People do Marketing for different reasons and they have different sets of challenges concerning the Marketing they do. I conducted two surveys of my LinkedIn audience.
I asked the following:
1.What do you hope to gain from your marketing efforts?
2. What is your biggest marketing challenge? Why?
Based on survey findings, 56 percent of people use Marketing for a mix of brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue. In terms of Marketing challenges, 70 percent said that Content Marketing was the biggest.
If you didn’t get a chance to vote, answer these questions in the comments.
What do you hope to gain from your marketing? What is your biggest marketing challenge?
If I was going to launch a bunch of new product features and I was tasked with developing a social media marketing campaign to market these features to existing customers and generate new leads.
What questions might I have when starting to plan the campaign?
I would ask:
Which channels do customers use when making purchasing decisions?
I would work with the Product Team during beta testing to interview customers to gather feedback on the new features; taking the information to develop blogs and other related messaging. I would also ask customers to provide testimonials about the new features and include them in social media campaigns.
Also, I would survey customers about their learning style and which content format they prefer i.e. videos, blogs, etc. Based on the data from the survey, I would decide which channels I would use along with the type of content to develop.
With what I learned, what might my campaign look like?
The campaign would revolve around a series of Social posts based on customer feedback Including Customer Testimonials obtained from the beta testing and videos of customers using the product. I would build anticipation online using videos to announce the new features. I would have a contest online where users would need to submit an email address.
Which social platforms would I use?
I would use a blog, Email, LinkedIn, Slideshare Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube platforms to educate customers about new offerings.
Are there any emerging social strategies I would want to try?
I would like to attend industry events where I could interview experts in the space. I would want to create a group to reward loyal customers and develop an evangelist program where customers would tell their friends.
How have you marketed new product features to current and prospective customers?
COVID-19 forced US schools to Teach remotely for the first time in history back in March 2020. Many Teachers were not prepared to deliver remote instruction. Parents complained that the quality of their child’s education has declined since remote instruction began. Schools used this remote learning model until the end of the school year. As Summer vacation ends, parents grapple with the issue of whether they want to send their children back to school.
Many school districts across the US such as those in California have opted to keep remote learning for the fall because COVID-19 has resurged. In areas where COVID-19 cases are down, school districts such as New York City have opted for blended learning models where students report to school on some days and learn from home for the rest. According to Common Sense Media, over 50 million public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be learning remotely from home this year.
While safety is a top priority, the job of a school is to educate students. Parents are not satisfied with the public education offerings that have been presented for the Fall 2020 school year. This dissatisfaction with public education has made many parents seek out educational alternatives beyond blended and remote learning. These alternatives include learning pods, and supplemental education services such as tutoring.
Learning Pods Versus Tutoring
Learning pods are small learning communities where students meet every day to get instruction from a Teacher. This is different than tutoring because tutors review and reteach material as opposed to presenting new concepts. Tutoring functions as an educational supplement.
Why Parents are opting for In-Person Learning Pods
Parents that opt to use learning pods are looking to gain an educational advantage for their children by recreating traditional schools in a small group setting. The benefits of learning pods are that student instructional and social-emotional needs are met.
The Downside and Risk of In-Person Learning Pods
While this might sound like the perfect fix to remote learning and blended learning it comes with risks. The risks are that students and teachers are still at risk to contract COVID-19.
Another drawback of in-person learning pods is finding space. To address the issues of space, parents are buying apartments and houses; transforming them into schoolhouses. Marie spent $2000 to transform her guest house into a classroom she ordered desks, a whiteboard, a 50-inch television to live stream zoom tutorials, and built a library complete with personalized pencil boxes and workbooks.
Another mother is spending $720 per week to have her preschool son tutored in french with two of his friends.
Amanda Uhry, the NYC-based founder of Manhattan Private School Advisors, states Pandemic in-person pods can cost parents up to $100,000.
Some NYC parents are spending up to $70,000 on elite pod teachers, plus $2,500-a-month on studio apartments to serve as makeshift classrooms, plus an additional $50,000 to keep their kids enrolled at their private schools.
Why Virtual Learning Pods are the best option
How can parents get the benefits of a learning pod at an affordable price? Parents can look to tutoring services that offer virtual learning pods. Virtual learning pods eliminate the need for physical space making them more affordable than in-person learning pods. Groups of parents can sign their children up together in a virtual learning pod to lower the cost even more.
Virtual learning pods take the benefits of traditional school and put it online. Students get the benefits of individualized attention and social interaction all of which are lacking in traditional remote learning. Parents can have peace of mind that knowing that their child will not contract COVID-19; something that pricey in-person learning pods can not guarantee.
How Education Companies Can Corner the Learning Pod Market
Companies that offer Teacher staffing, tutoring, and instructional materials to schools can seize the opportunity in the learning pod market because they are well established in their industry.
K-12 Education and learning companies that hire seasoned certified teachers as tutors and learning pod instructors will be able to do better than companies who hire non-certified or inexperienced Teachers. Why? The reason is that Teacher certification and experience will help companies overcome the credibility hurdle. For Education companies that offer virtual learning pods, the teachers and tutors would need to be skilled in distance learning and remote teaching.
Would you choose a learning pod over traditional instruction for your child?
Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales, and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.
Social Networks are places where people congregate; making them great sources of Market Research and Revenue. As a result, Social networks are looking for new revenue streams. The latest revenue channel for them is E-commerce.
Facebook is partnering with Shopify to launch Facebook shops. The social network is the latest to get in on the E-Commerce business.
Last year at SMX East, Google and YouTube shared how they are allowing people to shop online for products. Google also shared people’s buying behavior. I have included parts of the article below.
In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for E-Commerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.
The key insights of the presentation were:
1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.
2. When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.
3. When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.
4. 2/3’s of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.
5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.
6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.
7. Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.
Would you shop on a Social Network? Share your thoughts.
When creating a new offering, I would offer a free or low-cost trial of your product to the end-users and industry experts. Consumers look for social proof before they buy a product. Now if the product is new, none exists. To lower buyer resistance, you need to make it low risk and feel safe.
In addition to market research and product testing; the free or low-cost trial is a great way to build trust and get feedback. Surveys can be created to ask potential customers about their experience.
If your product helps to solve a customer’s problem they will be more than happy to share it with others; converting to paying users! The product will earn testimonials and endorsements. Testimonials and endorsements will address product reliability creating: loyalty, brand recognition, and Sales for your product.
In place of a free or low-cost trial, a loss leader can be an option. A loss leader is when you offer a product at a loss or break-even point to gain business in the future. Supermarkets do this all of the time when a new product is rolled out.
Another place I saw loss leaders was when I was in Field Sales. I was selling Dental equipment at the time. Certain customers were loyal to certain types of equipment. When I ask why they stated that these were the tools that they had used in school. When I called on Dental schools and Hospitals, I found they were locked up with large contacts. My larger competitors sold the equipment at cost practically giving it away. Why would they do this? My competitors were creating life-long customers who were trained on certain tools and refused to switch.
Connection, trust, and advocacy are essential for customer acquisition. It is your job as a brand to turn your customer base into evangelists.
The decision on developing and implementing offering free, low-cost trials and/or loss leaders will be different for each product.
Free, low-cost trials and loss leaders help to Increase Sales and Customer Loyalty.
How have you used free, low-cost trials and loss leaders to create Sales and Customer Loyalty?
Word of Mouth is a top tool. What customers and prospects say about you determines your success. Word of Mouth Marketing is what your customers and prospects say about you when you are not around. In other words, it’s your reputation in the industry. The best part of this is that you can control Word of Mouth Marketing.
How do you leverage the power of Word of Mouth Marketing?
1. Help others in their time of need.
2. Offer Value to Customers We need to provide value to customers.
By providing value through your product or service, we can earn the right to ask for testimonials referrals from customers.
3. Testimonials: Letting customers speak for you
Prospects will believe what your customers’ say about you more than anything you say. Your customers could provide LinkedIn recommendations or video testimonials. These testimonials could be shared on your website and social networking sites like Yelp, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
4. Become an Industry Expert and Resource for Customers
Provide value to your customers and to improve your online word of mouth marketing by creating an e-zine, publish a blog and/or online newspapers.
I covered The AI Summit in New York last week because I wanted to learn more about AI and Machine Learning.
According to Tractica, AI is being implemented globally.
AI and Machine Learning used in many verticals and processes. For example, when I compose an email using GMAIL, I received suggestions on how to finish a sentence. To use the GMAIL suggestion, I can tap the right arrow button on my keyboard.
Think about your routine and your processes, I bet that AI influencers your decisions from where to eat to what to watch.
It is important not to fear AI; use it as a tool to be more productive and live better.
There are many issues on Data privacy with legislation such as GDPR, CCPA among others. Right now we’re are at the level where AI can understand customer behavior and make suggestions.
AI In the Home
I attended an LG Labs event on AI in the home where it was suggested that companies need to collect more customer data to make better products. To convince customers to provide more data, companies need to provide customers with a ROD analysis or Return on Data. The return on Data should measure customer benefits against the amount of data they are providing. For example, in exchange for providing X amount of Data, we improved our product By Y i.e. increased functionality and better user experience. Think of an ROI or ROAS analysis.
The next evolution for AI is to go from predicting current user intent to future user intent based on user actions. Eventually, AI devices will be consolidated and work cross-functionally.
How AI will impact Sales, Marketing and the Customer Experience
Mark Beccue of Tractica opened up the Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience part of the Summit.
Matthew Quinn of Columbia University shares his insights on AI’s impact on Sales and Marketing.
Companies will not have just Salespeople or Machine Learning in the sales process. Instead, to increase Profits companies will have a hybrid model.
A business’s reason for using Machine Learning and AI is to become more efficient, get better insights and better ROI and profits.
Businesses need to think globally by applying cultural diffusion to their business through localization and language translation.
AI will improve Marketing KPIs by allowing brands to measure improve linguistic effectiveness.
Shared by Smith Yewell of Welocalize
Shared by Ranjit Jangam of Comcast
How ML can improve Customer Segmentation Data
AI will improve the customer experience by allowing customers to control their buyer journey with less interaction from the seller.
Shared by Priyanka Tiwari of Interactions.
Conversational AI will help power a self-service model according to Gartner.
What is Conversational AI?
Where AI needs to improve
I want to thank The AI Summit for having me as their guest. If you want to use AI to improve business outcomes, sign up for the AI summit in your city.