Since the pandemic and rather turbulent times, all things have gone digital. It is now more vital than ever for businesses to get highly strategic and hyper focused.
HOW TO MARKET FOR ACCELERATING GROWTH
As reviewed in my book, Make An Impact With Key Digital Marketing Strategies, marketing is the science of creating competitive advantage and this means taking on an approach that is specific to what your business offers best.
Creating The Right Marketing Balance
You don’t need to interview 10,000 marketers or businesses or subscribe to an insider article or big buzz trends report for creating an effective marketing mix. Smart marketing is based on aligning your goals with your business vision that maximizes on your growth potential.
There are numerous options to promote your messages and target specific marketing. Digital channels include email, websites, blogs, online chat apps, videos, video livestreaming, social media platforms, podcasts, search, voice search, online shopping and more.
Key Strategies To Promote Your Business
Relevant Content Marketing
The type of content you create on your digital channels will determine how effective you will be in building relationships with your target audience. Whether you have a huge or small budget, your content must follow a few simple rules – be informative, relevant, interesting, believable and clear.
Effective Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing refers to strategies on social networks to increase brand awareness, promote products and most importantly build relationships with the right audience. Communication on social media needs to stand out with the right message, unique design and be authentic. Social channels are already saturated with everyone fighting for everyone’s attention.
Key Ways To Stand Out
Smart And Relevant Content
There are talented freelance writers who can help you create compelling content. Don't blend in with average and recycled content. Create informative messages that delivers value and key insights.
Held Hostage By Algorithms, Bots And Web Crawlers
Social platforms have to be montetized and sell advertising for growth and profits. They also have to balance organic content and content that is not sponsored.
In an engaging video panel discussion, Gerald Cupchik, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, highlighted interesting viewpoints related digital to platforms. Digital channels rely on content created by their users for free. When we engage on social channels, we are sharing our content and often our ideas as well.
In my book, Make An Impact With Key Digital Marketing Strategies, I define digital marketing as a powerful channel for businesses to market themselves to the right audience, with the right message on digital platforms where their audience is already engaged and spending their time.
Hyper digital marketing does not need to be mass marketing or mediocre. Think in terms of relevance. There are many niche publications and digital channels where you can directly reach your target audience.
Do you want to know who your top Influencer is?
Your top Influencer is always your customer. Leading businesses use User Generated Content (UGC) from influencers and customers who share information about their brand on social channels.
Focused Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the few channels that is more personal and target specific. Smart marketers deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time. Personalizing email marketing helps create a two-way communication channel.
Effective Customer Experience
Competitive businesses stay ahead by creating exceptional customer experiences and implementing growth to expand in the market. Great customer experience aims to create a fluid and seamless journey from your digital marketing to what you deliver in terms of your products or services.
Premium brands can charge premium prices based on their brand promise to deliver quality and value.
Case Study - Château Le Jardin
Since 1985, Château Le Jardin Event Venue function hall in Vaughan has provided the venue and fine catering services for all types of events including weddings, anniversaries, holiday parties, conferences, seminars and meetings.
Growth Phase - Hotel Vie
“We’ve been planning for this hotel since we first opened our doors in the 1990s,” says Carlo Parentela, CEO of Château Le Jardin.
Transformation is coming to the Château le Jardin Event Venue. Dubbed Hotel Vie, the new hotel is part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio. It will rise to 12 storeys and feature 261 hotel-condo suites, 54 luxury executive offices, and ample amenities. Guests will also have access to a rich selection of leisure opportunities, including the Giverny Spa, Wellness and Holistic Centre; the Salle de Gym + Bassin fitness centre; Le Jardin Courtyard; and Claude Monet Gardens, to name a few.
Leading With Customer Experience
Château Le Jardin has created a unique high value ambience to its event facilities and expanded the concept to its hotel project. The emphasis on quality, attention to detail, creativity and value driven best practice has made them cutting edge in the hospitality industry.
Power Of Innovation And Disruptors
All titans started out small from Apple, Uber, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Tesla and even Amazon first launched as an online book seller.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants ― Malcolm Gladwell
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous.
“There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set that have to do with the absence of material resources—and the reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former.” -- Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, www.goodreads.com
The Next Disruptor
We can be certain there is a new startup or innovative business making plans to unleash a new digital platform or business system. We now have access to many tools from software, the cloud, technology, open source systems and digital platforms to power the next innovation.
Go Big Or Go Home?
In a hyper engaged digital ecosystem, you need to go niche or go home! This is true for niche business rather than mass market businesses or fast-moving consumer goods businesses.
Hyper Specific And Hyper Effective
Smart brands are creating eco-friendly, sustainable and niche products to dominate in a niche market.
Case Study - The Humble Co.
At Humble Co., "It's time to act. There is no planet b. And that is why we exist."
Since 2013, The Humble Co. is leading a small revolution in personal care products – from design and manufacture to humbleness. Founded by dentist Noel Abdayem, following a period of volunteer work in Jamaica, our products are now available in more than 40 000 stores and dental clinics worldwide. Evidence-based innovations have been translated into eco-friendly consumer products that are beneficial for everyone to use, including underprivileged people living in remote communities. www.thehumble.co
Sometimes it pays to be humble and do the right thing for your market!
The Humber Co. has a consistent and authentic brand when it comes to the design of its products and its brand messaging. The company is unique, creative, clear and consistent with its brand marketing from its website to its social media brand.
Recent Top Trends
It Has All Gone Video
From video conferencing, webinars, online learning, video chats, video parties and social events, everything moved to video. The objective of video marketing is to create direct engagement, connections, creativity and share stories.
Video Platform Zoom
Zoom is connecting people for business, education, healthcare, and other professional endeavors, during this global pandemic. Zoom states it has become the platform for people all over the world for human connection.
Leveraging Livestreams To Connect With Your Audience
Live video streaming continues to see growth and popularity. Live videos have a more personal feel and is up close and personal. Your audience can get a glimpse into what is happening right in the moment.
Facebook Live lets you livestream events, performances and gatherings on Facebook. Viewers can watch from a phone, computer or connected TV.
Video For Entertainment
Amazon and Netflix have been creating popular shows and series that become part of daily entertainment and cultural trends.
Netflix Disrupted Traditional Entertainment
Netflix states that it is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages.
Engage, Share And Show Your Talent On TikTok
TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.
Learning Goes Online
Eightfold.ai and Udemy Team Up to Help Individuals Gain New Skills and Get Back to Work
"Many are going through an incredibly difficult time because so many jobs have been impacted in the past few months. We are hoping that through working closely with Eightfold.ai, we can contribute in a meaningful way and help many improve their lives through learning." Darren Shimkus, President of Udemy for Business.
"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the workforce was already facing a massive need for reskilling, and with tens of millions unemployed in the United States in just the last two months, we are facing the largest job upheaval in modern history," said Ashutosh Garg, Co-Founder and CEO of Eightfold.ai. www.prnewswire.com
Building Digital Momentum With Podcasts
Interview podcasts seem to be gaining momentum with more and more people listening to and subscribing to their favorite podcasts. The podcast community connects like-minded people who share information and ideas within specific target audiences.
Growing Platform Spotify
Spotify has over 250 million listeners across more than 75 countries worldwide. They are the second most popular place to listen to podcasts in the world — and growing fast. Spotify says it provides a powerful snapshot of who listeners are, what episodes they're streaming the most, and even the music its users love…You can also dive deeper into each episode with details around how long people listen and where they start and stop, all while tracking your follower growth.
Podcast Pioneer – Joe Rogan Moves His Podcast To Spotify
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) recently launched an exclusive partnership with Spotify.
Bringing the JRE to Spotify will mean that the platform’s more than 286 million active users will have access to one of culture’s leading voices.
Collaboration And The Right Talent
A key factor in the success of your business is working with the right partners and hiring the right talent. As described earlier, there is great opportunity to stand out in a market that is all buzz, recycling and repetitive.
Whether you choose to work with highly specialized and niche consultants or hire expert talent depends on your competitive market gaps.
Think of areas where you need specialization and gaps that you need to fill fast.
Engaging On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a leading professional networking platform with more than 590 million members worldwide. Engaging on professional networking platforms is necessary not only to build your business profile but also to keep ahead on trends related to the job market and talent management.
In a hyper engaged market, you need to be hyper target specific with highly efficient strategies. Using and managing your resources well will give you a competitive edge.
Consumers Are Shopping Online
The Covid pandemic increased online retail. As reported in Business Wire, Global eCommerce sales continued to show strong growth in May, with certain sectors experiencing triple-digit year-on-year growth, according to an analysis by ACI Worldwide of hundreds of millions of eCommerce transactions from global merchants. Overall retail transaction growth of 81 percent in May, compared to the same period last year, was primarily driven by sportswear and sporting goods (216%), retail specific to housewares and DIY supplies (190%), and gaming (84%).
-- ACI Worldwide, Business Wire.
Retail Titan Amazon
Amazon still leads as the top online retailer. According to their earnings report, Amazon’s Second Quarter 2020 Guidance predicts:
Net sales are expected to be between $75.0 billion and $81.0 billion, or to grow between 18 percent and 28 percent compared with second quarter 2019. This guidance anticipates an unfavorable impact of approximately 70 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire TV, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. Amazon Earnings Report Q1 2020
Shopify Is Gaining Market Share
Shopify powers over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide. The all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow a business.
The Interesting Shopify Story
Over a decade ago, we started a store to sell snowboards online. None of the ecommerce solutions at the time gave us the control we needed to be successful—so we built our own. Today, businesses of all sizes use Shopify, whether they’re selling online, in retail stores, or on-the-go.
Shopify Global Impact - We’re rewriting the rules of our modern economy. From 2016 to 2019, businesses on Shopify contributed $319 billion in economic activity worldwide.
Facebook promises to keep your business going with a seamless online shopping experience. With Facebook shop, people can discover brands and explore curated product collections without leaving Facebook or Instagram.
According to seekingalpha.com, as far as sales go, Amazon is dominating the market without a question. Shopify has a market cap of $86.85 billion, while Facebook's is $657 billion. As far as users go, Shopify recently reported it had 1 million merchants on its platforms and $135 billion in yearly sales. Compare this to Facebook's 2.5 billion Monthly Active Users and Amazon's $335 billion in yearly sales. In both instances, Shopify is dwarfed by these companies.
AI And Analytics
Competitive marketing is based on deeper analytics, unique marketing campaigns, hyper-focused customer experiences, creative ideas to accelerate demand, seamless customer buying journey and more.
Every customer touchpoint from digital devices such as product searches, request for information, website downloads, in-store visits generates data on customers. Machine learning and AI enables a more in-depth analysis of user behavior, preferences and predictions.
General user demographics can provide key insights such as age, sex, location, purchase history, social media engagement, website visits and web browser tracking.
Google Analytics is a good place to start with gathering data. Google Analytics promises to provide a deeper understanding of customers with free tools to analyze data for your business in one place.
This leads into my next topic on data protection and privacy.
STATE OF YOUR BUSINESS DATA, YOUR PRIVATE DATA AND PRIVACY
Most tech giants are in a complicated position of managing vast amounts of consumer data and data protection.
Your smartphone contains details to nearly all aspects of your life from who you are chatting to, who you are breaking up with, what you are watching, your medical appointments, your banking information, your shopping preferences and more.
What to Watch Out For
What Are Cookies?
Mozilla describes an HTTP cookie (web cookie, browser cookie) is a small piece of data that a server sends to the user's web browser. The browser may store it and send it back with later requests to the same server.
Cookies are mainly used for three purposes:
According to GDPR, cookies are an important tool that can give businesses a great deal of insight into their users’ online activity. Despite their importance, the regulations governing cookies are split between the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.
Why Adware Is Not as Innocent as It Appears to Be
The blog post by Sophos, the leading security provider, gives an informative review of adware and how it is risky.
Why should we worry about adware?
It’s just an advertisement, right? What’s the worst that could happen? Well, here’s a scenario for you, straight out of a cyberpunk horror movie. You click on an ad that has popped up on your screen. You visit a site with an amazing offer lined up for you. You get sucked in, share your details (personal and financial), and you can’t stop thinking how lucky you are. It’s a few days before you realize something’s gone wrong. Your financial details are being misused. Your personal details are being used against you (read: blackmail). And your PC has taken on a life of its own. More bad news follows– a data breach at your company is tracked to your PC.
It is fairly common to have email breaches not just by cybercriminals but other hack jobs who aim to exploit your private communications for their own personal gain.
Email Still Not Hundred Percent Safe Even With Encryption?
According to the encrypted email service provider, ProtonMail, “there is no such thing as 100 percent security or 100 percent trust because security is the sum of many parts. For example, are you sure an attacker has not placed a backdoor in your operating system and browser and is not secretly saving your keystrokes? Can you trust the integrity of your phone or computer hardware? Comprehensive security requires more than just trusting ProtonMail, as there are also a wide range of threats we can’t protect you against (like a compromise on your device). With all this in mind, here are our thoughts on why ProtonMail is worthy of your trust.
The FBI And DOJ - Leading In Cyber Issues
The FBI website states, not only is cybercriminal activity damaging personally for individuals but it also destroys innovation, business competitiveness and democratic processes for creating robust fair market economies.
According to the FBI, preventing intellectual property theft is a priority of the FBI’s criminal investigative program.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a new strategy that involves partnering more closely with businesses in an effort to combat these types of crimes more effectively. The Bureau has already been collaborating for years with brand owners, copyright holders, and trademark holders because we know the harm that intellectual property theft causes: legitimate businesses lose billions of dollars in revenue and suffer damaged reputations, consumer prices go up, the U.S. and global economies are robbed of jobs and tax revenue, product safety is reduced, and sometimes lives are even put at risk.
What Does Google Have To Say About Copyright Ownership?
Copyright ownership gives the owner the exclusive right to use the work, with some exceptions. When a person creates an original work, fixed in a tangible medium, he or she automatically owns copyright to the work.
Many types of works are eligible for copyright protection, for example:
• Audiovisual works, such as TV shows, movies, and online videos
• Sound recordings and musical compositions
• Written works, such as lectures, articles, books, and musical compositions
• Visual works, such as paintings, posters, and advertisements
• Video games and computer software
• Dramatic works, such as plays and musicals
Driving market growth depends on how well you can communicate, impact and influence your target market. Increasing your capabilities from new technology, digital platforms, niche partnerships, strategic marketing and managing your resources well, are all elements for creating competitive advantage.
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