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.
Last week, I covered the Search Marketing Expo in New York City. Search Marketing Expo has is a great event for SEO, SEM, and Digital Marketing professionals. SMX provides attendees with an opportunity to learn actionable techniques in conference sessions and training workshops. Google and Microsoft provided seminars on various SEM topics.
At the end of the keynote, I met Rand and received a signed copy of his new book entitled Lost and Found.
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 eCommerce. 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 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.
I want to thank the Search Engine Marketing Expo for having me as their guest. It was a great event.
I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.
Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.
The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging and content and sales enablement.
Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event.
Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.
Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.
Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.
It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.
Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.
Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.
To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examine everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.
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.
Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.
What is Product Marketing?
Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.
Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.
Product Marketing needs a separate brief.
Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.
The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.
Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.
Propelify is an event where people from across the Northeast can turn ideas into action.
Officials from the New Jersey State government attended. They offered entrepreneurs resources to start and/or scale their business in New Jersey.
New Jersey Tech Council CEO Aaron Price and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivered the opening keynote. In their keynote, Aaron and Governor Murphy discussed Propelify’s mission and why businesses should consider New Jersey.
There were additional talks on topics from Cannabis, Customer Experience, Marketing, Sales, Recruiting and Entrepreneurship.
Cannabis: From New Brand To IPO In A Prohibition Market panel.
Rebecca Price moderates a panel on The Science Behind Smart Recruiting and Seeing Thru the Resume.
Entrepreneurs networked with investors. There was also a Startup competition.
Exhibitors represented diverse entities ranging from Government, Advertising, Financial Services, CPG, HRTech, Universities, Incubators, Accelerators, IT, Healthcare and E-commerce brands.
Propelify was a great event.
I want to thank Aaron Price and the New Jersey Tech Council for having me as their guest.
I covered Advertising Week in New York. Advertising Week is where the best minds of Marketing and Advertising meet to share and learn best practices.
Matt Scheckner Global CEO of Advertising Week shares his thoughts at the opening breakfast.
There were great panels and workshops.
My key takeaways from Advertising Week 2019 were:
Brands need to better understand emotional intelligence and be able to apply it to their content creation. Other emotions besides happiness drive purchases. Spencer Gerrol the CEO of Spark Neuro shares insights from a biometrics study on how emotion in content affects brand value.
Spencer also did a live demonstration showing how the brain responds to Ads in real-time.
2. According to Gary Vaynerchuk, Marketing is becoming more like Sales in terms of being results-driven. Brands will eventually need to create up to 500 pieces of content per day to engage the ever-increasing buyer personas and customers’ tastes. Gary also shared the idea that LinkedIn is the best platform for organic reach.
3. Brands need to organize their organizations around the customer journey and experience. Philips SVP of Digital Marketing and E-commerce Blake Cahill shared how the company is organizing and transforming around the Customer Journey. He provided actionable steps companies can take to better serve customers.
4. The funnel of today will look like a flywheel by 2030.
Brands need to use data and AI to better understand their customers. According to research conducted by Microsoft, only 20% of today’s marketers have a high customer experience quotient (CXQ). A high(CXQ) means that brands fully understand user intent to create their customer journey; improving their performance to increase customer engagement.
Why should Brands be Customer-Centric? Brands that were Customer-Centric saw a 45% increase in ROI/ROAS.
We will see the rise of the Chief Journey Officer or CJO.
Where are you on the Journey?
5. Brands need to understand the role of Social Media in Customer Journey and how it impacts customer buying habits and decisions.
Businesses need to improve how they use Social Listening
and Analytics tools to understand customer intent.
A framework needs to define and address KPIs at each touch-point in the customer journey.
Why is this important?
More Marketers believe Social Listening is important.
6. Brands need to apply design thinking to cultivating empathy for end-users, interpreting and framing problems they experience, creative solution generation, and continuous prototyping and testing. The goal is to provide creative solutions for the end-user.
7. Brands need to listen and understand the customers of tomorrow. It is not just about Gen Z but Gen Alpha. Gen Alpha will be more active on social issues and more open to challenging the status quo than Gen Z.
8. According to Samsung Ads, with the rise of the Connected TV, Brands will be able to track and measure the effectiveness of their TV ads, similar to online advertising. Targeted TV is of critical use for advertisers because TV is viewed on Mobile, Desktop, Native Smart TV and Display. Advertisers expect to be able to track customers across platforms while producing ROI/ROAS reports just like online advertising.
9. Televised sports will increase its presence in Television programming. Soon, Sports Betting will be Televised according to CEO Chris Ripley of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Eventually, gamblers will be able to view Sporting events and place bets in real-time over their Smart TV and/or connected devices. This will provide gamblers with great customer experience.
10. Any business can use technology and creativity to: build community, start and scale an eCommerce business, create content and campaigns that convert.
Facebook’s Mark D’Arcy, CCO and VP of Global Business Marketing showed how to do this using Facebook.
Mark also spoke on Facebook’s social initiative Boost with Facebook. Boost with Facebook helps break down socioeconomic barriers by offering people the chance to up-skill on everything from using Facebook to finding a job. Boost with Facebook is a combination of online learning and live workshops.
Advertising Week 2019 was a great event. I want to thank everyone that made the event possible. On a personal note, I want to thank Matt Scheckner the Global CEO of Advertising Week and the Sunshine Sachs Communications team for having me as their guest.
I covered the Digital Agency Expo in New York. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, Digital Agency Expo is a conference focused on how to build, grow and scale a Digital Agency in 2019.
Ryan Deiss, the co-founder, and CEO of Digital Marketer opened up Digital Agency Expo.
In his opening talk how to recession-proof a Digital Agency. Ryan identified 3 Key skills that agency owners and marketers need to master for success.
Master the skill of Copywriting
Master Email Marketing
Be able to create Partnerships
Ryan challenged the concept of a Full-Service Agency. He also argued against the notion that a bigger Agency is more profitable and can consistently produce high-quality results.
Ryan also recommended books to read along with a model for a successful agency.
It was an insightful talk.
Another great talk was delivered by Keap CEO Clate Mask. He outlined the five Stages of Agency growth. Clay also shared how he struggled to get his business off the ground. He kept going despite being told to get a job. His advice for when things get tough:
Evan Radisic of Proposify shares the State of Proposal research. Proposify examined 1.6 million proposals creating a blueprint of a winning proposal.
One of my favorite talks was the Keynote by Gary Vaynerchuck. Gary shared how to create, grow and scale a digital agency. He shared how he built multiple businesses on a shoestring budget despite his humble beginnings. Gary also took questions from the audience. I have included a portion of the talk here.