Category: Customer Intelligence

Content Marketing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Ethical Marketing

Ethics is not something marketers can afford to ignore. More than ever, customers expect their favorite brands to have positions on relevant social issues. One report found that 64% of Americans make purchasing decisions based on the brand’s ethical values and authenticity. Meanwhile, 42% will stop doing business with companies that respond poorly to controversial social issues.

The inverse is also true — when brands are transparent and ethical, people are far more willing to become loyal customers. What marketers must remember is that there’s a right and wrong way to speak up on current events. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

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Do put someone in charge of ethics

One reason why brands keep stumbling into ethical quandaries is they treat ethics as a side issue. Many companies will focus on growth or profit, while sustainability or diversity are secondary considerations. This is especially true in large brands where departments silo responsibilities and are not fully aware of what happens across the organization.

One way to address this issue is to create a dedicated leadership role for the entire brand. The cosmetic brand Lush, for example, has an Ethical Director who ensures products are cruelty-free, BPA-free, and sustainably sourced. Interestingly, Lush prioritizes ethics to the point of refusing to advertise, preferring to let its positive reputation spread by word-of-mouth.

Prioritizing ethics prevents brands from letting controversial issues slide, keeping them at the forefront of every internal conversation. Ethical directors can also help monitor supply chains or seek out diverse voices for the team. Such a position can also ensure brand messaging is consistently ethical, especially on channels like social media.

Don’t overreach with empty messaging

Ethical marketing is about more than sharing positive platitudes or a Black Lives Matter hashtag. We’ve seen countless brands try and attach themselves to social movements, only to retract the campaign because it does more harm than good. In our social media-driven age, critics will find gaps in your brand messaging that contradict your brand history. In a worst-case scenario, your pleasant advertisement may become a full-fledged scandal.

In 2018, McDonald’s experienced that worst-case scenario firsthand. It tried to celebrate International Women’s Day by flipping its iconic arches upside-down. Social media commenters pushed back almost immediately, noting the chain didn’t offer women equal wages or paid family leave. More recently, Twitter received backlash when it formally adopted the Black Lives Matter hashtag — critics reminded everyone that the platform frequently fails to ban white supremacists.

To be clear, brands should not stay silent on important issues, but they shouldn’t be blatantly opportunistic. If brand messaging doesn’t align with brand actions, many people — including your customers — will notice. Before rushing to show support, use the opportunity to recommit yourself to relevant brand values. And if possible, put your money where your messaging is with charitable donations.

How to build your customer model

Don’t speak more than you listen

As marketers, we know successful campaigns occur when we listen to and understand our audience. When marketing campaigns go wrong on an ethical level, a failure to listen — or simply read the room — is almost always where things went wrong. Sadly, these marketing horror stories are all too familiar and have real-world consequences:

The German skincare brand Nivea had to retract its “White is Purity” social media campaign once it gained the attention of white supremacists. Ironically, this campaign was meant to target Middle Eastern customers — and utterly failed to do so.

A decade earlier, Italian car manufacturer Fiat delivered 50,000 personally-addressed love letters from an admirer — secretly a new car — to prospective customers. Before the revelatory follow-up message arrived, women were locking themselves in their homes, fearing a stalker.

Both of these campaigns were tone-deaf and thoughtless at best. Yet, in each case, they could have been avoided simply by understanding the impact such messaging has on customers.

Never hurry to deliver what you think is a witty message. Instead, make yourself aware of your audience’s expectations. Even better, support a diverse marketing team with a broad range of experiences who can address your blind spots well in advance.

Do be transparent with your audience

People aren’t perfect, and neither are brands. Marketers will occasionally produce tone-deaf messaging. Leaders fail to live up to brand values. As customers, however, we usually forgive missteps if companies behave transparently. More specifically, brands must be open about internal work processes, honest about controversial issues, and upfront about what they’re doing to resolve any problems.

Surprisingly, the NFL is just now proving itself to be a great example of transparency. A few short years ago, the football league utterly failed to address the Black Lives Matter movement during Colin Kapernick’s protest. In the wake of current protests, however, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted fault and acknowledged efforts to change the organization.

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodall said. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

The NFL still has lots of work ahead of it, as transparency doesn’t erase a poor reputation overnight. Yet this promising first step can go a long way towards restoring audience trust, to say nothing of players and employees.

Ethical marketing is not some buzzword or catch-phrase — it’s good business. When applied effectively, it can highlight your brand values and establish trust with customers. If you hope to grow in 2020, prioritizing ethics, cultivating transparency, and listening to customers must be where your attention lies.

The post The Do’s and Don’ts of Ethical Marketing appeared first on Post Funnel.

B2CRM News

Fashion Brands Email with Empathy and a Positive Outlook

For 2020, brands sought to build a connection with their customers based not only their products but on shared aspirations and good works, something they reflect on as we enter a new year.

Just like every year, the last quarter was dominated by a barrage of promotions to buy for the holidays followed by the post-holiday sales. But this year, there is also another aspect to emailed communication at the end of December, as exemplified by fashion brands Boden and ModCloth.

Thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you.

That was the subject line for Boden’s end-of-year email. It packed in a number of components.

As indicated by the subject, it did begin by thanking the customers who participated in social sharing and a count of all the downloads for children’s activities. It then proceeded to a point of mutual credit connected to the dollar amount of goods donated to needy people in the United States. It also gives itself a pat on the back for being recognized for its ethical standards.

Finally, it turns its attention to looking forward to the future with new fashions. It adds in the incentive of a reward of gift cards tied to purchase amount.

It then adds in the postscript it has been including on all emails since early spring: An observation of business continuing under unusual circumstances that can delay delivery and a link to all COVID-19 related questions.

What a difference a year makes.

That was the subject ModCloth used for its end-of-year emails. Like Boden, it worked in a humblebrag of its accomplishments over the year, though its message was packed into a single infographic that focused on numbers:

ModCloth counts Slack messages and dinosaur searches rather than downloads of activities, but it also touches on the company and its customers coming together for charity and adds a stress on its commitment to serving its customer base.

Both companies here say they’re about more than just selling clothes and seek out to connect with their customers on the communal and emotional level.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

 

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B2CRM News

Snapchat Presents the Most Inspiring AR Campaigns of 2020

As people connect virtually rather than in person, they’ve been using their devices more than ever. That’s the truth behind Snapchat’s assertion that, “In a year of new normals, Snapchat’s camera has played a pivotal role in bringing us together, even when we’re apart.”

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CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
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That’s the declaration made at the beginning of Snapchat’s Most Inspiring AR Campaigns of 2020. It goes on to list 12 creative applications of AR for marketing that include the following:

1. Gucci’s AR Shoe Try-on

 

2. NYX Professional Makeup Virtual Store + Try-on Experience

3. Black Pumas 5G Concert by Verizon

4. “Raise Your Voice” from the Rebuild Foundation

The project set out a collaboration on art inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic. Snapchatters could use it to customize “AR masks, accessorize their Bitmoji avatars, and buy physical masks to support Black artists.” Also, for the anniversary of the March on Washington, Rebuild used Landmarker tech to display AR artwork at Capitol Building.

5. WHO Global Donation Lens

“The United Nations and World Health Organization launched the first-ever global donation AR Lens to raise awareness about the critical resources needed in the initial stages of the pandemic. The experience was triggered by scanning international currency notes, making the call-to-action feel clear and urgent.”

6. Biden-Harris Campaign Encourages Mail-In Voting with USPS

“To encourage Snapchatters to vote early by mail for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Biden-Harris campaign ran a Snapchat campaign to unlock a lens experience by scanning the USPS logo. Snapchatters could see themselves in a Biden hat and shirt wearing Joe’s iconic aviators, and the rear camera activated an icon over the USPS logo that erupted into fireworks reading ‘Vote Early for Biden-Harris.’”

7. Ralph Lauren Augmented Retail

In August Ralph Lauren partnered with Snapchat and “Bitmoji to launch a global Bitmoji fashion collection featuring Ralph Lauren’s iconic outfits. For the holidays, the iconic Pony was brought to life with Snapchat Scan.

8. LA Rams AR Uniform Reveal

Two weeks before their hyped-up uniform drop, COVID-19 forced the Rams to cancel in-person plans for the big reveal.” Necessity becoming the mother of invention, they worked with Snapchat on “the first-ever AR uniform reveal, using the power of the Snapchat camera to give Rams and NFL fans across the country a way to get up close and personal with the team’s bold new look.”

9. Diwali Festival of Lights by OnePlus

10. National Saudi Day

“In celebration of the 90th Saudi National Day, several brands in KSA launched Snapchat campaigns dedicated to the special occasion, creating engaging AR experiences for the platform to drive anticipation and a sense of unity amongst Saudi Snapchatters. 12 Lenses were developed by partners (including Samba Bank and STC below) with the objective to inspire the world with KSA optimism, resilience and accomplishments.”

11.Hershey’s Canada Reeseter Egg Hunt

“Snapchatters were given the opportunity to hunt around their real-world environments for ‘Reeseter’ Eggs in a safe, playful way. After successfully collecting 10 eggs, players could swipe up to an instant-win microsite where they were given the chance to win a coveted Reese Easter Egg prize pack.”

12. Trolls: World Tour Takes Over the Snap Camera

When Universal Pictures released Trolls World Tour as a streaming option, it used Snapchat AR to animate the movie’s characters on the devices. It also “for the first time ever, extended the experience to the Snap Camera desktop app to bring some fun to the new world of video calls and virtual meetings.”

 

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B2CRM News

The “Black Doll Test” Goes to Target

Target recently partnered with blogger and social media influencer, Glo Atanmo, to become an ally to the Black Community by sharing her perspective of the world with customers.

To spark the conversation, Target asked in an Instagram post, “Do your kids own Black dolls?”

 

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A post shared by Target (@target)

The idea behind it is that Black dolls don’t have to be just for Black children and Target is encouraging customers to diversify their children’s toy selection by representing dolls of color.

Perhaps influenced by “The Doll Test,” which has been conducted a number of times since the 1940s where young children are asked a series of questions to identify the race of the doll and its associated characteristics.

In each experiment, the majority of children associated the White doll with the positive attributes and preferred it over the Black doll – proving that racial stereotypes exist even among children.

Fast-forward to nearly 2021, Target is setting goals and a strategy to change this by calling for diversity and inclusion (D&I), changing the landscape of major organizations across numerous industries.

The retailer goes on to explain in the Instagram post that parents must influence their children to play with Black Dolls, asking whether customers have ever considered purchasing colored dolls.

“Everything you buy for your kids could turn into a teaching moment,” said Glo Atanmo.

“It’s important for kids of all colors to have dolls and toys that accurately represent the diversity of the society and world we live in.”

Target also offers customers the ability to customize and design the perfect playtime pal that’s “just like me” with the option to choose everything from hair, eye, and skin color of the doll.

To further show its support and fight for racial equality among its workforce, Target has announced its role as a founding member of OneTen – a coalition of 37 companies combining forces to train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans over the next decade.

“At Target, we believe that diverse and inclusive teams are the most successful. We’ve had ambitious diversity and inclusion goals for many years, which help us recruit diverse talent and create an equitable experience for the hundreds of thousands of team members who work for Target,” says Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

“We also committed this fall to increase our representation of Black team members by 20 percent over the next three years. Our work as a founding member of OneTen will support that commitment by creating opportunities across our company that don’t require a college degree to build a career at Target.”

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

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B2CRM News

Helena Bonham Carter Talks About Dating in 2020 for…

You don’t have to be single to identify with the delightfully described dating difficulties in “When Dating Met 2020 with Helena Bonham Carter.” The actress’ narrative perfectly captures the struggle of trying to have some kind of social life under the restrictions of a pandemic and then being called to account by family members at holiday gatherings.  

The engaging presentation is, in fact, an ad for the location-based dating app Bumble. The video was just uploaded to YouTube on December 8, and within just a single day received close to 105K views. 

While most of the comments express admiration for Carter, some admit that they feel “so validated” after seeing the video. 

The ad concept was created by The Brooklyn Brothers. Its creative director Cali Oliver shared the thought that went into it: 

“There was an opportunity to do something that showed we understood – something that feels as if it’s for women, by women – and to celebrate this imperfect dating journey that so many people have been on. In showing that truth in a relatable way, you can be encouraging, optimistic and looking forward.” 

They definitely hit on that. I know that some singles I’ve set up struggle with how to meet and date when they want to stay safe and have far less freedom to travel, not to mention fewer venues in which to have the date with so many things closed. (Yes, I’ve had to give some suggestions for what can be done on a Zoom date.) 

Of course, the dating app can’t solve all those problems, though it can help people connect on the virtual level and hope to work out standard dating later. 

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

The post Helena Bonham Carter Talks About Dating in 2020 for Bumble  appeared first on Post Funnel.

brand awareness

The Dos and Don’ts of Meme-Based Marketing

Every advertiser hopes that a marketing campaign will go viral, and what’s more viral than memes? But there’s a right and wrong way to leverage memes when speaking on behalf of a brand. By following these dos and don’ts, you can have some fun with existing customers while appealing to a much broader audience.

Do: Align memes with your brand voice

Memes may be jokes the entire internet laughs along with, but they still need to reflect your brand values. If one of your core traits is positivity, funny yet nihilistic memes probably aren’t going to land the way you expect. On the other hand, self-awareness of how jokes reflect your brand can help your audience grow.

This example is not theoretical. When Arby’s realized it was the subject of a parody Twitter account called “Nihilistic Arby’s,” it knew responding in kind conflict with its laid-back persona. Instead, it flew an executive out to bring food and an adorable puppy to the account creator. The result of this kill-them-with-kindness strategy was more goodwill for Arby’s that subverted the memes without dismissing them outright.

Do: Know your audience

Contrary to popular opinion, memes don’t translate universally to all online audiences. Instead, they spread through internet cultures that are familiar with the reference point. Memes are rooted in language conventions and shared understandings that trigger a response to share them. This behavior is precisely why some of the biggest memes tend to revolve around movies and TV shows in the popular zeitgeist — it makes us all feel like Captain America in the Avengers.

Marketers are already familiar with this concept, as it applies to every marketing campaign. Knowing your core audience is the quickest way to determine what messaging will resonate or which deals will convince them to make a purchase. For a brand-made meme to take off, that same understanding of online culture is crucial.

So, if your audience is millennials who love to talk about movies on social media, memes based on pop culture might strike the right tone. If they’re more academic, jokes about higher learning in 2020 may go farther than you think, including this one created by Western University instructor Yimin Chen.

Don’t: Chase trending memes because they’re trending

Memes are sharable, so when a marketer sees one going viral in real-time, it’s tempting to chase the trend with your own hasty contribution. Please. Do. Not. Do. This. As a marketer, your role is not to force branded messaging into any popular meme. Instead, filter through them to find the one that will have the greatest impact.

Still, you might wonder what the harm is, considering anyone can produce memes at literally no cost. Why not leverage that freedom to drive more views for your brand? Unfortunately, not all attention is good attention, and misreading a trending meme can ensure the focus is negative. BMW learned this the hard way when it latched onto the “OK Boomer” hashtag, not realizing the meme is dismissive of boomers — a significant portion of their audience.

That’s not to say marketers should ignore meme trends or only use the most inoffensive examples. The issue is when marketers don’t understand the origins or cultural insensitivity of a given phrase. Pay attention to what will resonate with different audiences and internet subcultures, and you can be more than the punchline of a hashtag.

Don’t: Overdo it

Memes can be valuable marketing tools, but they are not always effective marketing tools. Yes, they drive brand awareness, but they are exclusively top of funnel content. Spending too much time on memes may inflate your social media following, but it won’t necessarily drive conversions if you don’t balance it out with messaging and lead generation techniques.

On top of this challenge, becoming too reliant on memes can backfire horribly. Wendy’s and Denny’s both became popular for edgy posts with viral appeal, but on occasion, they became overconfident about whether a joke would land. Denny’s ended up in hot water when a meme made light of waitress tipping — which was in poor taste given Denny’s low wages. Social media goodwill is fickle, so focus on a few good memes and move on.

Do: Experiment with meme formats and challenges

We often treat memes as a catch-all term for funny pictures shared on social media, but that’s only part of the story. At their core, memes are simply a process of mimicking and remixing concepts — taking something recognizable and putting a unique spin on it.

This detail is essential because by that definition, memes don’t have to be limited to images. These formats are evolving alongside internet culture, and marketers who wish to use memes effectively have countless opportunities at their disposal. Outside of still images, other examples of popular memes include:

  • GIFs
  • Reshares of social media posts
  • Hashtags
  • Short videos

If you’re looking for an excellent place to start, be on the lookout for meme challenges. These viral events take a simple, broadly applicable meme and put a personal spin on the concept.

Some recent examples include 2020 mood boards and how it started and ended comparisons, both of which drove impressive turnout from brands. Meme challenges have a short shelf life, but they’re an excellent platform for experimentation.

Of course, you’ll still need to follow the advice above — a meme challenge can go badly if you neglect your brand voice or audience expectations. But memes are a fixture of online culture and can benefit your long-term marketing strategy if you leverage them effectively.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

The post The Dos and Don’ts of Meme-Based Marketing appeared first on Post Funnel.

B2CRM News

Kohl’s Making the Right Moves at the Right Time…

The pandemic has shifted consumer priority in so many ways, creating new windows of opportunity for brands to open wide and take advantage of. Just over a month ago, we told you about five brands that have moved fast into leading the athleisure space. 

Kohl’s was one of them – perhaps a bit less predictable than the other four on the list – but their new FLX private label is already available in select stores and will be online at kohls.com in March 2021.

 

Along with the athleisure trend in today’s global fashion movement, it is evident that consumers continue to seek ways to look and feel good while still mostly at home – and Kohl’s has announced another initiative to answer to customers’ wants and needs. 

Kohl’s reported that it will be investing more into its beauty space – bringing in new brands of makeup, perfumes, nail products, and more. 

In fact, according to a recent article by CNBC, Kohl’s says it plans to triple its sales in beauty at least. To do so, the brand will launch a wide range of personal care products and bring in a greater assortment of cosmetics to its shop called The Wellness Market. 

CEO Michelle Gass said Kohl’s is “highly committed to the beauty category, which is a very large and attractive market.” 

“Our customers want beauty, and given the disruption in the marketplace, we have a real opportunity to introduce new elevated brands to our customers,” she said, adding that they are “in talks with a number of smaller, indie beauty brands.” 

 

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Kohl’s also just announced that the prestige beauty brand, Sephora, will also be making its way to the department store – opening mini-shops in 850 Kohl’s stores by 2023. 

“We announced one of the most significant new initiatives in Kohl’s history—a long-term strategic partnership with SEPHORA, the largest specialty beauty retailer in the world. I couldn’t be more excited about how we will bring an elevated and transformational beauty experience to millions of customers across the country—by combining Kohl’s expansive reach with Sephora’s unparalleled beauty expertise, prestige product selection, and renowned service,” CEO Gass wrote in a LinkedIn post. 

The Numbers – Data Proves Where Kohl’s Wants to Be 

 Back in March, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, most industries were battling to retain existing customers. Optimove research suggested that skincare and cosmetics brands have witnessed new customers with a 70% surge in acquisition. A more recent study from Salesforce’s quarterly shopping index states that online sales in makeup and beauty products have increased by 54% in Q3.  

What’s interesting here is that a Media Post article says that brands should practice what PostFunnel preaches: “66% of survey participants are more likely to buy from brands that use technology that recommends new or relevant products that are similar to what the consumer’s shopping to find.” Therefore, customers don’t only love personalization but are also expecting it. 

In another survey by the retail analytics firm, First Insight, conducted on November 11th, out of 1097 consumers who participated, 22% said that this holiday season they plan on buying more beauty products compared to last year. 

To further gear up for the holiday season and prepare for its consumers who are ready to shop, Kohl’s will expand its toy departments that feature the toys in greatest demand. 

In general, it seems like Kohl’s is right on trend in many ways – and that its making sure to let customers know, “One special holiday season is coming…” this year. Will your brand be ready?

 

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Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

The post Kohl’s Making the Right Moves at the Right Time (Our Data Proves) appeared first on Post Funnel.

B2CRM News

What can Marketers Learn from Alicia Keys, REM, Lin-Manuel…

Here on PF, we love ourselves a good podcast. That’s why we’ve recently been bringing you a monthly lineup of the best podcast episodes we think marketers should listen to.

And while we try to keep the list diverse, extracting marketing lessons from a podcast about artists breaking down their own songs is something so unique and intriguing, we 100% welcome it.

Which is exactly what Rony Vexelman, Optimove’s director of product marketing, did when he watched the four episodes of Song Exploder on Netflix.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

According to Vulture, “Song Exploder is probably the best use of the podcast format ever.” In each episode, different musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

They delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work, discussing the creative process used to create a particular song, going from songwriting to recording, all the way to post-production, and more.

Recently, Netflix turned four of its iterations into TV episodes where Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign break down their own work.

In many ways, what he saw there reminded Mr. Vexelman of some marketing challenges and truths he is facing daily. Why? We’ll let him explain.

Four Lessons From Song Exploder

1. Alicia Keys and Sampa teach us that the same message can be interpreted very differently by two people. So imagine how differently thousands of customers and prospects understand your messaging. One-size-fits-all is a method long outdated for marketers.

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s constant tweaking of the tones was masterful. But his understanding that keeping the audience off-balance is what struck me. Marketers should not be afraid to change little subtle things to keep their audiences engaged and surprised.

3. REM’s choice to go with no chorus and use a mandolin throughout ‘Losing my Religion” was against any convention and recommendation. But it taught us to be different and stay true to your gut. If you want your message to stand out, being unique while authentic is a must.

4. Ty Dolla $ign showed us maybe the most powerful lesson of all. Let others chime in and help you on your journey. His collaboration on the road to writing the beautiful “LA” is a core message to all marketing managers out there. Your best work would come from your best collaborations.

 Great lessons can come from any direction. You just need to keep your ears to the ground. Or to the Netflix…

 

The post What can Marketers Learn from Alicia Keys, REM, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Song Exploder? appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Strategy

4 Social Media Mistakes That Will Cost You Customers

Social media is a key part of any marketing strategy, but despite appearances, it’s not as easy to manage as people think. Far from simply firing off short posts at random intervals, social media strategy involves timing, brand awareness, precise copy, and a host of other strategic practices. While there’s no one surefire way to gain followers and acquire new customers, there are plenty of specific examples of what not to do.

We’ve rounded up some of the worst blunders brands can make with their social media accounts. Whether you’re selling a product, seeking engagement, or just trying to increase brand awareness, make sure to avoid these common mistakes — otherwise, you risk irreparable damage to your company’s reputation.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

Tone-deaf posts

Let’s clear the air right away: sometimes, everything feels like it’s just too much. Social injustice, global pandemics, toxic political climates, struggling economies — the list goes on and on. You’d think major companies would be sympathetic to their customers’ plights, and that this sympathy would be reflected in its social media posts — but as we’ve found, that’s not always the case.

For example, in 2019, a social media rep for one of the biggest financial institutions in the world thought it would be a good idea to buy into the “lazy millennial” stereotype and make fun of young people for not having savings accounts. It went over exactly as well as you’d expect: Twitter users ripped Chase apart, and Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered the killing blow by pointing out the economic realities of stagnant wages and rising costs while big banks received billions in bailout money. Chase Bank later deleted the tweet and offered a classic non-apology, but the damage was already done.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean your brand should avoid uncomfortable topics entirely, which can also have a negative effect. If you’re addressing some social injustice or real-world tragedy, do your best to place yourself on the right side of history. Above all, having sympathy for your audience goes a long way toward making connections and engaging long-term customers.

Bad timing

Timing is everything. It can mean the difference between success and failure, or in social media terms, between a successful campaign and a cringy flop. Square Enix, the publisher behind an upcoming video game based on Marvel’s blockbuster Avengers IP, found this out the hard way with a seemingly innocuous video clip and a short message about Captain America. The video — which the Twitter post also encouraged users to download and use as a background — featured a massive statue of the deceased hero in a dystopian, drone-filled setting, with an accompanying message about how the monument was regularly defaced.

What’s so bad about that? Well, this happened in June 2020, as protests against racial injustice and police brutality were sweeping the United States and Confederate statues were being pulled down throughout the south. A message that could have set the stage for an upcoming video game instead inspired reactions that could loosely be summed up as “big yikes.”

Unlike the tone-deaf tweet from Chase Bank the previous year, this wasn’t the case of a brand misreading the room. The post was likely planned out well ahead of time as part of the overall marketing plan for Marvel’s Avengers in the lead-up to its September release date. However, the team in charge of the game’s social media neglected to reconsider the context in the wake of current events, leading to the backlash. The takeaway: even after a marketing plan has been established, social media managers should constantly evaluate how these messages could be perceived in the context of real-world events.

Multi Channel Marketing E-book

#Hijacking

Hashtags. Love them or hate them, those keywords and phrases attached to what our elders once knew as a pound sign can go a long way in raising engagement and brand awareness, which is why you rarely see corporate social media posts without them. But while the strategic use of hashtags can lead to successful social media campaigns, simply jumping on the bandwagon without considering its context can be devastating.

Here’s a good example of hashtag usage: tagging a post with #NationalCoffeeDay when that particular topic is trending and offering deals on coffee or other beverages. Here’s a terrible example: hijacking a hashtag used to raise awareness about domestic violence to promote… pizza.

Yes, that actually happened. Frozen pizza brand DiGiorno, which had been previously praised for its social media liveblogging of big events, tagged a post with #WhyIStayed and offered the comment “You had pizza.” The resulting outcry was well deserved, and DiGiorno apologized, stating that they didn’t know what the hashtag was about before using it. Let DiGiorno’s costly mistake be a lesson to the rest of us: Don’t use a hashtag unless you really know what it’s about and ensuring it makes sense for your brand. Anything else feels like desperate bandwagoning at best, and insensitivity at worst.

Ignoring your audience

With its established position in larger marketing strategies, it’s easy to forget the unique offering of social media. It isn’t just a bullhorn for brands to broadcast announcements and share exciting news; it’s a place where the audience can directly interact with their favorite products, for better or worse. No matter what else is going on, don’t forget about your audience.

Savvy social media users expect regular interactions on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and it’s the job of a good social media strategist to rise to the challenge. Engage with followers, even if they have concerns or complaints. It may not be possible to respond to every single question or comment, but make sure your community feels heard. This is more important than ever in 2020, with coronavirus changing the marketing industry and putting relationships, empathy, and transparency at the forefront.

Managing a brand’s social media presence isn’t as easy as it sounds. Getting it right will take a lot of time and probably some trial and error, but at the very least, you now hopefully have a better understanding of how to avoid brand-destroying gaffes like the ones we’ve outlined. In almost every case, context matters, so let that be a guiding force when creating social media content.

The post 4 Social Media Mistakes That Will Cost You Customers appeared first on Post Funnel.

Customer Intelligence

5 Types of Customer Segmentation You Should Be Using

Understanding your customer starts with segmentation. By categorizing your audience into groups of shared characteristics, it’s far easier to personalize your message to respond to specific needs. What elements will help you find the most useful customer segments as quickly as possible?

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Why customer segmentation matters

Offering an excellent product or service isn’t enough by itself to ensure success for your company. You’ll waste precious time and resources by trying to be all things to all consumers. Tailoring your approach to clearly defined customers increases your ROI as you invest in methods and products more likely to resonate with your audience. The better you know your customers, the more precisely you can cater to their preferences, habits, and needs, thereby creating an exceptional buyer experience.

Customer segmentation helps you understand what motivates them, and speak directly to those needs. Well-examined segments are the first step in higher customer retention, a superior overall customer experience, and more effective ad targeting.

There are several different ways to divide your customer base into various segments. All of them offer useful information you can use to benefit your business, but not all segmentation methods suit all organizations at all stages of their development. Before creating your customer segmentation strategy, consider what you’re trying to achieve.  To get the answers you want, you first need to understand the questions you’re asking. Do you want to increase customer retention, or improve ROI on ad spend? Do you want to expand into new territories, or simply know the buying habits of your existing customer base? A smart examination of customer segments can help with all of that—and more.

Demographic Segmentation

Demographics are probably what come to mind first when you think about dividing your customer base into segments. Customer demographics typically cover some mixture of data about age, gender, marital status, education, or income. In a B2B setting, demographic information might include company size or industry. Consumers are usually willing to share this sort of anonymous information, which makes demographic segmentation one of the easier ways to define your audience. This data can create a baseline against which you can use other segmentation to drill down into smaller customer segments. For example, starting with a demographic of women over 40, you could break down the results of a specific ad campaign with a secondary segment based on geography.

The guide to advanced customer segmentation

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation breaks down your audience based on where they live or work. It can be as broad as country or state, or as narrow as population size or climate features. Customer needs may vary dramatically depending on the economics or culture of their area. An ad that may be amusing in one country could be considered wildly offensive in another. For example, geographic segmentation can inform you on whether or not you need to pull back your ad spend in India during Diwali—or increase it. You can collect some geographic information from your customers based on the ISP they use to visit your site, which can also be categorized alongside other basic demographic information.

Behavioral segmentation

A good way to think about behavioral segmentation is breaking down your customers by their purchasing and spending habits. It’s important to note that in this context, purchasing and spending are not the same thing. Purchasing habits are defined by where and when customers buy. Spending habits are defined by how often customers make purchases and how much they spend. For example, only buying a car during fall clearance sales is a purchasing behavior, while consistently purchasing a car that costs over $30,000 is a spending behavior.

Buyer’s journey segmentation

Buyer’s journey segmentation is particularly useful because it differentiates customers based on how they interact with your site. Perhaps they added something to their cart but never checked out, or they may faithfully browse new stock when prompted by a promotional email. Targeted messaging that speaks to their specific behavior can move the customers in these segments further along their buying journey, and careful examination of them can reveal opportunities for improving your buyer’s experience. Along this line of thinking, information gleaned from follow-up surveys asking why a visitor didn’t buy can be just as valuable for your company as an actual purchase.

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation relies on subjective personality traits, and as such is more difficult to collect than basic information like age or gender. This kind of segmentation defines your customers based on their values, motivations, priorities, and lifestyle. One example might be whether they’re early adopters of new technology, or whether they tend to wait for a product to be tried and true. The psychographic information you gather can help create a brand identity and design marketing materials that speak directly to your customers’ emotions. If your customers identify as being environmentally conscious, for example, you could create an ad campaign highlighting your eco-friendly manufacturing process.

Your market segmentation strategy may use just one of these, or all of them together. More information is typically more helpful, but be wary of overly narrow segmentation. It’s true that the smaller the group, the more precisely you can speak to their needs, but if the segment is too small, it won’t impact your business’s bottom line. Finally, be aware that customer segmentation isn’t something you do once and never worry about again. Your customer segments will remix as your customers grow and change over time. A sound strategy, revisited at regular intervals, will provide you with the insight you need to help your business thrive.

The post 5 Types of Customer Segmentation You Should Be Using appeared first on Post Funnel.

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