitter @ChuxOnye and on LinkedIn.

Music in the internet age

Gigaom

For those of us who work in digital music, this week has delivered a nasty one-two punch to the gut. First David Pakman (eMusic, N2K, MyPlay) posted the text of his testimony during US Congressional hearings on his blog.  It focused on how prohibitively expensive it is to license music from record labels. Then  Peter Kafka, one of the best writers at All Things D,  was incredulous that anyone would even bother starting something new in the music space at all.

I’d argue that both of these very smart guys are obsessed with the wrong problem and, on this topic at least, they are as stuck in the past as major labels are.

They both make the mistake of focusing primarily on start-up business models that revolve almost exclusively on getting publishing or performance rights to stream or download music. And by getting tangled up in that mess, they miss the forest for…

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The Gaga data grinder: Questions to ponder for Marketeers #2

The way that music lovers listen and purchase music has been revolutionised over the past decade. Nowadays, CDs are not the only litmus test for calculating sales and popularity. The advent of social media and online music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and Google Music has irreversibly changed the musical landscape. So how can an emerging or independent music artist be discovered or establish a fanbase in this internet era? The question posed is:

Can social data be a useful tool for music artists?

A good example of this of social data being used for marketing purposes is Lady Gaga, who is one of the most effective users of social media and has a very large and engaged following, uses social data derived from Spotify to personalise gigs and understand her fan’s preferences for her music. Could this be a useful tool for emerging artists to use as part of their own marketing? Whilst the returns for music seem to be smaller due to high levels of piracy, emerging and aspiring artists are seeking innovative and different ways of getting their music out to the masses. Sites such as Musicmetric and Kickstarter are platforms which provide control for artists over their projects, in terms of funding, marketing, promotions and sales, and connects them to brands as well for extra exposure. In terms of data, the analytical tools such web services provide for artists are useful insights into their fans, and also a comparative understanding of how benchmark industry data can be used as a means for effective marketing and promotions campaigns.

Musicmetric webage

Musicmetric – the future for independent and aspiring music artists?

So is social data the way forward? Lady Gaga could be providing the questions….

Follow me on Twitter @ChuxOnye

5 useful websites for marketers

The internet has evolved to the point where there is a wealth of information for professional and aspiring marketers. There is a vast array of web-based tools that marketers can use for collaboration, organising projects and generating ideas. Here is a selection of 5 useful websites that marketers can utilise and add to their ‘toolkit’.

1. Affilorama

Affiliorama webpage

Have you always wanted to unlock the earning potential of your website through affiliate marketing? Feeling stuck for ideas and insight? Affilorama is your go-to site for marketers in this field. This website has a goldmine of useful resources for marketers looking to improve their skills and knowledge in affiliate marketing. With plenty of videos on digital marketing topics, ranging from SEO and PPC to creating and promoting your website using social media tools.

Twitter:@Affilorama
Affilorama on Facebook

2. Google Docs

Google Docs web page

Need to create documents, presentations and forms using the internet? Google Docs is your one-stop office suite that meets your needs. The ability to create, collaborate and share projects amongst colleagues using these utilities are a powerful tool for any marketer. A very useful tool is the ability to create simple surveys using Google Docs, which creates a link for the survey and collates input data onto a spreadsheet. The data can be compiled into charts and graphs, which provides useful analysis and insights for marketers. Documents are stored in the cloud using Google Drive, and can be downloaded into the various Microsoft Office formats and as PDFs.

Twitter:@googledrive

3. Evernote

Evernote Page

The Evernote website

Ever stumbled across an interesting article on Mashable or Fast Company, or had a brainstorming session but wasn’t able to write your thoughts or ideas at that point? This is where Evernote comes in. This tool, which is also available in app form for computers, tablets and mobiles, enables you to create notes, lists, save photos and bookmark web pages for future inspiration, productivity and for projects. Notes can also be tagged, which is useful for grouping information together and search purposes. Evernote has a nice ecosystem of apps which work together, such as Evernote Hello, Skitch and Penultimate, enhancing the value to a marketer using Evernote.

Twitter:@evernote
Evernote on Facebook

4. Code Academy

Code Academy

Code Academy is a site that enables anyone to learn how to code from scratch, teaching users the fundamentals of programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML & CSS, Python, Ruby and JQuery. The simple, easy-to-follow and interactive user interface helps to dispel the complications of coding, making it a fun and enjoyable experience. Such skills are sought-after by marketing departments within businesses. For a marketer to possess an understanding of coding provides plenty of benefits, from link building on websites to understanding the inner workings of an app or game, Code Academy provides the essential tools for the modern marketer.

Twitter:@Codecademy
Code Academy on Facebook

5. Musicovery

Musicovery website homepage

Not quite your conventional marketing tool, but seeing as marketing is about perception and have the capability to be emotionally resonating, what better way to get in touch with those emotions with music? Musicovery allows you to pick music according to your ‘mood’, which then creates a playlist according to your selection on the ‘mood pad’. A rather nice way to unwind after a long day in the office, or to add the spark to your weekend with an energetic selection to get you in the mood. Musicovery is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android, which is in beta mode, but be sure that this will get better with each iteration.

Musicovery on Facebook

Well, there’s my list of useful websites for marketers. Do you have any website suggestions for marketers? I would love to know through your comments and questions below or via twitter @ChuxOnye.