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We’re heading for another big shake up in marketing next year (what’s new?). And now that it’s December, it’s time to roll up our collective sleeves and get stuck into the changes that will be coming our way. As always, what actually happens is going to be very different to how most of us imagine it to be. Chatbots, not people, will be talking to our customers, and marketers are going to be getting more and more invested in the ad blocking arms race as savvy consumers try to hide their personally identifiable information from businesses and governments they see as a threat.

Check out these interesting and sometimes outright weird marketing trends expected to arrive in the year ahead.

ROI Metrics Will Dominate

At the moment, companies are using things like CPMs to measure the performance of their websites. The idea is that the higher the rate of conversion on their websites, whether it’s downloads, signups, or purchases, the better. But the problem with these data is that they are very mono-dimensional. Companies aren’t able to measure what the return is on their investment very easily. After all, different conversions have different values, and converting one set of customers can be a lot more costly than converting another set.

In the coming year, it is expected by Forbes and other experts that ROI-based performance metrics will come to dominate. Companies will be able to get real-time information on how much it cost them to generate an individual conversion, as well as how much that conversion cost relative to the amount of value generated by it. This new approach will then make it easier for companies to dedicate their precious marketing dollars to those instances that will generate the highest return.

Businesses Will Uncover Dark Social

Knowing where customers came from online is important. But right now, many people are choosing to keep their identities hidden, thanks to ever-increasing intrusion on their lives by governments and to a lesser degree, companies. This has led to the widespread adoption of encrypted, private messaging apps that effectively block out the ability of businesses to collect data. The problem with this is that companies rely on knowing which channels people are coming from to optimize their marketing strategies. If for instance, they’re getting lots of traffic from Facebook, but not very much from Twitter, it doesn’t make sense to plow investment dollars into Twitter.

Next year, companies will get tools that will help them uncover the world of dark social. GetSocial.io, for instance, can help firms find out where their customers are coming from, without revealing any personally identifiable information. It’s the best of both worlds, where consumer data remains private, and where companies get the information they need to better target their marketing campaigns.

Third-Party, Social Media “Buy Buttons”

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The future of ecommerce looks surprisingly different from the present. At the moment, the paradigm is that online retailers have to have their own website to which their customers arrive and make purchases. There’s a lot of money being spent right now on these sites to make sure that they have high visibility on general search engines.

But thanks to the fact that people never seem to tire of social media, social media itself will soon become a shopping platform in its own right. Facebook and Pinterest and currently investigating ways to include buy buttons next to products or items. For Pinterest, this is a particularly interesting idea, since it is a site dedicated to hosting and organizing photographs, usually of beautiful, bespoke products. Companies wouldn’t have to invest their marketing efforts trying to improve their rank on Google; they’ll be investing in enhancing their visibility on platforms like Pinterest and making sure that they produce the most alluring photographs possible. New social media marketing is something you can learn more about at Simplilearn here.

Marketing That “Gives Back”

Customers want the brands that they consume to have a feel good element. They want to know that when they buy a product that at least some of their money will be going to a noble cause. There are all sorts of companies that are doing this already. Take Warby Parker, the online glasses seller, for instance. This company proudly promotes the fact that “for every pair purchased, a pair is distributed to someone in need.” Regular, everyday companies need to think of ways of resonating with their customer base and making them feel as if they are improving the world with every purchase.

Native Advertising

Internet users are getting more and more savvy to the marketing tactics of online advertisers, hence the growth in the use of adblockers. Next year companies will have to focus more exclusively on native advertising – advertising that is expertly weaved into the content of an article or a video. Advertisers are going to need to target bloggers and vloggers and get them to incorporate their own products in a way that adds value to consumers. People don’t want yet another banner ad promising to save them money: they want something that actively helps them to understand something or somewhere that gives them unbiased information about a product. Product reviews, as well as videos showcasing how much fun a product can be, will form the lion’s share of marketing going forward.

Yet More Market Segmentation

You might think that we’ve reached peak personalization for online marketing, but according to experts, it’s going to be going up another notch next year. Personalization means targeting advertising based on a person’s habits and preferences online. The basic idea is to give consumers only the advertising content that they want, rather than bombarding them with information that they are not interested in. In a world of information overload, this may be the only approach marketers can use to get their message to stick.

Marketing Will Become Mobile-First

mobile marketing Social media apps windows phone

Long gone are the days when the PC was the dominant platform through which people consume online content. The market has spoken, and it turns out that people prefer their mobile devices, despite the fact that they only provide a fraction of the screen real estate. This new reality means that businesses are going to have to optimize first for mobile, and then for desktop after, to make sure that they are prioritizing their experiences in the correct way. Right now, many website builders have a desktop-first approach, which will have to change as we go forward in 2017.

Chatbots Will Talk To Your Customers For You

If you’ve ever gotten interested in artificial intelligence or computer science, you’ll have heard about the Turing test. The Turing Test was a test devised by Alan Turing, the esteemed computer scientist depicted in the film The Imitation Game. It said that artificial intelligence was achieved if an expert couldn’t tell whether he or she was talking to a person or a computer.

It might surprise you to discover that we’re not far off the world that Alan Turing envisioned. Today’s chatbots are being developed by the world’s most advanced AI companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. They’re all in a sort of arms race to build an AI that is able to chat with customers on behalf of business, find out their preferences, and feed all those data into a central repository where it can be analyzed and made use of. Chatbots, as they are called, will soon provide users with news updates on the products that they are interested in, as well as personalized responses to their queries, slashing the costs customer service in the process.

Companies Will Deliver Their Own Breaking News

Top tech companies are already making a habit of live streaming their events. You can now watch the biggest product launches, right from the comfort of your own computer as they happen in real time. As we go into 2017, live streaming technology will continue to push boundaries. For example, Instagram has now integrated its live stream option into its new “Stores” feature, meaning companies are able to keep users apprised of the very latest developments at company HQ.

Without Influencers, Companies Will Be Nowhere

We’ve already discussed just how important it will be for companies to find bloggers and vloggers who can act as hosts for their native advertising efforts. Next year, they’ll have to reach out to these influencers more than they ever did in the past. The reason for this is that people tend to trust influencers a lot more than they do the company’s own, direct marketing. Smart companies realize that to be successful, they have to reach out to influencers to gain credibility and sell their product. They need people who are seen as leaders in their own particular social field to promote, review and use their products if they are to be successful.

So there you have it – the big marketing trends to look out for next year. We haven’t even talked about things like VR or interactive content here because they are enormous topics in their own right. Suffice to say that 2017 is going to be very different – again.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Online comparators are the best allies to help you find the loan you need

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When applying for a loan, it is common for people to look forward to having the complete information at hand in order to choose the type of credit and the financial institution that better suits their needs. Online comparators are an excellent online resource, as they explain in detail the best options for users to select the credit product with the most favourable conditions for them.

For many years now, loans have established themselves as one of the best ways to obtain the necessary liquidity to address a wide variety of issues, from financial hardship, to entrepreneurial projects, mortgages and more.

One of the countries where credit supply is one of the widest is the United States, which is due to its strong economic development in all sectors and the fact that it is one of the main drivers of the world economy.

In this sense, there is a wide diversity of ways to obtain money for a vast number of purposes. It is very common in the United States to apply for loans to financiate a trip, to pay fines, to reunify debts, to buy a house or a car, to start a business, etc.

For each type of need there are different categories of loans: personal loans, quick loans, credit cards, mortgages or government loans. It all depends on what the capital is required for, how much is needed and how the amount received is to be repaid, and the respective interest that is to be paid.

How to get the ideal funding?

It is very common to have many doubts when it comes to obtaining financing, especially in the United States, where the range of options is quite wide. This is where the internet plays a fundamental role.

Nowadays, specialised platforms can be visited on the internet to obtain detailed information on all the types of loans that exist, including comparisons of financial institutions and their products, so that the user can select the one that meets his requirements and has the best conditions.

These days, one of the types of financing that are well sought-after are quick loans, which are ideal for getting out of financial difficulties, especially those unforeseen events that sometimes arise when you do not have the necessary liquidity. These are credit products for which few requirements are asked, with short contracting times and with the possibility of receiving the amount the same day.

There are comparative websites that present users with the best fast loan alternatives available in the United States, including options for those who for one reason or another have a low credit rating or simply no credit rating at all. These alternatives are called bad credit or no credit loans.

These platforms analyse the best quick loans and disclose all the details, so that users do not get any unpleasant surprises.

Government loans are in high demand

Another type of loan that has been in high demand in the United States lately are the government loans. There is also a wide variety of alternatives for this type of loan, so it is difficult for many people to know if they are ideal candidates for one.

Digital platforms are also an excellent support in this regard. They  provide users with all the necessary information so they can find out all the details that will allow them to take advantage of the credit options offered by the US government.

There are very useful online resources that can be of great help for people to find government loans for which they can qualify, i.e. for which they may be eligible.

Among the categories of government credits that these platforms analyse are agricultural loans, education loans, commercial loans, housing loans, veterans’ loans, loan repayment loans and much more. In fact, there are web portals that allow you to check your eligibility among more than 1,000 types of benefits.

These portals usually have a loan search engine that consists of a questionnaire to be answered by the user, which allows the user to filter through all the alternatives and review only those that fit the profile and requirements.

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Strategies to Have in Place When Launching a New Product on Your E-Commerce

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When launching a new product on your e-commerce website, there are several strategies you need to have in place in order to ensure its success. You want to ensure that you create a buzz around the product before it even hits the shelves and that you have a plan for marketing and selling it once it becomes available. This blog post will discuss some of the most important strategies you need to consider when launching a new product.

Create a Buzz: 

One of the most important things you can do when launching a new product is to create a buzz around it before it even hits the shelves. There are several ways you can go about doing this. You can start by releasing teaser images or videos on your social media channels or even holding a contest where people can win the product before it launches. This will get people talking and excited about the product, and they’ll be more likely to buy it once it does become available.

Another way to create a buzz is to reach out to influencers in your industry and see if they’d be interested in featuring the product on their own channels. This can help spread the word quickly and get people talking about the product before it even launches.

You can also try to get press coverage for the product. This can be done by reaching out to media outlets and pitching them the product launch story. Getting some press coverage leading up to the launch will help create a buzz and get people talking about the product.

Marketing and Sales Plan: 

Once the product is available for purchase, you need to have a plan in place for marketing and selling it. This will include things like setting up a landing page on your website, creating social media posts and ads and reaching out to your email list. You want to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to drive traffic to the product page and get people interested in buying it.

It would help if you also had a plan for post-purchase follow-up. This includes things like sending thank-you emails, providing customer support, and offering discounts or coupons for future purchases. By following up with customers after they’ve bought the product, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and you’ll be more likely to make sales down the road.

IT and Technicalities: 

When launching a new product, you also need to have an IT strategy in place. This includes setting up a testing environment, ensuring that the website can handle increased traffic, and ensuring that all of the payment and shipping systems are working correctly. By having an IT-strategie in place, you can avoid any potential issues that could arise during the launch and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Following these strategies can set your new product up for success. For example, creating a buzz before the launch will help increase interest and sales, and having a marketing and sales plan will ensure that you’re able to drive traffic to the product page and make sales. Additionally, an IT strategy is essential for avoiding any potential issues that could occur during the launch. Having all these strategies in place can ensure that your new product launch is a success.

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Scale Up Your Small Business And Accelerate Your Customer Base

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Small businesses can get lost in the sea of other similar businesses if they aren’t careful. There are hundreds of new businesses added to the market every day. Therefore, it is important for new business owners to know what to do in order to enhance their business and attract and win over as many customers as possible.

From improving the experience of your business website to giving customers regular discounts, here is how to scale up your small business and accelerate your customer base.

Offer the best product/service experience

Whether you are creating a new product or service to offer to customers, you will want to make it as good as possible so that the customers are not disappointed. Offering the best product/service possible will make sure to win over customers and maintain their attention. Any fault with your product/service could result in them looking elsewhere.

For instance, let’s say you are a new music teacher that wants to start a business teaching teeangers fresh out of college. If so, you will want the best equipment possible so that they can have the most fun and attain the best results. Hence, you could invest in equipment usch as Drum Machines for Beginners so that the students can create drum sounds that sound like the real thing. This will make their music creations much easier and more professional, which will help them gain more confidence in their education, creations, and results.

Improve your small businesses website experience for customers

Another important aspect to focus on when you are trying to scale up your small business and attract as many people as possible is to improve your website experience. Like a faulty product/service, if your website is difficult to use or faulty, then a customer will soon lose interest.

You should consider working with website designers so that you create the most efficient website for your small business. Thereafter, ensure to maintain its speed, SEO, and updates so that it runs smoothly.

Make more marketing efforts

Marketing techniques are important to focus on and get right if you want to enhance your brand awareness and attract more customers.

The more you focus on your marketing, the more traffic you will gain. Being active on social media, improving your website SEO, and using various means of marketing will ensure that you can reach a wider audience, which should hone in more customers and help your small business make more sales.

Build a great customer service team

Giving your customers the best customer service possible will ensure that they maintain their satisfaction. Good customer service includes:

Being friendly

Offering fast responses

Always helping no matter if there is an issue or a compliment

You should consider adding a live chat service to your website so that customers can attain immediate responses to their queries. Thereafter, you could also encourage customers to message you through your social media channels if they want to ask a question. Having one or two people monitoring the channels will ensure that the customers get a quick response.

It is always beneficial to train all members of the team to be as friendly and as helpful as possible when dealing with customers. Making sure that every customer is treated fairly will result in happy customers. Happy customers will likely be regular customers. They will provide your business with positive feedback, which will encourage more customers to try your small business and help it grow.

Ask for customer feedback

Speaking of customer feedback, this is another important task to tick off when you are looking to scale up your business.

Customer feedback will help you understand what people truly think to your business. Although negative feedback can feel upsetting, it is good to take it on board and use it wisely to adjust your business. The feedback will help you align your business with customer expectations, which will result in customer satisfaction and a more successful business.

Make good first impressions

Alike customer service, your first impression should also be top tier. If you get off on the wrong foot with a customer, then it won’t look good. Although nobody is perfect, it is smart to be friendly, helpful, and of good service. The better impression you make, the more encouraged a customer will be to come back time and time again to use your business.

Good first impressions will also filter through in conversation. For example, an impressed customer might encourage their friend to try your business. New customers equal more sales and greater success.

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