Marketing Matters

Each week on Friday, the Beat will publish this marketing informational newsletter by Sabrina Pack of SkyWest Media and Silver City Radio.

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Are you a retailer? Being able to capitalize on the “hype” of Black Friday (weekend) and Cyber Monday can be of huge importance to your business. During this coming Black Friday weekend, as reported by Winswig in Forbes (2017), it is forecasted that sales will represent a 47% growth over last year. According to RetailMeNot survey, consumers will spend an average of $743 this year during this weekend. National Retail Federation’s research indicates that number is even higher at $967.13. Research shows that 4 in 10 retailers are planning on pushing offers for an entire week.

marketing matters metrics header 110317Make sure you are spending your time tracking the right metrics. In the digital world of marketing, sometimes there are so many different types of “metrics” being used that understanding what has value and what does not can be very confusing. First, “marketing metrics” refer to performance measures and statistics of operation. Metrics are used to determine performance and track performance overtime and relate to marketing intelligence that help us to know how we are doing and to be used in decision-making. In the landscape of digital marketing, there are all kinds of metrics being stated and if you don’t understand them, you might be “impressed” by the wrong metrics.

Beware of vanity metrics: Engagement or actionable metrics are much different from vanity metrics. Vanity metrics can actually lead you astray. Vanity metrics can include the number of downloads, likes, tweets, raw page views, visitors, registered users, impressions, etc. It actually does not mean much how many likes you have or how may tweets there were. These can show traction and can be exciting to see. After all, when your article on your website was downloaded “x” times or your Facebook page has “x” likes, you might feel a sense of “wow,” but that does not translate into real engagement metrics. Don’t be lured into tracking vanity metrics, because they are easy to track (Wojcik, 2016).

metric graphic for marketing mattersWhat is important is actionable metrics: What does matter is the number of active users, engagement, conversion, and ultimately revenue. Conversion is when a consumer receives a marketing message and then performs a desired action. When you select your key performance indicators (KPIs), such as shares or mentions, website traffic coming from social media, or conversation rates, then you are selecting metrics that hold more meaningful data. These relate to actionable metrics that are statistics that relate to specific and repeatable tasks (Ries, 2010).

Just like with traditional marketing strategies relate to product life-cycle, metric following can relate to the company life-cycle. There are different important metrics to consider depending on where you are in that life-cycle and company goals.
• Intro stage (just getting business started)-useful metrics can include traffic, followers, reviews, social media shares, and subscribers (some of those vanity metrics).
• Growth stage-useful metrics can include conversion rate, time on site, number of sales generated, customer satisfaction, and revenue (those actionable metrics).
• Maturity stage-useful metrics can include churn rate (the annual percentage of customers who drop association with the business), retention length, profit, impact, new members (more actionable and engagement metrics)

Remember: “Vanity metrics simply don’t affect your bottom line. When you measure things, you want to measure things you can test, improve, and simplify in order to build the company’s business. Driving more page views without noticing the high bounce rate doesn’t matter. Neither does having 10,000 followers – none of whom comment or share your content” (Pantel, 2015, para. 6). Don’t get disillusioned by how many followers or likes you may have with your digital media campaigns. Focus on metrics that have value. Focus on engagement, actionable metrics, such as a conversion to actual actions that produce sales.

Patel, S. (2015, May 13). Why You Should Ignore Vanity Metrics and Focus on Engagement. Entrepreneurs.
Reis, R. (2013, Feb. 8). Entrepreneurs: Beware of Vanity Metrics. Harvard Review.

Wojcik, C. (2016, May 9). Vanity Vs. Actionable Metrics: Are You Tracking the Right Stats in your Business. Fizzle.

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Weekly Marketing Insights 

Facebook Ad Types and Placements: Facebook advertising is far more than just making a post and then occasionally “boosting” the post. There are many types of ads that can be done through Facebook as well as consideration of placement of those ads. Facebook Business shares, “The first question that should be answered is how would your story be told.” Marketers are recognizing that the “story” is one of the most important components to marketing success. This leads to understanding that there are different ad types or formats that can help express that story to the consumer.

graphic soical media marketing matters 10 27 17Here are five basic Facebook ad formats: (1) photo-still image; (2) video-story telling with sight, sound, and motion; (3) carousel-showing multiple images or videos in a single advertisement; (4) slideshow-creating lightweight video segments or images to tell the story through looping of the video or images; and (5) collection-provides for a way for consumers to tap on an ad, then browse more products or learn more about a specific product, in a fast-loading experience that opens into a full screen mobile experience.

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Marketing is more than just creating a “catchy” message for an advertising campaign. The nuances of effective marketing campaigns are evident when strategies clearly evaluate the market, the product or service being offered, and the target demographic. Previous Marketing Matters segments reviewed Product Life Cycles (PLC), but there is more! This week continues with an examination of the very beginning of the product’s introduction and adoption into the market and the importance of understanding the rate of adoption—the Diffusion Curve. There are specific marketing strategies needed for each stage. If you want your product or service adopted, you must successfully pass through each stage. This is true for a new business as well.

New Product/Service Adoption Stages: (Known as Diffusion or Innovation Curve)

It is important to know where you are positioned on this graph and market according to the personality type and needs of that stage’s adopter and the next. The marketing campaign then needs to be tailored to “fit” with the particular stage’s adopters for overall success to be achieved.

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STAGES and marketing insights per stage:
1. Innovators-First 2.5% to adopt. Personality type-eager to try new things, usually more worldly, more active outside their community, rely less on group norms, self-confident, prefer information from scientific or accredited sources, venturesome. Marketing promotions need to appeal and align to this personality type.

2. Early Adopters-Next 13.5% to adopt. Personality type-rely much more on group norms and values, more oriented to local community, more likely to be opinion leaders. They are a new product’s or service’s best friend! Early adopters are very strong at word-of-mouth. User content social media adds to marketing efforts that promote advertisements that focus on influencing these early adopters to try to product and be rewarded for doing so. Promotions geared to meeting their appeals will help tremendously in the product being adopted further. REMEMBER 50% of purchase decisions are influenced by opinion leaders, peers, and family.

3. Early Majority-Next 34% to adopt. Personality type-likes to weigh the pros and cons before adopting, so comparative information provided is important here. They like to collect, compare, and evaluate. Controlling the information and satisfying the need for knowledge is important. They are opinion leaders’ friends and often engage in word-of-mouth discussions, too. Radio, print, and social media promotions should be focused on providing information as to why the product or service is the what they need compared to other options.

4. Late Majority- Nearing the last, next 34% to adopt. Personality type-often adopt because everyone else has, so marketing that shows this is helpful. They do rely on group norms and respond to pressures to conform. They are typically skeptics, so promotions to relieve this is helpful and show that everyone else is “doing it” or “has it” can be helpful to “push” these consumers to conform and adopt.

5. Laggards-Final 16% to adopt. Personality type-do not rely on group norms, suspicious, and traditional. Many marketers do not focus on this group.

Note: These are all generalizations and do not necessarily apply every time to every situation.

Remember, marketing is more than just advertising. True marketing initiatives are well designed, backed by research, and strategically developed based on a full market assessment, internal analysis of the firm’s offerings, and then move forward with who to target (where, when, how).

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tourism marketing experiential tourism marketing matters header 10 13 17Tourism and travel industry is evolving into an industry centered around experiential opportunities. This is being branded by various names, one of which is “adventure” travel. Also, this form of travel is known as “venturesome” travel. Regardless of the name, tourism marketing is all about branding the experience.

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The adventure segment of the overall traveler market is significant, around 2/3rds of all travelers are grouped into four different “adventure traveler” distinctions as described by Adventure Travel Trade Association.

• Adventure grazers are those who are high thrill seekers, are at a beginner skill level for most activities, like the concept of being “bucket-list” driven, and like to experience something once. These travelers are motivated by time with the family and friends and adventure traveler graphicexploring new places. Target marketing initiatives toward this consumer group should look at how to portray an experience as an opportunity to “share” with someone, doesn’t require a developed skill to enjoy, and provides a thrill.

• Adventurers are those who seek to improve their skills, love to repeat favorite experiences, and are a moderate thrill seeker who are motivated by relaxing opportunities, time with friends and family, and have a natural inclination to “explore.” Marketing messages targeted at this consumer group should look for ways to show how the entire experience helps them “explore” their passions and share that experience with others.

• Adventure enthusiasts really take pride in learning about the seasonal offerings of an area to repeat visits in order to add to their overall lifetime association with a place. These travelers respond to word-of-mouth marketing and specific marketing efforts “personally” welcoming them back to an area to experience more of what there is to see and do. This type of traveler enjoys exploration, relaxation, trying new activities, and seek unique places to fill their desire for the unusual. Marketing messages need to show these travelers how “they” can satisfy these needs and motivations by visiting a certain place.

The travel and tourism segment is responsible for $2.3 trillion in economic impact, according to U.S. Travel Association 2017 report. Recognizing the sub-segments or niche markets is very important to do. Developing corresponding marketing initiatives to brand an area or a business serving the tourism segment is paramount to success. The natural fit for an area where outdoor recreation is a highlight, is marketing to the adventure market segment. Remember to market the “experience” to attract these consumers. ~Written by: Sabrina Pack-PCM

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A well-known concept is Product Life Cycle (PLC). Though many may be familiar with the PLC concept and certainly agree that there are cycles to all products, many may not realize that there are specific marketing strategies needed for each stage, including marketing strategies unique to each stage of adoption of a product, called the diffusion curve. What does this mean to you and having the right marketing plan for each stage?

Product Life Cycle Stages:

1. Introduction-Launch of a new product or service
2. Growth-Sales typically grow at an increasing rate
3. Maturity-Period at which sales increase at a decreasing rate, market is reaching saturation
4. Decline-A long-run reduction in sales

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Promotion strategies each stage:

Introduction stage- Promotion strategy should be focused on product awareness and informing consumers on the product’s benefits to stimulate product/service demand (Advertisements need to be informational. Personal selling should be focused on spreading awareness of what makes the product or service needed and unique. If applicable, product sampling, special couponing, and social media focused on information distribution and overall education is needed.)

Growth stage-Promotion strategy switches from primary demand promotion to aggressive brand advertising and communication of the differences between product/service and competitor offerings. Marketing strategies focus on geographic and demographic expansion of awareness of the product/service.

Maturity stage- Promotion strategy focuses on clearly distinguishing the product and service from competitors and slight revisions to how the product/service is presented can help to re-fresh the appeal. The promotions should focus on loyalty creation and then retaining loyal consumers through incentives focused on full-time adoption and continued use of the product/service. Also, if complimentary products can be introduced or packaged with the initial product or service, extra life can often be added to the maturity stage. Pricing may be dropped to try to offset the maturing market and “spur” new interest.

Decline stage-Promotion strategy, actually is not a harder push, but often includes reducing marketing expenditures all together for a product or service in this category. …BUT what if this is your entire business or a product/service in this stage? You do not want to see it “die”! Strategies to “revive” a product or service requires creativeness to either re-invent the product or service so it appears “new” and “fresh” or simply requires a strong evaluation of how the product/service ended in the decline stage to determine its weaknesses that must be overcome. Face it, if the product or service is dropping significantly in appeal, then somehow it is not meeting consumer needs. Find out what the consumer needs are and redesign, realign to meet those needs, and market the “new” reason / adjustments made that shows why the product / service now “fits” again.

 How fast a product or service travels through the PLC is dependent on many factors from promotion, rate of adoption, competition, substitutes, etc.; however, even with these factors influencing the cycle, a manager can align promotional strategies to lengthen each stage. Sabrina Pack-PCM-SkyWest Media

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“Travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, making a total contribution of 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars to GDP in 2015. The industry is forecasted to contribute more than 2.6 trillion U.S. dollars to GDP by 2027 […] providing around 5.5 million jobs annually” as reported in the 2016 report by Statista, Travel and Tourism Industry in the U.S. Clearly, tourism should be viewed as a very important industry that has untapped potential for many destination markets. Understanding the tourism market and then being able to capitalize on the many opportunities presented by this developing sector, requires specific strategic planning by communities and businesses alike.

Marketing initiatives need to vary depending on the targeted type of tourism. Community leaders, marketers, planners, and business owners need to specifically identify the type(s) of tourism they have an opportunity to capture. Clear objectives and a unified branding focus needs to follow. Yet, regardless of the specific tourism focus, there is a strong commonality forming between each form of tourism. There is a shift to having a focus on the “experiential” qualities of travel associated with each form of tourism. This should be incorporated into that branding focus.

marketing matters header for 9 22 17Facebook ads have a “Relevance Score: from 1 to 10. The “Relevance Score” pertains to how relevant your ad is to the audience who received the ad. It is important to aim for a high relevant score as then the ad is more likely to be served to your targeted audience, but if you have not properly matched the ad to that audience, then your score will be lower and your ad may cost more, too! So---WHY does it matter? Higher relevance score equates to better reach and lower ad costs.It is important to utilize A/B testing. You can test your images to see which images are better received. Facebook ads cannot have m