BETTER MARKETING FOR BETTER BUSINESS

Sharing our thoughts on the world of today's media.

Local Business

FOMO: A Real Psychological Feeling and a Marketing Tactic

Have you ever seen a long line of people outside of a store, or a huddle of people in public and wondered if you were missing out on something? Our inclination is to find out what is so exciting and possibly join in if it is worth it. This fear of missing out, or ‘FOMO’ is a psychological experience which can create anxious feelings within a person, and it convinces them they might be missing out something that everyone else is doing/eating/buying/attending, etc. The four-letter acronym attempts to describe why people make certain choices because they psychologically think the people around them might have better life experiences. So, is FOMO real and can it be applied to marketing? Let’s look at the statistics!

The FOMO sensation has been around a very long time but has increased dramatically since the internet has allowed us to see what anyone in the world is up to at a given moment. Statistics show 69 percent of millennials are afraid they may miss out on something if they don’t keep in touch with social media. That’s almost every seven out of ten millennials! Even if a business’ target market is not millennials, the internet has allowed information and photos to be posted, sent and received at a rapid pace, allowing anyone to see the interests and activities of the people in their network in a given moment. On Facebook, timelines show us “Susie Q. and 4 others like ____ detergent” or “Brandon T. and 45 others like this photo.” As a brand, FOMO can be leveraged by marketing to the Facebook friends of consumers who already like our page. On Instagram, we can show ads to profiles similar to those of our followers. The internet creates a way for the everyday consumer to share their new jobs, new pets, favorite restaurants, and any other detail they want to share, and we check these social media and other internet outlets to learn what is out there.  If enough people in Johnny’s social network post about the new ice cream place down the street, Johnny is going to be influenced positively or negatively as to whether he should go there.

FOMO can also be used in marketing by sharing photos, videos, or reviews of other satisfied customers who have already used the service or purchased the product. In a restaurant study, menus which stated an item was “the most popular dish” had a 20 to 30 percent increase in sales compared to other items on the menu. Hotels found when they put up a sign which said “75 percent of people reuse their bathroom towels”, 30% more people reused their towel. Also, 68% of people trust the opinions and reviews of others online when looking to make a purchase.

The statistics don’t lie… FOMO is affecting our culture and buying habits. As the FOMO epidemic continues to grow through the power of the internet and social media, it is possible to channel this energy to help your business in a positive way. Social media, advertising, and great reviews are just a few ways to leverage FOMO in marketing. How will you use FOMO?

References:

https://sleeknote.com/blog/fomo-marketing

https://squarelovin.com/blog/social-proof-ecommerce-en

https://eventbrite-s3.s3.amazonaws.com/marketing/Millennials_Research/Gen_PR_Final.pdf

Bring Back the Phone Books

We’ll let you decide on this, but for many local businesses, the phone book used to be something they depended on to bring in new customers every year. We see in our data, there are still business types in specific markets where the phone book still brings in a substantial number of new customers and sales. To some, the phone book is dead, and to others, the phone book still brings a respectable return on the investment.

Phone Books

The quote “Give me the phonebooks back” was said by one of our clients this past month. And this opened some discussion amongst our team on the value and simplicity the phone books have or did have. The businesses which advertised heavily consistently had great tracking and could tell the value it was bringing their business. For some, it was just the fear of not being there which kept them advertising in the phone book.

When we dug deeper to understand this specific client, it was interesting to hear his thoughts. And to some degree, it encompassed the simplicity. Think about it, buy an ad in the phone book and it’s there for the year. You know what it is or is not going to do for your business, and after you signed the contract, you didn’t think much of it until the following year. You could think about it, but you couldn’t change the ad until the next publication.

The internet, on the other hand, may be the exact antithesis of the phone book. Most experts know and study the changes made by Google or other search engines/platforms on a regular basis. For business owners and marketing people, staying up on these changes requires time and there are many different opinions on the best way to win at marketing on the internet. Of course, different for each market and business type. The aforementioned client knows this, and he has his team check regularly where his business is being found online. What page and what position for different search terms are things they look at, as well as the performance of many different online advertising platforms.

No matter how many years the phone books have left in their existence, the internet is the new place people look to go when they are looking for a service or product. And who knows? Maybe our smartphones will become obsolete as well. Being replaced by the likes and/or next generation of what we know today as “Hey Siri,” “Alexa,” or “Hey Google,” and the wave of AI which is here today and growing every day. “Hey, Google – I need a plumber to come out to the house today to repair a leaky faucet,” will be followed with something like, “There are three choices near you, all with a 4.0-star rating or higher. I can connect you to the first one, XYZ plumbing company, which has been in business since 1991 if you would like.”

The future may be closer than we think.

Build Customer Trust

Louvre Media Build Customer Trust

Managing your online reviews is an important part of maintaining your company’s reputation and cannot be ignored. Online reviews build customer trust and create the opportunity for a consumer to choose your business. It can also improve local search rankings and increase your exposure on the internet, but that’s another topic altogether.

We recommend responding to reviews within 24 hours, if not sooner. It allows a business to show they care. Period. Responding to both positive and negative reviews is important. Consumers who leave reviews typically are active online and will appreciate the quick feedback. Thanking someone for their positive review reinforces they reason they gave you a review in the first place. Addressing the issues on a negative review allows you the opportunity to have a conversation with the customer, rather than a one-sided story. You can also encourage them to contact you via other channels to address their issues or concerns. When responding to negative reviews, it is not only important to address their concerns, but also to work to resolve the issue. Sometimes good resolutions lead to a negative review being updated by the customer that left it. More importantly, when a potential customer sees that you are willing to fix issues and care about your other customers, it increases their trust and faith in you.

Managing online websites is easier than one may think. The top three websites where consumers leave reviews are Google, Facebook, and Yelp. All three of these pages can be easily claimed so you can see the reviews when they come in (you will have to set your notifications in order to know when a review has been submitted). There are companies which simplify the process and connect to more than these three websites and will notify you anytime a review for your business comes in across the internet.

References
https://www.revlocal.com/blog/review-and-reputation-management/2018-review-marketing-statistics-infographic
https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/
https://www.reputation.com/resources/blog/8-tips-for-responding-to-negative-reviews/

New Year, New Goals

Always Moving Forward

Whether you are the owner or a trusted manager of your company, how are your business plans looking for the coming year? Do you continue to do what you always have done or are you keeping it fresh and exciting? And why is this even a topic of a blog post?

Always Moving Forward

For your business, who is this person and how do they do at making a great first impression. Maybe more importantly, and as important – how do you know how they are doing? This may be the first person greeting you when you walk in a store and for other businesses, it may be the person answering the phone.

I’m sure you have called on a business as a customer and had to wait for minutes after trying to get through the dreaded phone tree, and then to only be disconnected somehow. How about walking into a business and looking for someone to help you? Both are experiences which are far below customer service levels of what you see as a great first impression.

As a passionate business owner or manager who expects nothing but the best, you can see the frustration as a customer in both of the scenario’s above. How do you make sure this isn’t your business? Here are some quick tips on how to check (and if it isn’t you doing the checking, follow up with the person who should be accountable for this.)

  1. Set standards, both for people visiting your business and calling your business. What type of experience do you want your customer to have with their first impression?
  2. If you are a retail business (customers come to you,) observe, from either the inside of the building or on the outside. How are they measuring up to your standards?
  3. If you are a service business or a retail business, how is the phone etiquette? Call your business as a customer or listen to incoming calls if you have some type of call recording system in place.
  4. Secret Shoppers – enlist some family or friends to shop your business. Ask them for a written report. Ask them to be as detailed in the report as possible. After reviewing the report, ask for clarification on any details and see how this matches up to your standards.

We know how this effects your business, but can you quantify this a bit more. Of course, and let’s look at the numbers. The numbers here is an example from the service industry and could be looked at for any industry really.

Real life example – We work with many clients who have great tracking systems in place. One of them measures conversions of calls coming in from new customers. Often new potential customers, typically the best schedule and service seven of the ten (some are price shoppers or are looking for service now and that may not be possible.) If a team schedules only 3.5 of ten calls, which is half of the best, then the cost to acquire a new customer doubled. Which means we have to spend twice as much in getting calls or we get half as many calls for the same amount of money – either way, it is costing us more to acquire a new customer if we are not doing the best job in scheduling the calls we have coming in.

If you need help in evaluating your cost per lead or how to make improvements to your first impression experience, the best place to start is to see how you are doing today and to work to make improvements to this in the coming months. A little time here will pay off big time in the long run.

Your Customer’s First Experience

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression.

If you think about a time when you’ve gone into a nice hotel, you might recall a very friendly and professional employee opening the door and welcoming you to their establishment. There are certainly more than a few various types of businesses which have a greeter at the door, inviting you in, and making you feel welcome.

Make a First Impression

 

These are Great First Impressions.

For you, as a business owner, who is this person for your company? How do they rate at first impressions? More importantly, how do you know how they are doing? This could be the person who greets a customer when they walk into your store, or the person who answers the phone.

Do you dread calling larger companies these days, knowing the wait time will be several minutes, likely resulting in being disconnected? Have you ever walked into a business and had to look for someone to help you? Both examples are far below the levels of what you expect to see as a great first impression in customer service.

As a passionate business owner, or manage, who expects nothing but the best, how do you make sure your customers aren’t having experiences like both scenario’s above? Here are some quick tips on how to check (and if you aren’t the one doing the checking, make sure you are following up with the person who should be accountable for this):

  1. Set standards for people visiting your business and calling your business. What type of experience do you want your customer to have as their first impression?
  2. If you are a retail business (where customers come to you), observe. From either inside, or outside, the building. How are your employees measuring up to your standards?
  3. If you are a service or retail business, how is the phone etiquette? Call your place of business as a customer or listen to incoming calls (if you have a call recording system in place).
  4. Secret Shoppers. Enlist some family or friends to shop your business. Ask them for a written report, with as much detail as possible, about their experience. After reviewing the report, ask for clarification on any details you’re unsure about, and see how this tests up to your standards.

At first glance, it’s easy to see how this impacts your business. However, this can be quantified. Let’s look at the numbers. The numbers we are using are examples from the service industry.

Real life example. We work with many clients who have great tracking systems in place. One of them measures conversions of calls coming in from new customers. Companies that perform the best typically schedule (and service) seven out of ten new potential customers. When a company isn’t performing at it’s best they might schedule only 3.5 out of ten calls, the cost to acquire a new customer doubles. This means we must spend twice as much in getting calls, OR we get half as many calls at the same amount

of money. Either way it is costing us more money to acquire a new customer if we are not doing the best job in scheduling the calls, we already have coming in.

If you’re not sure what your cost per lead is, or how to make improvements to the first impression your company is putting out there, the best place to start is checking out how you are doing today. Moving forward from your initial findings, continue making improvements, and soon enough you’ll see. A little time spent here will be a big pay off in the long run.

Programmatic Advertising. What is it?

Online Media Buying

You may have heard terms like “Programmatic Advertising” thrown around more and more recently. It has become commonplace for businesses of all sizes to include in their marketing plan. Yet many business owners don’t understand what that means. We understand people are hesitant to try something new, especially if they’re not truly grasping the concept. Let’s talk about Programmatic Advertising so we can all have a better understanding of what it is and what value it may bring to different businesses.

 

Over the past few years, display and video advertising have grown exponentially. We are seeing local businesses slowly start making an entry into this new media, as more and more companies are working with them to help get their feet in the door. Many of the opportunities for using digital and video advertising is only available through Programmatic Advertising. The understanding of the term Programmatic Advertising is not important, however with the term being thrown around so much, it is good as a marketer to understand in principle, the concept, and definition.

 

Programmatic Advertising, in a nutshell, is a computerized purchase of ads on the internet, as opposed to the traditional negotiations of ad contracts (human to human) which are typically much simpler. Programmatic Advertising uses an algorithm (a detailed step-by-step instruction, or formula, for solving a problem or completing a task) to purchase online ad space for lots of competing businesses, in real time, typically with the goal of placing each in the best spots that make the most sense for that business. It is one of the best ways to purchase digital and video advertising for local businesses, at the best cost. For many businesses, it’s the only way.

 

Let’s say you want to advertise your local business with a billboard. The buying process here is relatively easy: find the available billboards, develop your message, and complete the paperwork. This might include meeting with several billboard companies and negotiating the best value for the money.  Now, let’s say you want to show up on digital ad space. It’s more difficult to buy ads showing on specific websites or even be competitive in pricing compared to national brands.

 

Programmatic Advertising solves this problem in the digital world and actually does it better than traditional agreements could manage. It is a good way to target a much more specific market or audience, increasing accuracy and minimizing wasted money.

 

It’s understood with a billboard, approximately half of the people seeing the billboard may be a potential client. So, if you’re selling flooring then your target audience would be homeowners. In 2018 only 64% of the population owned homes, which means your billboard may be targeting up to 36% of people who are not your potential customer. This would be a great example of wasted money. With Programmatic Advertising, you can have your ads targeted to people who own homes at a much higher level by focusing on data which is available about each user (on their computer or phone), such as their search habits or website usage.

 

Though you could purchase digital and video ads from your local newspaper or television station, this is typically less targeted to your desired demographic, and the price (in our own findings) is often higher than general Programmatic Advertising costs. This may differ by region or if bundled with other products/advertising. Print newspaper and digital ads may confuse the price conversation, making it unclear as to the real value of the product on its own. They may sell you space only in their online newspaper or television station, but as soon as they start showing ads in other places, they too are buying into the concept of Programmatic Advertising.