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Technology

Digital marketing first strategy

By Business, Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Technology No Comments

A digital marketing first strategy recognises that the world has changed.

Everyone carries smartphones around with them, don’t they?

A smartphone is, in effect, an extension of the human brain. Need an answer to a question? Ask your phone. Need directions? Use one of the Maps services. Bored? Listen to some music or play a game. Need to communicate with a colleague? Email, instant message or phone them, regardless of where you are.

We have become so used to smartphones that we take them for granted. What is more, we are starting to expect a similar immediate response from the world around us.

We hail cabs via Apps and look for jobs within LinkedIn. An increasing number of households are starting to have AI capabilities (Amazon Echo, Google Home).

To what extent is this increasing digitisation of our society affecting businesses?

The answer is that ‘it depends’. Email, smartphones and websites are ubiquitous. A digital strategy, central database (CRM) and integrated digital marketing system less so.

This is surprising, as the cost of customer acquisition via digital marketing is lower. In addition, the chances are that your competitors are currently working flat out to digitise their businesses.

What does a digital marketing first strategy look like? It includes a written plan, buy in and a holistic approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective (as marketing always has done). The perspective, however, has changed with the new way in which consumers and business decision makers research products and services before they purchase.

It takes into account online brand reputation, starting with the results of a search for your enterprise / what you are selling.

If you are not showing up for a reasonably wide range of search terms on page 1 of Google, this is a negative message.

Once the customer has found you, they want to learn, or take an action, or buy then and there.

To what extent do you offer customers the opportunity to learn about what you do, how well you do it and what your customers think of you?

In my case, I have a community of several thousand business people and marketers who discuss marketing issues via The Marketing Compass, I give talks and I write blogs and books on marketing. I publish an e-newsletter and I am active within social media.

Regardless of the type of enterprise that you own / work for, the principles are the same. Sharing knowledge online, keeping track of contacts and customers via a legally compliant database and making yourself visible in an interconnected world works surprisingly well.

It is helpful for you to ‘become your customer’. Try searching for the items that you are marketing, both on a desktop / laptop and also on a smartphone. See your website as if you are looking at it for the first time. Fill in a contact form. Try calling your own company.

Does everything work? How does it make you feel? What could be improved?

We all need to keep learning about the digital world as it currently stands and the changes that are coming.

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” ~ William Gibson, author

If you would like to discuss this subject with me, email me or call 01628 773128 within the UK or +44 1628 773128 if you are calling from outside the UK.

Internet marketing consultancy services

marketing software training

Solving software problems

By CRM, Software, Technology No Comments

As a marketer, do you find yourself increasingly working with software? This may include your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system); CMS (the Content Management System for your website); email marketing systems such as MailChimp; and marketing software tools.

Do you enjoy working with software? If from time-to-time you feel like throwing your computer out of the window (the French have a word for this: defenestration), here are some ideas for you:

* For the important software that you will be using regularly, invest in professional training.

* When you get stuck, take a break, even if it is only for 10 minutes. It is surprising how different approaches can come to mind, when you are not focused on the problem.

* Find someone who is good with software who can help you.

* YouTube can be very helpful, if someone has posted a solution to your problem.

* Many software platforms offer online chat support for paying customers. I have found these to be very helpful; they can usually email you a transcript of the discussion.

* Learn some HTML via W3Schools.

* Spend a higher proportion of your time learning, as opposed to fixing problems (which never seem to end, do they?)

* If all else fails, find a good window fitter.

Click here to see Nigel’s marketing training services.

Too many browser windows open?

By Internet marketing, Learning, Software, Success, Technology, Writing One Comment

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Digital marketing checklist

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology No Comments

Are you ticking the right digital marketing boxes i.e. plan, CRM, website, content, SEO, social media,  email marketing, smartphones and advertising? Increasingly, the boxes are connected. Here is a digital marketing checklist to get you started:

Digital marketing strategy plan

The digital marketing plan should include:
*  Objectives
*  Sales targets
*  Target markets
*  Online promotional mix
*  Budget
*  Metrics (including analytics)

A digital marketing plan includes an integrated approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective, as marketing always has done. The perspective, however, has changed with the new ways in which consumers and business decision makers research and buy products and services.

CRM

*  Has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system been chosen and deployed?
*  Have all customer facing staff been trained to use the CRM?
*  Which cloud based marketing apps and services connect with our CRM?
*  Are we using our CRM every day?

Website

*  When was our website last updated?
*  Is our website optimised for mobile devices?
*  How many sales leads / sales do we receive from our website every day / week / month?

Website content

*  Does the website navigation bar still make sense?
*  Do we have an uncluttered homepage?
*  Is the website content easy to read?
*  Does Google like our website?
*  How often do we publish new content?

SEO

*  Do we have an up-to-date understanding of  Search Engine Optimisation?
*  Do we have an SEO strategy?
*  With regards to SEO, what are we measuring?
*  What are our SEO results?
*  Here is an online SEO course

Social media

*  Do we have a social media strategy and plan?
*  Which social media platforms are we focusing on?
*  How often do we post original content within each platform?
*  Do we use social media metrics?

Email marketing

*  How many opt-in subscribers do we have?
*  How often do we send out newsletters?
*  What are our open and click through rates?

Smartphone marketing

*  Do we have a mobile first digital marketing strategy?
*  How do customers interact with our website when they use a mobile device?
*  How are we catching and keeping customer’s attention via smartphones?

Online advertising

*  Which paid for online advertising platforms are we using?
*  Is our online advertising strategy effective?
*  How much do we budget each month for online advertising?
*  What is our CPC (Cost Per Click)?
*  What is our CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
*  How can we improve results in this area?

Marketing automation

*  Do we have a marketing automation strategy?
*  Have we deployed software for sales lead nurturing, scoring and lifecycle management?
*  Can our software help with cross-selling, up-selling and customer loyalty?

Additional digital marketing checklist questions

*  What is working?
*  What isn’t working?
*  How can it be improved?
*  Current cost of customer acquisition
*  Target customer acquisition cost
*   Do we have a digital marketing learning strategy?
*  Should we get some impartial advice / training?

Digital marketing is a vast subject and I have been thinking about it whilst I have been rebuilding my Digital Marketing Consultant page.

Here is an online SEO course that I have created.

If you need some help, you are welcome to get in touch with me.

Cloud-based marketing apps and services

By CRM, Customer care, Customers, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology One Comment

How many cloud-based marketing apps and services do you use? How many of them connect to each other? Has it all grown organically, or was it planned? The last few years has seen a dramatic rise in the number of marketing related services that are available in the cloud.  Some of them are free, others are cheap as chips and some are relatively expensive.

Here are some of them:

CRM (Customer Relationship Management systems)
* Capsule CRM
* Salesforce
* Zoho

Website
* Squarespace
* WordPress
* Wix

Forms
* Formstack
* Gravity
* Wufoo

Email marketing
* ConstantContact
* Dotmailer
* MailChimp

Many enterprises now capture (in a GDPR compliant fashion) customer contact information which triggers a series of events. For example, an automated Welcome email; a record being created within a CRM system; and a task for a salesperson to contact the customer. If you are already doing this, that’s great – however most businesses are not doing so (or anything close to it).

It is important to see the whole thing from the customer’s perspective. Is the software helping them? Is it easy for them to use? Does it actually work? What do the metrics tell you about customer behaviour? How can you improve performance and results?

To what extent does the software give you a competitive advantage? What is the strategic thinking behind the deployment of these services? Have you implemented back-up and recovery processes?

My work as an internet marketing consultantMailChimp trainer  and Capsule CRM consultant and trainer has meant that I have had to learn a great deal about cloud-based marketing apps  and services, as my clients ask me questions about how to solve a business issue or how to get X software talking to Y software.

I suggest that you list all of the apps / services that you use and think about how they are currently connected. See the whole thing as one big picture.

Keeping connected

By Business, Customer care, Technology No Comments

I am on a fast train to London and I am sitting at a table with my laptop placed in front of me. It is plugged in and charging up. I have connected to Great Western Railway’s onboard wifi and it is running well. However, just in case, I always carry a mobile router in my business case. Currently, I am using one from 3 which offers 4G where it is available.

I have my iPhone on the table as well and from time to time it lights up with social media push notifications; I have just received one from LinkedIn which tells me that I have another 1st degree connection there.

When I travel abroad I take my Chromebook which weighs around a kilogram and the battery lasts all day.

Personally, I feel somewhat lost when I am not online, during the working week. I need to keep on top of emails and I have found that the Gmail app on my iPhone 6 is a great way of doing this.

How about you:? Are you always online? Is this a good thing, in your opinion?

Windows Snipping Tool for screen grabs / screenshots

By Internet marketing, Software, Technology, Training No Comments

Rather than emailing someone with a detailed description of something on a web page, wouldn’t it be easier to sent them an image instead? Perhaps with an area of the image circled in red and / or some text highlighted in yellow?

Similarly, if you write blogs, e-books or books about software, having the ability to save screen grabs would be helpful.

The Microsoft Windows snipping tool makes it easy to select an area of your screen, i.e. a section of a web page or PDF document and copy it into an email or Word document.

You can add notes, save the snip or email it from the Snipping Tool window. Or you can use Ctrl V to paste your snip into an email or document.

You can capture any of the following types of snips:

    • Free-form snip. Draw a free-form shape around an object.
    • Rectangular snip. Drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.
    • Window snip. Select a window, i.e. a browser window or dialog box.
    • Full-screen snip. Capture the entire screen.

After you capture a snip, it is copied to the Snipping Tool window.

You can annotate your snip by using the pen feature.

Here are the ways to open the Snipping Tool in different versions of Windows:


Here is an article from Microsoft, with more detail:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4027213/windows-open-snipping-tool-and-take-a-screenshot

 

 

Marketing Software Map

By CRM, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Marketing strategy, Technology, WordPress No Comments

Here is a Marketing Software Map:

Marketing Software Map by Nigel Temple

The central red circle is your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). There are thousands of CRM systems available to you. Key issues to consider include: 1). Is the CRM easy to use? 2) Will your customer facing team actually use it? 3) Does it integrate with your newsletter system, i.e. MailChimp?

To what extent does information flow between your website, your CRM and your email marketing campaigns? Within the above diagram, the dark arrows represent software connections where information flows automatically, without the need for re-keying.

The objective is to have a single, integrated system that helps you to increase brand awareness, attract new customers and learn about them and their preferences. The software within the Marketing Software Map is either free or inexpensive. The tricky bit is making it all sing in tune and appealing to customers.

The skills required to build your Map include a knowledge of marketing strategy, software, copywriting and creative thinking.

I help enterprises of all sizes to build their own Marketing Software Map.

If you would like to find out more, email me or ask via The Marketing Compass.

I train and give talks on The Marketing Software Map. Email Joanna if you are interested in this.

Build bridges between your software platforms

By CRM, Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology, Websites No Comments

How many software platforms / systems do you use?  For example: database / CRM (Customer Relationship Management system); accounts system; website(s); landing pages; social media communities; email marketing.

How many of these ‘talk to’ each other?

This is how it could work:

* A potential customer searches for a product / service that you provide
* They find one of your website pages
* They join your MailChimp newsletter
* MailChimp ‘talks to’ your CRM and auto-populates a new record
* MailChimp starts sending a sequence of pre-written emails to the potential customer

There are numerous benefits of this approach. All of the information is in the right place. The customer receives a rapid response from you. Changes in one place (i.e. your CRM) auto update information in other places (your emailing marketing list).

My advices is to build bridges between your software platforms.

Photograph © copyright Nigel Temple

The benefits of using https://

By Internet marketing, SEO, Software, Technology, Websites No Comments

Standard websites use http:// at the start of URLs (web page addresses), whilst e-commerce and other websites which need to be seen to be secure use: https://

In order to be able to use https:// you will need to purchase an SSL Certificate. This service includes data encryption which means that credit card information and other personal data is more secure.

It is said that Google favours https:// websites. In addition, https:// websites are more secure from the unwelcome attention of hackers.

Your hosting service provider probably offers https:// and you will find that prices vary, depending on the amount of warranty that is offered.

A signed SSL Certificate means that there will be a secure connection between your website and your website visitors.  It also verifies your identity. This means that website visitors will be reassured that their personal data is safe. A ‘padlock’ symbol or a green ‘https’ should appear within the browser (to the left of the website address).

I learnt about this subject when we wished to accept credit cards (as well as PayPal) within www.marketingcompass.co.uk …if you visit the membership page there you will see that the payment pages have the https:// within their respective URLs.