Author: JamieTurner

9 Successful Email Marketing Techniques You Can Use to Boost Sales

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After search, email is the next most effective marketing channel for e-commerce. However, it’s not always easy to create email campaigns that will generate results. To help you boost sales by using email marketing, the following infographic by Targeting Mantra, shares nine tried and tested campaigns that you can easily replicate:


How to Use Loyalty Programs to Reduce Customer Churn and Boost Revenues

Blog post about loyalty cards

Virtually every online retailer offers a loyalty program these days, and people are perfectly happy to sign up for them (at least the free ones) in droves.

Unfortunately for many e-tailers, though, consumers don’t use every program equally.  According to The 2013 Maritz Loyalty Report, which surveyed over 6,000 consumers the average shopper has joined 7.4 loyalty programs. However, members actively use only 63% (i.e., 4.7) of the programs they join. And 53% had stopped using at least one program’s benefits within the previous year, although only 7% had formally cancelled a membership.

Loyalty Card Membership

On the plus side, 57% of program members say they’ve changed when and where they shopped to maximize their rewards.  Communicating well is vital for a program to experience this kind of success.

In the same study, 94% want of shoppers expressed that they like to receive communications from programs, and 57% “always read” them. 93% of members who strongly agreed that they received “relevant” communications were satisfied with the program. Only 20% of members who strongly disagreed with that statement said they were satisfied. Only 12% said they received too many communications.

These are critical insights for your loyalty efforts.  After all, the more satisfied your committed customers are, the more likely they are to keep shopping with you.  The question, then, is:  How can you optimize your loyalty program to maximize member engagement and participation?

The most important key to success is data collection and analysis.

You can’t measure, replicate, or improve on your results if you don’t know what’s driving them.  Therefore, your first step is to establish rigorous, reliable, 24/7/365 monitors on every element of your loyalty campaign and every action your members and other customers take (or don’t take, as the case may be).

The next essential step is continual testing of every last campaign facet to identify the best ways to engage your customers and thereby achieve your primary loyalty goal(s).  While those goals differ from retailer to retailer, many loyalty campaigns rely on “multi-motivators” — an array of enticing deals designed to influence shoppers’ behaviors — to drive audience participation and activity.

Loyalty Card

Particularly (but not exclusively) in paid loyalty programs, the multi-motivators are valuable, ongoing offers that encourage people to keep using the benefits (and therefore stay in the program) once they join.

For example, Amazon Prime members enjoy fast and free delivery on an unlimited number of Amazon purchases, as well as ongoing entertainment benefits. Another example is, whose subscribers enjoy 10% cash back, free shipping, and stackable coupon savings on multiple purchases at over 1,000 online retailers, along with additional savings opportunities.

Multi-motivators can and should take many forms, of course, depending on your specific needs, goals, and audience.  During and after the selection process, though, there are several things you can do to leverage your multi-motivators to enhance your loyalty program.

The first requirement is to choose your multi-motivators wisely and well.

Unless you’re a large, multi-category retailer with realistic hopes of dominating the online retail space, you’re not necessarily trying to attract (much less please) every shopper in the country.  Instead, you should define your program goals clearly, make sure they’re measurable, then select the action drivers that are best suited to achieve them.

Be sure to test all of your motivators again and again, and across every targeted demographic group, to confirm that they’re performing to your expectations.

A large part of that success will depend on where and how they reach your desired audience, so you also need to identify the right mix of channels, messages, and vehicles.  Test anything and everything, and be sure your program members, customers, and prospects can see and access your offers via their mobile devices; smartphones and tablets now play a major role in consumers’ shopping processes.

Throughout it all, keep your eye on the ball:  The ultimate purpose is to find the most effective ways to contact your best customers and prospects and, more importantly, to influence their behaviors to meet your needs.

Then Personalize Your Offers

Customers practically expect retailers to know their personal preferences these days.  Use your data collection and analysis to target each program member with specific offers that match her or his known interests.  Over time, you’ll also learn how individual members respond to different vehicles and channels, allowing you to send them customer-specific offers in their preferred format(s).

Tailoring the motivators to each shopper’s proven behaviors ensures that they receive relevant offers, which increases the chances that they’ll respond positively — and boosts your program’s value in their eyes.  Additionally, anticipating their wants and needs will enhance their experiences with your brand, a vital step in the loyalty-building process.

Be Sure to Refresh Your Program 

Every relationship changes, including your relationship with your customers.  As they grow up, get married, buy homes, have kids, change jobs, retire, or simply find new hobbies or pastimes, some of their interests will grow, wane, or move in entirely new directions.  At the same time, changes in the marketplace and/or society in general will create new trends and needs that can also affect their lives and therefore their purchase decisions.

Again, an ongoing analysis of their purchases and other website activities will be crucial if you want to recognize and properly respond to their evolving patterns of behavior.

Be sure to update your program’s multi-motivators (especially the targeted offers) to match each member’s individual lifestyle and latest desires.  By regularly testing and modifying your multi-motivators, you’ll also keep your program fresh, helping to ensure that it continues to serve the changing interests of the public at large.

Expand Your Reach 

The online shopping audience is vast and getting bigger, and the competition for its loyalty is growing along with it, if not faster.  Your ability to survive and thrive in the coming years will therefore depend in large part on your ability to increase your customer base.  To do so, you’ll need to continually test an assortment of multi-motivators that will attract a wider and wider range of customers.

By segmenting program members according to their different interests and behaviors, you can pinpoint the sorts of offers that appeal to specific demographic groups.  The further down you drill into each segmented group, the more detail you can uncover about their motivations and desires.  With that information, you can adjust your marketing plans and build an actionable strategy that will deliver not only more customers but also more loyal customers.

Stay Socially Engaged 

Your customers have more platforms than ever before to share their feelings.  This is great if they’re happy with your products and/or motivators; they’ll enthusiastically share their opinions far and wide.  However, if a particularly expressive customer happens to find fault with your company, you can be sure that he or she will also broadcast those negative thoughts on every virtual corner available.

Therefore, you need to have a strategy and action plans ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Set alerts on every platform imaginable so you’ll learn of potential risks to your brand as soon as possible, and make sure you react to adverse events quickly but rationally.  Responding to a complaint with a rash comment will obviously backfire, but so too could trying to resolve the issue with an overly generous motivator; other members may chime in with similar complaints and/or chafe if they don’t receive similar offers.  (Don’t expect any resolution, positive or negative, to remain secret.)

Customer Engagement

To paraphrase an ad from the last millennium, if it came in a bottle, every retailer would have a great loyalty program.  Attracting and retaining a robust, growing base of satisfied shoppers requires a tremendous amount of work, though.  The competition for the best customers is increasingly fierce because the stakes are so high; the long-term success of your company may very well depend on it.  Determining the most effective multi-motivators, using them properly, and refreshing them to continually enhance your loyalty program can help tip the scales in your favor.

Tom Caporaso is the CEO of Clarus Marketing Group, which builds and customizes subscription programs, including FreeShipping.comReturn Saver, and others. Tom has over two decades of direct marketing experience, specializing in e-commerce, subscription, and custom loyalty programs.

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27 Pivotal Questions to Ask Before Writing Your Next Marketing Plan

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If you’re a Chief Marketing Officer, or a V.P. of Marketing, or even an entrepreneur running your own business, there’s going to come a time when you have to hit the re-set button and write a new marketing plan.

That’s something we do quite frequently for our clients, as outlined in an in-depth post we uploaded called Even We Were Surprised When Our Marketing Campaign Grew Our Client’s Revenues by 278%. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to re-brand and re-launch a product or service, check out that post.

But before you do, take a spin through the questions below. These are fundamental questions you should ask yourself before you put pen to paper and write your next marketing plan.

Questions to Help You Lay Your Marketing Foundation

Here are the fundamental questions you should ask about your product or service that will help you lay the groundwork for the marketing campaign you’ll launch in the future.

  • What is our product or service? (Okay, that’s a pretty basic question, but you have to start somewhere.)
  • What makes our product or service different? (Don’t get too hung-up on this question — sometimes you have a Me Too product that’s not really different. That’s where the magic of marketing comes into play. In other words, you’ll use marketing to highlight a product feature or benefit that your competitors have ignored or overlooked.)
  • What is our awareness level? Do we have a positive, negative, or neutral brand impression?
  • Who is our primary competition? How are they positioning themselves? What strategies are they using? What have they overlooked?
  • What is the core message we’d like our customers to know about our brand? Is it safer? Sexier? Cheaper?
  • What unspoken need does our product or service fulfill? (Don’t overlook this very important question — sometimes this can be a game changer. After all, Starbucks doesn’t just sell coffee. Instead, they fulfill unspoken needs such as culture, coolness, and companionship.)
  • What kind of research or insights do we have about our customers?

Questions to Help You Think Through Your Marketing Campaign

Okay, now that we’ve laid the groundwork for your marketing strategy, let’s dive into some questions that will help you take the appropriate steps to launch your marketing campaign. Here goes:

  • What has been our most effective campaign to date? What made it effective?
  • What has been our least effective campaign to date? What made it fail?
  • What is the purpose of our upcoming marketing campaign? To build brand awareness? To deliver leads to our website? To drive foot traffic to our retail locations?

Questions to Help You Identify the Needs of Your Target Market

Remember, your prospects and customers are typically buying something that’s deeper than your product’s features or benefits.

Before we get into the questions on this section, here’s an excerpt from a post we wrote previously called How to Think Strategically About Social Media. It highlights some of the issues we’re talking about when it comes to what people are really buying.

If you’re Maid Brigade, a national home cleaning service, you’d say that your customers are buying a clean house. After all, when someone calls Maid Brigade, that customer doesn’t ask them to mow their lawn – they ask them to clean their house.

But is that really what they’re asking for?

Oh, sure, a clean house is an essential element of what Maid Brigade is selling, but there are plenty of businesses that clean houses. So the question really becomes, “In addition to a clean house, what is it that a Maid Brigade customer is really buying?”

For starters, they’re buying a brand they trust. For some companies (such as Coca-Cola and Apple), the value of the brand is one of their most important assets. For perspective on the value of a brand, consider this ­— in your neighborhood there are probably several local restaurants that sell pizza. And many of those restaurants sell better pizza than Domino’s. But Domino’s almost certainly sells more pizzas per store than any of the restaurants in your neighborhood.

Why? Because Domino’s has a national brand that people have grown to love and trust. And, when it comes right down to it, love and trust translates into big bucks. And more pizzas sold.

Now that we’ve talked about the value of a brand, let’s jump back to the Maid Brigade case study. People don’t hire Maid Brigade simply because they’re a trustworthy national brand or because they do a good job cleaning houses. It goes much deeper than that. When you drill down into what prompts someone to buy their services, you start to uncover some of the unspoken reasons why people gravitate to their brand.

For example, Maid Brigade was the first national chain to go green with their cleaning materials. So a certain percentage of people hire Maid Brigade because they like the green aspect of their services. For most people, “green cleaning” isn’t the very first thing they’re looking for when they do research on home cleaning services, but it’s certainly a key differentiator for their brand.

But we’re still just scratching the surface — you can go much deeper.

For example, what is it that people really get when they get a clean house? People get more than just a clean house – they also get time. In other words, they free up several hours a week that they would otherwise spend cleaning.

What do they get in those several hours? Initially, you might say they get time to play more tennis, time with their grandchildren or time to work with a charity. All of those answers are correct, but when you examine it further you realize that they’re actually getting the opportunity to have more fulfilling lives, to have deeper relationships and to get to know themselves better.

See how that works? What people are actually buying in a product or service goes much deeper than you might imagine.

If you were to write down a list of the features and benefits of using Maid Brigade, many marketers would just scratch the surface. But by getting inside the mind of the customer and thinking about what truly motivates them, you come up with emotional hot buttons that resonate with their prospects and customers.

Again, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t lead with “green clean” or “spotless counters” or “freshly-vacuumed rug.” Those aspects of the Maid Brigade brand are all important, but when you overlay those benefits with the deeper, more meaningful emotional hot buttons, you connect with your prospects and customers on a more lasting basis.

The excerpt above will help you understand the importance of digging deep into what it is that your prospects and customers are really looking for.

With that in mind, here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself as you dig deep into your target market’s needs, wants and desires.

  • Who are they (from a demographic point-of-view)?
  • What do they feel?
  • What do they need on the surface?
  • What are their hidden motivators for buying our products or services? (For example, many people buy B2B products or services because they like the salesperson, but if you asked the purchaser why they bought the product or service, they would never say, “because I like the salesperson.” Liking a salesperson is a hidden motivator.)
  • What’s the value of this product or service to the customer?
  • What does the customer need to know before he or she will buy from our company?
  • How does the customer make a decision to buy products or services like this? What is the process we have to go through to make a sale? (If you’re in the B2C world, this is relatively straightforward. But if you’re in the B2B world, you have to deal with multiple layers, which are outlined in the graphic below.)

B2B Marketing Process

Action Steps for You

The questions outlined above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re really interested in doing a top-notch job on your next marketing campaign, there’s a whole series of questions you should ask after this batch. We’ll be uploading a post about that in the future.

Until then, here are some action steps you should take before launching your next campaign:

  1. Clean the Slate: For a campaign to be break-through, you’ll need to start with as clean a slate as possible. I understand that there are legacy campaigns that you have to consider, but try to open your mind to new, fresh thinking. Otherwise, you’ll just be repeating the same mistakes you made in the past.
  2. Row in the Same Direction: As you clean the slate, you’ll also want to get your team rowing in the same direction. That means establishing goals and objectives for whatever you’re doing — and, most important, getting buy-in on those goals and objectives before you do the exercise outlined above.
  3. Pay Attention to Details: Many organizations do brainstorming meetings or launch campaigns, but then lose track of the initial objectives and/or end game. Keep your eye on the prize and make sure you track your progress. Otherwise, the whole experience will be for naught.

Good luck. Keep me posted on your progress. And let me know if there are any questions you think I missed in the comments section below.

Oh, and one other thing — if you liked this post, would you mind sharing it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest? Thanks!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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How to Boost Your Conversion Rate by 49%

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Did you know that only one in seven A/B split tests boost conversions? Now, don’t let this fact dampen your enthusiasm for split testing your way to conversion success.

When done right, testing can actually increase your conversion rate by 49%. To find out how to create tests that will produce significant results, check out the following infographic from QuickSprout:


Top Super Bowl Spots: Are They Worth $4.5 Million?

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On Super Bowl Sunday, I was interviewed by CNN International to talk about this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials.

Before being picked up by the car from CNN, I had an email dialogue with Dr. Reshma Shah who is a marketing professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. (She’s also my co-author on How to Make Money with Social Media.)

I figured if anybody could share some light on the value of a Super Bowl commercial, it would be Dr. Shah.

Here’s what she shared with me via email on two topics — brand authenticity and ad campaigns, as well as social media and the impact of branding:

1) Brand Authenticity and Ad Campaigns

I teach the Dove case study and spots from their Campaign for Real Beauty – which has several parts to it – aired on the Super Bowl a number of times. 

Despite their good intentions to get people to start thinking differently about beauty and what is beautiful (because only 2% of the world’s women think they are beautiful) Dove’s efforts were criticized. Why? Because Unilever, the parent company, also markets the AXE brand.  Axe’s brand positioning is based on the objectification of women to sell product.

In the end, the Super Bowl campaign didn’t help Dove sell more soap. Worse yet, social media exposed a huge contradiction in their approach questioning their real motives. 

Today, an estimated 80 percent of American women feel dissatisfied with their bodies and 81 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of becoming “fat.” Can a series of ad campaigns really change institutionalized body hatred or people’s deep rooted beliefs and behaviors around domestic abuse?

These companies and brands have to walk the walk 100% of the time or run the risk that people find them to be nothing more than emperors with no clothes on.

2) Social Media and the Impact on Branding

Not long ago, a Nielsen study showed that trust in advertising was in decline. Between 2009 and 2012, global trust in TV advertising declined from 71% to just 47% worldwide.

Fueled by social media, trust in peer opinions is rising at the same time that trust in advertising is falling. Nielsen reports that the most trusted source of recommendations (close to 90%) is a recommendation from somebody a customer knows personally.

While this number has always been high, it’s never been higher on an absolute or relative basis. A recent McKinsey study also noted that, unlike advertising, word-of-mouth is the only source of influence that remains critical at all stages of the sales cycle for most goods and services.

In the word-of-mouth era, customers do not always repeat what you say to them, but they do talk about the experiences that they are having with your brand. Brands that are at the heart of experiences that matter to their customers can earn their loyalty, their trust, and their recommendations.

In fact, this “customer experience effect” is so powerful that recent research by Forrester showed that customer’s perceived “quality of the customer experience” was the single best predictor of future purchase intent (0.71 correlation) and of likelihood to recommend (0.65 correlation).

As you can see from what Dr. Shah wrote above, there’s a lot of good data about the impact advertising and word-of-mouth has on the brands we love.

With all that in mind, here’s the segment on the Super Bowl ads from my appearance on CNN International where I reference some of Dr. Shah’s perspectives.


Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?

Social Media Infographic

We’re not typically big fans of data that generalizes trends in marketing. After all, the only way to get a true sense of what works for your company is to test your way to success. Said another way, all the data in the world won’t matter a bit if it turns out that your specific target market responds in a way that’s different from the generalized data.

But then we came across the infographic below, created by our friends at QuickSprout. They’ve done a good thing here, which is to provide multiple datapoints from multiple sources. In addition, they’ve given some thoughts on how you should use the data to your benefit.

For example, did you know that engagement rates on Facebook typically drop by 3.5% between Monday and Wednesday? That’s a piece of data that just might shed some light on why you may have seen similar results with your Facebook posts.

Here’s another one — according to Fannit, one of the best times to pin something on Pinterest is between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm on Saturday. That makes sense once you think about it, but it’s always nice to have data to back up your assumptions.

So, with all that in mind, check out the infographic below. There’s plenty to digest and ponder. But remember — these are good datapoints, but the truly important information is the data you collect based on your own tests and results for your specific target market.


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Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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How to Use Digital Asset Management to Protect Your Brand

This guest post contributed by Liz McClellan

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“If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trademarks, and I would fare better than you.”

John Stuart, former CEO of Quaker Oats

We’ve heard this quote before, but 100 years later it still resonates so powerfully. Consumers love brands and it’s no longer just about paying a price premium for a coveted branded product. We have started to attach huge value to low-cost brands, and it’s always a proud moment when you are complimented on a designer handbag purchased from Marshall’s or Target.

While there may be huge differences between luxury and every day value brands, the common denominator that unites all marketers is the desire to build and protect their brands. Brands after all, contribute substantially to the bottom line of most businesses.

In the omni-channel environment in which today’s marketers operate, this is a daily challenge.  Many marketers struggle to manage the marketing ‘assets,’ the sum of which make up the external face and value of a brand.

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This was underlined by some independent research that North Plains recently commissioned emedia to carry out regarding how marketers track and share their brand assets. Surprisingly, 70% still rely on email to share assets with third party agencies and over 50% of respondents having zero security in place.

Some steps to take to protect your brand identity

There many methods including the obvious legal channels that companies and brands can and do adopt on a daily basis to protect their most valuable assets.  Unfortunately it’s not always possible to control what happens to your brand externally.  This means action to protect brand identity is often reactive and remedial, whereas it should be proactive to prevent problems occurring in the first place.

So, is there anything that marketers can do to better protect their brands?  The answer is yes, because they can control the internal management of the brand and its’ related assets and IP.  This gives a brand owner the confidence that what is being put out into the world is consistent (in terms of tone, visual identity and quality standards) compliant with any regulation and ultimately 100% “on brand.” Bottom-line benefits include reduced risk of litigation and associated costs.

In essence, managing these assets – the jewels in the brand’s crown – comes down to two steps: processes and systems.  Neither sound very sexy, but they don’t have to be onerous or complicated, if the right approach is taken.


This involves creating a culture where people understand a) marketing assets have an intrinsic value and need to be treated with respect and b) they have some accountability for making sure that happens. Think wide: the strategy should encompass every part of the organization involved in external sharing of brand assets. Not just marketers, but anyone responsible for distributing or using assets externally.

A happy customer is a marketer’s strongest tool – For this reason, many companies have begun hiring brand ambassadors to promote  products or services to customers for the sole purpose of creating  customer advocates.  It is imperative that the brand ambassadors reflect the integrity of the company’s brand from a visual and operational point of view.

Legal and procurement need to be involved too; from the perspective of adding that understanding around issues such as rights protection and suppliers’ adherence to how they represent the brand.  Consider mandating that anyone creating assets must follow a rigorous approval or review process. Also consider implementing an internal training program that teaches the importance of brand management, to create internal evangelists of brand values.

Overcome siloed thinking and asset management by creating a marketing ecosystem where all digital assets are in one place, covering content from idea conception through to finished work and on-going iterations.

Systems to support brand identity

So how do you create this single ‘community’ for assets?  Digital asset management (DAM) is the answer to which marketers are increasingly turning, using technology to take the stress out of dealing with multiple assets (even a mid-sized brand might have in excess of 100,000 brand assets).

A good DAM will provide control and visibility over all the assets for a brand, from creation through to distribution and archiving, including approval tracking and rights management.  An immediate benefit of a DAM is that users can see which assets already exist, giving them the potential to re-use existing material, rather than commissioning new content or artwork.  Clearly, this removal of unnecessary duplication saves both time and money for the organization.

One global organization that North Plains works with has estimated savings in excess of $3.3 million per year, just through eliminating requests to external agencies to send over images.

DAM also helps with risk mitigation  For instance, ensuring that the digital rights management information associated with any asset ‘travels’ with the content helps to prevent inadvertent misuse.  Similarly, DAM protects the brand itself, ensuring that its values and visual integrity are retained, regardless of application or location.  DAM can also help ensure adherence to industry regulation and codes, which can be critically important in some industries, where it’s important to ensure the correct processes and supporting technology are in place before they can go-to-market.

DAM comes in all shapes and sizes, from being built in-house to systems offered by a growing brand of third party suppliers.  Here are some ‘best practice’ attributes for which to look:

  • Ease of use – sounds obvious, but people will only use a system that is simple and intuitive to use. If they have to spend lots of time learning how complicated functions work, then they won’t bother.  Access to assets needs to be transparent, without having to scroll through endless menu options.
  • Control – consider giving different people (agencies, management, marketing team members) different levels of access. Also think about having asset ‘gatekeepers’ who are responsible for ensuring that the finished asset is uploaded to the right location in the right way.
  • But not too much control – there is a fine line between control and flexibility: users must be able to not easily access the right assets, but also to use and manipulate them sufficiently (though of course without affecting asset integrity).

Brand is what differentiates companies from one another in the marketplace. Ultimately, the main function of any marketer is to protect this sacred brand identity. For obvious reasons measures in place to manage brand assets are no longer a ‘nice to have; they have become a ‘must have.’ By preserving brand integrity companies can afford to scale and reinvest time, energy and resources into new R&D that anticipates and meets the changing needs of tomorrow’s consumer.

Liz McClellan is CMO of North Plains Systems, a leading provider of digital asset management solutions.




Mobile Display Ads: An In-Depth Guide on Using Mobile Ads to Drive Prospects to Your Business

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Are you interested in using mobile display ads to drive more prospects to your business? If so, then check out the post below. In it, we discuss some of the techniques we used in a mobile display ad campaign we developed for Holiday Inn.

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Laying the Foundation for a Successful Mobile Display Ad Campaign

You probably know a good bit about mobile marketing and mobile display ads already. If not, let’s do a quick review of some of the key concepts you should be familiar with:

  • Responsive Design: By now, you should have a mobile website for your business. If you do, the odds are pretty good that you used responsive design so that the site changes format based on the size of the screen. If not, get your agency working on a responsive mobile website right away. (To see responsive design in action, drag your browser screen down to the size of a smartphone. You’ll see how our site responds to the different screen sizes.)
  • Mobile Display Ads: There are two key concepts to keep in mind with mobile display ads. The first is rich media and the second is secondary action rate. Rich media incorporates audio, video, gifs or other technology to engage people with your ads. Secondary action rate is the rate at which people engage with your ads and is a greater predictor of success than even your click through rate. (For more information about secondary action rate, read this post on the 60 Second Marketer website.)
  • QR Codes: Yeah, right. Skip ’em.
  • Mobile Paid Search: This is one of the easiest ways to get started in mobile marketing. That said, the days of printing money with paid search are over. Today, paid search is simply another channel that can be used to drive traffic to your site — mobile or otherwise.
  • SMS: Surprisingly, this is the mobile technology that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Plenty of businesses are using SMS quite effectively. It may not be as sexy as a geo-located, rich media online display ad that uses shopper data to target only customers of your competitor’s products, but it’s still a good tool.
  • Location-Based Marketing: The location-based marketing category was invented by apps like Foursquare, SCVNGR, Yelp and other tools. That said, location is a key component of just about any mobile ad campaign, whether you’re using Foursquare or any of the other tools on this page.
  • Mobile Apps: Want to know the truth about mobile apps? They’re great for customer retention, not so much for customer acquisition. That’s not to say they can’t be used for some customer acquisition, but we always recommend using the tools above for acquisition and using apps for retention.

Okay, now that we’ve covered some of the key concepts, let’s drill down a little more into the mobile display options.

Mobile Display Ad Creative Options

Here are some of the rich media creative options you have available to you when you run a mobile display ad campaign. (Side note: It’s always best to experience these rather than read about them. If you’d like to do that, visit this page on the Celtra website, which has some really excellent examples of just about every form of mobile advertising creative):

  • Click-to-Expand: With this format, the mobile user clicks on an ad to expand to a larger unit and stays expanded until user closes the ad.
  • Auto Expand: This unit delivers a sneak peek of the ad for about one second, then shrinks back to the traditional 320 x 50 banner ad size.
  • Data Collection: This ad unit leverages polls and quizzes to collect email addresses.
  • Gallery/Carousel: With this approach, you can showcase product images and features. The images can scroll up, down, left or right. (For an example, scroll down to the graphic below.)
  • Store Locator: This feature uses a device’s built-in GPS to present the nearest locations in Google, Mapquest, or Bing Maps.
  • Distance Locator: Using this technique, you can drive traffic to store locations by showing the distance to the nearest retailer or service location.
  • Sequential Ads: Think of this as a sliding banner ad. The ads scroll horizontally to reveal a series of sequential messages.
  • Hotspot: Touch-activated hotspots can be used to highlight product features or to provide interactive messaging.
  • Accelerometer: This format uses the devices accelerometer to engage a user by tiling, turning or shaking the device to launch an animation, change images or launch a video.
  • Swipe-to-Rotate: Imagine being able to get a 360 degree view of a product like a car, lawnmower or sofa. That’s possible with the swipe-to-rotate feature.
  • In-Line Banner Video: This approach auto-plays a short video clip. Teaser videos can be expanded to feature longer videos or other ad features.

Check out the graphic below. It provides a sense of how one of these techniques – the Gallery/Carousel technique – can be used to provide the user a richer, more engaging experience.

Image of mobile display ad

Okay, ready to move on? Great. Now let’s take a look at some of the advanced targeting technologies that are available to you. (By the way, if you’re interested in a detailed, 10-page PDF that outlines an advanced targeting technology that also allows you to track whether or not the specific recipient of your ad ended up visiting your store as a result of seeing the ad, email me and I’ll send it on over. It’s ground-breaking stuff.)

Targeting Your Prospects Using Demographic, Behavioral, Contextual and Location Data

Remember how I said we used advanced techniques to target mobile prospects for Holiday Inn? Those techniques enabled us to zero-in on a specific target group, which reduced waste and inefficiencies.

Our starting point for the campaign was to identify the target customer, which were business travelers who 1) were staying at a Holiday Inn at the time, and 2) who exhibited a propensity to purchase hotel rooms online.

Now, it might seem odd to geo-locationally target people who are already staying at a Holiday Inn, but in reality, that’s your lowest-hanging fruit. After all, studies show that a one-time buyer is 50% more likely to buy your product or service a second time than a first-time buyer.

Image of mobile display ad quote

In addition to our geo-locational targeting capabilities, we also had the ability to use data to identify the people within our geo-locational segment who have previously purchased a hotel room online in the past.

In other words, we served ads to people who were staying at the hotels, who were on their smartphones, and who had made online hotel reservations a Holiday Inn and other hotels in the past.

As amazing as all that is, you can still go deeper when you use advanced targeting techniques in your mobile display ad campaigns. For starters, you can use contextual information to target people. Let’s say you manufacture tennis rackets. Given that, you’d probably be interested in targeting people who play tennis, right? With contextual ad placements, you can do that, thereby increasing the efficiency of your ad campaigns.

Better still, using the right technology, you can also target people based on offline behaviors. For example, we have technology that can tell us that when someone has put their house on the market. Using that technology, we can send ads to those specific individuals. This is extremely valuable for companies like banks, cable companies, gas providers and other organizations interested in the new mover category.

We can also do the same using data about new car buyers and by using “look alike” data for potential prescription medicine candidates. In a nutshell, because we have access to data that can be tied back to specific smartphones, we can target people with specific demographic, behavioral, contextual and locational data.

What Were the Results of the Holiday Inn Campaign?

I can’t provide specific results, but we were really impressed with the targeting side of the equation. Our technology helped us improve the targeting and increased efficiencies of the campaign. That said, the most important metric – the conversion rate – performed below our expectations. The good news is we carefully track all the results of our campaigns and were able to analyze the data behind the metrics. Our analysis indicated that, as handy as smartphones are, it’s still difficult to get people to use their smartphones to reserve a hotel room.

In addition, many people engage with an ad on their smartphones and book a room from their desktops at a later date. At the time we ran this campaign, we didn’t have the technology to track the customer journey from smartphone to tablet to desktop where they make the final purchase. Today, we’ve tackled that problem and do have that technology (see below).

Image of mobile display ad tracking


Action Steps for You

Here are some action steps you can take if you’re interested in using this technology to grow your sales and revenues:

  1. Experience the Technology: Many people talk about mobile, but don’t take the time to actually use it. Next time you see a mobile display ad, click through on it. See if it utilizes any of the techniques mentioned above. Develop a point-of-view on whether they did a good job with the creative or not. Then, track whether or not you would have converted if you were a viable prospect for their product or service.
  2. Expand Your Thinking: Many people think of mobile display ads as the small 320 x 50 ads that hardly get noticed. Instead of using that as a framework for your creative, use the rich media mobile ad options outlined in this post as a framework. That way, you’ll expand your thinking and increase your secondary action rate as a result.
  3. Email Me for In-Depth Information: As mentioned, I have a 10-page PDF that provides in-depth information about uber-advanced mobile ad targeting and tracking options. If you’re interested in the PDF, email me and I’ll send it over to you.

That’s all for now. If you have additional questions about mobile display ads or anything related to mobile marketing, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.


Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Is Instagram Right for Your Business? Find Out Here.

Instagram overview

If you’re like many marketing professionals, you’re trying to wrap your mind around Instagram and whether or not it’s right for your business.

Well, Instagram might not be right for everyone, but it just might be yet another way to promote your business inexpensively via social media.

So, with that in mind, we’d like to draw your attention to the following infographic which includes some fascinating statistics about the platform:

  • There are 200 million active users of Instagram, 53% of whom are women
  • Users spend 90% of their time on Instagram using the mobile app, making it the most mobile of any social media platform
  • 42% of the marketers surveyed said they had plans to increase their use of Instagram in the future

This infographic is particularly helpful because it walks the reader through several important steps on using Instagram for business. Enjoy!

P.S. I wasn’t able to find a link for the creator of the infographic. If I missed it, or if you know who created this, let me know so I can give them the proper link juice.


Even We Were Surprised When Our Digital Marketing Campaign Grew Our Client’s Revenues by 278%

Is it possible to use digital marketing and a brand make-over to increase revenues 278% in just 6 months?

If you’d asked me that question a year ago, I would have said you were crazy. But when we were asked to use digital marketing and a brand make-over to kick-start an organization’s sales, we decided to do everything we could to turn things around for them.

To our great surprise, it worked.

In fact, it worked better than we expected. And all we had at our disposal was a modest digital marketing budget and a team of smart, hardworking professionals (both on the agency and the client side).

The Secret to a Digital Marketing Make-Over? Start with a Blank Slate.

To kick things off, it’ll help you to know a little bit about our client. The organization had developed an online training program for people interested in yoga and meditation. The program was called Inner Engineering and sales had been flat for quite some time.

By the way, while I’m thinking about it, it’s important to note that not everything we did for them was successful. In fact, two things we did for them (PR and direct mail) failed miserably. That said, all of our efforts were designed to be measured in some way, so that once we ran the campaign, we could choose to run it again or kill it, depending on the results.

So what was our process? Here goes:

Step 1: We analyzed their competitor’s messaging strategy. The first thing we did was to examine the competitors in the industry (loosely defined as the Human Development Industry). You’ll be familiar with some of their competitors because they have excellent brand recognition — they include Deepak Chopra, Transcendental Meditation, Eckhart Tolle and others. (We even included Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield in the competitive review. They don’t offer yoga and meditation courses, but they do they work in the Human Development industry, so we wanted to see what they were doing to be so successful.)

By examining the competitive landscape, we were able to plot out where our program, taught by an Indian Guru named Sadhguru, would fit into the landscape.

Here’s a graphic that shows how we plotted out the industry landscape on a 2×2:

Image of case study

Now that we had a sense of where the competitors were, we were able to start exploring how we were going to position our client’s product in the marketplace. But before we did that, we had to examine the existing website to analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

Step 2: We acknowledged the weaknesses of the original website. Our next step was to take a look at the existing website. As you can see in the image below, for the U.S. target market, the site would come across as overly-cluttered and wouldn’t express the sense of peace and calm we felt the new site would need.

Image of original website

Step 3: We came to grips with the target market. After doing some initial research into the target market, we realized something important — there are vast portions of the U.S. population who will never be interested in an online yoga and meditation training course.

By our best estimate, about half of the country would be seriously interested in doing an online yoga and meditation program taught by an Indian guru.

With that in mind, we decided to incorporate a strategy that is often used by political parties. When the Democrats and Republicans survey the American landscape, the initially group each state into one of three categories — states they have locked-up, states that are on the fence, and states that they’ll never win in a thousand years.

The low hanging fruit, of course, are the states the political parties have locked up. Their goal here is to spend very efficiently, but not to waste budget. The states that are on the fence get the biggest share of the budget, because the political party’s goal is to get those states to swing over to their platform. The states that get little or no budget are the states they’ll never win in a thousand years.

Using that approach, we divided our target market into 3 groups — people who were likely to take the course (provided they knew about it); people who might consider taking the course; and people who would be very difficult to persuade to take the course.

We then developed personas around these 3 target groups and wrote up a short profile about each, highlighted in the graphic below.

We did a realistic assessment of the target market as outlined below.

Image of target market

Another Digital Marketing Secret? Analyze How Your Prospects Navigate the Sales Funnel.

The goal for most digital marketing campaigns is to add leads to the top of the sales funnel so that you can slowly nurture them through the funnel and convert them to customers.

It sounds easy, but it’s not.

As Jeanne Hopkins (the former Vice President of Marketing for HubSpot) told me, “If generating leads were easy, everybody would be doing it.”

Truer words were never spoken.

All that said, the starting point for a digital marketing campaign is to do an analysis of how prospects will be nurtured through the sales funnel.

Here’s the sales funnel analysis we conducted that gave us a roadmap on how to move forward.

Image of sales funnel

After reviewing their sales funnel and helping the client understand the different mindsets that happen throughout, we started to explore key messages that the potential customers would be interested in. Over the course of time, we took a look at dozens of different key messages and came to the joint conclusion that the prospective customer was most interested in three things.

Here are the three messages we felt provided the biggest opportunity for success:

• Stress reduction

• Improved relationships

• Increased mental clarity

In addition to zeroing in on our key messages, we also wanted to review the consumer thought process. As Dr. Flint McLaughlin at Marketing Sherpa taught me, one of the most important things you can do when creating a landing page is to understand the consumer thought process.

With Dr. McLaughlin’s teachings in mind, here’s the consumer thought process our prospects would go through when they first arrived at our landing pages:

• Where am I?

• What do they have that will solve my problem of stress, relationships or mental clarity?

• Is this different from what I’ve already experienced? What are the benefits?

• Is this credible?

• How much does it cost?

• Do they have a special offer/incentive?

Our next step was to block out what the landing page would look like as a way to explore how we were going to help the consumer on their journey. Here’s what that looked like:

Image of landing page

In addition to working through the fundamentals of the consumer thought process as well as the landing page design, we wanted to explore what tone of voice the brand would take on. In order to do that, we plotted out contrasting tonalities and explored where we needed to move those tonalities as we launched the re-branded site.

Here’s the brand tone analysis we developed that helped us fine-tune their brand tone of voice.

Image of Brand Tone

The blue dots where where their current brand tone was. So, as an example, on the bottom spectrum, you can see their brand tone gravitated too far towards towards mysterious. Our recommendation was to move them more towards the red dot on the left where they would be seen as more open.

The same was true on the contemporary vs. traditional spectrum. Our goal was to move them away from a traditional tone of voice and more towards a contemporary tone of voice.

In addition to a brand tone analysis, we also developed a visual analysis that helped us explore where to take them graphically.

We knew that colors, textures, and graphics were going to be pivotal in our brand make-over. With that in mind, we analyzed three different directions we could take the brand aesthetic.

The first, see below, was called Classic Cool and represented an updated, East Coast aesthetic that was reminiscent of Ralph Lauren.

Image of mood board

In the end, we decided that Classic Cool was too elitist to appeal to a broad audience, so we explored another aesthetic called American Heartland that looked like this.

Image of mood board

As much as we liked the American Heartland brand aesthetic, it still felt too traditional for our target market, so we developed a third aesthetic, which was called California Cool. You can see that one here.

Image of brand aesthetic

The graphics seen above pointed us in a good direction, but we still needed to drill down, so we started exploring color themes that we felt would work when we re-launched the brand. Here’s what we ended up with from a color theme point-of-view.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 7.43.02 PM

Now that we had settled on many of the brand elements, it was time to put pen to paper and build out the website.

By Doing a Little Digging, We Uncovered a Secret Weapon That Transformed the Campaign.

One of the key things we wanted to do when we re-launched the website was to feature testimonials from people who had taken the online course or who had said good things about Sadhguru. In one of our multitude of brainstorming meetings, we uncovered an as-yet-to-be-revealed nugget of information — Ariana Huffington, Donna Karan and Ed Begley were fans of Sadhguru and had publicly said some very kind things about him.

That was a goldmine.

What better way to add credibility to a brand than to have respected thought leaders saying positive things about it?

So, of course, we introduced testimonials from these three celebrities smack dab in the middle of the home page. Our intent was to get visitors comfortable with the idea of an online course from an Indian guru by showing them celebrities who were already fans. That way, we would be able to ease people in to the sales funnel and ultimately convert them into customers.

In the end, the re-designed website incorporated all of the brand aethetics and messaging that I’ve referenced above. Here’s what the re-designed website looked like.

Image of website


As you can see, the new website design was more friendly, less cluttered, and more contemporary than the original design. The openness and minimalism was designed to ease people in to website so that they felt comfortable and relaxed.

You Might be Surprised by This, but We Were Disappointed by the Initial Results.

What were the results of the re-launch? I would love to tell you that we hit a grand slam right off the bat, but that wasn’t the case. Our digital marketing campaign that launched to support the brand make-over had some good things going for it, but we had to scramble to quickly make adjustments to the overall campaign.

For starters, the conversion rate on the landing pages was better than the original site, but not as high as we wanted. So, we began A/B split testing new landing pages with different designs and different messages. Ultimately, we were able to more than double the conversion rate of the original landing pages.

But that wasn’t all we had to do. We also realized that our paid search campaign was going to struggle to convert. Why? In a nutshell, nobody is going to buy an expensive online course the first time they click through to the landing page.

Given that, we had to supercharge our email marketing campaign. In other words, we had to drop people into the top of the sales funnel so that we could build a relationship with them that would ultimately result in a sale over time.

Within months, we started to see the results get better and better. About 2 months after our re-launch, we started to turn the corner. By the 4th month, we had more than doubled their sales. And by the 6th month, we increased monthly revenues by more than 350%. (Ultimately, we averaged out to a 278% increase in sales, which is why the headline of the post uses that figure.)

Three Secrets We Learned During This Journey.

We learned a great deal during the re-launch of the Inner Engineering brand. It wasn’t always easy, and I have to give credit to the client whose inquisitive mind and attention to detail forced us to keep drilling deeper and deeper for insights and information.

With all of that in mind, here are some things you should consider if you decide to move forward with a re-launch of your own.

Clean the Slate. Your re-launch will yield the best results if you allow your agency to start with a blank slate. That’s not always possible, but if it is, give them that kind of flexibility.

Think Backwards. One of the best things we did was to get inside the mind of our prospect and think backwards from there. By having a customer-centric approach, we knew that our end result would meet them where they wanted to be met.

Test Your Way to Success. As mentioned, the digital marketing campaign wasn’t a grand slam the minute we re-lauched the site. But the fact that we measured all of our results allowed us to track what was working and what wasn’t. By adjusting the program along the way, we were able to optimize the campaign, which resulted in a 278% average monthly increase in revenues vs. the previous same year period.

I’ve covered a lot of ground here. Believe it or not, this is only about half the story. If you’d like to hear the rest of the details, feel free to email me. I’m more than happy to share some of the additional details via email.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and SIXTY an Atlanta-based advertising and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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