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The marketing effectiveness of Facebook is overrated. With the advent of online product reviews, the need for live product sampling is dying. As so many Hispanics are blending into the American mainstream, the need for special marketing efforts to reach this group has lessened.
We marketers are confronted with factoids, opinions and data every day. As marketers we share a common trait to dig deep and understand the situation; we love getting into the analytics and using the insights we’ve gained to see what the future has in store. As marketers we share more than a love of—we share a passion for uncovering our customers’ needs and figuring out what we need to do to make sure those needs are met.
In that spirit, Blogging Out Loud analyzed a few fascinating marketing facts that you can use to help craft your company’s message so that you really connect with your target audience.
Fact #1: 47% of marketers say that Facebook is overrated as a marketing tool (source: Direct Marketing News):
Not so fast, says Don E. Schultz, President of marketing consulting firm Agora, Inc. and professor Emeritus of Integrated Marketing Communications Northwestern University. There’s more to the story than that simple stat. “The issue is not the social networks themselves,” he says, “but the way in which marketers use them.”He goes on, “Marketers believe that they can utilize social media like any other media; they try to force their way into these outlets to talk about their product instead of listening to the consumer.”
Instead, he says, building long-term relationships with clients is the approach to take nowadays. “Instead of the four P’s (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion) we say SIVA: Solution, Information, Value, and Access,” he continues. “Clients are looking for this, they want their problems solved.”
Companies seem to finally be getting it. They realize that social media isn’t about bombarding people with ads; its about addressing their concerns, solving their problems, and making that emotional connection. How are they doing that? By treating them like real people. By being responsive. By being receptive. Because remember, when someone posts on Facebook or Twitter its seen by countless people…and so is the response.
Fact #2: The U.S. Hispanic consumer market is forecast to grow to $1.5 trillion U.S. by 2015. (source: DATAMARK, Inc.)
In a single decade—2000 to 2010—the U.S. Hispanic population boomed by 43%. It happened fast and, while there have been some growing pains, there are virtually limitless opportunities for companies who commit to understanding this important and ever-strengthening market. As marketers, we need to recognize what makes this market so unique. For example, you may not know that Hispanic-owned businesses are growing at twice the national average. Over the last measured five-year period, Hispanic-owned business revenue grew 55 percent and reached nearly $350 billion. That is serious competition for companies looking to make their mark the Hispanic market. So a clever company may want to consider partnering with a Hispanic business people to help bridge the gap.
Marketers who make the commitment to get to know the Hispanic community are at an advantage. Like everyone, Hispanics want to feel like the companies who want their business genuinely care about them. Hispanics don’t want to be “sold” to; they want to be understood.
Fact #3: 30% of customers buy full-size products after sampling. (source: Inc.)
At first glance, giving out free stuff costs money and could possibly hurt the bottom line. Why would anyone want to do that? But when devised correctly, giveaways and samples are more than a vital part of a good marketing plan—they are, in fact, all but guaranteed to boost the bottom line.
When you stroll through the isles of your local Trader Joe’s market, you’ll invariably come upon a Trader Joe’s associate cooking up something that smells delicious. As they tempt you with a free taste, the associate explains how much your family at home will love this dish. And to make your life easier, Trader Joe’s has thoughtfully stacked all the ingredients for the dish right there, along with a printed recipe for you to take along. And approximately a third of people do.
Giveaways encourage consumers to experience your products at no risk and if they enjoy that experience, they’ll buy the item immediately and then come back for more. Plus, people feel good when they are offered something with no strings attached. And of course, there is the social media aspect. You want the buzz—the positive “word of mouth”—that comes when a customer has a good experience with your company. An article in the Journal of Marketing found that people who got a product for free talked about it on social media 20% more. So with all this in mind, the question isn’t why would you want to give out free stuff…it’s why wouldn’t you?
Fact #4: 2013 online retail sales totaled $263 billion — just 6 percent of total U.S. retail sales. (source: International Council of Shopping Centers)
It turns out, according to an May 2014 report by the International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC), that while brick-and-mortar retailers are certainly having to adjust their marketing strategies in the face of cyber competitors, the “bricks vs. clicks” battle has not yet been won. The ICSC reports that 2013 online retail sales in the United States totaled $263 billion—just 6 percent of total U.S. retail sales. Brick-and-mortar sales totaled $4.3 billion. Consumers indicated that just 13% of their purchases are made online. And while e-commerce growth outpaced in-store growth by nearly 5 to 1, a deeper examination shows that those growth rates were calculated off a small base: 10% growth for e-commerce only accounts for $38 billion, while in-store growth equals $144 billion.
But where online retailers beat brick-and-mortar retailers is in customer engagement. Online retailers “see” that you’ve just put a dress in your shopping cart and “makes suggestions” for similar items you may like. Online retailers have live customer service chat available 24/7. They use their extensive social media reach to stay in appropriate contact. Online retailers are experts in creating the lasting relationships that keep customers coming back.
So as marketers, what does this mean for us? Andrew Kessler, CEO of Huge Ideas, says that now brands have the opportunity to aggregate the content and insight they have developed for online and put that back into the hands of their salespeople, to create even more seamless and personal experiences for shoppers.
The take away….
We’ve given you plenty of numbers to chew over, resources to check into, and our thoughts on what all of it means. Ultimately, as much as we love our numbers, there is a simple truth we all know: that successful marketing has as much to do with building relationships as it does with facts and figures. “You need to be able to create the strategies, communicate the ideas effectively, and connect fully with the target audience”, notes Phil Saifer, President of integrated marketing firm Vertical Marketing Network. “Anything less will simply not breakthrough”, adds Saifer. So, fellow marketers, where do you stand?
Here’s a link to some mind-blowing marketing fact facts that will really make you think!
Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
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