Should Government be run like a Business?

 

As I pointed out in my post a few years ago, one of the big questions discussed in the public-sector, is should government be run like a business? In addition, we have seen many examples of business people running for office suggesting that they can improve government by running it like a business.

For example, Donald Trump, a billionaire business tycoon is now the CEO of the United States of America. He has said his country should “run like a business.” But he’s far from alone in that belief. In Canada, Kevin O’Leary has said, before he backed out, he’d be a good prime minister because, “You need someone who has run a business.”

Now, very few people would question that government should run some of their operations using a business approach and there are clearly some business practices when applied to government make a lot of sense. But when applying business practices like marketing for example, they should be done in the context of a public-sector environment.

For example, at the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) we pride ourselves in understanding the needs and constraints of the public sector and deliver marketing solutions that are strategic, innovative and practical to meet the unique needs and challenges of governments.

The issue of overlaying private sector solutions to the public sector has many challenges, however if done right it can work. But those who want to bring business practices into government should have a full understanding and appreciation of how government functions.

It must be conceded that governments at all levels have provided too much ammunition for critics. They’ve been guilty of bonehead practices that seem to cry out for rigid, businesslike control. As an article in the Toronto Star points out the federal government rolls out a shiny new payroll system, and thousands of employees still aren’t getting the right amount of dollars in their paycheque, and some aren’t getting a paycheque at all. The Ontario government’s schemes for green energy seem to blow up as surely as a stick of dynamite in the hands of Wile E. Coyote.

But for every example of government incompetence, there’s a business example.

Volkswagen programmed its engines to control emissions only when they were being tested in labs. Once those engines hit the road, they emitted 40 times more pollution. Not to be outdone, Fiat Chrysler installed engine software to disguise the fact that illegal amounts of nitrogen oxides were getting into the air. To be clear, this wasn’t accidental. In the words of the California Air Resources Board, “A major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules.”

Takata put faulty airbags in millions of North American cars. Then it prepared falsified reports to cover it up. At least 16 people have been killed by those airbags exploding violently.

Of course, risking the health of its customers isn’t an uncommon business practice. Big Tobacco spent years denying that smoking caused cancer. Now it more often wraps its lethal work in the veneer of personal freedom. It argues that smoking cigarettes is simply something a grown-up should be allowed to do. Some businesses wouldn’t know a moral principle if it kicked them in the pants. Say what you like about government, but it doesn’t deliberately set out every day to provide people with the means to kill themselves.

John Harvey points out in Forbes, the idea that government should be run like a business is a popular one. But this betrays a basic misunderstanding of the roles of the private and public sector. We should no more want the government to be run like a business than a business to be run like the government.

Those popularizing this notion feel this way because they see business as more efficient. This must be the case, so the logic goes, or the entity in question would lose market share and go bankrupt. Only the fit survives. Meanwhile, government agencies face no backlash. This is why we have long lines to get driver’s licenses etc. Were there a choice on where to be licensed to drive, then such offices would be forced to make the customer’s experience a positive one or they would go elsewhere.

Mickey Edwards points out in the Atlantic , I have a problem with the continued promotion of business success as a qualifier for public office. Success in the market is not an automatic disqualifier for public service, but it is a far different undertaking with different purposes and different values.  In fact, business and government — while there may be skills involved that are translatable and useful as one moves from one sphere to another — are in some ways polar opposite undertakings.

The business of business is business and the goal of business is to earn a profit in the provision of goods and services. The business of government is service — well managed, one hopes, and not wasteful, but never at a profit.(there are occasions where government operates their services on a cost recovery basis).  Business and government are not opposites, but they are distinct; the mindset is necessarily different; the understandings are different; the obligations are different.

Unlike private sector organizations − which have the distinct advantage of being able to offer services on the strength of market demand and profitability − government organizations have a mandate to serve and be accessible to all constituents. Governments cannot choose their customers. In fact, customers often have a right to access a service thereby creating an obligation for a government agency.  By comparison, any private sector business can analyze their markets and opt to target customers with specific characteristics or needs.  They can quickly retreat when confronted by poor performing results, undesirable segments, or onerous challenges.

In an article titled Running government like a business has been a dismal failure, Donald Savoie states that the notion that public administration could be made to look like private-sector management has been ill-conceived, misguided and costly to taxpayers. Management in the private sector has everything to do with the bottom line and market share. Administration in the public sector is a matter of opinion, debate and blame avoidance in a politically charged environment. It doesn’t much matter in the private sector if you get it wrong 40 per cent of the time so long as you turn a handsome profit and increase market share. It doesn’t much matter in the public sector if you get it right 99 per cent of the time, if you get 1 per cent wrong it becomes a heated issue for a politician and the media

Government was intentionally designed to be inefficient. Our government is supposed to be slowed down by oversight, due process, and fair treatment of a vast array of constituencies that make up the public.

It’s also myth that businesses typically operate in a lean and efficient manner, and therefore should be emulated in the public sector. Government and business are both operated by humans, with all their diverse motivations, interests and foibles. The most mind-numbingly inefficient and unresponsive bureaucracies some would argue are actually in the private sector, not government. Most weren’t even failing businesses; they are just so big they didn’t particularly feel the need to be efficient or responsive to individual customers.

If you want to think of businesses scaled to the size of national governments, don’t think of nimble and innovative startups that are staffed by young people doing cool and highly lucrative things. Think of your phone company, or your cable/satellite company, or your insurance company, or large, corporate banks, all with uninspired customer service reps who couldn’t make quick and useful decisions for you if they wanted to. Is that what you want government to emulate?

The long and short of it is quite simple, those who advocate that public-sector managers should operate like their private-sector counterparts without understanding the context of how political and administrative institutions function are clearly misinformed. There is no question that there are opportunities for government to adopt business practices from time to time, but government is not a business and those who continually argue for government acting like a business are offering a misguided solution.

 

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Marketing Workbooks for Public Sector & Non-Profit Marketers & Communicators

These two workbooks are  ideal for marketers and communicators working for government departments/agencies, non-profit/volunteer organizations, associations and social enterprises who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products, programs and/or services
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs

 

1. Social Marketing Planning to Change Attitudes and Behaviours Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for a successful social marketing program to change attitudes and behaviours. This content is the result of more than 30 years of direct experience in the social marketing arena.  It will assist public sector, non-profit organizations and associations involved in marketing, communications, public awareness/education and outreach.

It will be very relevant to those responsible for influencing attitudes and behaviours to improve health, prevent injuries and diseases, protect the environment, prepare citizens for emergencies, convince youth to stay in school, and a multitude of today’s critical issues.

The workbook guides users through the process for creating a customized social marketing plan for their organization that will lead to successful implementation. It also features ideas on how to run a campaign on a very tight budget and the effective use of a logic model to monitor and evaluate an organization’s social marketing initiative.

To purchase workbook go to https://cepsm.ca/product/social_marketing_workbook/

Order Now and You’ll receive a PDF download immediately!

Alternatively, you can register on our MARCOM Conference site to attend an upcoming Introduction to Social Marketing Planning for Behaviour Change Workshop where we offer the workbook as part of 1-day interactive workshop

2. Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workbook

The world of public sector and non-profit marketing is rapidly changing. Increasing demands are being placed on managers to adapt to their new environments. The public and non-profit sectors are adopting marketing approaches to help meet the challenges of complex and difficult mandates and satisfying client needs in the face of significantly diminishing resources.

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for developing a successful public sector or non-profit marketing program.

It also will provide you with an overview of public sector and non-profit marketing and highlight the importance of market research to support a decision-making framework.

Included will be the exploration of the strategic elements of a marketing plan and how to transform organizations from using the traditional communications approach to an integrated, strategic marketing approach. We also review the key elements of  branding which is an integral component in designing the marketing mix.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/marketing-101-for-marketers-and-non-marketers-workbook/

Order Now and you will receive a PDF download immediately!

Alternatively, you can register on our Training Page to attend an upcoming Marketing 101 Workshop where we offer the workbook as part of the course.

 

About the Author: Jim Mintz a marketing veteran with over 30 years of experience is the Managing Partner of the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing

 

 

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Buyer Beware when Hiring a Social Marketing Behaviour Change Consultant

One of my specialties as a marketing strategist is social marketing for attitude and behaviour change. I recently wrote a blog Mistakes to Avoid in Social Marketing (Behaviour Change)

In the blog, I discuss the many mistakes I see organizations make when trying to develop and/or implement a social marketing behaviour change strategy. As a managing partner and senior consultant at the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing I keep seeing organizations make the same mistakes repeatedly.

One of the top mistakes I have noted in my many years in the business is most social marketing initiatives seem to be run by individuals that have no background or training in either marketing or social marketing for behaviour change.  Many come from the field of communications, public relations or in some cases advertising which may explain why many campaigns are heavy on communications but lack basic marketing principles and techniques in getting audiences to change their behaviour. Many of the campaigns we see tend to be social communications, public education/public awareness or advertising campaigns but few are really social marketing.

I recently saw an article titled How to tell if an agency really does behavior change.

In her article, Sara Isaac talks about the fact that she spends a lot of time explaining what she does. She claims that outside of certain public health circles, few people had heard of the concept of using marketing to “sell” beneficial behaviors. Now, she points out social marketing — a.k.a. behavior change marketing — seems to be the “flavour of the day”. and lots of communications agencies these days are using the behavior change label to sell themselves.

 

Many of these communications, marketing, advertising, and creative agencies have little or any background in developing or implementing behaviour changing campaigns, so it is “buyer beware”.

To assist government and non-profit organizations looking for a company to help them with their behaviour change interventions she has written an article on how to tell if the company you are hiring to do a behaviour change intervention “is the real deal”.

Here are the 4 clues she offers as a way to know if you are hiring the right consultant.:

1. Does your agency talk about research? Ms. Isaac points out that research is essential to every behavior change intervention. Without it you are shooting in the dark, and risk wasting your money or worse. Research is expensive, and there isn’t always budget for every project to do extensive environmental scans or formative research. But there are affordable workarounds.

As I point out in my blog, one of our major frustrations at our Centre is that many organizations running social marketing campaigns do not do audience research, and when it is done, it is not done well. I cannot tell you how many times we are told by organizations that they cannot afford to do proper research but meanwhile spend tens of thousands on implementing tactics.

Social Marketers conduct research to determine current behaviors, identify target audiences, identify barriers and motivations, test concepts and messages, and set baselines for evaluation.

Marketers don’t assume they know how their audience thinks and feels. They do not simply follow their instincts or let their own ideas about what the audience wants drive their programs. Social marketing requires an investment of both financial and human resources. Organizations cannot afford to try out different marketing options blindly; If their campaigns head in the wrong direction, they will have wasted their money

2. Do they talk about the target audience? Her second clue is when your marketing campaign includes “everybody” you are guaranteed to influence nobody to change their behavior. And it’s best to do more than simple demographic segmentation (gender, age, ethnicity) whenever possible.

Segmentation is the key to effective social marketing but many campaigns are not targeted and focused. Very few agencies are familiar with the techniques (e.g. TARPARE) to use to develop segmentation strategies for behaviour change interventions

Most campaigns use demographics and geographic segmentation but with social marketing you are dealing with behaviour change and very few campaigns use psychographic segmentation to develop campaigns.

3. Does your agency focus on concrete behaviors and measurable goals? She points out that the more concrete and simple you can make a behavior, the more likely it is that your target audience will at least sample the behavior (the first step to deeper engagement).

My experience in social marketing is you need to break down big changes into bite-sized chunks for people. Start with baby steps: specific actions that people can sustain over time. Early successes lay a foundation for long-term successes.

It’s hard to simply stop a negative habit, so replace it with a positive one instead. It’s far more effective than trying to go “cold turkey.” Willpower is a finite resource: sooner or later it will be depleted. Everyone’s motivation ebbs and flows; what people need more than willpower is easier behaviors.

The problem with an abstract goal or objective is that there is no specific call to action. It’s important to translate goals into simple, actionable steps. It’s been shown that people are more likely to try something new if it’s similar to what they’re already doing. The use of nicotine gum as a substitute for cigarettes is an obvious example.

When seeking to discourage a specific behaviour think about what can be offered in its place. This step looks at the potential impact of the behavior change. Our advice for encouraging behavior change is to work on one behavior at a time then add others on and go with behavior change suggestions with the highest probability of change.

4. When they talk creative, do they also talk strategy? Ms. Isaac points out that she runs a creative shop. “That means we come up with lots of fun, creative ideas. But a good portion of those ideas go right out the window because they aren’t on strategy or don’t pull the levers on the 12 behavioral determinants that drive our work.”

She advises that If your agency starts talking creative execution before you’ve got your strategy pinned down, beware. You might end up spending your money on something that looks very pretty, and might even get a lot of attention, but doesn’t move the needle on the behavior you are trying to address.

I have had the same experience. At our Centre, we see clients spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention a significant amount of human resources, without a social marketing strategy. Sometimes they will mistake a communications or advertising strategy for a social marketing behaviour change strategy but in many cases there actually is no strategy just a bunch a promotional tactics weaved together and called a strategy.

So as Ms. Isaac points out behaviour change may be the “flavor of the day”, but a poorly designed campaign will do little to make a difference on the issues you care about — and the world needs effective behavior change approaches now more than ever. Whether you are hiring an agency or going it yourself, make sure you do enough research to truly understand the problem, define a clear target audience and concrete target behaviors, and then set behavioral goals as well as a strategy to achieve them.

To learn how to how to use a step-by-step structured approach to prepare a social marketing plan that is actionable, has maximum impact, and leads to successful implementation; come join us for our Intro to Social Marketing Planning for Attitude and Behaviour Change training we run at our Centre for more information check out our training workshops https://cepsm.ca/services/training/. Our Centre conducts a wide variety of marketing and communications training in various formats, including; public workshops; private, tailored workshops (in-house or at our Centre), private coaching and mentoring services.

MARKETING WORKBOOKS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR & NON-PROFIT MARKETERS & COMMUNICATORS

Two workbooks ideal for marketers and communicators working for government departments/agencies, non-profit/volunteer organizations, associations and social enterprises who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products, programs and/or services
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs

1. Social Marketing Planning to Change Attitudes and Behaviours Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for a successful social marketing program to change attitudes and behaviours. The content is the result of more than 30 years of direct experience in the social marketing arena.  It will assist public sector, non-profit organizations and associations involved in marketing, communications, public awareness/education and outreach.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/social_marketing_workbook/

Order Now and You’ll receive a PDF download immediately!

Alternatively, you can register on our MARCOM Conference site to attend an upcoming Introduction to Social Marketing Planning for Behaviour Change Workshop where we offer the workbook as part of 1-day interactive workshop

2.  Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for developing a successful public sector or non-profit marketing program.

It also will provide you with an overview of public sector and non-profit marketing and highlight the importance of market research to support a decision-making framework.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/marketing-101-for-marketers-and-non-marketers-workbook/

Order Now and you will receive a PDF download immediately!

 

 

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Marketing Trends and Tips for 2017

marketing-trend-2Every year I try to get a handle on what are the key trends for the coming year. In the past few weeks I reviewed several key online articles and bloggers to see what are the hot trends for 2017. I also checked for marketing tips that will help public sector and non-profit marketers make better marketing decisions in the coming year.

So here is a review of key marketing trends as well as some tips for 2017

Real-Time Marketing: Tips for Surviving in Our Brave New World

The Internet has changed just about everything, including how organizations market. Campaigns that take months to plan, execute, and launch is still important, but at the same time if marketers aren’t also jumping into real time… they will get lost in the shuffle.

In some ways, it’s nothing new, for decades, culture has influenced marketing, and marketing brands have influenced culture. But brands now have a brief span of time to react. If you don’t jump on something right as it happens, you’ve missed your shot.

Two trends are particularly responsible for the new world of real-time marketing: demographics and technology.

The Millennial generation is on the rise. This demographic segment is huge, and its members are the biggest consumers of media. Millennial’s are driving the real-time marketing growth because they are used to the instant gratification of digital media.

Then, we have technology itself. Smartphones provide our audiences with information, entertainment, rides and friends on demand.

Five years ago, you could report or comment on an event the next day or even the next week. You could play off cultural images for months. Now, people can watch an event unfold live on Twitter one night and move on the next morning. Marketers must keep moving, too.

Marketers should develop quick responses to mainstream life, and they’ve got to do it fast. The benefits of real-time marketing are becoming very important.

Today, people expect authenticity from the organizations that they deal with. They want to identify with the organizations that value the same things they do. And it’s just as important that you, the marketer, know which opportunities to pass up and how to jump on the right ones.

Here are a few things that can help marketers.

  1. Don’t unplug from social

Organizations that do real-time marketing well are always plugged in to the social space. Pay attention to the buzz going on every day, not just around big events. Those cultural moments might provide the perfect opportunity, but staying plugged in is the only way to be truly prepared to seize them.

  1. Cut through the clutter

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of noise out there. Be dynamic and personalized. Answer the question “What’s in it for me?” for your audience and keep the message adaptable to the platform.

  1. You can’t afford to sit still

Keeping up isn’t sufficient. You must be ahead. Read constantly, educate yourself on the content your targets care about, and put yourself in their shoes: What are they going to be most excited about, and how can you engage them on the next big trend?

  1. In a conversation, you must give and receive

Once you put something out there, be ready to engage in two-way conversations. This isn’t a world of broadcast messages anymore, and marketing isn’t just push; it’s a push-pull system. Be willing to say, “We put it out there, and now we’re in a conversation. We have to engage.”            

6 Tips to Develop a 2017 Marketing Plan that Rocks

Having a successful marketing plan in tact as you enter 2017 will ensure you are allocating your resources effectively, promoting and growing your business, and differentiating your organization from its competitors. Consider these 6 tips based on the top marketing trends of 2017 as you continue to develop your plan:

  1. Increase your social media advertising budget.

Major changes are happening for organizations in the world of social media, particularly Facebook. Over the past year, the platform has seen a decrease in organic reach to lead companies into paid advertising.

Paid advertising on social media is hardly ground-breaking. In fact, it’s possible you’ve been doing it for years. What is ground breaking is the sharp increase in marketing budgets allocated to social media advertising experts expect to see in 2017.

  1. Don’t assume “mobile” means a smartphone.

Smartphones are not likely to become obsolete anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a new mobile device taking the world by storm. The number of people sporting wearable mobile devices (think smartwatches) is projected to increase in the USA by 60% this year. What does this mean for marketers in 2017? It means you’ve got a brand-new playing field to market to. You need to be prepared to produce content to fit the format for this new breed of potential customers.

  1. Produce more niche content.

We’re in the midst of a content arms race. More content is published daily than ever before (over 2 million blog posts per day), which makes it nearly impossible for small organizations to compete when it comes to broad content topics. There is just too much of it.

But before you decide your content is doomed to never reach human eyes, think again; along with this spike in production, there is a drop in the quality of content that is mass-produced. people have learned to alter their search to identify a narrower, more targeted range of content, therefore weeding out material that is vague and unfocused. If you can rise to the challenge by answering more specific questions, doing the research to identify what information your viewers truly need, and providing it, you stand a chance in this arms race.

  1. Make more videos.

Who wants to look at boring text when they can watch a video instead? Not your audience, that’s who! As we approach 2017, 4 times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it, 1 in 4 consumers lose interest in an organization if it doesn’t have videos, and audiences are nearly 50% more likely to read email newsletters that include links to a video.

As you develop a marketing plan for 2017, be thoughtful regarding which content could be better delivered through a video. Helpful tip: if you’re looking to break into Snapchat in 2017, snapping clips of videos your company produces is a great place to start and will direct viewers to your more serious content.

  1. Increase your email marketing budget.

Let’s put these rumors to rest right now… email marketing is not dead. Far from it. That being said, there are some changes you can make to your email marketing plan in 2017. First things first, using a first name does not mean an email is personalized. Use tools like Hubspot to include links to relevant content and offers that will interest your audience.

Second, do not, include more than one call to action in an email. Many people receive up to hundreds of emails in a day, so you can bet they are skimming most of them. Your email should be as short as possible, concise, and have only one clear purpose. Otherwise, you run the risk of being perceived as just another annoying, spammy, overwhelming marketing email.

And finally, eliminate spammy subject lines. You have one chance to make a first impression, and consumers eyes are drawn to certain words that indicate spam. Check out this list of words to avoid to ensure your email actually get opened.
As I pointed out in one of my blogs recently, developing a thorough marketing plan is essential to your success in 2017. The more strategic you are, the further your core message will reach. Think of your marketing plan as a map that will lead you to your goals, and be sure to make these changes to ensure you are keeping up with the times.

The Future of Influencer Marketing: Top Predictions for 2017

As I mentioned in one of my blogs a few months ago, 2017 is the year when Influencer Marketing will become embedded into Marketing & Communication activities. Organizations need to be more agile and align their messages and content with what the influencer community really cares about. They need to invest in training internal subject matter experts to connect with the influencer community both offline and online to win over the key influencers. Authenticity and credibility as well as engaging content will be pivotal to successful engagement to improve brand perception and trust with your audiences.

8 Experts Predict The Digital Marketing Trends For 2017

Video will be a phenomenal growth channel for 2017 

An amazing year comes to an end, with mobile numbers sky-rocketing, viral videos breaking the internet, organic reach nose-diving and content marketing becoming mainstream. If this year saw the rise of online video, 2017 will see the explosion of video content on tiny mobile screens   With 4G expected to become the norm, we’ll be getting a lot more videos in our news-feeds. More than 50% of mobile data is already dominated by videos and this trend will see a sharp rise next year. Facebook is planning to add a dedicated video tab in their apps in a major redesign, aiming to become the home of videos on the internet. That’s just Facebook, YouTube is paddling hard to stay relevant, new platforms like Snapchat are right at the border and LinkedIn has jumped in the race with native video for B2B.

Behaviour-based e-mail marketing

Digital marketing in 2017 will be all about segmented & behaviour based email marketing. As consumers subscribe to more brands online, the volume of emails hitting their inboxes has only gone up in the past one year. This has resulted in higher unsubscribe rates and lower open rates. Consumers will not pay attention to your email if it is not useful for them. The best way to combat this would be to segment your email list based on consumers’ behaviour and send customized emails that are targeted to specific sets of customers.

When consumers notice that all the email communication they receive from a brand is relevant and useful for them, they will pay attention, stay subscribed and act on the emails.

marketing-2017-1

17 Marketing Trends to Watch Out For In 2017

  1. Interactive Content

There’s content you can read, and then there’s content you can interact with. The second variety tends to be more popular. Think of ways to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include assessments, polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests.

  1. Influencer Marketing

What’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? A lovable social media personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans and followers. Influencer marketing is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. The right influencers establish credibility through each social media post or advertisement. When they work with organizations, it’s because they genuinely believe in them, and that trust is passed on to marketers’ audiences.

  1. Mobile Video

Have you looked at your Facebook feed recently? Chances are that 95% of it is video. And here’s a fun stat: mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views in 2015. In fact, in Q4 of 2015, mobile video views exceeded desktop views for the first time ever. We now live in an age of mobile video, and it’s time we embraced it.

  1. Livestreaming

Although we’re still working out the kinks of this technology, it’s clear that livestreaming will continue to push the boundaries. A big step in this direction was Instagram’s integration of a livestream option into its Stories feature. We’re going to see a lot more live broadcasts in 2017.

  1. Chatbots

Chatbot technology has become much more sophisticated. A great example is Facebook, which invests a significant amount of resources into bot programs that provide users with news updates, personalized responses and more. Are you talking to a human or a bot? If you can’t tell, then the bot is working as intended.

  1. Virtual and augmented reality

One of 2016’s biggest highlights were watching a screen-afflicted population carry their mobile devices out into the world to catch, yes, Pokémon. The biggest takeaway from this phenomenon was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results. This has become a seriously viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into the real world.

  1. Short-lived content

What gives Snapchat its appeal? The fact that the content disappears. Snapchat’s rampant rise in popularity did a lot more for the world of social media than just give users another platform to choose from. It showed the value of disappearing or short-lived content. This is a key attraction for Generation Z, the cohort famous for having an eight-second attention span, and is why you should be integrating short-lived content into your content strategy.

  1. Mobile First Strategy

The future is mobile. Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, then you are missing a massive opportunity. And remember: It’s not just about “optimizing” for mobile; it’s also about making sure that piece of content gets integrated with a user’s lifestyle on the go.

  1. Personalization

Personalization means segmenting your content to reach different types of audience members based on their preferences, habits, etc. The most common form of this strategy is through lists, where certain content gets sent to certain types of users based on which lists they’ve opted into. In a world of too much content and not enough time, personalization is a huge win for organizations looking to earn the attention of their consumers.

  1. Native Advertising

Viewers, followers and consumers are getting wise to the tricks of advertisers, and it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain their attention and earn their trust. Native advertising means integrating your advertising efforts into content that already provides value to readers and viewers. For this reason, it tends to be more effective. Look for ways to weave your products and offerings into a larger narrative, instead of just blasting people with ads.

  1. Marketing Automation

Why do the same thing repeatedly when you can do it once and automate the rest? Automation is becoming extremely powerful (and popular) among marketers and businesses who are looking to scale and expand past trading hours. As apps, such as Marketo and Hubspot become more intuitive and affordable, automation will become more common.

  1. Purpose Driven Marketing

One of the most effective ways to extend your story is to give it a feel-good element. Businesses that partner with nonprofits or charities, or set up internal programs that “give back” in some way have a much stronger presence because their story resonates with the hearts of consumers. (This will be an excellent opportunity for nonprofits to develop partnerships with the private sector in 2017)

  1. Data Driven Marketing

There are two types of marketers: those who want to use what’s popular and those who use what works, regardless of whether it’s popular or not. Data tells you what’s really moving the needle, and the truth is that every marketer needs to be conscious of it. If you aren’t fluent in Facebook ads and conversion ratios, for example, then you’re missing a crucial part of every marketer’s essential toolbox.

  1. Social Media “Buy” Buttons

We are moving into an age where purchasing doesn’t need to happen on a third-party site. Users are on a social platform, so why should they have to leave to buy something?  “Buy” buttons are quickly turning social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest into social shopping experiences.

  1. Dark Social

The hardest part about tracking traffic, conversions and shares is that you’re not always sure what the sources are. With the rise of encrypted and private messaging apps (where people still share lots of content with each other), you may want to invest in tools, such as Google Analytics that can measure, to some degree, where this “dark” traffic is coming from.

  1. Embrace The lOT (Internet of Things)

Should your thermostat talk to you? How about a refrigerator that informs you when you’re low on milk, and then gives you the option to place an order immediately? Everyday objects are beginning to connect to the internet, and this trend is going to open doors for marketers to integrate with the everyday lives of consumers. Watch this trend closely, because it’s going to boom!

  1. Beyond Viewability

Currently, most organizations use viewability to measure to their success. Instead of solely focusing on views or clicks, marketers should measure their ROI on things such as sign-ups, downloads and purchases. This requires going beyond CPMs and looking at the performance-based metrics instead.

New addition to Blog May 22 2017

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What Is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is a truly amazing development that is likely going to change our lives for the better: it’s already bringing about massive positive changes in industry, healthcare, logistics and our own homes. However, as with all such developments, there is a darker side that we need to deal with as well.

 

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MARKETING WORKBOOKS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR & NON-PROFIT MARKETERS & COMMUNICATORS

Two workbooks ideal for marketers and communicators working for government departments/agencies, non-profit/volunteer organizations, associations and social enterprises who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products, programs and/or services
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs

Social Marketing Planning to Change Attitudes and Behaviours Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for a successful social marketing program to change attitudes and behaviours. The content is the result of more than 30 years of direct experience in the social marketing arena.  It will assist public sector, non-profit organizations and associations involved in marketing, communications, public awareness/education and outreach.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/social_marketing_workbook/

Order Now and You’ll receive a PDF download immediately!

Alternatively, you can register on our MARCOM Conference site to attend an upcoming Introduction to Social Marketing Planning for Behaviour Change Workshop where we offer the workbook as part of 1-day interactive workshop

 

Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for developing a successful public sector or non-profit marketing program.

It also will provide you with an overview of public sector and non-profit marketing and highlight the importance of market research to support a decision-making framework.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/marketing-101-for-marketers-and-non-marketers-workbook/

Order Now and you will receive a PDF download immediately!

 

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