by Allen Weiner | December 5, 2013 | Submit a Comment
The “60 Minutes” love letter to Amazon, which took the form of a 14-minute segment that amounted to an infomercial regaling the wonders of the Seattle-based “everything store,” has resulted in more drone –related social media humor than could be assembled by a gathering of every staff writer who has worked for “SNL” since its inspection. “Amazon Prime Air,” the third most searched term on Google several days after airing, will be remembered as digital commerce’s “jump the shark” moment when Jeff B morphed into Mr. Wizard when he lured a gaga Charlie Rose into what looked like Wayne Enterprise’s secret lab where he went eyeball to eyeball with the cyber-retailer’s flying delivery boy.
And so chatter re all things next-day, overnight and same-day delivery has become the talk of digital marketers and industry pundits—not to mention a socially connected world in which everyone is the reincarnation of Henny Yougman. The timing of discussions related to the merits and business models aligned to various delivery thresholds is particularly noteworthy in the wake of a billion-dollar baby called Cyber Monday the latest Red Letter Day for digitally driven, mobile-enhanced commerce.
Delivery elasticity is a mirror with two sides. As a former retailer, I learned the hard way that the costs you never expect or plan for are the ones that bite you in the butt. In keeping with the holiday shopping season, I can speak from experience that it’s generally a great time for retailers, even those who are rank amateurs (referring to myself). At first I was happy to take special orders for products not in my store that required extra sourcing and quick ordering, but soon came to realize such transactions produced low margins given that providing exceptional customer service included me eating the cost of express delivery. The topic of megaretailers moving toward fast-twitch delivery is no doubt giving small business merchants a case of Excedrin headache 2014 if they retain any hope of being competitive.
Being successful in finding the right delivery paradigm for your product or service will require multi-dimensional thinking. Digital marketers, no doubt will need to work side by side with their IT counterparts to strategically implement advanced logistics systems such as Descartes, which can match transaction requests to appropriate local inventory warehouses. Marketers must think in parallel about their customer base and bottom line. Is my product something a customer needs the same day or is offering that extra service little more than retail grandstanding? Perhaps the need to offer expedited delivery is seasonal which is that’s why eBay and Google are waiving their customary service charge for same-day delivery during the holiday season. Common sense dictates that perishables need to be sent on their way pronto while a customer should expect to wait a few days for a handcrafted work of art. Along those lines, unless you are a retailer the size of Wal-Mart, Target or Amazon, it’s a slippery slope to offer ultra-expedited or same-day delivery at a loss assuming the lifetime value of that buyer will make up for the upfront red ink. A digital commerce world filled with comparison shopping, price alerts, social network cues and flash sales is not conducive to long-term loyalty.
While most digital marketers are still buzzing about Amazon’s army of identifiable flying objects, I point to something else Bezos said when asked by Charlie Rose about his company’s ability to disrupt many markets in which it becomes dominant. “People can complain about (us being a disruptor), but complaining is not a strategy.” I agree—complaining is not a strategy but either is being fixated on your competitor’s blue sky whims. Going beyond the hyperbole of Amazon’s homage to George Jetson, the big takeaway from Bezos’ newsmagazine segment is the persistent recitation of his company’s mantra—“it starts with us being customer centric.” Those are words for every digital marketer to live by and that’s a motto that should be expressly delivered to your constituents for the holiday season and beyond.
If you missed the “60 Minutes” interview featuring that magnificent man and his flying machine, go here and see for yourself.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Allen Weiner | November 24, 2013 | 1 Comment
Let me say this about Cyber Monday—I just don’t get it. To me, it feels like one of those made-up days of distinction the greeting card companies come up with like Secretary’s Day or Boss’s Day (oops, that really is a great idea) or, even more in the category of such faux notoriety as National Catfish Month (August) or National Hot Dog Day (July 23rd) which is the joint brainchild of a lobbying group and an overzealous PR firm. The way I see it, the celebration of and use of digital channels for commerce should be unbounded and made a part of every campaign. It would be ill-advised for digital marketers to take the Black Friday shopping “circle the calendar” bait and proclaim Monday, Dec. 2 the day to let your fingers do the walking through the vast array of online deals.
The term “Cyber Monday” was coined by Shop.org in 2005, a time during which consumers often had better bandwidth in the workplace than at home. It referred to Thanksgiving celebrants’ first day back at work after a holiday weekend which included a first round of exposure to retail sales and shopping, primarily at malls and megastores. Now delivering more than one billion in revenue, Cyber Monday has become a Kodak Moment for digital commerce. Time to wave the checkered flag and pop the virtual Cristal? I say, not so fast.
Let me pose two (of perhaps many) considerations regarding Cyber Monday that prove it’s both an anachronistic concept that has evolved to become confusing to consumers and challenging to digital marketers. Let’s put aside the issue of using work time the day after Thanksgiving weekend to surf, click and buy; the U.S. Department of Commerce reports a tick over 72% of U.S. households have high-speed internet service, so glomming on to the boss’ network no longer is necessary to enjoy a robust online commerce experience. I begin my case by looking smack in the eye of this year’s abbreviated holiday shopping storm. On the hunt for a snazzy ultrabook,I find a barrage of disconnected marketing messages that concurrently suggest I purchase it on Black Friday. No, shop earlier and save on Black Turkey Day. Wait, says one electronics retailer in an urgent email (I have a frequent buyer card)—we are moving our specials up so you can buy today at the same price, either online or in store. And then the pure-play retailer (you know who) urges me (again via email) to sit back and wait until the weekend craziness has ended and buy it on December 2… and here’s a coupon for free shipping and a custom sleeve for your new purchase. Seems this pure-player knows all of my past purchases and has been following me online via tracking cookie (or some other such method) and has ascertained the obvious– I am shopping for an ultrabook.
These inbound noises of buy here, buy now, buy later, buy online, buy in-store results in something I studied in graduate school—cognitive dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance, which I studied as it relates to kids watching too much violence on TV, is discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions (so says Wikipedia). In its most simplistic terms, it is the feeling you get when you are on vacation, walk through a foreign bazaar and each eager merchant tries to lure you into his stall by offering you a better deal than his neighbor. The net result, for many, is to run back to the hotel and lock the door.
My second point is fairly obvious, and highlights pretty much all of our Gartner for Marketing Leaders research to date. That is, a strategy that forces marketers to think in silos will crash and burn. What I see, at least so far in 2013, are disconnected efforts in traditional print, TV and radio channels competing with, rather than acting in concert with, well considered, targeted email, social and content marketing practices. Marketing efforts scattered across the digital and physical landscape focused on one day, or even a select series of days, is out of synch with current best practices and an inefficient use of resources. I am willing to give digital marketers and their colleagues who work in companion channels the benefit of the doubt; multichannel marketing, content marketing, social marketing, etc.. are newer concepts which require time and finesse to implement in cadence with other more traditional methods. Once the early noise for 2013 has died down, there is every hope we may see some flashes of cross-channel marketing brilliance step forward. It will be worth watching.
Category: digital marketing Tags: digital marketing, ultrabooks
by Allen Weiner | November 19, 2013 | Comments Off
In the app economy, there are no one-size-fits all menus of choices that will satisfy the vast expanse of consumers whose interests range from Justin Bieber music (yuck) to learning how to play pedal steel guitar. Perhaps that’s why there are more apps downloaded than the combined total fast food burgers and pizza slices served in any given day. It’s also the reason why an app strategy for digital marketers for Black Friday and the entire holiday shopping season must take the long view of consumer needs and be practical in nature.
Perhaps the most important decision is whether, as a marketer, it makes sense to build your own branded app, and/or work closely with third-party apps whose intent is to provide broader market view and offer such value-adds as comparison shopping. Working with third part apps requires you to have your content formatted and tagged for easy app integration as well as a clear understanding of how the provider will send you leads and what that provider gets in exchange.
If you want take our Zero Moment of Truth research (subscription required) framework for understanding the consumer buying journey and look for practical deployment of theory, holiday shopping, is the place. Given the many moving parts of a ZMOT framework, from the get-go, marketers need to decide whether they will go all-in and use one app that offers many dimensions of a buying journey (awareness, information, social interaction, transaction) or focus on one app that either takes on one piece of the journey (product comparison) or one period of the holiday season—Black Friday versus last-minute shopping. Either track must take into a number of important considerations: the targeted segment of shoppers, issues of practicality and cadence.
Segmentation is the key behind a one size does not fit all vision. It also is where the fruits of your data-driven labors will pay off. Data for your product could reveal that young shoppers may be looking for an app that offers speed and detailed product reviews while perhaps older shoppers are interested in bargains and comparison pricing. Segmentation will also tell you whether your target wants to click to buy on the spot or add to a wish list, buy in store or sent to a friend (hint, hint).
Marketers should be mindful of cadence—that is sequencing apps and offers based on fixed events such as the calendar and real-time social monitoring which may reveal unexpected product trends that led to serendipitous opportunities that can be efficiently zipped out to customers via handy apps. Cadence can also refer to coordinating channel integration where the mobile app and a printed ad with a scanable QR code equate to a great customer experience.
One of the pitfalls of many digital marketing visions in cases such as holiday shopping is the lack of practical considerations. For example, many hot Black Friday apps for 2013 seems to include some sort of bar code scanning as part of its deployment. When I think about the elbow to elbow mayhem that accompanies bargain shopping on Black Friday, I imagine a shopper taking out his or her smartphone and asking fellow bargain buddies to step aside while he takes a snap of a product bar code. Yes, it seemed like a good idea at the time but in the real world… not so much.
I admit to being a loyal Black Friday shopper and have scored some impressive finds over the years. I have nudged my wife at 3 am on Black Friday to get ready to rumble and have waited in some ridiculous lines. Truth be told, my experience tells me one of the best uses of a smartphone is as a utilitarian communications device to let your shopping posse know your location and to compare bargains in real time with friends and family on the early morning hunt. When it comes to souped up interpersonal communications via voice and text, the digital marriage of Alexander Graham Bell and Steve Jobs wrapped in a neoprene case is difficult to beat.
Marketers also need to keep in mind that Black Friday weekend is far from the busiest shopping period during the holiday gift-giving season—that honor belongs to the weekends between Black Weekend and Christmas. Focusing your app strategy on a four day sprint versus the 26-day marathon is certain to leave you lagging in the race for consumer attention. On the other hand, the proper pre-holiday “training” and digital marketing discipline has a better chance to lead to powerful consumer shopping experiences and retail riches.
Category: digital marketing Tags: digital marketing
by Allen Weiner | November 13, 2013 | Comments Off
As if magically levitated out of November calendar and stretched beyond previous limits, Black Friday now includes Turkey Day as part of its allure for holiday season bargain hunters willing to put down their forks to go elbow to elbow with fellow shoppers in this newly carved slice of retail nirvana. In short, holiday shopping has turned the corner from preseason to Super Bowl with billions at stake and marketers using an alchemy of online and offline tactics blending old school print circulars with a dizzying array of apps, Tweets, Facebook posts and email marketing.
Big bucks are at stake. According to the National Retail Federation, the 2013 holiday shopping season is pegged to hit $602 billion in revenue, up 3.9% from last year. Of that, $82 billion is expected from the online component, up about 15% from 2012. That said, the push-me, pull-you synergy between offline and online goes beyond retail dollars and speaks to prowess digital marketers will hope to show as they take the best from multiple channels to create personalized experiences and journeys that delight the consumer and encourage spirited gift giving.
Smart digital marketers will remain glued to their social media listening posts looking for openings that allow them to launch ad-hoc viral campaigns that send shoppers their way as the hysterical run up to Dec. 25th leads to product shortages that could be exploited with carefully placed social media outreach. It might seem simplistic, but the marketers who spend the smartest and takes advantage of targeted content and real-time opportunities will be the ultimate winners this year. It also will be important to learn from every misstep to create a winning digital marketing playbook for the 11 months that are not the holiday season.
Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s and others are behind the elongated Black Friday celebration due in part to competition and a shorter selling window given the lateness of Thanksgiving. The Big Boxers will turn Thanksgiving black even though 2012’s holiday selling trials were received with (at best) lukewarm interest. The NRF showed that 2012’s Thanksgiving Day doorbuster experiments yielded $810 million in revenue versus $10 billion on the “real” Black Friday. That said, surveys have shown that 50% of young shoppers (18-34) will shop this year on the holiday eschewing tradition for the sake of savings on tablets, pricey headphones and slow cookers.
Moving Black Friday kickoff nearly 24 hours will not be without its critics with the loudest protests coming from employees who have taken to social media to express their displeasure. There also is also perhaps a bullying dimension to megastores opening on the holiday when smaller stores cannot afford the extra expense of paying overtime. While it may not reach David vs. Goliath proportions, it will be those relatively smaller retailers we look to be ahead of the curve with clever digitally-led marketing tactics.
There is a lot more to cover. As we make our way to Black Friday and its new sibling, we will look at the role Amazon and its new Sunday delivery scheme will play in this year’s mix, the impact of Cyber Monday and all those cool apps that are built to guide you through the information supershopping highway. Stay tuned.
Category: digital marketing Tags: digital marketing
by Allen Weiner | September 10, 2013 | Comments Off
With week one of the 2013 NFL season in the books, even casual fans are able to see how some of this year’s draft picks are likely to fare. Extra attention is paid, as per usual, to the men who line up under center, wearing a number that falls between 1 and 20 (little known NFL rule that certain numbers equate to certain positions) who control the tempo and flow of the game. They are literally and figuratively the quarterbacks. In the case of those tortured fans who root for the Jets, rookie Geno Smith was at the helm when he coolly led his team down the field for a game-winning score. No combine drill, no Wunderlic test and no amount of game film can easily measure an athlete’s ability to show grace under pressure
As I work to complete some interesting research on what to look for in the right person to lead your digital commerce initiatives my work allows me to offer advice on how to build the perfect beast to head up marketing efforts in the world of e-commerce. Missing, however, among the building blocks of experience, education and skills are the intangibles of grace under pressure. A little science and a lot of art along with the ability to ask the right questions during the screening process fuels the ability to separate candidates who look great on paper from those whose employment/academic backgrounds may hide the perfect talents for your commerce plans.
Legend—urban and otherwise—reveals a number of offbeat, disconcerting and generally irrelevant questions asked by some of our finest employers. Here’s one: “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say, and why is he here?” I, for one, haven’t a clue. But the message is clear: if you want great people in your marketing organization, ask great questions. In the case of finding your prefect e-commerce signal caller, I suggest a few queries that require some clever yet practical responses.
“The lights go out at the Super Bowl. What would you, as a digital commerce executive?” The best part of that question is that it happened and your candidate can use the Nabisco example as a jumping off point. How about this one: “Your e-commerce services provider has an outage, euphemistically called “unscheduled downtime.” What’s your next move, my friend? I am sure you can come up similar questions on your own with the goal of testing mental reflexes and find those great “natural athletes.”
This is to suggest overlooking the standard bona fides on a candidate’s resume. Moreover this is not to suggest you hire a clever person with a lot of moxie who doesn’t know mobile payments from mobile dog grooming. The thinking here is that it’s wise to go beyond what shows up in black and white and look for the color commentary that allows you to speed your commerce drives down the field.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital commerce, digital marketing
by Allen Weiner | August 28, 2013 | Comments Off
I was touched and somewhat tearful when I watched a new video spot for Extra gum in which we see a time lapse narrative of a father and daughter who bond over his miniature creations made from gum wrappers. During each phase of their relationship, the wrappers are an aluminum foil tie that binds culminating in a dramatic punch line that delivers the message that it’s the little, personal things that matter in life. After clicking through the spot, I neither ran to the kitchen to grab a piece of gum not did I add Wrigley’s to my shopping list. I thought about sharing the video link with some friends who, like me, have kids in college, but given the emotions involved in seeing your birds leave the nest, thought better of it.
And while I might applaud the folks at Energy BBDO who are deserving of some modest kudos for this meritorious achievement, I have to pose the mundane yet relevant question: how does this help sell gum? Overlooking the advice from four out of five dentists, the few benefits of gum include some level of relaxation, curbing hunger, minimizing the after-Jones of ceasing smoking and, in the case of some athletes, preventing you from biting your lip or tongue in high-stress moments. After 21 years of fatherhood, I admit I have shared a pack or two of gum with my daughter, but I don’t see it as a key driver in our relationship.
In his report, “How to Tell Memorable Marketing Stories,” my colleague Richard Fouts points to the SIR method of creating compelling stories—situation, impact, resolution. For the father and daughter bound by gum wrappers, I certainly understand the situation, but impact and resolution seem elusive. And, if we are to add an addition element—action—then I would say this lovely 30 seconds of video art tugs the heartstrings but does little to encourage sales uplift. I hear the purists out there say, “Wait, this is branding!” To those, I ask, explain the brand resonance connection between sugarless gum and the spiritual joy of parenthood? Seems to be a stretch beyond even our most fertile imaginations.
I am a huge believer in the practice of storytelling. I even subscribe to the transmedia concept of creating multiple stories along the same theme that work individually for various channels but connect to deliver a harmonious message. I also believe well-chiseled storytelling is a major driver for commerce with measurable results if you are able to cleverly but directly explain the benefits of a given product or service. From the Axe commercial where the hero loses the girl to an astronaut to spot where a guy gives a damsel in distress a ride in his Subaru, the SIR method is executed to near perfection. And while I appreciate art in any form, and awards may look great in the sleek lobby of an upscale ad firm, without impact and resolution your story does little to drive your bottom line.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, storytelling
by Allen Weiner | August 27, 2013 | Comments Off
I happen to be one of these curmudgeons who routinely become skeptical when any person, product, trend or fad reaches the point of being coin of the realm. When the Q score goes up, so does my own internal Doubting Thomas and I need to assuage my personal doubts and see whether we’re at a real, honest-to-goodness Tipping Point or drowning in hype or victim of yet another vacuous viral non-news, non-event. This statement of self obsession leads me to wonder how we have turned the notion of content marketing into an amorphous concept which includes neither the inherent value of content nor the art and science of digital marketing.
The biggest sticking point for me is content. The marketing part is much easier to envision given the growing ranks of sharp, innovative, data-driven digital marketers who can thread a concept through the eye of many concurrent channels and measure its effectiveness in real time. It’s the ammo they put into their shotgun approaches I question. To take the imagery further, I content the shell casings are often either blanks or misfires given the source of the ammo as well as the process through which the ammo was sourced and cured.
In our report, “The Role of Curation in Content Marketing,” Gartner points out that 47 percent of social marketers say content creation and curation are their top roles, but they have problems creating a vibrant and replenishing pipeline of compelling and engaging content. My take is that marketers are under so much pressure to jump on the content marketing bandwagon, they often do so without regard to or understand of rhythm of content workflow or the underlying authenticity or validity of the words pictures, videos and social verbiage that is the lifeblood of their content-based digital marketing efforts. How could I make such a bold accusation? Using what I call my PIB (Personal Inbox Barometer), a sort of sabermetric I use to determine velocity of overhyped topics, the number of inbound messages related to offering me advice on how to better my content marketing efforts has now surpassed offers for low-interest home loans and discounts on portable convection ovens. To my way of thinking, the wedding of the waters that is a bloated supply of get-smart-quick offers and a demand for meaningful insight is outright confusion and inertia.
Let me get back to my original premise that sourcing (creation and curation) component of content marketing needs to be air tight to create an impactful, actionable experience for your target audience. And, as one of the leaders in digital publishing can validate, sourcing content, especially consumer-generated content, is a minefield. Recently, Huffington Post announced it was ending anonymous comments because 75% of them had to be deleted due to some level of toxicity. Marketers planning to build a content marketing supply chain take note: According to HuffPo, it pre-moderated all comments, developed state-of-the-art moderation technology, and hired a platoon of human moderators — a 40-person-strong team to supplement the technology and ensure a civil environment. HuffPo’s efforts should give you a sense of what you may be up against if content authenticity and impact is your raison d’être. It also makes me shudder when I hear the growing trend of adding automation to content marketing which allows you to pre-plan the delivery of your content marketing assets. Good luck retrieving the viral cow once he has left the barn.
The bottom line, as I see it, is something the journalistic snob in me learned more than three decades ago: content is not easy. I continually go back to the advice my colleague Jake Sorofman and I offered in our first report on the topic: “Digital Marketers: Are You Ready to Think Like a Publisher?” We stand firm on those simple words of wisdom.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: content marketing, digital marketing, Huffington Post
by Allen Weiner | August 22, 2013 | 2 Comments
After more than a decade of sitting on the sidelines, I heard from a friend who came out of retirement to take on a part-time job at a new-ish retail store that’s part of the brand portfolio of a major, global company. Her first week of work, and her tales of being back among the working world, confirms a suspicion that started, for me as a contrarian thought, but now seems to be a valid prophecy. One of the major goals of this brand’s digital strategy—perhaps its biggest aspiration—is to get you to come into their store. While digital is a major element of its marketing strategy, my take is e-commerce is a transparent and continuous part of what I observe to be this retailer’s truly converged strategy.
To be specific, the retailer boasts a luminous website with brilliant images and concise descriptions of its wares. While they are obviously more than okay with you clicking to buy, the content marketing approach in the web catalog is aimed at getting you to find the store nearest you and interacting with staff that are expertly trained to upsell. In fact, the retailer wants its customers to walk out their door with no less than three items per visit. Anyone who follows the evolution of digital commerce experiences will agree that one of the biggest challenges is to replicate the finesse required in a face to face sales upsell.
The store boasts web-based kiosks to let out of town shoppers order products that might not be in stock or not available in the appropriate size. Want it shipped to your home—sure. Want it shipped to the store near your home—even better. This carefully woven fabric of continuous commerce points to a future state that replicates a media trend that began decades ago with the dawn of CompuServe, AOL and other relics of the online space—convergence. Convergence is one of those “call it whatever you want it” overhyped, semi urban myths that represents a coordination or uniformity of distinct technology, forces of behaviors. If I’m a betting man, my hunch is commerce may get to convergence long before media reaches such nirvana.
Certainly, a blog post is only suitable to start the ball rolling on reflecting on the power of commerce convergence. Such a school of thought should include the digital marketer’s perceptive on the strategy of developing and executing a highly transplant, ubiquitous experience as well as the view though the shopper’s lens which is based on a frictionless journey in which a buying opportunity morphs to suit time, place, personal preferences and technology.
Lastly, I am a big fan of the social aspect of shopping and how it may start with a Facebook Like but also must include physical retail contact with trained staff and in-store technology. As someone who owned a retail business, taking a page from the playbook of e-commerce champions—such as minimizing infrastructure costs– can be a vital part of a successful bricks and mortar channel. I subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of business, but in the case of commerce, we’re in a period of building, so breaking the rules is not only permissible, it’s a good idea. Think about how convergence will affect your commerce plans and break a few rules while you’re at it.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, digitalmarketing
by Allen Weiner | August 20, 2013 | Comments Off
Yes, it’s a big deal when a major infrastructure provider such as Amazon suffers an outage, setting social media ablaze with visions of doom (not to mention serious sarcasm) and calculation of the web giant’s lost revenue on a second by second basis $66 million according to RetailNet Group . For marketers and merchants who use Amazon to power their commerce activities—everything from dedicated product pages to transaction clearing—it’s an even bigger deal as online shoppers who have myriad options may not return after hitting a page freeze. During back-to-school week (a major commerce event), when students and parents buy textbooks, school supplies and new fall semester wardrobes, the stakes are even higher.
In our recent report, “Marketers Look to the Zero Moment of Truth Framework for Digital Commerce Planning,” we emphasize the concept of planning for a consumer’s non-linear shopping experience by taking into consideration a lot of what-ifs that might transpire during the period from signal to transaction. Perhaps it’s wise to add a tip or two for digital marketers to keep handy when the truly unexpected happens—for instance, a lengthy outage from your digital commerce services provider.
Every piece of commerce research echoes the sentiment that it’s important to know your customers in as much detail as possible. For example, if you are able to segment your customers who likely would have been shopping at Amazon during back-to-school week, a quick targeted email, Tweet or even Facebook post could go a long way to encouraging that segment to check back later in the day. How about–“Attention back-to-school shoppers, we’re having an unexpected recess.” Such a message acknowledges the problem and shows your customers you are paying attention to them but does not make light of the outage or point the finger of blame.
Certainly outages happen—just ask anyone who lives in Arizona during monsoon season—but those responsible for keeping the lights on and the motor running can take fail safe measures to minimize the time and impact that come with such disruption. For that reason, no matter who you select as a partner—especially one responsible for a mission critical part of your commerce workflow—it is important to craft a customer recovery plan as well as a careful due diligence related to the provider’s track record of dealing with service interruptions. Even the highest rollers in the tech world aren’t immune to the occasional blip or slip.
Category: digital commerce digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Allen Weiner | July 11, 2013 | 2 Comments
Time was everyone had a blog, from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to a down-on-his luck feline who goes by the name Grumpy Cat. Time was people felt the (sometimes) spontaneous empowerment that comes with a blog (that’s a web log for you WWW historians) was fun, cathartic and in some ways personally or professionally rewarding. Just ask blogger Andrew Sullivan who left The Daily Beast to launch The Daily Dish as a stand-alone website charging subscribers $20-a-year. Sullivan is on target to meet his first-year goal of driving $900k in revenue.
The old reverse-chronology concept that powered blogging’s stream of consciousness roots has given way to a more formal, purpose-driven mode of engagement.. Blogging’s position on The Digital Marketing Transit Map supports this transition. While blogs live quite comfortably in Web Ops neighborhood, Social Ops is but a short ride away and if you navigate the tracks carefully, you could find appropriate stops in Design, Mobility and Marking Ops. As an increasingly valuable vehicle in a digital marketer’s arsenal, blogs—or to be more precise the platforms such as WordPress—are becoming resilient touchpoints for digital marketers.
Blogging as part of content marketing is a no-brainer. The vast majority of content marketing providers use blogs as a primary destination for a brand’s content efforts. This is done using basic APIs to automatically feed text, images, videos or what have you directly into a blogging platform’s queue or publish directly to the web without any intermediate review. Consider, however, the role that blogs should play in a digital commerce campaign. In the gospel according to the Zero Moment of Truth movement (a focus of upcoming Gartner for marketing Leaders research), merchants need to focus on micro conversions as much as macro conversion. Macro conversions are immediate purchases made as a direct result of a specific buying journey. Micro conversions are based on offering customers the ability to sign up for ongoing information and promotions using various campaign touchpoints—including blogs– to encourage registrations.
Blogging is one of those chameleons that could live in any neighborhood—from the Bohemian world of design to the down and dirty parts of town focused on operations. As with other technology driven forms of expression, blogging will continue to evolve and become an even more powerful ingredient for digital marketers.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Digital Marketing Transit Map