- Importance of
- The Mobile
- Social Media
- Feedback &
- Search Engine
Education:The Importance of Marketing your Business on the Internet
Technology is changing the way that modern day companies function and conduct business. Small businesses have began to transform how they align opertaions, drive sales, make purchases, and support customers. This new age business model is almost completely driven by the continued movement towards mobile and online solutions. Understanding these current trends can enhance companies' ability to better manage their customer relationships and stay in step with the competition.
As digital retail changes, the shopper's experience becomes more complex, and harder for businesses to manage. One way to try and understand the way technology has changed consumer expectations is by thinking about it in terms of a "purchase fish". The purchase fish, pioneered in 2004 by The Futures Company, is a complex world of feedback that involves research, multi-channel contact with the seller and eventual purchase, as well as the testing of opinion with an ever-larger group of other consumers.
This new way of thinking about the consumer experience makes it clear that having a thorough online marketing strategy is essential to the growth of your business. A potential customers' journey towards the point of purchase is enhanced and driven by digital channels more than ever before. Which online tools are you using to maximize your business' growth?
Education:Traditional Marketing is Dead
In today's increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn't work so well, it doesn't make sense. Traditional channels such as newspaper, magazine, TV, and paper mail advertisements aren't as effective as they used to be, and business owners have responded. More and more businesses, both big and small, are utilizing marketing budgets for online advertising. Buyers simply are no longer paying much attention. Several studies have confirmed that in the "buyer's decision journey," traditional marketing communications just aren't relevant. Buyers are checking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet, and often from sources outside the firm such as word-of-mouth or customer reviews.
Education:The Mobile Imperative
How many people that you know own a smartphone? How often are those people on their phones? According to Google, more than 100 million people a month use Google maps from their mobile phones to find directions. Nikesh Arora, Google's senior vice president and chief business officer, reported that in 2012, Google's click-to-call ads generated approximately 20 million phone calls every month. In addition, last year Google earned $2.5 billion from mobile revenues, and is currently on track for an estimated $8 billion run rate.
So what does this all mean?
Google has figured it out. Mobile marketing is the future of business, and it is growing faster than even the wealthiest companies in the world can keep up with. Small businesses have begun to follow suit. More and more small businesses are beginning to realize the importance of mobile payments and geo-centric capabilities when it comes to growing commerce and customer interaction.
So what is it that makes mobile marketing so powerful? Smartphones have opened up an entirely new channel for retailers and consumers to interact. For business, it offers a direct, intimate connection with consumers. For consumers, it is an interactive and highly-personalized way to obtain information about and/or purchase a product or service. Having mobile access moves consumers along the "purchase fish" at a much more rapid rate, which increases the opportunity for reaching the point of purchase. For some businesses, mobile is already seen as the number one digital channel and touchpoint. But for many, delivery on mobile's great promise remains a long way from being realized. As a small-business owner, NOW is the time to get your business mobile-ready.
Online retail has shifted the consumer shopping landscape, forcing retailers and brands to adjust to this new world of e-commerce. For the most part, this move has had a positive effect, opening up new opportunities for building relationships with consumers and ultimately securing sales. In addition, increased consumer dependability on smartphones and social media has created a new direct selling channel.After product, price, placement, and promotion,People are becoming the fifth "P" of marketing
Mobile wallets are widely expected to drive more online purchases in the future, especially when combined with loyalty rewards. Square, Passbook, ISIS, and Google Wallet are a few of the platforms predicted to grow in number and in combination with third party partnerships.
Education:Feedback & ReputationWho do You Trust?
US Consumer Survery, 2010
Think about this: If you have a business, you are already online, whether or not you have a website. More and more consumers are using the internet to research and compare prices when purchasing goods and services. This means that for a small business owner every customer interaction is a crucial part of your online reputation. Because a customers feedback will potentially be seen by future customers, a positive or negative review on your business can be the difference between a new customer and a missed opportunity.
Consumers want to take the risk out of decision-making by assuring themselves of the value of the products they buy using trusted and often independent, sources. Through reviews, comments, and referrals, customers have the power to either reinforce the reputation of a company or produce damage. In the future, small businesses are likely to place greater emphasis on building an online, social reputation with programs in place to help anticipate negative feedback and react to positive, crowd-catching recommendations.
Education:Search Engine Marketing
This information is coming soon.
Education:Future of Online Retail
No one can say for certain what the future of online retail will be. But one thing is certain: online retail will continue to grow and evolve. Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks, recently released their latest insight report: Online On Track, the world of online retail. In the report, Kantar WorldPanel reveals their prediction about where the online retail market could be in 2050:
- Augmented reality technology will become the norm, allowing people to walk around stores, meet friends and test products from the comfort of their home.
- Shopping on the go via mobile devices or tablets will be well established, making advertising and marketing on the go crucial.
- Delivery costs and times will become much lower, making online shopping the cheaper and easier option.
Successful retailers will be those who understand their online and offline customers, analyze their motivations and backgrounds, identify their future wants and needs and adapt their strategies to fit.Social media integration set to become the norm
Imagine the following work-in-progress integrations and future opportunities:
- Social Transactions: The integration of online, Paypal, and credit card purchases into social media. This goes beyond buying intentions and acts as proof of buying, a much more powerful endorsement for brands.
- Social TV: Social TV integration could incorporate program viewing into a news feed, sharing what you are currently watching alongside your friends' shared remarks and likes.
- Health Matters: Would you want to know automatically that your friend has been admitted to hospital, or send your congratulations to a friend who has just given birth?
- E-Social Government: Voting, registration of marriages, speeding tickets and the payment of taxes could all make their way onto your news feed, promoting good behaviour or social humiliation.
- Social Calls: Broadcast your call and text message logs, with live posts linking to your friends. Self-categorization of the call could add further segmentation for marketers to use (e.g. calls categorized under shopping trip or movie).
- Social Retailing: A 'social barcode' reader could track the products you're adding to your basket and suggest other products on the spot, based on the combination of products you're buying and 'likes' from your friends.
- Fly Social: Or how about seat options on a plane based on: 'window, aisle or social seats'. Social seats could be based on different categories or purposes; sitting next to a like-minded person, finding a business partner or interest in a specific topic.
Source: Forrester Research; GP Bullhound; Euromonitor; Booz & Company analysis