Customer Behavior

The gig is up. In the age of information access and social media sharing, consumers are all too familiar with gotcha marketing techniques and trickery. And when they spot it, they’re quick to blast their displeasure to the masses, potentially devastating brand reputation. Consumers demand brand transparency, and it’s an invigorating shift for marketers. With less pressure to portray your business as something it’s not, more resources can be spent showcasing your company’s true identity. And that’s reason to be excited.

Trust isn’t easy to come by in today’s marketplace, where most consumers conduct online research before making a purchase. Thought leadership is one of the most worthwhile marketing strategies for attaining consumer trust and boosting brand value. Not only does this marketing strategy keep your content well from running dry, but it also helps your business attract website visitors, talented employees, potential partnerships and new customers. Despite its lofty title, thought leadership is essentially the sharing of industry expertise with the goal of establishing your business as an authoritative leader in the field. Successful thought leadership marketing is about harnessing your existing knowledge and sharing it to inform and inspire others, without specifically promoting your products/services (although you will undoubtedly see an increase in sales). So how is it done? Read on to learn the who, what, where, when and why of turning your brand into a trusted source that consumers turn to.

If you want to force a change in a company’s methods of production you don’t need to organize a protest, or even march in one.  In a blog earlier this year Edelman’s Global Strategy Director David Armano described the impact of what he called “protests of the purse.” Consumer activism, Armano argues, needs to be considered as part of the customer funnel. Your demand for a product, especially when paired with the activism of like-minded people, can drive change faster than you’d expect. In competitive industries companies are always in fear of losing customers to a more consumer-friendly rival. When looking to make a purchase, don’t shy away from your values. Make companies adapt their product to you. The last few years have seen many extraordinarily tumultuous moments in the world of political and social issues. Topics ranging from animal cruelty, to protecting women and the LGBT community from abuse, to the presidency of Donald Trump, have all spurred an immense wave of activism. In such an activist society, it has never been easier to mold a company’s practices to match your convictions. The first step to achieving these goals is to realize that you have influence over even the largest companies, not the other way around. As social movements gain steam, they are often effective at forcing significant changes. The consequences of activism reach well beyond politics. Just search #boycott on Twitter and see what has sparked indignation today. These people are engineering social change from their own couches, just by vocalizing their future demand habits. [pullquote position="right"]When activism becomes powerful enough to shift consumer behavior on a large scale, brands and even entire industries can be expected to evolve to meet the expectations of their customers. [/pullquote]Demand becomes less a function of price, and more a function of the perceived social cost or benefit of the product. Consider cosmetic products, such as shampoo. Animal testing, a practice that many believe is unnecessarily cruel, is prevalent in the industry. A study conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) found that 61% of Americans believe a ban should be enacted against animal testing, up from just 38% in 2003. Fifty-eight percent would not buy a product from a company that engages in such methods. More than four in five expect that companies that identify as “green” or “natural” will not engage in animal testing in any form. The backlash against the testing process in Europe was strong enough for the European Union to ban animal testing entirely. Climate change has brought about a similar trend. Thirty-one percent of consumers have vocalized that they would reward a company that was committed to responsible energy practices by patronizing them. Two thirds of that subset would also punish companies that were prominent contributors to global warming. Supermarkets and food suppliers now work hard to showcase their climate-consciousness. Words like “sustainable,” “organic” and “eco-friendly” are popular terms for portraying food as socially beneficial. As climate change becomes a more pressing issue, we will see more farmers and food suppliers go green. Activists may not think that their consumption habits have much of an effect on a company’s decisions. Research from Brayden King, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, reports otherwise. King, along with others, feels that boycotts and consumer activism are actually transforming entire industries. 

There is more and more integrated marketing happening between some messaging channels of campaigns today. But it's still a challenge for most marketers to create an integrated marketing campaign where integration is happening between ALL the messaging channels. We're seeing progress but campaigns are often missing one particular component that...

mobile friendly contentMobile friendly content will soon be a requirement for websites. Mark January 10, 2017 down in your calendar because that’s when Google starts cracking down on websites whose content is not “easily accessible” to mobile users. With mobile overtaking fixed Internet access, and Google’s deadline fast approaching, marketers would be wise to ensure their content is mobile friendly. Here are seven issues and some tools you can use to ensure your content works well in this environment.

Verify Your Site Has Mobile Friendly Content

(http://mobiletest.me/) MobileTest.me is a fast and simple way to check how your content appears on six popular mobile devices. Simply select a device and enter the URL. If you’re already using a mobile responsive theme, all should be well on this front. Yet, there are still some points that still need to be addressed.

Avoid Interstitial Popups

The Google crackdown aims to improve the experience of mobile users when accessing content on the web. Sites that do not comply may experience a negative impact on their placement in the search engine results page (SERP). Google has specifically singled out interstitial popups as an important factor. These popups, often requesting a viewer to subscribe to an email list, block the original content from view. No surprise that the general public finds them extremely annoying. Unless there’s a legal need (e.g. age verification), it’s best to avoid using them.

Use Coschedule for Great Headlines

Ask any copywriter and they’ll tell you there’s an art to creating great titles. In the era of content shock, the title has assumed even greater importance as readers use it as a quick means to filter content. Coschedule has a neat headline analyzer that scores “your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.”Using this tool also ensures your headlines have the right length for both character and word count. That’s important because long titles can get truncated on mobile screens.

Write A Kick Ass Intro

Affinio delivers behavioral marketing intelligence  “Market to people, not demographics.” That’s the premise behind Affinio marketing intelligence software. Understanding an audience’s interests and passions allows marketers to develop data-driven content that will resonate and generate interaction. Identifying the best channels to distribute and promote this content helps maximize its impact. Easy to explain yet notoriously difficult to accomplish, yet Affinio seems to help marketers execute this combination with more precision. It all starts with a report, currently generated using data from either a Twitter or Pinterest account. It’s apparent that Affinio relies on extremely heavy data processing to generate results and the data is intelligently displayed. Mousing over a particular piece of data offers a concise description of its significance, making it relatively easy to get acquainted with the various components of the software. Reports are divided into five sections; overview, members, interest, content, and monitor. The entire audience, in this case Twitter followers of @waxgirl333, is divided into eight different segments or tribes, based on interest and connectivity. The five sections previously mentioned apply both at a general level and for individual tribes. That allows you to drill down and see the same type of information at the lower level. This is great if you wish to target the interests of a particular group of followers. However, in this case we’ll use Affinio to take a bird’s eye view Overview Here we can see how tribes are connected, which ones are most active on Twitter, have shared interests and their degree of interconnectivity. Shared interests within a tribe is a percentage from 0 to 100 (higher is better) that helps pinpoint tribes that share common interests,  ideal for creating pieces of content aimed at those with specific interests. Interconnectivity is a percentage score where a higher number indicates a greater likelihood that people within the tribe know and follow each other. If you’re looking to network with your audience, focusing on tribes with high shared interest and interconnectivity is probably the most efficient route. Members The Members section provides a deeper understanding of some basic audience characteristics. It’s divided into six different subsections; profiles, locations, most liked, most retweeted, engagement and stream.

Profiles- This section shows images for the top 100 most relevant members to give you an idea of how they represent themselves visually. The top bio keywords this audience uses to describe themselves are also provided in a chart with bars that let you simultaneously see how other tribes use this term. The top categories of audience members and the devices they use to tweet from are also provided. Three different types of graphs are available for this data.

TrackMaven's recent B2B Industry report revealed drastic differences in the impact and use of social media across different industries. This post looks at those distinctions and how brands can focus their efforts on the right B2b social network.

Conventional wisdom holb2b social networkds that LinkedIn is the dominant B2b social network, and TrackMaven's report supports that notion for B2B overall. When considering audience, LinkedIn is number one followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, it's important to note that there are distinct differences based on industry. Some of the data might surprise you.
  • Facebook is where Manufacturing brands find their largest audience. Yet the extremely high engagement rates on Instagram make that platform a serious contender for these brands.
  • Aerospace and Defense get their largest audiences on LinkedIn, accounting for over half of their social media following. Yet engagement rates are low with only 1.14 interactions on average per post per 1,000 followers. Instagram, although small in size, is highly active with engagement rates 25 times that of LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is the principal channel for building Biotech audiences, accounting for nearly 95% of followers. Although Facebook provides these brands with a smaller audience, it's a very effective B2B social network, sporting engagement rates 31 times higher than LinkedIn.
  • Chemical Manufacturers also find the majority of their audience on LinkedIn, with roughly two-thirds coming from this one platform. However engagement levels are the lowest with a ratio of just 1.02. Instagram is the most successful for these brands, with engagement ratios averaging 29.25.
  • Computer Hardware brands find that Facebook brings the largest audience, both as a percentage and in terms of sheer numbers. Despite the small audience size, the superior engagement ratio of Instagram offers brands far better results.
  • Construction brands attract about three times as large an audience on LinkedIn than Facebook. Yet Facebook offers roughly four times the engagement rate of the other B2B social network. Brands in this market should consider using both platforms to maximize their potential.
  • Electrical Equipment brands have LinkedIn audiences that are about three times as big as their Facebook followers. However, Facebook audiences are nearly four times as engaged. Like the construction industry, brands in this niche should step up their game on Facebook.
  • Regarding audience size, LinkedIn accounts for two-thirds of