Instagram releases new image size!

Instagram released a new image size a few weeks ago and did so by partnering with the new Star Wars move. This was a great marketing move as lots of people were excited about the movie and its popularity allowed it to skyrocket up the new style without having to directly point it out.

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This new perspective width gives you more letterbox format. This means that you can now take a photo in landscape mode on your iPhone and get the entire photo onto Instagram.

For more people this just means there will be more food in your Instagram feed but it will allow some more creativity in the Instagram space.

Now if we could just schedule posts in Instagram and have multiple accounts…….

How do people learn about new products?

How do people learn about new products? Guess what? Word of Mouth still reigns supreme!

In a new great chart from Marketing Charts, the reasons why someone would buy a new product come out. A few notes: there are different countries in the mix here and age demographics are not shared. That being said we can learn a lot from these trends. Here are a few notes:

•Word of Mouth is the best way to gain new customers. While listening to ‘experts’ talk about a product dropped 11%, friends and family told me about it it only dropped 4%. A rejection of ‘experts’ is something that is growing strong in our generation due to the flood of facts we deal with everyday. For more issues and products its easy to google something and find an opposing fact (or pseudo-fact). This survey shows a drop in word of mouth but I think they are drawing a line between word of mouth and social media which as I explain in the next paragraph is not really that different.

• Social Media is growing and its really word of mouth for the next generation. Someone once said, “If billboards are fireworks, social media is a bonfire.” Fireworks are short bursts of entertainment and could describe many forms of advertising but social media is designed to allow a conversation to happen about your product or service. Social Media will increasingly be a tool that is used to sway’s peoples minds about a product because it is the word of mouth in the tech world we live in today. [bctt tweet=”Social Media will increasingly be a tool that is used to sway’s people because it is the word of mouth in the tech world. “]

•TV Ads are prominent but faced a huge drop and I suspect this will only continue. Traditional media is going to continue to suffer from a drop in power due to demographic changes and the adoption of technology. TV is going to become less and less powerful unless they do something about it’s viewership and data.  Here are some of my other thoughts about traditional media.
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All of this is great data for us to help improve our sales! Lets put it to use!

People love free shipping emails and other tips!

Marketing Charts recently released a great chart documenting what types of communicates lead to customer purchases. This is extremely helpful if you offer a product. Of course each businesses’s audience is different and will respond to things differently. One restaurant I work with responds well to amazing text deals but email can sometimes be a struggle.

Here is the chart:

Marketing Chart's Research


Some interesting notes from this research:

1. Retargeting is at the bottom of the list. I wonder if people artificially lowered this number because it creeps them out. But it is interesting that direct mail ranks higher on the list. I suppose it has a lot to do with the quality of the direct mail list you buy.

2. What is interesting is that the top three items are all emails! I love email marketing.  Email is a great form of permission marketing and its something businesses should always be thinking about, “How do we increase our permission base?”.

3. The Staggering drop off between two and three. Free shipping and discounts reign supreme here. I suspect this tactic will become more and more prominent as we increasingly stop buying things in brick and mortar locations and instead switch to online stores. Free shipping will be the gold standard and is already used by things like Amazon prime to attract consumers.

Gender in Social Media Use

Gender effects social media use.

Another great chart from Marketing Charts. This one chronicles social media adoption in the general population and by gender. There is a lot of interesting information that comes out of this graph and some of it matches stereotypes. Pintrest is vastly more popular among females. This is not very surprising but if you are primarily marketing to women this means that you should really be using Pintrest!

I find it very interesting that there are only three social networks that comes in stronger for males than females: Google+, Linkedin and Vine. The running joke for a while was that only Google employees were on Google Plus and well Google has a propensity to hire males (83% are males). This could be the explanation or it might have to do more with cultural tendencies for employment. This article indicates that almost 2/3 of business owners and those who are self employed are males.

Google requires Google Plus pages for the business map pages. Linkedin is the business social network. This is probably not the only factor but it might help explain the disparity. I think these adoption statistics will change in the coming years as women become more empowered in our society.

It is also interesting that a 6% larger share of males ignore social media all together.

Facebook gets less free.

Dont Just stand there!

Dont Just stand there!

Facebook is getting less free. I blogged about this previously but now Facebook is going to further push for paid ads. I am not sure how much further this can go but it may eventually get to where no one that likes your Facebook page unless you pay for the ad. It will become more comparable to TV. You may have  TV commercial and people maybe a fan of your business but unless you pay the station your ad will not running!

Check out the Wall Street Journal article on Facebook restricting reach: New Facebook Rules will Sting Entrepreneurs.

So what do you do instead? Well don’t just stand there,  build non rented marketing channels. Get permission from your fans to communicate to them. Try using email and I like to use MailChimp.

Effective Emails

Why do people open emails from companies? What makes an effective marketing email? Well these stats from Marketing Charts seem to show that deals are the primary reason that emails effect buying behavior.

But this also covers info regarding other forms of marketing. Email ranks at the top of this list and I think it might have something to do about permission marketing. You have to opt in to receive those emails which means you are already interested in the product. If you are the marketer you have already qualified the prospect. Permission marketing is the way to go!


Email works when deals are offered


Guess what? People dont trust…

People do not really trust sponsored content. Big surprise right? This reminds me of the general distrust of authority that seems ever present in our current culture. We have been lied to many times by leaders and companies and as a result we trust very few or none of them anymore.

Although Sponsored Content is sneakier in the digital format, I always flash back to a magazine. Do you remember those pages that looked a little different from the rest of the magazine because they were not up to the same visual quality of the rest of the pages.  They also  said “Sponsored Story” in the top corner.  Those were the worst. I never read them, always went right past them even.

Now and days with native advertising they no longer stick out as badly but hopefully will remain clearly labeled. But 22.5%  would believe the story if it is from a trusted brand. So how do we become a trust brand? Probably start by not lying.

Here are the charts:

Media Charts Trust in Sponsored Content

Why would you make something non responsive anymore?

Why would you make anything that is not responsive anymore? Unless there is some super technical thing on your site that cannot be responsive, there is no reason to not have a responsive website. More than 30% of traffic is now mobile, that means if your site is not responsive, IT LOOKS BAD FOR MORE THAN 30% OF YOUR VISITORS! Responsive is now as standard as remote entry is on cars. If your website is not responsive you need to start a redesign soon! This even expands into emails as the below statistics reveal. Is your email template responsive? (HT MarketingCharts)


Needs for employees to succeed.

Do you want to be a great organization? If you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs then the below chart will make sense to you. This chart is derived from some of the great research that Gallup is doing on leadership. Almost all of the steps to creating deep employee engagement have to do with the leadership of a supervisor. When I think back to some of my most successful times during employment, I can see these factors being present. Conversely, when I think back to some of my least successful times of employment, I can see these factors not being present.

My only issue with this chart is the word ‘best’ in Q10. Might be over kill to require a best friend at work. But friends at work is a must.

One thing I might add is: Does the culture of the work place demand excellence? Cultures that demand the best often bring out the best, when these other factors are present.

via Gallop Business Journal

First Impressions happen fast.

Another great resource for marketers is Marketing Charts. Marketing Charts is a free email service that shares some of the latest and greatest data about marketing.

First impressions happen fast. Sometimes before you even start the interaction (HT Art of Manliness: How to Enter a Room Like a Boss) These stats help me think about two things: 1. The first interaction with your product matters (duh) 2.What comes before that interaction.

1. Obviously if you mess up the initial interaction: the first meeting, the first plate of food, the first presentation, the first printing, the rest of the relationship is going to suffer.

2. I think to make such a strong connection so quickly there are often going to be some preliminary things happening:
Two thoughts:
1. Word of Mouth/Reputation: Your reputation sets the stage for your entrance to the party/meeting/point of first contact. Keep an eye on your online reviews and know what people say about you. When I go to a restaurant and I have read online that their service is slow, I am keeping a special eye out for it. Pay attention to and fix your weaknesses. Someone who is primed to be a critic becomes a fan to defend your reputation quickly.

2. Branding/Appearance: When you enter a place, the place will help set your perception of the interaction that is about to happen. It is the same thing with the brand personality that you put out into the community, if you use the average Joe persona people might be taken back by a $30 steak on the menu. Use your branding to help set the stage for your first interaction with a customer.

Think through the whole interaction, even try to imagine the part you are not privy to.  Use the tools you have to set up the first interaction with your brand to be successful so that you grow rabid fans quickly. Now I wonder what we could accomplish with some rabid fans?