March 2013 Archives

In case you missed our webinar "Integrated Digital Marketing for Franchise Systems", co-hosted by Google, we wanted to give a recap of the great content outlining why integrated digital strategies are so important and how they can be developed to achieve a balance between the brand and the franchisees. 

This approach is something Location3 Media calls "Franchise impact, Brand intact".

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Although many of us are familiar with online usage stats, it is important to revisit them frequently because the landscape changes so often. 

Here are several statistics about online marketing usage that are great to keep in mind as your brand is determining how to approach investing in digital marketing.

1) People are constantly looking for new information online.  Billions of searches are done each day.  16% of the searches have never been conducted before. (Google)

2) Shopping starts online with 94 percent of consumers researching products online before buying.  Customers rely on online sources for local information. (Google)

3) Spend on digital has grown by 10 percent in the past five years.  (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Wilkofsky Gruen Associates)

Integrated Digital Programs

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Integrated digital programs allow advertisers to reach customers on their individual path to purchase. 

Today's path to purchase is fluid rather than linear, it is consumer directed versus brand directed and it requires guidance from multiple sources.  Managing the path to purchase for franchise systems requires a combined effort between franchisors and franchisees. 

Some of these efforts include:

1) Providing store locations with marketing plans and approved branding collateral for individual use

2) Managing local listings by centralizing at corporate to ensure consistency and accuracy of data

3) Providing franchisees a website framework and CMS that allows for localized custom content

4) Developing a centralized social media strategy that ensures a consistent brand voice, and is supported by store-level voice

Franchisees can help manage the path to purchase by utilizing the tools provided by corporate including vendor relationships and technology resources.

Paid Search & Display

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As we mentioned, billions of searches are done each day with 94 percent of searchers starting their research online.  Search also increases the efficiency of TV, print and radio between 3 and 10 percent.  Here are a few other reasons why paid search is a must-have strategy for franchise systems:

1) Search drives offline conversions. 89 percent of shopping starts online while 93 percent of conversions happen offline

2) Search can be customized to fit individual franchisees including keywords, ad copy, landing pages and most importantly geographic targeting

3) Call tracking is a must have for franchise systems.  We typically see that 70-90 percent of all actions completed from paid search are phone calls

Along with search, the combination of display and search campaigns delivers a 155 percent increase in search activity, speeds up the purchase funnel five times and 27 percent of users perform a search query instead of clicking on a banner.

Social / SEO / Content / Design

625,000 people join Google+ everyday and the Google +1 button is used more than 5 million times a day.  In case you didn't have enough reasons to upgrade your social, SEO, content, and design strategy, this rapidly growing product is the perfect push over the edge.  Here are a few additional reminders about the power of these integrated strategies:

1) Google+ is a megaphone for your brand allowing you to add credibilitiy and enhance visibility on the Google Display Network, Google Search, YouTube and mobile channels.

2) SEO has three components that need to be addressed in every strategy: website optimization, content creation, and content distribution.  Integrating SEO into the path to purchase for franchise systems requires the franchise system and the franchisors to hold up their responsibilities in each section.

3) As the worlds of design, SEO, content, and collide, findability requires as choreographed effort. The bottom line is that a website cannot be designed without planning your SEO and content strategies at the same time.  The are not separate entities.

4) Content marketing is educating and inspiring people enough to do business with you.  It's not about you anymore and your content needs to engage and inspire your customers.

Overall, the success of your integrated digital marketing plan starts with your customers.  Learning about their path to purchase and shaping a strategy to meet them at all points along the way will gain and keep your customers.  Managing the path between the system and the franchisees will empower the individual locations while protecting the brand.

Do you have any success stories with your franchise system and integrated digital marketing that you'd like to share?  If so, we'd love to hear them.  Also, look for the recorded version of our webinar to be ready in the next few days.

 

The bystander effect has been studied in psychology for many, many years. Essentially, this is the thought that in an emergency situation, the more bystanders present, the less likely someone will take action to help. This tends to fall under people's assumption that, in a larger crowd, someone else will step up and help.

Is this also true in social media? While social media and all that comes with it, including pictures and sharing of every detail in people's observations, can actually help solve crimes in some cases, the bystander effect still rings true in our technological world, though social media seems to give people more of a voice to help out.

Take, for instance, cyber bullying.

Unfortunately, this is one aspect of social media that can be very negative. Teens and pre-teens do not fully understand social media and its implications. They still believe often times that they can remain anonymous, perhaps behind a newly created Gmail or Twitter account, to harass and behave poorly on social networks. One piece of "gossip" can spread like wildfire, and the original poster loses control of that message.

Even when using accounts that require your 'real" identity, they feel that they can post a message and later delete it, and it's forever gone. That can't be farther than the truth, as we know, but it's not fully realized by all using social media.

When others see this information, do they simply read it and move on, thinking that surely someone will contact the authorities, parents, or school, depending on the situation? Or, are social media users more likely to take action.

Consider this recent example: a high school couple, who was fairly popular within a large high school setting, got into a very heated argument and broke up. The young man proceeded to lash out and posted a very public Facebook message, even tagging his now ex-girlfriend, sharing very blatant accusations about her.

These ranged from her stealing money from her parents to buy drugs, how many people she has slept with, and the like. Of course, because it was on a social network and they were popular students, the post went crazy, with hundreds of likes (really?) and comments within an hour. It was deleted within a few hours, but that didn't stop others from talking about it and referencing it.

Given the bystander effect, I weeded through the comments to see what would be done, if anything, especially given that this was a younger crowd. What I learned was interesting - while the message spread and was talked about, likely for days after the incident, many students stated that they had reported it to Facebook, parents, the school, and authorities. I later learned that this was in fact true and was handled appropriately.

Perhaps social media can offset the bystander effect, as it seems to give people more of a voice than before. It could be the nature of social media; because you're behind your computer, you're more likely to act on things than a person would be in public?

This has also rang true for crimes. The media and police have turned to social media to monitor conversations about local situations, and can reach out to those making comments for help. Other times people are very quick to offer tips and information through social media venues.

There was the case last year where a man had barricaded himself, with hostages, in a building in New Jersey. He posted on Facebook during this time, and people responded with comments, encouragement, and tried to help authorities in ending the situation in the best possible manner.

It could be that social media can break the bystander effect to some degree; if that is the case, then social media can be very useful for helping those in need. I'd love to see more research in this area to study the true effects social media has on this psychological phenomenon.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

One of my key suppliers sent me this video over the weekend and it got me thinking. . .  how do you market for a moment in time?

How do we obtain the attention of those we wish to influence and have them focus, to understand the value that we are trying to deliver in a world that is full of so many distractions?

How do we as marketers help develop a strategy to help people understand how the product or service we represent matters in the every day life of those we wish to communicate with?

How do we go about understanding what is relevant to the audience we wish to influence and tailor our messaging in a language that they not only understand, but can relate to?

Marketing has focussed too much over the last number of decades in creating noise that shouts above the others to the point where everyone has become deaf and numb to the shouting.    It is our belief that to influence decisions, moving forward, marketers must take the time to understand how various segments of society wish to be communicated with and and in what tone.   By listening first, analyzing critically and then developing strategies of engagement that are real and relevant, marketers have a much better chance of developing relationships with their audience that lead to long term return on investment.

Let's work together to Get YOU Noticed! in a way that your intended audience can relate to.

 The post How do you market for a moment in time? appeared first on CMYK Solutions Inc..

 

Five Great LinkedIn Apps

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Did you know that if you looked around for long enough on the web you'd eventually find fabulous mobile tools that will boost your LinkedIn productivity and prospects? Well now you don't have to go looking - I've found 5 fabulous LinkedIn apps for you and they're FREE.

Read all about them here.

1.  HeronBiz - Professional finder - Location Based.

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What it does: Location aware, professional networking app (IOS devices only)."We identify the most valuable professionals to you and alert you when they are near."

Sidesteps privacy concerns by only showing people in your approximate proximity who are directly connected or with similar industry/job title to the you.

The 2 scrappy start-up Founders Allen Hartwig and Nick Smoot are signing up large organizations (American MENSA, Women In Technology, the Association for Corporate Growth LA) in an attempt to ramp up large scale use of the app.

A lot of people need to be using it to be truly useful. I found 23 people near me when I tested it. Doesn't sound like a lot but that's 23 more than I knew about, prior to using this app. Enormous potential.

Has a secure chat feature. This functionality should have been built into LinkedIn's mobile app from the get go.

It's a no-brainer for anyone with a LinkedIn account wishing to network face to face.

Try it.

Get it here: http://hereon.biz

 

2. Trippit Updates your LinkedIn Community on your Travel Plans

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What it does: Links your Tripit account with your LinkedIn account and then automatically shares your upcoming travel plans in your LinkedIn Update stream.

Why is this is a good thing?

By alerting your network to an impending visit to their neck of the woods, you increase engagement, opportunity and discovery.

"The partnership with LinkedIn is a significant victory for TripIt, as this social network has been the most popular one for TripIt users to share their travel plans since the

MyTravel LinkedIn app was launched in 2008.

According to the statistics shared by TripIt, 53% of its users visit LinkedIn at least once a week."

There are IOS, Android, Blackberry & Windows 7 mobile versions. If you travel and you're on LinkedIn, you should be using this.

Get it here: https://www.tripit.com

  

 3. Card Munch Elegant Time Saver

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What it does: Scans business cards using your iPhone's camera (Android version apparently in the works), recognizes that person and syncs with their LinkedIn Profile.

Very clever.

Not only do you get a digital copy of that person's card, you also get their LinkedIn profile, the option to connect, see their connections and an indication of who you have in common.

You can share that electronic version of the card with whoever you like and email your new contact directly from the app.

Time saver.

Get it here: http://www.cardmunch.com

 

 4.  Cobook App  Smart way to handle all social media contacts

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What it does: Unified address book for IOS devices (and Macs) which currently does not officially support LinkedIn integration (something to do with the LinkedIn API and 'low quotas') but there's a workaround - just shake your device in Settings mode and your LinkedIn contacts will appear, like magic.

You need to give the app access to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for it to do its thing.

Intelligent aggregator of contacts.

Get it here: http://www.cobookapp.com

  

5.  Smartr Another unified address book

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What it does: Another unified address book which scans Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo!, Outlook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (but not Hotmail) for the entire social footprint of your contacts. 3 main tabs: 'Profile' 'History' and 'Common'.

History is a neat view - it shows you the frequency with which you've interacted via email.

Common shows those folks you have, in common. Works with Gmail, Outlook, Android & iPhone. Intelligent aggregator with history.

Get it here: https://www.xobni.com

 

I also came across an app that would suit the adventurous lunch crowd. LunchMeet  basically broadcasts your willingness to "do lunch" to other LinkedIn users with the same app. It didn't make the cut because for reasons unclear to me, its only available on the Canadian iTunes store.

Are you using apps that help you get more out of LinkedIn? Please tell me about them via the comment section or email me directly [email protected]

As always - thanks very much for stopping by and reading. If you found this article thought-provoking, interesting or dare I say, useful. Please go ahead and share it with someone using the share buttons.

Warm regards from Chicago.

Andy 

It never ceases to amaze me the creativity that exists in the world and innovative ways that people have of telling their stories.

One of the companies in our industry, IClick, who sells custom USB drives, created this video to tell their story. It is far more about showing you their culture, brand and mission than it is how they do what they do every day, but even that is weaved into the story.

Take the time to understand what YOUR STORY should be.

Craft the message in a way that is meaningful and will be remembered long after you leave the room.

BE REMARKABLE and find a way to Get YOU Noticed!

In light of the recent news that Facebook admitted a bug in the Insights data, there has been quite a bit of conversation on the topic. Somehow, I missed the original news item last week when it was first discussed, but I've caught up to speed today.

My first reaction was "It's about time!" There have been grumblings since numbers started decreasing, with some originally blaming the new Timeline design rollout and others blaming the new algorithm updates a few months back.

Now that Facebook is admitting to noting the issue and fixing the "critical bug", conspiracy theories are popping up all over the place.

Had they listened to user feedback when the numbers first started tanking, they might have gained consumer confidence and possibly noticed the bug earlier on.

At any rate, the top two schools of thought are:

1. The stats have continued to drop over time, with more and more users complaining about it, so Facebook "found" the bug in the system, explaining away the lower numbers, promising for more accurate (read = higher numbers) information starting this week.

2. This was intentional on the part of Facebook - if business pages are showing decreased number of people seeing posts, it will encourage them to promote posts or advertise more heavily on Facebook. This of course means more money for the company.

At any rate, whether it's a conspiracy or not on the part of Facebook, it remains to be seen what the "real" numbers will look like as the bug has been fixed and more accurate data is on its way.

I will be watching our Facebook page closely to see if we notice any differences.

What has been your experience with Facebook insights? Are you noticing any change in numbers this week?

We live in a world that is full of marketing noise and competing mediums that are all bombarding an ever so jaded consumer.

They have mail boxes full of what marketers perceive as campaigns and they perceive as SPAM.  Social media has become such a labyrinth that it is hard to keep messaging consistent across platforms and therefore brand confusion becomes reality.    

Mass media does not target audiences in a way that is meaningful anymore and the app that you create is designed far more to show your audience you are innovative than provide any real ongoing marketing or branding opportunities.

So what is the next medium that will help you cut through the noise and have your brand perceived as valuable and your call to action acted upon?

Technology has reached a point where this process is a viable option for not just the Fortune 50 businesses. Consider the impact this will have on your customers when opened. Yes, per piece it is a more expensive option than traditional direct mail, but the ROI in terms of conversion is much higher.

Consider this is a tactic to go after a specific vertical and segment of the market. Those to whom you want to demonstrate the higher value, higher margin aspects of your business.

If this is a market segment you are looking to focus on and have the product or service that lends itself to create high value creative, let us help Get YOU Noticed!

We stumbled across a site that is a bit interesting - if you're wondering what your social media connections think of you, specifically those you're connected to on Facebook or Linkedin, wonder no more!

Survey Report is a free* program that allows you to anonymously survey your connections on LinkedIn or Facebook. A brief explanation is below:

In looking over the site, it only takes a few simple steps:

1. Login with LinkedIn or Facebook

2. You're set up with a basic survey for people to take

3. You decide who to send it to, and the site takes care of the rest.

If you watch the video closely, you'll see a quick glance at some analytical reports that will be generated on your behalf, letting you know at a glance what people think of you. However, reading their FAQ's, it seems that they admit the response rate is low - the word free has a * next to it earlier in the post because, while you can get as many survey responses as possible, you can only see 5 with the free version.

Never fear though, the site assures you that generally speaking, people only get an average of 7 responses.

Out of curiosity, I decided to try it and see what happens. Signing up was fairly easy - I chose to login with Facebook as to not bother my professional contacts. I set the permission for the app to "only me" just in case; I have no idea of what they may post, so I'll keep that private for now. It also wanted access to my custom friends lists.

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From there, I'm given the free and paid options - looks like you get (of course) a lot more with the paid version. But, I'm cheap and a bit skeptical, so I chose the free version.

Okay, I'm seeing a whole new world here. In addition to the survey, it looks like I have an option to take a few quizzes on my own, including an IQ test, and emotional quotient (EQ) test, and a "what job best suits me" quiz. I also have a face recognition test - I thought maybe this would survey my contacts to see if they recognized me, but instead it shows me people making faces and asking me to rate what they're feeling.

So there's some fun in the site too. I'm happy I chose "only me" as the visibility choice - if I had started taking these quizzes, my results could have been published on my Timeline. Imagine if I had logged in with LinkedIn. These quizzes are not something I would want professional contacts to see - it's none of their business what job suits me best, nor do they need to see that I'm taking quizzes in the middle of a workday!

Back to the survey......they looked at the number of connections I have on Facebook and suggested a number of responses I'll need to get good data. You can see this below:

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Underneath the box it lists all of my Facebook contacts - I can choose to send the invite to anyone from the list. I do think the text is a bit misleading in the invitation though.

I'm not sure if it worked. I chose two of my Facebook friends and hit the send button, but it wanted to post a link on my wall. I closed out of that and a window popped up asking me if I wanted to share on LinkedIn too. I declined and it said that everything was set up, and I should wait for 7 days to view the results.

I have a feeling it didn't go out; I will have to check with my two connections to see if they got anything.

In the meantime, I may play around with it some more to see if I can get anyone to bite. While I can see the idea behind this site, I'm not sure this is the way to go about it. As I said, I don't think this is something I would bother my LinkedIn connections with and it seems like something that others may not be comfortable filling out, even though its anonymous.

If you're curious enough to check it out, share your experiences with us! If you've already used this site and know of some benefits, we'd love to hear them!

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

In today's world of marketing, data is king.   The more information we have at our fingertips the better we can narrow the offer so that each person marketed to can feel that they are being talked to directly.

More than 10 years ago we were creating a birthday card direct mail program for a casino, the response rate, based upon variable offers was consistently in the 40+ % range.  Why?   DATA!!!!!!!!!!   We knew when these people came in, how long they came for, what types of games they played, how long they spent playing and how much they won or lost on a per visit basis.    If we were able to tie husband and wife loyalty cards together, the data was stronger and so was the response based upon being able to provide an offer that benefited both parties.

Think about how much information is available to you, as a business, if you take the time to collect and analyze it.    How much better could you forecast trends and pre-empt customers from shopping at your competition through timely marketing offers?

There is a story of a certain car company that "found" the leasing information for one of their competitors.   They not only had names and addresses, but they had colour, make of car and when lease was up.    The story goes that you would receive a direct mail piece that would have your name on it and it would say, wouldn't you rather be in car brand X.    On the front would be a version of the latest model year of the type of car you owned, but their model.  I.e.,  if you had a red two door soft top, that would be the picture which would be on your postcard.    The call to action was strong and so was the response rate.    In other words:  great data +  great offer + great marketing program = great ROI!!!!!!!

Here is a great example that was done by a hospital group in the US.    They realized that there were other places for potential clients to go when they needed medical services, so they found a way to make it easy for people to think of them.

This is a variably printed fridge magnet.   70000 + were produced, each one has a different map that takes you from YOUR house to the closest facility that they own.    Think of what this does to the end consumer.   They have a visual on their fridge at any time that shows how easy it is to get medical help when needed.  Notice how each magnet is unique to the address it is being mailed to?  This is a true value add!

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Think of the options that are available using this technology and the variety of different businesses that could attract long term clients using this medium.    Yes, the cost per piece is higher than other mediums, but so is the return on your investment.    If you have a high life time value of every customer acquired, this is a marketing tactic that should definitely be part of your overall marketing strategy.

The next step in this process is the development of PURLS,  Personal URLs.   With this technology, you have driven your customer to a website that is specifically designed for them.   It allows you to cater your information to their individual needs and provide each and every client with offers that are relevant to them.

So take the time to understand what data you have on your clients, what data you would like to have and how that proper use of data can help develop your brand long term and see how we can Get YOU Noticed!

The post What kind of information do you have on your customers? appeared first on CMYK Solutions Inc..

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