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Spotlight

Direct Sales Force

Direct Sales Force Inc. a division of Pareto, is a nationwide leader in providing results driven outsourced sales and marketing services. DSF has offices across Canada that can assist in growing your customer base. Our head office is based in Toronto and we have full time Regional Offices in Halfiax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

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Maintaining the retail omnichannel edge in 2021

Article | January 4, 2021

It’s that time of year again where we reflect upon the prior year and make informative predictions for the months ahead in order to adjust our business activities and refocus our strategies. Unsurprisingly, due to the nature of 2020’s events, just about every industry and business will be looking to 2021 with hope and optimism, as well as a strong sense of caution. And while the physical retail sector has been one of the hardest hit, ecommerce has experienced the opposite effect, but that’s not to say it has been without its challenges. Consequently, businesses need to respond to shifts in the market for the chance of a successful future. Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, a UK provider of proprietary software for digital marketing and ecommerce solutions, shares his predictions for the industry for 2021 and beyond. Physical retail outlets have been facing uncertainty long before the term became widely used. This is due to multiple factors, including high commercial rents, a shift towards digital-first consumer shopping habits and online competitors’ ability to undercut prices. These influences have resulted in the gradual digital transformation of retailers, whereby online offerings have become a primary focus for business efficiency. Proof of this is the year on year increase in online sales. But the spike experienced in early 2020 is the basis of the first prediction, which is high levels of online shopping will continue into the next twelve months, with no going back to pre-COVID ways. But many organisations are already in a position to accommodate this trend, particularly as 85,000 new businesses enabled ecommerce functionality or joined an online marketplace during the first national lockdown. And now these businesses have made the digital switch, they will want to continue maximising sales through online channels as the pandemic has created a permanent digital shift in consumer shopping behaviours with more predicted to shop online post-pandemic than before it. Alternative sales channels The next prediction is fuelled by both digital innovation and the rise in ecommerce. As more and more businesses enable ecommerce functionality, there will inevitably be greater competition and an increase in options for consumers to choose from. Therefore, the channels through which businesses sell their products will widen and become more accessible in order to generate the greatest chance of items or services being seen and ultimately, chosen over competitors’. Fortunately, the rising popularity of online marketplaces and the developments in social media shopping functions, means businesses now have the opportunity to distribute products through more channels than ever before. And this will only continue to increase in the year ahead. When it comes to marketplaces, Amazon is leading the way with a year on year rise in net revenue. Not only is the business’s performance evidence of this, but so is the consumer shopping behaviour shift which is seeing more consumers go directly to Amazon first (40%) when searching for a product, as opposed to Google (30%) or a brand’s owned channel (19%). Facebook and Instagram are also notable channels for ecommerce businesses, with YouTube also growing in popularity and prominence. Although by nature, these platforms are designed for social interaction and content consumption, in recent times, they have placed greater focus on shopping with Facebook’s marketplace, Instagram’s shopping tab and YouTube shopping ad functions, for example. One of the biggest benefits of utilising social media as a shopping channel is the streamlined customer experience that can be created. Fundamentally, shoppers can see a product on their feed, click through to view it and then place an order without even having to leave the app. But as well as convenience, social media is an effective shopping channel as platforms are key influences on consumer consumption decisions anyway. In fact, 80% of Instagram users and 68% of YouTube users say content on the respective platforms helps them decide whether to buy a product or service. Therefore, as more businesses realise the impact of these platforms, we’ll see social media being added to an increasing number of online sales strategies. Omnichannel brands Many are hopeful for a return to some form of normality in 2021. And with the potential reopening of physical retail, businesses will be faced with the opportunity to maximise their presence and in turn, sales through both online and offline channels, creating an omnichannel brand offering. This way, brands will appeal to a larger customer base. And no matter which channel a customer chooses to use to interact with the brand, they can expect a consistent quality of service and overall experience. But in 2021, what many will realise is the challenging nature of upkeeping both channels. Of course, there will be a greater financial burden due to property costs and employee wages, which will only be felt deeper due to the volatile, COVID-struck economic climate. So instead, a true omnichannel experience will be created through integration and innovation whereby each channel is used to support and supplement the other. For example, we’ll see retailers using their physical locations to relieve some of the pain points of the online service, such as delivery and returns processes. Some retailers are already excelling in this, including the likes of supermarkets, Next, John Lewis and Argos who have all integrated click and collect services and other smart shopping options firmly into their primary offering. As technology and creativity moves on, we’ll also begin to see an increasing number of concept stores that make shop visits an unmissable experience that is personal to each customer and adds value to their purchase, rather than simply a distribution channel. Collaborative commerce With all these additional sales channels, retailers will see the benefit of digital management systems that relieve some of the administrative burden and enable greater efficiency. The VTEX solution, for example, provides a single comprehensive commerce platform for brands and retailers. Combining activity across every sales and logistics channel, these platforms allow for a unified customer experience, lower cost of ownership, and increased business capabilities across physical stores, websites (B2B and B2C), third party and company owned marketplaces. With all this information in one place, businesses can provide better customer experiences as order information can be retrieved faster and response times reduced. Customer updates can also be automated to ensure any important information about an order process is timely communicated, with no additional workload for employees. And as well as customer-facing benefits, these systems enable better collaboration between points in a supply chain, which can streamline a business’s processes, and in turn reduce waste and increase efficiency. For example, orders for items that are low in stock can be placed automatically and only when they are needed. This way, businesses won’t have cash tied up in unused products and materials, and resources can be reallocated to other critical activities. And as these systems collect and analyse data, they can also provide meaningful insight into market trends, that can inform accurate future predictions and business decisions. These trends are evidence that the ecommerce landscape is ever-changing. While digital transformation is set to continue, the speed at which it has occurred for retailers this year means the ecommerce market will inevitably undergo further significant change in the months to come. Businesses that are prepared to adapt now will experience better growth and success than those that remain static or stuck in their ways.

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Paid Marketing in 2021: A Complete Analysis

Article | July 13, 2021

Paid marketing in 2021 has become the most impactful method of marketing that provides high ROI within a specific period. Delve into our latest article to know more about paid marketing and its benefits. One of the best, quickest, and prevalent forms of marketing is paid marketing. A paid marketing tactic isan advantageous wayto strengthen your brand identity and buildstrong connections with your customers. As a result, companies are constantly investing inpaid marketing and experiencing ideal outcomes. 87% of retail shoppers begin their searches on digital channels. According to the Hanapin marketing survey, 79% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their business. The data clearly shows how impactful paid marketing is. Introduction Paid marketing is a form of marketing wherethe company pays to promote its product or services. Brands pay for content promotion to reach potential customers based on their interests and convert them into long-term customers. In addition, paid marketing helps encourage customer engagement, boost brand recognition and makethe brand capable of measuring and optimizing the campaign. Organic Marketing vs. Paid Marketing Both marketing strategies are practical, and result-driven to gain brand recognition, leads, and website traffic. But, the differences between both of them specify their way of working and help marketers know when to utilize one over the other. Organic Marketing Organic marketing is entirely based on your creativity and time. In organic marketing, once you understand buyer persona, you need to develop relevant content, including images, gifs, videos, etc., organic marketing is frequently referred to inbound marketing. It establishes companies as thought leaders in the space by educating audiences and building long-term connections with customers. In organic marketing, brands can share information at no cost; also, it looks more authentic to customers as it is not a sales pitch. Paid Marketing Paid marketing means you are paying for intended outcomes. It assists brands in reaching audiences more directly than organic marketing. Paid marketing can be executed in billboards, posters, or other print advertisements. Today, businesses are investing in paid marketing to enhance digital marketing efforts. This method involves distributing ads and sponsored posts on social media and search platforms. The focal point of the paid marketing is achieving positive ROI at a faster rate than organic marketing, converting visitors to customers, and reaching sales goals in the designated time frame. Why is Paid Marketing Important for Businesses? Paid marketing is one of the best options to run an efficient and customize campaign. It attracts the attention of the viewers to experience your products or services. Investing inpaid marketing will certainly utilize your content to escalate your brand by attaining specific leads. It allows you to receive high-quality traffic to your website by ranking on the first page of Google results without focusing on search engine optimizations.Ads are pretty affordable and measurable in paid marketing which helps you to reach a large audience. You can keep an eye on the moneyyou have spent on different ad platforms and set a budget for a specific campaign to avoid overspend. There are plenty of platforms to run a campaign. You can effortlessly find out which platform your target audience is using and modify your messages andcampaign accordingly. US social media ad spends reached $43 billion in 2020. This was a 20% increase from 2019. 63% of people say they’ll willingly click on Google ads. Google estimates that PPC helps to increase brand awareness by 80%. Google will remain the most prominent digital ad seller globally in 2019, accounting for 31.1% of worldwide ad spending, or $103.73 billion. Brand awareness can be increased by up to 80% through Google paid ads. Paid advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent – a 200% ROI rate. 53% of paid clicks are made on mobile devices. Google drives 95% of all US paid search ad clicks on mobile. Mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019. In 2020, US Facebook ad spentexceeded $31 billion.This represents a 5% increase from 2019. The average cost-per-click (CPC) in the marketing industry is $3.33, and the most expensive marketing industry keyword CPC is $165. Types of Paid Marketing There is a wide variety of paid marketing you could use to heighten your business regardinglead generation, growing sales, building a solid connection with customers, etc. Here are some common paid marketing types. Paid Search Marketing Paid search marketing is a cost-effective and accessible method of web marketing aimed to connect your ads with searchers actively pursuing what you deliver. With the right platforms and in-depth research, you can convert your potential customer into a long-term customer. Paid Social Media Marketing The most popular platform is social media. Almost every social media platform offers paid options where you can pay to publish your ads for your target audience based on their interests, behavior, demographics, etc. Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing is a kind of marketing where businesses focus on influential people to convey their brand message to reach maximum audience and boostsales. Choosing the right influencer for your brand can help you in receiving positive ROI. For example,80% of consumers have purchased something via an influencer recommendation. Native Marketing Native marketing is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Owing to its soft approach, native marketing is more influential in capturingthe audience’s attention. Viewers are always ready to share, like, and comment only when they find the content informative, engaging, and appropriate. How to Launch a Paid Marketing Campaign? There are some procedures to make any advertising successful. Those procedures are essential to attract the customer and experience profitability. First, you need to strategize the campaign and measure it. Let’s take a look at the vital steps of launching a paid advertising campaign. Set SMART Goal A smart goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and on time. Before launching a paid campaign, setting a goal is the most essential step. First, it’s important to understand the purpose of the campaign. Is it about increasing followers? Getting more likes, comments? Or is it for brand awareness? Once you have identified your goal, it’s vital to allocate the budget for your campaign. Define Your Audience You need to have detailed information about your target audience. Keeping thorough research about buyer personas is the second most crucial step to make your campaign successful. It includes hobbies, requirements, gender, age, etc. Identify Platforms for Promotions Once you have your objective and detailed information about your target audience, you need to discover appropriate platformsfor your campaign. You must know which platform can give you desired outcomes. However, it differs from business to business. Final Thoughts Plethoras of examples are there around us about paid marketing. Paid social media marketing, paid search marketing, influencer marketing, native marketing, banner ads, and so on. It has become the most prominent form of advertisement that businesses are executing. More than 63% of marketers are ready to increase their paid marketing budget for the following year, owing to its quickest and optimistic results. Frequently Asked Questions What's the best-paid marketing channel for B2B? Paid search marketing is the best-paid marketing channel for b2b. It helps in growing sales and reaching the maximum audience. Does paid marketing work? Yes, it works incredibly to build brand awareness, encourage customer engagement, and to reach a target specific audience within a time frame. What are the top paid marketing channels? Paid social media marketing, paid search marketing, influencer marketing are the top marketing channels that various businesses utilize. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What's the best-paid marketing channel for B2B?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Paid search marketing is the best-paid marketing channel for b2b. It helps in growing sales and reaching the maximum audience." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Does paid marketing work?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, it works incredibly to build brand awareness, encourage customer engagement, and to reach a target specific audience within a time frame." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the top paid marketing channels?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Paid social media marketing, paid search marketing, influencer marketing are the top marketing channels that various businesses utilize." } }] }

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Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds. Which is Best for your Zoom Call?

Article | December 13, 2020

One of the greatest changes we have seen with virtual selling is the inevitable change in meeting location. No longer in a traditional office setting, location is now entirely dependent upon each participant’s environment and choice. This can range anywhere from your kitchen table to the captain’s seat on the Starship Enterprise. The choice is yours, so choose wisely. Your background makes a strong statement about you. You are quite literally projecting an image, whether professional or otherwise, to your customer. So make sure that your real or virtual background supports that image by being neat and clutter free, well-lit, and perhaps with a spark of personality. Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds Virtual selling offers a whole new avenue of creative control when it comes to selecting a backdrop for your next video call. But which should you choose? Here are some considerations: The Benefits of Authenticity You now have the opportunity to welcome clients and/or coworkers into your home, making sales calls more personal than ever before. Video meetings, whether held in your home office or at your kitchen table, can reveal quite a lot about you to your customer. Just as their background reveals a lot to you. This can be a great advantage to sellers as it both humanizes you and levels the relationship. Instead of vendor-to-prospect, it becomes more human-to-human. Personal elements, like books, pictures, furnishings, can stimulate conversations and deepen connections. When to Use a Virtual Background. That being said, sometimes your home simply is not quite conference call ready! That’s the time to consider using a virtual background or green screen for personal privacy or professionalism. When might you want to consider a virtual background? Here are a few questions to help you decide: Are you… Questioning if your background is too cluttered? (Hint: if you’re wondering, then yes, it probably is) Clashing with busy patterns, stripes or artwork? In the middle of a home repair project? Providing TMI with your environment? (“Hello bedroom Zoom callers! I’m talking to you!”) Anticipating scene-stealing pets or children? In these cases, a virtual background may be your new best friend. Considerations when using a Virtual Background While a green screen allows you to have a little (professional) fun, keep it on the side of realism, i.e., the office of your dreams vs. the space station, or simply a backdrop that allows you to briefly live in a home that is not at the mercy of your children’s toys. In need of a little inspiration? Pro tip: Canva has a wonderful selection of customizable backgrounds you can download for your next video call. Be aware that overtly busy or fantastical backgrounds can present distractions that may detract from the overall quality of your presentation. When it comes to backgrounds, you are the star, and your background should quite literally be, “the background.” You’re already competing for the sale, you don’t want to also be competing for the attention of your customers! So select a backdrop that promotes your sales goals, not one that detracts from them. Avoid Motion Blur Another common problem seen when using virtual backgrounds or green screens is motion blur. This is when a presenter gestures or moves too quickly when in front of a green screen resulting in blurred elements. It is important to move slowly and with intention when using a green screen to avoid blurring or entire body parts disappearing into the background. Losing an entire hand is quite distracting, is it not? Bottom Line: Take advantage of the benefits authentic or real backgrounds can provide whenever you can. If that’s not possible, virtual backgrounds are a great option as long as you choose one that supports you and your brand. Get more virtual selling tips on the Selling On-Video Channel!

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THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN SEO 2020

Article | February 10, 2020

We all are surrounded by Artificial Intelligence. From Siri to Alexa to Google Home, it’s influencing the age we live in and giving higher prospects to execute every task smartly. Most of us nowadays rely on voice search for help even in the simplest tasks. So, how Artificial Intelligence is competent in SEO? How can it manipulate Search Engine Rankings? Have you ever come across the use of Artificial Intelligence in SEO?

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Spotlight

Direct Sales Force

Direct Sales Force Inc. a division of Pareto, is a nationwide leader in providing results driven outsourced sales and marketing services. DSF has offices across Canada that can assist in growing your customer base. Our head office is based in Toronto and we have full time Regional Offices in Halfiax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

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