Why Free Trials increase Sales & Customer Loyalty

Free or Low-Cost Trials

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.

Loss Leaders

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?

Comment and share.

4 Ways to Leverage Word of Mouth

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.

How have you used Word of Mouth Marketing?

What I Learned from Selling in NYC

Sales has taught me to:

1.To go after what I want in life. Ask for the order if you will.

2. To stand tall in the face of rejection and negativity.

3. To look at rejection as a learning experience instead of a defeat.

4. To understand Customer needs. (Objections vs Stalls). (Buyer Motives)

5. To persist through obstacles and not to quit!

6. To examine and understand how a business operates.

Every person should try selling products at least once in their lives. It is a valuable learning experience.

Before my time as a Marketer, I worked as an Outside Sales Rep in the Dental Industry in Manhattan.

Field Sales/Field Marketing has taught me so much about myself.

What did selling teach you?

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Key Insights from The AI Summit on The Future of AI

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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.

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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.

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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.

Data Privacy

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

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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.

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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

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Mark Beccue of Tractica opened up the Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience part of the Summit.

 

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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.

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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.

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Marketing

AI will improve Marketing KPIs by allowing brands to measure improve linguistic effectiveness.

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Shared by Smith Yewell of Welocalize

 

Customer Segmentation

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Shared by Ranjit Jangam of Comcast

 

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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.

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Shared by Priyanka Tiwari of Interactions.

 

Conversational AI will help power a self-service model according to Gartner.

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What is Conversational AI?

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Where AI needs to improve

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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.

What do you think is next for AI?

Comment and share below.

 

SEM Trends from SMX East

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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.

Here is a video of the event.

 

I enjoyed Moz founder Rand Fishkin’s keynote.

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The key insights of the presentation were:

  1. Organic traffic has reached its peak and will decline.
  2. To keep traffic coming to their sites, Marketers will need to find ways to nudge consumers as Zero click queries continue to grow.
  3. Organizations need to shift their investments in product, content, and brand. Decisions on how to redeploy these resources need to be a company-wide effort.
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Here is the link to the presentation.

Google in 2020: From Everyone’s Search Engine to Everyone’s Competitor | SparkToro
I’ve written a lot this year about the shifts we’re seeing from Google — moving from search engine to answer to engine…sparktoro.com

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.

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2.When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I want to thank the Search Engine Marketing Expo for having me as their guest. It was a great event.

Start-Ups, Networking & Innovation Intersect at Propelify 2019

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I covered Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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.

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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.

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Cannabis: From New Brand To IPO In A Prohibition Market panel.

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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.

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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.

10 Key Takeaways from Advertising Week 2019

 

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.

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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:

  1. 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.

Nikki Issac of Mircosoft shares Microsoft’s Research on Marketing and the Customer Journey. She also moderates a panel with Esteban Ribero of Performics.

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.

What did you learn from Advertising Week 2019?

Join the conversation.