Thursday, April 27, 2017

SEO Optimization - Simple Steps

There are many tricks/hacks available to improve SEO efforts. The most impactful items are simple and straight forward to implement. Here are six that anyone can easily implement:

  • Page title, description & URL: A simple descriptive title and a description that includes the keywords you want to rank for is a good start. URL should be informative, made up of letters and numbers (no special characters) and preferably use HTTPS protocol.
  • Content quality – Use of keywords is a good start. It must add value for the reader (and provide a reason for them to like or link back).
  • Content quantity & diversity – There should be enough text on each page. Appropriate amount of images and videos should complement text
  • Site structure – A proper robots.txt file should be used. Pages should interlink appropriately and check regularly for broken link.
  •  Page functionality – Use Google page insight test to check if something is slowing down the site. Ensure that the site is mobile friendly.
  • User experience – Navigation should be easy with clear messaging.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Starbuck's Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks latest beverage created significant media buzz. For any other organization, it would have been an ordinary event, however, of incredibly high engagement of Starbucks customers, it turned into a nationwide phenomenon. Starbucks did a few things

  • They picked unusually bright colors, pink and blue, not typically associated with the brand.
  • They picked a unique name, Unicorn Frappuccino, which is easy to remember
  • To create a sense of urgency, they time limited the availability of the beverage

The genius in releasing a media friendly product is that the marketing was done by the customers. Customers posted their selfies with the beverage and made YouTube video. The social media sensation and long lines of customers got main stream media’s attention. The drink was a hit, not because of taste but because of the clever marketing by Starbucks.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Amazon Books

Two weeks ago I went to the Amazon Books 30 min south of Boston in the suburb of Dedham, interestingly the first east coast bricks and mortar location. I asked the store manager (as kindly as I could)..."Why Dedham?" It sounds like Dedham was chosen as a trial location to test the layout and footprint allocation.

You walk in, and the glass-front store is organized and aesthetically pleasing with hardwood floors, white walls and spaced out, symmetrical shelves. A stark contrast to the noisy Amazon website.

One thing that striked me was almost 1/4 of the store footprint was devoted to selling Amazon electronics - Alexa, Kindle, etc. 1/4 was a children's section with small reading area, 1/4 was a Peet's coffee stand, and the remaining 1/4 contained the overall bestsellers and new books, and bestsellers within sections like Biographies, History, Science, Health & Wellness, Travel, etc. And only a few small tables for someone to sit and read or work.

Jeff Bezos may not appreciate this comparison, but outside of the electronics section, it looks like a Hudson Books or other airport bookstore with bestsellers and a side coffee shop. To me, Hudson Books does free advertising for Amazon to travelers currently. But one or both need to exist... in person bookstores promote readers to consider other areas and books they would not otherwise. Echoed in this article from the Motley Fool.


Salesman Doom at Bloom

Show(room) Me the $$$

At Bloomingdales, show-rooming is thinning out the wallets of commission driven Salespersons, and now, the workers union is trying to put and end to it. As of this month, the workers union is proposing a tracking system that ties together the in-store person to the online account making a purchase. - if made through the Bloomingdales' website - that person would get a commission. This could be done in several ways. The physical salesperson could supply the shopper with their code. The user would need to be incentivized to use the code - IE - they get a discount, but also the salesperson receives their commission. Another way would be to, at the digital checkout, ask the shopper if anyone helped then. They could then select the individual (if they can remember them). Thirdly - there can be a section of digital assistants who help the online shopping process. If a purchase is made following this assistance, through chat/ voice, etc, this commission would be distributed accordingly.

This all to speak to a growing problem in in-store salesmanship. As in store purchases decline, should rates of commission increase to offset the reduction? This or the model needs to be disrupted. Or both.


DM Trends Predicted to End in 2017

Bye Bye Banner?

As digital marketing tactics become more integrated, natural, informed, we're seeing ad formats change alongside the content within them - to more specifically target the user.

The idea is that the physical manifestation of the content can integrate itself within the visual structure of the application itself. There are several benefits to this, such as: the content is not distracting, such as overlaid, pop-up, or skyscraper/ banners can be - and if relevant, the sponsored integrated content can be thought to be native/ natural (so long as the consumer is not deceived).

Marketers are becoming more clever with their ad formats to cater to a more critical and selective millennial generation. This can be seen more recently in Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Google Search Results, and Pinterest.



How Brands and Agencies Are Fighting Back Against Facebook and Google’s Measurement Snafus

Large corporations are being forced to change how they advertise on Facebook. Almost 2/3 of digital marketing dollars are spent on Facebook or Google. Their "walled gardens" limit the amount of data and analytics advertisers can access to track their performance. Considering the amount of money many companies are spending to advertise on the two behemoths, I'm surprised it's taken them so long to adjust their strategy. 

While many companies are publicly making noise about their need for better metrics to track their performance, many companies are not. I think we'll slowly see more companies voice their concerns and begin to demand more data for their advertising spend. Once again, the power of digital marketing is transforming how companies, and their vendors, are reaching their consumers. Facebook and Google have a lot of leverage, but in the end I think they'll move a little to appease their large companies regarding advertising spend and the metrics they provide. 


In baseball - It's all about the story

The length of one single baseball game, let alone an entire 162-game season can be for some, boring. For some, it's tough to stay engaged to the story of a single game, let alone the journey of an entire season. "It’s a long arc to ask fans to pay attention to."

Comparatively speaking, "a 20-hour movie would never find success with fans; music albums can get old after so many replays; long books can intimidate readers." But for some reason, "fans of major sports teams never throw up their hands and say 'enough.'"

So what is it? Why do so many fans of major sports teams stay engaged for hours at a time, for months at a time? Is it the sport itself? Yes, of course. But there's more. It's the storytelling. It's the storytelling through all the different platforms. Now, digital story telling is helping "keep fans interest afloat".

It's amazing how on one hand, too much content pushed through all the various platforms can be seen as "too much", but then assessed a different way, it's "not enough". What's the balance? For me, it's in the storytelling. A baseball game and season have so many highs and lows as far as a story line goes. More and more baseball teams are capturing this in their Facebook pages, or Instagram accounts, and now, on Snapchat. For them, there's "too much" content. It's all about keeping the story interesting.

We've discussed before the importance of content. Well, here it is again. If you have good content to push out to your fans, they'll just keep on consuming. Strike-out after strike-out. Double-play after double-play. Keep it coming!


Why Converting to Instagram Business Is Not a Winning Brand Strategy

Although not a new article from Entrepreneur , it is a theme that has come up recently for me as we head down the homestretch of the semester and the program, some may be starting their own businesses so I wanted to point out an article that I think is really important. It highlights the importance of organic content, keeping that human element, and not converting to Instagram Business account.

As we all know, in 2014 Facebook updated the algo on their newsfeed that limits the reach of business pages and populates users' feeds so that they "see more of what they want." In 2016, the same algo was implemented to Instagram's newsfeed.

3 Important reasons why brands that do not convert to Instagram Business profiles will stay ahead of the curve:
1. Organic Reach & Engagement- which is priceless when building a brand. When your followers are organically engaging with your content, you've earned their interest & trust. When organic reach is limited it means fewer impressions, fewer engagements which leads to fewer conversions and fewer sales... Yikes!
2. You won't be labeled as "sponsored": People don't like being advertised to. Customers want real content from the accounts that you choose to follow. When you search for something on Google, what link do you click on first? I always naturally scroll past the sponsored results & click on the links that aren't ads.
3. Ability to be human: The brands that perform best on Instagram create an emotional connection with their followers- one that triggers a human feeling- so advertising as a brand removes the human factor from those brands. 


SEO and Analytics Setup Guides

I thought I would share two blog posts that may be useful to the group. The first is an SEO Guide, the second is a Google Analytics setup guide. Between the two, we ought to be able to take in most the metrics any of us would need if we had our own sites to administer and get it to rank.

First, the groundwork:

After getting your site up and running, get the analytics flowing. Collect every bit of data you can. This guide is thorough and technical.

Then, you'll want to optimize for search, and this guide is actionable:

A lot of what is in the SEO Guide has been covered in class, but it is also nice to see each step outlined to some extent. The summary of his guide are these major steps:

  • Researched your niche for financial viability
  • Created a list of keywords that you're going to focus on for the next month
  • Been able to estimate the revenues once you're ranked for each term
  • Set up a Google My Business Page
  • Have created some citations for your business
  • Have a mobile-friendly site
  • And finally, have a fast loading site


Friday, April 21, 2017

The Element of Surprise

Why Surprise Is Your Secret Weapon In Social Media Marketing

In line with our discussions around social media marketing and native advertisements, this article discusses the importance of surprise in social media marketing. Surprise has the ability to significantly increase engagement and brand recognition.

Specifically, the element of surprise acts as an emotional amplifier - it is one of the strongest and most memorable emotions and therefore lends itself to immediate brand recognition. In addition, surprise releases dopamine which is a "feel good" chemical and associated with bond forming, another way to create a strong bond with an audience. Surprising an audience with facts, information, or other types of entertainment that they aren't getting from your competition is a great way to differentiate a brand as well as strengthen the relationship with consumers.

Ultimately though, surprise is not an easy effect to achieve in marketing. Shown by the marketing faux pas shown in class, sometimes a overly creative effort can come across as offensive if not executed well. So this type of digital marketing, while incredibly effective, also creates another level of challenges for marketers.


The Guardian's About-Face with Apple News and Facebook

The Guardian is pulling out of publishing it's news on Facebook and Apple News platforms. The Guardian was one of the first British news sources to sign onto these platforms, and when it did it went full force. The statement issued explaining why the change made it appear they worried about the trust relationship they have with their readership. However, it also put their content on someone else's platform, when they are likely wanting to drive traffic to their own properties.

Is the Guardian's move indicative of how other publishers feel about the platforms? Guardian's displeasure also centers around revenue, and if more publishers threaten to move off these platforms we may see Facebook or Apple change the rev share model.

Other blog posts during this semester and previous semesters have touched on Google's APM and Facebook's IA. At the end of the DigiDay article we learn that the Guardian is still publishing a lot using Google's APM, and purports a much better situation for revenue. This appears to show APM as the better platform for publishers.


"Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Popular Chrome Browser"

According to this Wall Street Journal article, Google is planning to develop its own ad-blocker for Chrome. What's more, the ad revenue giants plans to possibly turn it on by default for users. It begs the question why a company whose majority of revenue comes from advertisers would develop a product that potentially threatens that revenue stream. In the arms race between ad blockers and advertisers (and their publishers), perhaps Google is taking the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach. Rather, Google is taking a defensive stance against the proliferation of ad-block software, an industry that pulled in $60 billion of revenue last year from online advertisers that pay to get their ads through ad-blockers' filters. Indeed, Google intends to claim a part of this market for itself, perhaps charging current clients more to get through its own ad-blocking filters. If successful, this can be a win for Google on two fronts. By blocking annoyingly disruptive ads, Chrome users will experience a better browsing experience, thus strengthening loyalty to the brand, which already claims more than 47% of the browser market on desktop and mobile. Furthermore, Google will create a "premium" service that advertisers must pay for to serve ads, which both enhances revenue growth, but also strengthens (if not by force) the relationship with its advertisers. It is a risky move, however, as there may be backlash from advertisers, who may threaten to advertise on competitor browsers or allocate funding to boost ads on other channels, such as TV. Moreover, Google must ensure that its filtering technology is flawless because, if it accidentally blocks clients' ads and allows others' through, they potentially threaten their credibility and invite more retailation from current customers. On the other hand, however, in the eyes of consumers, Google will be seen as the "hero" in response to consumer advocacy and demand. 


"Infield Chatter" - The Twitter of Baseball

There's just so much content in the digital universe. When you have multiple interests, getting information in one platform (e.g. Twitter) is great - until you're overwhelmed by content. Too many times, users miss content because all of the people, or businesses, or fan pages they like, take over their feed.

Well what if you had a platform to only post and consume content for one particular interest? Well that's what baseball is doing through "Infield Chatter". When quality of content is so important, Infield Chatter crafts "deeper individualized, intimate engagement between players and fans". And if all you're in the mood for is a little baseball chatter, how great would it be if you could get your baseball content without having to scroll through posts by Ryan Seacrest, or CNN. While everyone enjoys a little Seacrest and CNN, sometimes, all you want is baseball.

The Major League Baseball Players Association is in no way looking to replace other platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, with the introduction of "Infield Chatter". It's using "Infield Chatter" to develop a far more detailed and intimate environment for baseball players and fans to interact.

Getting people off of existing platforms may be difficult. Fans will always split their attention between platforms, such as Twitter, and "Infield Chatter" to get the latest from the most favorite baseball team(s) and players. As many players tweet content, If "Infield Chatter" can partner with Twitter so that tweets are posts on "Infield Chatter" and vice versa, the potential success of "Infield Chatter" is tremendous.


Mind reading - It's no longer science fiction

I heard on the radio about Facebook having a 60 person team working on a project that'll help people to type by reading their mind. It sounded very interesting and I looked up this article:

Imagine the application of such technology on marketing. A company no longer needs to store a cookie in your phone or laptop to track your interests. They can just read your mind to know whether you're in the mood for sushi or pizza and get to coupons and promotions for the right restaurant. This will allow marketers to customize not only by a person but what that person wants at that moment. Of course, there is serious privacy concern here but if you 'grant access' to a company to do this, I can see a lot of benefits both for the company and the user. Instead of tracking click-through conversion at 5-10%, you can now have mind-reading conversions at a very high close rate.

Fun times ahead is what my mind says right now!


Scale matters: Advertisers are opting for Instagram over Snapchat

Full article from Digiday

With the buzz around Snapchat going public last month, there is lots of chatter whether Snap has "it" to make it against the other social media veterans: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I am technically a millenial, on the older side, and I can already see the differences between myself and the younger crowd- Generation Z/ Centenials in terms of social media usage. The younger crowd loves Snap and has bought into the craze, however, I literally cannot figure out how to use it and get all the cool filters on my videos!

It seems that advertisers are opting for Instagram over Snapchat as well, for reasons other than not being able to figure out the filters :)
* Instagram has rolled out their stories feature only 8mos ago, and it has already surpassed the daily users of Snapchat- 200mm vs 180mm. In addition, since Instagram launched its stories in August, Snapchat's growth has slowed 82%.
* Because Instagram is embedded in Facebook's ecosystem, advertisers already know and understand how it works. In addition, Instagram provides advertisers the optimization, measurement & reporting aspects which make it easier for clients to target & track analytics in a concise dashboard.
* The Facebook ecosystem also provides advertisers with a more nuanced targeting by allowing brands to reach people with specific interests or match targeting to their own CRM lists, with all of Facebook's analytics at their disposal.

All in all, Instagram has a larger audience, better add measurement and better nuanced audience targeting than Snapchat. Snapchat needs to work on these details if it wants to keep up in the competitive landscape of social media.


The future of brick and mortar retail

With eCommerce getting more and more easy to implement, are brick and mortar stores going to die?

I think not. As long as brick and mortar and adopt and see eCommerce as completing their physical store or vice versa, I believe stores will continue to exist and adapt for the future.

There are ways physical retailers can use digital marketing tools to build their business.
1. Track their foot traffic - There are tools out there that can give them anonymized access to to mobile data of consumers passing through your store. This is similar to how you can track traffic to an online store and provide similar insight into your consumer.
2. Update pricing - Amazon makes millions of price changes per day. With brick and mortar having access to similar kind of real-time supply-demand data, they can manage their pricing more effectively as well.
3. Improve user experience - Again, these days we hear about user experience in terms of a web site. However, similar process can be used to track user experience in a physical store as well. Based on feedback received either directly from a shopper or by looking at their shopping pattern, improvements can be made to the store layout.
4. Improve customer service - Having an app in store that can be used to complement their shopping, the store can guide customers to a salesperson, let them know about promotions, and make the checkout more efficient. I have seen such tools used at Stop n Shop. The article talks about Neiman Marcus using a mobile app in similar fashion.

Here is the link to get more details around this:


Oracle and Moat

Oracle announced this week that it will be acquiring Moat, an ad measurement company. The deal is further evidence that Oracle wants to be in the business of measuring ad effectiveness (a significant threat to Nielsen), which is perhaps unsurprising given recent headlines around ad fraud.

Oracle’s purchase is one of several of the last several years, marking a company shift towards digital advertising and marketing:
  •         AddThis: Tracks the websites that people visit
  •         BlueKai: Used by marketers to hold ad target data
  •         Crosswise: Determines which devices are owned by the same person
  •         Datalogix: Measures whether online ads lead to in-store purchase
  •         Moat (new!): Measures whether digital ads are “viewable” and also whether ads are delivered to humans versus bots

For Oracle, these acquisitions are likely part of a bigger bet they will become the standard for measuring and planning advertising investments.


State Farm Is Targeting Location-Based Ads at Gas Stations

Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to reach their target market as technology improves and consumer trends change. State Farm is no different. Video ads at gas stations are one of the newest ways and attempts to reach consumers. Retention rates in the auto insurance industry are not the best, and I think State Farm's new digital marketing approach and partnership with 18,000 gas stations across the country will give them an edge. The early numbers certainly suggest that they will benefit from these new ads. In a recent survey, 48% of respondents recalled seeing State Farm's ads, and 69% said they would consider them the next time they shop their insurance.

These numbers are extremely positive. I wouldn't be surprised if their competition follows suit with gas station ads. If State Farm's initial ads are successful as I think they'll be, State Farm should be able to increase their reach, which will hopefully lead to more sales and hopefully an increase in their retention rates. That should prove to be a considerable advantage despite the competition being right on their heels.



Rise of B2B digital marketing

B2B digital marketing is on the rise, and they have a rather specific focus. 70% of B2B marketing concentrates on sales, customer acquisition and retention rather. Customer retention is measured by CRM and 45% of B2B marketers use this as their most valuable tool. This is quite a contrast from B2C marketing which tends to concentrate more on driving traffic and creating more clicks and impressions.

With the increase of digital marketing in the B2B space, massive amount of data and technology are part of the business landscape. The average number of marketing technologies that a B2B firm uses is 16, however they report that different technology are not necessarily easy to integrate or manage on a daily basis. Marketing vendors must make it easy for B2B marketers to use the powerful technology and intelligence that is already widely available to B2C marketers. This is the time for the vendors to keep in mind that partial solutions are not really a solution.


Digital marketing tactics to leave behind

I can come across this blog post that talks about marketing tactics that have become less efficient.

These include:
- Working on clicks over Conversions - This makes sense. The end goal should not be to simply get more people to your site but to get more people to buy from you.

- Emphasizing quantity over quality - Again, this will allow you to focus on people who're further down the sales funnel.

- Avoiding Mobile-first/mobile ready optimization and design - With more and more people using their phones as their primary access to internet, it makes sense to not lose over 50% of the consumers. However, we should keep in mind that even though more traffic comes from phones instead of PCs/laptops, it'll be good to keep in mind what % of people complete an online purchase over the phone vs a PC/laptop.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook allows very targeted ads based on demographic information. This is great for organizations that know demographics of their users. This could also be an effective way for many small companies and startups to reach only targeted segments and save them from advertising to people they don’t think would buy their product or service. However, targeted advertisement may work for startups who have not figured out their target segment.

Startups, even after initial market research, may need more exploration on their user base after releasing the products. Suppose a startup comes up with a great but expensive fitness product and believes that young athletes would buy it. They target users between ages of 18-24 interested in sports based on their Facebook profile. But because of high price, they don’t sell many. The startup would not be able to find other potential verticals because the ads were not being shown to any other demographics. It’s possible that the high price of product makes more sense to older people with more disposable income. The product may also appeal to people who are not into sports but want to improve their fitness. Demographic profiling promises a lot but business may miss opportunities if they use it as their only marketing strategy on Facebook advertisements.



Surveillance camera marketing

Surveillance camera marketing

On March 30th, Bosch Security Systems, a Japanese security system company announced that it will work with Brainpad, a data analytics company to develop new marketing services that utilize image data from surveillance cameras.

According to Bosch, the new service integrates (i) the image data acquired from tons of surveillance cameras (ii) various data accumulated in the client company such as purchase history and Web action data and (iii)position information obtained from the smartphone application, etc. Then, the new service conducts analysis and suggests the improvement of work and forecast future customers’ action.

This will enable retailers to take optimal marketing actions across real stores and online stores. In addition, this service analyzes customer behavior very deeply (i.e. from product review to purchasing on site).

One potential issue would be a privacy concern. I do not know how they cleared the legal issues. But some developed countries, including Japan have strict privacy regulations and therefore the people there are highly conscious of privacy issue. Do people think that the merit of effective marketing which we can enjoy offsets a little bit creepy “surveillance camera marketing”? Always a trade-off.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Marketing in China: things you need to know about China’s social apps

As we learned in class, Tencent-owned WeChat is a “super” app in China, which tends to dominate any discussion of China’s most popular mobile apps. The platform claimed a mind-blowing 768 million daily active users in 2016.

Weibo, a microblogging platform similar to Twitter, is second to WeChat in usage, with more than 341 million monthly active users. Other Chinese social apps including QQ (92 million MAUs), Momo (70 million), Tantan (16 million) and Oppo (12 million) rounded out the top five in a survey done by eMarketer in Dec 2016.

But I would question this China’s top 10 apps list. I agree that WeChat and Weibo are definitely the dominant apps, however, social platforms such as QQ and Renren have been dying since at least three years ago.  I wonder if there are still people using them. But one thing I know for sure is, Chinese millennials have long ago abandoned those apps. Douban remains the favorite app for the “literary youth,” which makes it a perfect place to market movies or books. As for “Oppo,” “Tashequ,” “Snow,” and “Myldol,” these are platforms for very niched users.

For many of China’s social apps, the challenge has been how to carve out a “defensible” niche given the dominance of WeChat and Weibo. One approach is to focus on dating and meetup functionality, a strategy used by both location-based network Momo and Tinder-like dating app Tantan. The threat here is most of the dating and meetup apps in China have bad reputations. They are notoriously known as apps for one night stands.

Another approach is to incorporate live streaming features—a tactic which has helped boost the popularity of apps like Meipai and Inke. Live streaming has been growing rapidly in China. It has attracted a rush of investment, led by China’s tech heavyweights, Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holding, and Baidu Inc. Currently, there are about 150 live streaming platforms in China, most producing entertainment shows.

The good news for China’s expanding universe of social apps is that Chinese users are very willing to try new things and enjoy variety. According to eMarketer, iPhone users in China used an average of almost 40 apps per month.  

But personally, the most popular app in China would still be WeChat within many years. Because for Chinese, “WeChat is a way of life,” and that’s the slogan they’ve had since 2012.


McDonald's New Ad (That Never Mentions McDonald's)

McDonald's just launched a new set of TVCs featuring Mindy Kaling front and center.  And while Mindy's yellow dress on a red backdrop is a deliberate nod to McDonald's (and two of America's favorite condiments), there's something really groundbreaking about this ad: It never actually mentions McDonald's. 

Instead, Mindy encourages viewers to Google "the place where Coke tastes so good."  The goal here is to target consumers--Millennials and Gen Z--who prefer self-guided discovery and wink-wink-nod-nod messaging over spoon-fed commandments from brands.  Also, 92% of consumers in this demographic trust influencers over brands, which makes Mindy an even more strategic fit.  

It will be illuminating to see if this relatively radical approach to brand marketing proves more effective than the way brands have been doing it for decades (with a lot of logo placement and a lot of brand mentions--and a lot of consumer tune out these days).


Selling in Instagram - What We Need to Do

Instagram – arguably the most popular/effective network for influencer marketing in particular – has made advancements in social selling including the ability for
- Verified accounts to add a ‘swipe up’ feature within Instagram stories to take the followers directly to the relevant landing page where they can buy and/or take advantage of the promotional offer
- Users to shop/browse products on a retailer’s profile
- Businesses to tag a post with products
- Advertisers to include calls to action (e.g. “shop now”) in ads that activate when a person shows interest and also follow the user to comments sections and a retailer’s profile

All these Instagram features are great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean selling in Instagram will instantaneously ramp up your revenue. Before being able to use these features we have to do the following:
(a) Find out whether our typical customers are Instagram users or not.
(b) Whether we can handle inbound message coming from consumers
(c) Whether there’s an e-commerce platform for better customer experience
(d) Is there a budget to advertise?
(e) Is there a mobile website to support Instagram retailing?
(f) Can we analyze conversions?


Developing Effective Landing Pages for Websites

Effective Landing Pages

Here are some of the ways we can improve our website landing page design:

(1)    Encapsulate in an Interesting User Flow:
Instead of putting the products directly on the landing page (home page), it is better to incite some sense of interest about the product(s) and service(s) in the viewers and then leading them through some kind of discover of the products or services available in the site. This is both psychological as well as a good way to understand customer behavior and their needs. People are more attracted to mystery and the joy of discovering, rather having the products/services pushed onto their faces.

(2)    Color Contrast

Choice of color in the webpages is important as some color choices and contrasts repel viewership. Due to poor readability, customers may leave the website. It’s a good idea to test the website color with a set of sample viewers.

(3)    Directional Cues
Signboards in the website is a very important element to help guide a user move through the webpages that brings in maximum benefits – i.e. in converting a large number of visitors into customers. This can take a form of a button saying (“Start Discovering More Services” or “Click Here to Start Now”) or a link to the link to the next page. At no point, the viewer/customer should be forced to move only in one direction - the user should be able to move about and discover other pages as well. Care should be taken to not overwhelm user with too many confusing signals on the page.

(4)    Use of White Space
Some websites are stuffed with many images and text that is just confusing to the user and difficult to view that website/page. It’s important to leave some white space between design elements (images, text, frames, etc.) so that the page looks soothing to the human eye. It also helps the user to focus on the elements, that you require them to focus, better.

(5)    Minimal/No Background Pattern
Some websites use patterns in its background, some others use a picture/image with very strong colors. Overdoing the pattern, image or color in the background makes the page look very crowded and takes the viewer’s attention from more important spots on the web page.

(6)    Use Header to Broadcast Offer Value
A good landing page should have strong offer and be able to explain why the offer is valuable in clear and concise terms. The landing page headline and subheadings provide a key opportunity to promote the value you offer. Having the value proposition in the place where the viewers’ eyes fall first on the page, help convey the offer to the viewer immediately.


Wendy's Is Doing Twitter Right

I have been seeing Wendy's Twitter posts a lot lately on social media, where people have been voluntarily posting screenshots of their responses.  This is a very clever and inexpensive way to increase brand awareness.

The most recent campaign I have heard about was when a 16 year old student posted a question about how may retweets he would need to get free chicken nuggets for a year.  Here's the exchange:
Their response of 18 million has started a campaign of #nuggsforcarter on Twitter, which has gone far beyond twitter.  There is now a website (, has been discussed on Ellen, and has been written up in numerous news articles - this is a LOT of free advertising for Wendy's.  Not to mention that the tweet in question has been retweeted 3.2M times as of this writing, similar to Ellen Degeneres' record of 3.2M retweets.  

Through simple engagement, this exchange has made internet history.  The takeaways: stay connected with your audience and be engaged - look at the response times on the set of tweets - they responded in less than 2 minutes.  They are also setting a fun image for their business through their twitter account, which is likely engaging a youthful target audience.


Automation won’t destroy every marketing job

In this article the author gives a brief history on automation and the misconception behind the concept. A good point is made when comparing the automation on banks and how ATM and other technological advances actually created more jobs in that industry. Governmental officials have run on this platform in recent elections and vowed to "bring jobs back to America" but many of these jobs are disappearing because automation brings efficiency and innovation to many industries. Much of the fear comes from the automation of blue collar jobs, however, as the articles titles suggests, automation can also occur to people working in none labor industries. Marketing is a perfect example of how the buying and selling of inventory is completely automated and breeds efficiency. The focus should be to find opportunities to grow the industry, jobs will be lost to robots, but new verticals can always be created to compensate.

With digital marketing tasks being automated, there are new opportunities to innovate and create verticals.



Facebook’s renamed analytics tool now tracks Pages, in-store purchases

Facebook’s renamed analytics tool now tracks Pages, in-store purchases

Facebook decided to upgrade it's analytics tool and now tracks other visits than simply the visits within Facebook or within a products app. This is a great move by Facebook. Facebook explains how combining all the data points they can gather allows them to make clusters and venn diagrams. 

For example, a brand could create a custom audience that’s a Venn diagram of people who have messaged its bot on Messenger and checked out its mobile app, and then it could target ads across Facebook to those people.

This would be great because as a consumer of this data we could use this to do strategic digital retargets or marketing campaigns. For example, someone who watched a sports ad and then also visited the Ticketmaster App. We would know they are much more likely to purchase or be receptive to an ad than someone who simply viewed a video in their FB feed. 

Overall this is a great move for Facebook.

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