Why Knowing Your Audience Is the Key to Marketing Segmentation

Only 2% of visitors convert their first visit to most sites. But using marketing segmentation to retarget that remaining 98% can boost conversions by 70%, according to Invespcro. And it’s much easier to accomplish than you think.

Establish a relationship with your customers using audience analysis

Understanding who you are talking to is the foundation of strong marketing segmentation. Initiate a relationship with your target audience by acknowledging that you understand who they are, empathize with their needs, and have products and services that can solve their pain points. Start by pulling quantitative information about your site traffic such as socio-economic demographics and referring sources, then layer on the behavioral information you can glean from third-party data outlets such as social media and lead forms.

This information will allow you to paint a picture of who your customers are, where they spend their time online, and what they need, so you can use this data to create a flawless marketing experience. Translating this data into actionable insights is the most technically challenging part of the marketing segmentation journey, so we recommend partnering with a trusted digital marketing agency like BIGEYE to get you started.

When all else fails, ask: Using choice-based marketing segmentation 

If you are a small business owner or just beginning to flesh out your marketing segmentation strategy, let your visitors simply tell you who your target market is by having them self-identify. As an example, you may feature a drop-down menu on your landing page that allows visitors to share what industry they are in to receive personalized content or encourage them to opt-in through gated content and lead forms. Once your audience has identified themselves, you can accurately speak to them and provide meaningful content without doing as much upfront audience segmentation work.

Build marketing segmentation campaigns that fit your audience’s needs

Once you know who you are speaking to, begin creating content that is specific, timely, and relevant to your audiences. Use marketing segmentation tools such a retargeted display ads, search, and social media campaigns to ensure your brand stays top of mind and relevant. While hyper-personalization is important, it’s equally important to recognize that site visitors may flow in and out of different personas and audience types as they move through the customer journey or as their individual needs evolve. Work with an agency to find the right blend of targeted content and universally relevant information or use A/B testing to validate you have the right mix.

Qualitative research such as interviews and focus groups might also help you understand whether your content is hitting the right tone for the right individuals at every stage of the marketing experience.

Contact us today to explore how BIGEYE has transformed brands like yours using these powerful tools and receive a free consultation and audit about how to get started.

4 steps You Need to Take to Nail Your Brand Positioning This Year

A staggering 64% of consumers cite shared values as a reason to choose or stay with a brand, which is why clear and effective brand positioning can make or break your organization’s success. Whether you have a strong position within the marketplace, or are a budding entrepreneur building your brand, these four steps will help you nail your brand positioning as you grow.

1. Understand where you’re at today

Partner with a top Florida marketing agency like BIGEYE to audit your digital presence and tell you what’s working and where you can improve. Chances are, how you think you’re positioning yourself may not be as clear to your target audience as you think. Getting a fresh, outside perspective will allow you to step back and objectively confirm how you want to be seen is how your brand is being perceived.

2. Know your audience

Start by creating a mission and vision statement as part of your brand foundation that clarifies who your audience is and what you want to help them achieve. Clearly define how your product provides value and stands out from the competition. Next, set short and long term goals that track your customers’ responses — not just your bottom line. Target specific success criteria such as NPS, engagement, or repeat customers to ensure your brand is resonating with your audience.

3. Learn everything you can about your competition

Identify direct and indirect competitors, then map out their strengths and weaknesses. Think beyond your obvious competition to draw inspiration from related industries and success stories. As an example, an all-inclusive resort might look to similarly priced AirBnB properties, hotels, other all-inclusives, or cruise lines as each of those alternatives offers overlapping features and benefits that the all-inclusive resort hopes to use when engaging their ideal customers. And remember: you can learn something from even your least successful competitor.

4. Create your value-based positioning strategy

Once you know what you’re trying to achieve and for whom, you can start implementing a strategy that will help you achieve your goal. Use your mission and vision statement to create a multi-channel marketing strategy that exposes your brand to your audience at every stage in the customer journey. A holistic brand positioning statement can help you ensure your messaging is consistent across channels and inspires action.

Once you have a strategy in place, you can begin testing what works and refining your brand positioning over time. Contact us today to learn more about how we have helped brands like yours refine their identities and make a splash in the marketplace.

Seven smart ways banks can utilize paid ad campaigns

It would be oh so simple for a bank to forgo newer methods of communicating – such as social media.
After all, to someone less familiar with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, these online channels all seem like places where people personally love to play, not conduct or discuss serious business. And financial institutions – especially the ones that have been around for awhile – often like to uphold a solid, traditional image, far from anything hip and trendy.

Unfortunately, as any teen or twenty-something can tell you – or maybe should be telling your institution’s decision-makers – today and tomorrow’s customers are actually the ones spending time on these networks. Like it or not, they’re the audience banks need to connect with – to some extent – if you want to remain profitable. If you manage your brand properly and tell your story well, you can still use modern platforms and search engines as outreach tools to describe your longevity and values. The difference is, you need to show your current and prospective customer that your institution is not only in touch, but also looking toward the future.

Beyond a basic social media presence, or hoping users “like” or follow your bank’s activities, your bank marketing ideas should also consist of spending money for additional exposure. Most larger social networks and search engines now encourage businesses to pay to put their messages in front of more people, or at least target different demographic groups of potential customers.

Like many other industries, bank marketers also have the ability find other ways to purchase advertising, whether it’s buying common keywords that customers may use when conducting a search, or running online ads designed for a specific target audience. Though budgets may reflect a preference toward financial marketing approaches that are low to no-cost, in the current online economy, you are definitely able to obtain a farther reach – and likely a better return – if you’re willing to make the investment in a paid ad campaign.

Here are 7 smart ways banks can utilize these paid ad campaigns to generate the greatest ROI

Facebook audiences won’t see everything you put out there – The actual number is a little vague, and depends on your audience, in tandem with Facebook’s method of determining what individual users see. While Facebook states that your audience will organically see just 16 percent of your posts, no matter how interesting or clever you make them, other media professionals and search experts say this figure may be as low as 2.27 percent for pages with more than 500,000 likes. (If “organic” is a new term for your marketing team when used in this context, it describes how people come across your information naturally, on their news feeds. Your inorganic reach means that you can pay a bit extra to have more seen by a larger audience.) Facebook offers a variety of payment options, from a small daily amount over time for a certain-sized audience to larger amounts designed to reach more people.

Consider boosting – Along with creating a paid campaign for your news feed to be seen by a larger target demographic, Facebook business page owners also have the option to pay to boost the reach of individual posts, placing them higher in people’s regular news feeds. This could be handy for a particular promotion, event, or contest. It also is a good tool to measure the amount of traffic with or without boosts for similar campaigns. If you see a noticeable spike in participation – such as actual new business and “real life” customer activity — it could be a good indicator that investing in boosting truly attains tangible results.

Frequency works – Just like the old adage states that a marketer shouldn’t buy an old-school newspaper, radio, or TV ad for only one day for an ongoing campaign, it is also advised that you not run a Facebook business page, or a post, for just a short time. Even though you may be following best practices and posting new material several times per day, not everyone will be checking in regularly to see it. Or, with all the clutter out there, they may not notice your ad or post the first few times it appears. It is wise to plan on running any campaign for at least one month – this will give you a longer-term view to gauge your response rate over time, and then you may adjust your message, or the scope of it, as needed.

Target your audience – As unbelievably cool as the fantasy would be for every Facebook user to see and love your bank’s message, it’s a smarter bet that not everyone among the 1.65 billion active users will care about your bank’s ads. So when you’re planning your paid bank advertising, you may be able to target your ideal potential customer by selecting gender, age, geographic location and similar demographic information. This will be a better use of your budget by appealing directly to people who are more likely to want to know more info about your institution rather than “anyone out there.”

Try other networks – Other social media companies also allow you to buy general and targeted ads, especially if you think potential customers will be using their services. LinkedIn, for instance, is more of a professional network, lacking the games and general feel of Facebook. This site focuses more on workplace networking, so there are posts about economic sectors, employment trends, management strategies, hiring tips, and labor issues. Banks wanting to attract certain potential customers or employees on LinkedIn can purchase ads and target everything from certain job titles to geographic areas. Though actual ad space is limited to a few dozen characters, you may include a call to action. This demographic group should be quite familiar with you, and in turn, want to know more.

Run multiple campaigns at once – Since marketing is always in motion, it’s smart to focus on one more than one prong at a time for all of your outreach. This is also of benefit for your audience – not every online user will use every network. Some may prefer Facebook, but others may frequent Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, or any of the common platforms or search engines more regularly. Running multiple campaigns simultaneously will also provide you with a chance to customize your message for different platforms, and adjust as needed.

Easy-to-see results – A good bank PPC campaign has the potential to provide all sorts of data –  starting with who was reached and how they responded to your message or multiple messages. Google Ad Words or similar analytics programs share both high and low points, including the most frequently clicked keywords, where people came from, what percentage went directly to the landing page, how long they stayed, and what times of the day, week, or month saw the most activity. If you’re working with someone proficient with Google AdWords, you will also have access to a general Return on Investment figure based upon how much you spent and your overall reach. Actual conversions from the campaign to customers can also be a strong indicator.

Overall, creating a bank paid search campaign can be a fun way to connect with potential new users, while also enhancing relationships with existing customers. While facilitating paid ads via your institution’s social networks may be considered “unchartered waters,” the return is well worth the investment, with campaigns that may be customized, and that offer measurable results. For more information on the paid advertising approach, and the development of the best strategy to meet your needs, contact our team of digital experts today!

How to develop a successful bank conversion marketing program

As featured in an earlier blog post, millennials represent 92 million in the United States and are reaping the benefits of improved financial conditions after bouncing back from the recession hit. These young adults are ripe for new banking relationships and considering new bank products to suit their needs, such as checking and savings accounts. This is the perfect time to convert them into new banking customers but how does one do that with one of the most fickle generations?
Establishing a well-planned conversion marketing strategy is key to success realization. There are numerous formulas and methodologies from which to choose. At BIGEYE, we use a proprietary model called the BIGEYE Conversion Matrix™ (BCM). It starts with preparing your data set, followed by activating your conversion optimization program and unlike other methodologies out there, works with both online and offline conversions.

BIGEYE Conversion Matrix
BIGEYE Conversion Matrix

Here’s how a conversion marketing program may look like for a bank:

Audience data insight

It’s important to not only know your audience but to immerse yourself in understanding them. For example, millennials were born into technology, the Internet, read blogs, and are practically tethered to their mobile devices. It’s also important to note that these young adults are not especially brand loyal and highly influenced by their peers.

Market and audience segmentation

In addition to pulling demographic, psychographic, ethnographic, and technographic insight on your audience, one must also consider the target market(s) and segment the audience into more groups. For example, your branches may be located between a couple of neighborhoods and your audience may be a mix of individuals and companies. The approach toward attracting one segment may be significantly different than the other.

Program KPIs, goals, and objectives

One of the most important stages of establishing your BCM data set is defining your vision for success realization. What are the key performance indicators, goals, and objectives? How will you measure success? Most likely the answer will contain a number of items such as number of new accounts opened, number of bank products upsold to existing bank customers, in-branch appointments booked, number of live chat sessions, branch and ATM location look-ups, etc.

Metrics and benchmarking

Once your KPIs, goals and objectives are defined, it’s important that a form of measurement and benchmarks are set. You may feel that your conversion marketing program is successful but in order to prove your instincts in quantitative terms, you will need to run your result data through the metrics.

CRM planning

Using the right customer relationship management tool and setting it up effectively will ensure that every conversion is organized for future action to be taken. By spending some time planning your CRM strategy, your bank can build an ongoing email marketing program and alert your customer service representatives of a customer inquiry.

SEM planning

Finally, the success of your conversions is tied in part to the quality of traffic your website and/or landing pages receive. A carefully designed search engine marketing program that integrates organic with paid search strategies, will help drive the exact audience you are seeking to convert.

Running your conversion marketing program

How To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Program
Once your BCM Data Set is complete, you are ready to launch your program. For new accounts, you may wish to set up dedicated landing pages that are custom designed to provide content specific to the audience segment you wish to attract and the product or offering you wish to feature. One of your landing pages might feature your small business checking account products with clear call-to-action (CTA) messaging directing the user on how to take action. Another landing page might focus specifically on your “no fee” checking account products with a clearly stated “Apply Now” CTA button.

Once your landing pages are created and your SEM program is pointing to them, you will want to test multiple versions of each page to maximize your conversion performance potential.

Some oHow To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Programf the elements you can test are as follows:

Color – Does the blue button perform better than the red one?

Copy – Are there certain words that resonate more with your audience than others?
Images – Is the photograph you’re using showing someone that is too old or too young? Maybe it’s not the correct ethnicity or the activity of the subject is all wrong.

Content Positioning – Does the user have to scroll down to far to find the CTA button or form? If so, consider trying a version of the page that brings that more prominently above the fold.

As your bank introduces new products, features, branch locations, etc., you will want to make updates to your program so that they correspond accordingly. The more targeted, relevant, and tested your program is, the more conversions you will receive.

In search of additional ways to establish – and maximize – you bank’s conversion marketing program? Contact our team of experts today to devise an innovative approach that both attracts and retains profitable customers.

Millennial market: Property management marketing the new generation

As you are likely aware, rent costs have spiked nearly 15% since 2010, while mortgage interest rates are at new lows after the recession. Yet believe it or not, millennials are still happily paying an average of $1300-$1500 (or more) for rent month after month, with no property equity to show for it. There are many reasons why millennials are opting to rent instead of buy, and to successfully market to this generation, BIGEYE would like to share the following helpful hints to assist you in gaining a greater understanding of those reasons:

Know who you’re talking to:

There are 92 million millennials in the United States. Collectively, they have over 1.3 trillion dollars of student loan debt, may have spent a few years living with their parents or friends when the recession hit, and are bouncing back from 4.7% national unemployment rates. On a brighter note, financial conditions are improving for the 20- and 30-something set, and many are finding themselves ready to cut loose and enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Apartment living can represent that much sought-after breath of fresh air. When older generations explain what the “American Dream” means to them, they often cite owning property or putting down roots. Millennials may include having luxury amenities they wouldn’t be able to afford if they owned a home, such as valet parking, a pool, free gyms or billiard rooms, or a building concierge. Couple these attributes with easy access to food, nightlife, arts, and entertainment in the heart of most urban hubs. American Dream, indeed.

To millennials, the prospect of a 30-year mortgage translates to staying in one place – in one job – for the next three decades. This is a generation that can barely commit to two-year cell phone contracts. Marketing campaigns mapping out this generation’s lifespan aren’t liberating, they’re terrifying. Marketing campaigns that highlight the freedom of renting (or owning a secondary rental property as an extra income stream) – now that’s something.

Speak their language:

Successful property management marketing hinges on your ability to speak this generation’s language. Communicating with millennials the same way you would to the Baby Boomer generation is sure to leave your apartment marketing a little flat. This generation wants to live in locations where homeownership may be out of reach, or they may not be ready to get married and settle down yet – making homeownership a necessity.

The mistake most people make when marketing to millennials is that they assume the Y-generation is unhappy with this arrangement. Goldman Sachs conducted a study that suggests 30% of millennials believe buying a home is important … just not right now. A similar study  shows more than 79% of renters between the ages of 18 – 35 want to buy a home within the next five years. That means these renters are content being, well, renters until then. But what does that mean for property managers?

In highly desirable locations, such as San Francisco, Denver, or New York City, that means it’s an owner’s market. Even if millennials were ready to buy, high down payments, aggressive credit requirements, and staggering debt to income ratios make this prospect difficult. Property managers that give millennials access to apartments with high-perceived value will win their hearts, and since most renters pay up to 30% of their disposable income in rent according to Zillow, you’ll also have access to a large piece of their business.

Vacancy rates are at a 20-year low according to the American Census Bureau, so property marketing that targets exclusivity and accessibility to desirable locations is crucial for success.

Know your niche:

For millennials, you want to highlight value not price. Chances are, they know they aren’t saving as much as they’d like or that their paycheck is going to their landlord rather than their student loan holders. Successful property management marketing ideas highlight the value they are getting – despite the cost.

Since millennials are choosing to marry later in life, play up your apartment property’s sense of community and camaraderie. Talk about the convenience of having an on-site property manager to take care of (and pay for routine maintenance and upkeep). Highlight convenient month-to-month options that let millennials dream about their next job promotion to Singapore or London. Boast your building’s free wifi or cable packages that make working remotely or being an entrepreneur a breeze (working by the pool sounds pretty great to us).

Once you begin to understand a millennial’s version of the American Dream, you can begin positioning your property management marketing around those elements. Chances are, they’ll be substantially different from customers in other generations, but that doesn’t mean this market segment is less valuable. In fact, millennials make up about 36% of the housing market in the United States, making them the predominant generation in the industry.

The long and short game:

The short game for millennials is all about renting. The long game, however, appeals to their desire to buy. The economy is improving, interest rates are low, and sooner or later, millennials will begin tying the knot, having kids, and settling in to their mid-level careers.

Once you’ve proven that you understand them, they will remain loyal to you as their needs change. Some millennials will likely stay in the apartment market, opting to convert their rent to a mortgage payment on a condo or flat in the neighborhoods where they first started their careers and barely scraped by. Others will “head for the hills” – or suburbia – for a little more space and lower housing costs. As they grow, your marketing campaigns can grow with them.

Millennials are also poised to become some of the biggest buyers in the second and vacation property market. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted a staggering drop in the average age of vacation home purchasers. The market that used to be saturated with retirees with an average purchase age of 61 has plummeted to 43. As millennials watch their siblings turn a profit on vacation properties, and sites such as VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, and AirBnB.com make vacation rentals more accessible as a secondary source of income, millennials will flock to these opportunities as a way to – you guessed it – further harness their own financial freedom.

Millennials are very different from other generations, but understanding and marketing to them isn’t as difficult as you think. After all, everyone wants a beautiful space to come home to at the end of the day – no matter what generation you’re in.

Ready to develop a marketing strategy that resonates with your target demographic, including millennials? Contact our team of experts today to schedule a consultation!

 

Betting on an impulse: Visual retail merchandising

Considering the prevalence (and incredible convenience) of online retail outlets such as Amazon, it’s no surprise that these channels are gaining popularity. In fact, a whopping 81% of shoppers research products online prior to completing a purchase, causing retailers with brick and mortar shops to grow increasingly creative – with even more compelling offers – in an effort to nudge prospective shoppers out of their homes (and their footie pajamas), and actually into stores. As a result, creating emotional and visual intrigue and really connecting with your target demographic has become even more critical to a brand’s marketing strategy – due in large part to the digital shopping cart.

This desire to be blown away (and out of those comfy pj’s) by in-store design hasn’t emerged out of nowhere; in fact, it’s part of my biology… and part of yours, too. It’s well documented that as a group, humans tend to make purchasing decisions based largely on this type of emotional connection. We’re actually hard-wired to pursue certain stimuli, and it’s this arousal and consumer intrigue that honestly compels us to spend money, initiating purchases that we often weren’t planning on making. (Those retailers are onto something, aren’t they?) Truth be told, this is why I can’t simply walk past the Brooks Brothers window display without feeling the urge to stop in for a quick gander around the store – only to find myself at the checkout with yet another button down shirt, perfectly starched pair of khakis, or a stylish new sport coat.

Furthermore, there really is both an art and a science to creating effective retail visual merchandising displays. On the artistic side, the BIGEYE team encourages our clients to design expressive displays that create a sense of awe and intrigue – driving the target customer to connect with the brand so much so, that they cannot possibly return home empty-handed. However, on the more scientific side, we rely on facts and data to determine what will drive customers into a store, drawing from fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology (this time, the study of humans, past and present), and psychology. It seems to harken back to the old advertising industry adage, often quoted by the “original Don Draper” himself, David Ogilvy that, “It’s not creative unless it sells.” Typically, this expression pertains largely to copywriting, but upon further contemplation, we think it especially holds true for retail visual merchandising component, as well.

According to a 2014 research report from Merzer, the physical store environment is an important element in retail decision-making, as 75% of purchases are unplanned or made on impulse. How many times have you gone in to Target for “just one thing,” only to end up in a busy checkout lane, complete with a fully loaded shopping cart? This is telling, as is shows us the power of a well-designed store, and to a more concentrated degree, the presentation of the in-store displays themselves. Our goal, then, as marketers, is to enhance this experience, so much so that we’re building the retailer to consumer connection, and ensuring that the correct messaging is being delivered to the desired customer – as component of the overall branding experience.

Specifically, when it comes to retail visual marketing, the questions that we specifically want to answer boil down to:

  • Which brand elements are going to generate the greatest degree of interest from our target market?
  • How can we best appeal to a relatively broad demographic that represents our ideal customer?
  • How are we able to develop a display that entices our target demographic to select products proffered by our brand – and to complete a purchase – versus choosing the competitor’s product?
  • What is our audience seeking when selecting specific companies, brands, products, and services – and how do we connect on an emotive level?
  • Which specific marketing elements may we incorporate into our overall strategy to build awareness, and to ensure that our brand is perceived as a differentiator?

We all know that with the hustle and bustle of our lives, we find that we’re busier than ever before, and in this digital era, it’s imperative to design a display that will capture a consumer’s attention – and fast. After all, your brand may not only be in heated competition with other brick and mortar retailers, but also with the plethora of online shopping options. Although the online landscape was once presumed to be the end of the storefront, it’s now evident that shoppers want to continue to engage in heightened brand connections through in-store experience shopping. Companies are event able to employ sophisticated marketing techniques to combine their in-store displays with innovative digital campaigns to take advantage of capturing new customers in both stratospheres, developing a perfect media mix.

Oftentimes, we hear about retailers who have not yet partnered with a developed marketing team, and as a result, they fail to understand the connection between their in-store displays, and the impact on ROI. As marketing experts, we are armed with the knowledge and experience to tap into the human psyche to drive individuals to make purchases. Not only are we able to provide the necessary expertise to encourage optimization of these displays for success; we are also able to use purchasing information to better analyze the ongoing success of these recommendations. When it is determined that an initial strategy needs further thought and strategy, we’re poised to complete the additional testing required to maximize revenue opportunities – developing insights that inform and enhance a brand’s overall marketing strategy.

If your brand is seeking highly effective retail visual merchandising strategies, BIGEYE is well-equipped to partner with you. We’ll ensure that your retail environment is an immersive brand experience that truly connects with your target consumer and drives them to purchase. Contact us today by calling 407.839.8599.