What to Do With All This Marketing Data from your Website?

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Many CMOs feel inundated with data.  Maybe the flood happened gradually or maybe they felt a Big Bang of Big Data.  Either way, marketers are up to their necks with information about their customers, and they don’t know what to do about it.

According to a recent study by IBM, 82% of CMOs feel underprepared to deal with the data explosion.  This is more than a few years ago when 71% responded that way in 2011.  The study also shows that this lack of preparation coincides with a time when more CEOs (63%) are involved with business strategy development.  To maximize their success with marketing, and in the boardroom, CMOs need to get a handle on that data.

The top 30% of CMOs are indeed reasonably prepared for the data explosion, and provide a good example to follow.  Top marketers use advanced predictive analytics to gain insight into their customers, and they use this insight to build rewarding customer experiences.  A top CMO’s enterprise is more likely to be fully integrated with data shared across channels.  And they’re more prepared to handle the growing segment of traffic from mobile devices.

The report defines the top CMOs by their deep understanding of customers, which makes them 60% more likely to see greater financial success.  Unfortunately, the majority of CMOs are not using advanced analytics for customer insight, which is the key to further targeting. Read More …

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Configurators of the Lost Ark: Increase B2B Sales with Configuration

In the iconic Steven Spielberg film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, our heroic archaeologist sets off on a mission to find a specific object – the lost Ark of the Covenant.  Indiana Jones doesn’t settle for imitations.  He knows what he wants, and he sets out to get it.

Similarly, there are times when your B2B buyer has an ideal product in mind, and that’s what they want to buy.  A specific product for specific pain points.  A one-size-fits-all product just doesn’t fit their needs.

When your customer wants to customize their own solution, the real hero is a configurator.

Go Configure

A configurator is a sales tool that allows your customers to build their own products right on your website.  Users customize their own products by selecting each specification, including size, material, components, and more.  And these customizations conform to the rules and restrictions that you set on the backend.

Configurators work by giving your customers access to your entire array of parts and products.  This gives them choice.  And when you integrate with your existing ERP, your customers can get real-time updates for a variety of information, such as your current inventory, product data, and pricing.  Seamless integration among your e-commerce solution, your configurator, and your ERP builds a B2B sales powerhouse.  Read More …

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President Obama Embraces Online Video Marketing and so Should You

When the leader of the free world wants to market his message, where does he go?  A train trip around the country?  Radio for some fireside chat?  Or to online video marketing for a sarcastic talk show parody?

If you guessed online video, you win and advance to the next round.  President Obama recently joined Zach Galifianakis for an episode of the comedian/actor’s faux talk show Between Two Ferns.  The move is a bid to promote the Affordable Care Act to young people.  And with record referrals to the ACA website, the President’s online video appears to be a genius maneuver of online marketing.

Of course, this type of video marketing is slightly different from the type of content marketing we usually talk about in this blog.  We recommend posting online video on your own website to engage more customers and promote your brand message.  In this situation, President Obama went on someone else’s popular show to market the government’s website, but he’s allowed to do that… because, you know, he’s the President.

Either way, online video is growing and an excellent way to connect with your customers, especially as fast Internet speeds expand from sea to shining sea.  The rise in faster Internet is also true for mobile networks.  This means more and more customers are willing to watch video content wherever they are without concern for buffering or lag.

There are many types of online video, each one with its own benefits. Read More …

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Return to the Winter Olympics: e-Commerce Site Speed

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With current events involving a Ukrainian revolution and a Russian incursion into Crimea, the Sochi Winter Olympics already seem so far away.  If we return to this past Winter Olympics, however, there is much to celebrate:  feelings of global unity, humorous tweets from journalists, and the US taking home 28 total medals – 9 of them gold – in fair, fun competition.

Like the Winter Olympics, competition (not conflict), plays a huge role in e-commerce.  The rules of the race are as follows: the faster your e-commerce site loads, the better off you are. 

Considering the sheer amount of websites, there’s even more competition on the web than on the slopes, and every second counts.  According to e-commerce research from the Aberdeen Group, a single-second delay results in 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Visitors are impatient and freely abandon sites while they’re still loading.  Take one second too long and lose 1/10th of your potential e-commerce customers.  And if your site lags behind, your competitors are more than happy to race ahead of you to scoop up these prospects.  Customers visit slower websites less often than their competitors, even if the difference is a mere 1/4th of a second.  That’s less time than it took you to read this sentence!  Read More …

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Spring Forward with These Top 3 e-Commerce Promotions

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Daylight savings is here, and the time has come to “spring forward.”  That means we set our clocks ahead and lose one hour due to this ritualistic time warp.  Of course, now that we’re out of the booming holiday season, an hour is all we want to lose when it comes to e-commerce this spring. 

Promotions are a great way to increase sales and move inventory if the months are slow.  In order to spring forward with your e-business, here are our top three e-commerce promotions for spring:

1.  Free Shipping.  Free shipping is a perennial favorite for e-commerce customers.  If you have the capability to run free shipping all year long, we recommend it.  If that sounds unfeasible, then this promotion has the bounce to potentially increase sales.

One of the primary reasons potential customers become ex-potential customers is the experience of sticker shock.  Many interested prospects turn away at the first sight of unexpected costs and leave a trail of abandoned shopping carts in their wake.  It’s a devastating digital scene.

If you offer free shipping for a limited time or make an offer such as “Buy $100 worth of X and get FREE shipping!”, then that might be just what your customer needs to take the plunge.  When embarking on their e-commerce journey, customers consider all the costs, not just that of the product itself.

2.  Bundles and Packages.  Some products go together like peanut butter and chocolate or bikes and bicycle helmets.  Specifically in the bicycle example, we see two products that customers often buy together.  So why not bundle? Read More …

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