Eight Tools to Create Project Plans and Deliver Marketing Success

Anyone with a business strives for success but not everyone systematically implements the project plan tools which are readily available to assist with marketing. This may be because many of the resources seem too academic or perhaps it’s the sheer volume of information which is daunting. In this article I highlight eight tools which can be used to create a solid project plan, helping create the strategic backbone to marketing success.

For project plans to produce the desired results they need to integrate, support and inform marketing strategy, development and direction. A project plan can be made up of one or more of the business tools below which include matrices and models to help identify almost every aspect of a business, from brand purpose, role players, actions, insights, competitors and company growth.

 

1) Project Charter

 

“If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?” Basil S. Walsh

Creating a Project Charter is recommended for someone in project management who needs to identify, get buy in, track and measure a specific project. It outlines the:

  • Breadth of project
  • Goals
  • Who is involved and their responsibilities.

A Project Charter should:

  • Encapsulate the project’s purpose
  • Keep the people involved on the same page
  • Be a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders and the project team.

SmartSheet has Project Charter useful templates available for free download in word or excel.

 

 

2) Project Plan

 

“Plans are worthless. Planning is essential.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

While a Project Charter is an overview of a project, often to get buy in and approval for the framework, a Project Plan works on the approved structure and framework of the charter.

Bright Hub Project Management outlines the following points on how a Project Plan assists with the specific detail on executing, managing and controlling:

  • Project Value Proposition
  • People involved and their responsibilities
  • Business structure
  • What needs to be done
  • Phases, activities and tasks
  • Identification the work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Allocation of resources
  • Time lines and milestones or critical path schedule (CPS)
  • Documentation of project inter-dependencies.

There are various ways to create a Project Plan but the traditional Microsoft Project Templates always work effectively, or explore the option of using a free Gantt Chart template.

 

3) Project Plan Scope Triangle

 

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Theophrastus

 

The Scope Triangle has been used in project training programmes for over 25 years and is a useful tool to use when looking at the three “primary forces” of a project as well as if, when and where a “trade off” between them is necessary:

  • Time
  • Quality

As Nick Jenkins, from Project Smart says, “The best project managers will juggle all three like hot potatoes and will make decisions every day which effectively trade-off time versus quality versus resources.”

 

4) Ansoff’s Matrix

 

“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” Henry Mintzberg

 

This strategic planning tool dates back to the 1960s and is named after its creator, Russian American mathematician and business manager, Harry Igor Ansoff, also known as the “father of strategic management”.

The Matrix is based on Ansoff’s definition of product-market strategy as being: “A joint statement of a product line and the corresponding set of missions which the products are designed to fulfil.” Within the axis of existing / new markets and existing /new products are:

  • Market penetration
  • Market development
  • Product development and;

The benefit of using Ansoff’s Matrix (also known as the Product/Market Expansion Grid) is that it can be used to, as MindTools explains, “Identify alternative growth strategies by looking at present and potential products in current and future markets.”

 

5) The Boston Matrix

“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.” Jim Rohn

 

The Boston Matrix uses the axis of Relevant Market Share in relation to Relevant Market Growth to chart portfolios within a business, defined as:

  • Dogs – Products with low growth or market share
  • Question Marks or Problem Child – Products in high growth markets with low market share
  • Stars – Products in high growth markets with high market share
  • Cash Cows – Products in low growth markets with high market share.

I’ve included this matrix as it is useful for companies with separate business units or diverse products, but as Strategic Management Insights points out, it needs to be used by following these steps –

  • Choose the unit
  • Define the market
  • Calculate relative market share
  • Find out market growth rate, and;
  • Draw the circles on a matrix.

 

 

6) Gartner’s Hype Cycle

 

“Realistically, the world (and the technology) aren’t quite ready for autonomous flying taxis.” Kasey Panetta

Unlike most of the tools on this list, Gartner’s Hype Cycle positions us firmly in the 21st Century. It’s described as, “A graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.” But, more simply put, it’s positioning your product or business within a technology curve of expectation and time to see where it is / isn’t potentially relevant to the marketplace.

Gatner’s project tool drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle:

  • Innovation Trigger
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations
  • Trough of Disillusionment
  • Slope of Enlightenment
  • Plateau of Productivity.

Which – as they explain – helps to “separate the hype from the real”. For further insights on this, read 5 Trends Emerge in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

 

 

7) System Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

“Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organisation forward.” Joy Gumz

Over the last 15 years I have consciously or unconsciously used the SDLC model in many projects including helping start ups with business plans, building marketing strategies, supporting change management and of course developing IT solutions. This simple model is an method in defining the steps in the project plan through there are various other tools.

The SDLC, also known as the Application Development Life-Cycle, describes the process (often used in IT and Systems) is for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an process or information system.

There are six key stages in the SDLC cycle:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development and Testing
  • Implementation
  • Documentation, and;

An additional note on the importance of this from Innovative Architects: ”The life cycle approach of any project is a time-consuming process. Even though some steps are more difficult than others, none are to be overlooked. An oversight could prevent the entire system from functioning as planned.”

For additional project planning tools Smart Insights have an article with more suggestions, including SWOT Analysis, the BCG Matrix, more on the Product Lifecycle Model, the Pestle Analysis Model and the BCG Matrix.

 

8) Bespoke Project Planning Tools

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” Joel Barker

At Prana Business Consulting we also create bespoke project planning tools based on our experience as well as specific client needs.

  • Prana Business Flow Pyramid
  • B2B marketing model
  • Digital marketing Flowchart, and our
  • Marketing to Moms Model.

 

Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting

Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting and has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses. Jainita’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses. Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on various marketing related topics.

 

 

About Prana Business Consulting

Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business.  Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.

Email: info@pranabusinessconsulting.com.www82.jnb2.host-h.net

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796

Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / LinkedIn

 

Successful Brands: Leading, Challenging and Exploring

Coca-Cola dividing their products into three categories – leaders, challengers and explorers is a good way of defining the future of any brand. Those who are successful need to be at least one of these, preferably two, ideally all three. Here are five ways I see brands (and a continent) leading, challenging and exploring in 2019.

1) Uber-Agile

“The only way to remain in business is creating brands. The moment we stop creating brands then the e-retailers are going to rule.” Javier Meza, CMO of Sparkling at Coca-Cola

In an interview with Marketing Week  CMO of Sparkling at Coca-Cola, Javier Meza, shared how the brand remains current by aiming to be extraordinarily agile. He said in Japan, for example, the business was launching two new products a week. Each product is tracked for six weeks and then a decision is made whether to keep or cull.

There’s now a separate entity for Coca-Cola called Global Ventures who scale new products as the business diversifies away from fizzy drinks. Rodolfo Echeverria, Coca-Cola’s global vice-president of creative, says explorer brands require “a typical West Coast, California attitude” which means looking towards healthier products. In China, for example, they have recently launched a tea brand for the eighth time as well as having Coca-Cola Clear with lemon. In Japan the brand has Coke Plus Fibre, which lowers the body’s fat absorption and is targeted at over-40 year olds.

Other big players we can expect to see being uber-agile in 2019 are Samsung (who spent around US$15.3 billion on research and development in 2018), Volkswagen and Apple. But will they be swift enough to match Amazon’s meteoric innovation? Bearing in mind Amazon’s R&D spend in 2018 was a cool US$22.6 billion.

2) On-Site Robotic Personalisation

“There are new possibilities for self-assembly, replication, repair in our physical structures, our buildings, machines.” Skylar Tibbits, Founder of the Self-Assembly Lab

The Ministry of Supply in collaboration with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab in the US are rolling out a service which introduces the next level of on-site robotic personalisation. Now robots will resize a jersey (or sweater) to fit you while you wait.

Skylar Tibbits, Founder of the Self-Assembly Lab speaks of the innovation, saying there’s something psychologically rewarding about watching a garment transform before your eyes, “You want to see that it’s actually active, that it’s alive and transforming with you and around you.” This is the future of customisable products – not just fashion – robotics sprinkling electronic fairy dust and personalising your product while you wait.

3) I’m Still Standing: Bricks and Mortar 

“We’ve found that interacting with the brand in store makes a customer more loyal.” Paul Hedrick, CEO of direct-to-consumer cowboy boot startup Tecovas

Retailers housed in bricks and mortar will still be around but not necessarily in a way we’re used to. Some of the new stores going up are to support their online sales offering, designed to complement the customer’s digital experience. Digital retailers Everlane, for instance, created technology in a bricks and mortar setting, with the checkout using online customer profiles and their saved credit card details. As VendHQ writes, “Technology will fuel – not curb – the rise of brick and mortar retail.”

We are also seeing some retailers launch stores which stay open all hours. For example, BookXcess in Malaysia has just opened its doors to the country’s biggest-ever bookstore and it will stay open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Within the shop of 3,437m² they stock half a million books. The space (more like a mall) also has individual reading areas and a cafe to entice readers to stay for longer.  We may see more stores like these in the Asia Pacific region as their middle class is predicted to rise  to 65% of the continent’s population by 2030, and physical 24/7 is a way of shopping which suits their lifestyle.

4) More Specialised: Less Spend

“2019 will be the year of conspicuous conservation.” Elizabeth Segran, FastCompany

While brands are working overtime to meet customer needs there are real benefits in store (and app!) for the person who wants to streamline their consumer spend. The recent reveal at CES 2019 of L’Oreal’s My Skin Track pH is an example of this. It’s touted as the first “wearable sensor and companion app to easily measure personal skin pH levels and create customized product regimens.” If it works as well as promised the reality will be ways of really knowing what our skin needs and less experimenting with products, therefore less wastage.

The My Skin Track opens intriguing doors to the future of beauty, health and technology, but brands need to hold on to the human touch. I recently read a list of ways the BBC World Service engages younger audiences which can be applied to what customers want. They are: update me, give me perspective, educate me, keep me on trend, amuse me and inspire me.

5) Brand Africa and the Wisdom of emerging markets

“90% of the media’s 24/7 coverage is concerned with the West, whereas 90% of the opportunity is in emerging markets.” Stephen Jennings, CEO, Renaissance Capital

According to Africa Business Communities, the World Bank estimates economic growth in the Sub-Saharan regions to be at a positive 6% average in 2019-20 and McKinsey says Africa is the world’s next “big growth market”.  CBNC Africa also reports there’s a trillion-dollar opportunity to industrialise Africa, “meeting rising domestic demand and create a bridge-head in global export markets.”

But tt’s not only in the business facts and figures that position the continent of Africa to become a powerful challenging and exploring brand – it is the people. We’ll be seeing more ideas and products being created by Africans to meet our most pressing needs. For example Nigerian college student, Segun Oyeyiola, recently upcycled a Volkswagen Beetle and turned it into a wind and solar-powered car, made up of scrap parts, for less than US$6,000, paving the way for more local innovation in this field.

With consumer spending in Africa expected to hit $25 trillion by 2025, our emerging markets are amazing opportunities for international trade and growth, but it will be our spirit of Ubuntu (a quality representing compassion and humanity) which will keep Africa creating innovative products to improve quality of life.

Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting

 

Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting and has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses. Jainita’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses. Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on various marketing related topics.

 

About Prana Business Consulting

Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business.  Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.

Email: info@pranabusinessconsulting.com.www82.jnb2.host-h.net

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796

Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / LinkedIn

 

The Humanising Factor #BizTrends2019

The Humanising Factor #BizTrends2019

In 2019 marketers will be focused on how to best implement the potential wave of artificial intelligence flooding our homes, vehicles, online habits and workplace. But there are important humanising pockets of influence which brands should also take note of. Here are four consumer needs we’ll also be responding to as marketers in 2019.

 

1) Intellectual Snack Breaks with Podcasts

Taking intellectual snack breaks in 2019 will be a necessity to counteract the social media junk food we’re force fed at every consumer touch-point. Where will thoughtful people go when they need to take a break? Very likely somewhere that doesn’t require a screen and provides snackable content, as podcasts do.

Just the  iTunes podcast stats are impressive, it is home to over 525,000 active shows, with more than 18.5 million episodes available, with content in over 100 languages. In an online survey conducted by Nielsen of 7,000 podcast listeners between the ages of 18 to 49 – 69% said the podcast ads made them aware of new products and services.

The five most popular podcasting genres in the US are Society and Culture, Business, Comedy, News and Politics and Health. 19% of listeners increase their listening speed (listen faster) and weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours 37 minutes per week listening to podcasts. That’s a lot of listening space for brands to tap in to.  Check out the informative and thought provoking Tim Ferris Show to see (and hear) how it’s done.

2) Packaging with Care (and Collaboration)

Products making eco-friendly waves – like L’Oreal  – who has gone as far as launching a new brand called Seed Phytonutrients. The goal for these products is to be separate from L’Oreal and to create “non-synthetic, effective products that support small-scale organic farmers”.

In 2019 you’ll see the words, “craft” and “natural-origin” used more often and if the packaging of Seed products is anything to go by (compostable bottles made from post-consumer paper, combined with clay) the wave of eco-design and product with gather momentum.

Big retailers branching out into natural origin packaging creates opportunities for organic producers and community businesses. Manufacturers will be also be more accountable as to where they source their ingredients as consumers can follow the supply chain journey.

3) Planet or Plastic

In October 2018 the European Union voted overwhelmingly to ban a wide range of single-use plastics in every member state and New Zealand is the latest country to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, which were being used at an incredible 750 million bags per year – about 150 bags per person.

Closer to home Woolworths, The Shoprite Group and Pick n Pay are making inroads into more sustainable plastic bag offerings with good news from Plastics|SA who say South Africa has an input recycling rate of 43.7% above Europe’s recycling figure of 31.1%.

Woolworths’s commitment to zero packaging waste and making all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2022 is ahead of most international retailers and producers whose similar targets are being implemented by 2025. Woolworths are trial-ing a new in-store bag for R5.50 – reusable and locally-made from recycled materials. Their partner is South African small black enterprise development company, Isikwama, who employ and up-skill people from the local community.

Shoprite and Checkers have introduced ‘planet’ bags which are 100% recycled and recyclable plastic costing R3.00 each. Their strategy is to give customers using the planet bag 50c off their tab. A lot of their vegetable packaging will also be in biodegradable and compostable containers from November 2018.

Pick n Pay is introducing South Africa’s first compostable supermarket bag made of vegetable matter, including maize and potato starch. These bags break down after about six months compared to the 500 to a thousand years it takes for an ordinary plastic bag decompose.

Another thing we’ll see more of  next year are  “reverse vending” machines which eat goods for recycling. They are being tested by Tesco in the UK and Woolworths in its flagship green store, in Palmyra, Cape Town.

Other retailers take note, as Jeremy Sampson, Director at Brand Finance Africa, says: “It isn’t unheard of now for shoppers to prefer one supermarket brand over another, purely because they express a serious commitment to recycled content in packaging or encourage their shoppers to bring their bags every time they shop.”

 

4) Embracing Zen (or at least the App)

 Trendsetters Virgin Australia have taken mindfulness to a whole new level – 30,000 feet above ground, to be exact. Partnering with Smiling Mind, an app which helps to create a mindful life, the airline now has mediation on their in flight entertainment, encouraging passengers to practice mindfulness during their flight. But that’s not all; you can also take a yoga class in the Sydney Virgin Australia Lounge while you wait for your next flight.

Mindfulness is on the rise and you’ll find new “zen” apps gently jostling for space on your Smart Phone in 2019, edging your fitness apps to one side. For brands and retailers the opportunity lies in capturing the heart of the mindful consumer.

In the words of Poppy Jamie, creator of the Happy Not Perfect app, “How do we make sure that our technology is helping us feel better rather than worse? How can we wake up in the morning and like ourselves first?” Here are the best Mindfulness apps from The New York Times to help you on your way.

 

Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting

Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting and has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses. Jainita’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses. Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on various marketing related topics.

About Prana Business Consulting

Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business.  Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.

Email: info@pranabusinessconsulting.com.www82.jnb2.host-h.net

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796

Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / LinkedIn

 

Machine learning and marketing automation – What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve ( marketing automation) from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves.

 

For example, facial recognition software learns by being fed datasets of labelled pictures, and trying to guess which contain faces and which don’t, until it can eventually identify faces with a high degree of accuracy. Eventually, with enough data, the software can even learn to recognise who is in the picture (this is how Facebook’s tagging prompts work).

 

The process of learning begins with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience, or instruction, in order to look for patterns in data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples that we provide. The primary aim is to allow the computers learn automatically without human intervention or assistance and adjust actions accordingly.

 

The purpose of marketing automation software solutions is to help you deliver quality content to the right people efficiently, so that you may increase your sales and fortify your company’s branding. It is equipped with a plethora of tools that let you create campaigns, identify quality leads, improve your content, and manage your emails and social media accounts.

 

Whether you own a large business that executes long sales cycles or a start-up company that doesn’t have enough staff to manage marketing campaigns full-time, marketing automation can ease your troubles. Here are some of its features:

  • Campaign Automation
  • Social Media Management
  • Email Management
  • Content Management
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Lead Scoring
  • Lead Conversion Tracking
  • Customer Segmentation
  • A/B Testing
  • Campaign Tracking and Reporting
  • Customer Engagement Analytics
  • ROI Analytics
  • Website and CRM Integration

 

 

How to Integrate Messaging Apps In Your Marketing Strategy

More than ever, online marketers have more reasons to implement messaging technology to engage their customers. This is especially true for those in e-commerce and online retail sales.

Research data continue to show us that time spent on messaging apps is constantly on the rise, with no end in sight. Dark social platforms such as messaging, email, and private browsing account for almost 70 percent of online referrals when it comes to sharing.

Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of July 2018, based on number of monthly active users (in millions)

 

 

Here are some examples as demonstrated by the brands that have implemented Messaging Apps to improve customer service, increase website conversions, and generate a loyal following.

  1. Using Bots To Make Shopping Easier
  2. Make Checkouts Easy with Payments Via Messenger Apps
  3. Go full-throttle with in-app shopping?
  4. Engage Your Customers Through Public Chats To Keep Your Brand In Their Heads
  5. Use Messaging Apps to Conduct Contests, Promotions and Other Gimmicks
  6. Make Your Own Emoticons and Stickers Unique to Your Brand

 

 

Conclusion

Messaging apps have over 5B monthly active users worldwide. With this kind of growth in user base and penetration, it is no longer a question of whether it’s time to start engaging customers through messaging apps. The more pertinent challenge is how we can harness this technology in a way that would improve how we transact with them.

 

Reference:

https://snaps.io/heres-chatbots-best-ai-marketing-automation-tool/

https://www.click.co.uk/blog/chatbots-future-messaging/

https://searchengineland.com/machine-learning-marketings-future-270626

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .

 

Integrating marketing activities into the customer lifecycle

 

What is the origin of the term ‘lifecycle marketing’?

Lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience the kinds communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates.

Generally, a lifecycle marketing plan is a three-phase framework, Attract, Sell, and Wow. Each phase consists of three stages that include basic strategies and tactics that coalesce into a single, self-sustaining process. Rolling out a customer lifecycle marketing plan is a lot easier when done in these phases and can be done quickly and affordably with easy-to-use automation technology.

 

The attract phase

The goal of the Attract Phase is to get the attention of the consumers you want to buy your products or service. The stages include Target, Attract Interest, and Collect Leads.

  • Target – Targeting is when you identify specific types of individuals then address them directly with your marketing. Most common ways to target an audience are by interests, behaviour, demographics, location, context, (targeting by topic on the page which is matched with the corresponding message of your ad to reach and connect to an audience with an interest in your product or service), device, etc.
  • Attract Interest– Attract visitors to your website with great content like e-books, infographics, research reports, webinars, social media, and blog posts.
  • Collect leads – Use a web form that includes offers, free consultations or premium content to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.

The sell phase

Sell is the second phase of the Lifecycle Marketing model. This is your unique strategy that makes your product or service the obvious choice when those you’ve attracted are ready to buy. Sell Phase stages are Educate, Offer, and Close.

  • Educate – Create a consistent campaign of useful information with automated, personalized follow-up messages.
  • Offer – The best way to craft an offer is to observe past customer actions and create a buying process map, then provide an irresistible offer.
  • Close – Closing the sale is more than the transaction. The close involves clear communication, good presence, and written documentation.

 

The wow phase

Getting to Wow involves three key stages: Deliver and Wow, Offer More, and Referral. Deliver and wow – Fulfil your commitments on time, follow through when and where it is required. Offer to provide additional value that surprises and delights customers.

 

We put together 7 steps to help you influence your customer’s lifecycle marketing

Step 1  Welcome campaigns

  • Your content marketing has worked its magic. You’ve attracted someone to part with their email address in exchange for some juicy content.
  • Now, ease your new subscriber along to their first purchase with this.
  • A welcome campaign is an automated series of emails that’s triggered when someone joins your email list. It gives you the opportunity to introduce your brand and position your products in bite-sized chunks.
  • Design a series of messages that build a relationship between your brand and your potential customer. Help to nurture their initial interest, so it develops into an intention to purchase.

 

Step 2  Reviews and ratings

  • Reviews and ratings aid customers in the consideration stage of their lifecycle.
  • They act as a form of social proof. This helps customers to feel confident that a product will meet their needs.

 

Step 3 Browse and cart abandonment

  • Browse abandonment emails are triggered when your customer has been looking at a product but abandons their browser. This form of personalisation aims to entice the customer back to buy.
  • Cart abandonment emails are triggered when your customer puts an item in their basket but abandons your site without buying. Often, they include a discount to sweeten the deal.
  • These automations help to drive up conversion rates and are key to the conversion stage of your strategy.

 

 Step 4 Personalised call-to-action

  • Personalised call-to-action in your emails and across your website are another way to increase conversions.
  • Despite being easy to implement, they are not widely used. This allows your brand to stand out and adds to the persuasive nature of this tactic.

 

Step 5  Product recommendations

  • Product recommendations are a form of personalisation that consistently deliver, throughout the customer lifecycle.
  • They are a way to show customers products that meet their needs (consideration). They entice customer to purchase (conversion). And they remind the customer why your brand it still relevant (retention).

 

Step 6 Countdown timers

  • Countdown timers are an eye-catching feature that you can add to your emails or your website.
  • A good way to use this feature is to countdown to the beginning of an exclusive offer, or to the end of a sale. The sense of urgency they create helps drive conversions.

 

 Step 7  Re-engagement campaigns

  • An inevitable part of E-Commerce marketing is that some customers will lapse. Re-engagement campaigns are an effective way to win-back those sleeping subscribers. Whether you use “we miss you” messaging, list out benefits, or try something more tongue-in-cheek will depend on your brand’s voice.

 

Reference:

https://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/web-personalisation/what-is-lifecycle-marketing/

https://blog.alexa.com/customer-lifecycle-marketing/

https://www.optimove.com/learning-center/customer-lifecycle-marketing

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/how-we-help-clients/customer-lifecycle-management

https://www.i-scoop.eu/integrated-marketing/

https://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/web-personalisation/what-is-lifecycle-marketing/

https://www.pure360.com/top-tips-for-customer-lifecycle-marketing/

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .

Facebook’s Latest Changes, Impact Influencers and the Future of Social Media Marketing.

On January 11th 2018, Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world when he announced Facebook will change its algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news. Soon after twitter news feeds flooded with headlines like:

Facebook Shares Fall”, “Facebook Is Changing”

“Zuckerburg’s Net Worth Has Just Taken A 2.9 Billion Dollar Hit.”

Over the next few weeks, Facebook’s news feed will start showing fewer news articles, and less marketing content and ads, Zuckerberg wrote . Instead, users should start seeing more vacation videos from their friends, photos of family living abroad, and other more family-friendly posts about the people they know. It’s a major change for Facebook, which over the years has shifted from being a social networking service connecting friends and family to one of the world’s largest distributors of news and online ads.

So Why is Facebook changing its news feed?

To hear Zuckerberg explain it, the increase in news articles and marketing has created an imbalance that “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” Based on Facebook’s internal research and outside studies, he said that people are generally happier and have a better “well-being” when they use social media to connect “with people we care about.” What “may not be as good,” however, is merely “reading articles or watching videos,” even if they’re informative or entertaining.

Zuckerberg says Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”. In November, the company published a post that claimed “passive” social media use could be harmful, arguing instead for a more active and communal approach to the site.

As a result, Zuckerberg says, Facebook wants to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.

Some of The controversies Facebook has faced in recent years over its relationship with the news industry. For example, critics slammed Facebook (FB, +3.17%) for failing to prevent the spread of misinformation, dubbed fake news, on the news feed during the run up to the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

The change will bring Facebook other benefits. By diminishing the influence of news media, it may be able to avoid a repeat of the bad press it received during the 2016 US election when it became a breeding ground for “fake news”, helping spread stories that misled millions.

And the company has long displayed concern over the decline in “organic sharing” – users posting content about their own lives, rather than simply sharing links to the wider web or professionally produced videos and photos. Users are more likely to share details about their own lives if they see others doing the same, and so promoting organic content begets more organic content.

 

Did Facebook do something like this before?

In December 2013, Facebook changed its algorithm to promote “high-quality articles” over “a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook”. In the process, it also took aim at publishers who produced content that was too appealing. The social news site Upworthy saw its traffic halve in the month after the algorithm change, a decline it has never quite recovered from.

Similar changes have happened over the years as Facebook decided to focus on promoting “instant articles”, a type of Facebook native content; to pivot to promoting video; to pivot from video to live video; and to pivot from live video to Facebook groups, the company’s most recent attempt to build a stronger sense of community.

 

How will Facebook’s News Feed change affect your business?

 

Zuckerberg explains. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Although this news may be surprising to some people, in reality, organic reach from Facebook Pages has been steadily declining for years. Some sources estimate the current organic reach for Facebook Pages to be as low as 2% (Hubspot).

To put this in context, if you publish a post on a Facebook Page that has 100,000 fans, only 2,000 of those fans are likely to see it.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. As Zuckerberg explained, Facebook users generally don’t log in to Facebook to see content from businesses, brands, and media. They want to see posts from their friends and family.
  2. Facebook’s main source of revenue comes from advertisers. If you’re a business with a Facebook Page, and you want more Facebook users to see your content, you have to pay for that privilege.

It’s also possible that the number of hours people have been using Facebook is declining, and the company is trying to adjust the news feed to get people to stay online for longer than they have been, according to Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser. He analysed Nielsen data about Facebook’s online audience over a 14-month period ending Sept. 2017, and found a small, but general decline in people’s use of Facebook. The report said that “Facebook (including Messenger but excluding Instagram) saw a decline in total person-hours (number of users multiplied by hours of consumption per person) during September of -0.1% year-over-year following a -0.9% decline in August.”

 

Facebook is about to get more costly
With Facebook clamping down on media within the news feed, these executives have legitimate concerns that it could impact how much money publishers can make from custom and sponsored videos. For instance, the cost models for branded content will likely change. It will cost more to run paid campaigns to seed videos in front of users in the news feed, which will cut into profit margins of every business.

 

 

Here are 6 tips to help you become accustomed to this change and continue to build a blossoming business in 2018:

 

1.Build your audience on multiple platforms.

 If you’re building your audience online, make sure you that you’re diversifying that audience across multiple platforms. Our audience on social media, for example, is spread across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. If any of these platforms decided to restrict our reach (or shut down entirely), it wouldn’t be detrimental to us because we’re not relying on any single one of them to reach our audience.

 

2. Encourage engagement on your posts.

Facebook favours posts that are getting lots of engagement (likes, shares, reactions, comments). So if you encourage your audience to engage with your post, Facebook will show that post to more people.

Here are a few ways to boost engagement on Facebook:

  • Use Facebook Live
  • Ask questions to stir discussion
  • Respond to comments quickly
  • Hire a community manager (Depending on the size of your audience and the amount of engagement you get on Facebook, you may want to hire a community manager to respond to questions, participate in discussions, and moderate comments when necessary.)
  • Direct people to your Facebook posts from other platforms

3. Use Facebook ads the Correct Way.

If you’re posting content on your Facebook Page often, wait at least 24-48 hours to see which of your posts get good engagement. Use Facebook’s boost post option to help a post that is already getting engagement get even more engagement.

If you boost a post that no one is engaging with, you will be penalized with high ad costs. Boosted posts and ads that add value to your target audience and get engagement will outperform ads that don’t. Going straight for the sale on Facebook rarely works. Instead, direct your audience to free content, downloadable resources, webinars, etc. Get them off of Facebook and on to a platform that you control (like your website or email list) before you try to sell to them.

 

4. Create a Facebook Group for your audience.            

Instead of trying to get more fans for your Facebook Page, create a private Facebook Group for your audience and/or customers and start directing people to your group instead. Groups are much better environments than pages for engaging with others and building community anyway.

 

5. Build an asset that you can control.

Despite how much of a presence you establish for your business on social media, it’s important to remember that you do not own or control these platforms. Therefore, changes are beyond your control (like the one that just happened!) can affect your ability to reach your audience using these platforms.

As you build your audience on social media, make sure you are simultaneously building an asset that you can control: your database. Whether by collecting email addresses, phone numbers, or even physical mailing addresses, always be building a database of prospects and customers that you can contact directly.

 

6. Focus on customer success.            

Lastly, never lose sight of what should be your uttermost important priority: helping your customers succeed.

Successful customers are happy customers, and happy customers tell other people about your business. They become your biggest advocates. Word-of-mouth marketing is alive and strong, especially on social media.

Instead of asking: how can you reach more people using Facebook? Ask: what can you do to make your existing customers more successful? How can you make sure they’re getting the result you promised them when they purchased your product or service? How can you make them feel support and a part of a community of like-minded people that share the same interests and want the same results?

 

As for me, I believe this announcement means that the need to build a true community on Facebook will be more beneficial than ever.

Although this change is going to affect marketing strategies everywhere, the industry as a whole should embrace and mirror the efforts Facebook is making to continually satisfy their customers. Content marketers and people who can create engaging video and content for social media just went up in stock value BIG TIME.

This is also great news for chatbots… They allow brands to create that individualised experience that Facebook is looking to provide.

So, if you’re an advertiser, here’s what you need to do capitalize on these changes:

  1. Don’t panic or get annoyed. Remember that this change is happening to everyone at the same time, so be appreciative for the opportunity it creates.
  2. Optimize for Likes and Shares, again, not clicks. (The “sale” can come later with custom audience retargeting.)
  3. Invest in communities (i.e. Facebook Groups). Like all channels that are originally built on the back of early direct response pioneers, Facebook is making the pivot toward branding.

 

This is not the first time that Facebook (or any other platform that people use and rely on) has made a momentous change, and it won’t be the final. As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus famously said: “The only thing that is constant is change.”

 

 

References:

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/01/12/facebook-news-feed-changes

https://digiday.com/media/facebook-news-feed-changes-will-impact-publishers-branded-content-revenue/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/keenanbeasley/2018/01/15/how-facebooks-latest-changes-impact-influencers-businesses-the-future-of-social-media-marketing/#543c22301798

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/12/why-facebooks-news-feed-changing-how-will-affect-you

https://www.thinkific.com/resources/facebook-newsfeed-change-2018/

 

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .