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Ask any of your friends, “are you sick of marketing email?” and you’ll be sure to hear the same thing: marketing emails flood their inboxes.

 

You probably agree. Personally, I spend 10-20 minutes a day grooming through my emails and unsubscribing from marketing emails. It gets to the point where I’m not even reading emails, I’m deleting them before I read past the first three words in the subject line.

 

This, among other trends, is changing the narrative for digital marketing. Marketers who want to keep up in 2017 should be aware of the following trends.

 

Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

 

Ad Blocking Software Changes Digital Advertising Spend

 

Ad blocking software is so common that it has created major obstacles for marketers trying to reach consumers. It has forced brands to abandon traditional digital marketing tactics and brainstorm new ideas — but a lot of the new ideas are actually right in front of their noses. The advent of the digital age distracted us from who really helps sell products, and that is people. Ninety-two percent of people make purchases based on peer recommendations, and that means people are influencing each other’s buying behaviors. Marketing teams need to start turning their focus from traditional digital advertising campaigns to customer and influencer marketing content.

 

 

 

 

Chief Marketing Technologists will Help Make Marketing Technology Decisions

 

As the marketing landscape continues to embrace advanced technology, CMOs need to successfully partner with IT in order to meet marketing objectives. Simultaneously, IT must evolve in order to effectively collaborate with technically-oriented marketing teams. The role of chief marketing technologist (CMT) will serve as the connecting officer between marketing and IT. The CMT will be responsible for managing MarTech budgets, relationships with vendors and relationships with agency partners.
 

Companies will Drop Gimmicky Marketing Tools

 

There is a lot of spend happening for niche marketing tools that range from $50 to $500 per month, the majority of which rarely get touched. In 2017, marketers will eliminate these gimmicky tools that make data muddy and instead move their focus to real content about real customers that supports the peer-to-peer influence trend.
 

Google’s Index Split Pushes for Improved Mobile User Experiences

 

Google announced an index split between mobile and desktop content. That means there will be different search engine results on different size devices, with the mobile results given primacy.This will push more focused designs and give users a better experience across the board. This also means marketers will need to invest more into better responsive design, examine their mobile SEO and reexamine their mobile strategy if they want to compete in both indexes.
 

Email Marketing will Become Less Effective

 

Do you read your spam? It arrives in the form of newsletters, automated sales email and general queries. If you are good at sniffing it out and marking mail as spam, then a lot of emails wind up in spam. What this means for marketers is that their emails are being heavily ignored. Email marketing is still effective but not nearly as effective as it used to be. So marketers will need to look to other forms of digital marketing to reach their consumers.

 

 

 

 

As People Get Weary of Sales Automation, Direct Sales Contacts Prevail

 

The email automation era is becoming very easy to spot, and it’s happening everywhere. Multiple emails like this land in our inboxes on a daily basis. This robotic tactic may even begin to harm a brand’s reputation. Sales people will go back to being people and will personalize an email or pick up the damn phone. The excitement of automation in the digital era will also make people realize that they like to talk to people. 
 

A Return to the Human Touch

 

After a massive digital wave changed the way the human population communicates and consumes information, I truly believe we're seeing a return of people being people again. Expect more humanizing of brands and more content around storytelling rather than cramming features into robotic emails campaigns.
 

About the Author

 

Randy Apuzzo is founder and CEO of Zesty.io, a web content management company. Childhood hacker turned entrepreneur by age 15, Randy has more than a dozen ventures under his belt, and today serves as a digital strategist applying both computer science and brand marketing expertise.

 

 

Author:  Randy Apuzzo

Source:  http://www.cmswire.com/

A new year is around the corner and we might see some new things in 2017. Four CEOs of leading Nordic ecommerce companies share their thoughts on what they think will be the key ecommerce trends in 2017.

According to Marcus Fredricsson from Swedish car service portal Mekster, dropshipping is over. Customers have stronger demands, which makes convenient shipping options more important. “Today more customers disqualify online retailers who send goods directly from suppliers, particularly in cases when the goods come from different suppliers since they then need to spend far too much time to collect the goods in different batches”, he says.

Focus more on logistics

The CEO also thinks smaller online retailers must be prepared to partially loosen the customer relationship and focus even more on the logistics so they can successfully offer their products through international marketplaces like Google Shopping and Amazon. “You need a tremendous control of the supply chain logistics to satisfy customers.”

Fredricsson also thinks highly of virtual reality. “Although the ecommerce industry hasn’t found a way yet to utilize the technology, I think they will take on VR in a big way in 2017.”

Cut out the middleman

Cut out the middleman

Christoffer Tyrefors from Cykelkraft, Sweden’s largest online bicycle shop, thinks online retailers can do more themselves and only pay for actual delivery and thus cut out the middlemen. “Ecommerce players should find fundamental profitabilities of their core businesses and therefore needs to stop paying money to intermediaries.”

Rely less on Google and don’t get eaten

He also thinks Google has become way too powerful and online retailers are more dependent on the search engine than ever. “The ecommerce industry is feverishly looking for ways to reduce the importance of search, which in practice means to build brands. To build a brand requires something which happens to be the third major ecommerce trend in 2017 and that is: eat or get eaten”, he says, referring to large online market places that are being rolled out globally and the dominance of Google in the entire purchase process funnel. “Volume will become even more important. It translates to economies of scale, and with economies of scale it is easier to build the brand.”

Performance and sales will align more in 2017

Sven Hammer, CEO of monitoring platform Apica System thinks the B2B shopping experience will become more like B2C, as business-to-business retailers take advantage of all the actions the business-to-consumer industry took to improve their business models and shopping experiences. In less positive news, he thinks DDoS will continue to flood ecommerce website with disruptions and targeted. His third predicted trend is focused on analytics. “A platform that performs faster will lead to higher sales – a 100ms increase in page load can increase sales by 1 percent. Performance and sales will align more in 2017 as organizations establish KPIs like web/cloud/app performance to increase profits”, he says.

Salesman

The last CEO, Torkel Hallander from ‘ecommerce factory’ Nordic Etail, thinks SMR, “Sales Man Replication”, will become the new buzzword. “When ecommerce websites start acting like the world’s best salesman, shoppers will get a better experience and spread the world, but retailers will also increase their conversion rates and higher margins as result.”

Mobile engagement will increase influence over ecommerce

He also predicts mobile engagement will increase its influence over ecommerce. “Functionality for shopping mobile will reach new heights, selecting and choosing products, moving between devices, payments will be easier etc… but more importantly, the critical-mass hurdle for people to start realize they can do it in their phone has been passed: once you have purchased one thing in your phone, you will start wanting to do it all in the phone.”

Lastly, he thinks online stores and digital marketing will become even more targeted. In order to satisfy the customer and as a result maximize sales, online retailers will design their website presentation and their offering more for individual customer preferences, behaviors and purchasing power.

Author:  Ecommerce News

Source:  https://ecommercenews.eu

Categorized in Market Research

To be truly successful at content marketing, today's brands must pay attention to consumer interest. It doesn't matter if you're a world famous DJ, run a startup, or if you work in the enterprise. It is absolutely mandatory that you ignite peoples' interest and get them to share your content. These days, news is often passed along not by word of mouth, but through social media posts. One of the best ways to learn more about your customers is to find out what consumers are talking about on a given day.

When a topic generates a great deal of buzz, it falls under the category of "trending." One news item can be shared on sites like Facebook and Twitter millions of times, at which point it gets added to lists that bring even more attention to it. At that point, brands can either post their own content related to those trending items or try to create trending content of their own. Here are a few sites that can help as you try to keep up with the things that have everyone talking.

BuzzFeed Trending

Acknowledging that social media has changed the way consumers get their news, BuzzFeed bills itself as a social news and entertainment company. BuzzFeed Trending keeps up with the topics that are trending on a given day, showing both the items trending now and the top news for the week. BuzzFeed uses its own built-in algorithms to gather news from sites across the web, only posting the most interesting and popular content for its readers.

What's Trending

Like BuzzFeed, What's Trending scours the web for interesting news and shares it on its site, supplementing its popular daily interactive YouTube talk show. Stories are organized by most popular and most recent and are a combination of videos and articles. What's Trending's show has been nominated for several major awards, including an Emmy and a Webby.

Dotmos

When you want to determine interest in a subject, basic web searches can be misleading. You'll likely see business websites and online magazines but little else. Dotmos brings social media and videos into the mix, displaying all of the results in a format that makes it easy to get a big-picture view of a subject. If you look up a particular celebrity, for instance, you'll see pinned photos of that celebrity from Pinterest, news items, Reddit threads, traditional search results, and much more.

Quora

Quora captures what people are talking about now, with people asking questions and other members of the community stepping forward to answer. Members upvote the answers they like with the results helping future people who conduct a Google search on that question. The homepage captures the day's top stories, displaying the questions that are getting the most attention at that time. If you have a particular topic you're working up content for, you can search the site for that topic and see the questions members have asked about it.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo specializes in trends, helping brands find the most buzz-worthy content across the web. In addition to searching any topic, members can set up alerts that notify then when content mentioning a specified keyword has been posted. Brands can also monitor their competitors' content performance against their own to find ways to improve. For brands interested in finding influencers, Buzzsomo helps by showing which influencers are most effectively amplifying content.

Social Media's Trending Panes

One of the best places to see what's trending each day is on the social media sites you're already using. Facebook lists trending news in the right pane of your newsfeed and Twitter's trending information is on the left pane. On Twitter, you'll see how many tweets have been sent on a specific topic while on Facebook, clicking on an item takes you to a page that reveals the most recent shares on a story.

By keeping an eye on trending stories, you can formulate your own content marketing strategies and increase your chances of success. Whether you're coming up with new topics or checking to see how your own content is performing, innovative tools can give you a competitive edge.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/learn-more-about-trending-topics-with-these-research-tools.html

Commissioning market research implies a formality and time-frame that is no longer applicable to the current insights market argues ZappiStore's Christophe Ovaere.

Language matters. When you speak a certain way or use certain words, it means something. It creates an impression. Then why is it we are not mindful of the impressions we create when using jargon or specialised vocabulary during our professional life in market research.

My example today is the verb we have been using to talk about buying a research project: we commission it. Talk about keeping us in a restrictive and claustrophobic frame of mind.

If you asked a person what they thought of when they heard the word 'commission', they would probably tell you about 18th century portraits, architectural blueprints, luxury yachts or even haute couture. Because commissioning implies a great deal of formality around the purchase itself, a longer time span and an association with artisanal craftsmanship.

Back in the old days when market research was the main source of consumer data, there was a sense of formality and connotation that longer timescales could only lead to unquestionably impeccable results.

Those days are gone and the pace at which businesses operate today is crazy. Nowadays, insights are closer to a commodity and there is about as much formality to purchasing them as ordering a takeaway. Any suggestion of commissioning work implies that time is not important and makes the user look ignorant of the need for speed.

Not only is this vintage jargon disconnected from current dynamics in our industry, it creates an old fashioned impression of participants in these processes and fails to acknowledge the pace of evolution in the market research value chain.

In no way do I mean to say that there is no craftsmanship or skill in our industry. There is tonnes. However, I believe that for most research, the real value lies in the design of methodology and strategic consultancy – where, for the majority of research projects, the ‘supply chain’ in between can be powered by technology.

There is little value or craftsmanship in the operational side of research. Here we cannot compete with the machines. Now the challenge of leveraging tech to deliver speed while retaining quality is our problem – not the client’s. I say out with the sweatshop practices and in with the KanBan lean supply chain approach to produce raw insights.

When speaking about our industry and the dynamic between clients and agencies, we should use language that empathises with a client’s need for results today and be a data navigator to guide them based on the insights generated.

Let’s stop commissioning research and starting running a study.

Source:  https://www.research-live.com/article/opinion/for-modern-market-research-we-need-modern-terminology/id/5007662

Categorized in Market Research

The application backlogs in nearly every organization are expanding exponentially as companies try to keep pace with competitors and their own internal needs. How can you improve the time-to-market of your applications so they can be inserted into production quicker? Here are some suggestions.

1: Collaborate

Agile development methodologies, like scrum, encourage ongoing collaboration in application requirements definition and development between end users and IT. The more you can keep end users actively engaged in the application development process, the less you will have to worry about the application drifting from what the business expected. When you meet business expectations dead-on the first time, your applications can be placed into production without delay.

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2: Prototype often

Application developers now have app prototyping tools that enable users and developers to see the flows and the looks of applications as the apps are being built. This is important in terms of user acceptance and ultimate app readiness. Every time you incorporate a new application element, create a working prototype for end users to test drive and comment on. It is easier to make adjustments in earlier stages of app development than right before the app is scheduled to be moved into production.

3: Virtualize development and test environments

It takes time to configure physical hardware and software for application testing and development. A better approach is to use a cloud service or to virtualize your own development and test environments so that your developers can have dedicated test and development systems. With virtualization, the strain on your DBA and system programmers will also be reduced, since configuration and deployment of virtual systems is quicker.

4: Hold users accountable

Users get busy, too—so there is always a tendency for them to walk away from the development and testing process after they feel they have given IT all their app requirements. Don't let this happen. Ensuring that applications stay on course with requirements during development should be as much of an end-business responsibility as it is an IT responsibility.

5: Work on usability as much as you work on features and functions

You'd be surprised at how many data errors and end user trouble reports are generated because of poor navigation and screen or report design. Giving equal time to usability as well as to technical design can go a long way toward ensuring that apps are accepted and placed into production the first time.

6: Implement a standard library of routines you can reuse

The easiest way to ensure app compatibility with other software you use is to standardize routines (e.g., a date routine) so that they can be pulled from a common library and used over and over again.

7: Don't forget quality assurance

It is important to thoroughly QA an application—from both a usability and a technical performance standpoint. Organizations are still seeing 50% of IT's programming time being committed to software maintenance—which happens because apps fail or don't do what they are supposed to do. You can help prevent this by designing apps that work correctly the first time and every time, thereby freeing up maintenance staff so you can redirect those resources into more new development.

8: Regression test for performance

Organizations continue to unit test applications and then try to rush them into production without performing a full regression test to ensure that the new app will handle the transaction load it is supposed to be able to handle—or that it is compatible with all the other software it must run with. When an app breakdown occurs in production because regression testing wasn't done, it can become a major embarrassment for a company.

9: Train your support staff and your users

User training should be a project task for any new application. If business users aren't trained in how to use an app, they will get frustrated and end up calling your support staff. Before any app goes live, the IT support staff should also be thoroughly trained. If they're not knowledgeable and can't respond to user questions quickly, it could reflect negatively on an application to the point where it must be pulled from production.

10: Design for simplicity

Applications should always use a modular design structure. This enables developers to test and debug individual routines without having to read through an entire program.

Source:  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-ways-to-improve-time-to-market-for-your-applications/

Categorized in Market Research

Marketing is always about what the consumer needs and wants to hear. If it’s not immediately relevant or interesting, then it’s just annoying. That’s why there’s such widespread use of ad-blocker browser extensions.

According to PageFair, ad blockers were estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion in lost revenue in 2015. And that dollar figure will continue to climb: Ad blocking has increased by 41 percent in the last year, with more than 198 million active ad-block users in the world.

In order to stay visible, you need to adapt to growing technology trends and the way consumers prefer to digest relevant information. Look over these eye-opening trends that you can leverage in the coming months.

1. Virtual reality

Virtual Reality has come a long way since the concepts and products released in the '90s. Technology like the Oculus Rift, which was bought out by Facebook to the tune of $2 billion, is going to have a big impact on the way companies engage individual consumers.

Think about the current demand for personalization among consumers and how that can be implemented with a 3D virtual experience. You could quite literally provide your customers with a 360-degree immersive story through visual content.

Virtual tours, one-on-one engagement and interactive and immersive commercials are just a few ways marketing will likely shift in the near future via the use of virtual reality.

2. The new age of search meets social

Google has dominated the search market, followed closely by Yahoo! and Bing, for years. We’re now seeing that Facebook is making continued advancements to step outside of the social bubble and create a more expansive service to rival those search giants. Byexpanding its search functionality, Facebook is able to tie in other components, which include call-to-action buttons and payment messaging.

Mix that with the existing ability users have to follow groups, join social discussions and engage brands while chatting with friends on Facebook, and you can see why the social site is quickly positioning itself to be an all-in-one platform for the web.

It’s not just about social engagement anymore: Sites like Facebook are allowing brands to create real digital experiences.

3. A step away from evergreen

Brands frequently embrace evergreen content, or content that will last for an extended period of time and continue to generate traffic. This year, we’re seeing a growing trend in the opposite direction: simple, brief content shared in real time. Platforms like Periscope and Snapchat are pushing a “less is more” concept, where we communicate with the end user for a shorter and briefer span of time.

In a world where your target audience is on the go and strapped for time, these kinds of marketing hors d'oeuvres are exactly what users are looking for.

Both Snapchat and Periscope provide unique peeks into brands that consumers feel connected to, while satisfying their voracious appetites for new content.

4. Marketing automation

Automation isn’t new, but it’s become more necessary and more relevant, especially with the focus shifting to writing 10 times the amount of content that is 10 times better than what your competitors are putting out. The bulk of your time this year is going to be spent competing hardcore for the waning attention of your audience. You can expect that content creation to take up vast time resources, so you and automation are going to become best buddies.

There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to platforms, and those marketing automation platforms will make it easier for you to segment your customers for improved email scheduling while tracking them through your sales funnel and monitoring social performance.

5. Location-based marketing growth

The best way to create an interactive experience with your customers is to deliver content and target the user directly at or near the point of engagement.

That can happen as a customer nears a retail location or other designated physical location such as a tradeshow or special event. Using Bluetooth technology, you can use push notifications to nearby devices, attracting the attention of your target audience.

Applications go beyond retail- or location-based marketing. For instance, SK Telecom and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital are using Bluetooth Smart Beacons to provide round-the-clock patient information and navigation to 6,000 daily patients.

Analysts estimate that beacons, acting as hubs, will be deployed all over airports and transit stations to easily send out notifications on departures, delays and passenger assignments. We are also seeing Bluetooth beacons being deployed in the smart home and at large event venues.

That provides serious insight for marketers into ways they can promote engagement, not only with their brand, but among customers during B2B and B2C events.

While retailers and brands have been experimenting with location-based push marketing for a few years, the support was lacking from major phone manufacturers. The new beacon technology from Bluetooth Smart is now widely supported by manufacturers, and is a reliable and cost-effective solution for location-based marketing adaption this year.

6. Better relationship marketing

Relationship marketing is a strategy more businesses are picking up on in order to foster better customer loyalty, as well as improved long-term engagement.

Over the last few years, many brands used social media to improve that level of engagement. While effective, the messaging was still broad -- to a group or community -- and less personalized than what we’re seeing now.

Smartphone adoption continues to grow, with an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide expected to own smartphones this year. A consumer with a 24/7 connection to the web provides the means to directly connect with that individual. Every smartphone is an opportunity to connect with a prospect.

Through mobile technology and applications, you can build a stronger loyalty program and foster long-term engagement based around an emotional customer connection, not just a connection via a product.

You have more data than ever before to fuel that outreach, and that’s what’s going to help you make the switch from mass-targeted content and interruptive marketing to solid relationships built on trust.

What new trends are you seeing for 2016? Have you made any changes to your 2016 marketing strategy to improve customer engagement? Share in the comments below:

Related: 4 Things Businesses Need to Know But Often Don't About Facebook Advertising

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270662

 

 

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