So where does the future lie? It’s not surprising to keep the world’s biggest technology company working on the problem. Google is trying to find a happy medium between privacy and tracking; this new technology will focus on measuring behavior without attaching it in any way to a particular user. They are also working to make the technology easier to opt out of than cookies have proved to be.
While many benefit from having targeted ads appear while surfing the web, 2 out of 3 users would still prefer having their privacy over being tracked in order to provide more pertinent marketing content.
In the end, it’s all about trust; people don’t care about the benefits that come from their data being collected and only see the potential for misuse of their personal information. That’s why Google’s new plan is the best of both worlds: Marketers get their data, and users maintain their supposed anonymity to a greater degree (however, don’t they know their ISP is recording their every move anyway?). Everybody wins.
While we loved cookies (and still do—they aren’t completely gone yet), the time to embrace the future is getting closer. Ultimately, measuring direct conversions may be more effective than targeting specific consumers anyway. In the meantime, marketers will have to stay abreast of new technology from Google and other companies in order to remain relevant.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm, and is filed under Online Privacy. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Not every brand has made the surge into our current digital age with equal force. Some have fallen way behind the times. How can you recognize a brand that hasn’t kept up with the times, marketing-wise? Don’t necessarily go by the level of business success; they may be riding their old success into a new age. And don’t let businesses tell you they are the ones to imitate, either; some companies that push digital marketing are the worst offenders.
Here are a few ways to identify the stragglers, starting with companies still primarily focused on TV advertising. Don’t get us wrong; TV still has its place in your marketing strategy. The fact is, however, that TV ratings are in a long-term decline that isn’t going to recover. A company that won’t pull funds from TV advertising to relegate a little towards online advertising doesn’t comprehend the power of digital marketing.
QR codes are another sign that a company isn’t in touch with digital advertising. Statistics show that only about 1 in 5 people have ever used one of these codes, making this a digital advertising tool that can be considered a waste. Some companies have gone overboard, however, and sunk most of their digital advertising funds into putting QR codes everywhere. A QR code on a billboard is useless, and so is one in an airline magazine: No one speeding by on the highway is scanning QR codes from hundreds of feet away, nor is anyone on a plane with their phone in airplane mode. QR codes are supposed to be functional and not just for show.
Finally, we have a morass of outdated blogs and social media sites. Companies go crazy setting up all of their social media without fully understanding the amount of effort it takes to keep it going. You definitely want to use these forms of marketing—just have them well planned before you begin, so that your brand doesn’t end up looking like its online presence is extinct.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on November 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm, and is filed under Digital Advertising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
We already rely on algorithms to a great degree: Whether it’s deciding which stocks to buy and sell, which products come up when we search or which emails show up in our inbox rather than being relegated to Spam, we allow algorithms to make a lot of decisions for us. Sometimes, there’s just too much information out there to make decisions without a little synthetic help.
Think about all of the social media sites that we use. Artificial intelligence is helping to run those in reality. What pins hit the front page? Which Instagram pics are listed as favorites? For sure, we have to click the “Like” button, but who is deciding how fast the “Likes” have to pile up to make the front page, or how long something can stay there?
The same thing happens with our ads. Most of us let Google create its one profile on us based on our searches and web page visits—just look at the ads next time you use Gmail. We’ve even started to allow algorithms to pick which ads we see.
Why are we okay with this? There’s just too much out there. If your brain is an exclusive party, then algorithms are the bouncers, those guys you pay to stand at the door to make sure only the cool people get in.
So with that in mind, what should your company be doing about this shift? Get some creative people developing algorithms. And yes, you need the computer science guys in there, too. But analysts need to be forward-thinkers; don’t expect to see immediate results for development. If you are keeping up with the times, creative use of algorithms will pay for itself in the long run. Don’t fall behind so that things can look good on paper this quarter—you want them to continue looking good on into the future.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on November 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm, and is filed under Digital Advertising, Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
A website has graduated from being far more than just the static pages on the World Wide Web of the past. But now websites do so much more that just provide information. They also help us to interact with one another, and they have become a powerful business tool.
Rather than viewing a website as a project with a definitive beginning and ending, developers need to see websites as an ever-evolving environment. For a website to thrive, for business or social purposes, it has to be able to adjust with the times and keep up with both technology and society. What do consumers want? How do individuals want to be able to interact? What technology is available to turn consumer desires into reality? These questions must be answered, and then the answers have to be regularly reevaluated.
The mistake that many companies make is designing a website without a plan. This is an error that frequently leads to a complicated redesign later on. If your designer doesn’t know exactly what the site is supposed to do, there is no way to code it properly the first time simply for appearance’s sake. So what kind of information does your team need before they can start working on the site’s layout? It begins with the consumer. Who are you trying to reach with your product, service, or message? Next you need to think about your strategy for turning people who visit your website into customers. How will you be able to interact with them and vice versa? Consider the content that the site needs and how to make it easily accessible to the average visitor. Then you need to think about the interactions between your website and your social media sites.
By applying these principles, you can turn a website into a genuine business asset, regardless of the size of your company. Otherwise, your website really will just become a bunch of linked web pages on a common topic and nothing more. Don’t let an outdated definition keep your website from reaching its full potential as an interactive business tool.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on November 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm, and is filed under Marketing Strategies, Online Personalization. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Every company has them – people who like your Facebook page and then challenge your business’ reputation. Let’s discuss how you can handle these situations by turning a negative into a positive one that is potentially good for your business.
No business is perfect, and despite your best efforts, an irate customer will occasional make inflammatory remarks on your page. What is the key to dealing with a disgruntled customer on the Internet? You need to have a reputation manager to respond quickly to any negative feedback. Simply deleting the post isn’t an acceptable response. If customers find out that you are editing or removing complaints, it won’t help your business reputation. They’ll simply wonder how many more complaints are out there that have never been heard. Make sure to be kind in the response and refer the complaint to the proper customer service channels by replying with a phone number or e-mail address. Make sure everyone knows that your contact page also has this information. That does two things. It gives other upset clients the message that they should contact you directly with problems. It also discredits the complainer as just trying to make noise when there is a clear way to resolve their issue. At the same time, by being kind, you may help to diffuse the situation a little so your customer service rep doesn’t get such an earful.
Then there are unfortunately people who may use your company to get on their soap box and make public service announcements. It may not be something that is only specific to your business, but they may try to generalize complaints about business tactics, environmental issues, and even religious or political controversies. These comments can be difficult to handle. The best thing to do is avoid controversy in the first place, but if your business has been pulled in, perhaps by a public statement that should have been kept private, it may be time to contact an experienced PR consultant. For an individual message, just respond kindly, thanking the person for their concerns. People should see that you take the complaint seriously.
Sometimes a customer advocate may step in to respond to these comments on their own. Engage the positive-speaking commenter in conversation to turn the thread to something beneficial. Be sure to reward enthusiastic fans for their brand loyalty.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on November 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm, and is filed under Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
When consumers are perusing a store, you should be in constant communication with them. How can you do it? Here are the technologies that you need to use to create your own presence in the shopping environment.
Make sure there is a 2D barcode on all of your products. In the past, only stores would use the barcodes, but smartphones have made them useful to the customer as well. A quick scan can help a potential buyer to comparison shop and find the price that they are willing to pay for your product. They can also read reviews and product comparisons. These factors all help savvy shoppers to make a decision on big ticket items.
Near Field Communications (NFC) is another great engaging technology. While not every device is outfitted to interact with the tags yet, NFC opens up consumers to a great deal of product information to assist them in making the decision to buy a new product.
The next technology to keep your eye on is just over the horizon. Google Glass is set to release in 2014, so it’s worth thinking about using augmented reality devices to interact with consumers. It’s already being incorporated into applications, and smartphone cameras are also on the list for project development. Consumers can point their camera at a product to get a heads up display of features.
Finally, you have to look into accepting digital wallets. While it hasn’t really caught on in the United States yet, some are using Google Wallet and other similar applications. If you market your product in Japan, you’re already knee deep in a world where cash and cards stay at home. U.S. retailers need to obtain the technology to acquire these sales. Manufacturers need to get their products on the shelves of stores that are keeping up with this advancement in technology.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on October 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm, and is filed under Mobile Marketing, Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
There is a good reason that the hot topic in online marketing right now is marketing across devices. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 dollars that is spent online this year will go to those who have the right cross-device strategy. Here are three basic rules that you need to follow in order to earn your cut of these sales.
First, let’s consider a mistake that a lot of businesses make when it comes to marketing across devices: focusing on the devices being used instead of the behavior of the user. The truth is that we jump back and forth between our devices throughout the day, and there is a legitimate pattern to it. You need to discern between what a consumer is on their phone for, what they switch to the tablet to do, and what happens on a laptop or desktop. Only then can you determine the best way to optimize your media.
You aren’t really marketing across devices if you target different groups of individuals on different devices. If you want real results, you have to contact people across their devices. There are two key factors in being able to pull this off successfully. You need to have information on how a person uses their devices, and then you need to couple that with information about their interests.
Next, it’s time to consider how you approach each individual device. Every device, whether mobile or desktop, has its unique features that draw the consumer to use that device for a particular activity. Use this knowledge to engage the consumer at the highest level on every device. This will allow you to grab attention on any platform.
There has been a lot of guess work up until now when it comes to digital marketing, especially across various mobile devices. There is now enough information available to cut back on the guessing and focus on genuine solutions for marketing across devices effectively.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on October 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm, and is filed under Mobile Marketing, Smartphones and Apps, Tablets and Apps. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
It has finally happened. Mobile searches now exceed ones made from personal computers. According to research estimates, the switch should have happened about four months later than it actually did. What does this mean for online marketing, though? Let’s look at some common misconceptions involving mobile searches so that you can adjust to the new age of online marketing.
Do you need a mobile website to be relevant? Not necessarily. You can have a website that is responsive to mobile devices and still get mobile search results from both Google and Bing. While responsive design has its flaws, it does save you from having to allocate resources to developing a mobile site. Of course, responsive design is very technical, so you may put just as many resources into your actual website as you would a mobile version of the site. The difference is that mobile sites may not work the same on every mobile device. Responsive websites are designed to react to any device that is used.
Here’s another misconception that you may find strange. Most people are under the impression that mobile websites adjust to some devices better than others. The fact is that your regular website may be better on many devices than the mobile version of your website. Sometimes a mobile website only gives consumers a stripped down version of the site, removing certain features or pages that may have been relevant to the user’s reason for visiting the page. On the other hand, most mobile devices will be able to view nearly all of your standard website’s features.
Many consumers assume that cookies are a big part of mobile use, but cookies are primarily a desktop service. Most mobile devices are not as easily tracked as desktops are. There’s really no mobile equivalent to cookies at this time, and that can prove frustrating to marketers who are used to having data from cookies to use in developing marketing strategies. While these changes will prove to be a challenge for marketers, it is still an exciting trend to see the shift in searches to mobile devices.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on October 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm, and is filed under Mobile Marketing, Smartphones and Apps, Tablets and Apps. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Whether they are shopping online or in stores, consumers are doing much of their shopping with their smartphones in their hands. They use it to online shop, but they also use it in store to check prices or to get coupons from apps or websites. If you don’t want to lose your customers to competitors who are keeping up with the trend, you need to engage customers with mobile-friendly shopping experiences.
The first important thing to remember is that what you offer to mobile users must be relevant. You need to figure out what your customers want to know about your store and provide that. Should the app show weekly sales, coupons, new items or what? The key to providing the content that consumers want is to keep tabs on what people are interacting with in your stores. Also, if your customer makes the most purchases when they receive a particular coupon, be sure to send out that coupon more often.
There has been a major trend toward deals that change daily, and while this can have its perks for drawing in customers on a certain day, you want to keep this sort of thing in its place. Consumers get hit with so many of these deals each day that they can’t pay attention to every single one of them, so you may not be attracting the customers you expect simply because they’ve received 20 other daily deals. To get the most attention for your deal, try to limit the number of e-mails or alerts.
Finally, use location to your advantage. Most consumers understand the benefits of having their device’s GPS location turned on. Use this to offer geo-targeted products and sales that they can benefit from at their local store. This can help turn mobile marketing into in-store sales.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on October 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm, and is filed under GPS, Marketing Strategies, Sales, Smartphones and Apps, Tablets and Apps, Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
If you leave a company after being in the IT department as a programmer or just as someone who had intimate knowledge of computer systems, you better be careful when switching to new company. Learning the law is vital in order to avoid being prosecuted by your former employer.
You can’t take secrets with you from one company to another. This seems like it should just be common sense, but a programmer, who made a million dollars per year, has served time for doing just that, so maybe it needs to be said.
After leaving a company that he had earned him millions upon millions of dollars, a now famous programmer was handed down an eight-year prison sentence. The ruling was later overturned, but he still spent time in the slammer. This time could have been avoided with slightly different business tactics.
Leaving the company made sense since a start up was willing to pay him more for his services coding the same types of programs. The problem is that while fixing code for his new employer, the programmer violated some open-source laws by using a program called Subversion. It allowed him to take some code he had written for his previous employer along with him.
What he did was pretty common in the programming industry. To those outside of the field, they looked pretty shady. It led to his arrest just a month after changing companies. It didn’t help that he had erased his keystroke history, but the reason he did that, he claims, was to keep his password safe.
He also claims not to care about the money and seems innocent enough. Regardless of how he felt, however, his former employer obviously decided the money was everything and wanted payback for the perceived betrayal – IT is a competitive enough field without losing your best programmer.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on September 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm, and is filed under Information Tech Law, Legal. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|