Hey Siri, Can you keep a secret?

The expansion of mobile advertising has lead to a concern of privacy for consumers. Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers hold our entire life from family photos to bank statements. Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth technologies with these devices can open up your personal information to online advertisers or hackers. Government entities like the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have been tackling privacy issues regarding emerging technologies. The ultimate goal is to protect citizens from personal data breaches that lead to identity theft.

Apple experienced its own privacy issues known as “man-in-the-middle.” In this case, a private communication between person A and person B would be picked up by a hacker or person C. Person A would be talking to person C then person C would relay that conversation to person B. The “man-in-the-middle” helps hacker’s access bank accounts, Facebook posts, usernames and passwords.

Experts recommend the devices should not be connected to an unsecured network and that those devices should be updated regularly. Also, people should log out of all accounts on public networks upon completion.

Emerging technologies are great. But they come with some inherent issues that consumers must be mindful of. When it comes down to your privacy, don’t you want Siri to keep your secrets?

Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Searching, Searching.

Search

I was doing a keyword search on my employer using keywords that would regularly come to mind. I was using words that included the industry, company name, goods/services that we provide and words that would define a part of this industry that I work in. My search turned up some long page views prior to me finding a mention about my company or its website. But there was a reason for this and Jaclyn Spoljarick in my IMC 619 class proposed something that I didn’t realize when I was compiling my thoughts on last week’s discussion; my company is a B2B company not a B2C company. The goods/services that my company provides are not purchased by the end user in the same fashion as a customer would be shoes at the shoe store. My company sells its goods/services to another business in the value chain. Therefore, Jaclyn provided the right response on my discussion post:

 “The goal of search engine optimization for most B2B marketers is not an immediate sale, but rather inclusion in the consideration set, the short list of preferred suppliers from which the ultimate provider will be selected”

 Since B2B marketing is different than B2C, the search engine marketing strategy should be drastically different. This is the point that Jaclyn was making.

Neal Lappe made an effective argument not only for the use of pay per click as a marketing strategy for B2B companies, he also illustrated 6 points that show the difference in using PPC for B2B compared to B2C.

  1. Focus on Longer-tailed phrases to prevent irrelevant clicks
  2. Use “exact match” and “negative keywords” to avoid irrelevant/inappropriate clicks
  3. Make paid search ad text credible and appealing
  4. Paid search ad text should directly answer a customer’s problem or question
  5. From the paid search listing, take the customer to a well-designed landing page that relates closely to the ad text the customer just clicked on
  6. Make sure the landing page answers any further questions/concerns of the target audience along with a call-to-action to generate lead sales information

It wasn’t that my search was wrong, but it was ineffective. As a potential consumer (directly or if I am a business consumer), if I search and can’t find you, the paid search technique should change. This in turn would require a revisiting of what the target audience needs and wants when search is conducted. Maybe B2B companies that haven’t following the above advice should look into it. The revenue figures laid out look pretty good.

Happy Searching!

 

*Special thanks to Jaclyn Spoljarick whose response to my discussion board broached a much larger discussion for this week’s blog post.

What’s Your Story?

The internet has changed the shopping experience for customers. Companies in the past tend to steer away from storytelling. Storytelling carried a risk of harming inexperienced users. Customers are no longer looking through catalogs or window shopping; they are opting in for promotional email, liking companies’ Facebook pages for exclusive offers, and scoping the reviews and feedback pages of websites. Due to the “digital shopping age”, companies are no longer engaging the customers’ emotional sides. Companies are using technologies that are not created for storytelling. Storytelling is the best way to interact with the customers’ emotional side but many companies especially online companies are only focusing on the mechanics of online shopping.

Companies need to focus on why the product is being purchased by the consumer. This information can be use for storytelling. A Betty Crocker’s cake pan can be advertised as a mother making her baby’s first birthday cake or a group of friends making cakes for a bake sale. The use of the product has an emotional connection for the consumer. Thus, the company has found a way to connect their product with a story that resonates with their target audience.

The biggest way companies can use storytelling is by being sincere. Online companies should research their target audience and talk to their consumers, finding out their desires and goals. Companies can figure out how their product has been inspirational to them and relay their stories to the rest of their consumer base. Consumers are looking for relevant, useful, and authentic content when shopping.

The infographic below provides some tips that businesses can use as they look to develop storytelling as a business tactic.

Storytelling tips

Do you think storytelling is needed for all businesses? Or is this tactic only for certain businesses in certain industries?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging is FUNdamental

Blogs

Blogging is one media tactic that is more commonplace for businesses as they look to build their brand and connect with customers.  Blogging is no longer a new phenomenon that only the tech industry and a few forward-thinking companies utilized as a part of their marketing strategy.  It is becoming a, wait for it, fundamental part of business communication to their external stakeholders.  You can see that here under item 9 that 62% of companies were looking to blog in 2013, however, only 9% have a full-time person dedicated toward developing and posting the content.  That is staggering to think about and shows that while the acknowledgement is there from business, their actions shows that they are not willing to provide the necessary investment to make the blogging a truly valuable commodity for the organization.  Corey Eridon of HubSpot gave 4 reasons why business blog:

1. Increases traffic to the company website.

2. Help turn traffic into leads.

3. It helps establish authority.

4. It drives long-term results.

Below is a chart outlined by Eridon that graphically represents each of the four steps above.

blogging-inbound

Business investment in blogging is investment in their customers and the results of the organization.  Customers will appreciate the thought leadership and engagement and can instantly spread that knowledge to others with a few clicks on their device.  The more shares the blog has, the more you see #1 above come to fruition.

The integration of blogging as a means of business communication is more fundamental to the overall marketing plan than ever before.  Customers have made the use of communication tools like blogging mandatory as organizations look to connect in ways that their consumers demand.