As a dyed in the wool marketer, of some 30 years, I am often concerned by people with an O level in Google Analytics claiming to be the font of all knowledge. So to put this in persective people are still people, the things they care about remain the same, the way they communicate remains basically the same, it is the platforms upon which they communicate that has changed.
The fundamental change is that people including your staff and customers have their own media platform, the internet, which means that bad news travels even faster, but so actually can good news. The point being that it is more important than ever to get your core brand positioning and your internal and external messages right. This is not really the domain of IT specialists.
The Good news is that the Digital industry is starting to consolidate, become more user friendly, and this blog looks to show you which tools to use. Credit to TFM&A Insights for the graphs.
Remember that the real difficulty with multi channel communications and your staff and customers having their own channels is the potential for confusion. It has never been more important to think through your communications and engagement strategies.
What do you promise to whom, and how do you deliver against those promises?
So now let’s have a look at the range of tools available to us.
We will have a look at Industry Standards in the following areas. Remember that these are just differents bits of technology that do different things. They are the tools for carrying your messages. My advice it to choose ones that make your life simpler, leave you in control and able to concentrate on the interaction with your customers.
Content Management Systems – How to build a website
Marketing Automation – How to manage your communications across multiple channels, email Press, TV Website and Social
Social Media – How to listen to what people are saying about you so you can respond (If you want to)
EMail Marketing – How to communicate one to one – get the basic comms right here
Analytics – Google
e Commerce – online shops – Changing the high street shopping habits
WordPress wins hands down 41% of this survey, 70% of all websites world wide. Why?
- Easy to use
- Minimal reliance on IT specialists
- Open source software being written for it. Open Source needs to be compatible with Word Press The industry standard.
- Only down side – increasing functionality from opensource has led to some security issues. Always read the reviews of open source software first.
Marketing Automation allows you to take one piece of marketing material and post it on a whole range of media from email to press releases to facebook twitter linked in etc.
We have used Marketo with American clients and found it to be very effective.
63% of those surveyed here dont use these tools. Hubspot and Marketo seem pretty much level pegging. Salesforce has historically been more of an Enterprise suite associated with larger companies and Oracle IT costs.
Hubspots marketing is very user friendly with Marketo following more of a distribution channel sales approach. This has of course been proven to work for software distribution.
Hubspot has an entry level product at £130 a month, marketo was in the two hundreds the last time I looked.
Bottom like is that if you are serious about getting your message out there on a multi chanel platform these products will save you time once you know how to use them.
Ok so this is about listening not posting. These are the tools that look for words or phrases across the social spectrum and analyse them by content volume and media, that is Twitter Facebook Linked in Pinterest etc this is also a fast expanding area of new media around 50 at the last count. If you need to know what is Trending at the moment, these tools will tell you.
The opportunity is to see what other people care about and join in the conversation. This can give you influence but the key is to be careful. There are lots of examples of it going wrong.
OK this one is easier. If you are starting out use Mailchimp. It is user friendly, even I can use it.
As you get bigger, say a database of over 2000 you might want to look at other platforms I hear Aweber mentioned a lot in a good way. Clearly if you are at the stage of joining stuff up, then Hubspot and Marketo are on the list.
No surprises here. Use Google. Although there are rumblings about it becoming too complicated with too many changes to keep up with.
OK so Magento if you are a serious retailer multi currency all the bells and whistles at a price. There are many other platforms all of which do a very good job. There is a real case for using bespoke tools here. Look at all the 2% on the Graph.
If you are testing the water however, you can do worse than Woo Commerce a WordPress Plug in