The Social Media Tackle Box by Lionfish

This week, Lionfish launched The Social Media Tackle Box, a weekly series of 12 short briefs on methods, channels, and best practices for using social media to grow your business. Free and open to anyone to subscribe, you can learn more and sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/nyckav7

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Is Your Website Working For You?

Top Ten Website Must-Haves:

  1. Prominent contact information – make it easy for people to get in touch with you.  
  2. Call-to-Action – encourage your users to take action. This is also a way to measure your sites success. 
  3. Easy Navigation – viewers that can’t find what they are looking for get frustrated and leave your site.  Make it simple for customers to get where they need to go in as few clicks as possible.
  4. Use Related Keywords – using keywords on your site will help with search engines to find you and build your relevancy for optimization.
  5. Relevant Tags – help tell search engines and users what they can find on your site
  6. Alternative Text for Images – have your images work for you.  
  7. Functioning Links – Non functioning links can be frustrating.  Make sure all your links work and lead to quality, safe content.
  8. Built Search Engine Friendly – Ensure your site is built so search engines are able to crawl through.
  9. Mobile Friendly – Being able to easily view a website on mobile devices is coming increasingly important.  Mobile viewers tend to seek information a little different than those on desktops, so ensure your site is mobile friendly and mobile optimized. 
  10. Ownership – do you own your site and the content that resides on it?

Websites are a valuable tool for any business.  A well-built website can result in more business and put you on top.

Does Your Website Help You?

Does Your Website Help You?

8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday

Source: Linkedin, Ilya Pozin

Forget about your job title or profession – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work. It’s time to set down your gallon-sized container of coffee, toss out your three-page to-do list, and put an end to those ridiculously long emails you’ve been sending.

Experiencing a highly productive workday can feel euphoric. But contrary to popular belief, simply checking tasks off your to-do list isn’t really an indication of productivity. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

Recently I spoke with project management and productivity genius Tony Wong to find out the secret to a more productive workday. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded productive individuals do during their work week.

Harness your productivity by taking note of these eight things:

1. Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about piling together a slew of tasks in the form of a checklist. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through tasks for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose. Too many people mistake this for a good feeling, rather than a signal to take a break. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday: they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, on a project, systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Set yourself in the right direction by ignoring your emails and taking the morning to focus on yourself, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.

6. Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate – don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.

7. Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you check your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.

What’s your secret to productive workdays?

Understanding the Multi-Channel Shopper

Source: Search Engine Watch, , May 9, 2013

multichannel-retail

Consumers are making more of their purchasing decisions on mobile devices – whether on a smartphone or tablet – in addition to making it one of their primary channels to research products.

A recent survey by Telemetrics and xAd showed that 50 percent used their mobile devices to start the discovery process and 46 percent used mobile exclusively when performing research online. Even Google noted last year that 65 percent of online searches began on a smartphone.

This emerging multi-screen reality has led to CMOs worldwide to begin their own research – how do we capture and convert multi-channel shoppers? Good question.

The mobile shopper can act much differently than one browsing off of a PC. They’re at restaurants, on buses, or even in stores – often with only seconds to check out (and not necessarily “checkout”) a product out before moving on to the next task.

Tolerance for irrelevant content and slow/bad site-search functionality is much lower for mobile shoppers. Couple that with the fact that they move between devices, and you have a recipe for significant losses because even one bad experience at one of the points of discovery or conversion can lead lost customers.

However, before you even begin to execute any strategy of customer segmentation, you have to understand the different profiles of multi-channel shoppers and consider the right tactics to monetize each profile.

What follows are five distinct profiles of multi-channel shoppers, as well as some methods to convert them to customers. Please note that each profile isn’t mutually exclusive – many shoppers can exhibit behavior of multiple profiles, which is why gathering data across devices, channels and sessions is imperative to predicting what will be the most relevant content to present at this moment.

1. Need-It-Now Profile

This shopper has discovered the specific product they want and is ready to make a purchase; however, they’ll almost certainly want to find a physical retailer that has that product in stock or that can get it shipped very quickly, like Amazon’s same-day delivery service.

Having fresh web pages with the most up-to-date information is imperative.

For example – if a consumer is presented with a mobile search result for a “red strapless dress” that is on sale for $50, you better have location-specific data that this is, in fact, true. This means that your inventory information should be as close to real-time as possible.

Also, these users have very specific long-tail searches, making predictive-search capabilities extremely important. If available, know their browsing history and ultimately have their query available in a drop-down menu within a few taps. Typically, this is the profile of someone who shops on Amazon.

2. Bargain-Hunter Profile

This shopper uses their smartphone to compare prices either before or while they are in your store. Commonly referred to as “showroomers,” they are extremely price-sensitive and have very little brand loyalty.

It’s important to offer as much incentive information as possible. So, they should be provided with any warranty information or in-store special promotions.

Anonymously identifying and matching IP addresses of store Wi-Fi to see if they are in a store while accessing your mobile site is a good way to track these types of shoppers. Capture the data and track the behavior of other shoppers who visited your site while in store to gain invaluable insight.

3. Right-For-Me Profile

These shoppers visit your site at home on a desktop or laptop, on their smartphones and while in-store, and express very specific and consistent intent signals. They often search for and purchase certain sizes or brands/designers at specific price points.

It’s important to piece together individual experiences and present them with the most relevant content based off of their habits. You can compare the behavior of your authenticated users on mobile and web to learn about their preferences, and then try to apply it to their content.

Offering “More like this” widgets that take into account all of the previous expressions of intent can help keep that customer converting.

4. Time-to-Kill Profile

These shoppers are most likely your exploratory buyers, with a little extra time, where easy navigation and visual design elements that create a “fun” experience are important.

Using social-network data from Pinterest or Facebook, consider creating landing pages of popular or emerging products that can turn a browser into a customer. They’re going to explore more pages and provide you with a lot more data about what products could be linked.

By tracking bounce rates and time-on-page metrics, you can learn what products make better sense to present together.

5. Most-Valued Customer

These shoppers are the ones that engage with you the most across multiple channels or devices. They click through emails and discover a lot of your content, and should be the most important.

These customers shouldn’t be treated like any other customer – you should understand their intent and present them with the right offers at the right time. What time of year do they normally buy gifts, are they tied to a holiday, and are they only selecting sale items? While this may sound like something very simple, actually tracking this data at a granular level to scale for potentially thousands of people while knowing which product is right based on their previous history across devices – all accurately – is a tremendous task.

Summary

Understanding, processing and acting on all of this available data is a problem well beyond the scope of humans – it’s an issue for big data science. Amazon is doing a great job to capture the shoppers frustrated with experiences on other retailer’s mobile sites.

As consumers rapidly shift to mobile shopping on smartphones, Amazon is capturing an unbelievable 59.36 percent of mobile department store visits. And, they are investing a greater percentage of their revenue in technology and content – 7.9 percent up from 6.5 percent – because they realize that high-quality content that is relevant to each shopper is a problem that only a machine can address at scale.

In the last decade, search marketers have been faced with a gargantuan amount of online data and web analytics, and technologies that have helped process the information have barely allowed them to keep pace. Mobile data – and the different channels that it opens up – ups the ante exponentially. At the same time, consumers expect a seamless and relevant experience no matter their platform of choice.

The most successful companies will embrace a multi-channel initiative. Those that don’t will only face a bigger digital divide between themselves and consumers – ultimately losing them to the likes of Amazon.

Travel Industry’s Marketing Efforts Pay Off More With Women, Parents

Source: May 1, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

SpringHill-Travel-Marketing-Advertising-Influence-May2013

Roughly 8 in 10 Americans pay attention to travel marketing and advertising, according to results from a survey commissioned by SpringHill Suites, a Marriott International brand. Marketers’ efforts seem to have their desired effect, too: 28% of respondents said that the industry’s marketing and advertising helps incentivize them to go on vacation. Women were 44% more likely than men to feel that way (33% vs. 23%), and the gap between parents and non-parents was even greater, at 54% (37% and 24%, respectively).

Older Americans are less likely to be influenced by marketing and advertising efforts, though. Only 14% of those respondents aged 65 and older said such efforts had incentivized them to go on vacation, compared to 31% of those aged 18-64. That may be due to their feeling less of a connection with brands’ marketing efforts: only 17% of the older set said the marketing or advertising relates to the type of travel they like, versus 28% of their younger counterparts.

In other results from the study, 44% of respondents who use social media agree that seeing vacation pictures or posts on such sites would make them want to go to that destination, and 35% have learned about new vacation spots from seeing posts from their friends on these sites.

Other Findings:

  • 85% of Americans would be willing to give something up during their vacation for 25% off their hotel stay.
  • Only about one-quarter of those respondents, though, would be willing to give up their mobile device, a finding that tracks with recent survey findings from Prosper Mobile Insights showing that 8 in 10 smartphone and tablet owners use their devices “all the time” while on vacation.

About the Data: The online survey of 1,048 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over was conducted by Kelton.

CMOs Predict Sizable Budget Shift to Digital Marketing

 

Source: April 30, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff
 

Accenture-Budget-Shift-to-Digital-Marketing-Apr2013

Fresh on the heels of a report finding that 4 in 10 global marketers around the world will be reallocating budgets to digital marketing (a report which itself came shortly after a US-based studyindicating the same trend), a new study from Accenture has emerged looking at the topic from the perspective of CMOs around the world. And the takeaway is much the same: digital marketing is going to get more of the overall marketing budget next year. About 2 in 3 respondents said they would be devoting at least 25% of their budgets to digital marketing next year, up from 46% who said they would allocate that much this year.

What’s more, the majority of that increase comes in the “more than 50%” category. That is, fully 23% of CMOs surveyed plan to devote the majority of their budgets to digital marketing next year. That’s about double the 11% giving digital that much of the pie this year.

The reorganization of the marketing budget comes at a time when CMOs see big changes on the horizon. 7 in 10 respondents feel that the marketing function will fundamentally change over the next 5 years – with that figure higher among B2B2C (74%) than B2B-only (62%) companies.

CMOs may approach these changes with some amount of trepidation: separate results from the survey indicate that confidence in their preparedness is falling. That is, in 2012, 61% felt prepared, down from 66% in 2011. In 2012, CMOs also indicated more difficulty in improving the efficiency of their marketing operations and improving their workforce’s responsiveness to digital shifts and changing consumers.

In order to tackle those employee-relating challenges, CMOs say they’ll also be working on optimizing their internal skills, by emphasizing some areas over others. For example, next year 24% will dedicate 41-60% of their employees to digital marketing (up from 21% this year) and 26% will dedicate that share of their employee focus to customer analytics (also up from 21%).

That increased attention to digital is warranted due to its “game-changing” nature, say the researchers, for whom CMOs’ “ability to restructure the organization and work horizontally to deliver seamless and relevant customer experiences across all touch points all day and every day will be essential to [their] survival in the global marketplace.”

About the Data: The “2012 CMO Insights” data is based on an online survey across 10 countries with 405 senior executives who are key marketing decision-makers in their companies. Most companies have at least US$1 billion in annual revenues, although corporations in France, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil have revenues of at least US$500 million.

B2C and B2B2C corporations each represented 37% of the sample, with B2B companies the remaining 26%. Financial services was the most heavily represented sector (34%), followed by product companies (30%).

45% of respondents were based in Europe, Africa and Latin America, 40% were located in North America, and the remaining 15% in Asia-Pacific.