Tag Archives: Marketing Tools

Magic Number Three: 3 elements for a modern-day marketer to ponder

3 Is A Magic Number

“Three is a magic number” – Schoolhouse Rock

Since I’ve started writing my marketing blog, I have come to realise that other blogs that I have visited and read have this common habit of writing lists. Lists are rather useful ways of distilling a multitude of thoughts about one subject. From topics such as the top three inbound marketing strategies for mobile apps to 25 sneakers to own before you die, lists are a useful way of increasing visitor traffic, gleaning reader’s opinions and objections to your ‘definitive’ lists and generally showing you know your topic (supposedly…). Ironically, from my own general reading and discussions with a good friend of mine on the field of marketing has highlighted some interesting points in this current internet/data/technology era (I deleted all three because I couldn’t make up my mind). Anyhow, I digress. Here are the three elements that a modern-day marketer should consider for future market and business development.

1. “Free” products

When you consider how some ideas were conceived (i.e. Dropbox, Spotify, Farmville, Google Docs, etc.), they created services that people could utilise and get to grip with for ‘free’. The ‘Freemium’ model is a useful model, especially for start-up companies, to acquire a large user base where a portion of them can be converted into paying customers.

Consider Dropbox for example, which is a cloud storage service where users are initially offered 2 GB free storage. For a user to increase their storage capacity, they can either through referrals (500 MB per referral, up to 18 GB = 36 new users) or by subscribing to their ‘Pro’ plan for even greater storage (starting at 100 GB). Dropbox is an exponent of the ‘freemium’ model, taking advantage of rapidly decreasing prices in storage space and the shift towards cloud computing to increase the number of users and to generate income from power users derived from their user base.

Such models do need to be scrutinized, as they can be rather costly if they are not ‘leveraged’ properly in terms of the product/service offering, however they can be very successful for growing a business, as Dropbox can testify.

2. Marketing the product OR the product does the marketing?

Some companies are market/marketing driven whilst others are product-driven, relying on its relative strengths for the marketing sales pitch. Take Microsoft and Apple for instance. Here is the Microsoft advert for their Surface tablet.

Microsoft Surface Commercial

Apple iPad Commercial

As you can see from these commercials, Microsoft has gone for the more visual, dramatic, let’s-put-on-a-song-and-dance approach in showing off their Surface tablet, whereas Apple have gone for the ‘Let’s show you what the iPad and the iPad mini can do’ approach. Microsoft package and wrap up their product in the most glamorous fashion, marketing it in a way where it sells you the dream. Apple’s approach is clean and minimalistic, showing the product in action and its features. There’s no right or wrong way in how to market or promote a product, however the approach a marketer should decide on depends on how they want to present their offering to their target market and customer.

3. Innovation

How were Nintendo, Nokia and Google initially founded? Nintendo initially started by making playing cards back in 1889. Nokia’s first steps as a company was as a Finnish paper manufacturer back in 1865, and Google’s story started as an search engine called ‘BackRub’ from the creative minds of Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in 1996.

Where are they now? Nintendo is now one of the biggest computer game console manufacturers across the globe, creating iconic characters such as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. Nokia is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of mobile phone devices, creating classic models such as the 5110 and the current Lumia 920. Google is now the web’s go-to page for search results and has expanded into other areas, from creating the Android mobile platform to offering map services on the internet. Despite Nintendo and Nokia being many years older than Google, who are the gifted genius wunderkid, what has kept these three global icons continuing their longevity is innovation.

Through constant change and adapting to future needs and disrupting existing business models and paradigms, these companies have survived the test of time whilst maintaining their brands by pushing new boundaries and frontiers in their respective fields. Who would have thought Google would be competing with Nokia in the mobile industry?

These are my thoughts on the elements that a modern-day marketer must ponder in order to create new markets and develop and grow their business respectively.

What are your thoughts? Please comment and connect with me via Twitter @ChuxOnye and via LinkedIn.

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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.

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.