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Retail marketers ramp up spending on email marketing, will you?

(MARKETING NEWS) The majority of retailers are focusing their 2017 budget on email marketing–how does your company’s strategy size up?

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Top 3 retail goals

E-Marketer reports that according to an October 2016 survey administered by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, the common goals shared amongst most retailers for 2017 are as follows: increase sales, improve customer engagement, and improve customer acquisition.

I’m sure you weren’t surprised by any of that. After all, retailers that do not have these three as their primary goals are likely not very interested in making money.

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What is interesting about this survey, however, are the planned methods retailers are intending to implement to achieve these goals. 68 percent of respondents said they were going to focus on directly contacting customers through e-mail campaigns, and 54 percent said they would be focusing on social media.

It seems retailers are starting to conclude that this whole “Internet” thing isn’t going anywhere. Click To Tweet

navigating the digital landscape

An increased focus on digital marketing should not be surprising. I challenge you to think of a modern retailer that has absolutely no online presence. Not so easy, is it?

There is no question that consumers are progressively doing more of their shopping online. As such, it only makes sense that retailers would focus their marketing to a place where potential customers are most likely to take notice.

The challenge that businesses are going to face, however, is making their marketing efforts noticeable in the already cluttered digital landscape.

In other words, it is becoming increasingly important that businesses come up with interesting marketing ideas that not only attract, but hold the attention of potential customers. Simple e-mails containing coupons and catalogues just don’t hack it anymore.

how to keep my attention

Many companies are already making use of the sharing possibilities present in social media, creating videos and images they hope will go viral. But like effective video ads, an interesting e-mail campaign can also stick with you. One of my favorite examples of effective e-mail marketing is Eat24’s weekly coupon e-mails. Filled with food-related puns, funny images, and an always original way of offering a coupon, it’s clear that the whoever comes up with these e-mails enjoys it.

It’s that enthusiasm and good humor that keeps me reading their weekly e-mails, which in turn keeps them from automatically being sent to my spam folder. Even if I don’t use Eat24 every week, it’s still one of the first places I think of when I want to order take-out.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every business needs to go about sending e-mails or creating ads with product-specific puns. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to express enthusiasm for the product in ways outside of an exclamation point.

There is a fine line between interesting marketing materials and annoying ones. Whether it be ads or e-mails, the best marketing should leave customers feeling intrigued instead of interrupted.

#digitalmarketing

Andrew Clausen is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and when he's not deep diving into technology and business news for you, he is a poet, enjoys rock climbing, monster movies, and spending time with his notoriously naughty cat.

Business Marketing

Ten podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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Business Marketing

You’ll see this Pantone color of the year everywhere in 2019

(MARKETING) Pantone releases their color of the year for 2019 and marketers rush to follow suit, “Devil Wears Prada” style.

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pantone living coral

The time has finally come for one of the biggest marketing announcements of the year: Pantone has shared the color of 2019. Drumroll, please! Living Coral!

Step aside, June brides, because the rest of the world is coming after your signature color. The color’s name comes from the look of healthy (living) coral that one can find under the sea.

The color of the year was announced this week by Pantone, who annually predicts color trends and works to examine the psychological effects of color. Much like how fashion evolves over the years, so does the popularity of color.

According to Voice of America, Pantone consults with major companies regarding selecting certain colors for their products. As such, the color of the year has the ability to influence a number of industries, including: beauty care, fashion, art, home, and product design.

The color is selected by The Pantone Color Institute (aka the dream institution for any kid with a fresh box of Crayolas). The Institute is headed by Leatrice Eiseman, who said that the fact that society seems to be “craving human interaction and social connection” was a major catalyst for this year’s selection.

Eiseman stated that the color Living Coral represents “humanizing and heartening qualities” which she thinks people will warmly receive. “Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities,” she said. “And this is particularly true for Living Coral.”

The color reminds one of warmth, which is something that Pantone’s vice president, Laurie Pressman, agrees with. Pressman told the Associated Press (AP) the company sees the 2019 color of the year as “warm and welcoming.” The choice was especially important as human interaction seems to be decreasing in society, she said.

“With everything that’s going on today, we’re looking for those humanizing qualities because we’re seeing online life dehumanizing a lot of things,” she told the AP.

Past colors of the year include: Ultra Violet (2018), Greenery (2017), Rose Quartz and Serenity (2016), Marsala (2015), Radiant Orchid (2014), Emerald (2013), Tangerine Tango (2012), Honeysuckle (2011), and Turquoise (2010).

How do you think the new color will impact the marketing game?

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Business Marketing

Get a personalized daily checklist for your digital marketing strategy

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

Check!

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

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Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

How does ClearPath work?

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website. If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

A great start

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

ClearPath is currently in beta. Check out their website to learn more.

#ClearPath

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