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Business Intelligence

How to Use Technology for Direct Mail Marketing

July 16, 2019

Paper-based advertisements, like direct mails, play a crucial role in influencing the purchase decision of the buyer. While direct mail is a proven marketing strategy, technology takes it to a whole new level.

It’s evident that even in the wake of technological advancements, customers are actively embracing direct mail. It’s no surprise why big corporates invest in direct mail engagement. The touch-and-feel experience offered by direct mail helps customers remember the brand and the product. [Are you interested in direct mail marketing services? Check out the reviews and best picks.]

By streamlining the process and utilizing the power of technology in direct mail, marketers can improve personalization and ease planning, execution, and tracking. In this post, we’ll discuss how technology can make direct mail better and easy for businesses.

Direct mail: The traditional way

1) Redundant process

Traditionally, direct mail marketers handled customer data and mailing information manually. Even now, most are likely to use spreadsheets to share data with other teams. This leaves no room to track data accurately. A notably redundant process in direct mail is where the same spreadsheet passes through multiple hands. Numerous edits, revisions, and updates can damage the entire operation. While necessary in some cases, such a redundant process is time-consuming and involves a lot of work.

Using technology can streamline the process and maintain an up-to-date system to achieve better results.

2) Room for errors

Efficiency and accuracy go hand in hand in direct mail marketing. Assume you are managing direct mail marketing and you send out printed copies to thousands of users. This process may involve different teams within the organization and some third-party vendors for printing and logistics. How do you know the right team is managing the process? Are you confident that your mailing list is error-free?

Without …

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How Technology Helps Level the Playing Field for Small Business Marketers

July 11, 2019

Category leaders have an inherent advantage when it comes to marketing; the more media dollars a brand has at its disposal, the greater its potential reach. This creates a snowball effect. More reach results in higher brand awareness, which can translate into increased loyalty among customers and more revenue to flow back into the advertising budget. 

How can smaller, challenger brands compete against larger budgets? There are four main things to think about:

  • Your specific media goals should always be tied to your company’s bottom line.
  • Used effectively, technology can level the playing field for marketing budgets of every size.
  • Personalization strategies and automation tools can be incredible assets for challenger brands.
  • Larger businesses have access to the same strategies and tools, so you’ll need to find ways to differentiate your message.

When trying to take on a larger competitor, small businesses shouldn’t think in terms of growing market share. Your specific media goals should always be tied to your company’s bottom line — and growing market share is not the answer. Smaller brands need to spend their money strategically because challengers will always struggle to outspend category leaders. You don’t just want to generate leads; you want to find high-quality leads that are likely to convert quickly.

Thankfully, advances in digital marketing technology allow smaller brands to target individualized audiences, automate processes, and make smarter decisions. When used strategically, technology can effectively level the playing field for marketing budgets of any size. 

Before you use the first digital marketing technology you come across, you need to know how your messaging will compete against the big brands to truly connect with your customers. Larger businesses have access to the same strategies and tools, so you’ll need to find ways to differentiate your message.

I call it fishing with bait rather …

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How Data Analytics Impacts Small Businesses in 2019

July 9, 2019

  • Deep learning is helping small businesses enhance decision-making capabilities.

  • Machine learning is revolutionizing the way brands market to consumers. 

  • Dark data refers to information assets that companies collect, process or store, but fail to put to use. 

  • Data analytics provides SMBs with incredibly detailed insights into all aspects of operations

With many companies ramping up their digital transformation initiatives, there’s been a massive surge in the implementation of data analytics. Big data adoption increased from a mere 17% in 2015 to 59% in 2018 – a 42% increase in just three short years. 

Data analytics has a nearly-infinite number of uses and can help small businesses become smarter, more productive and more efficient. And when used correctly, it can create a noticeable competitive advantage, while boosting both conversions and revenue. 

Here are three data analytics trends that are having a major impact on small business in 2019. 

1. Deep learning

We generate a staggering 2.5 quintillion (that’s 18 zeroes) bytes of data every single day. Machines are becoming more and more adept at putting that action to use, with deep learning capabilities growing immensely in 2019. 

A subset of machine learning, deep learning utilizes artificial neural networks that learn from vast quantities of data in a similar manner to the functioning of the human brain. This helps machines solve highly-complex problems with incredible precision. As enterprise and cloud expert Bernard Marr says, “The more deep learning algorithms learn, the better they perform.” 

2019 marks a critical juncture where deep learning is helping small businesses to greatly enhance their decision-making capabilities and take operations to new levels. For example, chatbots are developing at an increasingly rapid rate. Through deep learning, they’re able to respond more intelligently to a growing list of questions and create helpful interactions with consumers. 

Deep learning …

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16 Effective Methods to Make the Most Out of A/B Testing

July 5, 2019

There are many ways to go about A/B testing and many elements that you can test for. So what kinds of approaches do you need to remember in order to make the most of the testing process? To help you understand the best ways to conduct A/B testing, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share what strategies they find most valuable.

1. Begin with a hypothesis

To make the most of A/B testing, I always start with a hypothesis. I generate a hypothesis based on a regular analysis of my site to spot potential problems. I also use qualitative polling, surveys and usability tests to better understand what customers are actually struggling with. Once I’ve compiled the issues, I prioritize them and then decide what solutions should be tested. – Shu SaitoFact Retriever

2. Have success markers

It’s important to test one variable at a time, but with a reasonable measure of success. You won’t completely solve the problem by changing one variable. Figure out how much improvement is a success for the variable you’re testing. For each variable, depending on its importance, shift your measure of success accordingly and then test. Decide based on the results which version is performing the best. – Abeer RazaTekRevol

3. Do research

Before we implement any A/B testing on our site, we like to research sites that are similar to ours or companies that have tried the same testing metrics we want to use. This additional research helps us determine and prioritize our A/B tests so that we are not going down a path that has already been explored and yielded lackluster results. – David HenzelLTVPlus

4. Use an all-encompassing approach

The best comprehensive method for A/B testing is to clearly understand the demographic you’re trying …

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Video platform Kaltura adds advanced analytics

Video platform Kaltura adds advanced analytics

July 1, 2019

You may not be familiar with Kaltura‘s name, but chances are you’ve used the company’s video platform at some point or another, given that it offers a variety of video services for enterprises, educational institutions and video-on-demand platforms, including HBO, Phillips, SAP, Stanford and others. Today, the company announced the launch of an advanced analytics platform for its enterprise and educational users.

This new platform, dubbed Kaltura Analytics for Admins, will provide its users with features like user-level reports. This may sound like a minor feature, because you probably don’t care about the exact details of a given user’s interactions with your video, but it will allow businesses to link this kind of behavior to other metrics. With this, you could measure the ROI of a given video by linking video watch time and sales, for example. This kind of granularity wasn’t possible with the company’s existing analytics systems. Companies and schools using the product will also get access to time-period comparisons to help admins identify trends, deeper technology and geolocation reports, as well as real-time analytics for live events.

“Video is a unique data type in that it has deep engagement indicators for measurement, both around video creation — what types of content are being created by whom, as well as around video consumption and engagement with content — what languages were selected for subtitles, what hot-spots were clicked upon in video,” said Michal Tsur, president and general manager of Enterprise and Learning at Kaltura. “Analytics is a very strategic area for our customers. Both for tech companies who are building on our VPaaS, as well as for large organizations and universities that use our video products for learning, communication, collaboration, knowledge management, marketing and sales.”

Tsur also tells me the company is looking at how to …

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How To Perform a Content Audit of Your Blog

June 30, 2019

The end result of an audit is that you end up with high-quality content that serves a purpose while leaving everything that doesn’t behind. Taking the right steps can boost traffic to your site. As an example, Ahrefs conducted a content audit and saw a 7.57 percent rise in traffic on its website within two months. 

Having low-quality content on your blog can reduce the amount of traffic to your website and decrease the number of potential conversions you make. Ultimately, this can affect the performance of your entire business. It can also affect how Google indexes your website because having several low-value-add URLs can negatively affect a site’s crawling and indexing. This includes duplicate content, low-quality and spam content, soft error pages, and more.

When performing a content audit, there are certain steps you need to take to complete it successfully, including:

  • Determining your audit’s goals

  • Taking inventory of all indexable content

  • Analyzing your data

  • Organizing your content into different categories based on what you’ll do with them

  • Following up on the results

Here is how you can perform a content audit for your blog so that your website performs at its best.

Determine your goals

It’ll be difficult to gauge what to do with all the content on your website if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve. There are so many different possibilities for your content that if you don’t map out your goals, you’ll get lost trying to determine which pieces to keep and which to discard. Taking the simple step of determining your objectives with your content audit will save you time and resources because you’ll know exactly what you’re doing and why every step of the way.

You want to determine your goals in plain terms. Write down what you’re trying to achieve …

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Why Marketers Should be Tapping into Big Data

June 21, 2019

It is extremely important for marketing specialists to make very powerful and highly efficient marketing plans. And, in order to make the best and most efficient marketing plans, marketing teams have to have a lot of understanding of the market, customers, competitors, etc. This is exactly why they need to be focusing on big data. Big data is a huge collection of information, which is gathered from a wide range of different sources. The information can be related to the market, the customers, the target audience, competitors or even about the business’s old plans and their returns.

Big data’s role in sales and marketing

Big data has become tremendously important for every company, be it a big sized multinational corporation or a small start-up. For most firms, big data has become a lot more than just a buzzword. It is one of the most important technologies that can help businesses gain an extra advantage over their competitors.

The role of big data for marketing teams is huge. When developing a campaign, it is critical that every marketing specialist first understands a number of variables, like the target audience, your opponents’ strategies, etc. And, this is exactly what big data helps them do.

The benefits of using big data

Better understanding your target audience

Understanding your target audience and customers are critical for every marketing expert. At the end of the day, the main goal of marketing experts is to catch the attention and onboard more and more customers. Therefore, all of your strategies have to be developed specifically with their target audience in mind. The intention should be to turn every lead into a valuable customer for the company.

Competition is really fierce today. Every company has to put extra effort into attracting its target audience through its marketing initiatives …

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How to Improve Your Chatbot Strategy

June 12, 2019

Chatbots are quick to respond to customer queries and can help solve their problems swiftly. With regular live chat, in which users speak to a customer service professional, questions may not get answered for hours on end. By then, your business may have potentially lost loyal customers who grew frustrated waiting for assistance.

According to Drift’s 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 77 percent of consumers expect to get instant responses when reaching out via chat. So, if your brand isn’t delivering the customer service experience they expect, you can bet they’ll be quick to find that assistance elsewhere.

In addition, chatbots can also be personalized to your target audience so they match your brand image and relate to customers on a deeper level.

Here are a few ways you can improve your chatbot strategy in 2019 in order to improve relationships with your website visitors.

Track important KPIs

If you have chatbots on your website but aren’t keeping track of how they’re affecting your business, you have no way of knowing how you can optimize them further for better results. It’s essential that you track important metrics, such as lead generation and engagement, so you know what steps to take next.

A few important KPIs (key performance indicators) you should track are:

  • Engagement/user interactions: The number of interactions users have with the chatbot once the conversation begins.

  • Retention rate: The proportion of users who have interacted with your chatbot on repeated occasions over a period of time.

  • Session length: The average length of time users interact with your chatbot.

  • Bounce rate: The number of visitors who leave your website after visiting one webpage.

  • Goal completion rate: The success rate of a given action performed through your chatbot.

  • User feedback: What users think about your chatbot and the experience they had

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How to Use Partnerships to Improve Your Brand's Image

June 11, 2019

The partnership between Red Lobster and Ocean Conservancy stands to provide some pretty powerful benefits to both organizations: Red Lobster’s image gets a much-needed face-lift, and Ocean Conservancy gets a megaphone to promote its message.

For Red Lobster, a partnership like this is a step toward redefining the brand. Instead of being an unhealthy, mid-market restaurant chain concerned only with profits, Red Lobster can tell a different story of a seafood restaurant that cares about the world and takes measures to protect it. At the same time, the Ocean Conservancy gains access to the platform — and reach — Red Lobster provides. The fact that a business as entrenched in its ways as Red Lobster can modernize provides a strong testimony to the work Ocean Conservancy does.

Small businesses can look to this partnership for inspiration. A marketing partnership — whether it’s with another small business or with a big legacy brand — can unlock audiences or associations that were previously out of reach.

Reaching new audiences

Young and old brands each have something to offer the other in the rapidly changing digital age; that’s why marketing partnerships between the two are so effective. To begin with, brands that are used to old-guard marketing channels like television and print now struggle to make a digital impact. That digital impact gets more important every day: Digital advertising saw a 16.8% increase in 2018, while television advertising increased by only 7.1%. And social media spending surpasses both, rising by 42% in a single year. For brands less comfortable with digital tactics, a partnership with a digitally innovative business will allow them to reach different audiences and build new, authentic relationships and channels.

Conversely, many newer companies have engaged digital audiences but have largely neglected developing expertise in any other channels. Television and …

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A Beginner's Guide to Setting Reachable Business Goals

June 6, 2019

If you want a shot at business success, you need to know what you’re working toward. And for that, you need to set reachable business goals.

I make goals every single day. And I know I’m not alone. We set personal financial, career, health and knowledge-related goals. We put our goals in writing and give them a tentative date. According to one study, people who wrote down their goals were 33% more successful in achieving them. Apply that same goal-setting strategy to our businesses.

When I set personal goals, I make sure that I dream big while also staying grounded. Sometimes I reach my goals. Sometimes I don’t. Business is the same way. I can’t set random, impossible goals and expect them to benefit my accounting software and payroll software company, Patriot Software.

In my 30-plus years of entrepreneurship experience, I’ve managed to narrow down my goal-setting process. 

1. Brush up on popular business goals

Copying is rarely a good idea in business. Your originality is the thing that’s going to get customers to come to your business and stick with you.

But, it doesn’t hurt to know some common business goals other companies strive for. You can use them as a baseline when creating your own.

Off the top of my head — and after crafting business goals for more than 30 years of my life — here are some interesting ones:

  • Hiring your first employee

  • Hiring your 50th employee

  • Raising your gross profit by X%

  • Cutting your business expenses by $X

  • Growing your social media followers by X

  • Getting X more customers per month

  • Decreasing your absenteeism rate by X%

There are truly countless business goals you can set and tweak. But if you want to set reachable goals that will actually catapult your business to success, …

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