Tag Archive | "consumer"

Capturing Gen Z on Snapchat Could Gain Long-Term Consumer Loyalty

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The way I use my Instagram handle is similar in design to the way our mothers used their photo albums. While scrolling through my photo stream (or the streams of my friends), I see a highly curated story of a life as captured through the most flattering possible lens.

If Instagram is the thoughtfully staged, well lit, perfect representation of a moment, consider Snapchat a silly face made in a mundane instant of everyday life. But marketers should know — there’s nothing silly about it.

Snapchat offers real-time connection with fleeting images, allowing users more freedom of expression. It’s a way to escape the curated content of other social platforms, and with a close circle of trusted followers, users don’t worry about broadcasting a perfect lifestyle.

There is also no expectation for engagement as the platform doesn’t contain an option for likes, shares or comments. Snapchat invites users to be real and show their true selves with more casual and everyday communication. (My thirteen-year-old daughter and her friends use Snapchat to send funny faces while sitting in study hall, in the car, or any other point of rest during their day.)

Snapchat is a noncommittal way to connect, but also truly intimate. By sharing the commonplace, users experience an ambient awareness of each other’s lives. Another interest aspect is that it’s not necessarily used to expand your social circle. Snapchat is primarily used to connect with those with whom you are already close (and perhaps to follow influencers you admire).

Without the easily available engagement metrics of a Pinterest or a Twitter, some marketers have dismissed Snapchat as a communications vehicle. However, there is a huge opportunity for lifestyle brands, especially those that appeal to the younger millennial or Gen Z demographic.

Snapchat is designed for mobile viewing, and as a result for teens who exclusively communicate via mobile. By decreasing image size and solving the text message delay teens so frequently lament, Snapchat has won their attention with a more instantaneous back and forth conversation.

Email also feels antiquated to this demographic, making Snapchat’s notification feature a valuable interruption into a user’s day. (Parents of teens will relate to this. I always have to text or Snapchat my daughter to alert her to an email in her inbox. For most teens, email serves just two functions; tracking of ecommerce orders and sending messages to teachers.)

Discover is Snapchat’s first foray into the marketing arena with publications beginning to experiment with digestible content that disappears after 24 hours. Those that offer short, fun anecdotes or are driven by celebrity news are shining.

Others are still finding their way, as evidenced through long, feature recipes that offer no ability to save or print and are therefore rendered useless. Marketers need to take into account the attention span of their audience and the lifespan of their content before engaging.

More and more brands are joining Snapchat and disseminating short form content. Those with loyal teen audiences will thrive by relating to their consumer’s lifestyle in real time, as well as with promotions that display a sense of urgency or limited time offer. This audience has come to expect content that caters directly to them and is a necessity to receive any form of ongoing interaction.

But how do brands succeed in reaching new audiences on a platform where users are only talking to each other? It is one thing to develop an identity and hope that your fan base finds you, but for those seeking increased awareness, consider bringing in an ace.

There is an opportunity for brands to sponsor an influencer with an existing following. With so much trust between influencers and their audiences, the right influencer with the right brand will speak volumes to a targeted following. Go where your audience is already engaged to relate to your core demographic and form new connections among like-minded individuals.

Snapchat also provides brands with an easy avenue to experiment for those not ready to embark with a fully integrated marketing communications plan. Pull back the curtain and don’t be afraid to show your true self, the real you, the behind-the-scenes production and preparation. After all, everyone can relate to a silly face.

Danielle Wiley is the CEO of Sway Group, a leading content marketing agency with more than 90,000 influencers in its network.  

Image courtesy of focal point / Shutterstock.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Early Twitter Vets Launch Color Genomics To Make Genetic Screenings For Breast Cancer Affordable

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The Next & Arguably Most Important Phase of Social is Loyalty

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Facebook recently celebrated its 11th birthday and in those 11 years, a lot has changed. Marketers have learned that social is a great way to reach large audiences, especially with its terrific segmenting and targeting capabilities. And, much more so than traditional marketing strategies like TV advertising, social offers the ability to track and measure. In 11 short years, the industry has evolved from building their social presence to listening, and from there to advertising and real-time marketing.

During this time, consumers have changed, too, becoming savvier, more mobile and raising the bar on their expectations. To meet and deliver on these expectations, the next (and arguably most important from a business perspective) phase of social media is loyalty.

Social is a Consumer Channel

We’ve all heard the analogy that social media is like a party, not a shopping mall, where brands that show up need to be entertaining and genuine while being part of the ‘scene.’ Yet, at the end of the day, social media is a consumer channel — not a business channel — with people there to interact with one another, not hang out with brands — try as we might to engage them with cute chat about Oreos and dresses.

That’s not to say that all the listening, advertising brands have done on social to date are for naught – they are indeed important building blocks and as an industry we’ve learned a lot from our time hanging out on social with consumers. However, it’s time to move past these phases and ask ourselves, ‘what measurable impact has this had on the business?’ Arguably little. Brands are having difficulty even quantifying it!  Only 15 percent of marketers report their companies can show the impact of social media using quantitative approaches.

For these reasons and more, now is the time to take those building blocks and create something of measurable benefit – loyalty.

Why Social-Loyalty?

While early marketers fell in love with the reach and power of social media, these virtues are the foundation of a great social loyalty program.  By linking a customer’s social profile with an offline profile that exists in a CRM, for example, businesses can create a virtuous cycle of planning, measurement and improvement driven by data and personalization.

With a 360-degree view of customers in hand, brands are able to get to know their customers in a more meaningful way that will allow them to truly personalize messages, offers and rewards. Now, before you begin to think this is a creepy overstep of today’s technology, consider that consumers actually want personalization and offers that match their spending patterns. According to research by MyBuys, half of consumers want their personal information used to coordinate a better overall shopping experiences and three-fourths are willing to share store purchase data for personalization purposes.

Consumers are tired of having untimely, irrelevant messages sprayed at them and frankly view spray and pray programs as lazy. Much has been written about the growing delta between consumer expectation and most brand’s ability to deliver, with personalization one key area driving the divide.

Linked to mobile, CRM, and other business and data silos, social loyalty offers the utility consumers desire while giving business the ability to offer holistic, personalized customer experience(s).

Social Loyalty Gives Consumers Control

Social loyalty gives consumers what they have wanted for some time: marketing as a utility. It has the ability to turn mobile into the smartphone remote control consumers desire for delivery, consumption and reward. The opposite of spray and pray, personalization is a the center of utility marketing, providing consumers with the right message, at the right time via a mechanism that allows for instant activation and/or fulfillment.

Social loyalty is the ultimate delivery mechanism for a tailored brand experience, allowing the consumer to control activation and interconnectedness, providing the brand with an ideal mechanism to reward, surprise and delight. Using hashtags and other social and mobile triggers consumers can interact with brands, receive rewards, and share their experiences with their friends.

Social loyalty enables technology to deliver on consumer expectations in a new age. As social media evolves and transforms, brands need to do the same, realizing the measurable benefits social media can have both for the business and in building mutually beneficial marketing relationships with today’s savvy consumer who understands that the marketing equation has flipped to favor them in what is no longer a one-to-many world, but a one-to-one-to-many, consumer driven marketplace.

Chris Teso is the CEO of Chirpify, a mobile and social customer loyalty platform.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Video Challenge App FightMe Bets On More Ice Bucket Challenges And Social Movements

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Facebook Marketing Partner Offerpop Adds Consumer Data to SaaS Platform

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Social marketing firm Offerpop, a Facebook Marketing Partner, announced recently that it has added consumer data to its engagement marketing software-as-a-service platform.

This allows brands to build richer consumer profiles, perform advanced segmentation and analysis, as well as activate customers through targeted and personalized marketing initiatives. It’s a way for brands to gather more top of the funnel data to pair with the bottom of the funnel figures such as purchase history.

Wendell Lansford, Offerpop CEO, commented on the announcement in a press release:

Today’s ‘always on’ world offers limitless opportunities for brands to engage with consumers across digital and traditional channels. It’s now critical for marketers to harness the new data stemming from these engagement programs to better understand their consumers, and activate and convert their audiences. Our new data product allows brands to collect, own and manage their consumer engagement data in one system built to produce the best marketing results in the industry.

Dario Lopez, director of digital media and development at Latina Media Ventures, discussed the new technology:

Offerpop’s insights offer us the opportunity to adjust our social media and marketing strategy like never before. No longer do we need to rely on multiple third-party services to aggregate and make sense of all of the data from various networks. Not only does this tool save us time, it helps us meet our bottom line.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

SOCIAL LOGINS: Facebook Rebounds in 1Q

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Janrain1Q2015SocialLoginPreferencesAfter a sluggish performance during the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook rebounded strongly in a study of first-quarter-2015 social login trends by Janrain, a Facebook Marketing Partner.

Highlights of Janrain’s findings included:

  • Facebook regained some ground during the first quarter of 2015 that it had lost during the fourth quarter of 2014, seeing increases of 9 percent in the consumer brand vertical and 11 percent in business-to-business.
  • LinkedIn surrendered its lead in the B2B vertical to Facebook, falling 10 percent in the first quarter.
  • Google+ was down 6 percent quarter-over-quarter.
  • Facebook also saw strong growth in the media and entertainment verticals.

Janrain wrote in a blog post detailing its results:

After more than 20 quarters of analyzing and reporting on the social login trends we’re tracking across our customers’ tens of thousands of Web and mobile sites, last quarter’s data indicated that Google+ might just even up the race with Facebook for dominance when the gap between the two leading providers narrowed to just 3 percent.

The first quarter of 2015, however, saw that gap widen yet again: Google’s share fell 3 percent to 37 percent, as Facebook’s rose 2 percent to 45 percent. While both identity providers (IDPs) enjoy little overall competition from other large social networks like Twitter (5 percent), Yahoo (3 percent) and LinkedIn (3 percent), vertical volatility continues to reflect shifting consumer preferences, as different IDPs offer different advantages across different types of sites.

This past quarter, we saw the biggest shifts in consumer brand and B2B websites. As we hypothesized in the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook’s renewed focus on consumer data privacy and increased control over personal data sharing may be driving this quarter’s gains — as of March, all sites have been migrated to the new application version that features an anonymous login option and line-by-line sharing controls.

Readers: Did any of Janrain’s findings surprise you?


Login image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Bangalore-based Mango Man Consumer Electronics Picks Up $1.75M From Sequoia And India Quotient Fund

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Teewe Mango Man

New ‘Brand Authenticity’ Scale Released – How Authentic are You?

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Does ‘brand authenticity’ matter to you? Is your brand – either the one you buy or work for – an authentic brand? And what the heck is ‘brand authenticity’ anyway?

Answers are revealed in an eminently useful new 15 point scale – the Perceived Brand Authenticity Scale (PBA Scale – below) – to be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology by an international team of researchers from the Universities of Lausanne and Bern in Switzerland, and Concordia and l’Université du Québec in Canada.

So what precisely is ‘brand authenticity’? The developers of the Perceived Brand Authenticity scale reviewed research to date to cut through loose thinking and ambiguity and crystallise the idea in a clear and simple definition

Definition of Perceived Brand Authenticity

“The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves”

In other words perceived brand authenticity has four key components

  • Continuity (brand being faithful to itself),
  • Credibility (true to its consumers),
  • Integrity (motivated by caring and responsibility)
  • Symbolism (support consumers in being true to themselves)

These four dimensions capture the key idea that authenticity is far more than a simple ‘objective’ attribute; authenticity has psychological, subjective and symbolic value too – authentic brands are true to us personally, stand for what we stand for, and help us be true to ourselves.

So, does your brand have brand authenticity?

To answer this question as simply as possible, ask consumers to rate your brand (and competitor brands) on the 15 question Perceived Brand Authenticity (PBA) scale (anchored 1 = strongly disagree, 7 = strongly agree).

[Whilst the researchers propose weighting responses, as a practical first pass, simply add the scores to compare relative performance out of a possible total of 105].

Perceived Brand Authenticity Scale

On a seven point scale, (7 = Strongly Agree, 1 = Strongly Disagree*), to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following

[Brand X] is


1. A brand with a history

2. A timeless brand

3. A brand that survives time

4. A brand that survives trends


5. A brand that will not betray you

6. A brand that accomplishes its value promise

7. An honest brand


8. A brand that gives back to its consumers

9. A brand with moral principles

10. A brand true to a set of moral values

11. A brand that cares about its consumers


12. A brand that adds meaning to people’s lives

13. A brand that reflects important values people care about

14. A brand that connects people with their real selves

15. A brand that connects people with what is really important

* 7 = Strongly Agree, 6 = Agree, 5 = Somewhat agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 3 = Somewhat disagree, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree

Finally, does brand authenticity matter?

In initial research with consumers, the developers of the PBA Scale have used the scale to successfully validate the belief among marketers that brand authenticity is a driver of brand choice. Brand authenticity does matter because brand authenticity drives sales.

From a psychological perspective, this makes sense. In a world where we use brands not only to reduce risk when buying, but also to express ourselves, validate ourselves and manage our image, brand authenticity matters because personal authenticity matters. By buying brands with brand authenticity, we are saying something about our personal authenticity.

3 Strategies to Segment Audiences and Personalize Digital Marketing

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Today’s consumers are not silent spectators or passive listeners. Instead, companies are dealing with an empowered audience — engaged in real-time social and mobile conversations, but fragmented across many digital platforms.

While digital marketers are well aware that they must segment their audience and deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, many struggle with tactical yet effective ways to pinpoint audiences based on needs, expectations and behaviors.

Use Digital Platforms to Build Consumer Personas

Customers are more than just a gender, age, and location recorded in some database. Marketers need to also understand the behaviors and preferences of customers in order to provide them with the best possible experiences while simultaneously influencing their purchasing plans.

STA Travel, a youth-focused travel company, used an Offerpop quiz to better understand the interests of their audience and direct them to personalized travel options. The quiz placed participants into one of five personality-based “Travel Tribes:” Life & Soul, Thrill Seeker, A-Lister, Free Wheeler, and Live like a Local. The campaign yielded over 40,000 responses, providing a wealth of persona data that STA used to target offers to customers.

STA’s website traffic increased, sales grew and they gained more than 10,000 new potential customers using a fun and engaging campaign.

Persona building is a great way to avoid pitching irrelevant marketing content to consumers. For instance, travelers interested in yoga, meditation and soulful retreats most likely are not interested in VIP club access or weekend party yacht rentals. Being more targeted will ensure your content resonates with your customers.

Integrate unique experiences for real-time consumer journey insight

Forrester’s report on Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Consumer emphasizes going beyond consumer historical data, and expanding analysis to better understand “the next step a consumer may take.” Customers come into contact with brands at varying stages; some are ready to purchase, others are there to gather information, and it’s up to brands to offer experiences that cater to each specific situation, and move the consumer closer to conversion..

Brand-to-consumer experiences help brands gain a real-time understanding of where an individual is in the buying cycle, and how the brand can move them along the path to purchase.

Be generous with content and rewards by incorporating contests and discount offerings to consumers, but keep those offerings pertinent to the needs, wants, and desires of each audience segment.

Advocate Health Care, one of the largest hospital and health systems in the Midwest, launched a GoPro giveaway and integrated marketing campaign to promote local health and wellness. Grounded in a hashtag to collect and display user-generated content, and promoted around the city with billboards, TV ads, and digital advertising targeted at outdoors and fitness enthusiasts, #HealthiestLife aggregated more than 3,000 pieces of repurposable user-generated content. Advocate Health Care was able to collect opt-in permissions and deliver follow-up marketing initiatives relevant to the audiences activity. The well-catered messaging ultimately resulted in a 26 percent increase in physician appointments, not to mention a 126 percent jump in traffic to the user-generated content gallery on their website.

Identify new touch points for audience segments using an omni-channel approach

Different audiences open their doors to brands at varying stages of the sales cycle. By including utility-focused content and engagement tools into your strategies, you will find previously unknown avenues to interact with consumers. Tracking targeted content allows marketers to see when different audiences are activated — a great building point for future campaigns.

Following an incredibly successful user-generated content campaign, tote bag retailer SCOUT drove e-commerce sales by repurposing UGC in various touch points across their digital marketing channels.

The SCOUT marketing team discovered that featuring user-generated content in an online holiday gift guide and their email marketing resulted in a significant increase in web traffic from existing fans. Additionally, they experienced such a high volume of web visitors and social media fans visiting the gallery, that they replaced the ‘SALE’ tab in the header of emails with the #scoutbags user-generated content gallery, which effectively drove more consumers to in-season products. Finally, SCOUT included a print promotion for the campaign with every order to remind customers to continue sharing their SCOUT moments.

SCOUT tracked which content generates the most clicks and shares and used this information to optimize their visual marketing strategy and cater to their audiences needs and preferences. And it worked – sales from social traffic increased an average of 67.5 percent by the end of 2014.

Audience segmentation has gone real-time. Brands are building consumer profiles that are constantly tracking what you like, what you buy, how you buy it, and millions of other digital interactions on an ongoing basis. But the potential of this power is lost if marketers aren’t tracking, segmenting, and revamping their messaging to match their audience. Sending the wrong message to the wrong audience is not only wasted time — it can also harm your relationship with potential customers.

Rob Manning is the Content Marketing Manager at Offerpop, where he heads up the creation and execution of content strategies.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

FiftyThree Lands $30M From NEA To Build Creation Tools For Enterprise And Education Users

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April 2015
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