digital marketing

Summing Up Black Friday & Cyber Monday

As consumers scour retailers’ websites and stores for the best holiday deals, here are five digital stats that stand out about how consumers are shopping.

1. Cyber Monday Frenzy
Adobe is crunching data on ecommerce transactions, tracking 80 percent of online transactions for the 100 largest retailers. Per the firm, consumers spent $840 million through 10 a.m. Monday, equivalent to a 16.9 percent year-over-year growth. In terms of mobile, smartphones and tablets make up 53.3 percent of traffic and 39.7 percent of revenue.

2. Early bird shopping
With more consumers shopping online, Walmart, Toys R Us and Target are a handful of retailers that started ramping up online deals before Thanksgiving to prepare for the flood of online shopping.

According to Adobe, consumers spent $15.12 billion on Saturday and Sunday, a 10.1 percent year-over-year growth. Search advertising drove 22.4 percent of sales from paid media while direct traffic made up 26.9 percent and email contributed to 19.7 percent of sales.

3. Small-screen shopping
Shoppers are increasingly moving from desktop to mobile (which includes smartphone and tablets) to not only research products but also shop.

According to Salesforce, mobile made up 64 percent of shopping visits this weekend, up from 54 percent last year. For sales, mobile made up 43 percent of orders, an 10 percent increase from 33 percent last year.

4. Message overload
Retailers are notorious for sending out massive numbers of emails and notifications around the holidays that promote time-sensitive deals and this year was no exception.

On Black Friday alone, retailers sent nearly three billion emails, more than 82 million SMS and push notifications and collected 8.8 billion data points, like email sign-ups.

5. Small retailers nail mobile
Surprisingly, it’s not big brands that are driving mobile conversions. According to Adobe, websites from small retailers that make $10 million or less convert twice as much as bigger retailers that make $100 million or more.

During Small Business Saturday, which encourages consumers to shop from local merchants, mobile traffic hit 56.7 percent of total web traffic, indicating that smaller retailers are providing easy-to-navigate and simple mobile sites.

Source: Adweek

A Marketing Industry Reality

chris frank st. louis

Consumers expect experiences that are curated directly to them and their interests. In this new experience economy, they no longer tolerate anything less. Brands like Airbnb, Lyft, Amazon and Netflix have realized that the power has shifted to consumers. They decide when, how, where and in what ways to engage with brands and expect a seamless experience across all platforms.

The Cloud
With cloud-based technologies, companies now have access to infinite computing resources, and no longer have to deal with the complexities of managing infrastructure. Marketers can spin up systems and applications with the flip of a switch and manage consumer data at unprecedented scale. With the cloud, consumer data can easily and instantaneously be used to power personalized experiences across channels unlike never before.

The Mobile Experience
There are now 8 billion mobile devices in the world—more than there are people. The average American now spends five hours a day using mobile devices, and 54 percent of email users access their inboxes on a mobile device. While mobile may seem like old news, usage is climbing and informed marketers are finding new and innovative ways to better engage with consumers on it.

Social Media
Around 2.46 billion people use a social network at least once per month. That makes social media an important medium for product discovery, sales and customer care. It’s no wonder that 77 percent of marketers say their companies use social media marketing to drive business ROI.

AI & Marekting
Marketers are embracing AI tools, which learn from past consumer behavior to automatically predict outcomes, arming marketers with information on the best next step. AI finds patterns in consumer data, marketers can now automatically forecast the best time, channel and audience for their messages.

Source: AdWeek

Successful Entrepreneur's Checklist

Entrepreneur Magazine recently published an insightful article about being successful in today's fast-paced society by outlining five fundamentals that you should never compromise on. An interview with Rohan Sheth, founder of Rohan Sheth Consulting, revealed some interesting case studies that every entrepreneur should take note of ...

1. Give content away for free.
As an entrepreneur, giving away free content is tough whether it's to win business or appease a client. Afterall, time is money. In 2014, Costco reported that sales jumped 600 percent after testing their market with free samples.

2. Stay consistent on tasks.
Pushing consistent content to your audience helps establish credibility and allows for clients, consumers, businesses and competitors to inherently understand that you're an expert within the industry.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Making time for exercise is often tricky, but those who understand the need to take care of their body as much as their business are the ones who benefit from the effects of leading a healthy lifestyle.

4. Have a plan for your goals.
Outlining goals can help you measure success. Making those goals apparent to your employees helps everyone visualize the benefits and ultimately manifest victory.

5. Take time for family.
Life outside of work is important and part of being a successful in business is knowing how and when to manage your time. There is a balance between family and work, and understanding that dynamic is paramount to success both at home and at work.

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Engaging Millennials Through Content Marketing

chris frank st. louis

Forbes recently published an interesting article pertaining to marketing in today's Millennial-driven landscape with regards to the efficacy of content. We've grown to understand that they’re a particularly challenging generation to understand as their preferences are always evolving with technology that's at their fingertips.

Although this is true for every demographic, it is continually important that to align our messaging with what truly matters to them, in an effort to really speak their language and connect on a deeper level.

Millennials officially sit in the driver’s seat and are influencing the relationship between marketer and consumer unlike any generation before them. Nearly two in three millennials block ads.
— Chelsea Krost | Forbes

Source: Forbes

Fold Collection

Brooklyn-based Uhuru, a multi-disciplinary design firm, has produced the amazing Fold Collection that is inspired by flattened debris found in the streets of New York City. Uhuru took the concept a step further by replicating the natural patina that happens to the materials as they weather the outdoor elements. The pieces in the collection, which includes consoles, a bench, coffee table, and end tables, will age over time to slowly revealing character.

Our new Fold Collection is inspired by the forms created by objects flattened in our neighborhood streets, in particular the metal straps used to attach goods to pallets and boxes here in industrial Red Hook.
— Uhuru

Source: Uhuru Design

Amazingly Simplified Music Posters

Check out these minimalist poster designs from Viktor Hertz, where in which he picked 15 songs from different artists to create a series of simplified vector illustrations. Beautiful execution and great selection of music.

Revisiting one of my first personal projects from 2011, I picked 15 songs from different artists and made pictogram posters of them.
— Viktor Hertz

Source: Abduzeedo

Targeting The Right Audience

Very insightful article about targeting the right demographic within advertising, design and social media. Define your target audience!

Knowing your target audience’s motivations is essential to tailoring your product, service, and marketing efforts to meet their needs, and is one of the fastest ways to success — in fact, it’s very difficult to succeed without that knowledge.
— Murray Newlands | Entrepreneur

Source: Entrepreneur

Digital Marketing Tactics

Forbes has outlined some very important, and often neglected, digital marketing tactics that help with brand awareness and increased conversions. 

Tell A Story
Storytelling has been and will always be the root of human interaction. A good story makes people feel connected, which is the ultimate persuasion factor. Use storytelling for not only a product or service push, but also for your brand.

Use Trigger Words In Copy
Lingual psychologists have spent much time analyzing words that quickly engage people, which can lead to an actionable response, such as a conversion. Dr. Robert Cialdini's classic book, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," explains how some words trigger more than others. There are a few persuasive trigger words that should be used throughout your digital marketing copy, such as "you," "because," "new" and "free."

The power of persuasion is one of the most effective marketing tactics, but it must be done right.
— Kristopher Jones | Forbes

Build Authority
Just as trigger words are used immediately, so should anything that builds authority, such as any form of recognition: awards, mentions in articles and content published at third-party resources, such as an article written by your company's CEO or an infographic used in a story.

Offer Social Proof
Just as important as building brand authority is offering social proof. Instead of telling a potential customer/client what to do, show them what others did in that situation.

Talk Benefits And How To Avoid Problems
Once you have established a human connection between your brand and audience with the tips outlined above, the next act of persuasion is based on your actual products or services.

Above all, persuasive digital marketing efforts can’t be forceful; they need to naturally convey a company’s message, allowing customers to embrace the product or services while hopefully igniting some passion for your brand.
— Kristopher Jones | Forbes

Source: Forbes