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How to build brand loyalty in the age of ‘hyper personalisation’

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Consumers have more power over brands than ever before. Social media gives them the ability to openly scrutinise or share their great experiences directly with a mass audience, while online shopping means brands are in an ongoing battle to cut prices, hold user attention, deliver products quickly and ultimately stay relevant to keep consumers loyal.

Consumers also expect a lot more from brands. We’ve become accustomed to recommendations from companies like Amazon, who have changed consumer expectations by tailoring their offerings, based on previous purchases, to the extent that brands can no longer get away with ignoring online behaviours. However, often these recommendations are based on outdated algorithms and collaborative filtering.

It’s no longer enough for brands to address consumers by their first name in an email on their birthday and think that’s the personalisation box ticked. Hyper personalisation is about using data to react to consumer decisions in real-time, such as notifying them about a discount on shoes as they start their search in your app.

Businesses need to bring loyalty programmes into the digital age or risk losing the consumer base they’ve worked so hard to build.

Getting hyper personal

New data from research firm, YouGov, has found that 48% of loyalty programme subscribers are more loyal to those brands. They also found that 87% of consumers are looking for loyalty programmes that offer them discounts and offers. So why are so many brands failing at this at best – and ignoring it at worst?

The reason is simple: bad data. Traditionally, a brand would profile a consumer using a variety of factors such as age, gender, location and financial status. Take this for example: two men, both born in 1948, self-employed, wealthy, married, have dogs, own a house in London, have children and like fine wine. On paper, these two men are almost identical but in reality these two men are extremely different. This, in fact, is data pertaining to Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. This highlights the main flaw with the data that brands are currently using to ‘get to know’ their audience.

So what other avenues can brands explore? Technology is evolving rapidly, so many brands may not be aware of the golden opportunity presented by advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and computer vision analysis for mobile devices. The data on our smartphones says everything about who we are. From the places we visit to the photos we take, smartphone data provides more insight about our daily lives and habits than any other data imaginable. With consumer consent, brands can now take advantage of on-device AI, to quickly analyse that data – which includes GPS information, photo galleries, browser history and more – to build a persona for that user.

This first-party collected data is the key to the next generation of hyper-personalised consumer loyalty programmes. For one example among many, on-device AI can analyse a consumer’s entire photo gallery to produce insights about a consumer’s likes and dislikes, their desires and their intentions for the future. It also tells brands about a person’s socioeconomic status and indicates their spending power. This data is gold dust and, in the right hands, can be used to create personalised and relevant discounts and offers, benefiting both the consumer and the brand.

Imagine if you could offer a consumer what they want, need and care about, in real-time. This could be a specific discount at the moment that will be most useful, for example, discounts on home goods when they are about to relocate, or links to cheap train tickets when you know they are planning a trip. For forward-thinking brands that want their loyalty programme to stand out, this is clearly it – by showing your consumers that you really understand them.

Ultimately, this requires a shift in thinking. Brands are often rightly concerned about where the next consumer is coming from. Quarterly profit statements and shareholder scrutiny means brands need to be on the lookout for ways to improve market share. But this should not come at the expense of the existing consumer base. The potential ROI from just increasing sales to current consumers by 8% could be a significant increase in profits for many businesses. And all of this could happen overnight, by simply putting more emphasis on helping current consumers to purchase more of what they want, when they need it.

With the recent announcement that John Lewis’ profits have fallen by 99% in the first six months of 2018, the need for this shift in mindset has hit a critical juncture. Many analysts believed John Lewis to be the bastion of consumer loyalty, now they aren’t so sure. But John Lewis is already leading by example, working with Waitrose to trial combining their loyalty schemes in the hope that existing consumers don’t drift away from the brand. This is exactly the shift in mindset that is needed in today’s digital marketplace.

Metadata and understanding visual information are already the main weapons in the ongoing battle for customer attention. By leveraging offline data from smartphones and combining that with online consumer personas, on-device AI and computer vision analysis can provide brands with the ability to give consumers the experiences and recommendations that are personal, targeted and exactly what they need or desire.

It is this kind of revolutionary AI that will provide businesses with the cutting edge to differentiate themselves from the competition and offer the next generation of loyalty schemes. For anyone looking to knock John Lewis off the top of the retail tree, investing in this technology is paramount.

6 Key Ways to Improve Your Online Marketing Strategy

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Whether you want to run a casual blog or sell goods more effectively, you need to have a good website. The problem, however, is that you can’t simply buy a domain name, pay for hosting, install WordPress, slap on a nice theme, and then call it a day.

Attracting visitors to your website – especially the kind of visitors who will actually convert and do business with you – requires careful planning and constant work. There are a few important things about online marketing that every artist, blogger, service provider or entrepreneur needs to know.

So, what should an aspiring online entrepreneur focus on? Here are the six most important points that you need to cover when improving your digital marketing strategy.

Identify Your Audience
This is the first and most important step. You have to know what the interests of your customers are and what they’re most likely to type into a search engine when looking for the type of service that you offer. This will allow you to target your marketing strategy directly to the people who are willing to commit to a purchase, sign up or contact you directly.

There are various online tools that can help make your marketing strategy more effective, and utilizing tools like SEO will help you find out what customers react the most positively to. Do your research and find the best tools for your business.

here You Could Reach Your Customers?
With social media rising in popularity, it’s fast becoming the perfect place to search for customers. However, you can’t just stick to one platform – for maximum engagement, you have to be present on several platforms. Depending on the product or service you’re offering, you can choose which platform will best serve your business’s needs.

Build a Loyal Customer Base
Whenever a new user visits your website, you can offer the possibility of adding them to your mailing list. This is a good way of notifying people about new products, upcoming sales or any news being published on your website.

A mailing list is good for creating a solid base of loyal customers. Increasing the amount of people who trust your products or services is crucial for your business, and email marketing is a great way to do that.

Create Quality Content
Creating a blog for your website will make it rank better in online searches and passively increase traffic flow to your website. Creating content is also very important to developing SEO.

You want to create a strong internal linking structure that will keep the user’s interest and offer a lot of content for them. It’s also important that you create new content regularly, as this will both keep regular visitors engaged and show search engines that your website is alive and constantly updated with new information.

Hire a Good Team, But Know All the Steps
Online marketing strategies can be very effective, but it can be hard to achieve your goals when you’re working alone. Hiring a team of professionals who know what needs to be done will free you up to complete other tasks.

A well-organized, professional team can create the perfect marketing campaign for you, but it’s also important that you know as much about the different aspects of your business as possible. This will ensure that you and your team are on the same track, and that you understand what your expectations should be.

Always Analyze
The best thing about online marketing is that you can take advantage of numerous online tools to get incredibly accurate data about the effects of your campaign. You can check how much time users spend on your website, how many of them actually make a purchase, and what you need to adjust. Every change you make should be followed by a detailed analysis.

These online marketing tips aren’t all you need to find business success, but they’re a good start. Even though it takes a little more investment, following these guidelines can maximize the success of your business.

Why people, data and technology is the recipe for growth

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Not every organization is in the technology business, but every organization does run on vast amounts of data, much of it generated by customers. And since that data is easily as valuable to a business as its workforce, coming to grips with it is critical to success. Because to truly engage customers and clients, to broaden customer bases or nurture relationships that fuel engagement and growth, data is where it begins.

And as the data landscape shifts—with new privacy guidelines brought on by consumer preferences and tighter regulations—data strategies need to shift as well, raising many questions, particularly for marketers. How can you use data to spark and fuel customer engagement, retention and growth while being mindful of privacy? How do you adapt your data strategy to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), particularly around first-party versus third-party data? And how can your IT team create an advanced data architecture (probably in the cloud) that helps a business grow and profit while setting expectations with leadership that it will cost them more?

The classic people, process, technology model—a ’60s-era description of critical success factors for organizational change—has given way to people, data, technology, a new paradigm for how organizations can drive growth. It’s also a great way to frame the conversation about shifting data strategy. With that in mind, here are a few recommendations for how to start.

People: Get the right ones together to figure out the business problem you want to solve. The overwhelming amount of data available in large organizations makes it tempting to think it can answer all questions and solve all problems. It can’t. What it can do, however, is help point out the best path forward—provided you know to ask the right questions. This step starts with covening the right people around the table. To minimize churn down the road, ensure that stakeholders align on the business problem and that relevant data sets are easily available. Otherwise you’ll likely waste resources spinning up a team that will generate little valuable output. Your business problem might be a sticking point in a customer journey, lack of consumer insights or identifying how to best break into a new market. Whatever it is, starting with crisp definition is a foundational element of your data strategy, and thus roadmap to success.

Data: Once you’ve understood the problem, build a strategy that leverages it. So you’ve nailed the problem statement—now what? Surprise! The solution is in the data. Now to figure out which, specifically, holds the key. This process starts close to home, with the first-party data you already own: data not affected by the new regulations (so far). Because the CCPA will restrict access to third-party data, forward-thinking businesses will focus first on what their customers are telling them directly, giving what they learn here first priority in addressing their business problems. Make no mistake: This will be a heavy lift, so assign a value to each data bucket, then prioritize your data mining according to business impact. Capturing all the relevant data along the customer journey, for instance, will help stitch together a customer’s story—and in turn help you understand how to better message and serve that customer, thus boosting engagement and retention.

Technology: Leverage the cloud to build a future-facing solution. Cloud-based solutions with flexible data architectures are an excellent way to help your business adapt to the ever-changing needs of this new environment, evolve and succeed. Cloud technology is elastic and adaptive to a business’ data needs; and although initial migration costs can often be higher than on-prem solutions, cloud solutions are often more cost efficient in the long run, with the additional insights gleaned from the data well worth the cost. Benefits of cloud solutions include predictive insights that can unlock cost savings and modernized data integration along with updated, continuously scaling infrastructure so that analysis can happen nearly as fast as a business can demand them.

Each element of the people, data, technology model is powerful on its own, but only a strategic combination of all three allow for growth and profitability in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Having a better understanding of your target audience and customers creates a domino effect: clarity on what questions to ask about the business can only lead to better insights, which in turn will lead to better ways of engaging with customers, which leads to better relationships, happier customers and ultimately, a better bottom line.

As your business embarks on its journey into a new decade and all the uncertainty this brings, one thing is for sure: You’ll be using data for fuel. Where the journey leads is up to you—making strategic decisions now about how to extract, manage and consume that data today will help set you up for success tomorrow.

Five suggestions for investing a tax refund

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Sometimes taking the money and putting it into an investment solution can be extremely lucrative

A tax refund can be a nice surprise and many may view it as the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping. However, prudent planning can often turn that refund into an incredible source of long-term wealth that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. With an average refund of $2,700, there’s a lot that can be done to see substantial returns over the long term.

Millennials typically see the largest refunds and have the most time to let the money work for them. The average refund for a millennial is about $3,013, compared to the $2,944 for those of Generation X and $1,943 for baby boomers. When the check is received, stop – think twice and consider one of five investment options.

Investing in an IRA, an individual retirement account, is an easy and great way to save for later. Plus, an IRA has the advantage of allowing for contributions to be taken out at any time – with no penalties incurred – as long as the investment earnings remain in the fund.

The refund can also be put into a 401(K), with a little bit of juggling. It isn’t possible to put the money directly into the fund, but it is possible to increase the monthly contribution amount to equal the refund amount (over 12 months) and add the refund to a regularly-used bank account. Discipline will ensure that everything continues to move forward according to plan.

Anyone with a little bit of investing experience could consider taking the refund and using it to invest in stocks, mutual funds and similar investment vehicles. There are investment apps today that make the process simple and painless, allowing traders to get the maximum out of their investments.

Similar to the investment apps, robo-advisors are available and can offer a range of diversified investment portfolios. Once an investor builds a portfolio, the robo-advisor uses sophisticated algorithms to manage the investment funds for low commissions. They are also required to adhere to the same regulations as human advisors, giving investors an extra level of comfort.

For those that are comfortable with their income levels and don’t necessarily believe they need an investment for themselves, they should think about their children. The tax refund can be used for a 529 plan, which can provide tax-free growth on contributions and the money can be used for qualified education costs. Since higher education can cost above $100,000 a year, this could be one of the smartest options.

Trading Ecom’s strategies create customers who are willing to spend 300% more

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Everyone knows the old adage – Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is true for any business, which takes time and dedication to get off the ground. One of the best things a business can do to get started is to create a solid branding effort and Trading Ecom, an eCommerce and online marketing company, can create the perfect solution. Its expertise in creating solid branding solutions has resulted in companies seeing an increase of as much as 300% in their revenue.

We are experiencing a daily reality such that plenty of brands are competing with one another to pick up their intended interest group’s consideration. In the event that you need your gathering of people to see your items and administrations among this hardened challenge, at that point you have to emerge from the remainder of the players.

The mystery sauce behind fruitful marking is a group of experts who consume the midnight oil and think of advertising techniques over and over. For a compelling brand creation, Trading Ecom’s keen creators, proficient advertisers and scientists do some amazing things by making a plan, image, words, or a sign that distinguishes the item, with which individuals can easily interact. The term ‘brand’ isn’t only a visual personality of your organization. It must be an ideal amalgamation of your web composition, logo, bundling, web-based promoting, web-based social networking commitment, etc.

First of all, it’s critical to distinguish the customer base that would like the item you’re putting forth. As there are a few classes of clients, it’s not possible to satisfy everybody under the sun by satisfying their necessities and wishes – if you tried, the business would go under.

To make your clients begin to see the business with admiration, the most significant thing is to limit your focus and pay attention to the needs of the individuals who are well on the way to devour your items.

A portion of the key factors that decide the persona of a purchaser are sexual orientation, age, training, way of life, and pay. A business has to ask itself – who precisely am I attempting to reach? Your sole point is to satisfy your optimal clients’ needs, and this would happen just when your image message achieves the planned beneficiaries.

To cut your own way in the paths of firm challenge, it’s smarter to remain unique and serve something other than what’s expected to your clients than that of your rivals. All things considered, it requires top-to-bottom focused research wherein you have to uncover some valuable data about the potential contenders and gain from their positive or negative encounters.

Trading Ecom spends a significant amount of time and resources helping businesses structure a logo. However, a logo isn’t only the main visual component that can make your image conspicuous. Typography has equivalent pertinence as well. Ensure you give enough idea in planning interesting textual styles that supplement the structure of the logo. As text styles likewise represent your image, the font is a component that needs your consideration too.

Other than this, brand mascots likewise give another life to your endeavor as it helps in reinforcing brand Identity. Brands, like Michelin and Google, are receiving the benefits of having a prevalent mascot, which interfaces with the general population. A mascot can be founded on creatures, characters, individuals, object or an image that can resound well with the group of onlookers.

The vast majority of us hold the misinterpretation that a brand is just about visual personality or logo. All things considered, it’s certainly more than that. Web-based life promoting is something that you can thoroughly vouch for with regards to reinforcing associations with your clients. You need to incorporate web-based life stages in your marking procedure to achieve your intended interest group as they are in all respects liable to be found there.

By utilizing internet-based life challenges and riveting posts, you can make brand review. Brands, for example, Reebok, Nike, and Adidas ring a bell at whatever point you consider purchasing a pair of shoes and it tends to be credited to the manner in which these brands have included web-based life to continue helping the crowd to remember their quality through different posts and promotion schemes. Trading Ecom has the ability to assist in all aspects and can help companies make great improvements in their sales and marketing efforts.

Forex trading doesn’t have to be difficult

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Forex trading can give investors a great way to earn money

Foreign exchange (forex) trading is a huge market. Trillions of dollars in volume is traded each day on international markets and the combined volumes of the different forex markets are substantially higher than those of equity and other markets. While many investors still shy away from forex trading, getting involved is easier than most think.

Newcomers should first take a course in order to understand ideas such as trading pairs, foreign pips (the smallest amount by which the price value of a currency pair changes), minor/major pairs, order booking and more. There are plenty of online courses that can provide a basic overview of forex trading and help investors get started.

Forex trading is a long-term prospect. When making an investment, it’s better to be prepared to allow the investment to ride for a long period, helping to compensate for short-term volatility.

Take advantage of Google Alerts to be notified of targeted trends and news related to the investments. These alerts can also help monitor the movements of rates to react accordingly.

Creating simplified trading strategies will go a long way toward developing a workable solution. Simple, effective trading strategies are not only possible, but they can be achieved with just a basic understanding of the forex market.

Wherever possible, use online resources and opportunities to develop strategies. There are a number of affiliate opportunities and free demo accounts that provide bonus money to help new investors get started, but which can help create a better picture of how to manipulate the investments.

Combining even a little capital with preparation and training will go a long way toward creating a long-term wealth strategy. As with any investment, however, it’s always smart advice to not get involved in trades that have the potential for greater losses than you are willing to incur.

Trading Ecom provides five steps to brand a new business

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Trading Ecom is a multi-faceted company that specializes in trading and eCommerce. It has built a solid reputation providing professional and expert solutions to the changing world of eCommerce and is able to work across a number of different industries. In order to help new businesses better understand how to take their activity to the next level, the company provides five steps to building a better brand.

Seasoned marketers know that shoppers don’t purchase a product – they purchase a brand. In the highly-competitive eCommerce space, building the brand is more important than ever, as the competition is only a few keystrokes away. Entrepreneurs have to start by building the brand identity, which includes items such as the logo and the branding guide. It also must include a unique selling proposition, which will help the brand stand above the competition.

Once the brand identity is developed, the brand story has to be created. The brand story is a narrative that describes the gist of the business – the mission, the core values and the vision. This identity is what will ultimately connect the consumer to the brand on a routine basis.

Now that the brand identity and story are ready, create a strong social media presence on channels that are in line with the company’s values and target demographics. This will require a great deal of analysis and research, but the resources dedicated to this process will pay off as you begin to see sales and brand awareness skyrocket.

The media presence, and all customer interaction, needs to be personalized. This is, contrary to what some may believe, part of the branding process. A unique customer experience will go a long way toward establishing the brand and growing a large customer base. The customer experience, among other things, can include how the products or services are presented so they stand out or how consumers are greeted when they visit your site.

Content must always be updated and new content has to be added. This keeps the brand from becoming stale and boring and shows consumers that the business is actively operating. If a potential buyer visits a site and finds information that was relevant six months ago, they will be less likely to have confidence in the site, leading to a lost sale.

Branding a new online business may seem a little overwhelming. Start slow and understand the goals – take the time to properly develop a strategy that will set the business apart and drive sales. Always remember that the brand is who you are and must be focused at all times.