Archive for March, 2013

Social Media Marketing: Educating consumers on a product category

The art of selling would have been a lot easier if all to e done for selling products is to tell consumers how great they are. But if a consumer is not even using the kind your products belong to, then it becomes utmost important to first promote the category, educate consumer on that and then market your product.

Question is how to educate the customer?

Well, social media tools are undoubtedly the best way to market product category broadly. People look for useful information to share. If one tweets or writes about the latest research on blood pressure monitoring or web hosting software, there is an attached risk of directing the buyer to one of your competitors, but that can be handled well in favor by attaching your company’s name to the blog post or tweet.

Some of the best tips for minimizing the risks and increasing the gains of social media marketing of product category.

1. While writing on a latest research, make sure it focuses on the feature you want to sell in your product and it should be aimed at the right target audience.

2. Use keywords that links to your company directly. A very simple approach to do this is to go for some search on Google or consult an SEO analyst.

3.While posting on twitter, use appropriate hashtags to expand your audience. Also, connect it with your expertise and use them regularly so that people are easily directed to your tweets.

4. Drop in the names of experts as well. Those looking for recommendations via that social media channel will automatically find your company’s name in his/her search.

5. As a general strategy to all B2B social media marketing, follow the information shared by you, contact the people liking, following and sharing your post and evaluate them as prospective consumers or brand advocates.

March 27th, 2013

Present Day Consumer Strategy : Listen-Engage-Respond-Act

Due to recent public health concerns over food and beverage, an important message has started knocking the doors of marketers.

Since consumer trust in corporations has reached a remarkable low and brand loyalty has started to become dominant, food and beverage brands must respond to consumers. That too in real time! And this calls for an always-on listening and action platform.

Recent trends show that mere apologetic messages doled out by corporations don’t work any more. Consumers demand for an ongoing interaction with corporations.

The future calls for a social listening and analytic platform engineered with computational linguistics and qualified to detect consumer emotion, behavior and sentiment shifts. With forums like NetBase to discuss public concerns, not a single brand is immune from public scrutiny.

Hari, Leake and food safety evangelists are aware of the impact social media action can bring about. It can force the hand of these companies to change product compositions and discard dangerous elements according to consumer demands.

Today the price for brand consumer loyalty has a new paradigm that not only requires constant and immediate engagement with stakeholders and consumers, but the implicit expectation of response and action 24/7 as well.

 

 

March 23rd, 2013

Managing Social CRM with an effective policy

Very closely connected with social media, Social CRM, provides a unique and efficient way to connect stronger with customers. But as with any present day technology, any invention of this era has as much possible mistakes and cons as much are there pros. Due to this possibility of social faux, businesses are staying away from using this opportunity.

There are a few reasons why use of social CRM has failed at some points in the past and should be the key points to consider as a part of right planning

Assigning right “people” : The employees assigned with social media roles, depending on their use of Facebook, Twitter and blogs, should be hired carefully, looking into consideration a factor of trust.

Paying attention : It is of utmost importance to keep an eye on what’s being said about your business and response from your customers. Even, knowing about the present trends and direction of the industry adds to the success of your social CRM.

Adhering to a policy : Any business should have a firm policy, which should be explained and enforced upon employees regardless of customer variable. Because when things go wrong with social media, lack of an accountability leads to blaming on junior staff leading to a disaster.

The need of the hour is creating a short Social CRM policy and making it flexible enough to incorporate changes with time. It should primarily include the definition of professionalism expected from employees in business matters, procedures of routing information in social media, and deadlines and embargoes for any such connection to the outside world.

One very important thing in your policy should include plans to manage social media channels when the present social manager leaves the company. In other words, decentralizing the control of social media access would go a long way in keeping social CRM undistorted and successful.

Think about your employees, your use of social media and the ways you move social media information into CRM, and write a policy that makes sense for you.

March 21st, 2013

Online engagement with Social Media and Interactive content : A must for businesses

How integral social media will turn out to be for online businesses can be demonstrated with one simple example:  Imagine a restaurant operating without a waiter to serve you there. The idea just doesn’t work. This is the place social media is climbing towards in the coming decade for all businesses. The key here is an engaging experience with consumers as it is in traditional retail and hospitality industries.

It is Feasible: The need actually arose with the revolutionary success of social media, channels like Facebook or Twitter- websites, blogs and email accounts – interactions through these medium between businesses have become a normal affair. Since it is possible, and proven effective, it is now a smart step to engage consumers by creating interesting and engaging experiences for them.

It can be Measured: Measuring social media in relation to business objectives is quite a complicated task. Any social conversions – likes, follows, and positive comments – doesn’t necessarily indicate a successful business deal. But when they lead to more positive behaviors like form completions and personal recommendations, they surely can be measured. It has been found that when people are engaging on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, a website, blog or an email, four out of five times, these people will share relevant information based on the value of their interactions.

Builds Relationships: It is a well known fact that conversations form the basis of relationships. As both parties share and relate their interests and buying behaviors, there is a natural tendency to establish connections of trust and respect. With less time for one to one conversations, online social channels have come up as successful substitutes for personal engagements. Asking questions on a forum/poll, for example, opens the floor for community opinions and gives a direction to the business strategy according to market needs. If businesses can react to that, it adds another advantage to the relationships that business makes with the consumer.

A last and simple line to explain the importance and need of engagement strategy is that people are bored of sharing pictures, videos and useless status updates. They are looking forward to some worthwhile interactions online.

 

March 12th, 2013

Major shifts in Marketing trends 2013

For those who believe that buyer behavior is something that remains persistent over a period, its time to let go off this belief.

In the present scenario, technology is continuously affecting buyer behavior and modes of marketing. Staying updated with such preference shifts has become very important for CMOs. In this context, lets look at the buyer trends likely to shake marketing scenario this year.

  1. With a whole lot of content available on internet, to be on the top of the search results is becoming increasingly important. With buyers getting smarter at filtering information according to their needs , content strategies to differentiate has become very crucial. Allocating marketing spends on content not suitable for the buyers can lead to greater risks to the service providers.
  2. An interesting aspect of present day market is that consumers have started focusing on getting insights rather than getting educated on a product or service. It is high time to pull out such Product Education content and spend more on shifting it to the one with insights. Instead of spending loads on staying at the top of billion of bytes of user screen, it is even more important to design content that can inform consumers with insights, and they will subscribe to you.
  3. Strange but a true fact is that entertainment sells. The demand and acceptance of entertaining and interactive content forms is growing steadily. Users want it to be an interactive experience. Not just the blogs and white papers, its time to get the right mix of content on board to make buyers get up and dance through your website.
  4. One meaning of smartphones and apps means people are no longer chained to their desks. This clearly means that the content has to be optimized for viewing on smartphones and tablets rather than being designed for a computer screen. No one waits for the content to download, they just switch to another link : truce!

Cellstrat’s opinion: Looking at these trends above, first and foremost on the To Do list should be framing right content mix. Mapping how the buyer behavior should alter your content strategy. The best thing would be to see the entire scenario holistically and determine how to align one’s marketing strategy with shapes and forms of buyer behavior.

 

 

March 12th, 2013

Top 5 Hottest Trends in mobiles at MWC 2013

Year after year, Mobile World Congress witnesses a whole lot of innovation in mobile technology and advancements. With a decent share of other innovations, mobile world always takes the headlines away.

Zeroing on to top 5 trends from this year’s MWC :

1. Since last 2 years, we have been noticing the increase in screen size from 4.3″ Android to Samsung Galaxy S series’ 4.7″ inch screen and now 5″. It is expected to go upto even 5.7″ with ZTE’s grand memo. With these big screens, there opens a market for screen protectors. Manufacturers like Otterbox used the show launch their range of protection rage, which can keep smartphone’s display exclusive to the user.

2. NFC compatible accessories: NFC no longer remains confined to mobile payments, rather used for speakers and home cinema products. Taking a lead, Sony offered a range of NFC-enabled Bluetooth devices in this show.

3. Portable battery packs: With larger screens and faster processors, battery capacities have started to fall short. Portable power packs are therefore getting popular like PowerSkin PoP’n, offering 2000mAh of extra battery power.

4. Customized cases : Personalisation has come forward as one of the hottest trends of this decade. With Nokia launching two MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers to print personalised cases at MWC 2013, customized cases for mobile devices has started to gain a good share of market.

5. Wireless In-Car Charging : Using MWC as a platform, Nokia also launched one of the first in-car wireless chargers. The Nokia Wirelss Charging Car Holder offers Qi-compatible wireless charging to a range of Nokia devices , with an embedded NFC. Surely, Nokia has opened the doors for more such options to come.

 

 

March 3rd, 2013

Samsung prepares to beat Apple : MWC 2013

One of the most interesting aspects of the Mobile World Congress 2013 is the dominant presence of Samsung everywhere, while Apple was found nowhere.

Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet was debuted as a direct competitor to Apple iPad mini, and is Samsung’s smallest Note product till date, with an 8-inch screen and a resolution of 1200×800 compared to Apple’s 7.9 inch screen and a resolution of 1024×768. The price is yet to be determined but surely going to be expensive than Apple. Samsung stated that it would double its tablet sales from last year.

Apple has been seeking growth options in BRIC markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. In India specifically, Apple is struggling to compete against Samsung, which has been recently reported as one of top three trusted brands in India.

At MWC, Samsung also launched Samsung Wallet, an app to be used as a central repository for boarding passes, coupons, travel details and tickets. It is aimed against Apple’s Passbook designed to work in same domain. However, it doesn’t support NFC features, despite of a partnership between Samsung and Visa.

Also, Another mobile OS launched by Samsung at MWC , Intel’s Tizen, is expected to challenge Google’s Android. It has come up as an alternative to the dominant Android platform, and has been in demand for an open OS that can be fully utilized. It offers a more flexible customization unlike Android which is bound by a number of rules set by Google to avoid fragmentation.

Not just Intel and Samsung, other partners including Huawei have agreed to support Tizen along with the support of European mobile operator Orange, which has committed to selling Tizen phones from Samsung and Huawei this year.

As a concluding note, Samsung has started proving as a major player in smartphones and mobile OS, not just in Indian market, but globally as well giving a tough competition to established Apple.

 

March 2nd, 2013


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