I PASSED GOOGLE ANALYTICS!!! WHOOP WHOOP!
Digital Marketing this quarter was the most applicable marketing class that I have taken thus far. Learning how to get people to come and stay at your site through inbound marketing, search engine optimization, A/B testing and most of all making sure you have quality content (like my blog!) that is beneficial to your audience. I also learned the different types of media advertisements and how each of them is beneficial. Owned media allows control of your content and establishes your brand. Paid media puts your brand out there for people see. And earned media is the biggie, when it’s positive. Earned media is when people are talking about your brand and sharing it or mentioning it. Earned media essentially is when people are doing your advertisements for you, and what marketer wouldn’t want that?! Database marketing tracks visitors behavior on your site and analytics recognizes trends and patterns in specific areas, times or with specific people. These two combined create the opportunity to specifically target groups of people depending on certain trends, making their experience more personal. Our phones are becoming more and more powerful and apart of our lives, by knowing what’s ahead in the mobile future, you can tailor your marketing to that and stay on top or ahead of other marketers. Because one day all we’re going to need is our phones. And one of the most important things I learned is that marketing and creating good ideas is better when everyone works together, developers, customers, and the creatives. This way a product or service is created that already has a market as opposed to creating somethings then having to create a market or figure out where it fits in the market. Overall, the things I have learned in this class will be beneficial to any company I go on to work for in the future. Or even if I decide to continue on with this blog or start a new one.
About This Blog:
36 Pages of content
Over 8,100 words
One thing I wish I put more effort into would be putting my blog out there for other people to see. I could have and should have leveraged the different channels to get exposure to my blog. I learned for next time.
Knowledge in the masses. Quality in the masses. Creation in the masses.
Two heads are better than one.
When creating ideas or solving problems, it is best when there are multiple people working on it. Cocreation. It can simply be two people coming up with an idea or it can be many. It also includes people giving input to ideas for improvements. Firms are reaching out and listening to their customers to see what they want. This is incredibly smart and valuable. Who better to tell you what they want than consumers themselves? Or what can even be better, is if they help design it.
People are motivated to participate in cocreation with firms for different reasons. Some cocreators are motivated by a financial reward such as prize money or profit sharing. For example, some companies have competitions and the winner would get some sort of monetary prize if their contribution was selected. Others may be more interested in the social benefit of contributing to the firm. For instance, they could have their name in a title or to gain recognition for their work. Another reason why some people help cocreate, is to gain knowledge, specifically in technology People gain knowledge by exchanging ideas on forums and inputs. Lastly, people may be motivated to participate in cocreation for different psychological reasons. Whether it be for pride, self-expression or to boost intrinsic motivation. All of these are some simple examples as to why consumers help firms cocreate throughout the development processes and beyond.
Cocreation usually is why there are teams in the business world. The internet has been a huge platform in communication, collaboration and crowdsourcing. Businesses have come to take advantage of the internet to reach out to people to help collaborate and solve their R&D problems. When their in house R&D is stuck, they post their problem to a website like InnoCentive as challenges. There, people can try and solve the challenge and if their solution is picked, they will get a monetary reward.
There are some websites that are based off of cocreation and inventions. Take, Quirky for example, a website that lets average people post their invention ideas up and the people at Quirky pick some to be developed. Throughout the development process, others are encouraged to add their suggestions. Everyone’s suggestion that gets used in the making of the product will get some of the profits.
Like I’ve said many times before, one cannot deny that our world is becoming more digital. With that being said we are also becoming more attached to our phones. They can almost do everything and anything for us. Almost. We get closer with everyday.
If you’re a coffee drinker, chances that you drink Starbucks is fairly high. Starbucks has done a fantastic job of incorporating mobile payment on their app for customers. They simply have the Starbucks app that you can preload then use to buy your coffee and get your stars to earn your free drinks. Is this leading to something that almost everyone will do? Eventually replacing all plastic cards with apps or some sort of digital/virtual wallet on your phone? Well, companies are working on it. There are a couple of apps that are picking up that is allowing people to pay with their phone. But they thing with these apps, is that the company and the customer have to both have them in order for them to work. These apps will also work as loyalty programs and keep track of your purchases and will make your ordering easier. It also allows the company to collect data of what their customers are buying and what is or isn’t working in their business. Is this becoming a little too invasive? How do we know what data the companies will collect from us? I think that if the company only uses the data for their own marketing strategies and does not sell the data they collect, then it is fair.
Ok, so they have the apps for plastic cards. But what about cash? Yup. There is a virtual currency out there. Bitcoins. Bitcoins can be traded virtually and anonymously, just like cash. They are interesting in the fact that they are not backed by a government. Is this a good thing? It can be, especially for countries that do not have a stable or responsible government, allowing the people to have a currency that is easily tradable. Although it is not backed by a government, it is still regulated by several banks, adding to its stability. You can also earn Bitcoins by “mining” – solving complex math problems using your computer.
I can see Bitcoins being useful for traveling instead of exchanging many different currencies, it is one currency that will be accepted everywhere. Could it be the new world currency? Maybe not Bitcoins, but I would be willing to bet that it would be something very similar. I think it is a growing thing that we will see more of in the coming years. Here is a an infographic to help you understand.
Who knows? Bitcoins could be a world currency in the next 10-20 years.
People are always on their phones. Always. Standing in line waiting for coffee, sitting on the bus, even hanging out with their friends. These days people are glued to their phones. I’m sad to admit it, but I don’t separate from my phone very often.
Since people are becoming one with their phones, it only makes sense to tap into the marketing opportunities there. And that is exactly what companies are doing. The amount of money that is going into mobile advertisement is increasing drastically every year. It’s estimated that by 2017 mobile advertising spending will hit $41.9 billion, surpassing radio advertising and it is only going to increase. People always have their phones on them and use them more than televisions, laptops and desktops. It only makes sense that the ad spending will be comparable with these if not surpass them.
There are different mobile platforms for which companies can advertise, but the main ones are mobile websites and apps. Mobile websites are more universal among different phones and carries. Mobile web traffic accounts for majority of all internet traffic. Which tells us, that people are looking things up while they are on the move or while they are in the stores. So by having a website that is mobile friendly, can be what keeps a person on your site as opposed to going to a competitors. People want convenience and ease. Apps generally run faster and do not always require internet access (although these days it’s more rare to not have internet access on your phone than when you do). They allow the company to access more information about you, making your experience more personalized, which is what we all want, right? People may think that it can be a little weird and invasive, but it’s the price they pay for a more personalized experience (sorry consumer, you can’t have the cake and eat it too). Apps and mobile sites allow companies to gather more data and information about their users and customers. The information they gather leads to more data driven projects and advancements. Once again, it’s all for the consumers…
Technology and smartphones are incredible. They definitely make our lives more easier, when they work, why not allow utilize what companies have to offer from apps and mobile sites?
People want to be recognized as an individual, we’re all not the same, each of us if unique and different. Marketers, when you learn that each person is different and how to target that person, your life becomes easier. What’s even greater, is that databases can do all this for you. By utilizing databases that have all sorts of information about your customers or target audiences can have a big impact on your goals.
Good analysts are on the top of every company’s Christmas list. They go through the company’s database and find patterns about the consumers. That’s where the marketers come in. With databases, marketers are able to be more specific with their target audience. Take Target for example, Target tracks everything you buy at their store, and they buy other data from data collecting companies (kinda scary). Then they are able to target certain individuals about products depending what point they are at in their lives. Target focuses on points in people’s lives where they are going through a big change, like having a baby. They do this because this is when people’s buying habits are more likely to change as well and by taking advantage of that, Target wants to be apart of that person’s buying habits. But good analysts aren’t just for big companies. One of the main things Obama had on Romney during the campaign, was his analytics team and their massive amounts of data. They filtered through all this data and ran different test (example A/B testing) to find out what ways were more effective in gaining voters and donations. And boy, did it pay off. Not only did Obama win the campaign, but he was able to raise one $1 billion dollars.
Data mining and analytics is becoming more apart of business strategy because it is hard evidence of your customers and target audience. By having data on different products, buyer behaviors and customers, allows marketers to find a relationship and target to those individuals instead of the masses. This is also more beneficial to the customer because now they are getting information about things that pertain to them as opposed to junk and clutter. So everyone is unique in their own habits and behaviors and by knowing these as a marketer, you become more efficient with your resources. You’re no longer wasting time and money targeting people based off speculation. Instead, you have evidence and facts to guide you to where you want to be! THANK YOU TECHNOLOGY!
Knowing SQL and databases is definitely something that is going to set you apart from other marketers. If you know how to input data and run your own queries, you will be a ROCKSTAR in your field.
What is SQL? And what does it do?
SQL is like a more sophisticated Excel. SQL stands for structured query language. It allows you to take raw data and transform it to useful information. The data that is in your database can be useless if you do not know how to find relationships among it. With SQL you learn how to utilize the database for all that you can and how to find the relationships that will help you understand your customers behaviors better.
As a marketer, if you have the ability to sort through your customer data without the IT department, you will become more efficient. Efficient in the way that you no longer have to explain to IT what you want and wait for them to produce the results making you stand out more at work!
Any company that has customers or products has a database that stores all the information about them. And being able to navigate the database puts you and your business in a better position. Because you find what people are buying, where they are buying it, how much they’re spending, amongst so many other possibilities. If you want to know more about your customer’s behavior (the answer should be yes), then go learn and check out SQL!
iTunes is a good example that uses SQL in their marketing. They track purchases and see what people have bought together and in the past. With this, they can make suggestions and recommendations about what songs or movies that you would also like. Since the iTunes store connects with your library, it also uses that information to make recommendations.
Want to learn SQL?
Luckily in this day and age, there are several websites that you can use that offer free tutorials and lessons to become SQL savvy.
I used the w3schools website and found it to be fairly easy to use and pretty straight forward. I wish it was a little more integrative with the concepts. SQL is something that I am defintely going to keep learning about and refining the skill. Because it is something that will help in almost any business that you go into. And being able to do it yourself makes you a rockstar!!!
Marketing is all about creating the appeal of something and the best way to get people to purchase. As apart of digital marketing, you may want to know the appeal and effectiveness your website has to visitors. A/B testing allows you to compare two versions and find out which is more successful. Remember in elementary school when you did the experiment with two different plants, under different conditions to measure the height that they have grown? This is essentially the same. Except you are measuring the effectiveness of different aspects or elements of your site. “The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing” by Paras Chopra is a great article explaining A/B testing. You can test essentially anything on your website, generally around one of these themes the article gives:
- The call to action’s (i.e. the button’s) wording, size, color and placement,
- Headline or product description,
- Form’s length and types of fields,
- Layout and style of website,
- Product pricing and promotional offers,
- Images on landing and product pages,
- Amount of text on the page (short vs. long).
- There are different tools that will help you test.
If you’re testing a single element of your page like the placement of a banner ad, Google Website Optimizer is a good way to start. Or if you want to test a completely new website, Visual Website Optimizer is helpful. These sites do most of the work for you. Simultaneously running the tests, they will divide your new traffic to the different versions and track the visitors behavior, so you can quantifiably measure how effective the change is. It’s a good idea to run tests continuously, trying to optimize the content on your page, leading to a high conversion rate. There are always ways and areas to improve your site, even if you think it’s the best it can be. And trust the data that comes back to you in the end, it may seem off, but that’s what works better and you have tangible proof that it works! I definitely think that A/B testing is going to start to become more utilized in the website world. It is such a helpful tool to measure the effectiveness a change of a website can have towards conversion rates. And its great because if you start the test out on a small percentage of traffic, and you find something terribly wrong with it, you can shut it down right then and there. It’s nice to have that option so you’re not taking a big risk. The Obama campaign A/B tested everything to see what was more effective. For example on their donations page, they tested if having shorter forms on more pages was more effective.
They found that the shorter form (the one on the right) had a 5% increase in conversion rate. It’s a fairly simple thing to test, with results that can only benefit your website. You learn more about your visitors behavior and about how well your website is working. Here is an article about the different ways the Obama campaign used A/B testing. So go out and test whether a banner is actually working or the location of the magical button you want visitors to push!
And on an unrelated note, here is a live puppy cam to put a smile on your face. Enjoy!