Brands have a great opportunity to close the consumer engagement gap via social media. Brands are spending millions of dollars to reach consumers via traditional outbound marketing while many customers are already knocking at their door. Great survey.
Via WARC LONDON: Marketers in the UK are failing to engage consumers making comments about their brands on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, new research has revealed.
Marketing Week, the trade title, and Maritz Research, the insights provider, polled 1,000 adults, 81% of which had uploaded opinions about goods specific and services on the web. A further 77% expected to do so in the future.
Some 85% of the participants who had entered comments on the net concerning a brand did not receive a reply. In all, 47% would be “happy” to hear back from a business in such a way, and 32% would “love” this kind of response.
“The large percentage of people who had never been contacted after posting a complaint is a real example of where companies are missing a trick,” said Maya Robert, content editor and social media manager at uSwitch, the price comparison website.
When discussing the 15% of consumers who had received a message from a brand, 32% “loved” it and 47% ranked their engagement simply as being “OK”.
“I think we will always be surprised by how much people want you to be visible and step in and give help,” said Stuart Handley, EMEA director of communication for Dell, the IT group.
Nearly half of the panel had utilised social media to air their views relating of companies, with 24% providing favourable feedback in this way and 23.5% “venting feeling” to friends and family.
For 14% of interviewees, this medium had been a “last resort”, and 8% opted for such an approach in anticipation of achieving a rapid reply from the organisation involved.
Overall, 74% of contributors who had mentioned brands on Facebook generally adopted a positive tone and 26% complained, figures hitting 17% and 5% respectively for Twitter, and falling to 10% and 2% for YouTube.
Among those shoppers making remarks about goods and services online, 58% would have a “higher opinion” of corporations that responded, the analysis added.
When complaining, 74% of customers were seeking an apology, 39% sought offers or vouchers, 34% wished to be thanked by a firm and 29% hoped to gain financial compensation.
“More than 90% of the incoming traffic on our social media channels is customer-related comments or issues,” said Jakub Hrabovsky, head of web relations and social media at Vodafone, the telco. “The vast majority just want a solution and don’t care whether you apologise or offer them compensation.”
Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff, 2 April 2012
contact ApolloBravo for consumer engagement strategies.
This is a great info-graphic visualizing how inbound marketing stacks up against traditional outbound marketing. We call inbound marketing, consumer engagement primarily because we see it as two-way communication where marketers provide value and are rewarded. See more about inbound marketing and our consumer engagement services here
Thanks to the Internet, marketing has evolved over the years. Consumers no longer rely on billboards and TV spots — a.k.a. outbound marketing — to learn about new products, because the web has empowered them. It’s given them alternative methods for finding, buying and researching brands and products. The new marketing communication — inbound marketing — has become a two-way dialogue, much of which is facilitated by social media.
Another reason why inbound marketing is winning is because it costs less than traditional marketing. Why try to buy your way in when consumers aren’t even paying attention? Here are some stats from the infographic below.
- 44% of direct mail is never opened. That’s a waste of time, postage and paper.
- 86% of people skip through television commercials.
- 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad.”
- The cost per lead in outbound marketing is more than for inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person’s attention, which is done through social media and engaging content, such as blogs, podcasts and white papers. This content is interesting, informative and adds value, creating a positive connection in the eyes of the consumer, thus making him more likely to engage your brand and buy the product. So it costs less and has better a ROI.
This infographic from Voltier Digital highlights the differences between the two kinds of marketing. Let us know your opinions in the comments below.
Latest Comscore data shows rapid growth of consumers accessing social networks via their mobile devices. This is important for companies that want to share offers or drive traffic to their mobile website utilizing Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Linked in, Google and a variety of other social networks popular on mobile devices. Reach out to ApolloBravo for a mobile readiness evaluation and creative solutions for integrating Mobile + Social.
via WARC NEW YORK: Over 70m consumers in the US now access social networking sites through their mobile phones, a study from comScore, the research firm, has revealed. According to the company’s estimates, 72.2m people – a third of the entire mobile audience – logged on to these platforms via a handset in August 2011, a 37% increase on an annual basis.
More specifically, 39.9m individuals engaged in this pastime “almost every day”, a total which had expanded by 58% during the last 12 months.
Facebook led the field in terms of usage, reflecting its dominant position in the market as a whole. Some 57.3m of its members signed in from a wireless handset in August, a 50% lift year on year.
Twitter was in second place having attracted 13.4m mobile subscribers across August 2010, equating to 75% growth on August 2010. LinkedIn attracted 5.5m visitors in the same way, a 69% surge.
At present, the most popular activities undertaken by the mobile social networking audience are viewing comments from their friends on 80.3%, and posting status updates, on 69.5%.
Elsewhere, 53.2% of people had followed links to websites, and 52.9% read posts from brands and organisations.
This was ahead of the 44.8% that looked at material from celebrities and other public figures. Another 34.8% of netizens posted links to websites.
Turning to more commercial matters, 33.3% of consumers had received coupons and offers on these web properties, and 27.7% clicked on ads.
When considering the means via which mobile subscribers access social networks, comScore reported 42.3m did so through a browser, up 24% year on year, and 38.5m utilised an app, a 126% annual improvement.
Some 60% of smartphone owners logged on to social networks on these gadgets, nearly double the overall average, Mark Donovan, comScore’s senior vice president for mobile, said.
“Knowing that fans and followers engage with branded content on mobile devices opens the door to a world of opportunity for location-based services,” he added.
Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff, 24 October 2011
- Reach: Cell phone penetration is currently 89% of the US population. By way of comparison, this is better than penetration figures for cable TV, home internet access, and PC’s in the home.
- Acceptance: In the USA, over 102 billion text messages are sent each month, and over 1 trillion globally.
- Ubiquitous uptake: Mobile phones offer a reach never seen before by any other medium. Today there are more wireless mobile devices than televisions and computers combined.
- Globally There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers (that’s 77 percent of the world population). What other medium offers that reach?
- Texting Nation: Of the 272 million US cell phones currently subscribed, over 96% of them are SMS capable. (CTIA 2010)
- Many mobile Web users are mobile-only, i.e. they do not, or very rarely use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. Mobile-only in India 59 percent, even in the US it’s over 25 percent of subscribers. Still think you don’t need a mobile site?
- High response rates: More than 5x as many people respond to mobile messages as compared to traditional, off-mobile call-to-action campaigns (94% of received text messages are read) 97% of consumers carry their phone at retail. (PMA 2010)
- Targeting: The mobile medium is an inherently intimate medium enabling highly targeted, one-to-one communication with audiences & lots of potential for personalization and up-selling.
- The Wireless Web: Over 3 billion targeted mobile ads are served every month.
- Widespread availability of unlimited data plansis critical to penetration of mobile media usage, it drove mobile media in Japan, now it’s driving the US with unlimited data plans starting at $25 per month
- Global: Europe is the most mature wireless market with (96%) penetration rates, followed by Japan (88%), the United States (89%) CTIA 2010
- Despite all the media hype, and vast sums pumped into developing and promoting native apps, more consumers use their browser than apps in developed nations. Only a minority will use Web or apps exclusively.
- Over 30% of visits to Facebook are Mobile, over 40% for twitter.
- In 2011 over 85 percent of new handsets will be able to access the mobile Web.
- Comscore (Febuary 2011) estimates that 80 percent of mobile subscribers in US and Western Europe have a phone that can access the mobile Web. 48 percent of US and 61 percent of W. Europeans have a handset with an HTML browser (this proportion is increasing fast), the rest have WAP browsers.
Learn more : Sources, ComScore.com , MobiThinking.com, CTIA.com, Gartner.com, Pewfoundation.com
Via Advertising Age 01.27.10 J. Spero
In 2009, the media buying community discovered mobile media works. Advertisers in a broad range of verticals shared results proving mobile is an effective medium for driving awareness, acquisition and purchase. “Is this the Year of Mobile?” can be retired. Media buyers are being asked — ‘What’s your mobile strategy for 2010?’
Many factors contributed to the development of the mobile ecosystem and the excitement we see. Dozens of companies, including the MMA and the IAB, worked to build the foundation of mobile media. It all came together in 2009 as mobile web usage exploded, with more than 61 million people in the US accessing it in December 2009, according to Nielsen. In 2010, agencies, advertisers and publishers will need a plan for mobile.
The top five things you need to know about buying mobile media in 2010:
1) Ask for data. Ask for help.
Mobile advertising is 3-4 years old and evolving rapidly. There’s valuable data for media buyers and mobile sellers can educate and assist you in gathering it no matter what your target audience. Ask sellers for case studies on mobile campaigns in your category and with your goals. There are a number of free reports with valuable market data to help with planning. These include Nielson Mobile, comScore, Flurry Pulse and AdMob Mobile Metrics.
2) Learn about (don’t worry about) different platforms.
The mobile Web is accessible from most phones, and you can run your campaigns across all platforms to target mobile Web users or on a specific platform. You can take advantage of rich-media formats designed specifically for smartphones and create a more robust version of your landing page for users on devices supporting a richer Web experience. You can also reach users as they engage with apps on a specific platform or promote your own app if you have one.
3) Talk to publishers and ad networks.
Prior to 2009, ad networks drove much of the innovation in the space with their focus on mobile. However in 2010, many publishers will have ad serving capabilities and mobile rate cards due to investments in 2009. Marketers now have more mobile media options than ever before.
4) Set your expectations for what mobile can and can’t do.
Focus on your needs and let your mobile seller explain the options available. Mobile promises powerful granularity based on location, need states, device capabilities and more for precise targeting — albeit on a limited scale in 2010. Sellers can provide data to target effectively and to ensure you don’t overcut your audience.
Rich media will grow significantly in 2010, but the solutions are limited compared to online. Web-based Flash is still not available on most phones. There are different rich media solutions for different platforms; some work on webkit browsers (Android, Research In Motion, Windows, Palm Pre) and some are vendor-specific solutions for iPhone apps.
You can use tools for tracking in mobile, but third party ad serving and campaign management functionality is limited. Site-tracking offerings will improve dramatically in 2010.
5) Drive traffic, track user interactions, repeat.
Jump in. Ask sellers what brands in your vertical are active in mobile and read case studies. Start with a basic call-to-action and drive users to a simple landing page with a few relevant means of engagement. Track what happens. Mobile user behavior may surprise you — you won’t believe their insatiable appetite for video content, for example — and use the learnings from one campaign to inform future mobile campaign strategies.
Review our free mobile marketing report http://blog.apollobravo.com/mobilemarketing/
A 5 minute pitch on social media – SocialnomicsRead More »
From Read Write Web : Mobile startup Aloqa launched earlier this week at the MobileBeat conference, revealing their innovative interface for location-aware search. Their new application proactively seeks out nearby businesses, services, events, and even Facebook friends and presents them to you in a colorful yet streamlined interface. The app essentially lists everything that’s nearby – with no need for you to perform map-based searches or launch a browser. Instead, all you have to do is look at your phone.
Mobile Search Should be “Push,” Not Pull
The concept behind Aloqa’s app offers a unique vision for mobile search that’s quite different from how most people use their phones today. Currently, if you’re looking for nearby restaurants, for example, you would first launch a mobile mapping application like Google Maps, let it locate you, and then perform a search for “restaurants.” Once the results loaded, you could tap on the various pushpins to see the info about restaurants nearby, including names, phone numbers, and addresses.
In Aloqa, however, that same search would be much simpler. In fact, it wouldn’t be a search at all. Instead, you would just tap on the icon for restaurants and immediately see a list of those nearby. When you see the one you want (oh look, there’s sushi!), a second tap will display a window where you can choose to go to the business’s web site, display the location on a map, call the business, or send the info to a friend.
This same sort of functionality can be used for anything from restaurants to retail stores to gas stations and ATMs. It can also help you find events that may spark your interest, like a nearby concert for instance.
Great Slideshow from INC Magazine. Read about 1 person companies that generate up to 10 Million in revenue. Contact ApolloBravo about home based office opportunities in Mobile Marketing and Social Media. How much time do you spend in your car or in unproductive meetings ?
11 Businesses You Can Start in Your Pajamas
Pet Care — Paul Mann, Fetch! Pet Care
Virtual Assistant — Tawnya Sutherland, VAnetworking.com
Bargain Hunting Website — Karen Hoxmeier, MyBargainBuddy.com
Accounting Services — Melissa Nash Andrews, Accounts Receivables
Technical Staffing — Bill Foster and Ruben Santana, XRoads Consulting
Home Improvement and Organization — Allan Young, ShelfGenie
Green Construction — Nic Darling, Chad Ludeman, and Courtney Ludeman, Postgreen
Graphic Design Services — Sam Feuer, Mindsmack.com
Resume Writing — Kathy Sweeney, The Write Resume
Corporate Educational Services — Joseph Pickett, Experts Briefings
Online Dating Site — Markus Frind, PlentyofFish
For these entrepreneurs, wearing pajamas for a day at the office isn’t far from reality. From pet care to virtual assistants and even online dating, we found entrepreneurs who are not just enjoying work from their living rooms and bedrooms, but they are also making a good living at it. In one case, a business owner grossed $10 million in a year, and cleared half that amount. Here’s a look at the hottest industries for home-based entrepreneurs — illustrated with some fun CEO self-portraits.
Approximately two-thirds of American households own pets, making the pet industry the sixth-fastest-growing industry in the nation — with $43.4 billion projected to be spent on pets in this year alone. It’s no wonder then that Fetch! Pet Care, a Berkeley, Calif.-based company that provides a wide range of pet-sitting and dog-walking services is thriving. The 2008 Inc. 5000 company brought in revenue of $3.5 million last year and operates on a franchise model that includes 200 locations nationwide with a network of more than 3,800 pet sitters. “Pets don’t know that we are in an economic downturn, and it’s been proven that pets are therapeutic for people,” says founder and CEO Paul Mann. “You don’t stop feeding your pet in bad times.”
As business owners have become more comfortable working virtually, and work/life balance has increasingly become a necessity, the demand for virtual assistants has grown significantly. Tawnya Sutherland would know — five years ago she started VAnetworking.com, the largest online social network for virtual assistants, which has seen membership triple in the past year to over 10,000 and revenue exceed $150,000. She created the site as a space for fellow virtual assistants to share information, exchange ideas, and discuss industry best practices. Sutherland maintains that “VAs are a really diversified group that can do just about anything.” And, in addition to saving business owners the cost of having an in-office employee, “it relieves you as a business owner to work on the thing that you’re most interested in doing.”
With just a computer and an Internet connection, virtually anyone these days can start their own website and market their products and services from home without spending a lot of money. But despite the low barrier to entry in this industry, not all businesses have worked out the model for success quite like Karen Hoxmeier. The stay-at-home mom founded MyBargainBuddy.com, which publishes hundreds of daily deals and coupon codes for shopping sites all over the Web. “My business happens to be a hobby that pays me,” she says. “I love shopping and I love bargain hunting. And if what you do helps someone else, that makes it even better.”
In a tight economy, one of the primary goals for a business owner is staying on top of cash flow. But let’s face it — nobody likes having to ask for the check. That’s where Melissa Nash Andrews and her company, Accounts Receivables, come in. A full-service collection agency, Nash Andrews stays on top of her clients’ accounts receivables and provides a range of bookkeeping services for business owners looking to outsource accounting. “If I can help another small business person to stay in business and to keep their business, then I’ve met my goal,” she says.
As more companies contract out specialty services like recruiting, staffing companies like Atlanta-based XRoads Consulting are seeing an upturn in business. Founded in 2006 by neighbors Ruben Santana and Bill Foster, XRoads specializes in placing people for technical positions at companies located primarily in the southeastern United States. They also help companies select and implement information technology solutions that will best meet their needs. Both Santana and Foster have leveraged their prior experience in the industry to grow their revenues to $5.58 million in the first two years of business. “There are definite financial rewards to being home-based and not having the upfront overhead needed to start a business,” Santana says.
Those who are making money in the beleaguered housing industry these days are people like Allan Young, founder and CEO of ShelfGenie, a company that designs and installs custom-shelving units for the home. “A high percentage of our clients are people who are staying put in their homes but want to do an affordable upgrade,” says Young, who recently began franchising the sales model in April. Because the shelving systems are customized for the client, there is no inventory for the franchisee, and appointments are handled through a call center, making it very feasible for the franchisees to get their business up-and-running and achieve positive cash flow quite quickly.
When it comes to purchasing products and services, consumers are increasingly making their decisions with the environment in mind. One company that has capitalized on this growing consumer awareness is Postgreen, a Philadelphia-based real-estate development company whose mission is to build green homes that are affordable for the average family. Founders Chad and Courtney Ludeman, and marketing director, Nic Darling, are working on a line of LEED-certified homes that will sell for $100 a square foot — a cost equal to a regular home without green efficiencies. “We are making consumers look at houses differently,” says Darling. “Instead of just a monthly payment, they are starting to look at all the costs that go into owning a home, and we have a distinct advantage in being much less expensive [to maintain] than a normal house.”
The way a company represents itself on the Web is becoming increasingly important, and no one understands this mission better than Sam Feuer, founder of Mindsmack.com, a full-service Web-design firm whose projects include everything from iPhone application design to commercial animation. From his home based in North Brunswick, N.J., Feuer manages a staff of 44 along with a network of freelancers, some of whom work globally. “The real key is doing the work at an elite level,” Feuer says. “It doesn’t matter where my employees are — I don’t care if they work from the moon — as long as they get the job done and they are two steps ahead of what the client is looking for.”
Given the dismal job opportunities at many companies right now, job-seekers are looking for any and every way to distinguish themselves from the competition. Kathy Sweeney, founder and CEO of resume writing service The Write Resume, is busy like never before, with revenue growth of 21 percent in the past year alone. Sweeney, who is recognized as one of the foremost experts in the industry, has written resumes for people all over the world, most of the time just from information that she has gleaned from phone conversations with the client. “It’s really about relationship building and I believe you can do that without meeting someone. If I can develop a bond with people then I know I’ll be successful in helping them.”
Complying with federal regulations is a tricky business, especially for companies in the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries, where many will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to send their employees to required educational conferences. Joseph Pickett of Experts Briefings has found a way around this big expense by offering companies the same experts and packaged information through his teleconferencing business. Pickett lines up the speakers for the teleconference and then hosts it from his home computer, charging companies $400 a head. Pickett purchased the company in early 2008 and has increased revenue from $25,000 to $300,000 in less than a year. “My price for customers and for most pharma companies is chump change, but for me working out of my house, it’s a lot of money.”
A new ecosystem of free software and low-cost Web services have made it possible for Web start-ups with a little bit of traffic to bootstrap their growth without raising tens of millions in venture capital. No one has done this as effectively as Markus Frind, the founder of PlentyofFish, an online dating site based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Frind launched his company in 2003 by himself and with no idea how to run a Web business. Five years later, PlentofFish is the largest dating site in the United States, according to Hitwise, and the company pulls in $10 million a year. You can read more about Frind, who still works only a few hours a week, in Inc.’s January/February cover story, The Money Comes Rolling In.
By: Tamara Schweitzer
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