Thursday, May 28, 2015

Study: Mobile Drives Double Store Sales of Desktop

Retailers who neglect mobile ad campaigns could be losing a huge chunk of in-store sales. Direct Marketing News magazine recently reported that a new study found mobile campaigns drive more than double the offline sales delivered by desktop ad campaigns. In the study by ad platform 4Info, mobile executions produced about $30 in sales per 1,000 impressions versus only $13 for desktop, with the average return on ad spend for mobile hitting 257%. 4Info claims its research is the first true benchmarketing of the mobile channel's impact on in-store sales. The study focused on 83 mobile campaigns by 59 brands in seven consumer packaged goods categories over their entire durations, with the average being 11 weeks, and was performed using Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which integrates Catalina frequent shopper data with Nielsen homescan to derive results representative of national activity. See the DM News story for links to more detail, including 4Info's free report download: http://www.dmnews.com/mobile-marketing/study-mobile-campaigns-drive-twice-the-sales-of-desktop/article/413941/

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Off YouTube, Nearly Half of Web Video Ads Unseen

Video ads get great responseif they are seen. But almost half (46%) of video ads served across the Internet–excluding YouTube–will never be seen by consumers in the United States, according to a study from Google recently reported by The Drum marketing site. Viewability depends both on where an ad is served on a page and how quickly it disappears when a user scrolls. And nearly a quarter (24%) of video display ads today are scrolled off screen in less than two-seconds, according to the report, which recommends that advertisers use video players in a higher and more centrally located position on web pages. Another way to insure that video ads are seen is to go with YouTube. Google found that viewability figures massively improve when ads are served on YouTube, where over nine out of 10 will be viewable. Also, video ads are significantly more viewable on mobile devices, where 83% of ads are viewable, compared with 81% on tablet and just 53% on desktop. For the full story, read http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/05/11/only-half-video-ads-served-across-web-will-be-seen-versus-91-youtube-says-google

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Messy Marketing? See Stanley Steemer's Cleanup

Stanley Steemer's e-mail and direct mail strategies were sending customers on a messy path through channel silos and poorly targeted messaging, until the company decided to clean up its marketing. Take a look at the national carpet and floor cleaning firm's successful marketing revamp, as reported recently by Direct Marketing News magazine. Stanley Steemer's e-mail and direct mail weren't working together and results were hard to track, the company says of its pre-2014 marketing efforts. The cleaning firm decided to tackle one channel at a time, starting with upgrading e-mail frequency, content, and segmentation. So it went from one promotional e-mail a month to three, with the same offer at the beginning of the month and end of the month and a content-driven e-mail in between. Its e-mail welcome series' design and content were also refreshed. Then Stanley Steemer changed its e-mail segmentation strategy, going from segmenting only by branch or franchise contacts to segmenting by customer engagement (opens and clicks), purchase behavior, and offers, as well as branch or franchise group. By April 2014, it was time to tackle direct mail segmentation and content targeting, too. Now Stanley Steemer sends nine direct mail pieces a year with 10 to 20 different segmented versions per campaign, based on list information and purchase behavior. Results? Stanley Steemer saw a 33% increase in direct mail-generated bookings, and a 200% increase in mail response rates after launching its acquisition strategy. For e-mail, campaigns have delivered a 20% month-over-month increase in online bookings. Just introduced this March, a new e-mail trigger program for incomplete or cancelled orders had delivered a 50% rise in average open rates by April. For more details, read http://www.dmnews.com/email-marketing/stanley-steemer-cleans-up-its-email-and-direct-mail-strategies/article/410071/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Google 'Mobilizes' As Smartphone Search Tops PCs

Surging mobile usage has tech giant Google "mobilizing" resources to adapt and profit--with important marketing impacts. Marking a clear tipping point, Google announced this May that its influential search engine now has more search requests on mobile devices than on personal computers in the U.S. and many other parts of the world, according to an Associated Press report in The Washington Post. The growth in mobile use --for e-mail, search, social networking, even shopping and donating--has been rapid since Apple first introduced the iPhone in 2007. Among Google's strategies to accommodate mobile preferences was the launch in April of a "mobilegeddon" change in its search recommendation system to favor websites that easily read and load on smartphones. The change sent websites scurrying to make themselves mobile-friendly to avoid demotion in search results. Google also has been introducing advertising formats that tend to work better on mobile devices. For instance, rooms can now be booked within hotel ads, and car ads can be swiped to comparison shop, the report notes. Mobile ad prices are on the upswing, too. Previously, marketers were unwilling to pay as much for commercial messages displayed on the smaller smartphone screens, but the race for mobile space is heating up. The AP story quotes Google as saying that mobile ad prices are climbing steadily and will continue to do so. Jerry Dischler, Google's vice president in charge of its “AdWords” service, summed up the urgency of a mobile strategy for today's marketers: "The future of mobile is now." See the complete AP story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/google-searches-on-mobile-devices-top-those-on-pcs/2015/05/05/cccd64de-f366-11e4-bcc4-e8141e5eb0c9_story.html

Thursday, May 14, 2015

USPS Ups Standard Mail Rates, Offers 4 Promos

The U.S. Postal Service is raising Standard Mail prices by an aggregate 1.937%, starting May 31, per reporting by Direct Marketing News magazine. Helping commercial mailers swallow the pill, four commercial-mail promotional programs also have been okayed to proceed as scheduled for 2015. The Postal Regulatory Commission approved the U.S. Postal Service's proposed price and classification changes for Standard Mail and Periodicals after rejecting two previous requests. The Postal Service's approved promotions for commercial mailers, set to launch this summer, are the Earned Value Promotion, the Color Transpromo Promotion, the Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion and the Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion. Prior to PRC approval, only the Earned Value promotion had been cleared for registration. The latest rate increases come as the USPS announces a net loss of $1.5 billion in its 2015 fiscal second quarter, ending March 31, per a subsequent DM News report. Yet that loss is actually an improvement over the $1.9 billion shortfall of last year's second quarter, and operating revenue for the 2015 second quarter actually increased by $223 million over the same period last year, largely due to a 14% gain in shipping and package business. Also, for the first six months of the fiscal year, Standard Mail volume increased from 2014, with the 4.3% exigent surcharge in effect. The surcharge is scheduled to be removed later this year, however, so the PRC, in approving the latest 134 changes in Standard Mail pricing, asked USPS to come up with two price lists, with and without the surcharge. For more detailed information on the latest USPS changes, see http://www.dmnews.com/postal/postal-rate-increases-approved-by-prc/article/413387/

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The High Cost of E-mail Targeting Failure

Targeting and personalization may be the mantras of today's e-mail marketers, but many are still missing the mark, according to an Aimia Institute study recently reported by Direct Marketing News magazine. The penalties for faulty targeting are steep. Poor e-mail communications caused 70% of respondents in the study to close accounts or subsciptions, 66% unfollowed brands on social media, 59% opted out of all e-mail communications, 57% blocked phone numbers, and 54% deleted apps. Excessive e-mailing was another common misfire for marketers; 68% of Americans surveyed complained that they received too many brand e-mails. Of course, some industries are doing a better job than others. For example, 33% of consumers surveyed felt they received relevant e-mail information from credit card providers, and 29% said supermarkets and banks send useful e-mails, too. And there were glimmers of hope in the study for e-mailers who need to take better aim: 56% of Americans said thay are still willing to share personal details to receive relevant offers, and 48% felt personalized e-mails from brands are useful. For an infographic of study findings, see the DM News article at http://www.dmnews.com/marketers-fail-to-hit-the-target-infographic/article/412023/

Thursday, May 7, 2015

B2B Lead Plan Hones Aim to Hit Today's Buyers

Today's business-to-business buyers may have completed 90% of the buying process by the time they see a company's marketing message! So a lot of B2B lead gen is probably missing the mark with mistimed or irrelevant messaging, which is why marketers who want to improve their B2B aim should check out a recent b2bmarketing.net post's four-step plan. Step 1: Realize that one-size-fits-all automated communications aren't enough in today's competitive landscape. Create data-driven "buyer personas" to personalize and guide relevant messaging along the sales cycle. For B2B buyers, a persona would include names of the person and company as well as key characteristics such as job responsibilities, sources of information, role in the purchase process, business goals, pain points, preferred content medium, objections anticipated, etc. Step 2: Win over leads by matching messaging to the B2B buying journey so you deliver desired content at each stage. Note that a recent B2B buyer survey found 61% of buyers choose vendors who deliver a better mix of content. Step 3: Accept that today's average sales cycle is 22% longer than it was five years ago, so invest in nurturing leads for the extended sales journey. Research shows nurturing produces a 20% increase in sales leads on average. Use intelligence across multi-channel touch points to keep buyers moving toward sale. Step 4: Create brand advocates to cheer on those leads as they travel toward purchase. Research shows that 67% of B2B buyers say they had heard of the chosen supplier before they ever purchased. So make it easy for customers and partners to become brand advocates by rewarding and recognizing referrals, reviews, content sharing, and content generation. For a free B2B marketing guide, including how to build buyer personas, along with links to relevant articles, see http://www.b2bmarketing.net/blog/posts/2015/04/21/marketing-modern-b2b-buyer