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New benchmark data on the state of Account-Based Marketing marketing today. 

A recent report shows that organizations adopting ABM have a 10 percent higher win rate. What are the other benefits of ABM, and how can it help your organization?

Download “BrightFunnel ABM Benchmark Insights — Q3 2016” for findings, analysis and five key recommendations to help guide your organization’s ABM strategy.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download the report and learn more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Digital Marketing Depot
Digital Marketing Depot is a resource center for digital marketing strategies and tactics. We feature hosted white papers and E-Books, original research, and webcasts on digital marketing topics -- from advertising to analytics, SEO and PPC campaign management tools to social media management software, e-commerce to e-mail marketing, and much more about internet marketing. Digital Marketing Depot is a division of Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, and producer of the conference series Search Marketing Expo and MarTech. Visit us at http://digitalmarketingdepot.com.
 

 

Source : searchengineland
 
 

SEO has come a long way from being all about on-page optimization, building backlinks and creating “relevant” content. When I read popular search engine blogs, I notice a definite trend: SEO is moving toward a more inclusive strategy that goes beyond new ways of link building or content marketing.

A huge part of present-day SEO practices is brand building and influencing search queries themselves, as opposed to starting with a truckload of keywords and creating content around them. Therefore, while links, keywords, content and site optimization remain the building blocks of SEO, the columns on which the edifice is being built are taking on a different appearance. Let’s see what these pillars are.

1. RankBrain

Although RankBrain is the third most significant ranking factor in the Google algorithm, it is perhaps the most misunderstood one. The speculations and counter-speculations never seem to end.

Since RankBrain was one of the few algorithm updates that Google first revealed to a major news publication, it has caught and held onto the attention of the general tech-reading public, in addition to search engine marketers.

I personally believe Google’s admission that they fully don’t understand RankBrain. However, this doesn’t mask the fact that they’ve made great strides in using machine learning to entrust their prized search algorithm to it.

Additionally, we do have some idea about what RankBrain does not do. According to Gary Illyes and Andrey Lipattsev of Google, RankBrain does not act on your backlink profile, content quality or click-through rate. It only helps the algorithm interpret queries better and match them with relevant page content.

And since Google can do what it does best with less human intervention, industry leaders unanimously agreed that it will gain more significance. So it was no surprise when earlier this year, Jeff Dean revealed that RankBrain now processes every single Google search (that’s at least 63,000 a second) — up from barely 15 percent nine months before.

The future has already happened here.

But you cannot do anything about it: Gary Illyes said at SMX Advanced earlier this year that there isnothing one can do to optimize a website for RankBrain.

 

2. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

In February 2016, Google integrated results from its Accelerated Mobile Pages project into its search results in the form of a “Top Stories” carousel in mobile results. Six months later, Google started displaying links to AMP pages in the main organic search results.

Today, Google has 150 million indexed AMP documents in its index, and, encouraged by mainstream adoption outside the publishing industry (including eBay and Bing), has just announcedthat users searching from mobile devices will be directed to the relevant AMP pages even if an equivalent app page exists.

However, the average Google user hardly knows the significance of an AMP result yet. In aninformal survey conducted by Glenn Gabe, only three of 44 respondents could correctly identify what the AMP icon in the SERPs stood for. And they clearly prefer the “mobile-friendly” label over the cryptic “AMP” coupled with the lightning bolt.

 

AMP

This means Google’s decision is definitely in line with their aim of “bringing the mobile web on par with native apps and keeping Google relevant in the increasingly mobile-centric world we’re living in,” as we pointed out in an article on the E2M blog not long ago. AMP is here to stay (and become omnipresent), whether you like it or not.

3. The Knowledge Graph & rich answers

Google’s Knowledge Graph, which it launched in 2012, is its slow but sure attempt to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” in line with their mission. In a nutshell, it’s Google’s attempt at scraping — sorry, replicating — Wikipedia:

The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

The “wide variety of sources” includes Wikidata (to which Google moved its Freebase data and actively contributes), Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook.

Typically, knowledge graph elements are in the form of boxes of structured information with links to authoritative sources of further information (not always, though). Common formats include theknowledge panel displayed on the right of a SERP and answer box, displayed on top of other organic results.

The number of queries that show ready answers in these formats continues to grow unabated, asongoing studies from Stone Temple Consulting have shown. Currently, around 40 percent of Google queries display “rich answers,” which include featured snippets, but not knowledge panels:

KnowledgeGraph

Brand managers and marketers are increasingly looking to control the impression, conversation and queries that people have about them. Moving forward, one of the most effective ways to do that would be to try to influence what Google knows and has to say about you. Here are a couple of approaches from Propecta and Kapost that involve defining and connecting entities with markup, editing Wikipedia, and yes, not abandoning Google Plus.

4. Real-time, integrated penalty filters

Now you see it, now you don’t. There it is! Oh, it isn’t. Google announced that they have finally updated Penguin (after what seemed like a never-ending wait of almost two years), noting that it is for the last time.

That’s because Penguin is now a real-time signal processed within Google’s search algorithm — data on your pages is refreshed every time Google re-crawls and re-indexes them.

A few months earlier, Google also integrated Panda into their main algorithm (though unlike Penguin, it does not update in real time).

Notice a pattern here? Google wants to make spam fighting a central, automated function of serving search results.

This is a very positive sign for website owners — cleaning up spammy backlinks and getting rid of poor-quality content will bring quick results. Marketers struggling to justify extra efforts to improve the quality of their websites will now be able to put their money where their mouth is.

 

Conclusion

It is clear that Google will focus on machine learning, understanding of semantics, connections and patterns and user experience in the future.

SEO at the moment is very closely tied to content marketing. While Google can interpret content and derive its relevance to search queries with a very high degree of success, it is constantly focused on making refinements to improve how timely, contextual and useful this content is to the searcher. The Knowledge Graph, rich answers, RankBrain and AMP all serve this purpose, while integrated penalties maintain the quality of results.

I see bright days ahead for SEO. Discuss with me on Twitter how these factors will pan out in the next few months.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Original source of this article is Search Engine Land

Categorized in Research Methods

Chinese search engine Baidu, which opened its India office in Delhi last year, wants to expand its services in India through an ad platform and a localised marketplace.


Josh Fenn of Baidu Inc’s Global Business Unit speaks to BrandWagon’s Ankita Rai on the company’s India strategy, its focus on app developers and building a digital ecosystem.


Baidu has so far launched only niche utility applications in India, while in other markets it is also present in online to offline (O2O) and search spaces. What is the India strategy?


In India, the focus is on mobile and mobile-related products because there is a global shift towards mobile. It was in 2008 that we started bringing our products outside China. India is our newest market.


Between 2008 and 2013, we launched some of our popular products here such as DU Battery Saver, DU Speed Booster, Baidu Browser, MoboMarket, ES File Explorer and input app Simeji.


The marketplace MoboMarket was first launched in Indonesia and shortly afterwards in India. MoboMarket has 4.5 million active monthly users each in India and Indonesia. In India, MoboMarket is available in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Bangla, Marathi and Urdu, with Telugu launching soon. Developers can launch their apps on this platform and get more eyeballs in the domestic market and monetise through our DU Ad Platform. There are eight million monthly active users for DU Battery Saver and Du Speed Booster in India, while ES File Explorer has 10 million monthly active users.


In India, we are focussed on building a strong foundation of internet services that will help to build the ecosystem.


The first phase of the India strategy was launched in 2013-2014 aimed at building a user base for our products here.
The second phase was to introduce more developer facing platforms and grow the ecosystem. That’s where MoboMarket comes into play. The marketplace aims to enable local developers find the right audience for their apps and get more downloads. The third phase is aimed at enabling developers make more money out of it. That’s where the DU Ad Platform comes into play.


As Baidu looks to capitalise on opportunities outside China, what kind of markets are you targeting?
If you look at all the countries that we have offices in apart from the US — Brazil, Egypt, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan — Japan stands out, being the most developed market. The rest are emerging countries and have similar characteristics such as lower smartphone and internet penetration, but are fast growing. We
observed a similar trend in China a few years ago.


Now China has 52 per cent internet penetration. It has over 700 million internet subscribers across PC and mobile. So yes, we are looking for countries similar to China that are in the early phases of mobile internet. Second, we have a localised strategy for each market instead of rolling out generic products.


We have been operating in China for 16 years. We have developed unique ways to bridge the technology gap. For example, we have made our search more humanised and help people who don’t know how to interact with technology.


For instance in hinterlands, people write long queries when searching something online. We understand how to bridge this gap between rural and urban population and we are planning to bring this expertise in India and other countries too.
A majority of Baidu’s revenues comes from search advertising. But the whole idea of search is changing. Users can now get news, weather updates or even search for flights on platforms like Facebook or even in the Chinese context, on WeChat. Is the market for search saturating with competition coming from non-traditional players?


The search market has evolved quite a bit since 2014. There are different entry ways for people to find information they are looking for, such as Facebook, WeChat, e-commerce portals or through O2O services. In China, we have a very strong position in search due to integration of machine learning technology.


In mobile search, our market share is over 75 per cent. We have 660 million monthly active users on our mobile search platform in China. The search market is not narrowing down but our focus is building foundational services for the internet ecosystem here in India.


Baidu launched a search engine in Brazil in 2014. As you expand globally, do you plan to launch search in other countries? Given Baidu’s experience in the O2O business model in China, do you plan to replicate similar offerings in other markets?
Baidu is present in information, search, app platforms, AI and machine learning technologies. We previously launched search in Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Japan. But we are now more focussed on mobile products and services. Search is just one way of looking at things. We are integrating machine learning in O2O services. We are diversifying into other entry ways of search.


For example, you can integrate machine learning into group buying platforms. We have 1.6 billion users outside China. In terms of user numbers, the biggest markets are Indonesia, India and the US. In 2014, we acquired Brazil’s biggest deal platform, Peixe Urbano. The company has 70 per cent of the domestic market share. We take a localised approach in each market. In India, we don’t have any plans right now in the O2O space, but it is a possibility.


Baidu launched its ad platform for advertisers and publishers in India this year. How will it help small app developers?
In case of an app ecosystem, it is important to support the small developers. This is what we learnt in China and aim to implement it in other countries such as India.

 

The DU Ad Platform, launched in March, helps small app developers in monetisation. It provides advertisers with intelligent targeted ads and publishers with efficient monetisation solutions. We have 1.6 billion users for all of our apps outside China.

 

Source : http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/companies/face-off-baidu-takes-a-localised-approach-in-each-market-says-baidus-josh-fenn/348219/ 

Categorized in Search Engine

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bing Network. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always been fascinated by the constant evolution of search. It scares me to accept that I’ve never been able to get the full grasp of these changes. I couldn’t sit still.

My career was built on writing and consulting about SEM. I should be prepared for the future. I should know what’s coming next. But, I don’t.

The future of search has me in a constant spin cycle.

Do you feel this way? Bing has 133 million monthly searches. Google hit over 100 billion. That’s a lot to take in. The good news is this hasn’t stopped me (or others!) from digging into these changes.

This past year working at SEJ has allowed me to explore new strategies to help explain the future of SEM. I discovered that I’ve been looking at the future of search all wrong. And, I think a lot of us have.

What is the Future of Search?

I’ve worked on over 100+ SEM clients. The majority of them focused only on increasing their rankings on Google.

This is where I went wrong.

I shouldn’t be focused on increasing rankings in Google, creating more content, or building more links. I should be focused on the user.

 

In 2016, we’re seeing marketers approach this in different ways:

Understanding searcher intent – Making it easy for searchers to get better search results by personalizing our content to answer queries and voice search.

Exploring multiple search channels – Building a search strategy outside of Google that reaches your target audience on the platforms they live.

Rand Fishkin has an amazing Slideshare on this:

The 7 Biggest Trends in SEO: 2016 from Rand Fishkin
For example, Confluent Forms worked with Michlin Metals to optimize for intent-based search. Confluent Forms altered the meta data and saw an upward spike in impressions, clicks and click-through rate, and position. And, they were even featured in a Google Answer Box. Optimizely increased conversions by 32% for Secret Escapes by matching user intent with expectation between landing page copy and PPC ads.

And, let’s not forget about the other search channels. Marin Software grew Sykes Cottage conversion volume on Bing by 259%. Hello Society increased referral traffic from 3,952 to 16,592 in one month on Pinterest.

All of this is how I now understand search will work in the future. Yep, I was missing the whole point all along.

In 2000, my main channels were paid search and organic search. Fast forward to 2016, to compete you must be on paid, organic, local, image, video, map, social, news, mobile, and voice search.

Whew! That’s a lot!

Does this New Way of Search Marketing Work for Big or Small Brands?

The short answer: Both.

Businesses spend thousands of dollars on PPC and SEO campaigns each year looking for the right audience. Utilizing tools like Bing’s Remarketing campaigns allows both big and small brands to benefit from targeting consumer buying behaviors for better ad conversions with minimal spend. AdWords also offers remarketing ads, so I’d analyzing both avenues before allocating your budget.

 

For me, smaller brands with a limited budget see greater success on Bing because the cost-per-click has been lower. WordStream also saw an average of 33.5% cheaper CPC on Bing.

In addition to advertising, businesses will also need to adapt to the new way users are searching. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Voice search uses a more natural tone, which changes the search results.

Tech Goliaths like Microsoft, Apple, and Google, are focusing on new digital assistants, like Cortana. Cortana (iOS, Android, Windows), has already seen 2.5 billion questions asked globally. Pretty crazy, huh? Digital assistants are transforming how searchers use mobile. Searchers are bypassing Google search and using apps or voice search for their queries.

This means more opportunities for marketers to influence consumers and measure the impact of search on other channels.

Takeaways

It seems to me that the next generation of search will rely on helping businesses personalize their brand to reach a very niche audience. There is a whole new side for SEM marketers to explore — and potentially some awesome benefits, too!

Brands can expand their reach by utilizing multiple search engines.
The content based on user intent and conversational language will have a greater impact.
Investing in personalized ad campaigns can bring in higher conversions.

For all the work we do with perfecting our strategies, perhaps these coming years bring us the opportunity to engage on a deeper level more meaningful level, not only with our audience but with our brands too.

 

I’d love your thoughts on this! Feel free to discuss in the comments or on Twitter.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/search-marketing-is-the-future-right/169326/

Rebecca here, filling in for Christopher this week – and yes, these are some nice, roomy shoes I’m standing in, thanks for asking.I don’t have any witty comments to make about the current state of UK politics, so let’s dive straight into the search-related news you might have missed while you were outside cloud-gazing, collecting butterflies, or (if you’re British) making the most of the fact that we can still travel freely between other EU countries…

As usual, Google is where it’s at this week, with news that HTTPS websites account for a third of search results on page one, an increase in the number of search results that receive a Quick Answer Box, and does Google’s newest acquisition mean it’s finding new ways to watch us all creepily?

Google is increasing the number of queries that receive a Quick Answer box

Jim Yu reported for Search Engine Watch this week on the fact that the portion of Google search results which received a Quick Answer box has increased from just over 20% in December 2014 to more than 30% in May 2016.

A Quick Answer, also known as a featured snippet, is when Google pulls content from a trusted, high-ranking website that will directly answer a user’s query and places it at the top of the SERP so that they can find the information they need without having to click through to another site. It can be an awesome way to dominate the SERP without having to fight for the top position.

A featured snippet for the search query, "Why is my internet so slow", featuring an answer from Lifehacker at the top of search results.

Jim looked at the impact that Google Quick Answers have on brands, and broke down the three-step framework for getting your content into a quick answer box. So now you can win the game without even playing it, too!

30% of Google search results are HTTPS websites

A new study from Moz has revealed that more than 30% of websites on page one of Google search use the HTTPS protocol. We know that HTTPS has been a “lightweight ranking signal” for Google since 2014, and the data that Moz has been tracking bears that information out.

Christopher Ratcliff looked at how the share of Google search results on page one that use HTTPS has climbed from an initially tiny fraction in August 2014 to a significant share of the results.

A graph by Moz showing the percentage of HTTPS results on page 1 of Google between January 2014 and June 2016. The graph line begins at around 7% and climbs gradually, with a sudden jump upwards between June and July 2015, then continues to climb gradually to reach 32.5% in June 2016.

As Christopher put it,

“The results are definitely enough to give SEOs pause for thought when it comes to considering whether to switch their sites to a secure protocol.”
Mobile searches on Google have now exceeded desktop – how has the landscape of search changed?

 

Jason Tabeling looked at how the landscape of search has changed now that, for the first time ever, mobile searches on Google have exceeded desktop. “To account for this massive shift, Google has made some of the most drastic changes to search results in years,” including removing right-hand side ads and adding a fourth paid listing above organic search results, causing mobile results to be filled with ads.

A screenshot of Google mobile search results for "car insurance", showing two paid ads which together take up the entire screen.

Jason broke down the data on the number of times paid ads, shopping results or local listings appear in search results and evaluated how the information should affect your search strategy.

Google acquires image recognition startup Moodstocks

Google announced yesterday that it has acquired Moodstocks, a French startup specialising in machine-learning-based image recognition technology for smartphones.

As the International Business Times reported,

“Following the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, the Moodstocks team will join Google’s R&D team in Paris where they will continue to “build great image recognition tools within Google”.”

Between the Twitter acquisition of Magic Pony two weeks ago and Amazon’s acquisition of AI startup Orbeus in April, it seems that visual processing and machine learning is where it’s at for major tech companies.

The Sun gave a particularly hysterical take on this development by announcing that Google had revealed plans to put “eyes in machines” and that “campaigners” had urged Britons to “cover up cameras on smartphones and computers”. Er… that sounds a little impractical.

A photograph of a poster (said to be from one of the Google cafeterias) reading "GOOGLE IS WATCHING YOU" with "Google" being the Google logo. The logo also has two eyes in the Os.

But in all seriousness, this latest addition to Google’s R&D department could be the first step towards giving Google the capability to identify and run a search for objects in the physical world, à la CamFind.

And if Google really is watching me, well, maybe it’ll finally be able to tell me where I left my keys.

Google is experimenting with another use for Google Posts

The SEM Post reported this week that Google has been spotted expanding its use of Google Posts, a new(ish) feature combining elements of social publishing and rich cards, into more ‘ordinary’ search results.

 

Moz marketing scientist Dr. Pete Meyers originally noticed the posts appearing in search results for a charter school in New York, KIPP NYC. Google debuted the feature, which I believe still lacks an official name (but has been dubbed “Google Posts” by the search commentariat), back in March as a platform for US presidential candidates to put across their policies.

KIPP NYC

It was later seen expanding the feature to include a select handful of local businesses, and then using it to cover the I/O developer conference in May. None of these past uses of Posts show up in search results any more – and at the time of writing, KIPP’s appears to have disappeared too – making them a bit like a pop-up soapbox for select entities (and keeping us all guessing about what Google’s eventual plan is for Posts).

What’s interesting is that although the KIPP NYC posts were only just spotted in search, a scroll down their Google Posts page shows that the school has been using Google’s new feature since April. In other words, there could be any number of other lucky users or groups quietly using the platform and waiting for the hallowed spotlight of Google to finally, finally shine on them. And we wouldn’t know.

If you want a shot at joining their ranks, the waiting list is still open.

 

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/08/five-most-interesting-search-marketing-news-stories-of-the-week-4/

Business owners, retailers and marketers are all used to the traditional calendar of events that motivate consumers. It's accepted that parents shops for school items in the late summer, toys and gifts during December, and retailers usually schedule sales accordingly. But just as the internet has changed much about how, where and when people shop for goods, it has also changed when they look for specials.

A recent study of internet search queries reveals that more consumers are searching for deals on the internet throughout the year. According to Hitwise, a division of Connexity, online searches for deals increased 40 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The study found that one in every 300 online searches is focused on finding a coupon, sale, discount or deal. This may just be 0.3 percent of all searches, but when you consider Google performs 3 billion searches a day, it translates into a lot of people that are searching for deals.

The study is based on data from the Hitwise U.S. panel of 10 million online consumers, including 3.5 million mobile devices. A practical use for this data can be seen in what the researchers found out about people looking for sales on shoes or school items.

 

"Deal-oriented searches include those using keywords: sale, coupon, deal, rebate, bargain, discount or clearance," said John Fetto, senior analyst research and marketing at Connexity, according to media reports. "Interestingly, when it comes to searches for 'sales' specifically, footwear, including shoes and boots, are the most commonly sought-after products throughout the year."

The report also revealed that school shopping starts earlier than many retailers realize. Citing, Connexity's Bizrate Insights, the report found that back to school shopping is starting as early as April. Their recent survey found more than 10 percent of back to school shoppers will begin picking up items by June, and by August more than half will already be shopping.

Retailers who want to take advantage of this should run ads for school supplies, just without specifically mentioning, back-to-school. People know what they need and are looking for a good deal, they don't particularly need an event to justify the sale (20% off is a good bargain whatever the reason).

This research certainly shows the benefits of running specials throughout the year, but there is a need for balance. If customers become too dependent on sales, they may start to pass over items at regular price, knowing that the item will be on sale in a week or two.

This effect has also been seen by retailers in the shoe industry. According to data cited by Footwear News, "the past holiday season alone--which was rife was heavy promotions and saw many footwear and apparel companies garner dismal profits--is evidence of the negative impact that excessive discounting can have on companies."

 

A good way to maintain balance between sales and regular prices is to make sales specific to certain products or categories of products. By using more nuanced, instead of sitewide sales, customers can't assume the type of item they want to buy will be on sale soon. As an added bonus, rotating specials in this way gives consumers a reason to check the site or newsletter often.

The entire report from Hitwise has some interesting information, and can be downloaded for free from their website. For example, the report found that TV and Tire searches are highest in December and that Furniture and Mattress searches reach their peak in August/September.

Check it out for yourself for more research you can use to plan better campaigns throughout the year. And some more recent research on consumer behavior, read this article on what makes a brand authentic to consumers.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/peter-roesler/study-shows-consumers-searching-for-online-deals-all-year-round.html

With tons of new content published online every day and our attention spans shrinking by the day (or minute), having a firm understanding of the individuals you're trying to reach is increasingly vital to a business's existence. New research and tracking trends are popping up all over but this is what you should get used to in 2016:

It's all mobile.

Everything and everyone is mobile. Your research, analytics and marketing must be, too. Emily Culp of Keds stated in a recent interview that consumers look at their phones 150 times a day. Pew Research recently jumped on board with mobile surveys, increasing the percentage of their telephone surveys conducted via mobile to 75%. It was only 25% back in 2008. Which makes sense because as of 2014, 44% of Americans lived in households with no landline, so researchers were missing a huge portion of the population by surveying people with landline phones.

Your business, your content and your research needs to be mobile friendly. How long are customers spending looking at your page? Are they using an app or visiting your mobile site through Chrome or Safari? Do they first check social before beginning their shopping? Most of their activity will occur on their mobile device.

Track the decision-making process.

The consumer experience does not begin when someone enters your store or visits your website. As I mentioned above, so much of their activity is on their mobile device and their likely chatting with friends, visiting your social channels and those of influencers well before they get to the business's site. It's crucial to understand all the steps and see where most of your audience is spending their time prior to a purchase.

"The way you present your content, value proposition and call to action will have a big impact on the decision-making process and whether your users will convert," says Darryl Stevens founder & CEO of digiTech Web Design. "I recommend that you get to know your customer from a deeper perspective. There is a treasure trove of data that you can glean from each user action, interaction and decision, both within your website and on other touch points. You can use these to optimize your design and content for better performance."

 

Time is measured in nanoseconds.

Attention spans are short and getting shorter. Marketing must match that pace. Short videos, flashy photos, and quick reads get and keep attention. If you take too long to reel in the customer, they've moved on to a new site, new feed or new app.

Similarly, if a message doesn't work, you must adjust quickly and seamlessly. There is very little time to go all the way back to the drawing board. A-B testing and having backup options for each campaign is the only way to keep those potential customers. "Understanding what you have learned in the past is critical so you can re-apply and synthesize those learnings quickly so not only making faster adjustments but better decisions" says Kristi Zuhlke, CEO and Co-Founder of KnowledgeHound, a technology that enables market research and marketing organizations curate, search and analyze their market research within seconds. Stay on top of the analytics and be checking your progress far more frequently than a quarterly or monthly basis. If you wait that long, you've already lost too many people and you won't be able to win them back.

It's always worth noting that the core principles of marketing haven't changed. You still need to offer a product people want or need at a price they're willing to pay. However, place and promotion have consistently evolved to mean mobile and online engagement. Remember, people will read and engage with content that is interesting and relevant to them. Sometimes that content is your marketing.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/adam-fridman/how-market-research-is-changing-in-2016.html

Categorized in Market Research

How to use online market research tools, including search techniques, tips, and tools for using the Internet for researching your competition and market.

Your may already be conducting online market research for your business—but you may not know it. Some of the easiest to use and most common tools are located right at your fingertips. Web searches, online questionnaires, customer feedback forms—they all help you gather information about your market, your customers, and your future business prospects.

The advent of the Internet has presented small businesses with a wealth of additional resources to use in conducting free or low-cost market research. The following pages will describe the different types of tools to conduct online market research, go over the general categories of market research, and advise you how to create the best online questionnaires.

Online Market Research Tools

The following techniques can be used to gather market information with the help of a few mouse clicks and keystrokes:

Keyword Search. You know how to do a simple Web search using search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Take that a step farther by searching for "keywords" that people would use to find your type of products or services on the Internet. See how much interest there is in these keywords -- and how many competitors you have in this market. Keyword searches can also help remind you of product niches that you might not have considered.

There are other reasons to conduct keyword searches. 'First, you're going to be reminded of product niches that you might not of thought of.' says Jennifer Laycock, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Guide, an online guide to search engines, portals and directories. 'Second, these services will also give you a guesstimate of how many existing sites already use that phrase,' Laycock continues. 'How many existing sites already offer that product.' WordTracker and Trellian's Keyword Discovery are popular keyword search engines.

 

Competitor Links. A traditional search engine can also help you check out your competitors, their prices, and their offerings. Try typing 'link:www.[competitor's name].com' into Google to find out how many other sites link to your competitor's website. 'It is a great way to see a competitor's link development and PR campaigns,' says Shari Thurow, Web expert and author of the upcoming book Search Engine Visibility. 'Is the competitor promoting a product or service similar to your own? Maybe you can get publicity because you have a new or better product.'

Read Blogs. Blogs are updated much more regularly than traditional websites and, therefore, they can be another gauge of public opinion. Search blogs by using blog-specific search engines, such as Technorati or Nielsen BuzzMetrics' Blogpulse. 'Blogs tend to move at a faster pace and be more informal in tone, so you're more likely to pick up conversation about a new product type or need on a blog than on a standard web site,' Laycock says.

Conduct Online Surveys. Another way to gauge public opinion is through online surveys. While not as scientific as in-person or phone surveys that use a random sampling of the population, online surveys are a low-cost way to do market research about whether an idea or a product will be appealing to consumers. Now many companies offer to conduct online research for you or give your company the tools to carry out your own surveying. Some online survey companies include EZquestionnaire, KeySurvey, and WebSurveyor.

Research Tools and Techniques

There are a variety of types of market research tools -- both offline and online -- that are used by many large businesses and can be available to small and mid-sized businesses. When these techniques involve people, researchers use questionnaires administered in written form or person-to-person, either by personal or telephone interview, or increasingly online. Questionnaires may be closed-end or open-ended. The first type provides users choices to a question ("excellent," "good," "fair") whereas open-ended surveys solicit spontaneous reactions and capture these as given. Focus groups are a kind of opinion-solicitation but without a questionnaire; people interact with products, messages, or images and discuss them. Observers evaluate what they hear.

Major categories are as follows:

Audience Research. Audience research is aimed at discovering who is listening, watching, or reading radio, TV, and print media respectively. Such studies in part profile the audience and in part determine the popularity of the medium or portions of it.

Product Research. Product tests, of course, directly relate to use of the product. Good examples are tasting tests used to pick the most popular flavors—and consumer tests of vehicle or device prototypes to uncover problematical features or designs.

 

Brand Analysis. Brand research has similar profiling features ("Who uses this brand?") and also aims at identifying the reasons for brand loyalty or fickleness.

Psychological Profiling. Psychological profiling aims at construction profiles of customers by temperament, lifestyle, income, and other factors and tying such types to consumption patterns and media patronage.

Scanner Research. Scanner research uses checkout counter scans of transactions to develop patterns for all manner of end uses, including stocking, of course. From a marketing point of view, scans can also help users track the success of coupons and to establish linkages between products.

Database Research 

Also known as database "mining," this form of research attempts to exploit all kinds of data on hand on customers—which frequently have other revealing aspects. Purchase records, for example, can reveal the buying habits of different income groups—the income classification of accounts taking place by census tract matching. Data on average income by census tract can be obtained from the Bureau of the Census.

Post-sale or Consumer Satisfaction Research. Post-consumer surveys are familiar to many consumers from telephone calls that follow having a car serviced or calling help-lines for computer- or Internet-related problems. In part such surveys are intended to determine if the customer was satisfied. In part this additional attention is intended also to build good will and word-of-mouth advertising for the service provider.

Writing Online Questionnaires

When it comes to using Web-based surveys, small businesses should stick to a few simple but important rules:

The Shorter the Better. Don't alienate survey takers with long questionnaires. Limit yourself to 25 questions, which should take people five to seven minutes to finish, says Mary Malaszek, owner of Market Directions, a Boston market-research firm that works with businesses of all sizes. If surveys are much longer, people will abandon them 'and then you can't use them, and the next time you send them a survey they won't even open it,' she says. Other methods for keeping surveys short, according to a SensorPro white paper on online survey guidelines: make the first page simple, present answer options in multiple columns or a drop-down box, and put a status bar at the top of each question page so respondents know how close they are to being finished.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions. Since people want to zip through a survey, don't include a lot of open-ended questions where they have to type out the answers. Close-ended questions they can click on a button to answer—Yes, No, Maybe, Never, Often—work much better, Malaszek says. Companies can use close-ended questions to get the same kind of in-depth analysis open-ended questions provide by using rankings scales, which ask a respondent to rate something on some type of scale, 1 to 5, or 1 to 10, she says.

 

Be Persistent. If you're asking customers or vendors to take a survey, it's okay to send more than one invitation, especially to people who've previously indicated they would be willing to participate. Just make sure you've got people's permission, so they don't think you're spamming them, the survey experts say.
Be Patient. Businesses decide they want to do a survey then get impatient when they can't get the results right away, Malaszek says. Even though online surveys reduce some of the work, they take time to design and administer, and when the results are in, more time to interpret. It's a good idea to pick one person to shepherd the process, she says.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/guides/biz_online/online-market-research.html

Categorized in Market Research

Qualitative plus Quantitative industry search. what method is best for market research? in order to identify distinctions for qualitative plus quantitative search techniques, learn the examples here which I have given by way of tales.

Rapidresponse Benefits Shops

Not so long ago there was a very prosperous shop, named “Rapidresponse shop”. At one time the managing staff started to be concerned that Rapidresponse shop was not becoming favored by as many ladies as males – and that Rapidresponse was shedding an important portion of the market place.

Investigation Goal

An investigation task was created to know exactly how ladies sensed regarding purchasing from Rapidresponse shop and also the reason why. It had been determined that this investigation must be qualitative and the specified strategy would be In-depth-Interviews. The notion was that these ladies may be less likely to want to speak about their feelings regarding Rapidresponse shops in a team, so one-on-one interviews made good sense.

Qualitative Research

More than four dozen present or prospective women clients were paid to come into the main premises to talk about the usage of grocery stores as a whole, and particularly Rapidresponse convenience stores. The outcomes had been very astonishing to the managing staff. The main qualitative results included the following:

Ladies thought of convenience stores to be mainly created for males, without thinking of women,

The restrooms in grocery stores were thought to-be the dirtiest that could be noticed in a town – “gross” was the most typical definition – and that belief penetrated anything that women felt regarding grocery stores as a whole

 

Rapidresponse ended up being viewed as one of the worst of convenience shops “type of the spot for any male purchase gasoline, have a six pack of affordable alcohol and also tobacco, yet not the type of spot I would like to head”.

Quantitative Research

As soon as the administration staff got an awareness of what problems they encountered with women clients, they felt that they required to know how generally these types of opinions were held. Now they required to obtain a few hard data, which implied that they required to perform a quantitative industry search. The research goals for this stage of research had been:

Learn how women clients of Rapidresponse are different from those that do not frequently go to these shops.Discover whether a repair of Rapidresponse may attract every team to go to the shops more often or perhaps anyway based on if the responder presently avoided Rapidresponce completely.

Concerning the quantitative stage of research they chose to perform 300 phone interviews with a mixture of women participants. The prerequisites to sign up in this stage of research had been: 50 percent of the participants claimed that they had utilized Rapidresponce at least seven times in the past 12 months, and the other 50 percent confessed to deliberately steering clear of Rapidresponse entirely, even though they did utilize other brands of convenience shops. The most important results from the quantitative stage revealed that:

More than 76% of all women Rapidresponse clients were ladies below thirty years old, with no kids, whilst females with kids along with higher earnings were five times not expected to buy at Rapidresponse.

 

The great report ended up being that of the women who didn’t right now utilize Rapidresponse, sixty four percent mentioned that if these shops were to modify their colors, wash their restrooms boost their health and female products, that they would be prepared to use Rapidresponse once again.

Their two levels of research provided the Rapidresponse administration staff an excellent comprehension of where they presently stood with feminine clients and also the reason why. The quantitative research furthermore revealed that those females who were not presently utilizing their shops might if they transformed their methods.

The choice now was to determine if getting a lot more middle aged ladies as clients was worth the price of upgrading their shops and also investing additional money to ensure that they’re neat and clean.

Source:  https://www.thesequitur.com/which-market-research-method-is-for-you-1286983/

Categorized in Market Research

I am not a trained marketer. Yet I've been the chief marketer and run major teams for major brands. At my last in-house role, I took a company from 45 million to 100 million users, and was on the executive team during its acquisition for nearly half a billion dollars.

As a result, I recently had the honor of being asked to give the commencement address at my alma mater. As I was thinking about the advice I would give to my younger self, I couldn’t help but think of the career advice I give over and over again to early-career leaders, entrepreneurs and executives, in marketing and otherwise.

I thought I’d share.

What makes me great as a marketer is that I am fixated on being a great leader. I used to be a Lone Ranger type. As I matured, I realized that as a marketing leader -- as a business leader, period -- you can’t do anything big without an on-fire, whip-smart team. So I study, then practice and practice and practice, everything about leading and inspiring brilliant people. I study and practice creating conditions conducive to their brains doing their best work, and creating cultures that attract the geniuses I work with. I urge you to do the same. And to read "Boundaries for Leaders."

Do not become one of those bitter marketers or “creatives” constantly railing against data and metrics. Don't fight the waves. Learn to surf. Beautiful, sensual, emotional stories without outcomes and data? That's called art. I love art. But that's not marketing. 

Learn about business. Study Lean Methodology and apply it to your content and marketing programs. Read "The Lean Startup." Get very conversant in data -- especially content performance data. Cut through the noise and figure out what few data points really matter in understanding how your programs are moving the business.

Learn how to interpret them to get insight into what makes your Customers do what they do. Then constantly tweak and align your marketing to your Customers and what they want. Not what they should want, or what you want them to want. What they actually want to have happen in their real lives. Seriously, read "The Lean Startup."

Exercise Buddhist detachment from your content, your programs, even tough work relationships. Do more of what works, what inspires, what transforms. When it's not working, fix it fast or stop doing it. Acknowledge, commemorate and keep it moving. Get those resources back and reinvest them into the programs, campaigns or people that bear fruit.

Learn how to make business cases. If you can't ever get the resources to do what you need to do, you will get frustrated and bitter and you won't get the results you want. I was a consultant for much of my career, and the skill of making the business case for everything I propose to do helped become a clear, thoughtful thinker and strategist. This served me exceedingly well as an executive and in my in-house roles. Learning how to sell in your work and how to get is a necessary part of being a great marketer. Read "The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals."

Learn about humanity. Behavior change. Why people do what they do. Study behavioral economics. Neuroplasticity. How people get stuck. How they get unstuck. How they stay unstuck. Read "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business." Read "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength." Read "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness."

Become an expert on story and narrative. Literally study it, don't just use the word "story" all the time. Understand character, plot, conflict, climax. Take James Patterson's MasterClass on Writing. Read "The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories." 

Don't fixate on the channel. It's not about Instagram or Snapchat. Getting to product-market fit, getting people to care about what you do, that’s never about the channel. And, in fact, there will always be a new channel. If you understand human motivation, story and business strategy, you will be able to create products and content people care about, regardless of what the new digital channel of the day is.

Prioritize ruthlessly. Almost no one can work on three, really big, important priorities at a time. Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is almost always a signal to revisit and double-down on prioritization. This mostly means making hard decisions that you can’t do awesome things you would love to do, because that would distract or take resources away from The Actual Most Important Thing.

Don't work on products or for companies that you don't find interesting. And really, by that I mean work only for companies you believe are out to solve real, human-scale problems that would make the world work better for your customers, even if the product itself isn't quite there yet or if you aren't personally the target audience for the product. If I don't leave the first meeting with a company talking to my friends about how intriguing the product or the vision or the people are, I generally don't work on it. 

Don't work for people you don't find inspiring or don't think you can learn from. You don't necessarily have to like them. But you should believe working with them will expand your capacity for greatness and your skills.

On the other hand, don’t overrule gut misgivings about hiring people, either. You should be excited about learning from those who report to you, too. And don’t expect others to work with you unless you will help them grow, too.

Make it your goal to leave the people in your wake -- your employees, teammates, peers, bosses and especially your customers, better off than than they were when they came into contact with you. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. It can be as small as saying something encouraging at every opportunity. (Without blowing smoke.)

Study integrity. Decide to do whatever it takes to be a whole person with the capacity to face and handle the real facts of every situation. Read Henry Cloud’s "Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality."

If you work in marketing or product, understand your brief as a starting point in the conversation about what you should be working on. Don’t just accept a brief that doesn’t make sense (or isn’t appropriately resourced) from the start. In particular, push back if what you’ve been asked to do is not the thing that will actually solve the business issue. Don’t just push back, though, propose what will solve the issue and be able to explain your thinking as to why -- even if it’s never been done before.

Develop the practice of being still and thoughtful every day, for a moment. If you can journal or walk every day, that’s even better. Allow yourself to listen to that still, small voice that comes up all the time -- the more you honor it, the more it will whisper creativity, energy, wisdom and clear direction your way.

Occasionally, in times of transition, it will also whisper “I’m scared” or “I don’t know how to do this next thing” or “Wow I feel like an imposter in this situation.” Build the habit of interpreting that as a signal that you’re on the right track. 

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276228 

Categorized in Market Research
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