Action, Not Talk, Gets Results – Yellow Umbrella Mantra to success

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At Yellow Umbrella we believe in ACTION not in Talking.
Rhetoric is easy and, in some cases, quite lucrative.
Consider the digital-marketing pundits who have made a fine living transforming an uncomplicated notion into a complex topic. Or, imagine a newly appointed CMO who rants and raves about making digital marketing a strategic competency without putting the requisite muscle behind it. Digital marketing’s significant and straightforward value should compel CMOs and others to avoid this rhetoric trap. An effective, profitable approach to digital marketing requires a clear definition; a detailed road map; the right people, processes, and technology; and tangible action.
Digital marketing represents both a key driver and key outcome . Digital marketing and its role in our transformation needs to be relevant to our customers, so we deal with it in straightforward, action-oriented terms rather than with bombastic language. At Yellow umbrella, we define digital marketing simply as “using digital technologies to achieve business objectives.” In due course it should—and will—be mainstream enough to simply be called marketing.
Digital packs a punch
Our shift to being digital centric is primarily driven by our most important constituency: our customers. They tell us that the most influential aspects of the early stage of their decision-making processes are:
1. Search at the  Moment of Truth (MOT), when they begin their educational journey
2. The manufacturer’s website (hence, the need to have great online search)
3. Content; our customers come to our website and seek us out to become smarter
The other reason for the shift is that digital and the Internet allows challenger brands  to punch above our weight against larger competitors with significantly more marketing resources. The Internet is a great leveler, and we are committed to exploiting digital marketing as a way to promote our brand and capabilities to our target market.
Today digital marketing is one of our strategic pillars and helps us engage with our customers to help them find, learn, buy, and use our products and services.
Having a good digital experience is one thing, but we need to make sure we get more people to experience our website. We’ll do so by providing timely and relevant content along our customer’s decision-making journey.
We populate all content with the key words and phrases that our customers use to appear at the MOT, to ensure that it’s consumed.
We also intend to become more visible in the very first steps that customers and prospects take when researching their options in our space. To that end, we’re investing heavily in search marketing, including organic and paid search, as well as social media. Our plan for social is to integrate social channels, such as YouTube and Twitter, into our search program, but it’s also to be present in industry forums, using Yellow Umbrella Media Services.
These initiatives can only be implemented and executed with great digital talent and a commitment to investments. Attracting and developing great digital marketing talent ranks as one of our highest priorities this fiscal year.
Digital marketing- The perks
The most effective digital marketing strategy recognizes that digital marketing is not any one person or team’s role; it needs to be every employee’s job. This company-wide approach begins with a high level of digital literacy within marketing.
There are always varying levels of digital marketing experience and understanding, but we believe that a marketing function needs to attain a base level of expertise, as well as a shared understanding of where we’re going and the skills required to get there.
It’s this sort of tangible change and outcome that raises digital marketing planning above rhetoric and transforms it into lasting value.

Mobile Marketing – Have you gone Mobile in your Marketing yet?

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If your brand can’t retain a customer, to replace that customer’s business you’ll need to spend 6-7 times more than you would have to retain!
So how do you keep your customers coming back for more?
Customers who engage with a brand through multiple channels exhibit deeper loyalty than single-channel customers do. Those loyal customers are the ones who will be advocates for your brand.
Smartphone penetration is at more than 30% in the Indian market, and the people who use them expect their favorite brands to have mobile-optimized websites. From our experience, a quick look at Google Analytics shows it’s not uncommon to see 10-15% of visitors accessing the brand website via mobile.
Brands can’t afford to ignore mobile users; instead, they should wow this significant portion of their audience by serving up a great customer experience, especially considering that they may be among a company’s most loyal customers.
Prioritize your mobile marketing efforts by focusing on the following three areas within a mobile app that, if done well, can promote customer loyalty and help brands retain their most valuable customers.
1. Make mobile payments easy
If your payment process is simple and intuitive, the likelihood is greater that your customers will complete their purchase—and then come back to do it again and again.
Here are some questions to ask when trying to improve the mobile-payment experience:
  • Do customers feel they can load and reload funds securely within the app using their Credit/Debit card, and is it a simple process?
  • Is it both quick and easy for customers to pay at the point of purchase?
  • Can customers view the remaining balance without much digging?
2. Offer location-based alerts and offers
A customer who is shopping at a mall where your store is located is much more likely to take advantage of a coupon or gift card than someone who isn’t as close by.
Timely coupons and offers can take into account a user’s…
  •  Interests
  •  Location
  •  Buying history
3. Increase overall customer satisfaction
Determine how happy your customers are—both with your mobile experience and otherwise—by doing the following:
  •  Allow users to rate their experience.
  •  Make it simple for customers to write and share reviews.
  •  Offer a live text chat feature for customers to use if they have questions or concerns.
  •  Conduct customer surveys.
Wait, there’s more…to concentrate on:
Of course, simplifying mobile payments, sending alerts and offers, and making sure your customers are enjoying their experience with your brand are just the beginning. Here are a few other ways your mobile app can promote loyalty and advocacy.
1. Ensure it’s easy for customers to make and track orders:
  •  Allow customers to view their order history or return status.
  •  Include a “tap-to-reorder” feature.
  •  Offer the ability to opt in to real-time push alerts for order tracking and delivery.
2. Host creative contests that allow customers to share their stories:
You’ll be able to use those anecdotes later to create testimonials and case studies.
No matter what features you choose to include within your mobile app, your main focus should be about creating a remarkable customer experience. Go beyond customer loyalty to build advocacy—where customers put their name behind your brand as they enthusiastically recommend it to others.
Stay Tuned for more on Marketing and its golden ways….

Email Marketing – Do we think before hitting Send?

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Last Post we discussed about Direct marketing, successively we discuss the services one at a time. This Post we completely focus on E-mails.

Email – Do we know when to hit Send?

Email is already there with the amount of spam we get. Marketers need to be conscious of this & treat this medium responsibly. The biggest bane is that most marketers treat Email as a mass marketing medium. Email is not Mass marketing & the only way you can make it work is if you make it relevant & create a Relationship marketing paradigm!

The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from 3.3 billion accounts in 2012 to over 4.3 billion accounts by year-end 2016. This represents an average annual growth rate of 6% over the next four years. Nearly half of worldwide email users are in the Asia Pacific region.

A technology market research firm, estimates that more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and about 90 trillion emails are sent per year.(estimates vary by source ..but Billions are a count for sure)

To SEND or NOT TO SEND is the big question!
Email Most used. Most abused :
Email is hugely misused & we as marketers are responsible for using this medium responsibly. Marketers need to create a community effort to work on this malaise. Not too many Marketing Companies are taking this up.

Relationship Vs Mass Marketing :
Email is not mass marketing period! Thinking 1to1 marketing needs a change in mindset.
Desktop/ PCs to Mobile :
 Large movement towards opening emails in mobile phones & marketers need to design emails for this & also think through how to change the “calls for action” given this reality. In 2013, India is supposed to get to a 45 million smart phone mark! (Nielsen estimate). That allows for a lot of creative thinking & email can integrate with this so beautifully.
Is it Integrated? :
Email does not stand alone but needs to be part of a larger Integrated marketing plan. Not much focus is provided or its ignored & abused within the marketing fraternity!
Email & Social Media:
Make email work harder for you by integrating it with social. Commercial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million households; it took Facebook just a year to hit the 50 million user mark. It took Twitter 9 months to touch 50 million users. More than a billion people now log into Facebook everyday. To date, only two national states have breached this barrier: China and India. Mastering this new animal (Social Media) requires a different breed of people and process due to its real-time nature. Marketers need to marry real-time interactions with traditional marketing campaigns & analytics. Silos need to be broken so that marketers don’t think Brand, digital & campaign differently but rather run a “strategic thread” & integrate the customer engagement.
Create a “single path of truth”:
Bring all of the data that we as marketers have into what can be called a “digital hub” which allows marketing to have a “single source of truth”. And once we have this, we can stand to improve analytics by not looking only at Email open & click through rates but connect that data with Social data & to the CRM (actual buyer behavior) that is with us.
Next Post we will focus on Mobile Marketing…..

Direct Marketing, the Black Sheep of the Marketing ? Agree to Disagree !

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Even though, Direct Marketing was considered by many as the next big thing and an innovative marketing tool which would revolutionize marketing,  ever since its origin, due to various factors like implementation failures, lack of specialized companies, and imminent lack of strategy with respect to Creative Management to end-point implementation wherein, many companies started treating it as inadequate substitute to main-line marketing. This is in addition to the general skepticism that existed about Direct Marketing in an already main-line marketing dominated market.
Progressive to what we have learnt on Direct Marketing being a significant tool in Marketing needs of a company, Our main focus though stays in Direct Mail in this particular article.
As said, Direct Marketing, in the early years was treated as the inadequate Substitute to main-line Marketing.Companies that specialized in direct marketing were considered less creative and insipid. People entering marketing wanted to work on interesting television campaigns, not direct mail.

But marketers grew to love the discipline of direct marketing because it allowed them to justify their marketing budgets.

They could show management exactly what the return on investment was from their marketing Budget.

Direct Marketing allowed clarity with the tested, tried and true techniques collectively also by trying to incorporate a brand message which might not have a negative effect on those results.

Companies worked closely with one client to develop direct mail kits, all with measurable test Ideals that tested one factor at a time so as to facilitate pinpointed on every process of  what made a difference in the results. Incorporating this client’s brand image was was beneficial to the client.Advertising and direct marketing are different facets albeit, Direct mail by itself works great if implemented right. It boasts the benefits of targeting accuracy, measurability, delivering a total message and creating an emotional bond.

But ensuring the Company having to fulfill every need, from the Creative Development to implementation of Direct mailers, was  procedural and Layout specific.One process lag might affect the whole base hence ending in unfavorable results.

Direct mail works almost too well, with Clients taking notice of its effectiveness. A natural growth process follows, with volume increasing dramatically. Mailboxes begin to fill up with all kinds of offers. Nothing stands out any longer, and response rates might begin to fall. Consumers invented the term “junk mail” to apply to all communication efforts.

So the need for, using database modeling and analysis techniques, mail less and get the same number of responses, which makes  it even more profitable. And consumers receive less junk mail, which makes them more receptive to the messages they received because they were properly targeted.

This leads to a discussion about the positive effects of incorporating a brand message into direct marketing and the multiplying effect of multiple channel touches for consumers. And the term “integrated marketing communications” comes into picture.

Today, more and more of the clients understand the importance of a coordinated, integrated marketing effort. Not only is it needed to incorporate the brand into their direct marketing, utilization of many combinations of media to support their businesses, creating testing matrices that seem very complex, but crucial. Also, the Customer touch points affect whether a response can be generated. Measuring results becomes more difficult as the need to look at the combinations of the various media instead of a singular marketing touch being responsible for the result.Hence the contributing results become more and more difficult to track.

The direct mail in today’s Marketing world,  is a fragment rather than  being a complete marketing program. It might be the lead piece kicking off the campaign, grabbing the consumer and demanding some engagement or interaction. And it’s often the center point creative for brand for maximum impact.

Companies should be uniquely qualified to bring a results-oriented approach to their clients. Direct marketing has moved beyond measurement and, coupled with its marketing siblings, is helping clients achieve business goals better than ever before.

In the coming years, we’re going to see a notable revolution in marketing. As consumers increasingly choose when and how they wish to be communicated with, companies need to stay close to them and make them aware of where they can find their target consumers for that particular client’s respective business. The graph of Direct Marketing turns into an Up-Curve when combined effectively with all the right services to back it up with..!

What are the right Services, You ask?

Stay Tuned for more on services to serve as an effective back-up!

Email Marketing

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Increase your Sales effectively through E-mailers in six steps:
  • Make a strong statement with your E-mailer
Beginning a Direct Email is not much different from beginning a print ad. You have to grab the Customer’s attention and make him or her want to read more. You can do this with a subject line before the salutation or with a strong first sentence.
If you use a headline, be sure that it makes sense to your reader. Nobody opens E-mail to be dazzled by creative verbiage. They want to know how to make more money and a good deal. Don’t labor over a creative concept, just get to the point quickly and clearly.
If the preference is a  formal letter, teh Subject line will do the job of a attracting the Customer’s Attention. Choosing clarity over creativity is a wise choice.
  • Identify Your Customer’s Problem
There are countless formats and layouts for E-mails and content, including making an announcement, asking a question, or telling a story.Its not beneficial to prolong the material after a certain extent.Nobody is in interested in a full fledged story about anything.
Give solutions for their problems.
After all, people don’t buy products or services per se, they buy solutions to problems. If you know your reader (and you should), you can just state the reader’s problem and offer a solution. Simple as that.
  • Make a Strong Offer
Just as people buy solutions rather than products, they also accept offers rather than purchases. A strong effective offer is made only when the customer is showed all the benefits ofthe product or the service, also has to be a fair offer.
The offer isn’t the actual  price … it’s the special deal drawn in using exclusivity factor i.e. Make the customer feel, he/ she is the only person who has gotten the offer.
  •  Guarantee Your Offer
People fear getting cheated. So when they are made an offer,people must be helped eliminate any fear that they may have regarding the offer being unrealistic and immoral. Most people won’t return the  product or refuse teh service after they’ve accepted the particular offer, they just need reassurance that they’re not locked into a hoax deal forever.
If we have a good product or service, stand behind it with a solid guarantee. Highlight it. Believe in it.The stronger the emphasis 0f the guarantee, the more the customer will trust … and the more likely there is a chance of purchase now and in the future.
  • Tell Your Customer What to Do Next
The customer may be intelligent, but don’t assume that they’ll spend even a second wondering how to accept the particular offer. If we want the customer to call, we have to say so.The email must say so. If we want the customer to reply and proceed into buying the product, give direct instructions to do it.Call to order might be a feasible option for certain circumstances which will also reduce the hassle of the customer not understanding what to do next if he/she likes the product/ service.
If we want the customer’s business, then we need to ask for it. And forget the fancy, billowy type font/ language … make your phone number big and your address easy to read. And use a feasible font for the same.
  •  Make it Easy to Respond
Now that we’ve drafted a strong, benefit-packed Offer E-mail that convinces the customer to try out the product or service, and if there’s no phone number. The entire sale is lost.
The more options given to the customer, the easier it is to respond … and the more sales is made. Including phone numbers, addresses, coupons, Call to order Options etc.
Want to execute an email campaign for your product / service? Write to sudha@yudirect.com