Why Email Marketing Maintains Its Value & Why You Should Use It

Email marketing is a very important aspect of almost any business’s growth. It’s how brands, both large and small, communicate sales, special events and interesting content in order to help the brand remain on the subscriber’s mind. Many companies require submission to their email lists in order to use their services.  And, it’s a simple equation: people are willing to give up their email and personal information to receive some utility, even if it means accidentally subscribing to an email list you might not have accepted otherwise.

Each day, I receive at least twenty emails from companies trying to offer me a product or service. Sometimes, I’ll even receive three or more emails from the same company. I had to unsubscribe from Spotify because it would email me each time one of my friends joined the social network! It’s easy for a marketer to want to shy away from this model… after all, who doesn’t despise the task of going through and deleting irrelevant emails on a daily basis?

But, the reality is that email marketing remains valuable because it works. As much as I’m complaining, I recently purchased a Groupon for discount personal training sessions. I saw it in my inbox, it looked like a good deal, the location was convenient, and I was sold.

[quote] Take a peek at how email marketing served a beneficial purpose for an Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children donorship event – thanks to BIGEYEs’ effective strategies! [/quote]

How else would I have known about the sale? Perhaps Facebook or other social media? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that I would have seen it there. Groupon’s hyper local model isn’t exactly conducive to allowing the company to tweet every single deal from its master account, and I’m only on Twitter a couple of times a day anyway, so I could easily miss the notice. Facebook is even worse… last year, Facebook announced that the average Facebook post reaches only 16% of fans.   Sponsored posts are supposed to take care of this problem, but only go so far in reaching intended audience segments. For one, if multiple brands are running sponsored posts targeting the same group, the individuals are bound to miss at least some of those postings.

Email marketing is a great way to ensure that your audience at least has the opportunity to receive your message. Unfortunately, email marketing presents some complications in and of its own. First of all, in an era of glut, how do you get people to sign up for your list? And, once they sign up, how to you ensure that they’ll actually open it and ultimately convert that person to a purchaser?

These questions are tough to tackle, and may require some advanced strategies to address. However, your company can invest in an email client that helps service some of your needs and provide analytical data as to open rates, click-throughs and conversions. This data can be invaluable in assessing what your potential customers need.

For more ideas and suggestions as to how your company can use email marketing to help gain customers, please contact our Orlando marketing agency – you can even sign up for our email list to receive the BIGEYE Newsletter for regular updates.

Hot trends in hotel advertising: Subtlety works best

“I want a feast
I want a bean feast

Cream buns and doughnuts and fruitcake with no nuts so good you could go nuts.

No, now!

I want a ball

I want a party

Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and

Give it to me now.

I want the world,

I want the whole world.

I want to lock it all up in my pocket

It’s my bar of chocolate

Give it to me now!

I want today

I want tomorrow

I want to wear them like braids in my hair and I don’t want to share them

I want a party with roomfuls of laughter

Ten thousand ton of ice cream

And if I don’t get the things I am after

I’m going to scream!

I want the works,

I want the whole works!

Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises in all shapes and sizes,

And now!

Don’t care how I want it now!

Don’t care how I want it now!”

The above song may be a harmonious tantrum performed by one Veruca Salt in the 1971 film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the lyrics speak to the way a hotel should perceive its guests. That’s not to say that all guests are sniveling, snotty-nosed adolescents, but for an industry that deals in comfort and convenience, it doesn’t hurt to operate under that assumption. The average overnighter takes for granted the luxuries a hotel provides. So when something does go awry, no matter how miniscule, the concierge often takes an ear-licking.

Guests expect their stay to go off without a hitch. They don’t want to see an establishment’s seams, so to speak. So, a hotel must present itself as competent, discreet and ahead of the curve. There are numerous approaches that can be taken to this end. Here, we discuss four:

1. Street propaganda:

Guerrilla marketing, a low budget, avant-garde approach to self-promotion can be highly effective in portraying an out of the box, curatorial image to a potential client; it also falls into the discreet category. A good propaganda campaign should promote with clever subtlety. Our Florida advertising agency knows the value of this technique lies in its ties to social media marketing. A really creative guerrilla strategy can take on a life of its own by inspiring observers to document their reactions through Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and countless other social media sites. The following link demonstrates several examples of unique street propaganda:

http://www.boredpanda.com/cool-and-creative-street-ads/

2. Easy online accessibility:

Hotel’s must make their website accessible and up-to-date. The site should leave no question unanswered. A customer should be able to book a room, dinner reservation or spa appointment with the touch of a mouse. They should be able to speak to a hotel representative via online chat. Basically, a hotel’s website should act as an interactive reception desk. Daily updates and notices regarding not just the hotel, but also the surrounding area can be helpful as well. It pays to work with a good developer who is aware of the latest advents and limitations of the Internet.

3. Go green image:

Environmentally conscious business practices are key. More so than a hotel making sure it’s operating with the tiniest footprint it can muster, it should also promote these efforts to its guests. If the restaurant in the hotel only uses organic, farm-to-table ingredients, this should be made known. If the lobby motif is made from recycled materials, shout it from the rooftops. After all, green is definitely the new black. Guests will respect any effort to that end.

4. Respond to online comments:

Yet another cheap and fruitful way to make a positive impression with an audience is to keep up with what that audience is saying. This is sort of a no brainer, but to be truly effective, don’t just keep track of sites like Trip Advisor or Travelocity. Instead, reply to comments, be those comments good or bad, with useful information. If a past guest complained about an obstructed room view, apologize and offer them a room with a better view during their next stay. If another applauds the tuna tartar at your dining establishment, thank them kindly and tell them they’re a real mensch for saying so. This practice makes a hotel seem more human; less like a machine on autopilot.

In search of a hotel advertising strategy to ensure that your visitors will also become your biggest fans? Contact our team of marketing experts today!

Is Your Marketing Campaign Mom-Friendly? Learn Why It Should Be

Over the past two decades, Moms have controlled up to 80% of household spending. When you break it down, they are not only buying for themselves but for many other age groups and demographics including adults, babies, tweens, teens, males and females. By putting in some consideration and tailoring your marketing campaigns to fit this influential consumer group, you could reap quite the harvest in customer conversion and tap into a market that will keep giving.
As a Florida advertising agency we make sure our clients consider the demographic they are marketing to. If the age range or product falls anywhere close to the “Mom” demographic, we like to ask the following questions as we develop or critique an existing marketing campaign:

Question 1: Are my marketing campaigns easy to read and navigate on a mobile phone?

From juggling careers, family schedules and keeping the home in order, Moms are always on the go and use their trusty mobile sidekicks to keep up the pace. According to BabyCenter’s September 2012 Media Mom Report, 65% of moms have smart phones (38% higher than the general US population). Quick, easy and straightforward is the name of the game when you’re dealing with Moms and mobile media. In fact, BabyCenter’s monthly poll states 91% of smartphone equipped Moms expect websites to be mobile friendly.

Pay specific attention to:

    • Clear click-through links: Consider the webpage that your ad, email campaign or image may link them to. Does it bring the audience straight to the desired destination? Or does it lead them to a home page that they would have to scroll through to find the information or product?
    • Mobile visuals: How does it visually look on the phone? Is the image clear? Is the color scheme eye-catching and easily understandable?
    • Clear call to action: Does the content clearly and concisely state what you would like them to do? For example: “Click Here to Order.”

Question 2: What kind of woman am I marketing to?

Stereotypes and assumptions of a Mom’s role can often be detrimental to a marketing campaign if skewed in the wrong direction. Mothers no longer fit within the “Leave it To Beaver” role these days and are sometimes categorized somewhere between stressed and tired or on an episode of Real Housewives. The truth is that Mom’s are women first, modern, forward thinking women who have added responsibilities like children, a spouse and other family members. Mom-hood doesn’t change the fact that they are still women and want to feel beautiful, empowered and all around badass, plus able to cook a mean grilled cheese sandwich.

Question 3: Just how social is my marketing campaign?

Moms are all about relationships and look to social sites like Facebook that promote that relational connection. In fact most Moms spend their socializing time on Facebook because of the information and content sharing capabilities between friends and family. Twitter has been found to be more influential with the tech savvy and higher wage-earning Mom. To reach the mainstream Mom market, use Facebook for social promotions and talk to those Moms because they are certainly talking too.

To learn more about how you can market to moms in order to create brand preference and instill brand loyalty, contact our team of experts today! We’re poised to discuss strategies for segmentation, creating appeals and assessing your own brand to determine perfect target market for your business.

Resources:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/babycenter-reveals-five-trends-that-impact-the-business-of-mom-172863301.html
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703521304576278964279316994.html#project%3DNUMBERS_GUY_1104%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive%20OR%20http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703521304576278964279316994.html

Understanding How Young People Use Technology Today

Sometimes, the rapid speed of technology makes me feel older than my years (and I’m not even that old!).  Back in my day, we didn’t have tablets or smart phones – most people didn’t even have computers.  We had to communicate to one another by dialing them on a home phone, and, if my parents couldn’t reach me because I wasn’t where I said I was going to be, then I would be in big trouble when I got home.

But things have changed a lot since then, and parents have lots of ways to keep track of their children.  Young people communicate through text messaging, preferring that method over email due to its convenience.  They don’t even really have to learn handwriting – they’re practically born with keyboards in their hands.  Even when dealing with a slightly older generation, some of the 20-somethings I know don’t even own televisions, since they get all of their media from the computer.

Interesting to think about, isn’t it?  These technologies that once were innovative and paved the future for us are now barely even relevant.  That’s why, as someone who works within digital media, I find it important to keep up with the newest technology – to play with it, own it and learn how to use it.

While TV is not dying anytime soon (how could it, with so many baby boomers who’ve grown up with televisions?), it’s important to take notice of the ways young people use, engage with and interact with technology.  This is a new generation, full of young people who are “digital natives.”  And, the disconnect is clear: while some marketers and advertisers have found ways to reach these people, lots of digital media initiatives still miss the mark.

For instance, I go on YouTube all the time, but I couldn’t name a single YouTube celebrity without the help of our marketing interns.  But they point me to Ray William Johnson and Daily Grace, both of whom are completely unrecognizable to parents, yet have millions of teen/young adult followers on the internet.

Or, take the popularity of mobile gaming.  Some people I know play games like Tetris or Bejeweled on their mobile devices, but young people take mobile gaming to a whole new level.  Through role-playing games that contain a social component, they can interact with an entire new world where in-game currency can be exchanged for real-life currency.

(And that DEFINITELY didn’t exist when I was a kid!)

If you work for a brand and are aiming to ramp up your digital presence, it is essential to keep track of the newest gadgets, games and trends in technology.  With an abundance of blogs like Gizmodo and TechCrunch, there’s no reason that marketers can’t be in touch with the ways that young people use tech.

As you’re planning your digital strategy, I encourage marketers to look toward the future.  With more technologies becoming widely available each day, it’s important to carefully plan your strategy to ensure that it’s reaching the audience where they are.  Our Orlando marketing agency advises you to spend a little bit of time getting to know what’s new in technology, in order to help gap between digitally divided generations.

Marketing Is Now Smarter with Business Intelligence

Business intelligence sounds like something out of a spy movie.  Throw in a few fancy gadgets and an alpha male protagonist, and it could be the premise for the next James Bond flick.  In actuality, the practices associated with business intelligence may not, at least on the surface level, be as glamorous as the plot of Skyfall.  But, with effective business intelligence practices, companies can make strategic decisions that result in savings of thousands or even millions of dollars over time… and THAT sounds pretty glamorous, now doesn’t it?  The folks at our Florida advertising agency think so!

First of all, let’s talk about what business intelligence actually means.  According to Wikipedia, business intelligence is “a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.”  Put in plain English, that means using data to make factually based business decisions.

It often surprises me how many business owners neglect to put business intelligence at the core of otherwise sophisticated marketing strategies.  They’ll hire marketers to spend thousands of dollars on campaigns, only to find themselves on the losing end of a major marketing push because the marketing team didn’t take the time to assess the ways in which people interact with their brands.

Successful companies analyze business intelligence at both micro and macro levels.  On a micro level, analysts can pinpoint exactly what steps an individual used to make a purchase, from that person’s first impression to what drove his or her impulse to make a purchase.

On a larger level, business intelligence analysts can explain trends across time.  Why do sales suddenly spike at a particular department store during the fall?  What will the financial standing of the company be in a decade?  This kind of information helps businesses executives make smart choices about where to allocate resources, and where to pull the plug.

Of course, business intelligence practices almost always hinge on the quality of the data.  How can business owners be sure they’re capturing the correct data about the correct consumers and practices?  In some cases, this comprises an entire subfield of business intelligence.  After all, it’s worthless for a company to have a lot of information about the wrong type of consumer.

So how can a team of executives gain business intelligence insights?  Typically, marketers collect and store this information through a mix of spreadsheets, reporting software, digital dashboards and other systems.  These tools range from simple to complex, and offer insights into a range of information about user behavior.  Sometimes this extends into internal practices as well.

The business intelligence field is vast, and there’s always a new way to approach the data.  But, a strong team of strategists on your side can help you sift through the junk, in order to find the information you need.

Sophisticated business intelligence practices can help a marketing team design a digital strategy that helps the business reach out directly to a target group, in ways that emphasize the ways in which those individuals consume. However, it takes significant skill to be able to effectively gauge and predict the outcome of campaigns based on business intelligence data.  If you’re struggling with how to help boost your bottom line using business intelligence insights, the team at our Florida advertising agency has a few ideas to help your organization thrive!  We do this for companies and organizations all over the country, let us help yours.

How to Reach the Female Sports Fan In Your Market

In popular culture, it’s common to see television shows where a man sits around watching football, while his wife stands around complaining.  These images that are ingrained in our cultural behavior show men drinking beer and watching the big game, with the women in the corner, cleaning up the mess.

Because of the often masculine appeal of most sports, it’s common to confuse their primary audiences with people of the same gender.  But the reality is that this is not so.

In fact, more than one half of tennis fans are female, a fact that tennis marketers appear to recognize.  Many female tennis spectators are also players (certainly plenty of our Florida advertising agency team members love to get outside for a good match!), and as such, companies continue to invest money in creating fashionable products and apparel for the female tennis enthusiast.

Others are not quite as obvious.

For example, NFL games are dominated by male-leaning television commercials and sports coverage.  However, more than a third of the people who identify themselves as football fans are female.  As such, there seems to be a disconnect between the methods of sports advertising and this demographic.

[quote]It’s important to remember that, from an ROI perspective, women account for 85% of all purchases in all categories, including automotive purchases, apparel, household goods, and food purchases.[/quote]  Being able to hone in on the potential female customer can greatly increase the opportunity for successful commercial advertising during primetime sports slots, increased awareness through sponsorship activities and for cultivating ongoing relationships with the female sports enthusiast.

A common misconception is that women who are sports fans are also somehow tomboys, and that, if given the choice, they would choose hoodies bearing their teams’ logos instead of cute sundresses that show the same logo.  There aren’t many companies that have successfully tested this theory, but a sports apparel company catering to creating high fashion lines for females might actually do quite well!  But, leaning too much in this direction can also be polarizing;… working off the assumption that every ladies’ night at the ball game should be about pink bows and jewelry raffles can be just as belittling.

As with most categorizations, classifying a group as “women” is just one categorization of a number of broader subsets of personalities and interests.  It’s important for sports franchise marketers and sports brands to think creatively when trying to reach the female target consumer.

Perhaps the number one marketing sin is forgetting that she exists.  Alienating the female sports fan by creating ads that are masculine-learning or blatantly sexist effectively costs sports marketers revenue and goodwill in the eyes of the female consumer.

Instead, sports marketers should take heed of some useful advice to help market to the female sports fan.

Develop Audience Insights: Using social media listening tools, sports marketers can garner significant data about their female consumers.  Are they using Pinterest, or are they more Twitter-friendly?  These insights can help sports marketers craft campaigns that offer maximum exposure.

Develop Products Designed for the Female Sports Fan: Thinking outside the box to create products such as colorful iPhone sleeves bearing a team’s logo can help the female sports fan to express herself, while also giving her something that offers practicality and functionality.

Encourage Engagement: An article published on The Next Web last year noted that women are “more likely” to make your social media campaign go viral.  Make the most of your female fans by encouraging them to share.

For more ideas on how to reach women in sports, contact our Florida marketing agency for a consultation, and learn how we’ve helped numerous entertainment businesses grow through integrated marketing efforts.