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Proving Marketing ROI Is Difficult

18 Aug

As we’ve posted before (see, for example, 1, 2), measuring marketing’s return on investment is both important and difficult.

Now, according to B2B Marketing, the situation is changing:

“The old perception of marketing as an immeasurable dark art whose benefits could not be quantified by mere numbers seems to be over. In its place, the new imperative is ‘marketing as science’, where any marketer worth their salt will be able quote brilliant ROI figures for past and future campaigns.”

“While it’s understandable that there should be a desire among marketers to show that investment in their department is having a positive effect on the bottom line, it’s also undoubtedly true that lots of practitioners are still struggling to do this. What’s the problem? Are marketers’ ROI formulas outdated? Are situational differences disrupting the playing field? Are businesses measuring marketing contributions in the right way?”

Click the image below for some solutions related to better measuring marketing ROI.

 

 

How to Know If Your Product Idea Has Potential

14 Aug

Not all product ideas that we come up with have commercial potential. So, how do we determine which ideas have the best odds of succeeding?

For some tips, check out this Inc. video interview with Valerie Casey, who is the chief product officer at Samsung’s Global Innovation Center. She talks about the difference among a feature, a product, and a business.

 


 

Online Marketing Resources

12 Aug

Looking for more online, easy-to-use, inexpensive marketing resources?

If yes, then check out this slideshow from Damon Nofar, a freelance presentation designer who helps marketers and speakers with their presentations. These nine resources are featured in the slideshow:

 

 

In 2015, Online Video Is Booming

11 Aug

As we’ve reported before, online video marketing has become BIG! (for example, see 1, 2).

How big? take a look at this 2015 statistical infographic on the popularity of online videos by HighQ, a producer of software for the world’s largest law firms, investment, banks and corporations.

Click the image for a larger version.
 

 

Small Business Social Media Trends

4 Aug

Interested in seeing how small businesses use social media to generate sales? Curious about which social media platforms are working well for small firms?

For its seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner surveyed 3,720 marketers, business owners, and solopreneurs from the United States and overseas, to uncover various trends. Here are 12 of the most important trends:

  1. Social Media Critical for Small Business — “96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, ‘Social media marketing is important for my business.'”
  2. Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing — “The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%.”
  3. B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C — “Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking.”
  4. Most Small Business Marketers Don’t Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working — “Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is ‘working.’”
  5. Small Businesses Plan to Expand Facebook Activities This Year — “The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it.”
  6. Most Small Businesses Spend 6 Hours or More Weekly on Social Media — “Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time.”
  7. Small Businesses Identify Increased Exposure as Social’s Top Benefit — “Even though ‘increased exposure’ is more difficult to measure than a metric like traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.”
  8. Increased Traffic to Website Is Number-Two Benefit of Social Marketing — “77% of the survey respondents have appreciated the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral (clicking from Facebook or LinkedIn to the website for a blog post or landing page offer). Google Analytics and other tools make getting this data possible, even easy.”
  9. Social Media Cuts Marketing Expenses for Small Businesses — “Early on, social media developed the reputation of reaching audiences at a low price.”
  10. Small Business Direct Social Sales Rise Over Time — “More than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than 2 years report their channels helped them improve sales. Seventy percent of those with a 5-year social media marketing investment report it helps improve sales.”
  11. Facebook Dominates Social Media Paid Ads — “The low cost associated with social media ads is just one aspect that appeals to small businesses. The ability to target ads to a narrow geographic (down to the zip code) and demographic market provides another.”
  12. Types of Social Media Content — “Blogging and visual assets nearly tied at 70% and 71% respectively. The self-employed depend on blogging, with 79% of that faction reporting they blog. At this time, just 10% of marketers use podcasting, but some speculate that podcasting could be an opportunity. Requiring higher budgets and more technology, video content finishes third.”

 

Click the image to read more.

 

Must Reading: How Vulnerable are YOU to Being Tracked by Hackers?

31 Jul

Earlier this week, we posted aboutWhat Happens to Our Privacy If a Company Is Sold?” The answer was pretty disconcerting!!

In this post, we are furthering the discussion by publicizing a very recent article How Many Times Has Your Personal Information Been Exposed to Hackers?This article includes a a brief vulnerability quiz and many useful observations:

“Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people.”

“Answer the questions below to learn which parts of your identity may have been stolen in some of the major hacking attacks over the last two years and what you can do about it. Not all attacks are included here, and many attacks go undetected, so think of your results as a minimum level of exposure.”

Click the image below to take the quiz and to learn more about this important subject.

What Happens to Our Privacy If a Company Is Sold?

28 Jul

Most of us are not fully aware of the privacy policies and rules that go into effect if a company sold is sold or goes into bankruptcy. Suppose we signed up for a Web site that had specific restrictions on how our personal information could be used, such as not providing it to a third party. Do these restrictions remain if the company is bought by another firm?

Not surprisingly, our privacy rights are not as strong as they should be in these situations. Therefore, we need to give out personal information very carefully — and monitor its use.

As Natasha Singer and Jeremy B. Merrill recently reported for the New York Times:

“The privacy policy for Hulu, a video-streaming service with about nine million subscribers, opens with a declaration that the company ‘respects your privacy.’ That respect could lapse, however, if the company is ever sold or goes bankrupt. At that point, according to a clause several screens deep in the policy, the host of details that Hulu can gather about subscribers — names, birth dates, email addresses, videos watched, device locations, and more — could be transferred to ‘one or more third parties as part of the transaction.’ The policy does not promise to contact users if their data changes hands.”

“Provisions like that act as a sort of data fire sale clause. They are becoming standard among the most popular sites, according to a recent analysis by the New York Times of the top 100 Web sites in the United States as ranked by Alexa, an Internet analytics firm. Of the 99 sites with English-language terms of service or privacy policies, 85 said they might transfer users’ information if a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, asset sale, or other transaction occurred, the Times’ analysis found.  The sites with these provisions include prominent consumer technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, in addition to Hulu.”

 
Click the image to read more from the NY Times.
 

 

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