‘Tis The Season For Holiday Shopping!

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Let the holiday shopping commence!
I recently read on article on Business News Daily about the different types of shoppers during the holiday season. After Thanksgiving is a huge time for retail stores and marketers, alike. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday being some of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season, marketers are put to the test. How can they successful market to these holiday shoppers?

According to Vision Critical, a market research and technology firm, there are four major Black Friday shopper personas. Similarly, marketers have brand archetypes and personas to help them connect with certain types of consumers. It is critical to understand the target market and how to successfully communicate your message to them.

So what are the four major shopper personas?
Modern-Day Coupon Queen – The majority of this group uses mobile devices to receive online vouchers and learn about promotion. They prefer shopping in-store and aim to spend the least amount of money possible. These consumers are most likely to line up for doorbuster Black Friday deals.

Millennial Generation Shopper – Millennials are usually young consumers in their twenties who use their mobile devices more often to browse and search for information on a product rather than buying it on their mobile device. These consumers often fall into impulse buying.

Mobile Tech Embracer – This group heavily uses mobile devices to gather information, search, and buy products. They also regularly read e-newsletters. These consumers are likely to participate in Black Friday promotions.

Single Cyber Male – This group often spends just as much money on himself as he does on others during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. They typically purchase items online rather than mobile devices. They usually buy gifts ahead of time to avoid lines and crowds during in-store holiday shopping.

By identifying these groups of consumers, marketers can tailor their marketing strategies to reach their target market. The goal is to reach consumers as frequently as possible and knowing how and where they obtain their product information is vital to a marketer’s success.

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The 5 P’s of Marketing

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Did I just say the 5 P’s of marketing? Yes I did!

We’re all familiar with the class 4 P’s of marketing, also known as the producer-oriented model: Price, Product, Place, and Promotion. This is the classic model that has been used for decades but now things are changing! I found an interesting article about the potential “rewrite” of the P’s of marketing that I will link below.
http://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/marketing/rewrite-the-ps-of-marketing/#!

With social media quickly on the rise, consumer relationships have become more important that ever. This is why the 4 P’s are changing and a 5th “P” may be necessary to complete the producer-oriented model.

Price to value.
Since consumers now have such a large variety of products to choose from, you need to communicate value. In this day and age, only truly valuable brands will survive

Product to solution.
The reason consumers buy products is to solve a problem. They’re thirsty, they buy a drink. They’re cold, they buy a jacket. Basically, if they need something, they buy it. A product needs to provide them with a solution to their need in order for them to buy it.

Place to any place.
Your business is always “on” nowadays. Consumers can access products online, on their smartphone, or on their tablet at any time. It is the marketer’s job to make sure information is readily available in any place a consumer might be looking for it – which can be any place.

Promotion to conversation.
Brand is dictated by what consumers say about it. It no longer is simply what the brand claims it to be. Consumers can find opinions online at anytime which has a significant effect on their attitude toward the brand, especially if that opinion is the first thing they have heard about the brand. Promotion is moving toward conversation. Businesses are now aiming for consumers to promote the brand for them by providing excellent experiences that consumers will want to talk about.

And finally, the 5th “P” that we’ve all been waiting for is PEOPLE.
People are the most important part of businesses. A business can’t run without employees and a business can’t survive without its consumers. Consumers are vital to a business’s success not only because they purchase products, but also because they will spread the word about your business and introduce it to new potential consumers. On the flip side, a business’s employees are just as important. Engaged and interested employees are able to make customers happy.

Negativity On Social Media

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All this talk about the benefits of social media, but what’s the downfall?

Of course there’s a downfall to almost anything we do and social media is no exception. On any social media where consumers can give feedback, you will most likely encounter an angry customer at one point or another. As a business, you’re responsibility is to respond (or not respond) in the best way possible.

One way to respond to negative feedback is to apologize and offer to help. You’re main goal is to turn this angry consumer into a satisfied consumer so do whatever is possible to fix whatever issue this consumer is unhappy about.

You can also make corrections. If they misunderstood and believed something to be true that wasn’t be sure to correct them so they can understand for the future. Be sure to correct them as politely as possible – you don’t want to make an angry customer even more angry! You can still offer to help them in any way possible in order to help them recreate a positive attitude.

In the event of a completely outrageous customer, sometimes the best thing to do is not respond. You don’t want to ignite a fire even more than it already is and sometimes consumers are just looking to start an argument, so in that case, your best bet would be to just not respond.

In a way, these complaints will help you grow as a business. It will help you identify what your customers like and don’t like. It also gives you the opportunity to show others how you handle these issues and how helpful your customer service can be in the case of a problem.

Don’t let the possibility of negativity keep you from engaging in social media and reaping the positive benefits!

Social Media 101

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Social media is a fairly new playing ground for marketers and involves a lot of gray areas. What should even go on social media sites? What sites are appropriate?

The content on social media is virtually endless. Recently, videos have been growing in popularity and is predicted to continue growing at a fast rate. There are several means to creating videos that have helped marketers reach their target audience on multiple platforms. Some of the hottest applications using video now include Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat. By using these social media platforms you can boost engagement and involvement among consumers. They can also easily share any media that they find interesting quickly and easily!

One thing you definitely want to do is show off who you are and what you’ve done! Your main purpose is to get your business out there right? Then flaunt what you got! Include pictures, videos, and slideshows to show potential consumers how great your products are!

Make new products the star of the show! When you have a new product you want to show it off. One of the best ways to do this is with a teaser advertisement that shows just enough of the product to intrigue your potential consumer. Many consumers will keep checking back on the website to look for updates on a new product that particularly intrigues them so your frequency will skyrocket!

Give people a “tour” of your business. People love being nosy and finding out what really goes on behind the scenes. Let them know how their products are made and who’s behind it all in a short video clip.

Make your promotions pop! Make sure EVERYONE knows about your current promotion. Create a quick video thats interesting and intriguing for viewers. Make it something that they’ll want to pass on to their friends. One of the best things you can do is make a promotion that is only offered to your followers or subscribers. This will make more and more people follow you and track your latest products and promotions.

Be sure to acknowledge your customers. Give them a pat on the back and make their day. After all, you would be nothing without your customers. You can also engage your happy customers by asking them to write a quick testimonial about their great experience with your product!

Lastly, giving back is important and being known as a philanthropic business will give you a positive image. It’s also a great way to get your name out there to a diverse group of people from different organizations.

Effective social media usage should certainly get consumers talking!

Humor In Social Media

Social media is rapidly evolving in the marketing world. But how can you make your social media marketing stand out from the rest?

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Humor!
The key social media marketing is to create engagement. This will help the message stick with the consumer and likely increase consumer involvement. One way to stand out is to incorporate humor in your social media strategies. Humor grabs the attention of the viewer and instantly engages them. However, humor can be a difficult thing to achieve.

What’s funny? What’s not?
There are certain rules that businesses should abide by when incorporating humor into social media. First and foremost, keep it clean. The last thing you want to do is offend a potential customer – it could significantly hurt your image and you’ve likely lost a consumer for good!

A good way to incorporate humor is to poke fun at yourself or your business. Even if you are a serious company, it’s okay to use humor to communicate with your target audience especially on social media since it is a more informal environment. For example, if you have a blog, post pictures of employees in Halloween costumes to give viewers a good laugh. It allows you to form a connection with potential consumers and humanize the brand. It also gets people talking and sharing information about your social media site!

Marketing Communications Plan

The primary goal of a marketing communications plan is to communicate the position of a business and to build awareness of its products. It requires you to know your business and the product inside and out.

One of the most important things to identify and understand first is your target market. You must research into their buying habits, likes and dislikes, what appeals to them, their daily activities, and more. This will determine how you will successfully market and communicate with your target audience. You want to create as many touchpoints as possible to frequently and effectively reach your consumer.

The message is another vital piece of the marketing communications plan. Your message must be clear to consumers and emphasize the unique value in purchasing the product. After successfully creating the message you then need to think of the channel in which you can best reach your target audience. You can use Simmon’s Data to identify which means are most used by your target audience in respect to demographics.

Lastly, you’ll need to decide on a budget and schedule that would work best for your business and product. You want to strategically plan when your marketing efforts will reach your target audience for maximum success. You also must identify any constraints and legal aspects that will effect your campaign.

There are several online resources that can assist you in creating a successful and clear marketing communications plan. Listed below are a few websites that may help in researching and creating ideashttp://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/creating-a-marketing-communications-plan-HA001168402.aspx
http://www.rd-marketing.com/communications-plans.htm
http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/NT%20Marketing%202_How%20to%20Write%20MarCom.pdf

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

The Old Spice commercial, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” is quite possibly one of the most viewed commercials out there. Almost everyone has seen it or at least heard about it. This ad created entertainment for viewers and resulted in a lot of buzz for Old Spice.

This commercial quickly went viral and became successful in many ways. The witty humor of the ad is probably what caught the attention of many viewers. Old Spice knew exactly who they were targeting and what would appeal to them, which is sometimes difficult to accomplish. Humor obviously was a hit with Old Spice’s target market. Appealing to consumers in such a positive way also helps to create buzz and word-of-mouth marketing.

Several parody videos were even created which increased involvement in consumers and helped to form a bond between the company and the consumer. These viral parody videos were basically free marketing for Old Spice! It helped them gain interest, involvement, and humor.

Old Spice made their audience clear, message clear, and purpose clear all while involving their target consumer and incorporating humor. Their central communicating idea (CCI) was also clear in their main headline: “The man your man could smell like.” In the eyes of most marketers, this is a huge success.

These successes are the goals of many marketers and Old Spice hit the nail on head with this one and certainly made a lasting impression!

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