Marketing is one of the most important parts of a successful business. In fact, a strong marketing strategy can lead to higher profits, a larger consumer base, and help build overall brand awareness.
Typically, the job of developing a great marketing plan is left to the CMO. However, some startup companies simply do not have the overhead available to hire a high-level marketing executive, especially considering the cost of a salary and benefits.
Let's just come right out upfront and say it; coupon sites do not steal sales from merchants. Oh really, some of you may say? Yes, really. Stick with me as we walk through how coupon sites can actually be of tremendous benefit to a merchant.
Now, in some cases, coupons do have the ability to steal sales but only if the merchant has not identified how to properly handle them in the affiliate channel. Any merchant that has a promo code field in their shopping cart or somewhere else in the purchase process is inviting the consumer to take 30 seconds, open up another tab or window and search for a deal.
And, yes, this happens often... so often there's a well-known term for it; shopping cart abandonment. But, remember, there are many forms of shopping cart abandonment and though, technically, this is one of them, in many cases it isn't and doesn't have to be. And this is one of the reasons coupon sites can be great for merchants.
Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most influential social networks available in today's social landscape. With over 200 million users sharing upwards of 20 billion photos, the mobile platform is fertile ground for brands looking to connect with an exceedingly captive audience.
However, Instagrammers are notoriously resistant to direct advertising on Instagram, and the platform has only recently begun to cautiously implement promoted posts. Overall, users have been fairly receptive to the ads, but with all the marketing potential Instagram holds, there are much more effective means for engaging consumers on the social platform.
In defense of a recent campaign which featured women CEOs in their underwear, Dear Kate CEO Julie Sygiel said, "I think a lot of traditional lingerie photo shoots depict women as simply standing there looking sexy. They're not always in a position of power and control. In our photo shoots it's important to portray women who are active and ambitious. They're not just standing around waiting for things to happen."
What a load of crap. Yea, right, they're "not just standing around waiting for things to happen." No, Julie, they're sitting around in their underwear in a contrived situation waiting for a photographer to take a picture of them. If that's natural then I think I'll stand in front of my apartment and take a shit on the sidewalk.
Welcome to the social era where your brand has officially been Occupied. The relationship between your image and your values is increasingly determined by your brand advocates. The future of your brand is subject to your community and its perceived values.
You once controlled who appears in advertisements, but the rise of social media and user-generated content means that followers and fans often determine your brand¹s image without your consent. When people go onto your social media pages, they see followers that chose you, not the models and celebrities you selected. People also imagine that your social followers reflect the values of your brand.
So who belongs to your brand tribe? How do you guide the values of this community?
I had a crush on a cute redhead named Lettie Roberts in junior high school. But that's not at all relevant to this piece other than the fact Lettie sounds like Lottie. Who's Lottie? Lottie is Kate Moss' 16-year-old younger sister who is currently featured in the latest Calvin Klein campaign, shot by Michael Avedon, grandson to Richard Avedon who shot another very young girl, 15-year-old Brooke Shields, for a 1981 Calvin Klein campaign.
This guest article was written by Jay Gould, founder and CEO of Yashi Media, a 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Winner.
"It takes money to make money." You can bet that phrase originated with an investment banker, not an entrepreneur. If you're passionate about building a successful business, it's possible to do so with little or no capital--as long as you understand a few important concepts up front.
Over the last few weeks, we heard that Facebook organic reach is approaching zero while their paid ad business is booming. On April 23, Facebook reported revenue of $2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2014, up 72% over the previous year. Advertising accounted for $2.27 billion of Q1 revenue. Now, it seems that Instagram and Pinterest want a piece of the paid advertising pie, and they're not afraid to charge a lot per slice.
However, social networks like Instagram and Pinterest will not succeed by trying to replicate the broadcasting advertising model. Broadcasting does not work in the Social Era, as numerous studies have shown. In fact, online social media ads are even more ignored than TV ads, according to Harris Interactive.
Here's something a bit different. This contributed article is written by Valerie Woo, Executive Creative Director of The Woo. It's her take on the delicate balance between being both an advertiser whose constantly on the job and a dedicated mother and where the lines get drawn when it comes to technological connectivity.
As a parent, it's our joy to love our kids. But it's our job to prepare them for the world they will soon inherit. Today, that means raising a tech-savvy, socially-balanced individual equipped with a black belt in multitasking. Simple, right? Our kids have lived a "connected" life virtually since birth (baby's first Facebook status, anyone?), but a growing tide of us are yanking the tech blanky away and untethering kids from their devices.
It's almost becoming standard practice to trash the crap out of a brand for making even the slightest change to its brand. In some cases the changes are big and in some cases they are small but it seems as though every change is followed by an onslaught of social media outcry from people with nothing better to do than craft a witty Tweet that is then featured in the news which then causes the whole thing to spiral out of control.