Bad Marketers Have No Understanding (of Their Customers’ Needs) 0

Smart marketing…is built around customer personas.

Who is buying from you – and exactly how much do you know about them?

What are your customers’ biggest challenges?

What problems keep them up at night?

If you’re like most small business owners, you can provide an off-the-cuff description of your buyers – but can you answer these three questions?

Smart marketers can. They deeply understand their customers’ biggest needs, challenges and desires. They recognize that not all customers are the same and create “personas” to analyze each segment individually.

What is a customer persona – and how do you create it?

As the name implies, a customer persona (also referred to as a “buyer persona” or “marketing persona”) is a general, semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Think of it like a composite sketch of a distinct type of buyer. But while the word “fictional” is used in the definition, a persona isn’t plucked from the air. It’s based on research and data about customers’ demographics, attitudes, challenges, concerns, behavior patterns, motivations and buying criteria that influence their purchasing decisions.

Here’s a quick overview of how to create a customer persona:

Gather and assemble data – and your team.

You will likely have to conduct market research (i.e., surveys and interviews) before creating a buyer persona, but you may already have useful data in your website analytics and CRM software. Bring together team members from marketing, customer service, sales/business development and any other customer-facing department to participate in the project.

Select and define a distinct group of buyers.

Start by selecting the biggest, easily definable group of customers you have, and then consider them collectively. Give the group a name, and define relevant characteristics that make them unique, such as:

  • Demographics (e.g., age, gender, salary, location, education, family)
  • Employment (e.g., job title, duties, industry, company size)
  • Goals, concerns and challenges (While it’s important to understand how you help solve their problems/achieve their goals, it’s also essential to think beyond your products/services and consider everything this type of individual deals with.)
  • Values and motivators (e.g., what guides their decision-making and behaviors; what objections do they have to your products/services)

Develop a marketing message and elevator pitch.

Once you know what’s important to this audience, as well as how you can help them meet their goals and overcome key challenges, use that knowledge to describe your products/services in terms relevant to this type of customer. Translate that description into an “elevator pitch,” which is a succinct, persuasive message that sparks interest in what your business does.

Repeat this entire process for each segment (distinct group of customers) you serve.

How do you leverage customer personas in marketing?

Creating detailed personas provides tremendous structure and insight for your company. Understanding each audience allows you to:

  • choose the best ways to connect with customers and prospects (e.g., social media, phone, email, in person);
  • hone marketing messages to make a greater impact;
  • create more targeted, relevant content for each type of buyer and each stage of the buying process;
  • stand out more effectively from the competition;
  • ultimately turn more prospects into buyers.

Knowing your customers’ challenges is fundamental to smart marketing.

Marketing without a clear understanding of what makes each audience “tick” is about as accurate as throwing darts blindfolded.

Don’t guess. Get expert help!

Make your marketing more targeted. And effective! Give BARQAR’s experts a call today.

 

The post Bad Marketers Have No Understanding (of Their Customers’ Needs) appeared first on BARQAR.


Source: Barqar

Moz the Monster: Anatomy of an (Averted) Brand Crisis 0

Posted by Dr-Pete

On the morning of Friday, November 10, we woke up to the news that John Lewis had launched an ad campaign called “Moz the Monster“. If you’re from the UK, John Lewis needs no introduction, but for our American audience, they’re a high-end retail chain that’s gained a reputation for a decade of amazing Christmas ads.

It’s estimated that John Lewis spent upwards of £7m on this campaign (roughly $9.4M). It quickly became clear that they had organized a multi-channel effort, including a #mozthemonster Twitter campaign.

From a consumer perspective, Moz was just a lovable blue monster. From the perspective of a company that has spent years building a brand, John Lewis was potentially going to rewrite what “Moz” meant to the broader world. From a search perspective, we were facing a rare possibility of competing for our own brand on Google results if this campaign went viral (and John Lewis has a solid history of viral campaigns).

Step #1: Don’t panic

At the speed of social media, it can be hard to stop and take a breath, but you have to remember that that speed cuts both ways. If you’re too quick to respond and make a mistake, that mistake travels at the same speed and can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating exactly the disaster you feared.

The first step is to get multiple perspectives quickly. I took to Slack in the morning (I’m two hours ahead of the Seattle team) to find out who was awake. Two of our UK team (Jo and Eli) were quick to respond, which had the added benefit of getting us the local perspective.

Collectively, we decided that, in the spirit of our TAGFEE philosophy, a friendly monster deserved a friendly response. Even if we chose to look at it purely from a pragmatic, tactical standpoint, John Lewis wasn’t a competitor, and going in metaphorical guns-blazing against a furry blue monster and the little boy he befriended could’ve been step one toward a reputation nightmare.

Step #2: Respond (carefully)

In some cases, you may choose not to respond, but in this case we felt that friendly engagement was our best approach. Since the Seattle team was finishing their first cup of coffee, I decided to test the waters with a tweet from my personal account:

I’ve got a smaller audience than the main Moz account, and a personal tweet as the west coast was getting in gear was less exposure. The initial response was positive, and we even got a little bit of feedback, such as suggestions to monitor UK Google SERPs (see “Step #3”).

Our community team (thanks, Tyler!) quickly followed up with an official tweet:

While we didn’t get direct engagement from John Lewis, the general community response was positive. Roger Mozbot and Moz the Monster could live in peace, at least for now.

Step #3: Measure

There was a longer-term fear – would engagement with the Moz the Monster campaign alter Google SERPs for Moz-related keywords? Google has become an incredibly dynamic engine, and the meaning of any given phrase can rewrite itself based on how searchers engage with that phrase. I decided to track “moz” itself across both the US and UK.

In that first day of the official campaign launch, searches for “moz” were already showing news (“Top Stories”) results in the US and UK, with the text-only version in the US:

…and the richer Top Stories carousel in the UK:

The Guardian article that announced the campaign launch was also ranking organically, near the bottom of page one. So, even on day one, we were seeing some brand encroachment and knew we had to keep track of the situation on a daily basis.

Just two days later (November 12), Moz the Monster had captured four page-one organic results for “moz” in the UK (at the bottom of the page):

While it still wasn’t time to panic, John Lewis’ campaign was clearly having an impact on Google SERPs.

Step #4: Surprises

On November 13, it looked like the SERPs might be returning to normal. The Moz Blog had regained the Top Stories block in both US and UK results:

We weren’t in the clear yet, though. A couple of days later, a plagiarism scandal broke, and it was dominating the UK news for “moz” by November 18:

This story also migrated into organic SERPs after The Guardian published an op-ed piece. Fortunately for John Lewis, the follow-up story didn’t last very long. It’s an important reminder, though, that you can’t take your eyes off of the ball just because it seems to be rolling in the right direction.

Step #5: Results

It’s one thing to see changes in the SERPs, but how was all of this impacting search trends and our actual traffic? Here’s the data from Google Trends for a 4-week period around the Moz the Monster launch (2 weeks on either side):

The top graph is US trends data, and the bottom graph is UK. The large spike in the middle of the UK graph is November 10, where you can see that interest in the search “moz” increased dramatically. However, this spike fell off fairly quickly and US interest was relatively unaffected.

Let’s look at the same time period for Google Search Console impression and click data. First, the US data (isolated to just the keyword “moz”):

There was almost no change in impressions or clicks in the US market. Now, the UK data:

Here, the launch spike in impressions is very clear, and closely mirrors the Google Trends data. However, clicks to Moz.com were, like the US market, unaffected. Hindsight is 20/20, and we were trying to make decisions on the fly, but the short-term shift in Google SERPs had very little impact on clicks to our site. People looking for Moz the Monster and people looking for Moz the search marketing tool are, not shockingly, two very different groups.

Ultimately, the impact of this campaign was short-lived, but it is interesting to see how quickly a SERP can rewrite itself based on the changing world, especially with an injection of ad dollars. At one point (in UK results), Moz the Monster had replaced Moz.com in over half (5 of 8) page-one organic spots and Top Stories – an impressive and somewhat alarming feat.

By December 2, Moz the Monster had completely disappeared from US and UK SERPs for the phrase “moz”. New, short-term signals can rewrite search results, but when those signals fade, results often return to normal. So, remember not to panic and track real, bottom-line results.

Your crisis plan

So, how can we generalize this to other brand crises? What happens when someone else’s campaign treads on your brand’s hard-fought territory? Let’s restate our 5-step process:

(1) Remember not to panic

The very word “crisis” almost demands panic, but remember that you can make any problem worse. I realize that’s not very comforting, but unless your office is actually on fire, there’s time to stop and assess the situation. Get multiple perspectives and make sure you’re not overreacting.

(2) Be cautiously proactive

Unless there’s a very good reason not to (such as a legal reason), it’s almost always best to be proactive and respond to the situation on your own terms. At least acknowledge the situation, preferably with a touch of humor. These brand intrusions are, by their nature, high profile, and if you pretend it’s not happening, you’ll just look clueless.

(3) Track the impact

As soon as possible, start collecting data. These situations move quickly, and search rankings can change overnight in 2017. Find out what impact the event is really having as quickly as possible, even if you have to track some of it by hand. Don’t wait for the perfect metrics or tracking tools.

(4) Don’t get complacent

Search results are volatile and social media is fickle – don’t assume that a lull or short-term change means you can stop and rest. Keep tracking, at least for a few days and preferably for a couple of weeks (depending on the severity of the crisis).

(5) Measure bottom-line results

As the days go by, you’ll be able to more clearly see the impact. Track as deeply as you can – long-term rankings, traffic, even sales/conversions where necessary. This is the data that tells you if the short-term impact in (3) is really doing damage or is just superficial.

The real John Lewis

Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to someone who has felt a much longer-term impact of John Lewis’ succesful holiday campaigns. Twitter user and computer science teacher @johnlewis has weathered his own brand crisis year after year with grace and humor:

So, a hat-tip to John Lewis, and, on behalf of Moz, a very happy holidays to Moz the Monster!

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Source: Moz

ReviewPush Partners With TripAdvisor to Enhance and Streamline Customer Experience 0

No stranger to the world of online reviews, TripAdvisor is known and utilized by millions worldwide. They are a leader in their field and have gained the trust of consumers from every corner of the world, something increasingly difficult to do in the digital age that we’ve all grown accustomed to.

Enter ReviewPush: a leader in the field of online reputation management. ReviewPush allows businesses of all calibers to stay on top of their business’ online presence by streamlining review management and making it easy for businesses to respond to the various reviews they receive on a daily basis. These two companies are masters of their art, and both understand and value the presence of online reviews in today’s world marketplace; regardless of the vertical.

As of today, ReviewPush has officially partnered up with TripAdvisor to enable its customers to monitor and engage with TripAdvisor reviews within the ReviewPush dashboard. Given TripAdvisor’s leading position with consumer reviews in the restaurant, hotel and attraction sectors, this partnership will integrate TripAdvisor reviews into the ReviewPush platform. This will allow the number of reviews a business receives to increase, while also enabling a greater depth of reviews on ReviewPush.

This partnership will further the ReviewPush mission to help brands and businesses manage their online reputation more efficiently. Customers will be able to analyze and benchmark TripAdvisor’s review data within ReviewPush – in aggregate with other review sources – to ultimately develop a more complete understanding of consumer satisfaction and needs. Customers will also be able to respond directly to their TripAdvisor reviews from within the ReviewPush mobile app or web-based dashboard. This partnership further elongates the ability for ReviewPush to help simplify the review response process, along with streamlining reputation management.

Are you tossing around the idea of trying online reputation management for your business? You know what they say; there’s no time like the present! With more to offer than ever before, ReviewPush is the place your business can trust and rely on for all of your online reputation management needs, and then some. Working with nearly 19,000 businesses worldwide, we know what it takes to be successful, and we want to help you be the best in the business. Getting started is free and easy!

The post ReviewPush Partners With TripAdvisor to Enhance and Streamline Customer Experience appeared first on ReviewPush.


Source: Review Push

Facebook Defeats Lawsuit Over Tracking Logged-Out Users–In re Facebook Internet Tracking 0

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 7.18.12 AMFacebook allegedly improperly tracked the activity of logged-out Facebook users on third party websites. Plaintiffs asserted claims based on common law rights and based on federal and state statutes, but the court previously rejected those. In the latest ruling, the court dismisses Plaintiffs’ claims based on breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith.

Plaintiffs argued that Facebook promised not to track logged out users, but these promises were contained in documents other than Facebook’s terms of service (its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”).

Plaintiffs cited to language from Facebook’s “data use policy” stating that Facebook receives data from the websites that users visit, including “if [a user is] logged into Facebook” the user ID. The key question was whether this language was incorporated by reference into the terms of use. The court says no, because the version of the privacy policy plaintiffs point to was not in existence at the time of the relevant versions of the terms of use plaintiffs allegedly relied on. In fact, Facebook changed the title of its privacy policy to a “data use policy,” and the terms of service plaintiffs relied on did not reference a “data use policy” at all.

Plaintiffs also pointed to certain “help center pages” but the court says none of those are referenced in the privacy policy. Even to the extent the terms incorporate the privacy policy, this doesn’t help plaintiffs. Plaintiffs in response argued that all of the various help center pages are part of a “single broader document” but the court says this argument has no factual basis. The various pages have different URLs and were attached by plaintiffs as different exhibits. Moreover:

[n]o evidence suggests that a Facebook user who reads one Help Center page has also read, or is even aware of, any of the others.

Plaintiffs also relied on a breach of the duty of good faith but the court says that this duty has to be anchored to a specific contractual provision and plaintiffs cannot point to one here.

__

Ouch. As the court notes, this lawsuit has been through several rounds of motion practice. It was whittled down until it was extinguished by the most recent order. Plaintiffs have yet to file a notice of appeal, although their appeal deadline has not yet run.

That websites have not given consumers meaningful choice on being tracked while logged out is one of the great failures of modern U.S. privacy laws. This seems like a basic privacy practice that a website should make obvious to a user and allow the user to opt-out from. Yet, as this case illustrates, no rule exists to force websites to do this.

Facebook’s terms of service and related documents are voluminous, and the court appears to employ a fairly technical reading in determining whether certain help page documents form a part of the contract. You should not need to be a lawyer to figure this stuff out.

Facebook is under a 20 year consent decree with the FTC. Perhaps this activity does not come under the scope of the consent decree, because it doesn’t involve any affirmative misrepresentations or over-riding of expressed consumer preferences? Either way, this seems like the type of thing a regulator may be well suited (or perhaps better suited than the plaintiffs’ bar) to address, and which may be falling through the cracks.

Case citation: In re Facebook Internet Tracking Litig., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190819 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 17, 2017) [pdf]

Related posts:

Facebook Scores Initial Win Against Privacy Plaintiffs Over Data Leakage Claims — In re Facebook Privacy Litigation

Facebook Privacy Class Action Filed by Lanier Firm Voluntarily Dismissed — Melkonian v. Facebook

Facebook Gets Bad Ruling In Face-Scanning Privacy Case–In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit Alleging Persistent Tracking

The “I Didn’t Understand Facebook’s Privacy Settings” Argument Isn’t Persuasive to Judges–Sumien v. CareFlite

Facebook and Zynga Privacy Litigation Dismissed With Prejudice [Catch up Post]


Source: Eric Goldman Legal

Keyword Research Beats Nate Silver’s 2016 Presidential Election Prediction 0

Posted by BritneyMuller

100% of statisticians would say this is a terrible method for predicting elections. However, in the case of 2016’s presidential election, analyzing the geographic search volume of a few telling keywords “predicted” the outcome more accurately than Nate Silver himself.

The 2016 US Presidential Election was a nail-biter, and many of us followed along with the famed statistician’s predictions in real time on FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver’s predictions, though more accurate than many, were still disrupted by the election results.

In an effort to better understand our country (and current political chaos), I dove into keyword research state-by-state searching for insights. Keywords can be powerful indicators of intent, thought, and behavior. What keyword searches might indicate a personal political opinion? Might there be a common denominator search among people with the same political beliefs?

It’s generally agreed that Fox News leans to the right and CNN leans to the left. And if we’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that the news you consume can have a strong impact on what you believe, in addition to the confirmation bias already present in seeking out particular sources of information.

My crazy idea: What if Republican states showed more “fox news” searches than “cnn”? What if those searches revealed a bias and an intent that exit polling seemed to obscure?

The limitations to this research were pretty obvious. Watching Fox News or CNN doesn’t necessarily correlate with voter behavior, but could it be a better indicator than the polls? My research says yes. I researched other media outlets as well, but the top two ideologically opposed news sources — in any of the 50 states — were consistently Fox News and CNN.

Using Google Keyword Planner (connected to a high-paying Adwords account to view the most accurate/non-bucketed data), I evaluated each state’s search volume for “fox news” and “cnn.”

Eight states showed the exact same search volumes for both. Excluding those from my initial test, my results accurately predicted 42/42 of the 2016 presidential state outcomes including North Carolina and Wisconsin (which Silver mis-predicted). Interestingly, “cnn” even mirrored Hillary Clinton, similarly winning the popular vote (25,633,333 vs. 23,675,000 average monthly search volume for the United States).

In contrast, Nate Silver accurately predicted 45/50 states using a statistical methodology based on polling results.

Click for a larger image

This gets even more interesting:

The eight states showing the same average monthly search volume for both “cnn” and “fox news” are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

However, I was able to dive deeper via GrepWords API (a keyword research tool that actually powers Keyword Explorer’s data), to discover that Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Ohio each have slightly different “cnn” vs “fox news” search averages over the previous 12-month period. Those new search volume averages are:

“fox news” avg monthly search volume

“cnn” avg monthly search volume

KWR Prediction

2016 Vote

Arizona

566333

518583

Trump

Trump

Nevada

213833

214583

Hillary

Hillary

New Mexico

138833

142916

Hillary

Hillary

Ohio

845833

781083

Trump

Trump

Pennsylvania

1030500

1063583

Hillary

Trump

Four out of five isn’t bad! This brought my new prediction up to 46/47.

Silver and I each got Pennsylvania wrong. The GrepWords API shows the average monthly search volume for “cnn” was ~33,083 searches higher than “fox news” (to put that in perspective, that’s ~0.26% of the state’s population). This tight-knit keyword research theory is perfectly reflected in Trump’s 48.2% win against Clinton’s 47.5%.

Nate Silver and I have very different day jobs, and he wouldn’t make many of these hasty generalizations. Any prediction method can be right a couple times. However, it got me thinking about the power of keyword research: how it can reveal searcher intent, predict behavior, and sometimes even defy the logic of things like statistics.

It’s also easy to predict the past. What happens when we apply this model to today’s Senate race?

Can we apply this theory to Alabama’s special election in the US Senate?

After completing the above research on a whim, I realized that we’re on the cusp of yet another hotly contested, extremely close election: the upcoming Alabama senate race, between controversy-laden Republican Roy Moore and Democratic challenger Doug Jones, fighting for a Senate seat that hasn’t been held by a Democrat since 1992.

I researched each Alabama county — 67 in total — for good measure. There are obviously a ton of variables at play. However, 52 out of the 67 counties (77.6%) 2016 presidential county votes are correctly “predicted” by my theory.

Even when giving the Democratic nominee more weight to the very low search volume counties (19 counties showed a search volume difference of less than 500), my numbers lean pretty far to the right (48/67 Republican counties):

It should be noted that my theory incorrectly guessed two of the five largest Alabama counties, Montgomery and Jefferson, which both voted Democrat in 2016.

Greene and Macon Counties should both vote Democrat; their very slight “cnn” over “fox news” search volume is confirmed by their previous presidential election results.

I realize state elections are not won by county, they’re won by popular vote, and the state of Alabama searches for “fox news” 204,000 more times a month than “cnn” (to put that in perspective, that’s around ~4.27% of Alabama’s population).

All things aside and regardless of outcome, this was an interesting exploration into how keyword research can offer us a glimpse into popular opinion, future behavior, and search intent. What do you think? Any other predictions we could make to test this theory? What other keywords or factors would you look at? Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you’ve enjoyed this post, check out Sam Wang’s Google-Wide Association Studies! –Fascinating read.

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Source: Moz