A case study showing how marketing helped this global retail brand move from struggling to surviving and prospering

Even the most successful brands occasionally face choppy waters. One wrong move, or more likely, a succession of poor moves as competitors 'up their game' can lead to decline. When this happens, not only is the brand's reputation threatened, but its bottom line as well. The Tesco brand is synonymous with shopping in the UK. After questionable investment decisions and multiple scandals rocked the business in 2013 and 2014, the company began facing unprecedented quarterly losses. Consumer confidence in the brand plummeted and sales began to reflect that new reality. Yet the commerce giant managed to turn things around and has been posting financial gains over the past year. How did it manage to do this? As it turns out, a lot of it had to do with improved marketing. Let's review one of the…

What is referral marketing?

Essentially, referral marketing is about enabling and incentivizing your existing customer base to encourage their friends and family to try your product for the first time. It represents a significant opportunity for most online businesses to boost their customer acquisition. There are some well-documented examples of businesses that have acquired a huge percentage of their customers via referral. It is reported that for Dropbox it represents 35% of new customers and daily bookings tripled for Airbnb when they introduced a referral programme. Whilst these figures might seem unattainable for established online businesses, our experience suggests that targeting 10-25% of new customer growth from referrals is realistic. Figures not to be sniffed at. After all, there aren’t many other marketing channels that you could switch on and deliver that kind of an increase in acquisition.

The hidden benefits of referral

Whilst the main benefit of referral is the number of new customers that…

Over 50% of consumers frequently factor in online reviews before buying a product

It’s no secret that online shopping is continuing to evolve with the habits of consumers. And in the social media era, consumers have louder and stronger voices than ever before. Why? Online reviews have revolutionized the online shopping marketplace and overall experience —they’re the new frontier in word-of-mouth marketing as well as a powerful sales tool.

Seller Beware: Reviews Are Not Optional

In the past, sketchy marketing tactics could boost sales for even the lowest quality products and services. There was no viable public outlet for consumers to voice their opinions on the products and services they were buying — dissatisfied customers’ voices couldn’t reach beyond family and friends. Now, with the click of the mouse or tap of a smartphone, consumers can broadcast their opinions far and wide. And every consumer can use customer reviews to make buying decisions. According to…

The essentials of social listening and brand management

Thanks to today’s technology, it is now easier than ever to project your opinion online and use the opinions of others in your buying processes. In less than a few minutes, you can learn what people believe about a product or service, why they hate or love it, and what their experience with it was like. As a consumer, this is great news – there’s a world full of opinions and reviews opening in front of your eyes before you even consider making a purchase. As a business owner, though, this may not be so great if you don’t handle your online reputation properly. But what is online reputation management anyway–and, more importantly, how do you make sure you correctly apply it to your particular business?

The Construction and De-Construction of Online Reputation

To understand how online reputation works, imagine a house being built, brick by brick. What…

Trust on social media is very low, you'll need to be honest if you want to win it back

In the fast-moving world of social media, brands are constantly competing for attention. Organic page reach has been nerfed by Facebook, whilst Twitter is full of people shouting ever more regularly in an attempt to be heard, making it easy to be crowded out. Sometimes it can be tempting to try any tactic to generate engagement, but your customers aren't stupid, and won't be fooled by marketing gimmicks. What is more, you should be presenting yourself as open and honest, and only by being transparent will you achieve this. The CIM have put together this infographic on brand transparency on social media, which shows how little trust many users have in brands. The only way to reverse this and win trust is to be honest with your customers and be consistently up front about any…

Tips to improve social proof on TripAdvisor including how to handle negative reviews and 6 best practice tips

One of our clients is a group of eight hotels, so for them, like all hospitality businesses, TripAdvisor can be both friend and foe. Recently I was asked to look at each hotel’s presence on TripAdvisor and to suggest some tips for best practice.  I was surprised by the lack of online commentary so here are my thoughts.

Setting the scene for TripAdvisor - how it dominates the travel industry.

How to handle negative reviews on Tripadvisor?

Clients we speak to are often worried about entering the world of social media, afraid it will open the door to negative reviews. Our response is consistent; a presence on social media doesn’t create negative reviews, nor does an absence prevent them. What it does do is allow your…

Examples and tips of using ORM to protect your Brand and increase brand loyalty

Online Reputation Management or ORM is a vital part of any online branding strategy. It is the new PR. Word might spread fast in print, but it doesn't come close to the speed in which messages reach the masses on the Internet. Managing your online reputation is not as difficult as you think, Over the past few years, many online reputation management companies have sprung up, but in many cases are a waste of your time and money as I'll explain. A major part of managing your online reputation revolves around heightening the amount of good exposure in the results of various search engines and minimizing the amount of negative exposure. This is particularly the case for brand name related searches. Essentially, you only want positive results showing up on Google's first page, as users do not usually proceed beyond…

An interview with ex-Googler Andre Weyher

You may have noticed we enjoy reviewing tools that help marketers manage their online marketing. In most cases, particularly for search marketing, new tools are variants on existing tools for keyword or backlink analysis. So, I was interested to hear more about Netcomber since it offers a different type of service, still closely related to search, but also with potential for applying more generally for reputation management and affiliate marketing. Here I talk to Andre Weyher about how the Netcomber service has evolved and how it can be used by brands.

Q. What was your inspiration for developing Netcomber?

NetComber is the result of my personal wish of making the Internet a more transparent place. After working in Google for close to 5 years, the bulk of that period in the Search Quality team, I learned a lot about the workings of search engines. When I moved to…

Using social media monitoring to evaluate the success of your digital marketing campaigns and reach your goals

When planning your digital marketing strategy or campaigns, you probably have a range of targets and goals for social media in mind that you are hoping to achieve, and that will help you measure your success. But how do you assess whether you are reaching these goals in practice? In this post I will outline the type of goals to consider and tools and techniques to assess success. For example, you might consider one or a combination of the following as goals when approaching integrating social in your business: Increase in followers/fans Increase in requests for information Increase in leads Increase in sales (of a specific product/service, or of everything, or perhaps in a specific market). Social media monitoring allows you to add another string to your bow, so to speak, by allowing you to…

Why do social media continue to damage big brands?

In February, Mcdonalds made what I thought was a massive social media gaffe with its #McDStories campaign. As I said at the time, it really should have brought home to CEOs and their CMOs that social media is too important to be entrusted to the inexperienced (both in clients and their agencies). I'm sure you remember this... This wasn't the first ill-advised campaign of the "tell us what you think...finish this sentence" type and won't be the last. Now in September in the UK we have a very similar social campaign mistake. Again, widely reported in the mainstream media where the main damage occurs, at least this one is humorous. Supermarket Waitrose challenged shoppers to "finish the sentence: 'I shop at Waitrose because …' #WaitroseReasons". Here are some typical responses, our favourites: "I shop at Waitrose because it…

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