Posts tagged social commerce

Social Media Places Customer Service Out in the Open

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Social media is changing the landscape when it comes to providing customer service. Back in the day, a disgruntled customer would call, a rep would pick up the phone, and even if the issue couldn’t be resolved, it wasn’t a huge deal. You lose one customer, and maybe they tell a few friends and family. Now, one resentful customer can change the entire public’s perception of your brand—thanks to social media.

A consumer who once could only influence the opinion of a few close friends can now have his say in front of 10,000 “friends” on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social site—and for some reason, people believe this complete stranger. People trust online product reviews just as much as the advice of a parent or best friend when it comes to making a purchase.

Social Media: Judged by Your Response

Another big factor in social media is that a consumer can complain directly on your brand’s social media account page. Now, all of your other customers will be judging you based on how you handle the complaint.

  • Will you commit the unforgivable sin of erasing the negative comment and force internet conspiracy nuts to upload all of the screenshots that were inevitably taken as proof?
  • Will you respond in kind and alienate consumers who don’t realize that this one dissatisfied customer is unreasonable?
  • Will you give in and cave to the demands of every unhappy consumer who accosts you on the internet?

There seem to be so many bad options and so few good ones. We suggest taking the high road. Encourage the consumer to direct message you his or her account number/invoice number/etc. and let them know you will “look into it immediately.” This tells your online followers 3 things:

  1. We won’t air our dirty laundry in public.
  2. We will handle customer service issues immediately.
  3. We won’t be rattled and automatically give out free stuff to people who complain in public, so why not just call the customer service line instead of trying to cause trouble.

It’s a simple way to appease consumers and avoid saying something in public that will get passed around faster than the flu. Having the right person at the helm of your social accounts is key in these situations.

The Tech Industry Is Still Struggling With Gender Roles

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Sexism is still rampant in the workplace, and it may show up in the tech industry even more dramatically than in some other fields of work. Why is the tech industry such a boys club? What role do gender stereotypes play? Do women even want these jobs? It is clear that a substantial distinction still exists between men and women in the workplace when it comes to jobs involving technology.

Gender Perception

The lack of women in the tech workplace probably goes back to childhood. Just like you don’t hand Barbie dolls to your boys, few parents encourage young girls to become computer programmers or to work in technology in general. The fact is that most people perceive the industry as being better suited to how the male mind works (more logical than emotional).

What Do Researchers Say?

A UK periodical conducted a survey of individuals who work in the tech industry. More than half were convinced that women will get paid less than men for the same job. Of course, you may argue that this occurs in other industries as well. The survey also determined that nearly three-quarters of both women and men perceive the tech industry as being sexist.

How Do Women Feel About Tech Jobs?

An interesting study followed the career path of university students who got jobs in the tech industry after graduation. Surprisingly, nearly a third of the men in the study eventually left their tech jobs to find other kinds of work. However, more than half of women left tech-heavy work to seek out other professions. Is it possible that this study is reporting an interesting truth – that most women don’t want to be in the tech industry anyway?

Regardless of the whys or wherefores, the fact is that the tech industry is still struggling with gender roles because it is seriously slanted in the direction of males, at least for the time being. Time will determine if women care enough to seek out better positions in the industry for future generations or if the stereotypes will prevail.

Digital Ad Spending

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Digital Ad Spending: King of the Ad Spending Mountain

Forrester is predicting that digital advertising will finally unseat the giant, TV advertising, within two years’ time. A bold prediction? Not really, especially when digital spending is expected to surpass $100 billion in five years’ time. That means digital ad spending will be more than one third of the market.

A year ago, this article would have been about how, despite the growth of online advertising, TV was still on top and looked to stay that way. What changed? The economy. Businesses were not pumping money into digital because it wasn’t working. Everyone knows it works. The facts are there. The problem was assets. When you don’t have extra advertising dollars in the budget, you stick with what you are comfortable with. With an upturn in the economy, companies are getting bolder with their funds and their marketing teams are now pumping a lot more into digital advertising.

The fact is that digital ad spending is out of the testing phase. Everyone has seen the ROI and they want to capitalize on it. Obviously, experimentation will continue, and the numbers will be reviewed over and over. However, as long as digital continues to produce conversions, it will continue to grab a larger share of the advertising dollar. As companies that are newer to digital get the bugs worked out in their marketing campaigns, this will increase digital spending even more. We can thus better understand the digital snowball now, after the gradual start.

What sits atop the digital marketing mountain? Search rules the digital marketing world. Thanks Google. Display advertising is the next most common form of digital advertising, followed by social media marketing. While all of these types of advertising are expected to expand, the most exponential growth is predicted for social media ad spending.

Don’t get me wrong, TV advertisement isn’t over. Digital ad spending is just going to steal the long-held throne.

ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral

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ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral: A Marketing Goldmine

There’s a lot more money going to ALS research right now because an ALS fundraising campaign went viral, to the utter delight of the charity. Let’s see what we can take away from this phenomenon that can be beneficial for your future ad campaigns.

First of all, if a picture tells a thousand words, a video must be worth millions of words. Using video in a campaign takes what amounts to a campaign flyer and turns it into the great American novel. Everyone wants to know the story, tell the story, and be a part of the story. This is engagement at its finest. The best marketing videos create a sense of community and promote the notion that we are all in this together.

Second, don’t feel that all of the content for your campaign needs to come from your company. Give consumers something to do. There’s no ALS conglomerate out there producing video after video of people pouring ice water on their heads. People are doing this all on their own. What if your company started the ad campaign that resulted in thousands or even millions of people making their own little ad spots for your company? And oh, just as an aside, all of that extra advertising costs your company absolutely nothing.

Social media can spread your message like wildfire and companies are taking notice of this phenomenon. For example, Coca Cola’s share a Coke with a friend campaign is really doing the same thing. People are posting pics of bottles with the names of friends and loved ones and tagging them. Thus, it’s possible to make the jump from nonprofit to corporate advertising and to get people to play along without even thinking about it.

Granted, it’s easier to have people spread a campaign in this format when it is for charity. The ALS fundraising campaign went viral due in no small part because of this. But your ad campaign can make use of the same principles. You can do this by using video, creating a sense of community, and getting consumers to pass on the campaign ideals. When this happens you have created a self-perpetuating ad campaign that only costs your company the initial start-up videos. It is then community fervor that takes over and puts your product or service in the spotlight.

Marketing Terms in Plain(er) English

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Marketing Terms in Plain(er) English

Ever wonder what some of those marketing terms mean? It can sound like a language out of a sci-fi adventure, yet there are easy-to-understand definitions for the marketing terms commonly thrown around the marketing water cooler. To help you brush up on your marketing lingo, here are some of the more common marketing terms and their meanings. Use them to impress or just to keep up with the marketing department.

Some of the more common marketing terms can create a little bit of confusion. So, let’s try and make some sense out of it all.

Owned Media: Just as the name implies, this means the media is owned. Whoever had the site or page created, and owns it, also has a say as to what goes on the site or page. So if someone posts a comment, it may be allowed to stay. However, the owner reserves the right to remove it.

Paid Media: A marketing term that pretty much means what it says. Not everything on the web is free; sometimes, you need to pay in order to see.

Omni-Channel: Really this sums up the goal of most enterprises. They want the customer to have the same experience, no matter where they are when dealing with your business. So no matter whether a person is shopping online, or is physically present at the store, it should feel just about the same.

Social Commerce: At the moment, social media is all the rage. Social commerce is a marketing term used to describe how money can be made from this trend.

Key Performance Indicators: This is, in short, the marketer’s goals and a record of how successfully these goals have been reached. This is particularly true when it comes to diverting the consumer’s attention to an ad. Or, better yet, having made a sale.

Throwing some of these marketing terms around will help you hold your own with a marketer and keeps you in the loop. There are plenty more marketing terms worth knowing; these will find their way into another article, so stay tuned.

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