Tag Archives: Marketing

Digital marketing platform fundamentals customer relationship Eileen brown amastra

Online marketing platform fundamentals

Digital marketing is a huge subject and getting to grips with the various platforms available can take some time as  you move from traditional marketing to digital marketing. Gaining platform expertise is a fast moving target. Channels come and go and are the darling of the marketing world one month, and out of favour the next.  There are a few commonalities however that cross all platforms which broadly cover a range of functionality. At a high level, here are the three main platforms that you will encounter in digital marketing on a day-to-day basis

Customer relationship platform (CRM)

Customer relationship platforms have existed for  many years. They are mainly focused on serving the customer in support issues. The sales team keep details of their prospects, leads and customers to help them manage relationships with potential customers. In support teams CRM platforms are used to gather statistics on which products or services generate the most customer complaints, and how long issues take to get resolved. Before the advent of web 2.0 – the interactive web – CRM systems centred around phone calls and postal mail. Today they integrate with live chat and email systems, and social media platforms.

The strength of CRM systems are their ability to collate data for analysis and automate some functions such as adding AI chatbots to resolve simple customer questions. If a business is not consistent with recording accurate contact information and records, the CRM system will not help the marketer.  The CRM  could be configured to measure certain details which means cross referencing, certain reports with results captured in other systems. A spreadsheet could help you significantly in tying these insights together.

Content management system (CMS)

The content management system is used to publish content, manage, schedule it, and organize it for end users. They initially became popular as blogging platforms became important to the business. In enterprises, corporate bloggers needed systems that would store text, video, sounds, images, and other assets. They also included workflow management such as scheduling and had a direct connection to the channel in which they were publishing.

Content management systems often have features that assist the administrators of such systems. There are tools to change the appearance of a blog or schedule when a blog post will appear. It also can incorporate spam detection and blocking tools, or anti-hacking features. It could also incorporate multi-user options, so that the publisher of the content may enlist moderators to help handle the steady stream of comments from Internet visitors.

Social or sharing platform

Social or sharing platforms are software systems designed in order to promote or share content from users to each other, and encourage online conversation between users. Generally their features tend to  include:

A user profile with privacy settings, so that the user can control who sees the content. The online identity of the user can be carefully crafted to suit your marketing goals (think of the Compare the Market Meerkat social profile of Alexandr Orlov)

A composing or editing feature, that allows the user to create the content, edit it, upload it, and then share it with other users.

The ability to share content. This could be controlled by the platform or by the user, and allows user-created content to be seen by other online users.

Larger platforms can include a component that enables advertising and promotion of content

Social channels and their advertising capabilities are central tools for marketing efforts which means that marketers need to be cognisant of the platform in order to use the platforms effectively. You need to make certain that you choose the right channel to get you the best online reach.

Getting started with digital online marketing eileen brown amastra

Moving from traditional marketing to digital marketing

Not all businesses are well-suited for online marketing campaigns which often run alongside traditional marketing effort such as TV ads, print magazine inserts, postal mailings, or sponsorship of live events. Awareness of marketing techniques and traditional marketing resources can create an effect that works in both realms.

Businesses have traditionally reached out to their customers to sell their products, using a range of options from free to very high cost.

Free marketing

Word of mouth. A satisfied customer can often be the best advertising.

Favourable mention in a community bulletin, such as church or school newsletter – possibly in relation to a charitable or joint project with those institutions

Community of users  – such as a book club, motorcycle or car club.

Favourable mention in a newspaper or on television and radio as the product is talked about in the news, or the founder of the company is interviewed by the press

Paid marketing

Paid advertisement in a newspaper, radio ad, or television

Paid endorsement by a celebrity or person of status in one of the media channels

Presence in a physical location – a stall at a community Sunday market, space in a consignment shop all the way up to an on-going shop in an expensive location

Transferring these into the online marketplace can vary in success. Sometimes the cost is much less, sometimes there is a lot more work for the digital marketer to do. Theoretically there are no physical limits  online – apart from the user’s attention span.

Online marketing  – Free

Word of mouth. A new customer can hear about your product or service from their friends through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat. This recommendation, can be very effective as the speaker on your behalf already has the potential customer’s trust.

Favourable mention in a community publication. This could be an online forum where like-minded people gather Users are familiar with each other,  trust is high because it is embedded in a topic that the users already care about.

Online community of users can arise around your product or service itself. Fans of your line of gadgetry will be discussing your product with each other. This kind of community lets you offer previews, discounts, and announcements of new products or services they will want to purchase.

Earned media. Sometimes there is a story around a product or service that makes the mention in a media channel fortunate for the business. This can work against the company, if a flaw in a product is discovered, but it is marketing that the company does not have to pay for directly.

Online marketing – Paid

Paid advertising raises awareness, acquires customers, or convert people to a sale. Money has to be spent here, but you can plan your spend ahead of time. Careful planning and monitoring can assist with this.

Paid endorsement or paid influencer recommendations. These require cash, careful management of the relationship, and early assessment of whether the celebrity is the right fit for the target audience for your product.

Digital presence. This can be as simple as ensuring your massage therapy business has a Facebook page and a twitter account or it could be paying a web design firm to create a complex and lush company web site for you, with shopping cart so people can pay for your product. Your digital presence translates to digital channels and locations where your customers can be immersed in your brand and message

The digital marketer needs to take on the challenge of mixing and matching these techniques in a way that best supports their business and gets them more sales. You will need to create your strategy and set goals, consider creating a digital marketing framework and choosing the best channels for effective reach.

Do your email newsletters make your customers feel special?

This one certainly does not.  Have a look at these howling errors.



So what is wrong?

The reply address tells me that this is just one of many accounts for this newsletter. The display name could have been customised in a much better way

Capital letters in the title. STOP SHOUTING AT ME!  It never enchants customers.

Dear {First name}} Test your newsletters over and over again across all the different email platforms you can find.  This missing field code is never acceptable.Most newsletter packages have an auto test feature so you can test this before sending any emails out externally

Irrelevant subject matter Vive Unique has no idea at all what my blog is about – Polly Western from Vive Unique should certainly do her research better.

An instant turnoff – and not a credit to the brand at all.  Testing takes minutes and can change customer perception about your brand.  Unfortunately, for me, it will take a long time for me to consider this company in a positive light – no matter how good the product is.

This email was probably sent out to thousands of potential customer from this PR agency, all of which would have had the same reaction to the depersonalised email.  Delete, delete delete.

What a waste of a potentially good campaign that could have brought in sales for the business.

A little preparation, consideration and care before hitting that send button would have made all the difference between a sale or a delete.

Guess which option I chose?

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Why you should use Pay Per Click advertising 2: Optimising your PPC campaign


Having a Pay Per click campaign is one thing but you need to make sure that you get the highest click through rate possible.

If you optimise your Pay Per click campaign you will reduce the cost per click to your business, get a better quality score on your Google page rank and get a higher click through rate for your efforts.

You will improve your campaign ROI (Return on Investment) and you will increase awareness of your brand in your chosen market..

You do need to consider a few factors that will help you optimise your campaigns.

Choosing the correct advertising platform to run your adverts is important. Each platform has benefits and challenges. The three largest PPC advertising  platforms are Google Adwords, Microsoft adCentre and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Don’t discount other advertising platforms.  Facebook Ads have the potential to reach almost 1 billion users and Twitter is bringing paid advertising opportunities into its offerings to customers

Before you start your campaign makes sure that you have a clearly defined objective, goal and call to action.  What do you want your readers to do when they reach your page?  Do you want them to download, purchase something, or subscribe to the newsletter.  Make sure your call to action is clear. Without a carefully thought out call to action, you will not be successful. Other things you need to consider are:

  1. Carry out audience segmentation and define the audience you want to reach. Research on different audience groups and segment them in ways that are meaningful to your business. Are they seniors, middle aged families or teens?  Are they stay at home mums or workers? Retired or job hunters? Single or in a relationship. Once you have your segmentation, you can start to put your plan together.
  2. Define your intended location. use geo-targeting to focus on a small location. This is useful for advertising campaigns in physical locations, such as the opening of a new shop or business. You can then ensure that the relevant people will see the advert
  3. Define your keywords. Segment your keywords into groups according to the target audience. Think about using negative keywords and spelling mistakes. Consider joining words together.  People often make typing errors when they search for terms. Do proper keyword research across all platforms and use these effectively.
  4. Work on the landing page or destination page for each advert.  Experiment with different copy on each page. Change the images and wording for each landing page you test. you will then be able to see which version of your page is the most effective.
  5. Position your advert in different areas of the page itself.  Does the advert work better at the top or the side of the page?  Experiment with the ad to see where you get the most clicks.
  6. Test, Test, Test.  Try different ad positions and different landing page combinations. you will be able to check which ad is having the greatest impact.
  7. If you find that some of your ads are not working, for example, they have a very low click through rate then remove them.  You can then focus on the higher clicked ads and refine them further. you will then have extra budget available to invest in your top performing keywords and optimise your strategy for other ads.
  8. Have a look at your keywords often and evaluate how they are performing. Remove any keywords from your ad with poor quality scores and focus on those keywords that give you good quality scored. If any keywords are not performing well then pause the campaign for those keywords.
  9. Review your goals and optimise your campaign. After all you want much more than clicks. You want the clicks to convert into actual downloads, leads ad sales.
  10. Keep measuring, optimising and testing to get the best quality campaign across all of the platforms.

Creating a great PPC campaign is a large investment in time and potentially money.  But if you have time to invest in your PPC campaign, then the results will be significantly better than a poorly placed advert that gets you nothing but wastes your time.

Part one: Why you should use Pay Per Click advertising 1: Benefits

Image Credit: swruler9284

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Why you should use Pay Per Click advertising 1: Benefits

imageIf you want to make sure that your advertising campaigns are getting good traction with your readers, then the best model to use is the pay per click (PPC) model. This model is sometimes called the cost per click (CPC) and it demonstrates to the marketing team that a definitive action – the click – has actually taken place.

Pay Per Click is better than Pay Per Impression (PPI). PPC ads give you a way to measure who has actually clicked on the link, not who might have seen the link

A decision can then be taken on how best to modify the campaign to complete the sale, or to increase the awareness of the products.

There are several benefits to the pay per click model which makes it a really good choice for small business advertisers that want to maximise their maximum spend.

It is easy to target specific segments of the audience with different types of adverts. Different wording, and images can be used for each segment so that market intelligence can highlight which paid advert is working the best.

You only pay for clicks. If you have a poor performing ad, you won’t have to pay. You then can improve your advert to generate a better return next time.

    • A Pay per click model can generate instant traffic to a web site or micro site with an offer. The numbers of clicks then can demonstrate a return on investment for the marketing campaign.
    • The results are easy to measure.
    • Do careful research on the best keywords to use in your advert, you will get immediate benefits almost 65 per cent of clicks for keywords go to paid ads. Google Adwords can help you decide which keywords have the highest competition and which would be best to use on your ad
    • If you get your keywords right then you are more likely to appear above the fold (that’s the area of space on the screen before you scroll down).
    • Effective paid for adverts are difficult to detect on a search results page with over 45 per cent of people being unable to identify which are the paid for ads on a page.
    • You have total control over your campaign. You can analyse which words or images had the most impact on an area or segment of the population and use this to further drive your efforts

Effective PPC marketing will give you a better click through rate and improves the return on your marketing investment. It will help you grow your business

Now we will focus on How to optimise a PPC campaign for the best results..

Image Credit: swruler9284

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Meaningful customer connections

This is a useful infographic from Experian solutions – via the Communica2punto0 blog..



Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.