Tips on creating authenticity using spokespersons

Entrepreneurs

The concept of “spokespersons” can be used to create a stronger sense of storytelling and authenticity connected to the brand that they represent. Some tips or food for thought in regards to using the concept of spokespersons. 

Identify potential spokespersons 

 You can survey as a means of locating potential candidates. Distribute the survey among employees and/or customers. The questions in the survey should be designed in a way that locates the accidental spokesperson among them. Questions could be about if they have a blog, how often do they feel compelled to talk about your brand/product to their social network and what are the reasons for it. 

Profile personalities online 

Employ traditional search engines and blog search engines to help find online conversations more easily. Use SoMe to discover or create conversations about your brand/products. 

Ask your customers how they heard about your brand in the first place. 

If the name of a person online comes up often in relation to getting new customers in. Then you have the potential of an accidental spokesperson right there. 

Open a dialogue

 Once you are confident about the profiles that you target as a spokesperson, you need to determine what kind of relationship you want to have with them. Are these people enthusiasts or potential detractors that has the potential to create “noise” around your brand. Make sure to have a communication policy regarding detractors – making detractors heard can be a show of strength and transparency. In the sense that your brand is a living brand that develops and learn from possible mistakes. 

Collaborate whenever possible

 The more people you can get to talk in sync online about your product and brand can only be a good thing. Think about ways to connect your spokespersons if they are located online or host events where they can cooperate. 

 Upcoming post will share more on how to create a “conversation” around your brand using spokespersons of different types and a closer look at how you can give your organization a more personalized feel.

4 tips to effective marketing in today’s competitive world

Entrepreneurs

You are doing great business if you spend less on marketing and still make tidy profits.

So how do you work around spending less on effective Marketing? 

Re-engineering your processes 

A new idea, device or process application of better solutions that meets new requirements, in articulated needs, or existing market needs, This is accomplished through more effective products, processes services, technology, or Ideas that are readily available to Markets. The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as a consequence, new, that “breaks into” the market or society. Disruptive born global companies like Spotify, Netflix, Uber and AirBnb are big on innovative business processes.

Read more about born global companies here https://vivienwamalwa.com/2019/10/01/3-fundamental-steps-to-earn-user-trust-and-drive-marketing-results/

Innovation therefore points to those technological tweaks that various businesses take up in a bid to spend less on marketing while remaining innovative.

Brand ambassadors

These are public figures or people of renowned image that you take into your enterprise, they pose as part of the business and attract clients via their social reach, such would be a musician, or an artiste, or anyone who Is in the limelight. They are a good shot at marketing because they attract a following wherever they go. Such a following is what is translated as clients in business circles. For example L’oreal has had celebrities like Céline Dion, Eva Longoria and Helen Mirren as a face of L’Oréal Paris, Viola Davis being the 2019 ambassador people are more likely to connect with the brand, because it will pitch them as equals to these iconic faces.

Social media marketing campaigns

Today’s social media managers are challenged even more than two years ago, running Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Ads is not as effective therefore marketers are forced to dig deeper and curate better stories, cultivate deeper relationships with their online communities and most importantly keeping up to date with new changes . Organic reach is not a guarantee anymore, paid Ads and SEO is the most effective solution for pushing sales. With giants like facebook and Google facing penalties for misuse of user data, new restrictions are being put in place which immensely affects social media marketing efforts. Bottom line, stay updated and use only relevant channels for your type of business to make your campaigns effective.


Omni-channel marketing

A business may have website where they list all their products on a platform that willing buyers can view and order whatever they need. A website is an innovative way of marketing your brand but it brings little to no value if it is not connected with the rest of the channels, this gives it visibility in a flooded world wide web. Streamlining your channels with a 360 degrees approach is the way to go to experience effective marketing efforts through brand awareness and sales uplift. Today’s top brands like H&M gives their customers the brand experience rather than channel experience. A customer is consistently serviced across all channels.

A tale of two brands – introducing the concept of “personality” as a branding tool.

Entrepreneurs

The concept of “personality” as a tool helps your brand stand out.  If you think about a brand that you either like or dislike – what do you think is the brands signature service? What is the key selling point? What is the context that surrounds that brand social-culturally and economically? What customer needs is the brand intended to satisfy? How does the signature service corresponds to that complexity of contexts? 

Jiffy Lube – founded in the US in the 1970’s – is often labelled the“ MacDonald’s of the auto service industry”. Its signature service was a pioneering of the oil change services for cars with a focus on speed and consistent service above all. 

Not a bad idea – as long as customers value speed and convenience above everything else. But suddenly they didn’t or Jiffy Lube may had a fixated look on its own qualities, that the brand simply forgot to recognize the change in customer needs. 

With time negative word of mouth piled up; customers wants something else. A better product and a less flawed service. It seems that the single minded focus on speed made a victim of the quality of service offered. Jiffy Lube failed to address an invaluable insight of its potential customers. The simple fact that most people don’t have a clue what is going on when their car is put through service. That lack of knowledge makes them vulnerable customers. By failing to recognize that fact Jiffy Lube also failed in developing the Jiffy brand by countering that customer vulnerability. 

The US based – regional franchise – Oil Can Henry’s offers an opposite take on how you can use a better understanding of customer needs as a way of branding your product as unique and authentic. As the company name suggests OCH’s is also a chain of automotive services centers. 

The tagline of OCH’s – “The One You Can Trust” – signals the brands intent. Every interaction and service on offer is meant to correspond to this premise. Instead of having a focus on a fixed signature service like speed and convenience OCH’s has a focus on building a real relationship with its customers by answering a need for transparency and trust. 

The tool to do so is to build the whole concept of the service offered around the customer experience of being at the mechanics without really knowing what is going on. 

Getting the OCH’s treatment means that you are situated in your car monitoring the whole process on Tv-screens as the mechanic goes about his business. That offers transparency and the customers is invited to ask questions that will be addressed immediately. On the service side – coffee and the news paper are brought to you in the car. 

The experience offered at OCH’s is unique, authentic and is something that should get people talking. Simply because it’s such a different take on how the normal experience of taking your car to repair or service is rooted in people’ minds. 

Offering something Unique, being Authentic (in this case having a true intent to meet customers needs) and get people Talking are all key elements in creating a brand with a strong personality. And as the story of Jiffy Lube shows it is not enough being unique for a while. You need the two other dimensions to go with the uniqueness as well. 

Thanks for reading.

7 Email marketing strategies to boost your marketing ROI

Entrepreneurs

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing channels according to 59% of B2B marketers, it’s directly targeted to your audience and gets them where they’re without having to search in piles of content in the massive Internet Of Things. You can use email marketing to send out bulk emails for your e-Newsletters, product or service promotion, events invitations, sale offers. Here are some key guidelines to include in your email marketing strategy;

  1. Define Your Objectives

Have clear a purpose for the email marketing campaign ask yourself;

  • Do you want sales leads?
  • Do you want to inform, interact and educate your audience?
  • Do you want to renew relationships with existing clients?
  • Do you want to introduce your offers or enhance your brand and reputation?
  1. Manage Your Lists

It is important to create contact lists and blend them in categories to your industry needs and specifics i.e newsletters, sale offers, etc. Import contacts from your email database and clean them out to minimize bounces.

  1. Craft Compelling Content and Strategic Offers

How catchy is your content, does it command the interest of the recipients? Does it deliver the right message in the most simple and strategic way, does it coerce your audience to want to know more or buy instantly? Does it have a call to action (CTA) to make the customers experience easier and smoother? What content are you sending out, you can pretty much send out any content from case studies, surveys, Industry reports, webinars, whitepapers, eBook etc.

 

  1. Follow Email Marketing Best Practices

As much as some marketers opt to buy email addresses, as a professional I am much against it, I think its casting your net too wide and without a precise target, it may land you in black listed segments due to high bounce rate, follow the CAN-SPAM Act and you’ll be safe.  Always request your contacts if they want to be included in your email marketing campaigns, how often should you send out, most Email Service Providers (ESP) give guidelines for best practices, read them carefully and follow.

 

  1. Choose a Professional Email Service Provider (ESP)

There are various competitive offers from reliable Email Service Providers, so its wise to have a clear goal when searching for one, highlight your key needs and go through the benefits and what they cover at the most affordable cost and professional value add to it. I highly recommend Mailchimp and Constant Contact, i have had a great experience using Mailchimp still do.

 

  1. Measure Your Results

When using some of the top ESP, you will have access to campaign reports within a few hours of a send out, always study and analyze your reports to understand your results, this will help you identify what your audience is responding to and how best to optimize the next send out for maximum results.

 

  1. Maximize Your Content

Once you hit the send button, don’t sit back yet there is plenty you can do to maximize the reach of your content. One option is to archive your e-newsletters or any other relevant content on your email on your website, social media is the perfect place to make your content spread to a larger audience, your blog and industry news sites are a great avenue too. Explore all possible channels to reach the largest audience thanks to the power of the Internet Of Things.

3 easy steps in brand building Pt. 1

Entrepreneurs

We have a three-part walkthrough of the UAT-Filter developed by Rohit Bhargava. The UAT-Filter is a creative tool that can help sharpen the creative process and conceptualization of how to develop a brand with personality. 

The letters UAT refers to the three keywords or elements of brand personality: unique, authentic and talkable. If you develop a strategy around the use of these elements, then you will be on the path to what in the end will define your brand’s personality. The more clear you are at defining those elements the more defined the brand personality will become. 

Personality in a branding context must not be confused with how we think of the personalities of individuals we know. It’s not “total sum” or a combination of character traits. A brand personality is understood as the very soul or core of your brand. The core of a brand exists in the twilight zone between your choices and actions as brand creator/business person/entrepreneur and on the other hand the buying public/potential customer. 

This means that the better the strategy that you develop for the creation of your brand and hence its perceived personality, the better the chance that your vision of the brand personality corresponds to the vision of the potential customer. 

Three ways to create a sense of uniqueness about your brand: 

Find your uncontested space

TheBeatles are one of the most popular and best-selling musical acts of all time What set Beatles apart from the rest back in the sixties was a simple fact, that they were the first group to write their own material and being extremely talented doing that. Being the first and having raw talent in abundance is a good way to create uncontested space for oneself. If you are not the first, then think of other areas to compete like price, quality of the product, level of service on offer, innovation, etc.

Position yourself

Positioning yourself is all about how you want to be perceived without your product having to be totally new or different in the marketplace. When the Rolling Stones emerged on the scene in the early sixties the band was branded as the complete opposite of the Beatles. Where the Beatles, in the beginning, dressed the same as the Stones dressed individually and looked dirtier. Sending a signal of being less commercial and more authentic and rebel-like than the Beatles. Both bands musical roots shared a strong influence of Afro-American blues music. Where the Beatles wrote their own songs and the Stones didn’t do that in the beginning. The Stones played a more gritty and bluesy kind of music than the Beatles and by doing so, were considered more authentic by the London in-crowd. At the end, the only way forward for the Stones was to start writing their own songs. Simply because the Beatles continuously set a higher standard in terms of talent and originality which again created a bigger market for an audience demanded something original. 

Create a twist:

Sometimes it can be difficult to create a completely different position in the marketplace. Then you have to come up with a twist of what is already there. When Virgin Americas entered the American domestic airline market. One of the ways to create a twist that set Virgin Americas apart from the rest was an attention to detail of how customers normally experienced flying in the US. The Virgin airlines had a touch of the custom made in the attempt to alter the customer experience. Among new features were a seatback entertainment system with on-demand movies, customers had the possibility to order food directly from the seatback, laptop plugs were installed for each seat and there was a seat to seat chat, where passengers with an open profile could engage in instant chats with one another. All features set to change the traditional customer experience of domestic flights in the US. 

So when considering what gives a brand a unique quality. Then look at where in the marketplace there is an empty spot or an unfulfilled need? Where can your brand or product fit in or fulfill that need? How can you position yourself in relation to the competition already out there? And finally what kind of element can you find in your own product that will set you apart from the competition? If you can answer these questions honestly in regard to your own brand and products. Then you have taken the first step towards creating a brand with a more defined personality. 

How to Build an Online Brand For Your Business.

Entrepreneurs

Times have changed,  we are no longer fighting for space in the dailies, the days when superior brands used to ascertain their superiority in the dailies by posting myriads of posters is long gone, it is so five years ago.

Many Big names have chosen digital marketing as their new avenue for creating awareness for their bands, but is it a mediocre feat? Well it partly depends on how you approach it.

This is how you create a formidable online brand for your business …

Your online platform, be it Facebook page, twitter handle or a website needs to have a manifesto, or the goals that you need to achieve within a given period, the brand should then work towards attaining all the set goals- this may be achieved through relentless social  media campaigns or sponsorships. The goal should be clearly stated, the online surfers do not have all day to figure out what your brand is about.

Your brand logo should be clear and be bold on your platforms. Something about showing your online viewers what you are about, this is normally included in the logo.

Your online platform should be user friendly, it should bear an attractive background or the outlook which is appealing to the customers, the site can be customized to be easy to navigate through, this way you will have more visits to your site.

Quality content should be up loaded consistently on your site, the content should be user friendly as afore mentioned, nude photos should not be uploaded  to any of your platforms, the articles that appear on your site should be original, informative and interactive. This will keep visitor coming to your site if you are offering them something reliable and captivating.

Develop and accumulate a following for your brand, on Facebook and twitter, you can keep your fans loyal by giving giveaways at particular times, you can also hold online competitions and reward those that win, this will keep your fans involved as well as attract a following for your brand.

You brand should strive to be competitive for a business brand to be on the top it needs  to work towards being on top, this can be achieved through competition. A business can identify its competition and work towards doing what the competition is not doing, or making its brand better than the competition.

A brand should also consider exposure,  whereas there are few big  channels like Facebook, twitter, YouTube and probably google, a business should consider other avenues are related to social media, like Instagram, Pinterest, google plus… et al. these can offer a good platform for marketing your brand while closing that gap between big companies and small companies.

 

The globalization of business is opening immense opportunities for ambitious companies to expand internationally beyond the borders of their country of origin. 

Born Global firms, unlike the international small ventures, internationalize their operations since their outset and generate at least a quarter (25 percent) of their revenues from overseas within the first three years. 

This competitive advantage gives them a major head start compared to local companies. Not all companies that go global are ‘‘born’’ global firms, key distinguishing aspect is that they go global from their conception and ‘‘born’’ to be global, and hence commit their resources to venture into international markets, they are a practically borderless approach.

Most technology companies follow the ‘‘born’’ global theory and most of them have experienced massive success across the globe since their reach is borderless giving them access to a larger potential market share than born local companies. Some of the key success factors coined in their business model are highlighted in their compelling brand image, high leverage on ICT, rapid internationalization process and value creation through differentiation.

The increasingly prominent growth of tech-based born global firms from silicon valley have been incubated and nurtured in a solid ecosystem massed with a talent pool of engineers, skilled developers entrepreneurs with the help of VC’s and investors hungry for the next big thing. Some of these companies have grown to thriving born global organizations like Uber and Airbnb.

While reading The 22 immutable laws of marketing some of the fundamental aspects of the success of these companies emerge from some key principles;

‘’The Law of Focus – The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the consumer’s mind’ this obviously brings to mind a born global ninja -– Google. Count the number of times you’ve heard someone or yourself saying – ‘‘let me Google that’’. Now, that’s owning a word in the mind of a consumer – to the extent that they actually replace the word ‘search’ or find out, and instead use the brand’s own name ‘‘Google’’.

‘’Law of leadership – it is better to be first than it is to be better’’ Scandinavian tech entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis founders of Skype made Skype a tech pioneer in peer-to-peer communication, making video calls feasible even in turtle paced speed internet connection dating to the mid-2000s.

Other tech giants in the born global category who are true success stories like Uber founded by Garrett Camp, their revenues as of 2017 was $37 billion. Uber made it their mission to scrap the idea that taxis were the only way to get around in cities, currently facilitating over 15 million rides daily, leveraging 40 million monthly active users without owning a single cab.

Another born global ninja is  Airbnb –(Air bed and breakfast)  founded by Joe Gebbia, in their business model trust is a core component, no one would have thought letting strangers sleep in your home for a dime would be a well-embraced global business idea.

As an online marketplace and hospitality brokerage firm they connect over 140,00 travelers with hosts from more than 190 countries every day – without owning a single property. 

I would not dare forget to mention the golden born global ninja Amazon – Jeff Bezos being the wealthiest man according to Forbes with a net worth of $131 billion, while Amazon’s revenue plummeted to $232.9 Billion as 2018. Their business model is one of the key success factors. Amazon’s retail caters for 67% of its net sales with its subscription model. 

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Netflix as a SaaS business capitalizes on big data and analytics which keeps its 150 million subscribed customers across 190 countries glued to their screens while they rake $344 million in profits. Understanding consumer behavior allows them to cultivate loyalty. The coined phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ is a term that users warmly associate the brand to the ultimate relaxation time. Apple and Disney’s streaming services may bite into their profits with exclusive content but being a born global ninja may just be the source of their capabilities to outshine this fierce competition. 

One last born global ninja is Spotify – Daniel Ek saw the global on-demand for music streaming service that would allow users the freedom to browse through a catalog of music, licensed through multiple record labels, and create even share music playlists with other users; and actualized it. As of April 2019, the number of Spotify’s monthly active users was 100 million paying subscribers. Available in most of Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Africa and Asia makes it a born global ninja.

One key constant denominator in these born global success stories is evidently the Subscription business model – this seems to be the future of successful businesses.

 

 

Entrepreneurs

3 Fundamental Steps To Earn User Trust And Drive Marketing Results

Entrepreneurs

Today’s digital marketer spends a larger percentage of their time improving their digital presence. Statistically, in 2018 businesses globally spent about $100 billion on digital marketing. This means that you as a marketer are not the only horse in the race nor the fastest, your pay-per-click budget could give more insignificant results. 

Marketers are seeking to build in-house strength and to spend much more on ‘martech’ also known as digital marketing to stay ahead. What are you missing out on to keep your customers loyal to your brand and translate into results?

The pace and impact of changes to the digital Ad ecosystem are only about to get tougher as regulators, platform owners, policymakers and users are putting on their protective armor in the quest for online privacy.

According to Google, these are some of the fundamental steps to earning user trust and drive marketing results;

  1. Invest in a responsible data strategy

Data privacy has changed the game, roughly over 160 million people recently updated their Google privacy settings limiting the type of data they want to share and the kind of Ads they want to see. This means first-party measurement tools and cloud technology needs to be part of your data strategy. The GDPR policy has significantly impacted the collection and use of consumers’ personal data. 

Safari and Mozilla browsers have updated their systems with intelligent tracking prevention and enhanced tracking protection both of them block third-party cookies.

So, if you as a digital marketer run an ad, these cookies are used to show Ads to people based on the websites they visited, hence if your target audience has these cookies blocked the ability to deliver personalized ads to them is limited.

Another issue is conversions are under-reported because view-through and cross-device conversions cannot be counted Ads become less reliable. 

2. Be thoughtful and transparent about data collection

The GDPR policy states that a consumer’s data can only be used if they give a company explicit permission, however asking for clear consent and giving users real choices is vital in the type of experiences when interacting with your brand depending on their privacy needs.

The type of data you collect should be relevant to your type of interaction with the customer thus choose the right web development company from start to get things done right from the start. For instance, you do not need a customers home address or medical history when collecting data for the company’s quarterly newsletter. 

How are you collecting data when users interact with your website? Cookies should be set if your website visitors have direct contact with your website.

3. Be privacy-safe when managing your customer’s data

Investing in cloud technology to secure your customer’s privacy will win your trust, built-in security capabilities like data encryption. In this case companies have no choice, some customer relationship management (CRM) applications, such as Salesforce.com use secure web connections, such as transport layer security (TLS) encryption, to transfer data from the user’s keyboard or servers to the webs application. Some cloud storage apps also allow users to create a secure link between their corporate network or mobile systems and cloud storage this helps secure privacy for the customer. 

Following these steps should keep your brand on the high loyalty zone. Google is responsible for 96% of all smartphones search traffic, and 94% of total organic traffic, therefore is what  Google users are keen on when interacting with brands.

How are you engaging your users on these issues?

Is your business engraved in a Culture of Safety?

Entrepreneurs

‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.’ John Maxwell

In today’s competitive construction market, it’s important to have managers who build sustainable cultures where safety and health are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the business alongside efficiency, quality, and productivity. It’s no secret that you as a manager create culture, a culture will shape attitudes and behaviors, while attitudes and behaviors will further influence outcomes.

The safety and well-being of every worker and job site is at the core. Beyond this, a lack of safety awareness and compliance also has consequences for your business. Each year, accidents on the work site pull from the contractor’s bottom line. The direct cost of accidents is found in insurance premiums, deductibles, and direct payments.

Safety always has been an integral part of the construction industry, and today it has evolved into a resource for competitive organizations to be more efficient while simultaneously offering cost-reducing measures that benefit their business.

In addition, safety is no longer limited to compliance alone.

Safety leadership should be approached like any other business training, managers become equipped with the best skills and tools for success.  It is vital to have leaders than managers. The approach can be boiled down to three key areas:

Leadership practices: What are your leadership qualities? How can you translate and leverage these to promote a culture of safety?

Efficient communication skills: What are the ways and means of communicating with positive results? Which communication method or style is appropriate for the situation?

Team building and the value of a strong team leader: How do teams cooperate? What role can a leader play in building and empowering teams to take your business to new heights?

A Simple Guide To Native Mobile Technologies

Entrepreneurs

Our Friday hangout with our tech colleagues spiked meaningful topics of conversation, this time our curiosity was in the quest to understand what’s the best way to build a mobile App. An obvious question right? According to Statista, there were 178 billion app downloads in 2017, approximately 205 billion this year and a projected 258 billion by 2022 a whopping 45 percent increase in a span of five years. Numbers don’t lie, hence our quest to understand the magic behind the scenes of app development. Our genius technical colleagues shared the four top ways currently in the market, React Native, Native Script, Xamarin, and Ionic. These four technologies are the Hybrid way of developing apps due to their speed and ‘’that native feel’’ they give to the user. Our tech team further gave us more insights into the native technology and why the ‘’native feel’’ is an important aspect of the app development process. 

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Indisputably Android and iOS are the OS giants. Android takes up 75.39 percent, iOS has 22.35 percent followed by KaiOS, Windows, and Samsung each with less than one percent of the operating system market share. In this post we will focus on the front runners, if you read our previous post on ‘’Hybrid technologies’’(link here), you would have a deeper insight on this topic. So, what distinguishes Hybrid from Native apps?  For starters, Hybrid apps use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript web applications but code ‘‘wrapped’’ to show UI’s like buttons or menus. Hybrids cannot communicate with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), thus developers create custom APIs imitating these native UI elements this how the Hybrid function comes about. 

Native apps are based on native languages, like Java and C++, these apps use native APIs exclusively built for Android and iOS. This results in a different look and feel for Android and iOS apps despite the functional similarities. It’s easy to spot differences like minimalistic UI and design in Android and iOS’s UX simplicity and functionality, for instance ‘‘send’’ function is an arrow-like icon while its a simple ‘‘send’’ text, similarly ‘‘back/cancel’’ buttons. What other differences have you spotted in Android and iOS smartphone functions?