All posts by Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

3 key steps for fueling your performance with the latest news and information

Google Reader is long-gone as a way of keeping track of the latest developments in digital marketing. The important industry information on platform changes that we still need is out there but it is coming at us from more sources than most of us have the time to track effectively. The good news is that, with just a little planning, you can still stay on top of exactly the information that you need to fuel your own performance and also give your bosses, clients, co-workers and followers great reasons to be glad that they have you around. Gathering business information is a full-time job for me; I publish a newsletter, Who's Blogging What, that highlights important blog posts for 20,000 subscribers working in social media and online marketing. Given this, Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights thought it would be useful…

The right vendor depends on your own personal requirements

Marketing Automation vendors are not one-size-fits-all. It is important that you choose the right vendor for your specific business requirements as B2B companies have more complex and longer buyer journeys and more people involved in the buying process. Your Marketing Automation platform selection should focus on finding the best fit with your business plans, resources and company culture. There are several ways to navigate the selection process, including a formal RFP (Request for Proposal) for shortlisting vendors to running in depth demonstrations. Here are six steps that will help you in this process.

1. Define Your Business Goals

In order to know what a Marketing Automation vendor should be able to deliver in terms of features and service, it is important to clearly define the business challenges or opportunities that you are facing. Describe the gap between the current situation and the desired state.…

How to assess the value of blogs to your site and business

For most businesses, blogs are part of the online furniture, every office is expected to have one. Occasionally though, their value may be called into doubt, whether it’s by a client or your sales director or marketing manager. And rightly so, they may be expected, but often they are created separately on a different platform and aren't well integrated into customer journeys. The purpose of this article is to help you not only answer these questions with some confidence, but also demonstrate the hidden value of this type of content in an online sales environment. The purpose of this article is to help you not only answer the question of value and ROI of a blog with some confidence, but also demonstrate the hidden value of this type of content in an online sales environment.  [Editor's note: Although Sam's useful post…

Expedia give their top strategies for growing new Ecommerce stores

Expedia launched in 1996. That makes us ancient by internet standards. But the benefit of having been around so long is that our team witnessed the rise of e-commerce, and we learned some priceless lessons in the process. Twenty years after Expedia opened its virtual doors, e-commerce is now booming. Global e-commerce revenue reached nearly $1.2 billion in August, and experts predict more than 10 percent growth annually. Billion-dollar projections are usually cause for celebration, but not everyone sees it that way. Some people view e-commerce’s explosion negatively because competition is stiff and getting stiffer. Everyone wants in on this lucrative industry, but more than 90 percent of online startups fail within four months. With nothing but growth on the e-commerce horizon, the rate of launches and failures can only increase. But don’t let the…

How to select the very best agency for your business.

So you want to hire a marketing agency. But how do you find the one that will deliver what it promises? What are the things you should ask and, most importantly, what are the answers you want to hear? Here are some of the answers to these questions and insider tips on hiring agencies (and not regretting it afterward) from the perspective of a marketer.

Before You Begin

First things first. Before you start asking questions, answer a few yourself. You need to be able to get at least a general idea on the budget and your marketing goals. What do you expect to achieve? How much are you willing to pay for…

Examples showing how Chatbots will become an increasingly important marketing app in the future

Artificial intelligence and machine learning is one of the top trends in digital marketing for 2017. At the same time, we are seeing a reduction in demand for apps, particularly as the largest platforms are reaching saturation. You could say that chatbots are the new apps; the new customer service reps, not to mention the new support system for marketers. In future, more people will turn to chatbots to manage their daily chores, be it ordering a ride or a pizza. Often these are built within Messenger apps themselves. In fact, the rise of bots could be plainly attributed to increasing usage of messenger apps. According to Forester, people spend a staggering 85% of their time using the top messenger apps including Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack and…

New research reveals the top tactics ecommerce businesses can use to convert the 68% of people who abandon their shopping carts

In 2016, global ecommerce sales within retail grew to $1.915 trillion, a figure excluding sales for travel, events, and restaurants. What is more, ecommerce is projected to grow to over $4 trillion by 2020. This type of growth isn’t occurring anywhere else in retail (an industry which hovers around 6% growth year to year as a whole), so it’s clear that ecommerce revenue will increasingly become a dominant force in retail. Yet as retail adapts to the digital world, the ecommerce system has evolved into something imperfect. Simply googling ecommerce business problems reveals a troubling statistic: the majority of shoppers abandon their shopping cart before finalizing a purchase. In fact, according to Baymard Institute, 68.81% of online shopping carts are abandoned, and this figure is based on the…

SMEs needn't be left behind by new Marketing Automation tech

A dismal 37 percent of shoppers say that the average retailer “gets” them. It’s perhaps for this reason that consumers spend a lot of time researching online before making a purchasing decision offline. And for the first time ever, - as data shows - there are more online sales than in brick and mortar stores in some sectors. The difference is that the new kids on the block - the ecommerce guys - are making use of technology to improve the customer journey, which is one of the most critical factors to keeping customers and attracting more business. In fact, C-suite executives reckon four particular technologies will be key for marketing success in the future: Cloud computing and services Mobile solutions The Internet of Things Cognitive tools This article examines the top marketing trends for 2016 that are specifically related to these four technologies,…

Agencies can use data to plan for the coming year, and to improve digital marketing services

You don’t have to search far to find information about the marketing budgets of the mammoth corporations, like Proctor and Gamble and Verizon. However, the typical US marketing agency has small business clients with small budgets—details about the marketing budgets of these smaller businesses is hard to come by. For the past two years, HubShout has surveyed small to mid-size marketing agencies and the data from the surveys shows where their small business clients are investing their dollars, and how much they’re investing in each service. The survey of 200 professionals who deliver online marketing services to small businesses provides plenty of data that is useful for small to mid-size digital marketing agencies. In addition, this article provides helpful tips on selling and improving digital marketing services.

First, Get a Piece of the 28 Million

The…

Digital tactics can be a boon for bricks and mortar retailers

Within many multichannel retailers, digital teams work primarily to ecommerce KPIS – traffic, conversion, units per order, unit value and so on. As a consequence, digital activity that might benefit the physical store estate is often deprioritised or completely ignored. However, digital marketing presents some of the best opportunities to drive footfall and in-store sales. Here’s a checklist of 8 things you can do straight away:

1) Improve your store-related areas of your website

It’s likely that a large number of your visitors are already looking for store information on your website or app. First, make sure that your store locator is up to scratch, especially for mobile users, and make sure it’s easily locatable in your desktop and mobile site header or navigation. If your customers can’t find your shop information on your website you are not doing them any favours. Next, spruce up the individual store…

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