It’s been a conundrum for retailers and marketers for generations. How do you measure your marketing spend in relation to the value consumers place on your brand and your market share? The Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) may have found the answer. This trade group, which is made up of market researchers, marketers, and experts from academia, has found a very high correlation between market share (a quantitative metric) and a self-reported survey question (a qualitative metric). The survey question was simple. They asked 500 people what brand they would prefer to receive, among several competitors in a product category, if they won a prize drawing. Interestingly, they found a 0.88 correlation (one being the highest and zero being the lowest) to market share. Once the researchers accounted for variables like price difference and distribution access, the correlation became an amazing 0.94. This wasn’t some fly-by-night study either. They investigated 100 packaged goods and automotive brands over 18 months.
This is great news for brands, market researchers, and marketing professionals. We all now have a simple metric to bring to bear that not only provides valuable feedback to our campaigns but can help non-marketing executives see the value in what has always been a nebulous part of the budget.
These findings were reported on in AdAge if you’d like to learn more.
If you’d like to start on a measurable marketing effort, Request A Quote from FiG Advertising and Marketing!
Last week a construction company contacted me because they weren’t happy with their current marketing firm and were looking for an alternate vendor.
This would be a great phone call to receive except it was accompanied with a horror story of bad marketing. In this case, the company spent $20,000 for their new website. The site was not mobile optimized nor did it have the searchable database the company needed so their existing customers can search and find information on their accounts.
They were cheated. Seventy percent of Internet searches now happen on mobile devices. As a result, Google no longer recognizes non-mobile optimized websites as relevant and won’t list them in search results. Charging $20K for a website no one is going to find and doesn’t perform all the required actions is criminal. That website builder should be forced to chew tinfoil for a week.
Bad marketing can hurt your business’ reputation and affect your bottom line for a long time. This kind of thing happens because marketing is complicated, and the tools change almost daily. Business owners, rightfully, don’t know how to evaluate all these vendors’ claims.
These shady marketers are taking advantage of the small business owners’ lack of knowledge and experience in marketing to sell them something that often they don’t need.
Here’s how you can fight back and kick a bad marketer’s butt. Use this checklist when you evaluate a marketing firm.
How big is their tool box? If the firm only does websites or social media, or pay per click advertising (PPC), odds are when they talk with you, you’re going to need a new website, or a social media strategy, or a PPC plan. (What a coincidence!) They have one solution, and that’s the one they’ll tell you that you need.
Talk with their current and former clients. Ask questions like, “Do they deliver on time?” “How is the communication between you and your account manager?” “Would you hire them again?” And here’s the important one: “How did they measure the impact of their solution on your business?”
Get Real Numbers on Their Impact. Ask them for case studies. What did they accomplish for these companies? Did they increase their profits? Did they get more customers through the door? Did they achieve more website visits? Did the company’s phone ring more often as a result of the firm’s efforts?
Look at their digital footprint. If it’s a website company, look at their site. Is it mobile optimized? Do all the links work? If it’s a social media company, look at their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter pages. How many followers do they have? Look at the social media accounts of their clients. Are the updates relevant and frequent? How much interaction do they garner with their audiences? What impact has their social media strategy and execution had on their clients’ bottom line?
Be Wary of Guarantees. When you get the ad from the Search Engine Optimization company that says “Guaranteed first page ranking!” run the other way. No one can guarantee this but Google. To fulfill their guarantee, you’ll be on the first page of search results for the name of your company, (which you should already be), or some obscure search term that no one actually looks for. Good SEO takes time and effort. It is not an overnight results endeavor, and the goal post is constantly shifting. Keyword prices fluctuate, competitors change strategies, and Google continually adjusts their search algorithms.
The next time a marketing vendor approaches you with a solution. Put them through this 5 step vetting process and save yourself the agony of bad marketing.
Bayaud Document Services is a non-profit organization that puts people with disabilities to work. The organization offers secure document shredding and recycling to businesses and residences in the Denver metro area. We were honored to have the opportunity to update Bayaud’s website so that more people can learn about the great work they do.
FiG’s Website Design Approach
We took a very strategic approach to redesigning Bayaud’s website. Throughout the entire process, we adhered to their desire for the sight to be bright and cheerful while making information easy to find.
Website Design Strategy
Our goal was to create a better overall experience for users with better visual appearance through a cleaner design as well as a more intuitive navigation. We wanted to portray Bayaud Document Services as not just another corporation, but as a unique, self-sufficient non-profit that not only offers AAA NAID certified document shredding services, but also employs people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
We chose a color palate for the site that was welcoming, warm and professional. We accomplished this by starting with the bright green in Bayaud’s logo. We added a professional looking slate gray blue and navy to balance out the fun, vibrant green. Then we added a cheerful yellow to demonstrate the positive energy that Bayaud creates with its employees and customers. To tie all the colors together, we added a cream color as a background shade to lighten up the site as well.
Navigation for the Website
Bayaud’s old site was difficult to navigate and the most sought after information was difficult to find. This put an extra burden on personnel who were constantly fielding phone calls for information that was on the website, but users couldn’t find. Both users and employees were inconvenienced.
On the new site, we put the most often searched information front and center on the home page. We added the hours, the address and large buttons to click for pricing or to schedule a pick up.
Photos for the Website
Bayaud had some company photos, but they didn’t accurately reflect the warmth of the place or the joy of the people who worked there, so we took new photos. The new photos brought the site to life and made it more personable.
Messaging for the Website
Bayaud has been operating in the Denver community for decades but their impact goes largely unheralded because they’re not used to bragging about their accomplishments. We had no trouble doing the bragging for them. We put the results of their impact in big callouts on the home page and added a testimonials page.
Bayaud Document Services Home Page Before
Bayaud Document Services Shredding Page Before
Bayaud’s Website Traffic Results
Though the new site was launched about a month ago, we are already seeing some very actionable and promising results. Visitors are coming to the sight and taking a look around. Bayaud’s page views, pages per session, and average session duration have all increased. The chart and graph below provide the specific numbers.
Bayaud’s Website Year Over Year Performance
We launched the site on October 2nd. When comparing to least year’s performance, we have seen an increase of 61.4% for page views, an increase of 47.38% for pages per session and a 63.29% increase in session duration.
Bayaud’s Website Year Over Year Page Views
The graph below compares pages views from 2014 to 2015. The graph indicates that as time spent on a page by a user increased so did the amount of page views with the new site launch in 2015. For example, if a user spent 0-10 seconds on the site, then there was approximately a 18% increase in session duration, whereas if a user spent 3 minutes at a time on the new site then there was a 48% increase in year over year.
REI is doing something radical this holiday season. They are closing all 143 stores on Black Friday, the biggest retail day of the year. The most surprising part of this tactic? REI will continue to pay all 12,000 employees and encourage them to play outside.
In order to promote this plan, REI created a hashtag for social media #OptOutside, as well as a website where people can share their outdoor Thanksgiving stories and brand their Facebook profile pictures in support.
As an explanation, REI’s CEO, Jerry Stritzke stated on the company’s site, “For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth.” He continued to write that REI employees are, “. . .choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us.”
See more of what Stritzke has to say in the video below:
REI #OptOutside – Jerry’s Office
Shift in Consumer Behavior
Stritzke’s words and decision reflect a shift in consumer behavior. The National Retail Federation revealed that fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend last year due to early discounts, more online shopping, and a mixed economy. The decrease in sales can also be attributed to a change in the way consumers view Black Friday. The mass shopping day used to be a mecca for deals and competitive ad spending between brands without thought to the consumer experience or how their employees felt. REI’s move shows how the consumer-business relationship has changed. Modern shoppers want to be included in the conversation. In essence, consumers shop brands that share their values, which allows them to feel empowered and entrepreneurial.
Specifically, REI’s #OptOutside movement is empathetic towards its employees by giving them the day off. Also, the campaign’s encouragement to other brands to do the same is commendable in the eyes of the consumer. Plus, the ad illustrates authenticity because it aligns with the company’s ideals by telling people to go play outside and consumers will praise that.
On the flip side, modern shoppers also desire convenience and expect almost a 24-hour availability shopping and customer service. REI’s decision reflects the opposite by closing down stores. The outdoor company is betting that customers are annoyed enough with the Black Friday shopping frenzy and pressure that this won’t matter.
It will be interesting to see the results after Black Friday and if other brands hop on the #OptOutside bandwagon too.