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Links we Love: Dec 5 - 11

Published on by Romeo Maione.

At the end of the year writers often gaze into the crystal ball to try and determine what the future holds. 

It's funny, it always tells me to invest in glass cleaner.

It's funny, it always tells me to invest in glass cleaner.

Check out these links that try to figure out what digital marketing will look like next year (and beyond)! 

B2C argues that social media makes less and less sense as a stand-alone channel, while email is still killing it. 

Just how popular *is* email marketing? BetaNews uses some stats to prove that email is still king of the castle

Small Biz Trends claims humor will be a bigger component of marketing as slacker millennials like me become a key market. 

Tech.co tells you to ditch your SEO company and create content people actually want to consume. 

Eric Hammis thinks spending on analytics will rise 60% in 2015 because of how valuable it is for marketing tracking. Y’know what’s great for analytics? A gamified promo. Juss’ sayin...

AdWeek published some forward-looking (and fun) stats about mobile marketing, Cyber Monday and foodies on Instagram

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Links we Love: Nov 28 - Dec 4

Published on by Romeo Maione.

The heady mix of tryptophan and consumerism is enough to make anyone a groggy mess this week. 

Eating takes a lot out of you

Eating takes a lot out of you

While you marketing junkies recover from your turkey coma, read up on the stats from this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday!

Econsultancy has the must-read this year with their rundown of all the stats you’ll need on US and UK shoppers.  Some key stats: Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in US history with 15% more sales than 2013. 21.9% of shopping was done on mobile and 23.9% of all traffic was generated from email campaigns. 

Marketing Land notes that while mobile and online sales were soaring, overall Black Friday sales were down. Which begs the question “When will Cyber Monday outdo Black Friday?” 

IT PRO argues that’s already happened. While we don’t have final numbers yet, it looks like Cyber Monday got more traction than Black Friday this year. 

TechCrunch gets into the nitty-gritty of why Cyber Monday stats are tough to read. They claim it’s largely because the spend is broken up over the period between Thanksgiving and the weekend after. 

Ad Week brings us back down to Earth, noting that Cyber Monday grew at a smaller rate than last year. 

Tech Vibes gets into a mobile mood and breaks down the growth in mobile spending this year.

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The Recipe for Brand Loyalty

Published on by Romeo Maione.

What makes someone loyal? 

Cosmo will tell you it’s lipstick and baked goods but we’ve got a slightly different recipe. 

Cosmo's been working the same recipe for about 35 years

Cosmo's been working the same recipe for about 35 years

Good loyalty programs are digital, personal and gamified. Why? 

Digital

How much time will you spend staring at screens today? If you think you’re an outlier, you’ll be happy to know you’re probably normal. The average person spends 444 minutes looking at a screen every day. That means that if your loyalty program isn’t digitally accessible, you’re not engaging people where they spend most of their day. 

Those 444 minutes of screen time are divided between smartphones, tablets, televisions and desktops so your program has got to be accessible on any device. Don’t believe me? Sites that aren’t mobile optimized lose up to 30% of their traffic so it’s definitely worth the cash to make the user experience smooth. 

Data acquisition is another benefit of digitizing your loyalty program. Once digitized your program can harvest rich member data to help you market to members in the future. You won’t just know what products to target them with, but when to target them! 

Collecting data is just the first step in the process though. Collected data is only made valuable if you have the necessary systems to parse the information into actionable categories. Here’s an example:

A supermarket chain runs a Kraft dinner promotion. During the promo shoppers stock up on KD.  The result is that consumers have loads of KD and won’t need to buy more for a long time.  (This is called the Pull-Forward effect). If the chain has good data systems they can see what products are frequently bought with KD (ketchup comes to mind!) and offer follow up specials on those products to the KD purchasers.  This is precisely the type of information digital loyalty programs can yield. 

Just realized how much I talk about Kraft Dinner on this blog

Just realized how much I talk about Kraft Dinner on this blog

Personal

This is where our advice might actually be similar to Cosmo’s: People want to feel special. A loyalty program should feel like an exclusive club that provides value to the consumer in exchange for their continued patronage. 

Thankfully, there are many ways to make your members feel special. An easy way is to solicit member feedback. These are the customers who know you best and they’ll appreciate your interest in their opinion. 

There are also more lighthearted ways to make your customers feel special. Consider offering a surprise discount on a customer’s birthday or hosting exclusive promotions and games that are available only to loyalty members. 

Which segues nicely into why loyalty programs should be...

Gamified

Do you like having fun? So do your customers. That’s the simple reason gamification works (check out our blog post for a primer on gamification!). 

Gamification and loyalty programs are a natural fit.  Where loyalty offers tangible rewards in exchange for purchase, gamification can be used to drive less transactional behaviors whose value may not merit financial returns. Consider using gamification tactics to educate non-members about your program’s value propositions, to prompt members to share their purchases or other info on social networks, to offer extra rewards for your most engaged members, and so on.

So there you have it folks! To keep someone loyal, you’ve gotta be sexy, surprising and make a mean lemon square. 

Oops! I mean digital, personal and gamified! 


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Links we Love: Nov 21 - 27

Published on by Romeo Maione.

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s your opportunity to eat like the 1% and drink like the 99%! 

You only look like this in your head

You only look like this in your head

If you’ve got a second while the turkey’s cookin’ check out these links on gamification. 

Retail Customer Experience put out a great article about picking your “gamification provider” (that’s us!). Here’s the key: “a gamification provider should be vetted like a construction company or baby sitter, because it will be handling an organization’s most valuable asset: it’s brand.” Vet early, vet often! 

Bizreport.com published a cool little story about how gamification marketing techniques forge relationships with consumers. 

Australian publication Education HQ argues gamification will transform school curricula. We’ve been saying that since Australia was a penal colony. 

I take it back Australia, forget I said anything

I take it back Australia, forget I said anything

B2C published two great articles on gamification this week. The first is on gamification strategies for events like trade shows. The second talks about how gamification can be used for employee training and customer acquisition (our specialties, coincidentally). 

Just to mix it up, Information Age released an article discussing why gamification hasn’t been fully embraced by the business community. We’d argue it’s because most people just aren’t doing it right. 

Finally Wired.com (with a very misleading headline) talks about how gamification works for recruitment and driving employee engagement. 

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Links we Love: Nov 14 - 20

Published on by Romeo Maione.

While you try and figure out what the heck you’re going to feed your kids tonight, check out our links from the fresh and tasty world of grocery marketing! 

First up is a really cool marketing campaign that started in Europe but has moved to Canada. The program sells “ugly” fruits and vegetables at a discounted price. Smart initiative, considering food waste costs grocers $27 billion a year in Canada. 

That's a face only a mother could love

That's a face only a mother could love

A neat article from strategy+business argues big supermarkets can learn something from mom and pop grocery stores: personalization. We couldn’t agree more! 

Forbes provocatively asks if “organic” plays a role in marketing. The article discusses how the “green” movement has affected food consumption. 

Macleans Magazine discusses how consumers’ desire for “authentically sourced” ingredients is making the landscape more competitive. 

The Tennessean gives some great data on how and where different demographics do their grocery shopping. 

Finally, check out this New Zealand grocery chain that experimented with personalized offers based on customer loyalty. It had some consumers puzzled! 

The only aisle I'll ever need

The only aisle I'll ever need

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Reality Check: No one Cares About Your Marketing Tech

Published on by Romeo Maione.

Does your marketing technology contribute to your brand’s success?  

It’s easy to drink your brand’s Kool-Aid (especially if you work for Kool-Aid) and that sometimes makes you lose sight of the bigger picture. I’ve got an easy test for you: If you’re convinced your customer base is so loyal and dedicated to your brand that they’re desperate to consume your marketing materials, you’re probably a victim of brand narcissism.

Who's beautiful? We're beautiful. 

Who's beautiful? We're beautiful. 

(Polite) Reality Check: Customers want value, not marketing. Marketers can choose to make their messaging narcissistic or empathetic. All about you or all about them. 

You’ve gotta put yourself in your consumers’ shoes. They don’t spend 8 hours a day thinking about the value propositions of your brand like you do. In fact, the modern consumer sees thousands of ads a day for as many products. That’s why if you ask a consumer what they want from a brand they aren’t going to say beacons, in-store wifi, branded apps and QR codes. They’re going to say “Good deals”. 

So instead of just being there to show off, fancy schmancy marketing technology should   provide real value to consumers. 

An app is good if it provides *useful* information to consumers, like store hours or weekly specials.  

In-store Wifi is good because it allows shoppers to quickly research products or kill time on Facebook.

Beacons are good if they offer specialized deals based on people’s location within your store.

QR Codes are good if they reveal quirky and unique information that makes consumers feel special. 

What all those have in common is that they provide value to consumers. Too many marketing campaigns are all about the brand and not about the consumer. It’s sad to say, but consumers just aren’t as interested in your brand as you are. In addition to showing off your sweet new tech, your marketing needs to offer value or people will tune out. I can’t blame them. 

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Launchfire Interactive Inc.

22 Hamilton Ave N Ottawa, ON K1Y 1B6
EMAIL: sales@launchfire.com       FAX: 1.613.728.1527
INTERNATIONAL: +1.613.728.5865   1.800.896.4115

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sweepstakes | contests | training | gamification