Missed part I of this mini series? Please click here to read my previous post!
What cross media channels can my in-plant facility choose from?
The list of channels available today can be overwhelming. Before we get into the different channels available, a word of advice: choose a few key channels that you think will work best for your target audience, and build on them as you go. Trying to blast your message to all channels at once can spread your message too thin, so it gets lost in the marketing chatter consumers face every day.
Here’s a brief breakdown of a few different types of channels you can use:
- Traditional / Offline: This includes direct mail, signage and billboards, television, radio, and events. Just because all the cool kids are on social media these days doesn’t mean they’re not still consuming these traditional channels, so you shouldn’t drop them either.
- Social Media: It’s the 900-lb. gorilla in the room, so let’s talk about it next. Social media is so crucial because your audience is likely to be using it on a daily basis. Twitter has more than 300 million active monthly users, generating more than 500 million tweets every day. Facebook is the bigger of the two giants, with more than a billion active users. And those users are more than happy to interact with their favorite brands on social media; Coca Cola’s Facebook page has more than 92 million followers. Imagine having the ear of that many potential customers!
- Your Website (preferably optimized for mobile): It may seem obvious, but your website is another marketing channel. Optimize it for mobile (meaning your site displays nicely on smartphones and tablets), and you’ve got two channels in one.
- Mobile: This includes mobile apps, which can take a number of different forms depending on your business and your customers’ needs.
Those are just a few of your choices; your final mix will depend on which channels your customers are likely to consume. More on that next:
How can we incorporate cross media into our marketing plan?
So you’re sold on cross media. Great! But…how do you get started? Probably the simplest way is to find places where you can incorporate it into your current marketing plan.
Sending a direct mail campaign? Use key elements from it on your social media platforms, and allow customers to respond to the campaign via social channels. For example, you could run a contest, advertise it via direct mail, and let customers tweet their entries on Twitter.
The most important thing to remember when using cross media is to keep your brand image consistent across channels. Use the same images, and adapt the same messages for different channels. You want your brand voice to sound the same no matter where your customers hear it.
Cross media marketing can be a powerful addition to your marketing toolkit. Keep your customers’ preferences and needs in mind, and your cross media campaign could give your profits and brand image a big boost.
I hope you enjoyed this two-part mini series on how in-plants can use cross media marketing to improve their results. Please comment below with any additional comments or feedback!
Many marketing departments should consider using automated marketing solutions. While automated may make it sound as if you are using computers to take over the marketing department duties, there’s no loss of control with automated marketing, in fact you’ll gain more control than before. When done correctly, automated marketing platforms should be an extra pair of hands for your marketing person or department.
There are several different versions of software that will automate the repetitive portions of marketing, with many functions available. The sales effectiveness of a marketing department can be increased through the chosen functions. High powered software can help with everything from lead generation to lead qualification. Most of the programs are offered from Internet-based applications, though standalone software does exist. These locally installed programs will need an experienced manager to keep the application running smoothly. Internet based programs are either designed to be run without an experienced user, or are typically offered with a customer service and tech package.
Quite a few automated programs have a tracking function incorporated. These tracking functions are embedded into social media campaigns, web pages, and marketing emails to reveal the behavior of recipients or interested users by recording email – whether opened or following embedded links, social media link monitoring, and pages viewed. This activity allows the marketer to determine which products or services are more appealing to the majority of their target audience.
Automation of Marketing
The heart and soul of automated marketing is when the program helps move leads through the marketing funnel. At the top of the funnel are the interested browsers. Through emails, then follow up call reminders (to the marketing department), the software helps those browsing parties become sales leads at the bottom of the funnel.
More sophisticated programs help manage the workflow in a marketing department. While the initial information needs to be input by a human, once entered the data can be created automatically. This data can include workflow, marketing calendars, budgeting, asset creating, and triggers for sales marketing campaigns or emails.
Sales or Spam?
Marketing emails are often sent to spam folders. This is due to over-sending, repeated emails, or material that is not relevant to customers. Potential customers can become non-interested parties very quickly if they find too many emails from any business in their inbox. To avoid this, create several different types of messages based on customer activity. Do not allow the emails to go out more than once per week and let customers choose their email preferences. Remember that having emails marked as spam too often can result in fines or even your website being blacklisted from your webhost or Internet service provider.
Can I Afford It?
For some small businesses the price of automated marketing can be prohibitive. Certain software can run over $1,000 per month. Companies with a high profit may not have a problem, as automated marketing can help generate more leads. There are many different solutions and some may fall into your budget range. If there are enough potential leads, the cost may be worth investing in automated marketing.
Would you like to learn more about marketing automation? Contact me directly and I’d be more than happy to assist you!
As every marketer knows, mastering email marketing is an ongoing process that is necessary for the success of your organization. Between sending out promotional email blasts, content marketing, and writing personal emails to customers and prospects, it has been proven to be a great way to connect and communicate with your audience. However, it does have some downfalls, especially if your businesses’ email open rates are low. Below are some helpful tips to consider when trying to improve your email open rates.
- Pay attention to the sender. When creating an email campaign, make sure you pay attention to who it is coming from. Your audience will be more likely to open an email if it’s coming from a name they recognize at your organization. With this in mind, make sure you don’t always use the same sender. It’s important to keep a variety so your target audience doesn’t assume every email from your CEO is spam.
- Entice your audience with a strong subject line. The first thing your audience will see is the subject line of the email, so make sure you have an intriguing one. Similar to who the email is coming from, it’s important to change up the subject lines depending on the goal of the email and the audience. Sometimes, it’s better to be more direct with what you’re offering in the email, whereas other times, you may want to keep it vague to convince a large group to open it. Keep in mind to not make the subject line sound too much like a sales pitch, as that’s a sure way to get your email sent to spam boxes or see an increase in unsubscriptions.
- Personalize the subject line occasionally. By adding a touch of personality to your email campaigns, starting with the subject line, it will increase your audience’s interest and likeability. By personalizing it with their first name from time to time, it shows that you are taking an interest and care about who you are contacting. It also gives a sense of importance and grabs their attention.
- Test out times. Is your audience on the east coast or west coast? Will they be more interested in what you’re offering during a work day or weekend? These are things you need to consider when sending out your emails. It’s important to A/B test the times you send your email campaigns, as well as the subject and senders, to see what they respond best to. Some organizations find success sending emails early in the morning before a hectic business day starts, whereas others have reported great results on the weekend. Unfortunately, there is no secret formula for timing your email blasts, so testing and learning your audience are vital.
- Remain consistent. After testing, it’s time to come up with a schedule for your email campaigns and stick to it. No one wants to receive 3-5 emails per day from the same business. Once you set a schedule, your audience will learn to expect your emails and be ready for them, and with the number of emails being sent every day to consumers from businesses of all kinds, it’s important to remember not to be overwhelming.
Keep in mind these five tips as you work on your email campaigns and you’ll be on your way to better open rates. If you have any questions, have additional tips, or need additional suggestions, please feel free to comment below – I’d love to hear!
The smartphone has become an ubiquitous part of business culture. So, why not integrate smartphone use into your organization’s next conference? It is a great way to increase participation in your company-wide event. It’s easy to setup and do with QR codes. QR codes can be read by any smartphone and are a great and effective way add some fun to your conference. Here are 5 simple ways to integrate QR codes into your next big event.
1. QR Code Scavenger Hunt
All you need is list of things that your attendees need to find, and QR codes attached to each object on the list. Group your attendees into teams and give each team a list of objects to find. Each team will find an item on the list, scan the QR code attached to them, and move on to the next item. At the end of the hunt, the team with the most QR codes scanned wins.
2. QR Quiz
This game requires a simple mobile website with a few pages setup with questions. Give your attendees an opening question and attach a QR code to the answer. When they scan the code on the answer, it will lead to your mobile website where the next question is located. This repeats until the last question. First team to find all of the answers wins.
3. QR Code Meet and Greet
This is a great way for people to get to know one another. Have each participant fill out a bio sheet with facts about themselves during pre-registration for the event and have that information put on a simple web page. Then, create QR codes that link to those pages and attach them to each attendant’s badge or name tag. During the social portion of the conference, you can have a contest to see who can meet the most people and name at least one fact about them. This is a good ice breaker and will make the conference attendees feel closer to everyone.
4. QR Codes for Door Gift Bags
If you plan on having door gift bags, a great way to hand them out is to use QR codes. Give each attendee a QR code at check-in. Have each code link to a picture of a prize. Then, each attendee just has to show the person in charge of distributing the gifts that code and the prize is theirs.
5. QR Codes for Voting
If you need an easy way to tally votes without tons of wasted paper and manual counting, you can use QR codes instead. Assign each measure on the ballot a QR code. Whenever it is scanned, it adds to the tally for that particular measure. Using QReate & Track’s tracking page, you can see which code got scanned the most.
Using QR codes can save you time and money by eliminating wasted paper and man hours while simultaneously adding something new and exciting to your next big conference.
interlinkONE Recognized as a Silver Datacenter in Microsoft’s Partner Network for 15th Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Wilmington, MA, July 16, 2015) – interlinkONE Inc., an industry leading provider of innovative marketing software products, was recognized by the Microsoft Partner Network as a Silver Datacenter for 2015 for its commitment to creating and delivering innovative customer solutions, software and services based on Microsoft technologies and its dedication to excellence.
interlinkONE was first recognized as a Silver Datacenter in 1997. As a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, interlinkONE is able to provide its customers with outstanding software products and service, including access to sales, presales and technical support to help deliver quality infrastructure solutions to its customers.
Along with infrastructure solutions, being a member of the network allows interlinkONE to provide private cloud, management and virtualization deployment planning services, as well as enhance its consulting services for its customers.
“We’re very proud to be recognized as a Silver Datacenter here at interlinkONE,” said Adam Meixler, Director of IT. “We’ve been a Microsoft Certified vendor for 15 years and look forward to serving our customers with the implementation of Microsoft server platforms and management of these resources for years to come.”
Through its membership in the partner network, Microsoft works closely with interlinkONE to meet its solution and deployment needs, in turn, giving interlinkONE’s customers the best products possible and in a timely manner.
“Being a part of the Microsoft Partner Network is extremely beneficial for us and our customers,” said John Foley, Jr., President and CEO of interlinkONE, Inc. “Our partnership connects us with not only Microsoft, but other partners in the network, making it easier for us to develop products for our customers to install, customize and manage successfully.”
Membership in the partner network also gives interlinkONE access to technical training courtesy of Microsoft to offer new perspectives and differentiate its offerings for customers.
interlinkONE provides software to industry leading Fortune 50 financial services, insurance agencies, health care, hospitality organizations and other service providers.
ilinkONEpro, interlinkONE’s flagship distributed marketing platform, includes capabilities for customer communication management, online ordering and storefronts, sales and CRM, warehouse management, web-to-print and variable data printing.
interlinkONE has also created award winning mobile products, including QReate and Track and iFlyMobi. QReate and Track allows users to create, customize and measure QR Codes for marketing efforts while iFlyMobi gives users the capability to create mobile websites and ensure their content is optimized for the mobile audience.
Whether you’re in a large business or a small retail store, mobile marketing should play an important role in your marketing plan. With nearly 64% of American adults owning a smartphone of some kind, businesses are bound to take their marketing mobile. According to an eMarketer study, only five years ago, 2.1% of all digital search ad dollars were spent on mobile devices. That number increased to 22.1% in 2013, and is continually increasing, with expectations to be at 59% within the next two years. Making sure your business is up to date with the latest marketing trends is important, especially with the amount of competition in the marketplace. Below are five tips to help improve your mobile marketing.
- Make sure your website is responsive. With the major increase in the use of smartphones over the last couples of years, making sure your website is accessible and responsive to the average user is necessary in the business world. With so many customers using smartphones to shop online, having a well-organized website results in more sales, increases your search engine optimization, and improves your company’s reputation.
- Don’t have irrelevant content. When customers visit your company’s website or social media page, they want to read information that’s engaging and relevant. When posting content, make sure that each time you have a purpose. Businesses need to make sure that they are creating and sharing content that is aligned with the customer’s needs. If you’re getting bored reading it, chances are, your customer will be too!
- Time your communication. When contacting anyone, especially a potential client, you need to make sure that you are sending information at an appropriate time. Notifying someone through a mobile device is great way to connect but it means nothing if they receive the message too late. Leave enough time in between when you actually send it and when you want the customer to make a move.
- Have a strong call-to-action. The purpose of having a mobile-friendly site is to make it easier and more accessible for the user. Having a designated spot on your site for someone to purchase a product, contact your company, or receive more information will make it more convenient. They need to be able to quickly press the CTA button, because the more time they spend looking for details, the less interested they become.
- Don’t forget about desktop! Though mobile marketing is continually growing, consumers are constantly switching between devices, making your desktop website just as important. Pay attention to all aspects when designing your site and content, as all laptops, mobile devices, and tablets play a key role in having a successful business.
The digital environment is continually growing, making marketing on any mobile device important in your company’s marketing plan. In order to reach your targeted audience, you have to adapt to their preferences, while delivering relevant content. By using these five tips to help guide you, your chances on becoming a more successful and well developed business will rise.