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

VIth Sense: Tracking KPIs to Improve Marketing ROI

There is ever-increasing demand these days that marketing produces a provable ROI (return on investment). And rightfully so. Marketing is indeed an investment that should pay off. And since we can better measure the effects of our marketing activities each day, it’s right to expect proof of success from our marketing spend. We provided a simple formula in our blog about how to track marketing results.

Posted Jul 24, 2018

Planning for the Consumer

As marketers, we face the challenging reality that consumers have more control now than they’ve ever had before. Consumer feedback by way of ratings is drastically shifting how we satisfy our basic human needs. Yelp! influences where we eat. Uber, how we move. Rotten Tomatoes, how we’re entertained. Travelocity, where we vacation. Rate My Professor. how we learn. And perhaps most importantly, Amazon influences what we consume. The consumer’s search for transparency has collided with humanity’s advances in technology. Digital tools of due diligence, like Amazon reviews, have drastically narrowed the gap between consumer needs and the right product or service.

Advanced Customer Experience

Customer experience is the new competitive advantage. According to a 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey, in two years’ time, 81% of marketers expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX. On paper, this stat can seem ridiculous. But in practice, it couldn’t be more intuitive.

Posted Jul 7, 2018

Knowing When to Use Vertical vs Horizontal Video

In the era of plentiful data, how does the Creative Professional — who relies on her taste, skill and instinct to make things that other people will consume — navigate a world in which insightful data is every bit as important as her intuition?

It used to be the case that, as a creative professional, her goal was to create something that was both beautiful and effective. Is it good? Does is work? If she could answer “yes” to both of those questions, she’d done her job.

Posted Jul 6, 2018

Age Groups Respond to Messages Differently — Are You Prepared?

A study done by the Pew Research Center in 2010 asked four different generations what made them unique. The answers varied by generation, except for one thing — each generation said they were “smarter.”This was the first thing I found when researching various generations, and it was both a funny and interesting place to start.

Posted Jun 29, 2018

How to Gather Personal Data in Healthcare Marketing

No where else have consumers become more accustomed to a customized experience than in healthcare. Each of us carries a unique medical history and physical makeup, so we don’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach.

Posted Jun 29, 2018