The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, Boomers

The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, BoomersIn a galaxy where the skills of our youngest and oldest generations peacefully co-exist, modern marketing will go where no man has gone before.

We’re at a very interesting crossroads in marketing—there are many Millennials  (hereinafter referred to as red shirts. Just kidding, we’ll call them Ensigns) coming into the profession but there are still plenty of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (hereinafter referred to as Admirals) who are still working. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough finger pointing about the contrasting styles of each generation. Endlessly debating about our differences gets us nowhere, and considering the pace at which we all must move today, there’s simply no time to waste. Instead, I’d rather explore the anomaly in the space-time continuum that occurs when we fuse the best marketing tools of the youngest working generation with those of the oldest. By melding all of our most efficient tools together and letting go of practices that don’t work, we can achieve a perfect age-blind blend, bringing forth a super-generation of successful marketers. So let’s explore this strange new world together, shall we?

Plan like an Admiral
If my 25-plus years in marketing (in case you were wondering which camp I fall into) has taught me one thing, it’s that Admirals know how to plan go-to-market strategies. In fact, it’s one of their strongest characteristics. Planning and goal-setting creates a sense of purpose and urgency that otherwise just going with your gut never will. Of course, an important part of planning is having a firm understanding of the metrics that are available to you, whether those come from Google Adwords, website traffic, number of leads, or conversion. Without having those metrics planning is fruitless, and without understanding those metrics, you’re shouting into the wind.Marketing Mind Meld: Fuse the best tools of Boomers with Millennials and win a galaxy of customers.… Click To Tweet

Step up to the tech
As adept at planning as Admirals are, they’re equally ineffective when it comes to understanding and embracing today’s social media platforms and technology. In fact, I often run into marketing professionals of my generation who say, “I don’t even have a Twitter account. I don’t need that.” Free social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram are the exact tools that enable all marketers to maximize their planned promotions, increase lead channels, and reach bigger audiences. To discount them as unnecessary is irresponsible marketing.

And when it comes to technology, there’s plenty more to choose from in the areas of marketing automation, artificial intelligence, predictive programs, targeting, segmentation, and personalization. No matter your age, if you’re not leveraging technology in your marketing plan, you’re leaving leads behind. Continue reading

Too sexy for your software?

Are you too sexy for your software?Why e-commerce businesses should opt for smart instead

In my 15 years of creating software for e-commerce businesses, I’ve seen the industry change a great deal. Lately, I view most e-commerce software falling into one of two distinct categories — sexy and unsexy. Inevitably, the flashy side of selling seduces transfixed business owners toward tools they must have to “attract” customers, such as beautiful websites, custom-fit applications, artificial intelligence, trending social media apps, marketing automation, and the like. Because owners are convinced they need all this customer-facing software in order to sell online, they put tremendous business resources toward the sexy.Why #online businesses should shun sexy software until they've mastered smarter systems @ParagMamnani Click To Tweet

But here’s the rub: The unsexy, “boring” side of the business is what owners actually use to run the company. In fact, without it, they are sure to fail. Among dozens of other important tasks, this is the software that allows them to Continue reading

Email Marketing Made Easy: Part 2, Conversion

Email Marketing Made Easy: Part 2, ConversionHow to build a welcome email series that turns shoppers into buyers

So now that you’re applying best practices to acquiring your marketing audience, your list is growing and people are eager to hear from you. Conversion is all about turning that database into purchasers and there’s no more effective way to do so than a welcome email or, better yet, a series of welcome emails. After all, you’ve paid to acquire these new subscribers, so why not talk to them? In fact, not sending a welcome email is like inviting a new friend over for dinner and then ignoring the doorbell when they arrive.How to send welcome #emails that will solidify your new #customer relationships and #sell more #Unify Click To Tweet

After acquiring a new lead, the best practice is to send a series of two to three triggered messages. The focus of these messages should be to introduce, inspire, and incentivize a sale, or conversion. These pre-nurture, getting-to-know-you emails should include messages that reinforce your brand value and build consumer confidence. In other words, tell those new friends why they should shop with you, explain what your brand stands for, and describe what makes your business so unique. In your first imessage or in one of the messages within your series, consider sending some how-to content to educate your customer about your particular specialty. Consider introducing a loyalty program or a frequent-shopper program. Finally, in your early emails, set expectations about how often you will email and what content your customer can expect to receive in your emails. This will help prevent list dropout and unsubscribes later. Continue reading

Email Marketing Made Easy: Part 1, Acquisition

Email Marketing Made Easy Part 1 AcquisitionSimple ways to reach customers who are ready to buy

Our recent webinar with the email marketing experts at Bronto yielded some great advice on how to drive e-commerce revenue through email marketing campaigns. In fact, it was so comprehensive, we’re doing a three-part blog series series to review each of the key phases within best practice strategies of email marketing—acquisition, conversion, and retention.

Acquisition
In email marketing, acquisition refers to people opting in, or letting you know that they would like to receive email marketing messages from your company. When it comes to valuable marketing, there’s a big difference between someone who knowingly volunteers their email and contact information versus someone who is unwittingly being blasted with messages. That difference lies both in the cost and effort to communicate with them as well as the potential value of converting this visitor into a buyer.Simple ways to reach #ecommerce #customers who are ready to buy. #Unify @Bronto #emailmarketing Click To Tweet

First, to get better perspective, it helps to think about where your traffic is coming from. Ask yourself some strategic questions: “What percent conversion am I seeing when people visit my site? On which pages is the traffic highest? How long are people staying there? What does the email sign-up look like?” And then move specifically into email marketing: “What does our email marketing sign-up look like? In how many places is it present? Is the call to action clear? What is the visibility of our sign-up and is it persistent throughout the site? Should we consider other forms of acquisition like affiliate programs and contests? Should we leverage paid advertising and social media channels for acquisition?” Continue reading