Is Government Failing in a Digital World?

In a recent article, Gerry McGovern a well-known digital blogger states that Government, like all organizations, claims to exist to serve citizens but in reality, is usually more interested in serving itself. Digital is increasingly exposing government incompetence and how remote from the real life of people so many in government are (particularly at a senior level). http://gerrymcgovern.com/digital-is-making-government-redundant/

This year, Canada`s Auditor General Michael Ferguson wrote, “we see government programs that are not designed to help those who have to navigate them, programs where the focus is more on what civil servants are doing than on what citizens are getting, where delivery times are long, where data is incomplete, and where public reporting does not provide a clear picture of what departments have done.” Continue reading “Is Government Failing in a Digital World?”

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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.

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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

Check out this article

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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Review of Marketing Predictions for The Coming Year and Beyond

The coming year will see many innovations and changes in marketing. I have recently surfed the web and checked into Marketing Prof and here are some of the key marketing predictions for the coming year and beyond.

 

Uber2

When you hear the word “design,” what comes to mind? Graphic design? Websites? Print? Uber?! Uber is a logistics company that has tapped into the design world to make your life easier and make you feel special. You don’t need cash, you don’t have to tip, and you can call everything from a sedan to a limo. Its customer experience is designed to take into account that we now carry our mobile phones more than we do cash. It understands we like to ride in clean, comfortable cars, and that we want a car to come when you need it—whenever and wherever. That is what sets Uber apart—its ease of use and elegance of design. In 2016, customers are going to expect you to recognize their needs and demonstrate that you know them. They want tailored online shopping experiences and apps that auto-populate content of interest to them. In short, customers are growing accustomed to being recognized as humans and demanding experiences designed with their humanity in mind. Source

At a time when consumers demand instant gratification, marketers must more deeply engage each customer to build advocacy. The key is cognitive commerce. This will enable marketers to gain insights into a vast collection of information and possibilities, understand what individuals really want and what they are saying, get a line of sight into their unique personalities, how they respond to different messages and much more. With this deeper level of insight marketers can identify patterns and make unlikely connections that allow them to engage consumers in highly personalized in context conversations.

2014-edelman-trust-barometer-global-results-1-638

Studies have shown that only 14% of people trust traditional advertising, and yet 78% of us trust our peers for recommendations. According to Edelman Trust Barometer, employees’ voices have more power than CEOs in the digital bazaar.  Leading brands are investing resources to create a workforce of engaged brand ambassadors.  The result is a win/win. The company benefits from more authentic communication, and employees build personal brands.  At the core of this approach is trust, authenticity, and transparency—the cultural pillars essential for activating the workforce around social business best practices. The net result: “Branding from the inside out.”

OCULUS RIFT LAUNCH

Virtual reality technology, like Oculus Rift, will inevitably have a huge impact on the way that marketers engage consumers in 2016. One of the biggest keys to marketing, especially to Millennials, is personalization. With the ability to literally tell 360-degree stories, companies will be able to engage like never before. The media and marketing world has gone through an increasing rate of change, with the explosion of new channels, new devices and entirely new formats arriving on a weekly basis to create massive new opportunities, complexity and headaches for marketers. But those changes will be nothing compared to what is about to hit us on the TV landscape. The arrival of VR (virtual reality) in 2016, combined with a major explosion of streaming and the death of old world distribution models will unleash a new age of what we used to call “TV”. Adoption of VR in 2016 and beyond will undoubtedly cause some kind of shift in marketing ideology.

It’s easy to get caught up in the new-fanged tech trends that allow us to connect more seamlessly with our consumers, but to what end?  If you don’t have the basics of your brand and business mastered, the best social media campaign in the world won’t save you.  First, know what you stand for.  Whether your company calls it a Purpose, Point of Difference, Proposition, or Master Equity, know how you’re different from competitors and drive that message home.  Second, while content may be king, context is queen.  Make sure you marry your message with your medium.

The next frontier for marketing teams is finding cohesive alignment with their data science counterparts. Although traditionally thought of as two totally different animals―analytical number-crunchers vs. message-obsessed creative types―both groups serve a brand’s goal of deeply understanding the customer persona. In the new world of data-driven content and advertising, data science and marketing must operate as a coordinated unit, with predictive analytics driving targeted communication with consumers. Data is the rocket fuel for marketing’s future.

2016 will be the year of the great data exchange between consumers and marketers – and this will prove dangerous for marketers that don’t catch on. People want something more in return for the information they give to organizations, and it has to be meaningful to them. This particularly rings true with Millennials and Generation Z, who are much more inclined to share their data such as mobile numbers, lifestyle information and email addresses with brands. Savvy marketers will understand this and those who will be winning will be the ones who can provide personalized and meaningful experiences beyond just financial incentives to earn lifelong loyalty.

Marketers place great value on understanding buyer intent so they can present the most effective messages or calls-to-action on the Web. For a long time, though, gleaning intent from visitors’ browsing behavior and actually acting on it was just a pipe dream. That’s no longer the case, as technology can now interpret behavioral data in real time and instantly deliver a relevant message, recommendation or experience at the 1:1 level – and we’ll see marketers capitalize on these capabilities more in the year ahead. Newer systems even incorporate machine-based learning and response automation, helping unlock the full potential of intent-based marketing.

facebook-live-header2-644x250All signs point to video. Whether it’s Facebook Live, video on Twitter, Periscope, Blab, Instagram, Vine, or the old standby YouTube, this will be the year when video becomes a primary content marketing consideration for all brands–even B2B.This is partially because the customer appetite for video is insatiable, and it’s the most efficient way to atomize content marketing. Video will continue to drive marketing and be used even more in advertising. Live streaming will continue to grow and apps like Blab and Periscope will continue to gain market share.  Source

Add-me-on-Snapchat-itsjayebmf16Snapchat is already moving into the space of a “standard marketing platform.” In the upcoming year, marketers will come to understand that Snapchat isn’t just a tool for fun marketing experiments; it’s a platform that users are flocking to in order to digest social media in real time. In order to deliver integrated campaigns that make constituents feel connected, especially the Millennials you need to be offering exclusive content that has an expiration date. This “less is more,” or ephemeral, marketing is all about communication that’s shorter and more to the point. In a world where people have less and less time, this model works. Snapchat is the ultimate platform for making consumers feel connected and at the same time, unique. Take advantage of this huge opportunity to connect uniquely using just a small window of your audience’s time. Be organic, speak their language, and just cut to the chase.

With Facebook already working on tests for its own search engine, it seems inevitable that search capabilities will go far beyond Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As search capabilities improve within social media, brands will get an automatic boost. In addition, when buy buttons and payment messaging appear on social media in 2016, an all-in-one-type platform will manifest (more convergence). With advanced search capabilities, integrated payment methods, and the social impact that empowers sites like Facebook and Twitter, consumers will be able to make purchases, chat with their friends about what they bought, and post the social proof of their new purchase. Advanced search will bring a more integrated social experience that expands to the e-commerce realm. If you cater your marketing efforts to this all-in-one, buy-and-share social media search, it’s clear you will realize returns. Make the buying process easier, but also make it an experience.

wearable-techWearable technology will see a user adoption rate of 28 percent by 2016 – even more data for marketers to mine. So, will this data be derived from people’s day-to-day habits? It looks that way. Every year from now until the foreseeable future, we’ll see the it become a bigger tool that marketers can use to engage with customers. Source

quora_111638114155_640x360Quora is an online knowledge market, and currently it isn’t used that much. However, it gets a ton of traffic, and content creators are able to get the same, if not more, exposure on Quora as earned media from a typical publication owing to Quora’s prebuilt audience and how its algorithm for its feed works.

 

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