How Brands Promote Seasonal Sales

Seasonal sales generate some of the biggest revenue seasons of the year for the majority of sales-focused companies around the world. While we can trust that the holidays will increase sales on their own, the most successful companies are the ones that thoroughly prepare for holiday seasons and market their products well. In order to ensure that your brand does well this holiday season (despite any unforeseen fluctuation in weather or current events), keep in mind these major tips for taking advantage of seasonal promotions.

Develop a good campaign strategy

Make sure to create a structured campaign so that things don’t fall into a frenzy during the holidays. As simple as this sounds, it is absolutely important to plan, and stick to your plan!

Stay up to date on product data

When it comes time for the season itself, make sure to stay up to date on information such as stock availability and delivery times to ensure easy transactions and happy customers!

Consider the “feel-good” factor

While it seems counter-intuitive, integrating a charitable factor in your sales can often increase sales by allowing customers to feel as though they are giving back with their purchases. Take advantage of charitable events such as Breast Cancer Awareness month to do good and increase revenue all at the same time.

Use last year’s data to better this year’s sales

By carefully examining the success of your campaigns from previous years, you can make changes to either continue positive responses or fix small falters to optimize your campaigns and your sales opportunities.

Avoid ad copy and be innovative!

Even if your campaign was a huge success last year, avoid recycling advertisements. A big part of your campaign should be encouraging past customers to return, and so new advertisements give the best chance to revitalize interest and promote customer loyalty.

Be sensitive to marketing trends and channels

Marketing seems to be always on the go! Make sure to stay up to date with trends and channels to take advantage of, such as mobile marketing, native advertising, and social media advertising.

Remember that seasonal goes beyond Easter and Christmas

While Christmas is definitely the most profitable holiday, there are numerous events and occasions to take advantage off and generate revenue with sale campaigns. This can be anything from Valentine’s Day to National Sports Week! If you pay attention to the smaller occasions and stay on top of your marketing towards these ends, every month can generate seasonal revenue.

Advertise early!!!

Many holiday shoppers are financially minded and prefer to do their holiday shopping in advance so to ease the financial strain of the holiday season. For these customers especially, an early campaign makes all the difference! The earlier you advertise, the sooner your product in on the minds of your consumers.

How Does Winter Weather Impact Online Advertising

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day…

That’s usually how the saying goes…and for the most part, it’s how we all feel! That is, unless you’re a digital marketer!

In the past few decades, digital marketing and advertising has developed impressive strategic approaches to tackle competitor marketing and ensure a successful marketing strategy and campaign for any online platform. From programmatic advertising to more traditional calendar-based tips and tricks, competitive advertising has grown to track and respond to market trends and buyer needs.

Weather has always been one of those factors that are considered most random and beyond our control. While we certainly can’t control the weather, however, the development of digital marketing and advertising have allowed us to use even weather to our advantage!

Several studies have been carried out to investigate the connection between weather and sales. Overall, the results point to certain trends that can benefit any programmatic platform. In short, there is a distinct correlation between weather patterns that digital marketers would do well to notice. While warm, sunny weather is beneficial for in-store sales, restaurants, durable goods, and other habitual services, colder rainy days are beneficial for online shopping, specifically within clothing, home and furniture, and wholesale retailers. The difference between online sales during clear and cloudy days can jump as high as even a 10-12% increase!

While the deviations are small enough to leave room for debate, the pattern makes perfect sense. It points to the tendency for people to spend more time browsing and buying non-habitual products or sales during days where outdoor activity and shopping trips are less accessible due to the weather. For example, if you are on the lookout for a bookshelf, a sunny day might make you more likely to take a trip to several furniture stores, while a rainy day might make you more likely to snuggle up in the comfort of your home and search for a bookshelf that meets your needs online, either for reference or purchase.

The implications this has for digital marketers are simple: rainy days and colder weather are good times to release digital banners advertisements to potential customer and consumer bases. In this case, it is especially advantageous for targeted marketing using location-based information. So next time you see a rainy day forecast, resist the urge to fall into a rainy day laze and get jumping on that marketing train!

Christmas in October? Why Holiday Advertising Starts Earlier Each Year

There’s a certain feeling of warmth and excitement when you start to see the holiday spirit popping up all around you. It’s that feeling that takes you back to when you were a kid, overwhelmed with Christmas cheer. Holiday advertising can only mean one thing – Christmas is around the corner!

But wait…Christmas in October?

Over the years, advertising for the holidays have slowly started to show up both in stores and online earlier and earlier in an effect some people like to call the “Christmas Creep.” While everybody likes to poke fun at Christmas themed competitive advertising and sales before Halloween has even come and passed, the reality is that the public doesn’t mind the early Holiday spirit. In fact, it has many advantages!

The holiday season is, for many companies and stores, the biggest money-making time period in sales for the entire year. This time period, however, is not limited to November and December as most people might think. While sales certainly do peak after Thanksgiving with Black Friday and throughout the month of December, a large majority of shoppers begin planning their holiday purchases way earlier than the winter months so that they can budget properly and shop for the best possible gifts. Some shoppers even begin their purchases as early as October so to beat the rush, for example with highly sought after gifts trending in the shopper market. Other shoppers also prefer to shop early so to allow themselves the time and comfort of setting up payment plans to budget their purchases.

When it comes down to it, whether or not shoppers are making the purchases early, holiday shopping becomes a focus for shoppers early on. For that reason, it is highly recommended for companies to turn on their digital marketing game for the holiday season early and watch competitor marketing to stay in the lead with their own competitive advertising. Before anything even hits the stores, companies want to make sure that their products are on the shopping list of the early Christmas planners! Next time you’re looking around and you notice a Christmas advertising next to a Halloween advertising, consider the effect. Most chances are, the competitive display will stay in your mind and even influence your shopping decisions!

So go on, digital advertisers! Get an early start to your holiday cheer!

Desktop Isn’t Dead! Reasons Why Desktop Advertising is Still Important in a Mobile-First World

As of late, one of the most noticeable trends in digital marketing is the shift in focus from desktop to mobile. Advertising trends have adapted to an increasingly tech-savvy world by responding to the increase of mobile reliance and the subsequent change in consumer habits. While in the beginning, companies strove to have mobile-friendly platforms, the trend has now shifted from “mobile-friendly” to “mobile first.” But does the rise of mobile necessarily mean the death of the desktop?

It is hard to ignore the importance of mobile marketing today. Mobile usage is higher than ever and it has unprecedented advantages for marketing, from hyper-targeting through consumer data to the instantaneous, universal outreach it allows through the accessibility it invites. However, while this is all true, it is important to recognize that desktop is still important as ever in a well-rounded successful marketing strategy.

Desktop Usage Remains Constant

Mobile usage is certainly on the rise, and it is certainly true that more people today use their mobile device as their go-to medium than ever before. However, an increase in mobile usage did not correlate with a decrease in desktop usage. In fact, despite the increase in mobile usage, desktop usage has remained pretty constant!

Cross-Platform Approaches Are Best

Any company hoping to expand their customer base and better their marketing strategies would do well to take a cross-platform approach. This approach relies on the understanding that consumers often switch between devices in interacting with a company. For example, a user might find a company through mobile hyper-targeting, yet once they do they are likely to visit the company website from both a mobile and desktop platform. When a company takes a marketing approach to ensure seamless transition between platforms, it allows a customer to trust the reliability of the company as a whole. A responsive website, for example, allows companies to use one shared website for both mobile and desktop viewing with this very goal in mind – an ideal situation! All in all, a cohesive experience is key.

Desktop Optimizes Screen Display

Mobile marketing, as savvy and relevant as it is, has a distinct disadvantage of limited screen space for displaying digital marketing. As a whole, the space limitations can be overcome with desktop. This not only allows companies to express their company vision more in-detail on a desktop platform, but it allows for a new aesthetic for mobile versus desktop platforms within one company.

New Users Lean Towards Desktop  Advertising Use

While e-commerce is increasingly adapting to mobile platforms, it is still true that companies are often more approachable for new users through desktop than mobile. For example, customer profile information is easier to complete on desktop than mobile. While mobile is better for discovering new websites and maintaining customer loyalty, desktop remains a better experience for new customers looking to fully explore and understand a new company.

Certain Settings Depend on Desktop

Desktop, while traditional, maintains its’ air of professionalism. Office settings, for example, depend on desktop systems to create a work atmosphere (this would be a little more difficult to attain through a mobile-only platform). As a whole, it seems like desktop is still being used for academic or business oriented use, while desktop is seen as “extra time” or “on the go” internet surfing time.

ROI Thrives with Desktop

Of all the reasons to keep desktop marketing as a top concern, the most important is its’ benefits regarding ROI. When it comes down to it, Return on Investment (ROI) on ads on desktop still wins over that on mobile sites. While mobile ROI is improving, mobile still has a lot of growth to achieve in performance measure in order to reach a similar tipping point in ROI as that achieved on desktop.

Is Every Campaign a Back-To-School Campaign?

Does it seem like every campaign lately is a back to school campaign? You’re not imagining it – marketers, especially digital advertisers, have shifted their campaigns to leverage the rise of back-to-school shopping, and the result is that almost any campaign online these days is a back-to-school sale.

As parents across the country rejoice at the start of the new school year and struggle to adjust their kids back to the known routine, digital advertisers across the country are eagerly prepping back to school sales in the hopes of maximizing revenue and increasing brand awareness and loyalty.

While the school year only officially opened now, back-to-school campaigns have been spotted online as early as July 11th – almost a week later from the previous year and a month later than 2014. The shift in launch of back to school campaigns is likely due to the fact that digital advertisers want to create a sense of urgency – something that can’t be done two almost two months before the start of the new school year – while bringing a much needed boost to sales after disappointing holiday seasons and summer shopping.

In the past, back-to-school campaigns were largely focused on in-store purchases, however a recent study by the National Retail Federation reveled that online back-to-school shopping is increasing in popularity, with over 34% of parents reporting that they will make their purchases online this year.  The study further indicated that of those making their purchases online, 2 out of 3 parents would buy more than what was required of them on the school supply list – this is perhaps the largest reason that brands that operate outside of the back-to-school sphere have bumped up their digital advertising campaigns and found a way to connect their product to back-to-school needs of families.

As digital advertising is increasingly focused on mobile devices, it should come as no surprise that this year, more and more parents will make their back to school purchases directly from their mobile phones. The Rubicon Project back to school survey revealed that 60% of parents plan on purchasing as least one item on their mobile devices, and 30% reported that over a fourth of their purchases will be made on mobile devices.

Considering the increased reliance on digital devices for back to school shopping, coupled with the latest news from eMarketer that back-to-school sales are expected to go up by 2.6% this year in comparison to 2015, it’s no wonder that digital advertisers are doing all they can to leverage this latest shopping season to increase sales and maximize revenue generation.

Customer Retention Advertising V.S Acquisition Advertising in the Online Retail World

The retail industry has been drastically altered with the introduction of digital advertising. Today, the retail digital advertising industry is the largest spender by far, with an estimated ad spend exceeding $15 billion in the U.S alone for 2016.

Since advertisers today compete in a much more highly saturated space, they are constantly re-imagining campaigns and coming up with creative ideas to convert customers.  The difference today is that advertisers need to think about conversion as the start of a long journey a customer takes with a brand.

Each time a consumer makes an online purchase the brand needs to care not only about the acquisition process, but how they can increase brand loyalty and awareness in order to increase the lifetime customer value.  While it is easy for advertisers to get lured in by the appeal of high conversion rates for acquisition, the true test of time for a brand is in their ability to use advertising to increase retention and overall consumer purchases in the long term.

What this means for advertisers is that they need to spend more time building a brand and educating the market of the brand value than they have in the past. Today, a single purchase on a website has less value from a brands perspective than a loyal customer who constantly comes back to their brand.  For advertisers, this directly translates into more emphasis on retention adverting rather than first time acquisition, and an increased reliance on customer loyalty programs.

What can be done to increase lifetime customer loyalty? For starters, focus your marketing strategy on long term advertising that is brand focused and not product centric. It is important to ensure that all long term advertising campaigns are monitored and tracked. In doing so, it will be possible to integrate customer loyalty programs that reward repeat consumers and upsell products.  Companies that want to take things further, should also consider integrating a native application in order to increase purchases.

Ultimately, the sky is the limit – the important thing to remember is that acquisition is no longer the king – set your sights on retention for long-term success as an advertiser and as a company.

Digital Marketing in 2015: y≠ax+b

Over and over again it has been repeated that today’s marketing teams and brands must be customer focused in order to deliver an optimal customer experience. But what does it mean to be customer-centric? And how can brands actually create a marketing strategy based on the needs, actions, and expectations of their customers?

At the risk of being repetitive, a good customer experience derives from having positive interactions between the customer and brand. And an interaction is the output, or dependent variable, between two or more independent variables, which in this case are the brand and the customer. The customer comes into the equation with a purpose to accomplish something, whether it be a purchase, trying to find a solution to an issue, general knowledge, and so forth. The brand must be able to respond to the customer’s request immediately by providing the relevant information. If the brand succeeds in doing so, then it has been a successful interaction and positive customer experience. The challenge is figuring out what the customer needs ahead of time. And the only way to do this is by understanding the customer’s journey.

The Buyer Journey

Although we have established that the funnel is dead and that the buyer journey is non-linear, we can’t argue the fact that the buying customer will always go through the three main stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase. How? Because no matter how sporadic their interactions are with the brand (entering the buyer journey mid-way, regressing buyer journey, jumping from place to place in buyer journey), they always start and end at the same point.

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Each stage serves a different purpose for the customer and the combination of all these stages, from start to finish, are what create the buyer journey.

And as stated previously, the purpose or end goal of each one of these stages is to provide a positive interaction between the brand and the customer, which means that the brand must be able to give the customer what he or she needs as soon as they make a move. The issue is figuring out what move they are going to make, and in this case, a move is the equivalent of asking a question to find out more information on behalf of the customer. In short, the brand needs to know what questions the customer is going to ask before the customer does depending on what stage they are in in their buyer journey. Once the brand understands the customer’s incentive, it will be able to assist them with clear, relevant, and precise answers to any questions they may have.

So really, at its most basic, the buyer journey is comprised of a list of questions the customer will have at any given stage. And the brand’s responsibility is to figure out what those questions are, what the answers are, and how to deliver the message in a convenient and clear manner to the customer.

Touchpoints

Imagine you are planning a cross-country road trip. There are three major decisions you must make before you leave for it.

  • You must figure out a basic layout of the places you want to visit.
  • What you want to accomplish, see, or do at each place.
  • What route you will take to get to each site.

The basic layout of the places you want to visit represents the buyer journey. It is a very high overview of your journey and marks each spot you plan to visit before reaching to your final destination. What you want to accomplish at each spot is the interaction. It involves having a specific need that must be satisfied at a specific time and place. This interaction, exactly like the one described in the opening paragraphs, represents the touchpoint. The final decision involving the routes represents the channel you will be using to reach those touchpoints.

The touchpoint is the interaction between the customer and brand (both directly and indirectly), based on the needs of the customer.

touchpoint

And because the touchpoint plays such a large role in defining the relationship between the customer and brand, brands MUST know what the needs and expectations are of their customers. There is no orthodox method of uncovering what a customer’s needs are and how a brand should deliver it to them. Rather, brands must create a strategy that is comprised of seven steps to ensure they achieve a holistic perspective of their customers.

1) Understand what information should be supplied at the difference stages of the buyer journey

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2) Integrate all your data sources

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3) Use data analytics to see which variables and customer segments drive the most sales
equation

 

4) Adapt offers, pricing, and messaging according to customer segment

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5) Take the most impactful variables and use them for predictive analytics to make the best educated assumptions about future conversions

extrapolation

6) Track, monitor, and analyze how customers access their information to determine which channel will bring in the best results

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source: http://davidmlane.com/SPSS/correlation.html

7) Get as much customer data as possible to continue improving marketing for product and services

Digital Marketing Channels

In order to have enough data to fulfill some of the equations in the previous section, you must already have some data in your system which includes a majority of the variables such as digital marketing channels.

A channel is the medium in which a brand communicates with a customer.

There are a plethora of marketing channels available to marketers, but depending on the brand and its goal, certain channels may be more relevant than others. No one can predict which channel is going to work the best without some trial and error, and that’s where the imperative need for data comes in. By tracking and measuring the results from your different marketing channels, you can plug the data into the equations to figure out what works best and what you should be spending most of your resources on.

Conclusion

The buyer journey may seem unpredictable, but with a little patience and data analytics you are sure to find a pattern amongst your customers. No matter where they start in their buyer journey, there is always a solution to providing them with valuable content and information that can push them towards a purchase.

It is vital for marketers to track and monitor their customer’s movements and interactions with the brand as much as possible in order to see which variables bring in the best results. These variables could include channels, segments of the population, content, and so forth.

But once you are able to gather your data and put it to good use, you will be able to understand and potentially predict what your customer is going to want before they know it. And that is the key to building a long-lasting customer relationship.

 

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

Digital Marketing in 2015: Omni-Channel Marketing

When it comes to omni-channel marketing, the argument that the customer is king is more powerful than ever. Why? Because omni-channel marketing embraces the customers and their needs.

What is Omni-Channel?

Omni-channel marketing requires CMOs to provide their customers with a truly seamless and integrated purchasing experience, no matter what device the customer is using or where they are located.  The customer must be in constant dialogue with the Brand, not the channel. To emphasize, the experience for the buyer must be synchronized regardless if they are on mobile, desktop, in-store, on the phone, or on their laptop. Each campaign or piece of content targeted at the customer must be in line with their status in the purchasing funnel, and interactions with the Brand should not be repeated. The Brand must have a singular and unified view of their customer. And this requires marketers to take all the fragmented big data they have meld it together in order to have a holistic perspective for each and every customer.

The Cycle

The entire concept of omni-channel rests on the purpose of delivering an exceptional customer experience. Once this customer experience has been delivered, a relationship arises between the customer and Brand, where the customer begins to grow loyalty and trust towards the Brand. This feeling breaks down a lot of the barriers brands often face in acquiring customer data. And once the Brand has access to the data, they can use it to better market their products and services and therefore provide a better customer experience…which leads to more loyalty and trust on the customer’s behalf.

omni1

At the end of the day, brands must realize that bettering their customer experience is the secret ingredient to boosting their business and sales.

According to a recent study done by the Temkin Group, a modest increase in customer experience at a typical $1 billion company can help it earn an addition $272 to $462 million in revenues over three years.[1]  How?

  • There is a correlation between customer loyalty and repurchasing, with a high Pearson Correlation coefficient of .83.
  • Supermarkets generated more than $100 million in additional revenue over three years just by word of mouth as a result of the improved customer experience.[2]

The Process

Data acquisition is the most important component necessary to deliver a premium customer experience. However, acquiring useful data is the main barrier most brands face due to the privacy and security issues customers are facing when it comes to providing their personal information.

A recent study done by Intel[3] showed how omni-channel technology improved a brand’s ability to collect customer data and measure its results, the two major parameters vital to determining ROI and strengthening the marketing strategy as a whole. And this makes perfectly good sense as the more personalized data a brand can collect, the better they can market their products and services (Step 5 in the cycle).

Just as omni-channel promises the customer a singular view of the retailer, it provides the retailer with an entire comprehensive overview of the customer and their shopping experience.[4]

omni

Omni-channel doesn’t just benefit the customer; it arms the brand with the knowledge and data it needs to optimize all dialogue and interactions they are having with the customer. The customer may be moving from device to device or from online to in-store, but omni-channel enables for their preferences and activities to travel with them no matter where they go or when they go. And even before the dialogue between the brand and the customer begins, the brand is armed with information that enables them to target the customer with exactly what they need, eliminating any friction the customer may have faced otherwise. This data goes beyond just the pre-sale necessity; it also allows brands to have the tools they need to offer a consistent and compelling customer experience during and after their purchase.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

[1] Temkin Group Q4 2014 Consumer Benchmark Survey

[2] http://www.dmnews.com/the-roi-of-customer-experience-who-cares/article/374873/

[3] http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/solution-briefs/omni-channel-tech-gives-retail-marketers-new-edge-brief.pdf

[4] http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/solution-briefs/omni-channel-tech-gives-retail-marketers-new-edge-brief.pdf

Digital Marketing in 2015: Hyper-Personalization with Display Ads

Customers are no longer apathetic about their digital purchasing experience; they want it to be personalized and relevant. They are running the game now and marketers must play according to their terms and rules. Personalization is about being relevant at the right place and time to the right person- and the last thing that matters is you.

For marketers, the challenge with creating hyper-personalized content or campaigns is gaining the actionable insights they need quickly and efficiently in order to target their customers with personalized messages and offers. This type of engagement is what creates a good customer experience and customer loyalty. Marketers may think they know where to approach prospects or how to approach them, but without the right Marketing Intelligence tools, marketers are left in a constant stage of assumption, especially when it comes to display advertising.

Personalized display ads do in fact work, but they must be delivered at the right time of the customer’s buying process. Showing an end-of-the funnel ad to a customer who is only at the beginning of their buyer journey is not effective and is a waste of ad spend.

AdClarity Marketing Intelligence

Use Case 1: Knowing which creatives and publishers work in different stages of the funnel

Depending on what stage of the buyer journey the customer is in, it is vital that your display ads and campaigns compliment their behavior. For example, you aren’t going to give a reader who has never heard of your company the same message as someone who is already in the decision-making stage. By discovering which publishers your competitors are using, you can identify the stages based on the creatives they are delivering on each site. This will allow for you to understand which types of creatives and messages you should be delivering on your own spectrum of sites.

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Pic3Use Case 2: Discovering which publishers are most relevant

In addition to knowing which publishers are associated with different stages of the buyer journey, you can also discover which publishers are most successful for your competitors. Not only does this enable you to know where you should be advertising your own ads, but you can get an idea of who you should be working with in ways other than display: partnerships, collaboration, sponsorships, newsletters, guest blogging, and so forth. If you know which sites are bringing in good results for your competitors, you know that they are targeting your audience and that your information will be useful to them. Additionally, by using the previous example, you can also understand what type of content you should be promoting on those sites.

Conclusion

The whole purpose of hyper-personalization is to develop a relationship with a customer, and this takes time. In most cases, no one is going to propose on the first date; they need to develop trust and take the time to get to know one another. This is no different than the kind of relationship between brands and customers.

Giving your customers a personalized brand experience is not an impossible task, if your brand is using the right tools. With Marketing Intelligence, brands can gain the actionable insights they need to better their display ad strategies and make them more effective.

 

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

Digital Marketing in 2015: Contemplating Content & Native

There is no question that content is one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy for any type of company. As noted in the previous chapter, customers want to consume valuable and relevant information that will fulfill their needs, whether it be just acquiring information about a general topic or trying to understand why they need a certain product or service. It is crucial for marketing teams to develop a content marketing strategy that does all this, while still maintaining its objective of providing a positive customer experience which will lead to a profit.

Pandora’s Box

The customer’s ability to have constant access to content has opened up a type of Pandora’s Box. Whereas previously the customer had to contact the company in order to get more information about them, now they can access it almost anywhere on the internet—leaving the company with little to no control over the educating and qualifying process. That is, unless they have created a content strategy that can positively affect each and every customer and prospect no matter what stage of the funnel they are in.

Customers can now empower themselves with the information they have access to without ever speaking to a single salesperson, and because of this, it is important that the content creates a positive customer experience and relationship.

Creating content isn’t hard. Creating quality content is.

Anyone can create content, but not just anyone can create quality content that provides customer engagement across multiple channels to different segments. This type of content takes on an entirely different approach from the generic type as marketers are forced to abandon their comfort zone and change their approach to be purely customer-centric one. What the marketer is familiar and confident with is no longer relevant. Their focus must only be on the customer’s desires and needs as content is the main influencer for the majority of the buyer’s journey. Because if they don’t give the customer what they are looking for, the customer will simply look for it somewhere else.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

A company can create the most advanced and relatable content, but if they don’t know how to repurpose it and promote it, the content will most likely make no impact and no traffic will be driven to their website. There are many ways to promote content, such as through social media, guest blogging, partnerships, and of course, advertising.

Paid Media

“Paying for reach on social channels is no longer an option for brands; it’s an imperative.”[1]

It is extremely hard to promote content organically unless the company creating the content is extremely well-known and already has a huge amount of traffic coming to its website. Even if a company decides to bombard their social media channels and database with emails, there is going to be a plateau, or a glass ceiling in regards to bringing in more traffic to the website. And the only way to break the glass ceiling is through paid media.

Paid media allows for companies to access readers beyond their finite database and extend their reach in less time. And as the company continues to deliver premium content, these new readers will keep on engaging with the company. And if the content is good, then these readers will become customers.

Truly amplifying content with paid media is not an impossible task as long as the marketer is using the right Marketing Intelligence tool.

Marketing Intelligence

Marketing Intelligence is the process of gathering all the world’s digital media data and presenting it in a useful and accessible manner to allow for better decision making. AdClarity, the leading Marketing Intelligence tool in the digital advertising industry, enables marketers to gain all the actionable insights they need to create the best possible digital campaigns. And when companies are building their content marketing strategies, it is crucial for them to have as much information possible on what their direct and indirect competitors are doing.

The following case study shows a true portrayal of how we used Marketing Intelligence to distribute our content and expand our reach. Download it here.

Native Advertising

“…the goal of native advertising (at least for definition purposes) is to not disrupt the user experience … to offer information that is somewhat helpful and similar to the other information on the site so that users engage with the content at a higher rate…”[2]

Native advertising developed from the concept that businesses, especially marketers, must build trust with the customer before trying to pitch to them. It is a known truth that customers lose trust in a company when a piece of objective content ends with an attempt of a product pitch. Therefore, it is imperative that the piece of content being used in the native campaign truly blends in with the character of the site it is being promoted on. However, it is also important to make sure that the reader is aware that the piece of content is a sponsored post as deceiving them to think otherwise can also deteriorate trust in the brand.

Conclusion

Using content to build trust with a customer is a challenging but necessary aspect of marketing and sales. The content of any brand must be created to fulfill any needs the customer may have no matter what stage they are in in the buyer journey.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

[1] http://customerthink.com/why-are-b2b-brands-so-obsessed-with-native-advertising/

[2] http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/11/wsj-content-marketing-not-native/