15 May What industry sectors tend to be better performers? Why? How may Covid-19 lead to growth in certain sectors and decline of other sectors that will have to ‘re-invent’ them
- What industry sectors tend to be better performers? Why? How may Covid-19 lead to growth in certain sectors and decline of other sectors that will have to 're-invent' themselves to make them competitive? You may pick a sector from healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, manufacture, IT, or transport.
- Select any company from the Standard & Poor's 500. Select one or more activities in the company's value chain that would be candidates for relocation to another country. Provide a brief justification and examine the challenges you see in coordinating the global value chain after the proposed value-chain activities of your chosen company are set up in the new country.
cite examples when you describe theories from the attached reading and research. You may use examples from your organization or industry, current or recent news-makers, or other reliable sources.
Crafting a Digital Marketing Strategy
Any activity with an end goal (whether it’s winning a war, building a city, or selling a product) should have a blueprint in place for every person in the organization to follow. In digital marketing, however, there is no single definitive approach—each business must create its own roadmap. However, there are questions you can use to guide the process.
A strategy needs to cover who you are, what you are offering and to whom, and why and how you are doing so. The steps and questions below cover what an organization should be aware of when creating and implementing a strategy that will meet its marketing objectives and solve its challenges.
Step 1: Examine the Context
The first step in crafting a successful strategy is to examine the context of the organization and the various stakeholders:
· What is the context in which you are operating (PESTLE factors) and how is this likely to change in the future?
· Who are you, why does your brand matter, and what makes your brand useful and valuable?
· Who are your customers, and what needs, wants, and desires do they have?
· Who are your competitors? These may extend beyond organizations that compete with you on the basis of price and product and could also be competition in the form of abstracts such as time and mindshare.
Thorough market research will reveal the answers to these questions.
Step 2: Examine Your Value Exchange
Once you have examined the market situation, the second step is an examination of your value proposition or promise. In other words, what unique value can your organization add to that market? It is important to identify the supporting value-adds to the brand promise that are unique to the digital landscape. What extras, beyond the basic product or service, do you offer to customers?
The internet offers many channels for value creation. However, the value depends largely on the target audience, so it is crucial to research your users and gather insights into what they want and need.
Content marketing is the process of conceptualizing and creating this sort of content. Examples of value-based content include a DIY gardening video for a hardware brand, a research paper for a business analyst, or a funny infographic for a marketing company.
Step 3: Establish Digital Marketing Goals
When setting your digital marketing goals, there are three key aspects to consider: objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), and targets. Let’s look at each one in turn.
Objectives are essential to any marketing endeavor. Without them, your strategy would have no direction and no end goal or win conditions. It’s important to be able to take a step back and ask several questions:
· What are you trying to achieve?
· How will you know if you are successful?
Objectives need to be SMART:
· specific—The objective must be clear and detailed, rather than vague and general.
· measurable—The objective must be measurable so that you can gauge whether you are attaining the desired outcome.
· attainable—The objective must be something that is possible for your brand to achieve, based on available resources.
· realistic—The objective must also be sensible and based on data and trends; don’t exaggerate or overestimate what can be achieved.
· time-bound—Finally, the objective must be linked to a specific timeframe.
Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the specific metrics or pieces of data that you will look at to determine whether your tactics are performing well and meeting your objectives. For example, a gardener may look at the growth rate, color, and general appearance of a plant to evaluate whether it is healthy. In the same way, a marketer will look at a range of data points to determine whether a chosen tactic is delivering. KPIs are determined per tactic, with an eye on the overall objective.
Finally, targets are the specific values that are set for your KPIs to reach within a specific time period. If you meet or exceed a target, you are succeeding; if you don’t reach it, you’re falling behind on your objectives and you need to reconsider your approach (or your target).
Example of Digital Marketing Goals
SMART objective: Increase sales through the eCommerce platform by 10 percent within the next six months.
· Search advertising—number of search referrals; cost per click on the ads
· Facebook brand page—number of comments and shares on campaign; specific posts
· Search advertising—one thousand search referrals after the first month, with a 10 percent month-on-month increase after that
· Facebook brand page—50 comments and 10 shares on campaign-specific posts per week
Step 4: Establish Tactics and Evaluation
Tactics are the specific tools or approaches you will use to meet your objectives, for example, a retention-based email newsletter, a Facebook page, or a CRM implementation. As a strategy becomes more complex, you may have multiple tactics working together to try to achieve the same objective. Tactics may change (and often should), but the objective should remain your focus.
Many digital tools and tactics are available once you have defined your digital marketing objectives. Each tactic has its strengths. For example, acquisition (gaining new customers) may best be driven by search advertising, while email is one of the most effective tools for selling more products to existing customers.
The table below expands on some of the most popular tactics available to digital marketers and their possible outcomes.
Common Tactics and Their Outcomes
SEO—This is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher on the search engine results pages for relevant search terms. SEO involves creating relevant, fresh and user-friendly content that search engines index and serve when people enter a search term that is relevant to your product or service.
Customer retention and acquisition—SEO has a key role to play in acquisition, as it ensures your organization’s offering will appear in the search results, allowing you to reach potential customers. A site that is optimized for search engines is also a site that is clear, relevant and well designed. These elements ensure a great user experience, meaning that SEO also plays a role in retention.
Search advertising—In pay-per-click or search advertising, the advertiser pays only when someone clicks on their ad. The ads appear on search engine results pages.
Sales, customer retention, and acquisition—The beauty of search advertising is that it is keyword based. This means an ad will come up in response to the search terms entered by the consumer. It therefore plays a role in sales, acquisition and retention. It allows the advertiser to reach people who are already in the buying cycle or are expressing interest in what they have to offer.
Online advertising—Online advertising covers advertising in all areas of the Internet – ads in emails, ads on social networks and mobile devices, and display ads on normal websites.
Branding and acquisition—The main objective of display advertising is to raise brand awareness online. It can also be more interactive and therefore less disruptive than traditional or static online advertising, as users can choose to engage with the ad or not. Online advertising can be targeted to physical locations, subject areas, past user behaviors, and much more.
Affiliate marketing—Affiliate marketing is a system of reward whereby referrers are given a finder’s fee for every referral they give.
Sales and branding—Online affiliate marketing is widely used to promote eCommerce websites, with the referrers being rewarded for every visitor, subscriber or customer provided through their efforts. It is a useful tactic for brand building and acquisition.
Video marketing—Video marketing involves creating video content. This can either be outright video advertising, or can be valuable, useful, content marketing.
Branding, customer retention, and value creation—Since it is so interactive and engaging, video marketing is excellent for capturing and retaining customer attention. Done correctly, it provides tangible value— in the form of information, entertainment or inspiration—and boosts a brand’s image in the eyes of the public.
Social media—Social media, also known as consumer-generated media, is media (in the form of text, visuals and audio) created to be shared. It has changed the face of marketing by allowing collaboration and connection in a way that no other channel has been able to offer.
Branding, value creation, and participation—From a strategic perspective, social media is useful for brand building, raising awareness of the brand story and allowing the consumer to become involved in the story through collaboration. Social media platforms also play a role in building awareness, due to their shareable, viral nature. They can also provide crowdsourced feedback and allow brands to share valuable content directly with their fans.
Email marketing—Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that delivers commercial and content-based messages to an audience. It is extremely cost effective, highly targeted, customizable on a mass scale and completely measurable—all of which make it one of the most powerful digital marketing tactics.
Customer retention and value creation—Email marketing is a tool for building relationships with potential and existing customers through valuable content and promotional messages. It should maximize the retention and value of these customers, ultimately leading to greater profitability for the organization as a whole. A targeted, segmented email database means that a brand can direct messages at certain sectors of their customer base in order to achieve the best results.
Once the objectives and tactics have been set, these should be cross-checked and re-evaluated against the needs and resources of your organization to make sure your strategy is on the right track and no opportunities are being overlooked.
Step 5: Ongoing Optimization
It is increasingly important for brands to be dynamic, flexible, and agile when marketing online. New tactics and platforms emerge every week, customer behaviors change over time, and people’s needs and wants from brands evolve as their relationships grow. The challenge is to break through the online clutter to connect with customers in an original and meaningful way.
This process of constant change should be considered in the early stages of strategy formulation, allowing tactics and strategies to be modified and optimized as you go. After all, developing a digital marketing strategy should be iterative, innovative, and open to evolution.
Understanding user experience and the user journey is vital to building successful brands. A budget should be set aside upfront for analyzing user data and optimizing conversion paths.
Social thinking and socially informed innovation are also valuable and uniquely suited to the online space. Socially powered insight can be used to inform strategic decisions in the organization, from product roadmaps to service plans. Brands have moved from a mere presence in social media to active use, aligning it with actionable objectives and their corresponding metrics. This is critical in demonstrating return on investment (ROI) and understating the opportunities and threats in the market.
Managing the learning loop (the knowledge gained from reviewing the performance of your tactics, which can then be fed back into the strategy) can be difficult. This is because brand cycles often move more slowly than the real-time results you will see online. It is therefore important to find a way to work agility into the strategy, allowing you to be quick, creative, and proactive, as opposed to slow, predictable, and reactive.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) has existed since people first started selling things. The first shopkeeper who stopped to chat with his customers, who remembered their names, and perhaps gave them a small freebie for continually using his services was practicing a form of customer relationship management by making customers feel special. He was also probably seeing the favorable effect on his bottom line.
Today, with business interactions becoming digital and more remote, and person-to-person contact becoming scarcer, CRM is more important than ever. Businesses need to build and maintain relationships with their customers. A faceless company is not personable or engaging, and it has to work harder to fill the gap between attracting and retaining customers (and their good will). The relationship a customer builds with a company is often the reason they return, but building it today is more difficult than ever, in a society where data is protected, customers are smart in their exercise of their right to choose, and a competitor can be just a click away.
CRM is a customer-focused approach to business based on fostering long-term, meaningful relationships. CRM is not about immediate profit. It's about the lifetime value of a customer, the purchases they will make in future, the positive word of mouth they will generate, and the loyalty they will show a brand. Effective CRM enables businesses to collaborate with customers to inform overall business strategies, drive business processes, support brand development, and maximize return on investment.
There is a truism that a happy customer tells one person, but an unhappy customer tells ten. With your customers' voices are being heard on blogs, forums, review sites, and social media, they can talk very loudly and impact your business much more easily.
Key CRM Terms
A person who buys or uses goods or services, with whom a company should develop a relationship.
Placing the customer at the center of an organization’s business planning and execution.
Allowing and encouraging customers to drive the direction of a business.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
The profitability of a customer over their entire relationship with the business.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
A strategy for managing a company’s relationships with clients and potential clients. It often makes use of technology to automate the sales, marketing, customer service, and technical processes of an organization.
Statistics and facts collected for analysis.
The process of analyzing data to discover unknown patterns or connections.
Key performance indicator (KPI)
A metric that shows whether an objective is being achieved.
A defined unit of measurement.
A strategic visual representation of a process to which a company adheres.
A potential customer.
A person or organization with an interest in how a resource is managed.
The CRM Model: Analyzing Data and Understanding the Benefits
Many companies that practice customer relationship management (CRM) rely on a simple model to guide them strategically. Here is a simple example of such a model:
A simple CRM model can provide strategic guidance.
As you can see, a good CRM strategy turns strangers into customers, customers into friends, and friends into advocates for your business.
CRM and Data
Data is central to the success of CRM initiatives. Knowing who your customer is and what they want makes a CRM strategy successful. Data gathering can begin even before your prospect becomes a customer. Matching a prospect's profile to the product or offer is the first step.
But data on its own is meaningless if it is not analyzed and acted upon. Through analysis, data can be turned into insights, which can then inform the various CRM processes and, indeed, the business itself.
Data should be used to drive consumer loyalty across all possible touchpoints. Consider the consumer who shops on her store card at a retail outlet. Her transactions are recorded against her card. She is sent offers that detail the latest fashion trends and earns points on her card shopping for these items. At some point, her transactional data shows that she has started shopping for baby clothes. She can now be cross-sold products related to babies and rewarded with double points when she buys them. Now she is upping her spend in the store, cross-shopping for both herself and her family, and being rewarded for this spending, thus ensuring that the retail outlet is offering her value and retaining her business.
A good CRM program begins with data. Who are my customers and what do they want? Why did they choose me in the first place? How many of them are active and continue doing business with me? Why do the others stop?
Often, you will need to research this information. If the company has a database, conducting surveys, focus groups, or dipstick telephonic research can help you get an idea. Consider that an Audi Q7 driver is vastly different from an Audi A1 driver, for instance. They both pick the brand for the same reasons, but their motivations behind choosing the products vastly differ.
Data can give you these insights. It can enable a company to create real value for the customer and thereby gain true loyalty. There is little point in running a customer insights survey without putting into action any changes suggested by the results. It also means customers are less likely to take part in surveys going forward, and quite rightly so—what's in it for them? Conversely, if you do perform changes, customers will feel increased ownership in the brand and its offering.
The actual database in which you choose to gather and collate data is also crucial. Remember that there are many facets to CRM, and the quality and accessibility of the data will have a major impact on how well these processes run.
When looking at data, it is essential to keep in mind the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, holds that in many situations approximately 80 percent of profits are delivered by 20 percent of customers. Also keep in mind that 20 percent of customers are responsible for 80 percent of problems related to service and supply (Koch, 2008). As such, it is prudent to design solutions with efforts directed at the 20 percent of customers who generate the most profits. To do this, you should segment customers effectively.
You'll also want to consider the exact data to collect. While this will depend largely on your business objectives, here are some considerations to keep in mind:
· Information should be commercially relevant.
· Capture additional contact details from the customer at every interaction—on purchases, contracts, negotiations, quotes, conversations, and so on.
· Capture any information you send out to the customer.
· Consider anything that adds value to the relationship.
· Note any legal implications around capturing data, particularly web-based behavioral data, as the user's privacy must always be taken into account.
Where and How to Gather CRM Data
CRM data is gathered from a variety of touchpoints. Let's look at some of the possible opportunities for CRM data capture and analysis. Each avenue discussed in the sections below collects a range of data from whichever touchpoints the business deems valuable.
Traditional CRM System Data
Most traditional CRM systems are used to capture data for sales, support, and marketing. On top of simply creating a central repository for data access, these systems and their related databases also offer basic analytics. The actual range of data collected within the traditional CRM system is dictated by the CRM objectives. For instance, data could include the following items:
· demographic details on potential leads, current leads and contacts, such as age, gender, income, etc.
· quotes, sales, purchase orders and invoices (transactional data)
· psychographic data on contacts such as customer values, attitudes, interests, etc.
· service and support records
· customer reviews or satisfaction surveys
· web registration data
· shipping and fulfilment dates, such as when orders were shipped and delivered
Data mining involves analyzing data to discover unknown patterns or connections. It is usually conducted on large datasets and looks for patterns that are not obvious. Data is analyzed with statistical algorithms that look for correlations. It is used by businesses to better understand customers and their behavior, and then to use this data to make more informed business decisions. For instance, women might traditionally be shopping for nappies during the week. But on the weekend, men become the primary nappy-shoppers. The things that they choose to purchase on the weekend, such as beer or chips, might dictate different product placement in a store over a weekend.
Analytics data is generally captured through specialized analytics software packages. These packages can be used to measure most, if not all, digital marketing campaigns. Web analytics should always look at the various campaigns being run. For example, generating high traffic volumes by employing CRM marketing tactics like email marketing can prove to be a pointless and costly exercise if the visitors that you drive to the site are leaving without achieving one (or more) of your website's goals.
Social Media Monitoring Data
There are many social media metrics that are important to monitor, measure and analyze, and some of these can provide valuable insights for CRM implementation. This can cover everything from quantitative data about number of fans and interactions, to qualitative data about the sentiment toward your brand in the social space.
Collating and Organizing Your Data
Typically, you'll find that a business has the following components to organize data:
· one or more databases (e.g., email, customer, mobile, or call centre databases)
· a point-of-sale system where product purchase data is stored
· web data (e.g., display or search networks, keyword research, site analytics, social media, or email marketing)
· social media profiles on sites like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn (which can also be considered databases of sorts)
CRM software can be used to automate lead and sales processes and to collect all of this customer information in a centralized place, allowing a company to get a holistic view of the customer. From this view, meaningful data insights can emerge.
Organizations can be large, and a customer often speaks to several members of the organization, depending on the nature of the communication. It would be extremely frustrating for the customer to have to explain all previous dealings with the organization each time, and equally frustrating for an organization not to know who has spoken previously with a customer and what was dealt with. This could be a touchpoint at which a company falls down and leaves a less than positive impression with the customer.
Fortunately, there are many technological options that help to record all this information in one place. Most of these services can also schedule elements of the sales process and set reminders where appropriate for follow-up action.
Some notable examples include SalesForce (www.salesforce.com), Genius (www.genius.com) and Highrise (www.highrisehq.com) from 37signals. Bespoke technology tailored to business problems can have remarkable results.
Keeping Data Fresh
Call it what you will, but "stale," "outdated," or "unhealthy" data doesn't benefit anyone. Some generic older data can help you assess trends over time, but identifiable customer data is usually useless if it is not up to date. People move to new houses, update their contact numbers and email addresses, and change jobs. They earn more or less money, stop working, start working, have kids, retire. All of these changes mean that their needs change, and their avenues of contact change, so maintaining a customer relationship and delivering the things they want becomes more difficult.
So, how do you keep your data fresh? For generic data (like web analytics), you must continuously monitor trends and note what causes changes over time. This is also useful for monitoring trends and identifying gaps in data when a business evolves. For instance, if you know that you generally receive increased website and store visits during December, but your sales drop, you know that you need to gather more data around your inventory and in-store environment during that time.
Keeping identifiable data current means you need to facilitate regular dialogue with contacts on your database. Whether it's through a call centre, an online prompt, or a quick question at your in-store point of sale, there needs to be a plan for updating details at regular intervals.
Analyzing Data for Marketing
One of the most powerful features of interactions and transactions over the internet is that everything is tracked and recorded. This practice provides a wealth of data that can be analyzed to make business decisions.
For CRM, this means that the customer acquisition source can be recorded and analyzed against sales data. This leads to a very accurate return on investment (ROI) calculation and indicates where CRM and marketing efforts should be focused.
ROI is key to understanding whether marketing efforts have been successful. Here's a simple example: Company A sells accounting software and makes $10,000 on each product it sells. It sends an email to its customer base—people who have bought a previous version of the software and might be interested in
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