CES 2011 Trend Rundown

By Lauren |

Perks Consulting recently went to CES and we garnered a ton of insight from it. Here’s a high level overview of what we learned:

Forecasts from CES for 2011 see the global and north american/US market growth in the double digits. The FCC made an announcement and commitment statement for spectrum.

Biggest product innovations:
1. Ford fully embraces a digital and integrated lifestyle with the announcement of electrification.
2. Motorola makes a big come back with Atrix, Motoblur Cliq2, Xoom and Droid Bionic.
3. Samsung has innovation across the board w/ big contributions via tablet PC and thin bezel super flat screen 3D TV.

Key Consumer Electronics Trends to Watch
1. Tablet Market
2. Smart phone mass adoption
3. 3D TV growth and consumer video cams

More on this to come in a detailed blog post soon.


Tracking Tools That Tell the Truth

By Perks |

Tracking the impact and ROI of your online marketing is a challenge. Many different pieces are involved in the puzzle, and because of this, you need to have a strong understanding of the goals of your campaign, as well as what specific aspects need to be tracked and analyzed: increased lead generation, sales, and/or conversions. One basic condition is to establish what platforms you are going to utilize in order to successfully meet the objectives. If you skip this step you will end up with data that doesn’t relate to anything impossible to put into any context. As the impact of social media on online marketing campaigns increases, the number of tracking tools available increases as well. The following basic tools and metrics enable you to measure your online presence while employing a multitude of platforms to integrate all sorts of statistics.twitter-tools11

The basic metrics to look at are click through rates, total time spent, number of conversations started and the frequency of visits. Below are some useful analytics software to track website data like traffic, visitors, pages per visitor, and traffic sources.

Google Analytics – generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website, tracks visitors from referrers, to search engines.

Omniture – a publicly held online marketing and web analytics company; the leading solution to optimize ad spend and conversion.

Woopra a comprehensive and information rich hosted analytics service. It is similar to Google Analytics but provides real time stats and a number of additional features, such as the ability to chat real time with visitors to the site.

There are a number of various tools for analyzing your social media efforts as well. If the main objective is to track the frequency of visits to your Twitter page and the click through rates of your posts, make sure to let the following tools do the analysis for you.

HootSuite – manage all aspects of your Twitter account including scheduled tweets, record statistics and organize followers.

TweetMeme – tracks the most popular links on Twitter every five minutes; aggregates all the popular links on Twitter to determine which links are popular by analyzing links that users have “tweeted;” organizing and categorizing them.

Bit.ly – a URL shortener that provides you with analytics information like number of clicks, traffic sources, and what time clicks occur.

TwitterAnalyzer - analyzes your influence on twitter, filled with comprehensive stats that calculate daily tweets, users who are retweeting your messages, and their unique reach.

No matter what you are looking to achieve, keep in mind that every step in your campaign, from determining objectives and platforms, to measuring success and analyze the results, is a interrelated wheel where synergy needs to be created in order to experience increase conversation, brand recognition, and ultimately sales.


Analyze Results to Keep Up with Your Competition

By Perks |

The final stage of your campaign is actually the most important one. The analysis. Taking a close look at the outcome of your efforts will help you to make adjustments that will help you use more cost-effective solutions, thus making you more profitable and to develop a greater community in which you reach with every new campaign that is introduced. When reviewing the results of a campaign, the analysis should be directly in line with the original goals you had in mind when putting the campaign together.

Determine a metric for success

While reviewing the results of your analysis, you’ll need to have a pre-determined set of metrics by which you can calculate the success of your campaign. Whether it is sales, impressions, new followers, clicks or conversations generated, success metrics will help to sustain consistency and reliability in your analysis.

If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, one key metric to focus on would be uncovering who is visiting the site and where they prefer to go while they are there. There are numerous sites that can provide this information for you, Google Analytics being one of the most popular. This platform gives you extensive insights into your website traffic, and if utilized properly, will lead to an increased number of converted visitors. Another great tool that will help you track your website in real time is Visistat. Their slogan reads; ‘Turn your website into an ROI machine’, which is possible as long as you keep track of and understand the connection between clearly defined metrics and results.

analyzing-results-1Looking at the data from a number of perspectives

Once you’ve taken the time to gather as much information as possible, using tools and resources that you know are accurate, it’s critical to take an objective view of your data and think about the outcome from as many perspectives as possible. If the numbers seem surprising or inaccurate, make sure to look at possible factors for this; Who has been involved in the campaign? What external factors could have affected the results? Did you use the most appropriate platforms? This brings us to the last step in analyzing the results of a campaign.

Using the results

Now that you have your fair share of graphs and metrics sketched out and a good understanding of where your campaign falls on the success scale, don’t discard the results. A large part of your analysis should involve determining what else could have been done better and how you can improve. Whether you keep this information on hand until your next big campaign, or use some of it immediately, remember that what you’re learning is valuable and will put you ahead of your competitors.


What Metrics Can You Use to Determine Your Campaign’s Success?

By Perks |

When you are trying to determine how successful your campaign will be or is, you must first determine what metrics makes the most sense for your specific needs. These metrics may be in the form of either quantitative or qualitative measurement. Quantitative metrics can be used to track and measure your results in social media based on pure numbers; followers/fans, tweets, etc. You can view results immediately by tracking the increasing number of fans or followers participating in your campaign. Tracking analytics that show click-through rates will determine how effective your campaign has been at converting those fans to consumers.ad-metrics-facebook1

While sales are often the main goal, it is important to remember the value of increased viewership to your site. Although they may not be immediately converted, you may have sparked the interest of a new visitor, causing them to return to your site, and thus increasing the chances of a purchase.

The qualitative results of a social media campaign are the customer engagement and brand awareness you build. What direct interaction with your consumers allows is trust building and feedback. Products and services can be shaped by this feedback and thus produce a positive return. What you do with the quantitative results of a campaign, your fans followers and site visits, is just as important as the numbers.

Qualitative metrics, also known as user-generated content, is in fact measuring the word-of-mouth marketing your brand is receiving. Often times, this is the main factor in a purchasing decision. With social media being the new word-of-mouth, using social media for marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools. This organic conversation about a product and/or brand is viewed as unbiased genuine opinion from consumers and holds great value in the marketplace.

Whether you’re looking to track numbers or create brand loyalty, quantitative and qualitative measurement has the same goal: increase sales. Each is important, but what’s more important is to know how you will define success.


Objectives of Online Marketing

By Perks |

Determining your objectives sounds simple. But do you really know what you want? Success only comes after you’ve taken the steps to get there. You want people to recognize, trust, and choose your brand. On top of that, you want consumers coming back for more. Online marketing campaigns can help you reach your objectives; whether those goals are brand recognition, customer engagement, lead generation, or increased traffic to your website.

Online Marketing - Connected Computers

The swoosh, golden arches, and apple are just a few examples of how companies have effectively built their image in our minds. Strong branding allows your brand to stand out among competitors. Through online marketing, you increase your view to consumers, prominently displaying your brand’s message and engaging them. With the need for transparency being a priority today more than ever before, online marketing is one of many avenues used to remain present in your consumer’s everyday life.

Businesses have three main objectives: make money, save money, and build brand equity. Having access to consumers at your fingertips, literally, will allow you to make an impression on your target audience in real time, actively generate and convert leads, and act in a more cost-effective manner than when utilizing traditional marketing techniques; thus maintaining the main objectives.

As Social Media has taken the stage with many brands, coordinating between your company’s Traditional Online Media and Social Media aims can be confusing. Social should be viewed as online PR coupled with brand management, engagement and active advertising and messaging. When defining your goals or strategy, engage a mediator that will help you keep on target while educating you on key concepts that you or your company may be unfamiliar with. Also, keep in mind that there are both Quantitative and Qualitative metrics within online Media and Social Engagement. They vary by industry and company – you’ll want to define them as a baseline for your projects.

Obtaining your objectives, once you have clearly defined what they are, can be a simple process. If your online marketing campaign raises brand awareness, generates leads, converts leads, or engages your consumers, then you have met your metrics for success.


Cost Effective Marketing Tool: Building Meaningful Relationships

By Perks |

When brainstorming marketing prerogatives for the New Year, keep in mind the power of relationships.

Build Trust, Build Brand

Build Trust, Build Brand

Talking to people is a free marketing tool. It can often lead to meaningful connections, referrals, or at the very least, beginning a rapport with someone as you enhance the credibility of your business or brand. Nothing is more effective than building relationship, having conversations and making connections.

So get out there! Develop a monthly networking calendar, go out with the right mentality, build your network, jump into the conversation, and put a friendly, receptive face to your brand. If you are feeling really ambitious, host a meet up event and bring the people to you. By distinguishing yourself as a go-getting networker, you will put yourself in great a position to get more business.

With that said, it is important not to forget about your current customers. Developing a relationship built on trust through honest interaction and clear responsive communication, your clients will see your worth and value your advice. People are more likely to work with someone they trust and have a personal relationship with, than those they do not.


The Power of Online: 2010 Marketing Trends

By Perks |

2010 is the year that online marketing trends really take off. Businesses, moms, companies, vendors, consumers are all out there cruising the web. Twitter, Facebook, Google, iPhone apps, Bogs, YouTube: are the new vernacular and everybody using it and doing it. If you are out to market your goods, turn on your computer and get to work.

With real time benefits, more interaction and connectivity, and audience engagement, online marketing has become more hands on than ever before. For the first time, business can begin to understand their audience in an up close and personal manner. Who they are, where they spend their time online and how they spend their money–and use that knowledge to create strategy accordingly. Business have already started to employ SEO, RSS syndication, bookmarking, pull marketing, and audience sourcing through Social Media platforms to get their products/services directly to their market.

It is important to remember, although marketing is taking a turn to digital, creating synergy between online and traditional campaigns is still crucial to effectively reaching your marketing aspirations. By employing traditional techniques like using a consistent brand and message identity across all channels and understanding objectives and metrics, utilizing these tools to the online sphere will boost any marketing campaign.


Sherlock Marketing Strategy

By Perks |

One of the most cost-efficient ways of entering into the New Year is developing a solid business and marketing strategy. While it may be time consuming, the time spent developing a strong plan of attack, will not only save you money all year long, but it will give you a clear vision of how you will reach your revenue goals.

Developing an approach is a lot like performing detective work; you have to become the Sherlock Holmes of strategy. Asking the right questions, uncovering clues of the market, understanding the players involved all in order to obtain the correct answers to solve your business case.

Strategy begins with research. Good ole’ fashion research it acts as your magnifying glass for analyzing the market, recognizing and learning from competitors and having a thorough understanding of your target audience and how to reach them. By defining your customer, identifying who they are, how they make their purchasing decisions, what demographic they are in, will allow you to strategize an effective plan around how you will reach them and secure their business.

After discovering the aspects of the market you can then determine a realist budget

Thinking like Holmes

Thinking like Holmes

for your marketing campaigns and prioritize where you should focus your assets and attention on.

Sherlock gets it when he says, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. (A Scandal in Bohemia)” So go out there and get your data and form your theories of how you will succeed in this New Year.


President Obama (almost) Six Months Later

By claire |

barack-obama-22In terms of New Year’s Resolutions, no one had it worse than President Barack Obama.  With a laundry list of problems left behind by the prior administration and the pressure on in the court of public opinion, then President-Elect Obama had an awful lot of resolutions to keep–most of them made during his campaign. (See the funniest of them as promised by Barack Obama on the Late Show with David Letterman.)

Almost six months have gone by since Barack Obama took office….so how does the new President rate in keeping his New Year’s Resolutions?

Well, that depends on who you talk to.  It seems there’s a lot of debate as to how the President is keeping up with his campaign promises…but for a clear and (mostly) unbiased opinon, check out PolitiFact.com’s aptly named “Obamameter.”

To create the Obamameter, the political gurus at PolitiFact compiled 500 promises made by the Obama-Biden campaign. Politifact is tracking the development of each of these five hundred problems by breaking them down into six categories, including “Promise Kept,” “Promise Broken,” “Comprimise” and “In the Works.”  Politipicture-1Fact has categorized a whopping 398 promises as “No Action.”  But, don’t forget President Obama has four years to complete the full 500.

So, how accurate is the Obamameter? Well PolitiFact.com, the self-proclaimed “Truth-o-meter” created and maintained by the staff of the St. Petersburgh (FL) Times, did win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting, which is no small feat.  Still not convinced? Check out a report conducted by PBS’  “The News Hour” that discusses the process behind the Obamameter.

So, is President Obama following through? I guess the best answer I can give you is read the facts, decide for yourself and leave comments here to get the conversation started.


Social Media: What is it and does it work?

By claire |

blognasscomin

Businesses that survive, and even thrive, during a recession aren’t afraid to be innovative and take risks. At a time when your consumers and clients are pinching their wallets closed even tighter, it is crucial to establish a strong brand presence and highlight what makes your business stand out.

Enter social media.

 

“Social media” is one of today’s hottest buzz words. But, what exactly is social media? And are people actually using it?

Social media is a cost-effective online marketing and networking tool that takes the form of several online networking outlets. (Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) These networks are the newest portals to reach your target audience and capture their attention using the websites that they visit most.  

By connecting with your target audience on their wavelength, not only are you given extra (and mostly free!) opportunities to reinforce your message, but you’re also showing your customers that you understand what they like and can relate to them on a more personal level.

So, does this actually work? Here are some stats that may open your eyes to the perks of social media:

Still not convinced? Well, here are three tips to help you get your feet wet with social media.

1. Create a Social Media Strategyblogwebcopypluscom1

Like any traditional marketing campaign, you want to ensure that your brand message is consistent and accurate across all social media platforms.  By making a social media roadmap, you can understand what social media outlets attract your target consumers and where your opportunities are strongest.

2. Start small and build out

Rather than opening accounts on every social media platform and not utilizing them, begin by creating accounts that make the most sense for your brand. Optimize these accounts and, once you feel comfortable handling a few social media outlets, start to expand the scope of your social media.

3. Begin conversations

The whole point of utilizing social media is to interact with you target consumer and engage customers to learn more about your brand. So, don’t be shy! Get right in there and get the conversation about your brand started! 

During tough times it’s more crucial than ever to reach out to your customers and show them how your brand outshines the competition. Stay tuned for the Perks Consulting team to take you through today’s most popular social media outlets and give you tips on how to navigate the complex world of social media. So, get innovative, get creative and have fun with social media!