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Virtual Wallets & Mobile Payments

Why isn’t everyone using mobile payments yet?

http://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/article/217487/Yankee-Group-mobile-wallet-report-examines-slow-adoption-rate-offers-engagement-tips

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/426921/is-google-wallet-safe/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3007277/tech-forecast/starbucks-execs-respond-square-criticism-innovation-messy

http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/05/paypal-destroys-google-wallet-mastercard-square-and-visa-in-digital-wallet-study/

When Should You Send a Marketing Email?

A lot of time and effort will go into developing an email campaign for your business, but if people don’t open the email all of that hard work could have been wasted. A major consideration in your email campaign is when the email will be scheduled to be sent to your database. There has been research into the trends and the psychology behind when people are most likely to open an email with market marketing material.

First, the day of the week must be chosen. It has been proven that email activity drastically decreasing on the weekend, as people are on their days off and not constantly monitoring their email. As a result, it is not recommended that a marketing email be sent on the weekend. There is also evidence that Monday is a poor choice to send out emails, most likely because working professionals face the task of cleaning out their email after the weekend and will delete anything that doesn’t look like it needs immediate attention. Of course you don’t want your email to be sent straight to the trash bin. It has in fact been proven that a mid-week day (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) is best for a marketing email, as people will be most willing to open them on these days.

After you have chosen a day to send it on, next comes what time of that day is best for your email to be sent. Research has shown that the answer to the question can vary depending on the industry you are marketing for. The early morning hours are not usually recommended, as people tend to clear out their inboxes when they first check it in the morning.

The morning before work is normally recommended for issues that may have been stressing people out over the night (such as finance), and your email can provide a solution to their problem. Other industries thrive during working hours, for example leisure activity emails can do well in the late morning, and emails regarding technology are best sent in the early afternoon. But as a general rule, the most successful time for emails to be opened is between 5:00pm and 7:00pm, after most people have finished work for the day.

It is noteworthy that 23.63% of emails are opened during the first hour after delivery, more than any other time. It is therefore important to schedule your email at a time that is ideal for your target market.

Of course, this is all relative, if your marketing email is regarding something urgent then perhaps it is not best to wait until midweek to send it, you may need to get it to your database as soon as possible. And of course the industry and needs of your target market must be taken into account for your email to be successful.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing creates an east opportunity for marketers to connect with a large number of individuals in a way that involves low monetary costs. Seth Godin describes viral marketing as something that should be built into the product, no something created after the fact. Godin also states that marketers are giving viral marketing a bad name thanks to their lame use of the idea.

Another problem that comes to mind with viral marketing is who exactly created the content of what has gone viral. Some ideas have gone viral that claim to be from a neural individual, but when these ideas start to heavily favour a brand it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the brand was actually behind this idea in the first place.

One example of this happening is a blog that was supposedly written by a couple traveling across America in their RV and staying in Wal-Mart parking lots. The blog contained overwhelming positive sentiments toward Wal-Mart and interviews with employees that stated how much they loved working there. The blog began to go viral on the web, of course it didn’t take long for it to be revealed that Wal-Mart was funding the trip for this couple and paying them to write the blog. The result was major backlash against Wal-Mart, as the public had sentiments that they were misled and deceived.

This is the problem with trying to create a viral marketing idea and passing it off as the work of a customer or member of the public. Especially in a world where there are electronic trails left by everyone it is highly unlikely that you can get away with this behaviour; and even if there is no hard evidence that it was actually you that created this, people with still always be suspicious. Owning your viral marketing campaign as your own will allow for more beneficial results to blossom from the work.

Should You Use the Competition’s Trademarks as Keywords in Google AdWords?

Is it ethical to use the competition’s trademarks and brand as keywords in your AdWords campaign? The attached video has my thoughts on the subject.

http://www.thedomains.com/2013/03/21/google-updates-adwords-to-allow-third-partys-trademark-in-ads-worldwide/

http://smmbc.ca/blog/2013/02/07/can-you-use-other-companies-brand-names-in-your-adwords-advertising/

http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/03/22/starting-april-23-google-will-allow-trademarks-as-keywords-in-adwords-worldwide/

Organic SEO vs Pay Per Click Advertising

So should your company be investing in organic search engine optimization, or simply using pay per click advertisements on search engines?

Well, in terms of total costs and return on investment, the answer is clearly organic search engine optimization. In fact, SEO has proven to have the highest return on investment than ANY other form of marketing. First off, this is because there are minimal extra costs associated with SEO since it mainly just requires having a good webpage design. Second, the traffic that SEO drives to your site will actually be interested in what you have to offer. They have actively searched for something and clicked on your webpage. These two factors make for a very cost effective marketing tool, as there are minimal monetary costs while it is reaching engaged customers.

In addition to the low costs, it has been proven time and time again that web users are far more likely to choose an organic result over a paid result. This means that if you can succeed in your SEO techniques, you will achieve far more traffic than you would if you were only focusing on pay per click advertising. It has also been proven that organic SEO can result in greater long-term success than pay per click. Organic SEO will allow for your webpage to remain at the top of search results over a long period of time, whereas pay per click advertising will need to be continually funded to remain relevant.

Perhaps the most important element of SEO is that it will attract traffic that is looking for exactly what is offered on your webpage. Search engines know exactly what you have to offer and can link that to the search terms of internet users. In the case of pay per click advertising, you are choosing the search terms that your ads will be connected to, so you need to ensure that you are connected to the correct key words.

Integrating YouTube with other Social Media Platforms

YouTube use among marketers in on the rise, and reports are showing that this will be a dramatic rise. Currently, less than 10% of marketers utilize YouTube for marketing opportunities, but that number is expected to jump as 70% of surveyed marketers said they planned on increasing their YouTube presence.

But what is the best way to utilize YouTube and add it to an expanding portfolio of social media presences than businesses now have. One strategy involves integrating a YouTube channel into your presence on Facebook and Twitter. Creating a strong presence on YouTube with a variety of owned media videos, for example product demonstrations and testimonials, these videos can be shared among your other social media platforms. If these other platforms are already established, there is already an audience to whom you can broadcast the content. These shares among the other platforms can be used to drive customers to your YouTube channel, and possibly convert them into subscribers of your channel.

In today’s technologically advanced world creating video content for your YouTube channel has never been easier. Any smartphone can capture a video that has high enough quality to be published on your YouTube channel. Depending on the organization’s goals for its web presence, the content of their YouTube channel will vary from product demonstrations, how to videos, and testimonials. It is argued that the detail in any of these videos does not affect your achievement of the goals of using YouTube. It is more important to ensure that you have a consistent presence, and to utilize your other social media platforms to drive people to the YouTube videos.

However, it can be noted that simply sharing your videos through your Facebook and Twitter accounts may not be enough to drive traffic to your YouTube videos and channel. One strategy that Warby Parker has used to overcome this is to make video responses to questions they are asked on Twitter. By directly interacting with a customer through the medium of video, they have succeeded in driving far more traffic to their YouTube channel.

Overall, YouTube is a great social media tool that can enhance an organizations other social media platforms by integrating them all together.

To Delete or Not to Delete: Negative Online Comments

For a business with an online presence that allows for customers to engage, review, or leave comments it is only a matter of time before a negative or rude comment is posted. The question for the business is what should be done with this comment? Delete it? Leave it and do nothing? Lash back at the customer? Respond calmly?
The answer to this question can vary depending on what exactly was said in the negative comment, and the industry you are in.

If the comment is threatening or using extremely vulgar language, then the best option is to remove the comment. This is especially true if your target market includes segments that would also find the language in the post overly offensive.

However when a post is calling out the business on a bad experience the customer may have had or the level of service offered it is best to NOT delete the post! This now gives the opportunity for the business to correct a wrong and show off their customer service skills.

If the post is made on, for example, the business’ Facebook page it can be seen as positive that this customer has come directly to the business to air their grievance. They could have just as easily gone to another forum to complain about the situation, but by coming directly to the business it shows that there is still an opportunity to fix the problem. Deleting the comment shows that you do not care about the issue and you don’t care about the customer. Instead, calmly and politely make attempts to correct the situation that the customer has become disgruntled about and show off your customer service skills.

Another situation that may arise is a review that is completely false, and the customer has seemingly gotten creative and made up a non-existent problem. Again it is still the best course of action to calmly respond to the review and use evidence that it is a false problem, without being too aggressive toward the customer.

Of course, the customer may not always come directly to the business to air grievances, outlets such as Yelp and Trip Advisor can be used as forums for disgruntled customers to post reviews. In these cases it can be impossible to delete the negative comments, but that is alright. Again, responding to these reviews and fixing problems can show potential customers that you as a business care about your customer’s experience.

In conclusion, unless a post is unusually vulgar it is always best to leave the post and respond to it, creating a positive opportunity for you to show customers how you really do care about them.