Marketing & Automation

thought and pictureWikipedia defines marketing automation as referring to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

There does appear to be agreement among the vendors as well that it is software or technology aimed at making the marketer’s job easier, more efficient and more accurate. In oversimplified terms, it automates your marketing; it does not create it nor does it ensure that the message is what you need. One of the benefits not mentioned is that it also helps to make sure that your marketing is Cohesive; all your campaigns working together to relay a consistent message to the viewer.

In the past, literally before online anything, marketing practitioners relied solely on outbound campaigns that used creative messaging and visuals aimed at specific demographics in the hope of getting them to contact you. Rates of return were quite low and more often than not, very hard to measure.

Initially, automation was used in conjunction with email, focusing on sending batches in blast format and again hoping to gain some traction with the recipients. At least there were some tools available that could help in understanding a limited subset of the behaviours but it was still very limited as to did you influence the prospective buyer of your products or services.

With the prevalence of online today, most buying decisions are made prior to contact with any vendor, never mind the one from whom they will eventually make a purchase. So now you need to find ways to influence and affect the buying decision without actually knowing the customer before they buy.

The software can help us do this but in a lot of cases, a poor campaign is being automated only to fail quicker but fail none the less. So when looking at your marketing vendor, their capability and their tools keep in mind the tools are available to gather data to help understand the buyer’s behaviour and the signals they are sending but the concepts have not changed. Automating a poor process means you have an automated poor process; automate a great one and you may have a winner. You still need to know who your prospects are, where they are and what their likely buying behaviour is going to look like; that we can help with.

Do You Have A Strategic Approach For Attaining & Retaining Customers?

Content Marketing Strategies - Cohesive MarketingWhen connecting customers to your brand approximately 90% business-to-business marketers and 85% business-to-consumer organizations use content marketing as their primary strategy.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach to creating and distributing content to attract and retain your clearly-defined audience with the intention of generating leads to drive sales. This can be as simple as writing content on the internal pages with the use of popular keywords, and properly tagging the images, or writing blogs. Continue reading

Why You Should Get Your Customers Talking

get-your-customers-talkingTestimonials and reviews are increasingly helping to determine purchasing decisions. If there’s more information regarding we can glean from a service or product, the better. People relate to testimonials and reviews because it is actually coming from the customer, not the business. Maybe you’ve heard positive reactions to your business. Perhaps customers have been dissatisfied and you aren’t aware of it. Regardless the outcome, it’s important to find out what your customers think. Without knowing how your business is doing or how customers feel, how can you improve? Customers are the most integral part of your business. If they aren’t satisfied with your company, you may be risking losing customers to the competition.
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Does your company REALLY need a blog?

why blog

If you’re not sure why your company may need a blog, I have put some info together to help you make the decision:

1) Easy to start – Depending on your website, there is probably a plug-in app that will do the trick and is low cost. Some may say FREE, but it does take some time to set up.

Cheap or free are not always good reasons to start something, so here are some benefits:

2) Your brand voice –The style your blog is written in gives readers a good idea of your company’s knowledge, and how you may differ from your competitors.

3) Search Engines – Each blog post creates another indexed page of content for search engines, which increases your chances of being found when someone is looking for your product.

4) Traffic to website – Besides the SEO factors, you can share your posts on social media platforms that your audience is tuned into.

5) Exposure – Viewers are able to share your posts via email or social media, which helps get more eyes on your brand.

6) Lead Generation – You can include a call-to-action on a post. If someone is reading the blog, they are interested in the topic, and an offer may help them decide to contact you.

7) Sales tool – Your team can use the blog posts to share with a client or prospect when they are inquiring about a product or service. This may help you deliver a consistent message.

8) Staff education – There are different roles in each company with specific duties. Sometimes your employees may not fully understand the benefits of a new product or service, and why people should buy from your company. Sharing the posts with your team helps to bring them up to speed. Each employee may not need to know full details, but they should know what you provide.

Overall, a blog post can assist in generating leads for your company, but you shouldn’t be expecting an instant return. Think of it as part of your long term marketing plan. See my blog post: Marathon not sprint

If you need help getting started, you can find me here: Cory Walpole

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Search Engine of Them All?

Let me start by saying that the purpose of this post is not to sway anyone one way or t’other, I love Google as much as one can love a search engine. However, as a marketing professional, I feel as though it’s my duty to remind my clients that they should know how their business is being represented across as many online entities as possible.

search engine Google alternativesHere at Cohesive, many clients come to us with a goal of being “first on Google”. In and of itself, it’s not a bad goal, but what I like to call “Googlevision” sometimes clouds our vision and lulls us into thinking that if we’re doing well on Google, we’re doing well in life. Believe it or not, the translation isn’t always that simple, because we have these wonderful things called customers, who should actually be the ones that dictate how well we are doing, and where we can improve.

In marketing your business, your perception should be twofold: How your business is performing online and how your business is performing in real life!

What a concept; I know, I’m so wild and crazy sometimes.

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Are you getting value for your marketing spend?

Cost vs ValueIn an earlier blog, I talked about Return on Ad Spend. I talked in general terms about some of the basics to making sure you get value for your spend. You need to measure the effectiveness as well as the ultimate success of the campaign. You need to identify your key metrics (goals), be specific in what needs to be done, define the timeline and measure the effectiveness of any campaign.

Where should you spend your marketing dollars; traditional or online? According to Hoovers, 71% of businesses plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year, compared to a mere 20% who plan on increasing their traditional budgets. Continue reading

The Power of Facebook

Facebook1With over 1.5 billion universal users and 3 million active advertisers, Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful tool and the leading social media platform.

Over the past few years Facebook has significantly surpassed Twitter on user growth, user engagement, active advertisers and ad revenue generation.  Facebook has over 23 times more advertisers than Twitter, even though the number of active users is only 5 times that of Twitter. And, with the Facebook-owned Instagram they now have 50% more advertisers than Twitter, which has been selling ads for a much longer time frame. Continue reading

Reasons Why Getting Social is More Important Than You Think

success-go-get-itIn my conversations with business owners here are some questions I commonly get asked regarding social media and its usefulness.

“How does being on social media get us leads?”

The automatic assumption in their view is, “Well, I am not on social media, I have no experience with it, so our business doesn’t need it.” Although, just because you yourself are not personally on social media, doesn’t mean your customers are not using social media. Also, as the business owner, have you been actively shopping around for your services? The benefit of getting social is that when people start following you, you automatically increase the potential of generating leads. There are three steps to this. First, you need to be on social media. Second, you need followers. Lastly, you need to post relevant content and engage with your followers. Continue reading

Prevent Marketing Waste

Malcom Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers, in which he has great stories to show examples of a principle that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master any task. This principle made a lot sense to me. I had already thought this to a certain extent as I was taught at an early age that you have to work at anything you want to be good at.

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SEO, SEM, Content Marketing – What is Best?

It’s been a very strange week, at least in my world.

One saving grace is that I’ve had some interesting conversations about marketing – my personal nirvana.

Based on what I’ve seen and heard, I thought it might be a good idea to write about some of the more common trendy jargon being bandied about so far in 2016.

online marketing winnipegMarketing has always been largely subjective. That’s not to say that there aren’t true fundamentals that result in success, but the steps that one takes to achieve success can vary greatly. It really boils down to experimenting with things until you flesh out certain approaches that suit your brand to a “T”.

In the realm of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and content marketing, the possibility of misinterpretation is massive.

Which is why setting expectations is so critical. It’s okay if my client thinks that SEO is something completely different to what I believe – the important part here is actually talking about all of the aspects each party believes it to encompass and coming to a mutual understanding of what exactly that deliverable will look like.

We’re not rewriting Merriam-Webster’s here, people; we are trying to market businesses!

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