Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 2: Understand Customer Journeys

At VI, we use a marketing funnel to help implement strategy and deploy tactics in a timely manner. Using the funnel as a marketing tool has served us well, but like every effective instrument, it’s healthy to fine-tune from time to time. We strive to stretch our thinking by trying to innovate regardless of our customer journey model. There are many other customer journey tools, approaches and theories around, and many of them offer valuable insight on the decision process.

Posted Oct 15, 2018

Google Update: Why Your Page Speed on Mobile Matters

Google has rolled out a ton of changes recently, including changing their search ad platform name from Google AdWords to Google Ads. Within these changes, mobile has been a major focus.


In July, page speed became a major ranking factor for mobile searches in regards to organic search presence and Quality Score for paid search ads. Page speed has always been a factor for Quality Score, however, it only focused on desktop searches.

Now, page speed is a ranking factor for Quality Score for mobile searches.

So, I know what you are thinking… Do I really have to test EVERY landing page in my paid search campaign in Google’s Test My Site tool?

Posted Oct 1, 2018

Defining Your Marketing Goals, Objectives, and KPIs

The goal of this blog is to educate you on the difference between marketing goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

The objective of this blog is to give you at least one real takeaway that helps you develop a marketing plan that is easily communicated and can be executed by any professional marketer that reads it.

Our key performance indicators for this blog are the number of persons who click on it to read the entire blog on our website www.vimarketingandbranding.com; the number of persons who share this blog; and the number of comments the blog receives, all in the first 30 days of its publication.

 
Posted Oct 1, 2018

VIth Sense: Excedrin Packages a Cure for Your Bad Day at Work

One of the most memorable marketing strategies I have witnessed is Doan’s Pills. Many years ago they attempted to separate the brand from others in the category by claiming suggesting that their product worked especially well for back pain. Apparently, that Magnesium Salicylate Tetrahydrate knew just where to travel in your body. But, consumers bought the idea and bought the product too. Lots of it.

Posted Sep 28, 2018

Data and Creativity: A Symbiotic Relationship

In an age where algorithms have replaced editors and digital dweebs overrule creative crackpots, there’s a misconception that data is dulling ideas and pigeonholing creative possibilities.

However, that’s far from the truth, especially in the marketing world.

Data isn’t killing creativity. It’s strengthening it… and vice versa.

3 Ways Data Strengthens Creativity:

1. Data proves us wrong.
When brainstorming ideas for creative campaigns, we often default to our own intuitions to empathize with audiences. We get blinded by our own experiences and tend to exaggerate their relevance. This is problematic, because we’re often wrong about how the world works. Data tells us things we don’t know.

Posted Sep 28, 2018

Let’s Talk About Chatbots

We live in an age where technology is at our fingertips. Ask a question and receive an answer within minutes. Don’t know how to do something? Just Google it. Instant gratification and quick response time are the keys to our fast-paced society. When we have to wait, frustration sets in. How can we meet the needs of our customers while also giving them what they need, when they need it?

Posted Sep 26, 2018

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 1: Customers Hold the Control

At VI, we like to explain a customer journey as a marketing funnel. As with most things marketing-related, there are no sure things. Understanding the customer journey better, however, allows us to be much more accurate when it comes to predicting and projecting customer behavior. And that means a greater ROI for our clients. Here are a few things to keep in mind…

A customer journey is no longer linear or as predictable as it once was.

Customers can enter and exit their decision path (and do) anytime they please. They can change directions, and even turn around. While this might be unsettling for some brands and marketers — because it means things are less predictable — it also gives marketing more power to leverage the brand in unique ways. Understanding this new model of behavior will allow us to dream up new ways to reach our customers — above and beyond our current arsenal. When considering the current universe of options, it’s important to realize which channel is most favored for different brands/products. In other words, TV might be the best way to showcase a hospital while SEO might be a better approach when selling a car. It’s critical to focus on the most influential channels, that way we can become a brand under consideration.

Posted Sep 18, 2018

HTTP to HTTPS: What It Means for Your Website

If you haven’t heard the news, as of July 2018, Google is now requiring all websites to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. In fact, if the change isn’t made, many reports say that all sites that have not migrated to HTTPS will be labeled as “not secure,” according to Search Engine Land.

Posted Sep 18, 2018

8 Ways to Bring Your Bank into the Digital Marketing World

As digital strategies continue to change and evolve, a new era of marketing is upon us. Banks and credit unions are taking notice and they’re beginning to realize that the traditional way of banking is over. With consumer demands shifting and online-only banks and lenders working to claim their piece of the pie, how will you keep up? As you continue your move into this new era, here are eight things to consider.

Posted Sep 18, 2018

VIth Sense: It’s So Good to Hear Your (Brand) Voice

There’s a simple rule about consistency in advertising design: Each execution should have a similar look so that your campaign becomes recognizable, benefitting from the frequency of each impression with your target audience. Consistency results in familiarity, which leads to trust. We marketers know it and live it. That is, until it comes to the voice of the brand. Then, consistency hardly exists for most of them.

Brand voice is just as crucial to marketing communications as design, yet most people fail to define how their brands are represented in the written or spoken word.

Pause for a moment and listen to what’s going on in your office or home. You recognize the voices without even seeing who’s talking. The same should be true for your brand. Your prospects and customers should be able to get far more than words from how you ‘speak.’

Your brand voice represents your style and attitude.

The personality and tone of your ad copy, social media posts and website copy should become synonymous with your brand.

Posted Aug 23, 2018

Email Marketing: Don't Mail It In.

Chatbots. Facial recognition. Artificial intelligence. These days, marketing feels less like Mad Men and more like the handiwork of mad scientists. Our connected gizmos vacuum up data so marketers can target us with eerie precision. Am I the only one who doesn't want my TV watching me? Alas, I digress.

In a world that increasingly resembles Minority Report, an old-school marketing technology still reigns supreme. You guessed it. I'm talking about email. According to a survey of US marketers conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric, the median ROI of email marketing is 122%.

 
Posted Aug 2, 2018

How to Turn Data into Marketing Strategy

As a marketing strategist, or anyone who is working towards marketing goals, your marketing mix should strategically ladder up to your objectives. Finely crafted marketing strategies should guide every touchpoint you have with your prospects and existing customers. For example, if a tactic effort you are considering doesn't fall under one of the strategies you’ve chosen, you shouldn’t do it.

Strategies are the how to help you achieve your objectives.

Okay, so how do you get there? A strategy should never be a guess, an assumption or just an idea you've brainstormed. Success as a marketer requires many things, but without data and proper marketing planning, you're really just planning to fail. 

Posted Aug 2, 2018