How brands are redefining influencer marketing with dark social

| September 4, 2019

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People are moving away from Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they’re sharing content via private messaging apps. These private channels are referred to as dark social. It’s no secret that the number of shares you see on social media has started to decline. So, does this mean people have stopped sharing the content they find interesting? No. The only thing that has changed is the way users share content. Conversations are moving from public feeds and timelines to private messaging apps. In fact, 63% of users use messaging apps to share content or information.

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Rational Interaction is a leading full-service, integrated agency that provides digital, technical, and consulting services to market leading brands worldwide.

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A Guide to Create Innovative Service: Delivering Service That Creates Customer Advocates

Article | October 12, 2020

Servicing - It is the Keyword of all the keywords for businesses. Have you ever wondered the reason phrases like “the customer is always right” or “the customer is king” are often quoted by industrial leaders? The answer to this question is that increasingly, the customers have become the main advocates of selling your products. Customers have become one of the most primary marketing tools for businesses across the globe. As the buyers and potential customers are increasingly expecting more knowledgeable insights about the services and products offered by businesses, it is the customers whose advocacy matters the most. Businesses are actively putting their happy customers at the forefront of their marketing campaigns and potential customers to present the value of their services and products. Advertising satisfied customers in creative ways like community marketing, testimonial videos, interactive stories, customer blogging, etc., has become as imperative as ever for businesses. Some businesses take it even a step further by participating in consortiums, communities, associations, and guest speaking at big events in the industry. Hence, the marketing & sales teams and leaders across every industry have been trying to fill in the increasing demand for showcasing more customer advocates. Now, the main question in mind for many people is how exactly to fill in this demand and capture more customer advocates? Is it through providing incentives to the customers? Is it some other way? Let us understand the crux of what makes customer advocacy a major draw and answer these questions along the way. Customer Advocacy - The What and Why of Its Significance The definition of customer advocacy is putting in immaculate focus on the needs and requirements of the customers. The customers in 2020 are smart and have many other alternatives to avail the services or products you are selling. Hence, the conception of pulling a fast one over any of your customers just to make easy money is not even an option in today’s age. In a marketplace with intense competition, businesses have no other choice than to provide exceptional customer services and experience. It is no surprise that word travels at the speed of light in the age of social media, and any review can go viral worldwide in an instant. Therefore, customer advocacy programs have become such an integral part of businesses, providing them with a competitive advantage and acting as a secret weapon for increasing customer servicing standards in the industry. Best Ways of Generating Innovative Service to Capture Customer Advocates The paradigm shift in the demands of the customers in today’s age has urged businesses to dig deeper into customer insights and find the best ways to enhance their customer experience. To optimally achieve exceptional customer servicing, businesses need to be creative, intuitive, and innovative with their strategies, which would subsequently help them in generating customer advocates. Here are some of the best-proven ways to ensure peak service innovation: Deliver on Your Promises and Acknowledge Your Mistakes: Many businesses lost sight of the primary goal of offering promises to their customers - They must be delivered on. An undelivered promise will leave a much worse taste in the mouth of a customer than lousy servicing. Hence, acknowledging your mistakes (if you make any) is a crucial part of generating customer advocacy, as it establishes trust within the customer of expecting complete honesty from a business. Building a solid foundation based on service, customer experience, responsive delivery, and in-person experiences are the main pillars of building customer advocacy. Know the Problems of Your Customers: Market research is, perhaps, one of the greatest tools for gaining informative customer insights. An industrial leader once said that “The most important thing you can bring to a dialogue with me is knowing my problems”. This is the exact thing that the customers are looking for from businesses. Developing a customer as a viable reference requires businesses to know everything about their problems, their needs, and their expectations. Once a business knows all of this, they can excellently service their customers. Customer References Should Be Put Together with Their Peers: Executives and managers who might be dealing with similar issues as the customers should relate to your firm for presenting a holistic view of their experience and expectations. So, how can your business connect these two forces you might be wondering? The most convenient way to connect them is via live events, the Internet, teleconferences, consortiums, and events. Here, they can not only connect, but also exchange their ideas while learning various new approaches to customer servicing. Smartly Market Your Customers: Case studies and whitepapers are the primary sources of marketing for many businesses. Smartly incorporating customers’ achievements in advocating your business and their testimonials can pull in a much bigger number of prospects for businesses. Prospects are not looking for exaggerated descriptions of the services offered by your firm, but the real-life applications of them, which grounds the services and presents them with a real oversight of what to expect. Coordinating PR Messaging along the Lines of the Customer’s: Customer advocacy has the word “customer” in it for a reason. Aligning your PR messaging with what the customer wants to convey about your business is very imperative. These customers will be providing their time to advocate for your business. Hence, it is important that the core takeaway of the PR messaging is properly aligned with what the customer wants to advocate about your business. Success is a Two-Way Street: As mentioned previously, it is important to emphasize the fact that the customer advocates are devoting their time and resources for your business. Hence, their expectations for your business succeeding is for the obvious reasons. If your business falls in the category of an SME, then you are more likely to thrive for a longer time. If your business falls in the category of a large enterprise, then you are more than likely to invest your capital in product development and market research for enhancing the services your business provides. Therefore, do not feel intimidation in asking for legitimate reference support, even from your customer advocates. Wrapping Up Now that you are aware of how to implement innovative service for generating customer advocates effectively, all that remains is for you to practice the techniques. Businesses should understand that getting advocacy from customers is significantly different than getting purchases from them. Fresh value propositions, along with optimum future involvement, is the key to getting customer advocates. Embracing this is the most important step in realizing the true potential of the customers, and it can help your business in recording exceptional growth.

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Boosting brand affinity with customisation and personalisation

Article | October 12, 2020

In this article, Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, an expert provider of digital marketing solutions for ecommerce and online businesses, explores how brands can boost affinity through customisation and personalisation tactics in the digital age. How many of us remember walking into a holiday gift shop when younger (and before a global pandemic put a stop to the H word), and eagerly searching for a fridge magnet, mug or pencil inscribed with our name? Personalisation is a tactic brands and businesses have been using for years to hook us into their offerings. The idea is, as consumers, we forge stronger attachments to products that appear to have been created for or tailored to us, personally. For businesses, encouraging these deep connections with customers results in loyalty and greater lifetime value. In theory, the formula is simple. But in reality, success requires so much more than printing a name on an everyday household object. Instead, brands must allocate large amounts of resources to really understanding their customers, and then develop offerings that suit. Fortunately, the internet provides a more efficient and effective way to personalise offerings on a mass level. And as a result, we’ve seen the rise of businesses, including Moonpig, Getting Personal and Funky Pigeon, which offer customers a service to personalise common gift items, in order to create something with greater meaning and significance for a loved one. However, in this day and age, customers have, what seems like, an unlimited choice of options when it comes to personalised products - think those mentioned above, as well as etsy, Not on the Highstreet and the numerous photo printing and engraving services offered by the likes of Boots, Asda, H.Samuel, Next and so many others. Therefore, for personalisation to really be a differentiating factor for your brand, tailoring must go far beyond the surface level of a product. Everything from the brand experience, content and functionality of the final product or service needs to be designed and developed with each individual end user in mind. But again, the internet offers its hand in this sense too. Essentially, businesses with digital offerings also have data and insight at their fingertips, which can help them to better understand who their customers are and what it is they want. With this information, brands can begin to personalise the way in which they communicate, interact with and cater to their customers in order to evoke a greater feeling of connectivity. For example, personalised digital marketing tactics, such as including first name fields in email campaigns, have proven to generate greater click through rates than those without. Clearly, tailoring this small part of an email by ensuring such information is collected and stored in your address database can have a significant impact on the success of your activity, soon outweighing any additional work or effort required to implement the change. Similarly, pay per click advertising (PPC) can benefit from personalisation, particularly if ads are targeted using users' individual preferences and characteristics. While PPC management can be a time-consuming task alone, and personalisation only adding to the load, there is a strong case for the use of a software solution that can help you collect and analyse data, and then automate activity accordingly. As well as saving time, the marketing tactic also becomes much more efficient, by lessening the budget being wasted on ineffective leads. With ads more likely to be shown to users with a greater chance of clicking, as their data suggests a strong interest in your offering, there is opportunity to improve click to conversion rates, too. Again, this all sounds good in theory, but a data-centric approach presents further challenges in terms of knowing what information to collect, and then interpreting it in a way that is accurate and useful to the business. For instance, businesses operating across various sales channels may face difficulty collecting data that is representative of its multiple customer segments. Its online customers are likely to be different to its in-store ones, and so an offering that is personalised to the latter, is not guaranteed to feel equally as customised to the former. Or vice versa. This is another area in which technology can help. Platforms, such as VTEX, offer businesses a way to collect and centralise data across all channels. With all this information in one place, it is possible to draw meaningful and accurate insights to inform personalisation decisions. However, personalisation, in its fundamental form, is all about being human and emotive in your approach. It comes down to understanding the intrinsic values of your customers, and placing these at the centre of your offering to develop meaningful connections. Data and technology, therefore, can only help so much. Alongside this, there needs to be human input, which can come from your experience and expertise of your market and consumers. For example, in more recent years, we’ve seen brands give more thought to mass marketing opportunities on special days and events, such as Father’s Day. While data and technology can help you create a personalised email to promote gift ideas for an event which the majority will be celebrating, a human approach will tell you that many of your customers may prefer not to see messages associated with the occasion. As a result, we see pre-campaign eshots that give warning and opportunity to opt out of communications associated with the event. By combining both technology and human instinct in this way, offerings become that much more personal and effective at boosting brand affinity. And that is where there is a real sweet spot when it comes to differentiating your personalised offer from the next, especially as the ecommerce market becomes ever more saturated with competitors.

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How to Create Travel Content at Scale

Article | October 12, 2020

Companies today are aware that the best way to reach potential customers is through content. 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers believe that content marketing is an important marketing strategy. Travel related content, in particular, can come in a variety of forms, from blog posts to social media posts and include written content as well as images, videos and audio.

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Top 3 Content Marketing Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

Article | October 12, 2020

Many startups think that content marketing is confined to creating content and pushing it on social media. This is where they lag because content marketing is much more than that. There are many slants of content marketing that has the potential to give a boost to your business. Content marketing if done efficiently can open new doors of opportunities for your business. It helps you to design an effective brand communication strategy for reaching your target audiences. Therefore, it is necessary that as a startup you should know the best way to do it and avoid making mistakes that could put an adverse impact on your business.

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