BlackBerry vs. Web Analytics… The Epic Battle

This week I want to focus on examining some social media analytical tools that are popular on the web. As an example, I’ll use the BlackBerry brand to find some relevant research data that will help the company address its problems, develop marketing strategies and/or more deeply understand its current and potential customers. Because who wouldn’t want that for their company? Am I right?!

To quickly summarize BlackBerry’s key problems, the brand struggles with consumerization (which consumer to target), lack of adapting, and its competition. There are many analytical tools out there on the world wide web, a lot for free too, here are a few:

For the sake of my readers, I’ll only choose 3 tools to use to show how BlackBerry measures up and how the company can utilize the information found.

Social Media Analytical tool #1: http://likealyzer.com/

What the tool does:

LikeAlyzer by Meltwater is a social media analytical tool that helps a company measure and analyze the potential and effectiveness of its Facebook page. The tool provides detailed information including issue identification, tips on how to resolve those problems, comparisons, activity evaluations, etc. It helps to overall improve a company’s Facebook presence.

BlackBerry’s Performance:

I found that BlackBerry’s Facebook presence is lacking in the consumer engagement category. BlackBerry’s posts to its page can use a little work. A few recommendations were given to ask more questions to the fans, use more call to actions, create more engaging posts, and to ensure more dialogue between the company and the people of Facebook by opening up the page to let consumers communicate with the company.

How the tool can help BlackBerry:

  • Address consumerization issues the company faces
  • Reach more consumers, find out what they like and don’t like, who they are, how they are using their phone, etc
  • Engage consumers in relevant and helpful dialogue and surveys
  • Create a positive brand image and more awareness of products and services
  • Identify unmet needs of consumers and how to address them
  • Utilize social media to its fullest extent
  • Develop marketing strategies targeted toward a specific type of consumer
  • Communicate with consumers, get feedback, find out what the latest trends are, and to give them the information they want

Social Media Analytical tool #2: http://socialmention.com

What the tool does:

Social Mention monitors all social media platforms on the internet to track and measure what people are saying about the company, products, services, etc in real-time.

BlackBerry’s Performance:

BlackBerry currently has a 6:1 sentiment (ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that a generally negative), 44% strength (likelihood that the brand is being discussed on social media), 28% passion (measure of likelihood that individuals talking about the brand will do so repeatedly), and 40% reach (measure of range of influence).

How the tool can help BlackBerry:

  • Address consumerization issues the company faces
  • See what others are saying about the brand, get feedback in real-time from consumers
  • Search competitors’ brands and products to see what people are saying about them and maybe how BlackBerry compares and gather insight into how BlackBerry can be adapting
  • Receive information about BlackBerrys reputation among the public
  • View possible trends, sources, hashtags, and users
  • Gather relevant info for marketing strategies

Social Media Analytical TOol #3: http://www.google.com/trends

What the tool does:

Google Trends, based on Google Search, shows what others have been searching for, graphs how often and the general location a term is used over time, and has the ability to compare more than one term to view popularity.

BlackBerry’s Performance:

BlackBerry Ltd’s interest over time spiked at its highest in November 2008, again in August 2010, and has been a slow decline since then. Canada has the highest search volume and regional interest of BlackBerry Ltd. The top related searches and queries are mostly BlackBerry products. BlackBerry OS peaked its interest in August 2010 then again in 2011. The BlackBerry OS top regional interest is from Indonesia.

How the tool can help BlackBerry:

  • Address consumerization issues the company faces, find out what people are interested in/focusing on, general region most searches are coming from
  • Compare first impressions of new launch of product against competitors
  • Compare other search interest and topics between BlackBerry and competitors during different time periods
  • Explore related searches and most popular searches
  • Learn more about trend and competition analysis
  • Find out what is specifically trending around the world that may relate to the company
  • Create specific marketing strategies based off general locations

The below infographic is quite insightful in its comparison of social media vs. search marketing. In assessing the productivity of each individually for different tasks, the overall proven outcome is that social media and search marketing work best hand-in hand.

social-vs-search_5029156f4710f_w1500.png

YOUR CHALLENGE

Pick a company to analyze and see how its social media page measures up in some of the above tools. Leave me a comment and let me know what you find! It’s fun, I swear!

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Can Social Media And Traditional Marketing Be Friends?

It’s the great debate of our time. Imagine there’s a problem you need to solve with the help of someone you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with. Dilemma, right? Not so much. Here’s why… you have different experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and smarts that you can contribute. So does the person you’re working with. Together, you can rule the world. Okay, no promises, on that last statement but you get the point. Same goes for the marketing world. Social media can be used to enhance a traditional marketing communications plan. For proof, keep reading.

Social media works best when it’s part of something bigger. It’s a way to get the audience to be engaged, interact and be more invested with the brand. Social media marketing (SMM) ensures more communication with the customers after the traditional marketing was received and can be used to clear up the message. When communication becomes interactive, SMM is involved and essentially maximizes the effectiveness of a campaign. It is used more to talk WITH the customers and not AT them .

Here are some ways to integrate SMM into traditional marketing plans to enhance a campaign:

  • Add social media sharing to email blasts and direct mailing
  • Incorporate social icons and links on website/blog
  • Utilize social media to create a virtual event
  • Offer share/like buttons or widgets
  • Use QR codes on any print ads
  • Use social media platforms to conduct market research
  • Enhance traditional TV/print ads by using platform elements (ie: hashtags, “Like Us”, “Find Us”, etc)
  • Create contests to get customers involved
  • Open up customer service channels
  • Use Google Analytics to track progress, visits, reaches, and conversions
  • Advertise social media on business cards

Basically anywhere traditional advertising is, SMM can be integrated to make the user experience more convenient, to reach more people, to introduce new incentives, and to encourage the continued growth of the campaign. Combined with traditional marketing, SMM has a huge impact.

Insivia echoes the above efforts and shares its 3 ways to integrate social media into a traditional marketing campaign:

Not only is it a cheap option for companies, the tools that are provided are endless and make the marketer’s job a breeze. Once the SMM is set, it is the client’s job to interact and basically market the company! Although it sounds easy, a lot of thought needs to go into a successful marketing campaign involving SMM.

The Hasbro game, Cranium, does a fantastic job at interacting with their fans by using SMM. The company uses content and elements from the game to engage their audience. They have also created an app that tells the fans that take the quiz which character best fits their personality! They have also made videos encouraging fans to interact and play along! It’s all so fun and engaging.

Cranium-Facebook-Page Cranium-300x237 Cranium

YOUR CHALLENGE

Comment below with what entices you to interact with a company on social media. Is it a contest, quiz, witty banter, images, videos, etc? Do you have a favorite brand that you love to interact with on social media? Talk to me.

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Goldieblox Spreads Like Wildfire

No, it’s not a virus. But it has gone viral. GoldieBlox is the first small business to air a commercial during the Super Bowl. It made pretty big waves last year with its first viral video on social media and in headlines. The company creates storybooks and toys designed to promote engineering and science to young girls. The business had its start on Kickstarter actually in 2012. Check out the viral marketing video that aired during the Super Bowl:

That clip earned more than 8 million views in one week and Twitter endorsements from people like Ellen DeGeneres and former Arizona politician Gabrielle Giffords. That surely helped spread the company’s message by word of mouth much faster! Once the ad hit social media, the story and message of the company spread like wildfire. From YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to new articles and TV air time, the company was getting noticed for their video. When companies put that much creativity behind a great message, people will notice and share with friends and family. The viral marketing efforts were very successful in my opinion because of that reason- the creativity, the right amount of cuteness mixed with girl power, the strong message, and the unique product.

The most recent viral video that GoldieBlox has come up with shows 3 little girls turning their stereotypical girly toys into an awesome Rube Goldberg machine. You can view the whole ad below:

I think the ad targets the little girls in the world that have that “inventor” gene and inspires them to think outside the box, get involved in areas that girls aren’t normally in.

The producer of the video says, “We think that this is a message about the potential of little girls beyond the limitations we’ve been giving them”.

It can also be targeted at the parents of these little girls who encourage their daughters to become anything they want to be and who are ultimately buying these products for them. That in itself is a great message to spread, and when 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts, it makes it that much easier to go viral and increase the chances of successful word of mouth marketing efforts.

Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On, explains, “emotion is one factor that drives sharing and word of mouth marketing. We see lots of funny stuff go viral on YouTube, but we also see angry political rants get shared. Any emotion that fires us up- humor, awe and excitement, but also anger and anxiety- drives us to share.”

To promote and distribute the campaign even more, I think the company can encourage little girls to make their own Rube Goldberg machine or innovative ideas and video tape it or send in images on social media, further spreading the mission of the company! Things like that will make this campaign even more shareable.

I think this campaign gets a lot of support from feminist communities and cultures because of the message behind the brand. Young girls deserve more than pink versions of boys’ toys and these girls can get excited about an industry that is mostly dominated by men. Like I mentioned, even celebrities, high powered female politicians (also a male dominated field), and other like professionals are backing and supporting the spread of this campaign because they all have the same beliefs. This ad actually sparked a kind of “girl power” movement for companies like Always and Pantene after the GoldieBlox video went viral. Pretty impressive!

YOUR CHALLENGE

Let’s compare campaigns today. Which company, small or large, do you think successfully executed a word of mouth marketing strategy well? Now find a company that totally failed at creating buzz in this way. Compare these two companies and their succeeding/failing efforts. Leave me a comment with your thoughts!

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How Well Do You Know Your App Store?

The mobile app store world. It’s a very complex environment. You may know the mobile App store from a consumers’ point of view, but from the marketers view it can be challenging. This week instead of focusing on how we, as consumers, use mobile apps and App stores, the focus will be on the mobile apps and App store world and how marketers and developers see it. As Michael Jurewitz states, for marketers, the App store has fundamentally changed the entire game; how we interact with users, and how we deliver software to them.

More than 100B mobile applications have been downloaded since the launch of the Apple iOS and Google Play stores. Since the number of users, downloads, and apps have exploded, the dynamics of the App store have also changed and will be continuously changing to meet the demands of the evolving digital marketing landscape, which includes mobile marketing. The competitive behavior within the Free Apps section of these App stores has substantially evolved in many meaningful ways.

The last time you downloaded or searched for a specific app, you may have seen these mobile apps being ranked within the store. More changes in rankings in the app store implies more competition and a more efficient marketplace, which should help the best apps rise to the tops, even if they are new to the App store. Competition varies by category in both stores. The charts below, from RedPoint, show the iOS store and Play store with the rank volatility broken down by App categories.

ios_by_category_2014 android_competitiveness

The app landscape is constantly changing for marketers and developers. Mobile app developers and app owners should take note of these four trends for 2015:

  1. Swift surges onto developer scene – According to VisionMobile’s survey of 8,000 developers, Apple’s Swift language for iOS apps is noteworthy when developing new apps.
  2. Cross platform tools growing in popularity – using third party tools for analytics, crash reporting, and testing are at an all time high.
  3. Enterprise apps make more money than consumer apps – many consumers aren’t eager to shell out real money for mobile and other digital apps. Personally, I just stick to the free apps section in my app store. Businesses are more willing to pay for software that will make them more productive and possibly more money.
  4. The Internet of Things is hot, even if the payoff isn’t imminent – the biggest area of interest within this broad universe are those where existing mobile platforms have a clear stake, such as smart home/smart building and wearable devices.

There are some really interesting and innovative ideas sprouting in mobile marketing, especially in App stores. If you weren’t aware, the Amazon Appstore launched a differentiating feature called TestDrive, back in March 2011. The feature allowed consumers to test out new applications before they purchased it. Unfortunately, this week Amazon decided to shutdown TestDrive, but fear not, the company will be rolling out even more innovative ways for consumers to try apps before downloading.

Another hot trend in mobile marketing is using location to generate personalized content within an app. This trend is paired with a mobile app to deliver really fun ways to offer discounts, send brand messages, and get the consumer involved. ExactTarget VP of Mobile Products, R.J. Talyor, discusses how one retail store is using location and mobile apps to their advantage.

“Meat Pack is a Guatemalan retail store with a really fun use of location-based mobile marketing. The retail store uses a customer’s location to initiate mobile app messaging—for instance, it would recognize that you’ve entered the mall and send you a push message. When you open the app, it initiates a countdown timer starting at 100% off. The timer stops once you get to the store, so the faster you get there, the deeper your discount.”

Where do you think App stores will go next? Have they reached their peak or are they just getting started?

YOUR CHALLENGE

Watch the below video of Director of Strategy and Practices, Michael Jurewitz, talk about how marketers can thrive in an App store world. It’s a lengthy video but try to watch at least half of it. He has an insiders view from Apple and shares his advice on how to get a mobile app noticed in the App store and also discusses the tricky world of pricing. Next time you stroll through your App store on your phone, really take a look at how the App store is used differently between consumers and marketers/developers. It’s eye opening.

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You’ve Got Mail

No, not the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie. I’m talking about email marketing. I bet if you checked your inbox right now, you would have at least 3 promotional emails from businesses that are trying to market directly to you using this channel. Personally, I receive daily emails from many brands, especially from Aerie, keeping me updated on all the in-store sales, web exclusive sales, free shipping, discounts, and new arrivals. It’s quite convenient to be reminded to shop at Aerie almost everyday! But to me, the personalization of the email is key to getting my attention.

Personalized Emails vs. Mass Marketing Emails

I would imagine that consumers have grown weary of the one-size-fits-all, spamlike promotional messages so marketers who take this approach really need to update their tactics to stay in their customers’ inboxes. One way to do this is through the use of big data to create highly personalized and effective campaigns by analyzing detailed consumer data. Sending personalized branded messages based on consumers’ behavior via this channel is the future and evolution of email marketing. It’s essentially up to the consumer to decide which content they will interact with and engage in. However, it seems that consumers are more responsive to personalized email messages and are more positive towards the specific brand because of their efforts. Consumers are actually demanding more personalized relationships with their favorite brands. According to Forbes, 44% of consumers are less responsive to non-personalized or “mass-marketing” messages, and 53% are more likely to purchase when a brand personalizes digital communications.

PR_info_graphic_relationshipera_v2a

Innovations and Importance

The email address will become the key to cross channel marketing. Econsultancy suggests that email marketing consistently ranks at the highest level for ROI and that companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to email, up from 18% in 2013. Innovations, like personalization, in email marketing will grow in importance as more tools are created to develop successful email campaigns. More and more businesses are learning that personalization is the era that we live in, so Entrepreneur compiled a list of different ways to use personalization that will propel an email marketing campaign:

  • Ask the right questions
  • Build customer personas
  • Make use of location and time
  • Set up automated behavioral trigger emails
  • Personalize your business
  • Match personalized emails and landing pages

Experian Marketing Services conducted a 2013 Email Marketing Study that analyzes various email marketing best practices, including personalization, social integration, mobile and customer references. The results showed that personalized emails deliver 6X higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them. Subject lines are extremely important as well. The research showed personalized subject lines delivered 26% higher unique open rates overall, with travel companies experiencing the biggest boost from this tactic. Take a look at the graph below to see how other industries did.

Experian-email-marketing-study-personalized-subject-lines-600x324

I don’t know about you but I have a separate email just for email marketing campaigns from brands that may need an email from me. Although I end up deleting most of these promotional emails from various brands, I still find the personalized messages to be convenient.

YOUR CHALLENGE

First, if you haven’t seen or heard of the movie You’ve Got Mail, find it and watch it. Or at least Google it. You’re in for a 90’s treat. Second, count how many emails you get from brands that are personalized. Count how many emails you get from brands that aren’t personalized. Can you tell the difference? I’m sure you have many different brands trying to connect with you. Leave a comment with how many brands use email to connect with you and how many are personalized messages.

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Digital Media is the New Black

Marketing is good. Marketing plus sales is even better. That’s what ecommerce platforms do for a company’s website – provides a space to inform the consumer and also increases sales directly. The Statistics Portal explains that in 2012, US retail ecommerce sales amounted to 225.5 billion US dollars and are projected to grow to 434.2 billion in 2017. Incorporating ecommerce functionality onto a website is smart and effective. Across all platforms, ecommerce has made the lives of consumers so much easier. As an online shopper myself, I love having the convenience of shopping from home and on any device that I own. Who doesn’t love shopping in their pajamas?

Amazon.com is probably the most common ecommerce website known to consumers because the whole site is based on ecommerce buying. What’s interesting is how brands use digital technology to target segments of consumers and overcome the challenge of “shopping cart abandonment”. Amazon and Netflix are two leading companies who use predictive analytics on their websites and ecommerce platforms. Predictive analytics and segment of one marketing strategies are what keep these brands pumping and thriving.

Segment of One Strategy

Netflix, just like Amazon and Pandora, creates segments of one- uniquely targeting each customer individually in order to convert visitors into long-term, high-value customers at very high rates. With so many different customers, different personalities, and different interests, it’s hard to market to all of them and build that valued brand relationship and increase sales. It may seem like a daunting task, but Netflix and Amazon are pros at this. The key is interaction from the user, and that’s where predictive analytics comes in to play.

Predictive Analytics

The predictive analytics technology found in ecommerce websites like Amazon is astonishing. It’s pattern based and completely personalized. Lots of detailed information about the consumer’s behavior and personality is gathered and put into a database. The more the customer uses the site to view items they may want to purchase, the more the brand learns about the customer, their tastes, preferences, and the finer the segmentation gets. This segmentation strategy is called individual leverage. Group leverage can be used in conjunction with social media as well.

Predictive analytics used on ecommerce websites allows brands like Amazon to use emerging media to enhance the brand. ConversionXL lists 7 ways that predictive analytics is transforming ecommerce & conversion rate optimization:

  1. Improve Customer Engagement & Increase Revenue
  2. Launch Promotions That Are Better Targeted For Your Customers
  3. Optimize Pricing To Maximize Profits
  4. Inventory Management – Stay Properly Stocked & Reduce Overstock
  5. Minimize Fraud By Proactively Detecting It
  6. Better Customer Service At Lower Costs
  7. Analyze Data & Make Decisions In Real-Time

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Netflix and Amazon both are capable of generating insights in real-time. Technology platform Granify aims its efforts on using this level of predictive analytics to put an end to shopping cart abandonment. Take a gander:

Baby Boomers Emerge!

Grandparents typically have always been good at baking cookies, giving hugs, and telling old war stories. Now, in the light of a new era, this older baby boomer generation is starting new hobbies on the “Interwebs”, as my grandma calls it. In my opinion, marketers, advertisers, and providers of products & services in the digital realm often ignore this group of consumers. The NY Post suggests that alpha boomers (age 55-64) are the fastest-growing demographic in the nation. They make up half the population and spend more money on goods and services — nearly $2 trillion — than any other age group. Using new media to target emerging senior citizens will open up new opportunities for everyone involved!

The infographic below shows the average consumer that marketers will target in 2015. It’s perfectly accurate for optimum results toward the younger demographics!

mike-customer-2015

However, seniors are emerging differently and for different reasons. Millennials are more likely to use the internet wirelessly and on their mobile device to access social media, instant messaging, playing music, and reading blogs. Older generations are more likely to engage in several online activities including visiting government websites and getting financial information online. But seniors are now flooding the areas that millennials dominated! A 2010 internet study from the Pew Research Center suggests that in 2010 the fastest growth has come from the internet users 74 and older: social network site usage for this oldest cohort has quadrupled since 2008, 4% to 16%. Younger Boomers are catching up to Millennials in terms of watching video and listening to music online as well. Take a look at the inforgraphic below showing the digital media activity between all generations.

FA0EB878E5B744FCAF46097C71DB371A

Clearly there is a growing opportunity for marketers to reach the older generations as they become more emerged and comfortable using digital media. Advertisers and marketers should be capitalizing on this growing demographic. Certainly some consumers prefer different types of media over others still. Even though traditional media is still considered a main focus for older generations, there is room to introduce the digital channel to older generations and make that successful.

You have to give those baby boomers credit though – taking on the digital world can be overwhelming.

Your Challenge    

Channel your inner senior citizen and try using a new digital medium today. If you don’t have Twitter, set up an account and try tweeting. Maybe make a YouTube video or personal blog as a way of communicating your thoughts. Be creative!