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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Big Data: Behind the scenes and what it means [Infographic]

August 22nd, 2014 1:14pm

Big Data Infographic

Social Media Stats to Supplement Your Strategy

August 14th, 2014 10:50am

Social media is no longer a “young man’s game”.  Moms, businessmen, teachers, mailmen… they use it, and I’d  be willing to bet that you’re using some form of social media too.  And with a little information, it wouldn’t be difficult to pinpoint exactly which ones you use, and how much time you spend interacting with them.

Daniel Keys Moran once said, “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data”.  Furthermore, with the right data, you can have access to powerful information. So where can you find the right data?  Social media.

Collectively, there are many benefits to using social media.

  • It offers a channel for you to stay connected to your audience
  • It provides validation
  • It builds awareness
  • It effectively pulls in traffic and increases your exposure
  • It contains valuable insights about your audience

That being said, each platform is functionally unique and is used by different people to accomplish different objectives.  The key is to identify which platforms are most applicable to you.  Having a social media account is not enough. Be active, and make sure you are using each  one in it’s full potential.  Check out the figures below  and use the data to start optimizing your social activity.



Sources: The Social Media Hat, Expanded Ramblings, StratistaMarketing Pilgrim

Couponing On The Brink Of A Digital Revolution

August 5th, 2014 10:56am

For over a century, coupons have been an effective tool for influencing and motivating consumers.  In general, the concept of couponing hasn’t changed much. However, methodologies for distributing them have changed drastically… and for good reason.

You are exposed to coupons and other promotions every day. They’re in the stores you shop at, in the paper you read, and can be found online or on your phone. The reason they are seemingly everywhere is because almost everyone uses them. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report shows that, in a three-month duration, 96% of shoppers will have used a coupon at least once.  Consumers use coupons to save money, and will look for deals that pertain to goods that they would buy normally. However, as coupons continue to evolve, we are finding that what they are capable of offering is much more than a simple discount.

Traditionally Speaking
For years, the primary methodology for distributing coupons has been through Free Standing Inserts (deals that can be found in the paper, magazines, etc.). They are used to push offers on a large scale by casting a wide net. They aim to incentivize repeat purchases, or perhaps prompt customers to buy a newly introduced product. The downside to this approach is that the targeting is very generalized.  Another limitation, and possibly the most significant, is that it is nearly impossible to gather analytical data/ information that could supply valuable consumer insights.

Coupons That Keep Up
Our world is changing, and consequently, so are consumers’ behaviors and habits. Therefore, you will need the tools that will allow you to better accommodate their expectations.  The introduction of digitally distributed offers has revamped the marketplace.  Whether you are printing an internet-delivered coupon or receiving codes straight to your mobile device, the benefits (to both the company and the consumer) are setting the bar for all distributed promotions.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Data gathering – collect, analyze, and gain valuable insights on your consumers.
  • Strategic agility – easily fine-tune or modify offers (appearance, value, etc.) on the fly.
  • Superior retargeting – efficiently and effectively manage your promotional strategy.
  • Distribution control – retailers and manufacturers can regulate exactly how many offers will be claimed and redeemed.
  • Personalized offers – use collected data to push individualized promotions.
  • Cost savings – digital provides a cheaper alternative to print.
  • Security – combat coupon fraud by tracking your customers using tools such as embedded codes (check out CoupCheck™ to learn more).

Digital offers work great if your goal is to:

  • Target a specific consumer population
  • Encourage a shopper to switch brands
  • Incentivize customers to repurchase goods
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Save money while establishing a healthy consumer database

Promotions That Show Promise
Although traditionally distributed offers are still the conventional approach, digital promotions are quickly gaining momentum and are responsible for ever-increasing redemptions. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report stated that, “Overall, digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35%.” In five years, it is projected that the population of mobile coupon users alone will nearly double from the current 560 million to 1.05 billion users (Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019).

 

Psychology: Unconscious Marketing

July 22nd, 2014 10:38am

You can’t sustain a business without knowing your customers. What do they want? How do they want it? And most importantly, why do they want it?  Through psychology, you can gain valuable consumer insights to supplement your business strategies and make knowledgeable marketing decisions. If you intend to pick apart your customers’ brain and facilitate a more profound connection, you’ll need to integrate a few psychological principles into your marketing approach.

Less really is more

When it comes to making decisions, having too many options to choose from can actually inhibit your audience’s ability to make decisions. This condition, referred to as “analysis paralysis”, is important to keep in mind, especially when consumers are involved. If, for example, you have an online store with a large inventory, make sure you categorize and group (aka “chunk”) items in a way that won’t overload your customers’ cognitive processing.

Framing and loss aversion

As humans, we’d like to believe that we always make the right decisions and think logically. However, you’d be surprised how blind we can become when facing a particular situation. Instinctually, we are terrified of loss. In fact, research suggests that a perceived loss is, psychologically, twice as powerful as a perceived gain (even though they may be of equal value).  Therefore, when making a proposition to your customers, don’t go on and on about all they great things they’ll get. Instead, you’ll have greater success if you make them feel like they’d be missing out if they don’t partake in your offer.  (The scarcity effect is a similar phenomenon, where an individual perceives something to be particularly valuable only because of its diminishing supply or rarity.)

The power of mystery

Something’s gone wrong. Things aren’t adding up correctly and confusion starts setting in. This predicament is what’s known as cognitive disequilibrium. It’s that piercing moment when two points that are supposed to tie together are, for whatever reason, are unable to make the connection.  The disequilibrium is unsettling, and provokes the need to start filling in the gaps. Your goal should be to capitalize on the unmet need: intellectual satisfaction.  This is a great strategy to keep your audience curious and engaged with your brand.

Remember that psychology is more than a science. It is the lifeblood of your consumer, and the key to having a well-executed and effective marketing strategy.

 

The Importance of A/B Testing with Social Coupons

July 9th, 2014 7:00am

Coupons are an inexpensive advertising option for packaged goods, retailers, and other businesses that are highly desirable by consumers. While the product or service can vary greatly, so does its consumer. It’s easy to simply place a free-standing insert into the Sunday paper, but do we really know if the offer is reaching the appropriate audience? With digital and social coupons, we have the advantage of finding ways to grab the attention of our targeted consumers. And while this may take extra effort, the payoff is significant. In 2013 alone, we saw consumers used over 2 billion digital and print-at-home coupons (Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report).

Companies that combined coupons with data capture opportunities gained better insight into the purchase behaviors of their customers. Once companies have captured data, they can make more informed marketing decisions. The one constant we see in digital and social coupon use however, is that based on the promotion or offer, no two audiences are the same. Even within our own client base, we’ve seen similar offers by similar businesses that produce drastically different results, and this is why A/B testing has become a necessity to ensure success in marketing online.

Some key factors to A/B test in your coupons and other promotions are:

Offer Value
Should you offer a percentage off or a flat amount? What’s the minimum value you can provide that will enable you to hit your print and redemption goals?

Expiration Date
What’s the ideal amount of time to give consumers to redeem a deal that will ensure they don’t forget it?

Promotional Strategy
What are the best channels to let consumers know about your offer, and where should you run ads driving traffic to the offer?

Creative
Is the design and copy appropriate? Are you drawing the attention of your audience and driving them to claim your offer?

At CoupSmart, we run A/B testing to discover solutions to questions like the ones above. So, if you’re having trouble determining whether your coupon should be “20% off” for six months, or “50% off” for two weeks, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you out.

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