January 13, 2016


Ryan Lum - Creative Guerilla Marketing

January 12, 2016

To Peach Or Not To Peach

Who says Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine,Periscope, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram are enough to quench a social media appetite?
There's a new social networking app on the block, Peach for Apple iOS devices. Launched on January 7 by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, the app picked up considerable buzz over the weekend.
Here are five questions about Peach:
1. What is Peach?
It's got equal bits of most social networks, most notably Twitter and the hot collaboration tool Slack. Friends with access to your username or phone number can add you as a friend. You can also tell friends about Peach to entice them to join.
2. What makes it different?
Magic Words, special commands similar to Slack, add unique updates such as GIFs, Shout (say something with big words), Draw (doodle on screen) or Here to share where you are. Many options include a search function, such as Movie, TV, Game and Book. Updates are meant to be short and sweet, offering a quick glimpse at your activity. If you don't have any idea what to post, you can click a lightbulb to give you ideas (similar to the random question option in Ask.fm).
3. Where I can download it?
Right now, it's only available on Apple's App Store.
4. Why the sudden interest in this app?
It started through word of mouth on Twitter soon after it launched and grew from there. According to iTunes charts, it's the eighth most popular social networking app, ahead of familiar names including Tumblr and Periscope.
5. You sure this isn't the next Ello?

If you'll recall, that was the last red-hot social media app, billed as the "anti-Facebook" for offering a very clean look and promising to keep your updates private. It attracted lots of attention last fall and hasn't been heard from since. Will Peach meet the same fate? Hard to say. It's fun and easy to use, plus the option to search for stuff like GIFs without leaving the app is really nice. The big concern here is what features does Peach offer (or will provide in the future) and make it unique in a really crowded space. Magic Words could be huge if more functions are supported (reserve a table at a restaurant then invite friends all within the app, for example).

By Brett Molina - USA Today

The hottest new social media app is Peach.
Why? Because it's fun! Now, we know you're probably thinking, "OK, but do I really need to be on another app?" Well, if you want one app that takes the best of all of your current favorite social media apps and rolls it into one, then get on Peach.
The sweet little app created a massive Twitter storm almost as soon as it rolled out last Friday.
Vine founder Dom Hofmann and the team at Byte created the app, per Laughing Squid. Its tagline is simple: "A space for friends."

Peach's unique interface sets it apart from social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Mashable described it best by saying it's a mix of Slackand Facebook. 

Each user has their own stream or feed, where they can put pretty much whatever they want. But in order to put content other than basic text and emojis, the user has to say a "magic word." 
"Magic words" are special keywords that allow the user to draw a doodle, produce a GIF, enter their location and much more. This sort of "command line interface" isn't new, but on Peach, it's a lot of fun.
The quirkiness of the words and their results lets users branch outside the realm of photo editing or simply regurgitating thoughts. "Song" works like Shazam, "move" displays data from your fitness tracker, and "rating" lets you rate whatever arbitrary thing you want (for example: "dinner tonight: 2 stars").
Individual streams end up resembling Tumblr pages, with endless scrolls and amalgamations of GIFs, text, quotes and images. 
There's also a cool camera feature. It does quadruple duty in letting you create photos, videos, GIFs and collages.

Individual streams have definitely taken on a stream-of-consciousness sort of tone, and can be pretty well described like this: 

Right now, the app is user-friendly, and it takes less than a minute to sign up for an account after downloading. There appear to be no restrictions on usernames or passwords, so think twice before believing the celebrity you're following is the real deal.
It's unclear if Peach is going to fizzle out and die like Meerkat (though BGR isalready calling it), but excitement about it has definitely waned a bit since its launch a few days ago. Perhaps once Peach leaves the media-obsessed bubble it's been living in, the world will appreciate it the way it deserves to be appreciated. 
But it's important to remember that, as Dita Von Teese says, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
By Jenna Amatulli - Huffington Post

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about social networking/messaging app Peach. Some say it’s dumb, some say it’s great, and a lot say something in between. What do I feel about it? It feels fresh. Fresh in a way that Twitter, Path, WhatsApp and Messenger doesn’t feel.
Mind you, it’s on a massive hype-train right now so take it all with a grain of salt. But by all means, please do give it a try. No need to let cynicism stop you from giving it a shot. Speaking of which, it seems like a lot of people are doing just that:

Peach is currently at #120 overall on Apple’s App Store in the US for free apps, and is #9 in social networking (along with some pretty good company.) Instead of thinking of the rise as a “hype” or “bust” moment, it signals to me that there are sets of folks out there willing to try new things. We haven’t hit peak consumer apps as of yet. So as much as Snapchat continues to catch fire and Messenger gets smarter, there’s a need — or want — for something “else.”
I’ve been using Peach all weekend and the best I can tell is the key is to not add a ton of people to your graph, as the more intimate the communication is, the better. There’s also a sense of accomplishment you feel once you get a hang of its “Magic Words,” its command-line interface to share different pieces of content within the app. It’ll be fun to see what other commands get added.
I’m also having fun with taking photos in a way that feels like an animation, video or Facebook Boomerang.
Groundbreaking? No. New? Fresh? Yes. Once an app hits a category top 10 there’s an organic thing that happens where those who don’t read tech Twitter or tech press gets a hold of it.
Drew Olanoff - Tech Crunch

January 11, 2016

10 Ways To Simplify Your Local Marketing Strategy In 2016

Looking back at lessons learned last year and expected trends for this year, columnist Wesley Young cuts through the clutter and suggests ways to make your marketing strategy simpler, clearer and easier to execute.

As I scoured articles proclaiming the top trends in marketing for 2016, one thing that struck me was how many new technologies and new products were being pushed out, all in the name of bigger and better. It was a bit overwhelming.
For the local business owner, marketing has become so complicated. Audiences are fragmented over hundreds of different media outlets, apps, platforms, search engines, social media sites and business listing products.
Yet technology is constantly evolving the way media is accessed and consumed, and it remains critical for businesses to use technology to stay competitive. Large businesses have the resources to utilize every new martech innovation and reach out through every available social media channel.
For the local business, instead of being a jack of all trades, doing a few things well may be more productive. For many, simplifying their marketing strategy may make it possible to take advantage of effective new technologies in manageable, bite-sized pieces.
Here are 10 strategies that will help you simplify and focus your search and marketing practices and make them more effective.

1. Use Social Media For Engagement Only… Or Not At All

Extensive use of social media, with its free access and huge audience, can be tempting. But social media has yet to prove its worth in the search space in helping consumers find new local businesses.
Facebook is trying to change that with the launch of a new local search site, but it is still in beta mode, and the functionality of searching for local businesses on its current platform via Places is limited.
The exceptions may be Pinterest and Instagram, graphically oriented social platforms that are conducive to discovery of new retail products and food. In fact, Pinterest recently announced that it was only providing full customer support for businesses in the Retail and Consumer Goods sectors.
Otherwise, social media is effective at engaging with existing customers, keeping them updated on what’s going on, and reaching out to them with deals and offers. Engagement keeps your business top of mind and helps with retention and as a surrogate for branding.
It does take time to do it right, and time is a commodity many SMBs do not have. According to the Local Search Association (LSA) and Thrive Analytics‘ 2015 Local Marketing Outlook for Home and Auto Emergency Related services, 64 percent of SMBs said the biggest challenge with digital marketing is time and knowledge to engage in effective marketing. In fact, 60 percent of SMBs that manage their own social media reported their content was updated only every six months or more. 
Outdated or inaccurate information risks losing customers and is a poor reflection on the business. In that case, it may be better not to have a social media presence.
study by Google demonstrated there was no real correlation between media usage and influence. In other words, just because a lot of people use Facebook or click on your business site, it doesn’t mean they will buy from you. What matters is the consumer experience and matching content with what consumers want or need.
Alternately, use your social media pages like an enhanced listing and redirect any traffic towards one place that is updated, such as your website, where the consumer experience matches the experience you’d want them to have in your store.

2. Consider Mobile-Only Website Designs

Mobile has already overtaken desktop in both local search and Google search. Instead of investing in responsive sites or multiple sites for different screens, simplify and design a site just for mobile devices.
Mobile sites are still accessible on desktops — they might have more white space than a regular website, but they function fine on a desktop. Low-res graphics meant for smaller screens may appear grainy, such as this one on American Airlines’ mobile site, but uploading higher resolution images will solve that. Macy’s mobile site looks good on a desktop but would function better with vertical scrolling only.
For those who plan to use their mobile site for all screens, these are easy adjustments to make. The design will satisfy Google’s algorithm for mobile search rank and the 67 percent of consumers who demand mobile-optimized sites. And it will simplify not just your strategy, but your customers’ experience, as well.
This strategy can be extended to other marketing formats such as emails, paid search ads, display ads and listings.

3. Don’t Be A TMI Marketer

We all have friends who share TMI (too much information). Don’t make the same mistake in your marketing. I recently heard a radio ad that sounded like they hired a speed reader to read the script. The messaging was lost, and the call to action was rushed.
Consumers today are faced with information overload that clutters decision making. Here are some ideas for simplifying your customer experience that will help drive consumer action towards the path to purchase:
  • Use single calls to action in ads to drive action. If your best leads are calls, use call-extension-only ads where clicks go not to a landing page but dial a phone number. Use text to describe the action that needs to be taken, such as “make a reservation,” and have the click go directly to the e-commerce reservation interface.
  • Provide simple choices in enhanced listings, with the most requested actions and information only, and provide extensions to allow people to act immediately — including directions/maps, phone numbers, online ordering/reservations and hours of operation. A link to your website will help those who need more detailed information.
  • Highlight the most requested information prominently above the fold on your website, so it is easy to find and easy to access.
Simplifying your customer experience simplifies and focuses your marketing, as well.

4. Funnel Everything To Your Top 20 Percent

How does simplifying your marketing world by 80 percent sound? Based on the 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle, 80 percent of your results are driven by 20 percent of your marketing, including search visits from keywords, calls from call extensions in ads, and ultimately, sales from advertising.
Thus, it makes sense to identify and invest in that Top 20 Percent. If you do nothing else, at least test the rule and see where the cutoff for your best-performing marketing assets lies.
Many of these tips are derivative of this idea. But there’s a second lesson here. The fact that this principle isn’t cited more often is a testament to the volume of distractions we constantly face.
The repeated call to return “back to the basics” demonstrates a need to be reminded, again and again, to reset and look at what has worked in the past. It’s just become too easy to be caught up in always looking ahead.

5. Get Specific On Your Target Audience

Targeting simplifies your message and matches your marketing with those most likely to respond. But not all targeting is created equal.
Marketers today think they are doing a pretty good job at targeting. But according to Forrester, however, while 66 percent of marketers feel they are doing an excellent or very good job at personalizing advertising and marketing; only 31 percent of consumers agree.
One problem is that not enough data points are being used to drive relevant search ads to the right audience. A study by VentureBeat found that the amount of data being used for targeting varied widely among those using email marketing, a digital channel that is highly amenable to personalization.
About 50 percent of marketers used 10 or fewer profile segments for targeting, while the other half used up to 100 segments, including 10 percent that personalized on an individual basis.
While collecting more data points may seem counter to simplifying, doing this work up front will streamline the entire process to cut out unnecessary and wasteful efforts. It simplifies the choices you make in reaching that audience.
In today’s data-driven world, very detailed profiles can be created and targeted. The more you know about your ideal customer, the better you can deliver relevant search results and advertising.
That means when paid search ads are delivered, they are not driven just by keywords, but by many other factors such as geography, demographics, past search history and other profile-specific information of the user.

6. Consolidate Your Targeting Data

Putting all your data in one place not only simplifies analyzing and managing it, but it makes your data much more effective to use. Gathering a lot of specific information for targeting isn’t effective if only bits and pieces are used at any given time.
Yet Forrester found that marketers average 15 separate systems to store customer data. Even if cumulatively those 15 systems contained 50 different customer data points, having the data spread out renders on average just over three data points that can be used together.
Only 22 percent of marketers used a single database allowing them to use all of the data together to build a full customer profile. Seventy percent of those expressed that the data was very useful in creating individual customer profiles, compared to 52 percent of those without a single database.

7. Use Programmatic Buying To Narrowly Fulfill Your Ads

Programmatic buying puts all that rich data to good use and automatically matches precise, high conversion leads with your business. It also makes managing your ad buying much simpler with a single, or just a few, interfaces to work with.
Not manually managing individual placement doesn’t mean ads shouldn’t be tested and the criteria shouldn’t be tweaked. But programmatic buying can help place ads on multiple platforms across a multitude of media outlets.
In other words, you get a wide breadth of coverage across media, but only those customers who are most valuable to your business see the ads. Use the time saved to create better content.
Concerns about the cost of highly targeted marketing largely focus on those targeted keywords that receive significant traffic. But that isn’t necessarily what you are looking for. Instead, focus on “long-tail keywords,” more specific keywords that together more accurately describe the user’s intent and match your targeted customer profile.

8. Measure Meaningful Numbers

Our big data economy gives rise to more ways, more programs and more services that help you analyze the data. It’s easy, however, to get caught up in the metrics that everyone else measures or that marketers cite as proof that ads are working. Sometimes those numbers are in conflict with one another.
For example, a study by xAd revealed that the almost universally tracked measurement, CTR, negatively affects secondary actions such as phone calls. Optimizing ads for CTR increased the rate by 38 percent but caused the secondary action rate to fall by 69 percent — not a good result if your best leads come from phone calls.
Focusing on the numbers that matter to your business helps cut through the clutter of analytics and will sharpen your ability to make good business decisions.

9. Embrace E-commerce

The benefits of automated tools and e-commerce seem obvious. Yet SMBs are slow to adapt — for example, only five percent of restaurants have adopted automated tools such as online orders or reservations.
The barrier for local businesses is likely the time and adjustment it takes to overhaul the current system and the fear of disruption due to change.
Get past that fear by thinking of it like cleaning out your closet. You’ve got to empty it out, and the rest of your room might look like a disaster until you purge, organize and put things back. But the investment in automated tools will pay dividends quickly and for a long time.
Using e-commerce platforms means leads are captured 24/7, orders are taken and filled automatically, reminders are emailed, fewer cancelations result, fewer errors are made and customers are happier.
Integration with back-end systems improves reporting and increases ROI. While it does take some front-end work to transition, the end result will be more efficiency and simpler operations.

10. Reuse Your Content Across All Platforms And Media

Larger businesses might employ staff for each form of media, or even each media channel that allows them to create unique content for emails, search campaigns, display ads, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to take advantage of the nuances of each interface and general audience. Small businesses likely can’t afford that luxury.
SMBs may be better off creating one high-quality piece of content they can share across all media channels, rather than customizing content for each channel that suffers from inattention.
Note that this is not the opposite of targeting your customers with relevant information as discussed above. Rather, targeting focuses on which users of media see your content. Reusing your content across media channels reaches those same customers across platforms but with the same targeted message.


If marketing is overwhelming you, implementing even some of these strategies might help save some time and effort to free you up to do a better job at those more important tasks or allow you to put in the upfront work to adapt technologies for the long term.
Simplifying your marketing strategy doesn’t always mean it takes less time or work. But it does mean less confusion and clearer goals that allow your marketing to be more focused and more effective.
- Search Engine Land

January 7, 2016

Making Big Data Key To Omni-Channel Marketing Success

Making Big Data Key To Omni-Channel Marketing Success

Marketing has come a long way in the last 10-or-so years. What used to be an untrackable batch and blast method to reach consumers has been completely transformed, and where businesses once had little to no insight, buyer behavior can now be analyzed through several available data points and digital channels.
This new age of omni-channel marketing took center stage at this year’s annual Teradata Partners Conference, where Teradata Vice President of Strategy Innovation, Sean Shoffstall, took big data and marketing pros for a deeper dive. With mobile devices, social media and other popular customer channels, marketers are being inundated with data – but as such, they’re also being presented with endless possibilities.

The Omni-Channel Landscape
As marketers continue to get acquainted with the different technologies and platforms at their disposal, they’re presented with a new set of challenges that haven’t existed in the past. With so many tools available, it’s important for marketing professionals to make sure they’re using the data provided by each effectively, while also protecting this data and ensuring that it is being used in a way that is ultimately helpful and beneficial to the consumer. It’s important for marketers to:
  • Make integration decisions based on available data;
  • Coordinate paid and owned marketing channels;
  • Understand and optimize marketing performance.
This last piece is crucial to the overall marketing puzzle. With an influx of data from new technologies, marketing practitioners have the opportunity to determine the right message to send out to the right audience, and scrap messages that may not be performing well. Some marketers become so focused on one platform, channel or conversion metric, that they often miss this bigger picture. Data should be pulled from everywhere and incorporated into every component of a marketing strategy for a seamless omni-channel customer experience.
Data’s Role
Having a clear picture of all the data and channels can help marketers reach their holy grail: Individualized insights. In 2015, customer are communicating with brands at any time and from anywhere, making it complicated to achieve true one-on-one engagement. The plus side to this is that marketers now have enough data to obtain an accurate representation of the what, where and when – all it takes is some analysis to incorporate this data into overall marketing efforts.
Real-Time Availability
One of the more challenging concepts of marketing today is the need for rapid, real-time engagement. Marketing data should be collected, analyzed, and used to create dynamic customer profiles and determine which messages are resonating and which aren’t in near real-time, so that engagement can be tailored for optimized results.
Content Curation
Another interesting challenge associated with modern, omni-channel marketing is sending the right message out through the appropriate channel and curating content that makes sense for each particular segment of the audience, or for the audience of one. Millennials for example, might opt to engage with brands on Instagram while an older audience may prefer email communication or, the still completely useful snail mail approach.
The ever-changing omni-channel marketing landscape doesn’t need to be a challenge, and big data is making it more navigable than ever. By making note of these changes and taking advantage of the unique opportunities the data presents, marketers can craft targeted messages, deliver them to highly segmented audiences through their preferred channels, and make a lasting impact on the audience’s perception of the brand and – more importantly – on the company’s bottom line.

Teradata Perspectives, TERADATA

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