Posted in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Marketing, Latest Blog

5 Key Trends in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for 2017

Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the art of managing the organisation’s relationship with the customers and prospective clients. In simple terms, CRM includes various strategies and techniques to maintain a healthy relationship with an organisation’s existing as well as potential customers. It is essential Organisations ensure customers are satisfied with their products and services for higher customer retention in the long-run. A satisfied customer brings ten new customers with them, where a dissatisfied customer takes away ten customers along with them as well.

1. Content is Still King 

Many organisations (big and small) still struggle with managing their websites and keeping it fresh with new and relevant content. They also often fail to meet Google’s Quality Score guidelines, which power Google’s AdWords. Customers are now much more sophisticated which means that brands (organisations) need content that is interesting and relevant on all platforms, in order to make that emotional and rational connection that is necessary for engagement. Consumers expect educative, in-depth information and they want it now, which many brands struggle to keep up.

content-is-king

For this reason, marketers are creating shareable content and microsites to highlight products and promotions, but also deliver targeted messages around relevant topics to support the buying stages of the customer.

Some brands are finding that content can be four times more effective than a traditional marketing campaign and therefore are geared towards digital content channels.

2. Customer Service and Meeting Customer Experience

According to google now, the customer’s life is being divided by Micro-moments and this occur when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. With all this is the digital space organisations/brands now need to preside at all the possible touch points of the customer journey and optimise what works best for their business.

Customer Service and Customer Experience

According to McKinsey, 70% of a customer’s buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated and with word of mouth, being a power tool for your brand – meeting customer expectation with a good customer service would lead to customer loyalty plus referral business.

The key to satisfying the empowered customer is offering a holistic experience across all company touch points and developing the infrastructure that allows for knowledge sharing and smart communication is essential. Most smart organisations will streamline or eliminate the transactional parts of the customer experience that they think don’t add to the customer experience, they just get in the way.

Although, customer loyalty is directly correlated to the customer’s brand experience having trustworthy personal interactions both before and after a purchase has been made will be the number one priority of all customer-facing companies.

Marketing campaign strategies using engaging content creation, loyalty programs and gamification will continue to play an integral role in the customer experience development, but so will initiatives that enable a holistic experience.

3. Geo-location Technology

Geo-location is the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or Internet-connected computer terminal.

Customers near or in digital kiosks can now receive geo-targeted messages and offers on their mobile devices – thanks to geomarketing. Various brands online can now, via mobile phone signals, track customer movements around and within a store location. Some smart online retailers can even identify repeat shoppers and keep a record of them in store behaviour on file.

Geomarketing and targeting

With web beacon technology, it is now possible to push messages to consumers whenever online brands think they are relevant to their consumers based on their behavioural history of activity they hold.

4. Personalisation and Customisation

In order to get the attention and good engagement of your customer, brands/organisations would need to know more about their customers and use that insight to talk, engage and interact with them more often and more meaningfully in new and innovative ways (example mobile, dynamic content, apps, blogs and social media). Having static websites with no refreshed content often would no longer be enough; they need to be social, inspirational, and personal.

Personalisation and Customisation

For example, the use of recipients’ real names in email messages is crucial now. The days of “Dear friend,” and “Hi Customer” are all obnoxious greetings for your email communications. Getting a prospects or lead’s name is one of the easiest piece of lead intelligence to gather for a customer journey. If they filled out a data capture form, at the very least, you got their name and email address, right? If not, you probably shouldn’t be emailing them.Most email service providers have the capability to enable you to customise your email messages with the recipient’s first name, so why not take advantage of it! Like it or not, 2017 is going to be up close and personal.

Most email service providers have the capability to enable you to customise your email messages with the recipient’s first name, so why not take advantage of it! Like it or not, 2017 is going to be up close and personal.

5.Omnichannel Approach

Omnichannel is defined as an approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. Those companies that understand that the brand’s offline dynamism needs to be recreated online – that sense of discovery, inspiration and entertainment – will be the companies that survive and benefit substantially.


Omnichannel marketing

Mobile marketing is mainstream now and will continue to grow and dominate the digital landscape. Mobile will now need to be put as central and pivotal to the omnichannel journey. Encouraged by Facebook, we will see more on-demand services brought to messenger platforms. As mobile apps are the primary way people access social media. Start deliberation with mobile and progress the design up to larger screens, implementing strategies that touch the consumer’s browsing and buying journey. This includes arming the floor sales force with mobile technology to check inventory, place orders or make a sale and you would be laughing with your sales figures….

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Direct Mail, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

5 Reasons to Integrate Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

Business mailing lists still rank among the most customizable and therefore most effective methods for messaging an audience of potential customers. Direct mail may not necessarily be the cheapest, but cheap marketing doesn’t always make for a great customer engagement and brand reputation.

Direct mail – in the era of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and Amazon – may seem to the digital marketing enthusiast to be a thing of the past. Digital Ad viewability remains an issue in the digital landscape. With response rates from email marketing remaining in decline, thanks to the efforts of Gmail and other email providers’ to auto-route commercial emails to hidden areas behind the “promotional” tabs . Although Content Marketing has become the main strategy for digital marketers it remains an uphill battle in the digital environment in which the supply of content exceeds the supply of human readers (demand).

Customer Contact Touch-Point
How your customers want to be contacted?

Direct mail is however, still effective for a couple of reasons.

  1. Direct Postal Mail Gives You a True Opt-in

Using direct mail to entice your customers to visit a customised uniform resource identifier (URL) or activating an app or QR code (Quick Response Code) is an excellent way to assemble lists of truly engaged customers. Integration of postal mail campaigns with marketing automation suites and standard analytics packages is easier than ever.

  1. Digitise your Print Effort

Integrating digital tools incorporated into a direct mail campaign, can help track your customers movements as they make their decisions. For example, a QR code that leads to your app or a personalized URL that leads to a landing page, or social media account information all help you track where your customers come from, how interested they are in your products, and what information they might need to complete a purchase. Blending your direct mail and digital marketing strategies isn’t hard, either.

  1. Perfect for Local Business Branding

When mixed with a solid digital marketing campaign, direct mail can really boost local business reputation and brand awareness. Your mail pieces can grab the attention of customers in your local area and direct them to social media accounts and your brand website.

  1. Offer Exclusive Benefits – Discount or Promotion

One of the main reasons consumers indicate for subscribing to mailing lists, social media channels and newsletters for their beloved brands is their desire to keep apprised of hot new sales, deals and news, as well as receive exclusive coupons. Anticipating special offers normally keep consumers on the lookout for your direct mail. Without the initial touch from you in their mailbox, customers might never find you and remember once you have a good promotion or discount – word of mouth can be a perfect tool for your brand as well boosting searches online.

  1. Traditionally Customers still love Postcards and Physical Mail

When you send a marketing e-mail, the only chance your brand gets to catch your buyers’ eyes is the subject line and through personalisation. Most customers won’t even look at that before performing a mass delete of messages in their inbox. We all agree there is too much email content to consume on a daily basis don’t we?

With direct mail, however, recipients won’t be able to avoid seeing the message, even if only for a moment. That kind of visibility makes your direct mail much more powerful and that resonates with your customers.

At first glance, direct mail marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have absolutely nothing in common –these are two different monsters. But if consumers don’t know to look for your brand online, your SEO doesn’t really help much in anyway, does it..? By introducing yourself through direct mail, you put your brand on prospects’ radars. Including a URL (landing page to collect enquiries) for your company, does result in search result skyrocketing high for your brand. The more relevant Google thinks your site is, the more likely you will be shown up higher in search rankings. Whether customers find your website through a Google search or by entering your direct website address, search engines give you points for relevance.

 

Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

How Content Management System (CMS) can enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

 

Content -Managment-SystemIt is estimated that about 75% of Internet users make judgments about a company’s credibility based on its website design. When customers can’t find your website through search engines, your content will go to waste – no matter how great or outstanding it is.

Having a good Content Management System helps manage four vital steps for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) redirects: If you are re-launching a website, some of your web pages might have new URL’s. Employing 301 redirects can lead your website visitors and search engines to the new URL and preserve search engine rankings for those pages – following this step would still keep your ranking rather than drop out completely.
  2. Custom URL and page metadata: Having a CMS allows customisation of page titles, URL’s description metadata to include important keywords related to your business. By tailoring this data for the site, you can make a significant impact on search engine rankings.
  3. Extensible Markup Language (XML) Sitemap: When a website goes live, you can use a CMS to create an XML sitemap of your entire website. Having a sitemap is an essential requirement that helps search engines understands your site’s structure and content.
  4. Site Page-Load Performance: According to KISSmetrics, around 40% of website visitors leave a website that takes more than 3 secs to load. A CMS can cache static components of web pages so they will load quickly and prevent search engine penalties for slow website performance.

In conclusion, websites have become a primary space where people interact with a company or brand and therefore the success or failure of your digital marketing strategy does depend hugely on how well your websites performs in search engines.

Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

5 Important Ways To Improve Your Landing Page And Convert Customers

Landing Page Main Image

In digital marketing, a landing page is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimised search result or an online advertisement. In practical terms, it’s every businesses online store window and centre of all inbound leads generation efforts and the link back to every campaign that is being executed or live.

Most businesses online put a lot of time and money in driving business to the landing pages through email offers, pay per click advertising, social media ads, search engine marketing campaigns with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of their advertisement. With return on investment being key in every Marcoms department budget for cutting edge organisation now, neglecting and not refreshing your advertising landing pages could lead to bad returns for your advertising spend. Ignoring this could lead to high bounce rates and a lower conversion rate.

How many times have you clicked through an ad, specific to your needs and found yourself on a page that has no relevance to the link? What action did you take? Leave…off course! By spending time designing appropriate landing pages, tracking results, using data analytics to improve conversion, and consistently conducting tests along the way, companies will be able to create a more positive user experience and convert targeted traffic into qualified leads for maximum revenue.

Mobile Friendly image

Here are 5 easy tips that you can use to start converting more web traffic to qualified leads:

  1. Think Mobile Friendly and Be Responsive – With mobile devices now holding one third of all Internet traffic flow, businesses can no longer ignore the importance of designing mobile friendly landing pages. Customers are constantly on the move now and viewing content on their mobile devices (tablets, smart phones)
  2. Consistent Messaging and a Clear Call to Action – Make sure there is consistent messaging throughout the click-through process for the web user. The Call-to-action should be consistent from your online ad campaign to the landing page. The visitor wants to know what they will receive when they take the action you are pushing them towards. For example, if you are after capturing their data information by offering a free downloadable PDF document as bait, then make it clear – once they fill out their details they should receive the PDF momentarily. This builds trust between you and your customers, from the beginning of the process as they understand what you are asking them to do. Please avoid any hidden nasty surprises.
  3. Attention Grabbing Subject lines with Motivations – Having a click-worthy subject line is important in capturing early interest and engaging web visitors, encouraging them to continue reading and learn more is vital. Just like newspapers and magazines, the headline needs to be relevant and a teaser for what the content is going to include. Descriptive enough that the viewer will understand that it is relevant to them but still a little intriguing that it creates overall interest.
  4. Customer Testimonials and Reviews – Customer reviews are a great way of building trust and establishing your integrity as a brand. Another way of getting across your companies achievements and successes is highlighting current customer testimonials about your product/service or solution with how it has benefited other users.
  5. Build Trust and Reassure your Customers – often the traffic you have generated from your ad campaigns are unfamiliar with your brand sometimes but have reacted to your content. Including any recognisable industry awards, certifications, associated partners clearly on your landing page does help to reassure visitors of your credibility as a trusted brand.

Lastly, it is also important to have some value proposition, features and benefits somewhere on your landing page briefly being mindful of too much text as it makes the page too heavy.

Posted in Business, Latest Blog, Social Media, Technology

The Volkswagen Scandal – A Mucky Business

volkswagen image

Volkswagen’s reputation is now on the line for misleading the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The automotive German car maker manipulated emissions data to make their cars appear more eco-friendly than they actually are….a shocking revelation? The scandal was realised on September 18th, when America’s EPA revealed that several diesel-engined VW’s and Audis had a software switched NOx-controlling technology on only when faced with the highly predictable sort of demands seen under testing conditions. NOx-emissions limit for a fleet of cars is 0.07 grams per mile (0.04g/km) and under normal conditions the VW cars were 40 times over the limit.

Volkswagen was ordered to recall around half a million cars in America to fix the software issue. On September 22nd Volkswagen admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide has the same problem and needed to be recalled to fix the ‘’noticeable deviation’’.

What is consequence for Volkswagen Brand Reputation?

For the company this may result in a huge fine amounting to over $18 billion (£11.6 billion). What’s more, the VW’s brand core values – reliability and efficiency – are now tarnished, with Martin Winterkorn, VW Group CEO, admitting to “breaking the trust of (our) customers and the public.”

More than 3 million people die prematurely each year from outdoor pollution and without action deaths will double by 2050. This staggering revelation just shows how vital clean air is to the public’s health, and how Volkswagen’s unethical practises as a corporate brand are not to be taken lightly.

How is this going to affect UK motorist?

With 482,000 cars sold and a maximum fine of $37,500 per vehicle under the clean air act, the Department of Justice could in theory fine VW $18 billion. In practise this fine seems lot less severe as this is not the first time it has happened in the automobile industry. General Motors, ignoring problems with ignition switches that directly claimed 124 lives and got punished with a fine of $900 million in the US last month. In 2014 Toyota was fined $1.2billion when it had to settle a criminal investigation into its handling of unintended acceleration problems that resulted in 8.1 million cars being recalled.  I do not know the reason why most scandals are first spotted in the USA as it looks like with all the red tapes and regulations in the EU, none of these countries have the balls to enforce such emission problems within the region.

The UK government has now launched a programme to test a range of diesel cars which could lead to testing other types of emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Should in case it turns out that your car is affected, there are a couple of ways this may impact on you as vehicle excise duty (VED) is based on CO2 emissions. This can result in cost implication for British motorist meaning, you may end up forking out more for your road tax.

vw-tdi-emissions

Are cars being recalled?

Volkswagen is a brand that holds its corporate value really high, and it’s a go-to manufacturer when it comes to buying an efficient and reliable car – a known fact about country of origin effect planted in the minds of consumers in marketing. However, this may no longer be the case with consumers now having doubts about such great brands. According to the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Michael Horn, “We have totally screwed up”.  Now drivers may start thinking twice before buying a VW motor. I wonder what they would be doing to all their marketing materials such as datasheet and brochures – which had value preposition of efficiency, reliability and environmentally friendly cars as content? Your guess would be as good as mine….

With Volkswagen operation temporally ceased in the USA until all affected cars are recalled and fixed to guarantee accurate results, this is going to impact the company’s sales largely as thousands of Golf, Passat, Jetta and Beetle models are involved. This scandal has paved the way for authorities to also investigate other brands that fall under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, such as Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, SEAT and Porsche as they might also have falsified emissions data. According to Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager for the European Federation for Transport and Environment, says “Exactly the same technology is used in Europe as it is in the US, and tens of millions of cars have been sold since 2009.” The European Commission has launched their own investigation and will also look at existing data provided by the EPA. This means that potentially millions of cars on British roads might have to be recalled and fixed to meet emissions standards.

MOT_Approved_Test_Image

Will VW owners fail MOT’s if they ignore recall in the UK?

According to Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport select committee is considering plans to change MOT tests if people fail to respond to Volkswagen’s recall in wake of diesel emissions scandal. Volkswagen owners who ignore the recall of their vehicles following the diesel emissions scandal could fail their MOTs under plans being considered by ministers in parliament.  He told MPs that if there is a “wider problem” and people fail to return their vehicles he will consider changing MOT tests to ensure that “cars are operating legally and correctly”.

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

Social Media Round-up for October – What’s new for Facebook?

facebook latest updatesFacebook

More than 1 billion people logged on to Facebook 2.39% on Monday 27th August 2015, marking the first time the social media giant had surpassed 1 billion users in a single day. According to the founder Mark Zuckerberg profile page “On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family,” the entrepreneur wrote.

As ever, nothing has stood still with this social media giant, with July seeing a big focus on video. It has announced that actions on videos will now count towards News Feed rankings, with key indicators such as users turning sound on or making a video full screen taken as showing interest in the content, even if it is not subsequently liked.

Secret videos for publishers have also been announced, which “give Page owners the ability to upload videos that are accessible only via a direct URL, but which are not searchable for people on Facebook. This is useful for publishers who want to host videos on Facebook, embed them on third-party sites or share them with anyone who has the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), without posting them anywhere else on Facebook.”

Facebook has also launched an enhanced video upload process and library, to give more control over how videos are organised and shared. It is also testing the idea of floating videos which pop out of your feed but continue playing as you scroll, as well as a watch later button.

There is also a new videos tab in page insights, giving users an easy and quick way to check video performance and Facebook has also given advertisers the option of only being charged once videos are viewed for over 10 seconds, instead of immediately.

“Liking” on Facebook is about to get interesting……. with new ‘reactions’ emotions – Are you ready!

Facebook would be rolling out several emotions you will be able to use soon – (Thumb fans, don’t despair, that’s not going anywhere). These reactions will let users express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger going forward.

How is this going to work?

This functionality would work by hovering or long-pressing the Like button and selecting the relevant emoji that you want to put in your message. The status will then count how many likes, loves, angers, etc. you’ve had.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the social network was finally working on a “dislike button” after years of calls from loyal users. At the time, he said he wanted people to be able to show empathy, but not to put down other people’s posts.

Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox assured users the new “expressive like button” is being rolled out in a test run starting in Ireland and Spain. “As you can see, it’s not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.”

According to Chris Cox, the social networking site studied the comments and reactions most commonly expressed across Facebook before coming up with what he calls an “elegant and fun” design around them.

The company has assured it users it hopes to roll the feature out to everyone soon.

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Posted in Football, Latest Blog

Wenger plays down Stoke City ‘History’. We’ve got it covered……

Arsenal and Stoke City
                                           History of Arsenal and Stoke City physical games

Thank God the international break is over and now we can all enjoy the Barclays Premier League this weekend. The transfer window has closed and new arrivals are settling in at their new clubs. But just how will the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Antony Martial take to life in the Premier League this season? Your guess is as good as mine…

As an Arsenal fan, I am a bit worried we have still not won at home yet and looking forward to the game against Stoke city this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger insists there is no bad blood between Arsenal and Stoke despite there being “history” between the two clubs in recent years. This afternoon’s encounter is the 12th meeting since midfielder Aaron Ramsey broke his leg after a horrendous challenge by Ryan Shawcross during a Premier League encounter in February 2010.

Ryan Shawcross was sent off that day and booed by Arsenal supporters ever since. The centre-back will miss the clash at Emirates Stadium after undergoing spinal surgery in pre-season but the contest will still have an edge to it with each side viewed as the aesthetic converse of the other. But we need to remember Stoke have never beaten Arsenals at the Emirates, although, last season’s game – Stoke played better than the Gunners and still lost that game.

According to Wenger “They have always had good teams and overall when we go to Stoke they are always specially motivated against us. There is history a little bit because of what happened and overall lit was always very difficult for us.

“For me there was never bad blood, it was just a game that was always very difficult for us to play. But I always focus on playing football and trying to get my team to play as well as we can.”

Arsenals have not yet won at home this season after losing on the opening day to West Ham (2-0) before being held goalless by Liverpool. The Gunners away form has been 100% though as they have won both matches on the road – at Crystal Palace and Newcastle.  Wenger is urging his side to replicate that form in front of their own supporters who pay the most expensive tickets to have good and entertaining football.

Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam will be missing this afternoon’s game through suspensions, having been sent off last week – so I have got to go for an Arsenal win at home. I am therefore predicting a 3-0 win for the Gunners to get to second gear at home. I personally think Stoke look too open in midfield with the departure of Steven N’Zonzi to Sevilla and Arsenal would dominate and pick their pockets all day this afternoon in an open game at the Emirates.