Tag Archives: trust

Are You Vigilant in Protecting Your Reputation?

22 Feb

Whether we are reviewing our company’s reputation or our own personal self-brand, the results may be challenging because of the spread of fake news and the proliferation of negative social media comments. What we hope for perceptions of our reputation may not be in sync with the way others see us. And having a favorable reputation is critically important.

What can we do to have a well-respected reputation? Consider these suggestions from Sapir Segal, writing for Marketo:

Social media marketing requires a lot of patience and maintenance. Once you’ve established your social media presence and are generating engagement and measuring your ROI, the most important stage is to protect your hard work. Monitoring and protecting your social media presence from decline or extinction is just as pivotal as demonstrating it in the first place.”

“Controversial posts, account hacks, and inadvertent mistakes are all examples of threats that could harm your brand’s reputation. Luckily for marketers, many of these troubling factors are avoidable or correctable. To protect your social media reputation, you must have a careful eye for potential problems, a plan for handling crises, and a team you trust to write and manage the content. Here are three common mistakes that plague social media marketers: (1) unsupervised content publishing; (2) controversial content; and (3) account hacking.”

 

Click the image to read Segal’s solutions to these problems!

 

How Big a Hurdle Is Ad Blocking in 2017?

17 Feb

Ad blocking is becoming an enormous problem for online marketers, going from a nuisance a couple of years ago to a major threat today. ARE YOU PREPARED TO HANDLE IT?

Technopedia describes ad blockers as follows:

“An ad blocker is a program that will remove different kinds of advertising from a Web user’s experience online. These programs target certain kinds of ads, such as pop-ups, banner ads ,and other common forms of online ad blockers work in many different ways. Some are standalone programs, while others are features of more comprehensive customizing services, or add-ons for a particular browser or operating system. Some browser-specific programs, like PithHelmet for Safari, or other programs for browsers, like Opera, are designed to work well in a particular environment. Others work with Windows or another operating system to block pop-ups or other kinds of ads.”

“Users have a wide range of options for blocking out different kinds of ads. Some programs delete cookies and other Web markers to effectively limit ads. Web proxy programs like Privoxy can be effective ad blockers. Some users will choose to block Adobe Flash in order to block annoying video ads, which are now common on some websites. There are also freeware programs that may use simple principles to block out advertising.”

So, how much of a threat is ad blocking in 2017? Even though eMarketer has scaled back its estimates slightly; ad blocking is still growing significantly. As eMarketer notes:

“eMarketer has scaled back its estimates of ad blocking users in the U.S., reducing the number to 75.1 million. At that level, more than one-quarter (27.5%) of US internet users will use ad blockers this year. While the estimate has been reduced, growth is still significant, at 16.2% in 2017.”

“Ad blocking is much more common among desktop/laptop users than smartphone users. For smartphones, the incidence of ad blocking is less than 8%. That’s partly because mobile ad blockers are often not as effective — especially within apps — as they are on desktops and laptops. Ad blocking continues to be far more prevalent among younger people. This year, 41.1% of millennials will use ad blockers, r estimates. The use is lower among Gen X internet users at 26.9%, and for baby boomers, ad blocking is at 13.9%.”

 
Click the image to read more.

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, Desktop/Laptop vs. Smartphone, 2014-2018 (% of population)

 

Influencer Marketing: Coming of Age

1 Feb

One of our most popular emerging concepts is “influencer marketing.” What is it and how should it be used?

Consider these observations by Lee Oden (CEO of TopRank Marketing):

What does ‘influencer marketing’ mean to you? Are you thinking of celebrities posting product photos to Instagram? Or having a famous YouTuber run a contest for a meet and greet at an event? Why not send products to bloggers in the hopes that they’ll do a review and say nice things? Surely that’s not all enterprise marketers think of when it comes to the possible outcomes with influencer relationships.”

“The promise of brands collaborating or outright paying influential individuals to create content that lifts the brand’s credibility and reach to sell more products is something that companies of all sizes have been hot on – especially in the past 12 months. With a groundswell of interest, there are many divergent interpretations of what influencer marketing really means.”

“With so many different opinions, best practices, and even definitions, we set out with influencer marketing platform Traackr to bring clarity and future direction by conducting research into the practice for large, enterprise organizations. We also engaged my pal and respected futurist, author and analyst, Brian Solis of Altimeter Group to conduct an analysis of that research and write a report outlining what is working, what isn’t and future trends.”

 
Take a look at Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017, in-depth analysis and research on influencer marketing. Click on the image for the full report. [Note: a FREE signup is required.]

 


 

2017 Global Economics Interview with Hof Prof

5 Jan

Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business Distinguished Professor Joel Evans was recently interviewed by the award-winning Hofstra radio station WHRU about the upcoming 2017 global economy. Here is that EIGHT-minute interview. The views are those of Professor Evans and not Hofstra University.

[Please pardon all the sighs. Professor Evans is not in a state of distress, only in a state of bronchitis. 🙂 ]

 

 

Customer Service Means a Good Return Policy

3 Jan

Now that the 2016 holiday shopping season is over (except for spending gift cards), a vital question to consider from both the customer’s and retailer’s perspective is: What kind of return policy best serves my needs? For many consumers, the answer may be: an unlimited time frame to return a purchase. For many retailers, the answer may be: holding down costs as much as possible. In either case, the return policy is a key element of customer service.

These are some return practices disliked by consumers: [Note: Many good retailers do not follow these practices.]

  • An overly short time period to make a return for a full refund.
  • The amount of the refund for a gift item when the gift recipient does not have a receipt.
  • A discounted refund merely for opening the product’s box.
  • The time to process a refund for a return.
  • Items excluded from refunds, such as computer software.
  • The shipping fee to return a purchase made online.

 
Two of the acknowledged leaders are Amazon, whose return policy is easy to use and consumer friendly, and L.L. Bean, whose return policy has received various honors and awards.

As a prelude to a YouTube video about returns at L.L. Bean, Business Insider’s Sam Rega recently stated: Here’s what makes L.L.Bean’s ‘100% satisfaction guarantee’ the best return policy of any retailer.”
 

 

Technology and Planned Obsolescence

27 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover the topic of planned obsolescence.

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As defined in Evans Berman’s Marketing: “Planned obsolescence is a marketing practice that capitalizes on short-run material wearout, style changes, and functional product changes. In material planned obsolescence, firms choose materials and components that are subject to comparatively early breakage, wear, rot, or corrosion. In style planned obsolescence, a firm makes minor changes to differentiate the new year’s offering from the prior year’s. With functional planned obsolescence, a firm introduces new product features or improvements to generate consumer dissatisfaction with currently owned products.”

In recent years, NO company has applied planned obsolescence more than Apple. Yes, this practice has led to rapid advances in the technology of music players, tablets, and smartphones. But, does Apple’s philosophy also spur consumers to buy new product versions that they don’t need?

Apple has recently been criticized for its planned obsolescence strategy. Do YOU agree with this criticism?

Consider these observations by Catherine Rampell, writing for the New York Times:

“The new software and recent app updates from Apple offer fancy new features that existing users want; maybe the battery is sealed with tiny five-point screws for aesthetic considerations. Perhaps, but this isn’t the first time that tech analysts and random crazies on the Internet have noted that breakdowns in older Apple products can often coincide with when upgrades come onto the market. Many have taken this as evidence of ‘planned obsolescence,’ a term that dates to the Great Depression, when a real-estate broker suggested that the government should stimulate the economy by placing artificial expiration dates on consumer products so people would buy more.”

“There is, however, a simple way to effectively render an old product obsolete without fleecing your existing customers. Instead of degrading the old model, companies can offer innovations in the new model that make upgrading irresistible. Apple succeeded at doing this for a while, offering new iPhones that included major improvements. In the past, consumers were so excited about the cool new features, like Siri, the voice-activated interface, that they may not have minded (or even noticed) if their old phones started to deteriorate; they planned on upgrading anyway. This time around, that’s less true. The iPhone 5S and 5C offer fewer quantum improvements. Consumers are more likely to want their old phones to continue working at peak condition in perpetuity, and to feel cheated when they don’t.”

[Note from Evans on Marketing: Many consumers still believe that Apple practices planned obsolescence with its latest lines of phones, tablets, and computers. In 2016, for the first time in years, had a quarterly sales drop. Do YOU agree or disagree?]

 

 
Click the image to read more.

Illustration by Kelsey Dake

 

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