Posts Tagged ‘Direct Response Marketing’

Being Visible in the Digital World

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Is your business managing its Digital Footprint?

Just the other day I was talking to one of our partners about some new work for one of our clients. He was telling me how he is still struggling to convince a couple of his clients about the need to extend their efforts beyond their site…something I would call expanding their digital footprint.

A digital footprint is the data trail left by activity in the digital world. Information is captured through interaction with web sites on the internet, social media sites, mobile applications, scanning loyalty cards, and the list goes on.

For consumers, your digital footprint is driving how you are being targeted by marketers for their ads, offers, products, and services. Marketers see it as a source of fresh data to help profile and target consumers. And, it can also determine your reputation based on the posts, comments, and images you leave on social media sites.

For your business, a lot of similar factors are involved. However, the stakes are much higher. Your ability to generate sales, keep customers, and attract new customers is impacted by your digital footprint. Your brand reputation is at stake. It can be as simple as your site being found by a search engine to how you respond to an unhappy customer’s Facebook post.

A business needs to have a practical digital footprint strategy and tactical activities that keep your business visible and vibrant in the digital world. So how can you get started? There are simple steps you can take and a host of free tools available out there to help you.

Here are some questions you can answer to begin to develop your digital footprint strategy:

• What are your online objectives?
• Is your site a commercial site or are you building a community? A commercial site is focused on generating sales; helps sell products and services. A community site is place for people to get information, meet, aware of an issue or group…
• How do your customers or audience interact online? Do they frequent social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter? Are they business customers more likely to be using LinkedIn? Do they actively use their mobile phones? How to they find you? How do they find your products, services, or group?
• How can you listen to what is being said about you on the web? There are some free tools out there that can help. Google alerts will allow you to track who is talking about you and where. Twitter Search allows you to see who’s twitting about you. You can try out SM2 by Alterian social media monitoring tool. And the list goes on…
• How can you interact with your customers and followers? See where they hang out. See how you can leave comments and respond to posts.

All businesses in all industries need to examine how their digital footprint impacts their business.

So will you take a close look at your digital footprint and how it impacts your business in the digital world?

That Sign Can See Me!

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Where is recognition technology taking direct response marketing?

How would you feel about this scenario?

You walk up to a beverage vending machine. It is a flat screen monitor with high resolution images of your beverage choices. After a second or so of standing in front of the machine, the machine TELLS you what beverage selections might suit your taste and they begin to flash on the screen.

We have all probably seen this technology to some degree in our everyday lives. Whether it’s the camera at the ATM machine or toll booth, in-store digital displays, the voice at the self-serve gas station telling us to reposition the pump…well I am sure you get it.

But this new technology takes things many steps further. It actually profiles you on the spot to determine gender, age, ethnicity, and level of attentiveness. According to NEC digital signage group, these signs can identify the right gender 90% of the time and age within 10 years 70% of the time. This is the transformation of digital display boards into powerful direct response marketing tools. Japan is taking the lead in using this technology for digital public displays. They are also incorporating mobile technology into the display boards to make them even more interactive. The Wall Street Journal has an article titled “Billboards That Can See You” that provides more detail on what’s happening in Japan with this technology.

For privacy advocates, this can be construed as a scary thing. In particular, there are the demographic profiling aspects of the new technology. It has all the possibilities of taking our concerns about internet privacy to another level. We are in the midst of increased consumer sensitivity to privacy issues.

So will there be acceptance of this new technology? Retailers may be motivated. They are already investing in Smart Networks that do not have this extra functionality. A Walmart revealed at the Digital Sign Show this past February revealed there is a sales lift in departments which featured Smart Networks:
• Electronics – 7 percent
• Over-the-counter 23 percent
• Food – 13 percent
• Health /Beauty – 28

It is inevitable this kind of technology will become more main stream and retail will continue to invest in-store digital networks. With the advances in displays, recognition technology, mobile, etc. and the Generation Y or the Millennial Generation who grew up using this kind of technology becoming major consumers, it will become part of our culture.

The question will be how consumer privacy is integrated into the implementation of this technology. The lessons learned from the online privacy should heighten awareness of the need to deal with privacy up front.

Okay. So how will interactive display technology impact you as you manage your business in the digital world?