Archive for the ‘Strategy and Brand Building’

Facebook Ads and Google Adwords: 9 key differences to know 0

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Rob Petersen

facebook ads and google adwords

Facebook Ads and Google Adwords account for 57% of all digital ad spend in the U.S. this year. And 74% of growth in all U.S. ad spend.

Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are both huge networks with massive reach. And they don’t require a particularly big investment by any business to prove if they produce results.

If your business advertises or plans to advertise on the internet, Facebook Ads and Google Adwords are going to be players in your media plan.

The best solution is to get experience with both. There are some areas where one does better or work differently than the other.

Here are 9 key differences to know between Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

  1. REACH: Facebook has over 1.6 billion users, and Google has about 77% of global search volume. With over 180 billion Google searches per month, the potential reach of Google Adwords is far higher than that of Facebooks.
  2. TARGETING: Google doesn’t know people like Facebook does. Knowing what you Like, who you Like, who your friends and followers are and what you share has big advantages. On Facebook, you can choose the audience for your ads by using filters. They allow you to target your audience by demographic, interests, behavior and geography. Google Adwords, can trigger ads based search terms, affinities, topics of interest and geography. But Google can’t see what users “Like” or follow, nor can Google see data from their personal profile.
  3. AD CREATION: Facebook ads are created around what people like; Google Adwords around what they search: the Facebook ads creation process is different from AdWords. You target interests and behaviors with Facebook Ads. You target search phrases and needs on Google Adwords.
  4. COST PER CLICK (CPC): Facebook Ads on average cost less than Google Adwords. The average CPC on Google Adwords is between $0.35 to $5.00 with some industries like insurance as high as $54.17. With Facebook Ads, CPC’s are generally under $1.00 with retail industry averages at $0.45.
  5. CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Google Adwords is much more personal than Facebook Ads. Google Adwords has a support desk where a person can help you through the set up of your campaigns, explains resources, provide suggestions or act as sounding board. If your ads are having approval issues, their customer support people can tell you the reason. With Facebook Ads, although the dashboards are clear and easy to use, there is no personal support or interaction.
  6. BRANDING: Google Adwords has stronger branding opportunities. With AdWords, a click takes you to a company’s landing page, where branding, design and sales copy send a strong signal to the user. Google Adwords also has option to hype brand name in ads and use ad extensions to provide additional links to a website or callouts explaining other benefits to the brand that are not mentioned in the ads.
  7. SOCIAL PROOF: Facebook Ads own this area. On Facebook, you can see who Likes your ads, shares your ads and comments on your ads. Since 55% of consumers use Facebook to learn about brands the validation of others can be a very persuasive influence.
  8. ANALYTICS: Google Adwords is a more end-to-end solution. With Google Adwords, your ads can be linked through Google Analytics to determine the direct effect your advertising to desired action on your website and to understanding the consumer journey of your visitors to your website.
  9. ROI: As with any marketing strategy you’ll need to consider your return on investment. Google Adwords has a higher average conversion rate than Facebook ads. The average conversion rate on Google Adwords is 2.35%. On Facebook Ads, it is between 1-2%.  Since conversion rate is one of the strongest precursors  of ROI Google Adwords can be used to more precisely show ROI than Facebook ads.

Given the growth rate of Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, our advise for and digital advertiser is to get experience and understand the benefits of both for your business.

Do these key difference help explain Facebook Ads and Google Adwords to you? Does you need help determining how Facebook Ads and Google Adwords can produce results for your business?




9 surprisingly simple steps to social selling success 0

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social selling success

Social selling success is giving your target prospects information that they value, appreciate and remember so you distinguish yourself from your competition and gain their attention and trust.

Although rewards are great, most salespeople are still  in the dark about how to effective use of social media for sales.

  • Only 26% of salespeople say they how to use social media to sell.  (HubSpot)
  • 31% of reps incorporate social media into their sales process. (HubSpot)
  • 78% of reps who use social selling practices outsell their peers. (PeopleLinx)

Technology has changed but human nature hasn’t. Social selling success but the social before the sell but still requires the key skills most salespeople have been trained for:

  • Business Acumen
  • People Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Social Media Savvy

Here are 9 surprisingly simple steps to social selling success,


1. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGETS: Social networks are also search engines. Start with some research. Go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or any social network where customers hang out and explore names in the search box. Use it see the profiles of customers, prospects, industry leaders, companies, professional groups and events. Look at their number of followers, Likes, connections and members. Create a list of the people you believe would be in your best interest to track and follow.

2.BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE: Start following, Liking, connecting and joining. In very little time, you’ll have an audience. This is going to be one of your most important social media assets. You may even want to use a monitoring tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck to see what your audience is saying, what people say about you and what your most important customers, prospects or competitors. If you build an audience, a certain percentage is going to become customers.


3. PRESENT YOURSELF WELL: Fill out your profiles on social networks. Takes advantage of all the fields. Use photos that look professional and friendly. Tell your story in the allotted character so it is clear who you are, what you do and why people should find you interesting and like you. Almost everyone should be on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – that includes lawyers, finance companies and pharmaceuticals.

4. JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION: According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.


5. GIVE VALUABLE INFORMATION AND ADVICE: Create posts that you want your followers to see. Provide information that shows why are you in business and how you serve people. Give advice that can solve problems. Use URL shorteners to link to articles. Include images and videos. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Identify messages on a specific topics with hashtags to increase reach and relevance. Don’t just post and walk away. If you do that, you are missing prime opportunities to engage with your audience and convert them when they respond or share to what you’ve written.

6. SHARE INFORMATION AND SUCCESSES OF OTHERS: Sharing can be just as effective as creating your own content in bringing value to others and growing and nourishing  relationships. 78% of people share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about. 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action. Since it’s relatively easy to pass along good information and advice from peers, get in the habit of doing it.


7. BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME: If you’ve been following our advice, you probably already have a sense of when your audience is on their social network pages and when your content is shared. Tracking tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck, discussed earlier, show when your audience is most active. They can also be used to schedule your posts in advance for the days and times when your audience is most active. Below is an infographic from Contently showing what are the best days and times to post on social networks.

8. MEASURE AND MANAGE: See how you are progressing and what is creating business value. Avinash Kaushik of Google has an effective way to determine the business value of social media efforts called Conversation, Amplification and Applause. Simply put, Conversation is the # of conversions that come from your posts. Amplification is the rate that your content is shared and commented. Applause is how fast your audience is growing.. These categories are not mutually exclusive and the benefits range from awareness to sales.

9. KNOW WHEN TO TAKE IT OFFLINE: Most sales still do occur offline. By this time, you have reached key targets and gained their attention and trust, messaging tools are available of all social networks to reach out when the time is right. If you’ve done social selling right, you’ve distinguished yourself so your audience would be willing to engage with you and help you out.

Do the steps to social selling success seem simple enough to you. Do you need help taking your social selling success to the level it should be at.

social selling success - infographic

9 motivating mobile apps marketing case studies prove ROI 0

Posted on August 14, 2017 by Rob Petersen

mobile apps marketing

Mobile apps marketing is a must.

The Apple App store now has close to 2 million apps while Google Play has over 2.2 million apps.  For most businesses that build an app, they won’t come without mobile apps marketing. Consider these facts.

  • 25% of installed apps are never used. —Google
  • 26% of installed apps are abandoned after the first use. —Google
  • 51% of companies measure user engagement and return on investment (ROI). —Adobe and Econsultancy
  • The average Android app loses 77% of its daily active users (DAUs) within the first three days after the install, and 90% within the first 30 days. —Quettra
  • Of those who stop using apps, 30% would use an app again if offered a discount, and 24% would reuse an app if offered exclusive or bonus content. —Google
  • 78% of companies use paid media to drive app downloads. —Adobe Mobile Maturity Survey

Who’s doing mobile apps marketing right? Here are 9 motivating mobile apps marketing case studies that prove ROI.

  1. ARGOS: A digital retailing leader, wanted to deliver a truly multi-channel experience, encompassing a website, mobile-optimised site, iPhone app, iPad app, and Android phone and tablet apps. The multi-channel journey capabilities mean that customers can now have 14 combinations of order and fulfillment to suit their needs; they can easily start their journey in one place and pick it up in another. Multi-channel sales penetration increased to over 50% of total sales, with receiving 440m visitors per year. The internet accounted for 42% of total company sales and ‘Check and Reserve’ was Argos’ fastest growing channel. The iPhone app has been downloaded over 2,500,000 times, the Android app over 625,000 times and the iPad app over 450,000 times.
  2. ASDA: British supermarket chain Asda is the UK’s second largest chain by market share, and has more than 500 UK stores. The retailer’s objective was to meet the growing use of mobile by building an app that made shopping quicker and more convenient for its customers. Customer feedback showed that customers wanted an app that was simple and easy to use, so the resulting design included a recipe finder, barcode scanner, and a store locator.  Mobile now accounts for 18% of all ASDA grocery home shopping sales – 90% of this from the app. Asda app shoppers are twice as likely to become loyal, repeat customers. Shopping frequency for mobile is 1.8 times higher than desktop.
  3. BEJEWELED: Is the name of the series of tile-matching puzzle games created by PopCap Games. To generate campaign awareness, Bejeweled recruited top Instagram influencers to share photos of themselves playing the game under the branded hashtag #shinyplace. Bejeweled launched the Instagram marketing campaign on May 10th, the game’s rank on the Apple’s top-grossing U.S. iPhone games chart has climbed from 454th to the 135th. Bejeweled rose from the 702nd to the 182nd top-grossing app on the U.S. Apple App Store during that same time-frame.
  4. CUMBERLAND FARMS: With over 500+ retail stores and gas stations located across the Mid-Atlantic, Cumberland Farms today is one of the largest privately held companies in the world, Revenues are over 16+ billion annually. With so many locations and over 6,000+ employees, trying to compile and organize the data from each store in a timely manner was becoming almost impossible. By developing a Cumberland Farms app for employees, Cumberland Farms has collected well over 145,000 digital reports and reduced their paper costs by $11,000 per year. They also saw a full return on their investment within 6 months of fully deploying to their field teams. All of this, as well as their dramatic increase in productivity, lead to their recurring ROI of over $400,0000.
  5. JANSSEN (PSORIASIS 360): Launched a mobile phone app to help psoriasis patients track the severity of their condition. The index helped them know when to seek professional care and allowed their medical professional assess to the severity of their patient’s condition. Janssen also opened a Facebook page, which they moderated for regulatory reasons, to let patients tell personal stories and had over 30,000 posts and comments. According to Janssen, the investment in the mobile app overachieved ROI but more important delivered the right therapy to the right patient at crucial times.
  6. MARRIOT: Wanted a marketing app to help distinguish its steak restaurants, Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, from others and to open up possibilities through mobile reach. The app was intended to give interesting and useful information to lovers of steak and gin. It also allowed users yo book tables and see special deals and updates. The app has had over 1,500 downloads in 60 countries and 27,000 screen views. Over 60% of users return to the app multiple times and users access an average of 11 screens per session showing strong engagement with the content.
  7. MCDONALD’S: Designed a ‘restaurant finder’ app to enable consumers to find a late-night McDonald’s because two-thirds of its restaurants close at 11pm. McDonald’s employed location-based technology and geo-targeted above-the-line messaging, to avoid sending potential customers to a locked door. The app has been downloaded 1,300,000 times. When the sales uplift was calculated, the campaign delivered an ROI of 2:1.
  8. PROVIDENCE: Providence Anesthesiology Associates (PAA) is a team of 60+ anaesthesiologists providing care for over 100,000 patients each year at 19 locations in the US. The initial app created by PAA is a dashboard capable of pulling in all the different internal resources that might be required by clinicians and employees into one place. This gives one centralized point of access to all the documents from the internal cloud storage solution as well as from internal mobile sites including surveys and data collection. The PAA mobile app is now used by all PAA physicians.
  9. STARBUCKS: About 21% of Starbucks transactions are done by mobile app with 11 million signed up. But this amount of sales volume doesn’t happen by itself. To stay top of mind with its audience, Starbucks employs: 1) Special offers, 2) loyalty program, 3) messaging and notifications, 4) mobile order and pay and 5) personalization. A by-product of these mobile app marketing tactics is a wealth of data they get about their audience to improve their mobile apps marketing.

Do these case studies prove the ROI of mobile apps marketing to you. Do you need help with the marketing of your mobile app?

5 biggest marketing budget mistakes to avoid (Infographic) 0

Posted on August 07, 2017 by Rob Petersen

Marketing budget is an area that comes with plenty of advice about what to do. Seemingly everyone has an opinion on the best channels and tactics to invest in to achieve success.

But what about what not do to? Which errors in judgment lead to inefficient spends in the short term and strategic failures in the long term?

To find out, MDG advertising went through recent research reports and analyst evaluations to see where businesses tend to go wrong most with their marketing budget.

Here is what they found as well as in infographic they created, 5 Big Marketing Budget Mistakes to Avoid.

1. Beginning with Bad Data
Every marketer knows that marketing budget planning is both an art and a science. It’s a given that some choices will be based on hunches, while others will be based on knowledge and evidence.

What’s often overlooked, though, is that many of the analysis-driven decisions end up being no better than the guesses. Why? In large part because of poor data quality.

  • Companies believe that 32% of their data is inaccurate, on average (Experian)

This unreliable data, which ranges from imprecise analytics dashboards to major gaps in customer databases, connects directly to bad budget choices.

  • 91% of firms believe that poor data leads to wasted marketing spend (HubSpot)

The effectiveness of your marketing budget is hugely dependent on the reliability of your initial assumptions. It’s impossible to plan for the future without properly understanding the present.

2. Failing to Coordinate with Sales
To be successful, a marketing campaign must help its business. No amount of engagement or buzz matters if there’s not some direct impact on revenue.

Despite that simple fact, many marketers fail to deliver what their partners in sales want.

  • 50% of salespeople are not satisfied with their firm’s marketing efforts (Knowledge Tree)

This disconnect is mainly rooted in two issues: marketing and sales don’t work together closely enough, and salespeople don’t believe marketers’ success is linked properly to revenue.

  • Both marketers and salespeople say the biggest issue separating their two departments is communication (Harvard Business Review)
  • 55% of salespeople believe marketers are not measured by results (MDG Advertising)

A marketing budget should be developed in conjunction with other departments, especially sales. Moreover, each spend should be directly connected to an expected business outcome.

3. Underinvesting in Proven Workhorses
For most marketers, there are a few tried-and-true core strategies/channels that continue to deliver superb results year after year.

A good example of this is email marketing, which remains a cornerstone of many firms’ marketing budget.

  • 52% of marketers say email is one of the most effective channels they use (Digital Doughnut)
  • 91% of marketers say email is essential to content marketing success (Capterra)

With proven workhorses like email, the instinct of many marketers is to maintain or lower spend. After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

The flaw in this reasoning is that returns on effective channels tend to diminish over time without continued attention.

Even with an approach like email there are new evolutions—from deeper personalization to richer automation—that can dramatically improve effectiveness. That’s why it’s important to continue to increase investment in what’s already working.

4. Underestimating the Speed of Change
On the other end of the spectrum from the proven workhorses are emerging platforms and formats.

For many marketers, it’s a struggle to see how these new channels can help their business in the near term, so investment gets pushed for a later date.

The problem with this approach is that change increasingly happens very fast and at huge scale. Just look at the seismic shift in advertising over the last decade:

  • In 2007, digital accounted for 8% of total U.S. ad spend and print accounted for 38% (Econsultancy)
  • In 2017, digital is projected to account for 38% of total U.S. ad spend and print for 12% (Econsultancy)

There are any number of fresh technologies that could see similarly rapid rises in the coming years. For example:

  • 2.6 billion consumers worldwide are expected to be using messaging apps by 2020 (Tech Crunch)
  • Revenue from virtual reality and augmented reality products/services is projected to increase from $5.2 billion today to $162 billion in 2020 (Business Insider)

Spending some of your marketing budget on unproven approaches may be difficult to justify, but it’s essential. By embracing what’s new, you’re setting up your team and firm for future success.

5. Evaluating Too Little, Too Infrequently
How can you tell if your marketing budgets are delivering as expected? The only way to know for sure is to evaluate its effectiveness.

This starts with looking at the foundation. It’s not enough to develop a budget and sit back; to achieve consistent marketing success, you must regularly check whether your strategy is sound.

Evaluation, of course, doesn’t just apply to strategy. To make the most of your marketing spend, it’s necessary to also monitor and test execution. Yet, many firms fail to do this well.

  • 70% of companies don’t test marketing campaigns with consumers regularly (Harvard Business Review)
  • 74% of marketers believe their analytics tools could be better utilized and integrated (HubSpot)

The only way you’ll know if your marketing budget is successful is to review both strategy and execution consistently. Ultimately, devoting time and money to ongoing evaluation and testing may be the most important investment you make.

To find out more on how to avoid common pitfalls, check out the full infographic, 5 Big Marketing Budget Mistakes to Avoid.

marketing budget - Infographic

Does your company make or avoid these mistakes? Are you looking for a strategy to achieve success with your marketing budget?

Why Google and Facebook ads dominate. 7 lessons learned 0

Posted on July 31, 2017 by Rob Petersen

Google and Facebook ads

Google and Facebook ads are expected to take 50% of all digital ad revenue worldwide this year; 60% in the United States. That makes Google (who went public in 2004) and Facebook (who went public in 2012) the biggest behemoth in advertising ever.

Last week was a very good week for Google and Facebook ads. Facebook announced it made $9.3 billion this quarter, +45%  compared with last year. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, posted earnings of $26.0 billion in the same time period, +21% from a year ago. The vast majority of all this revenue came from advertising, 87% for Google, and a whopping 98% for Facebook.

What’s changed? What does this teach us? Where is it going?

Here are 7 lessons learned from Google and Facebook ads dominance.

  1. REACH HAS BEEN REDEFINED: Advertisers are flocking to Google and Facebook ads because they reach the most people. There are 1.94 billions Facebook users and 3.5 billion searches on Google every day. “Marketers aren’t going to get fired for hiring Facebook and Google,” said Harry Kargman, chief executive of Kargo, which manages digital marketing for media companies including Time Inc.
  2. BEST RESOURCE FOR BUYING BEHAVIORS: People spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. On Google, it’s an hour a day on weekdays and two and a half hour on weekends. Six Facebook and six Google-owned apps account for more than 36% of the time spent on mobile. And Google and Facebook know about every click. And, if those clicks lead to a purchase with a credit-card or either platform and anyplace affiliated, Google and Facebook know the buying behavior.
  3. TARGETING IS AN AREA OF EXPERTISE: With all that information, ads can be be targeted by gender, demographics, affinities, topics of interest, time of day, day of week and geography (down to the mile-radius level around a specific location).
  4. DATA IS AVAILABLE AND DASHBOARDS ARE ACCESSIBLE: Data on users and their preferences and behavior is the Holy Grail for most advertisers, and the reality is that Google and Facebook have orders of magnitude more data than their nearest competitors, and more ways to slice and dice it. Google Adwords dashboard are sophisticated, customized and can be linked to Google Analytics to show both ad performance and website migration and conversion activities. Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook Insights can track audience growth, engagement and clicks to conversions as well.
  5. COMPLEMENT RATHER THAN COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER: Although Google and Facebook may appear like a Coke vs Pepsi competition, the two are much more complementary than you might think. Paid search, which has become synonymous with Google Ads, focuses on targeting people based on keywords they search.  Facebook ads reach people looking to find out what others, mostly people they know, are doing and saying.
  6. FOR EVERYMAN TO ENTERPRISE: 41% of small businesses use Facebook. It is estimated over 3,000,000 businesses advertise on Facebook. Over 3,000,000 businesses are also estimated to advertise on Google. Google and Facebook ads have created an ecosystem where both are equally important.
  7. AD SATURATION MAY BE AN ISSUE AT SOME POINT: There is only so much space in a Facebook timeline and so many search pages on Google. Video is one market that Facebook and Google both view as a crucial new frontier. With huge investments planned, the companies are preparing to do to the television advertising business what they have long since done to traditional print advertising: namely, take much of it for themselves. Facebook’s Instagram unit is also becoming a bigger producer of revenue, with video likely to be a big part of the mix.

Growth for Google and Facebook ads are making the future of rivals more uncertain. In the U.S. market, no other digital ad platform now has market share above 5%.

Do these lessons explain the dominance of Google and Facebook ads to you?  Do you need help determining where a digital advertising strategy for your business using Google and Facebook ads should go?

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