Marketing Trends

8 Scarcity Techniques to Gain Users and Grow Signups by 450%

When doing a cold outreach and getting people to sign up to your application, we know a simple outreach doesn't work. Here are some tips on using scarcity to gain users and grow signups by 450%: 

1. The “Waiting in Line” Approach
While walking down the street, have you ever seen a line of people waiting outside a store, concert hall, etc? Your immediate response is to crane your neck to see why there's such a long queue. Generally, what’s going on in the back of your mind is, “That’s a lot of people, whatever is going on must be cool. What am I missing out on?”

By announcing that your app has a waiting list, you create a sense of popularity. When there is only standing room left, people feel almost desperate to get in now.


2. The “Limited Supply” Approach
Reward attendees that sign up first. After all, they're going to be spreading some positive vibes about any  special treatment they receive. A particularly smart move is to allow people to pre-register for items or services that will only be available in limited supply.

For example, when planning its launch strategy, Connect.me allowed users who signed up early to pre-register usernames instead of merely giving an email address.
 

3. The “Make Money from Scarcity” Approach
Why not validate your idea and make some extra cash at the same time? You may find success in selling beta versions of your product at a discount. If you have a product that's ready to go, that is. Allowing a select few people into your beta - in exchange for immediate payment - you gain a significant amount of monetary validation for your idea. 

4. The “Countdown” Approach
When the clock is ticking, a sense of urgency leads people to make decisions faster. Use this approach when you have cemented a specific launch time. Be sure that your timer counts down to the very second of your launch. By putting a countdown on your landing page, you promote the idea that people need to sign up soon or forever lose out.

5. The “$1*Buyers Per Sale” Approach
This approach to creating a sense of urgency is highly effective. In this approach, buyer #1 pays $1 for the product, buyer #2  would then pay $2, and so on. Simply add on $1 for every 1 buyer and you've created a ripple effect that keeps new buyers coming in for more. The first buyer walks away on top of the world with the best possible deal. The last buyer feels comforted by the belief that the product is worth every penny, if only because so many people have made a purchase before them. 

As the price goes up, people are compelled to 'buy now' to avoid paying more and more as each new buyer causes the price to increase.

6.  The “Refer for Earlier Access” Approach
This approach is an offshoot of the “Waiting in Line” approach. If you want to project the idea that your app has more traction than it does, try an approach where you don't need to inform people of where they are in the queue or how many others are in line with them. Essentially, when someone pre-registers, they are motivated to share a referral link with their contacts. The more referrals they have under their belt, the closer they'll move to the front of the line.

Forkly.com made this particular method quite popular during one of their own launches. 

7. The “Social Contest” Approach
This is another approach that rewards people for referrals. There are several different ways to do this. You may be successful in combining it with the approach above, and making each pre-signup worth a specific number of entries into your contest. Be sure to give away something related to your product - the end goal is promotion of your brand, after all. Give away something like a lifetime membership, as this will guarantee the use of your product and a spin-off of referrals as well.

8. The “Your Friends Like Us and So Should You” Approach
Think of this as the "birds of a feather" approach. It's generally much easier to convince a person to sign up if their friends have signed up too. Using Twitter or Facebook logins to accept pre-signups makes this approach even easier.

PACER, Inbound meets Outbound. How to rapidly grow your business l

Step-by-step guidance on how to go from Zero to first 50 customers in any business, existing or brand new. Whether you're looking to start a new arm of your business or start it from scratch, we'll shed some light on how you can set yourself up for success. All of our techniques are based on what we have used to grow Goodman Lantern from $0, with no investment raised, to where we are today. We bootstrapped it all the way, and so can you!

 

The name of the game is being tactful. It's not about inbound or outbound marketing; it's about standing out and building trust. You can't build trust with customers if you haven't made contact with them yet. If you're merely relying on blogging, Facebook, or Twitter to pull in the punters, we have some bad news for you: outbound tools, like email, see an average click-through rate of 3.57%, compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter. 

If you've previously heard that inbound was the only way forward, it's worth looking at this: 

  1. In an interview with Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, he mentions that he "was sold Hubspot on an (outbound) cold call " (scroll to 42.30). The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot, yet even they engage in outbound marketing. 
  2. Tony J. Hughes, in his blog post, talks about a company which went "full bottle" social selling. They removed phones from the sales floor and tanked their top and mid-funnel.

Why Isn't Inbound Marketing Good Enough? 

Before we identify why inbound marketing isn't sufficient on it's own, it's worth exploring why people don't have success with it as an alone-standing approach. It's worth noting that inbound works very closely with content marketing. The top reason why companies are likely to give up on content marketing, says Roman Kniahynyckyj, is due to the length of time it takes for the benefits to kick in, driven by these factors:

  1. Google indexing: The bottom line is that you need Google to index your website fully. Unless you are an internet phenomenon, based one experience, you are looking at a minimum of  3-6 months. 
  2. Time to learn: Writing content takes time and you probably won't get it right the first time, so you need to maintain a trial-and-error approach. 
  3. Building content: Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you need to build enough volume so it starts to snowball and you begin to receive leads. 

Inbound is good but it's slow, outbound is quick but it's pushy. What we are proposing is to take the best of both inbound and outbound, making the latter a dialogue. The key is to make outbound part of the 6-8 touches required to convert prospects into customers. 

Our focus with this campaign is to rely majorly on email. Why email? 

  1. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined, according to a survey of US marketing execs.
  2. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  3. Marketers generate 174% more conversions with email than social media.

 

The Inspiration

Where did the idea come from? 

I will be the first to admit that the idea is inspired; it came from an email which I received in 2016 from Laura Hannan. It was probably the most well-crafted email I have ever read and I had no option but to respond asking for more information. 

Subject: Goodman Lantern's Role in the Future Smart Home
Hi Raj,
I'd be interested to understand if you have a view on where Goodman Lantern might sit in the future smart home.
The smart home future marketplace is not properly defined yet, so JM of EC (Wiki page) has created an ecosystem of organisations who want to lead or participate in this exciting field.
Members include utilities, telcos, insurance, property, manufacturers, digital enablers and start ups.
They share insight, ideas, and by utilising each others strengths, technology and consumer bases, they co-create and test applications for the future smart home.
Can we please set up a call to discuss?
Laura

This email was doing the following: 

  1. Selling me an opportunity to be part of an elite group in exchange for a phone call, without spelling this out. 
  2. Qualifying me to see if I'm in the space of smart homes.
  3. Testing if I'd be interested in transacting with other members.
  4. Finally, it's up to me if I'd be interested in a phone call.

This is a push form of marketing where I have to request or 'pull' information. Now, here is the backdrop to this information: the person referred to as JH is someone who I know, as she has been on various business websites / social media sites, really getting her inbound marketing right.  As a result, this combination of inbound and outbound marketing worked. Had there been no email, I would have never signed up. I would have never reacted to this via a Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook ad etc, as I wasn't searching for it. 

 

So how did Laura find me and get in touch? What is the process? 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how this can be achieved over a 3-month period: 

1. Develop tool or content

2. Develop list of emails

3. Send out emails

4. Monitor results / compare with the industry

5. Repeat

PACER

We call this technique the PACER (Promote > Collect > Email > Analyse > Repeat)

PACER.png

 

Promote

According to Eric Worre, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, you need to give away something in order to invite people to your network. To start your promotion, you need to give knowledge, webinars, software tools, and other freebies to get your target market interested in what you're offering. Some call it Inbound marketing, others Karma, but the fact of the matter is that genuine promotion is about giving, not taking.  


Collect

Once you have done your promoting, you need to find a way to collect the email addresses of your target market and proactively email them. This is very much an outbound tactic, and yes, you will approach them cold. If you have done your promotion right, they would already have heard of you. 

There are various tools in the market that enable you to collect email addresses. Alternatively, you can use data marketing agencies to buy lists. In a bid for shameless promotion, we also offer a free tool to help you generate a B2B list of leads including phone numbers and email addresses. 

 

Email

Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to carefully draft an email and send it out using a mail merge tool. Be warned: please don't send out newsletter or HTML emails, the default option on Mailchimp. 
 

This section has three parts: 

1. Drafting emails which generate high conversions

 

2. Sending out the emails

 

3. Developing effective landing pages

Analyse

This is probably the most import aspect of the campaign. You need to make sure your campaign actually reaches the goals you've set and that you get responses. The best outcome of the campaign is that you receive several positive responses, mostly in the form of signups or a direct response to the email.

This email campaign will generate a much higher response rate than the industry email marketing statistics. Our previous campaigns on average have the following responses: 

Open rates should be 45-60% 
Average open rate is 9.2-20%

Click through rate of 4-11% and
Average CTR is between 1.25-5.13%

Conversion rate of 2-5% 
 

 

Repeat

Now repeat the process with new data and keep doing this recursively till you find a target market.

Let us know in the comments if this worked for you. We are always keen to hear success stories 

 

Benefits of eBooks in Content Marketing Strategy

What is content marketing

By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, marketers aim to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The major goal is to convert this traffic into profitable customer action.

Of course, the keyword here is “valuable”. It’s what distinguishes content marketing from other forms of advertising. Instead of simply pitching products or services, it becomes necessary to provide truly reliable, relevant, and useful content to potential and current customers, helping them solve their problems or answer their own questions.

The best way to tell if a piece of content is worth using in a content marketing campaign, is to establish whether people actively seek it out. If people want to consume it rather than avoid it, it’s worth your while.

A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types. As individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific items to keep in mind: blog posts, ebooks, cheat sheets, workbooks and templates, whitepapers and reports, infographics, slide decks, video, etc.

Why content marketing

According to Pagefair.com, over 200 million people now use ad blockers. Conventional marketing tactics are becoming less effective. “Good” content is impervious to ad-blocking software and actually happens to be something that consumers want to interact with. Content marketing is therefore more effective and welcome on a foundational level.

There is the assumption that content marketing is an expensive alternative to the traditional marketing model. This, however, is inaccurate. Content marketing is highly effective and easy to begin. It is popular with consumers and can therefore drastically reduce the amount of money that would otherwise be spent on advertising that has a potentially lower success rate.

Roughly 88% of today’s B2B marketers use content marketing as that foundation of their marketing strategy. The sustainable value of content marketing means that brands are able to easily connect with their customers, as the lines of communication are a little more open. With conversion rates that are six times higher than those associated with traditional marketing efforts, it is hardly surprising that content marketing is growing in popularity.

Ebooks in Content Marketing

According to Jesse Noyes, senior director of content marketing for Kapost, "Fat content will become the focus of marketers everywhere.” The term ‘fat content’ extends to include whitepapers, infographics, ebooks, and videos – all of which can be used in a clever content marketing strategy.

In a content marketing plan, eBooks are best used by businesses that need to communicate complex information in a way that is both interesting and accessible. The term “infotaining” is often used to describe these eBooks, which should be filled with practical, useful, and possibly inspiring content that aligns with the business’ brand.

eBooks present the perfect balance between education and entertainment. Visually, an eBook is more appealing than a whitepaper yet it is more serious than an infographic. Essentially, eBooks cover several bases whereas other forms of content tend to be a little more one-dimensional. According to PricewaterhouseCooper LLpP, eBook sales are expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. This proves that they are somewhat of a “hot” commodity.

eBooks are being referred to as “fat” content, anything that can be broken up into smaller pieces and used in multi-channel campaigning. Ultimately, flexibility is what makes this type of marketing tool so popular. At least 39% of B2B marketers are using eBooks as a part of their strategy, whereas “thin” online content is slowly edging its way out of the limelight.

Benefits of eBooks

There are several benefits to using eBooks as a part of a business’ marketing strategy, some of which will be highlighted below.

Generate leads

What sets eBooks apart from other marketing tools is the fact that they seem to be more informative than a regular part of an advertising tactic. To the consumer, they exist in order to provide entertainment or expertise. After all, the best source of knowledge is an industry expert who can offer insight into solving the “real-life” problems of customers.

In an age where transparency is key, marketers will find that potential customers shy away from anything they perceive to be a “hard sell”. EBooks enable marketers to control the content they send out. The content becomes more inviting to consumers, drawing their attention in such a way that they feel as though they made a conscious choice to pursue a particular service rather than feeling as though they’ve been harassed into making a purchase.

Ebooks have the following technological advantages in lead generation:
 

  • The electronic medium provides a convenient method for an immediate call-to-action - a click!

  • eBooks containing links allow businesses to track their success through quantifiable measurements.

  • Rather than provide a static product, companies can add links to a variety of additional media (video, audio, or graphics) adding visual appeal.

  • An eBook is fast and easy to produce while still looking great and providing a professional appearance to a business’ content strategy.

Build a Brand

When used properly, an eBook will cause potential customers to link the content to a particular business’ existing brand. For this reason, marketers need to find a way to ensure that they maximise the eBook’s ability to enhance the company’s image.

Connecting an eBook to a specific brand can be done in the following ways:
 

  • Complement the existing brand by using the appropriate logos, fonts, and colour schemes on the eBook cover.

  • Present a professional image by ensuring that the format, writing, and editing are publication-ready.

  • When making your eBook publication-ready, marketers should execute each step with precision – especially in terms of the conversion of media.

Offers Valuable Knowledge to your Target Audience

When creating eBook content, authors should focus on topics that they have expertise in. Consumers are able to sense when content has been penned by an author who is floundering in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the eBook should not be about the product or service offered by the company in question.

While the eBook content may not be intended to sell, it will still have a positive impact on the decision-making of its audience.  The key here is to ensure that there is a call-to-action at the end of the eBook which links to the pertinent areas of the company’s website. This subtle method of selling helps readers make a decision without feeling they are under inordinate amounts of pressure.

Of course, the topic of the eBook should still be industry relevant – something that will attract the attention of the appropriate audience and teach them something that will assist them in making the “correct” purchasing decision. Ebooks are often used to set a particular company up as a trusted source of information or an industry leader on a particular topic.

10 Best Practices for Creating eBooks
 

Below are the top ten best practices for creating quality, effective eBooks:

  • Covers should be compelling with short, provocative titles.

  • EBooks should be easy to find, share and act on.

  • Anticipate varying screen sizes for eBook consumption and make graphics and text readable across the board.

  • Lists, tips, and best practices with examples are the most compelling eBook content formats.

  • Include links within the eBook to blog posts, videos, and articles from the business itself and from 3rd party resources.

  • Focus on content that is easily shareable on social media.

  • Promote portions of the eBook through blog posts and social networks.

  • Co-create eBooks with industry thought leaders to create a built-in incentive for them to help promote.

  • Use a clear and relevant call to action according to the eBook purpose.

  • Provide PDF and embeddable versions of the eBook.

 

Overseas Market Introduction Service

OMIS Report

What Does OMIS Entail?

The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) provides support for businesses pursuing export activities overseas. The information provided often includes competitor analysis, market reviews, bespoke events, and assistance with adjusting to local business etiquette and culture. Essentially, OMIS gives businesses an instant link to invaluable insights and set them on the right track. This service is tailored to each individual businessperson and assistance depending on the needs of the client. 

OMIS activities and support can include market information, advice and practical support, such as:

  • Understanding how to do business in the market

  • Having the confidence to explore or expand in a new market

  • Market analysis and feasibility studies

  • Identifying business opportunities and prospects

  • Understanding the competition

  • Identification, assessment and contacting of potential distributors, partners and contacts

  • Promoting business and products through events such as receptions and product launches

  • Meeting arrangements with business contacts

  • Deciding on the best market entry strategy

  • Understanding local regulations and standards

  • Overcoming barriers to entry or expansion

  • Raising profile and credibility in the market

Why is an OMIS Report Helpful?

Any business aiming to expand in the overseas market may face barriers in accessing the right international contacts or partners. Additionally, it can be equally challenging to find the best ways to operate in a specific overseas market and to successful market entry strategy in an entirely new sphere (both economically and culturally). Businesses seeking to increase profits by employing an effective overseas promotion may find OMIS to be particularly helpful.

There is no doubt about it: internationalisation is a difficult task. Differences in time zones, languages, and cultures are inescapable obstacles that must be faced. OMIS provides a wealth of practical support, advice and key market information, supporting business owners through each stage of their international expansion.

Each expansion starts with the process of market research. However, international research can be particularly challenging without contacts ‘on the ground’. The socio-economic environment is often quite specific, something not many business owners are used to or even aware of. Even when the necessary research information is in another language, OMIS teams can prove invaluable in finding the information needed. Unsurprisingly, these reports can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

When it comes to actually visiting an international market in person, OMIS can be handy too. Booking meetings for a market visit and sending marketing material abroad can be time-consuming and frustrating. Using OMIS’ market specialists removes considerable stress and hassle both during the organisation of your visit and once you’ve actually landed in the country.

Thus, OMIS puts you in touch directly with overseas markets. It is beneficial for business, as it helps with the following:

  • Access the right international contacts or partners

  • Provide insight of the overseas market

  • Find the best way to do business in a market

  • Achieve a successful market entry strategy

  • Increase profits by using effective overseas promotion

What are the Characteristics of a Good OMIS Report?

It’s likely that the closer a business is to entering a chosen market, the more practical the services will need to be. Key tips here are the followings:

  • Mix and match OMIS services to select those that best meet your needs and requirements

  • Use OMIS for ‘value added’ services (i.e. activities that you are unable to easily do yourself)

For market research, one needs to choose between depth and breadth depending the current level of understanding. It is necessary to dive deeper into the market if there is  already an understanding of the broad brush strokes.

To obtain a comprehensive OMIS report businesses need to:

  • Provide a fully comprehensive brief of their request

  • Specify their objectives

  • Maintain personal involvement throughout the OMIS process

  • Set up milestones and due dates

  • Ensure that they obtain sight of draft/initial research so that they can be involved in final revisions/tweaks

  • Once the research has been completed, business owners need to make sure that they sign off on the brief and they you’re happy it has been met

  • Prior to sign off, businesses should ensure that they obtain any final amendments that they feel are needed.

A typical content of OMIS market report includes:

  • Identification of market size, market potential and key trends within a marketplace

  • Provision of localised industry and sector advice

  • Analysis of possible routes to market

  • In-country competitor analysis

  • Assessment of the potential level of demand for your products or services

  • Identification of opportunities and prospects.

 

If you are looking for an Overseas Marketing Report get started today with a Free Trial

Goodman Lantern ties up with Startup Grind Conference to Offer a 47.5% Discount

LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, 24th October 2016. Goodman Lantern, one of the UK’s most prolific new market research and content development companies, has recently announced an exciting new partnership with the Startup Grind Conference to offer attendees a 47.5% discount on tickets to the event. Goodman Lantern works with  SME and enterprise customers helping facilitate conversation between the two.

Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs connecting 400,000 founders in over 200 cities. The Startup Grind conference is one of the highlights of the entrepreneurial sphere, offering budding business owners a chance to rub shoulders with industry leaders and pick their brains on pertinent topics. Past speakers include the co-founder of Twitter (Biz Stone), Airbnb (Nate Blecharczyk) and Slack (Stewart Butterfield).

We at Goodman Lantern believe that the best way to connect is face-to-face.  For this reason, they have arranged an exclusive 47.5%* discount for the Startup Grind Conference held in San Francisco on 21st Feb 2017 using the code Code12345, expiring on 14th November. For further information email startupgrind@goodmanlantern.com.

Professional conferences are a great platform for training and peer-to-peer interaction. These events are the number one place for entrepreneurs to learn new and more effective ways of conducting business. The actionable tips and statistics that business owners are able to collect from industry leaders are invaluable. It is just as important to note that attending these conferences can lead to viable solutions for fundraising efforts as well as an opportunity to sell to both enterprise and startup customers.

* The total discount on one full price ticket when buying 2 for 1 is 47.5%. Applying the code gives attendees a 5% discount on all tickets available until 14th November.

 

Using SWOT Analysis for Clever Content Strategies

In terms of business analysis techniques, a thorough SWOT analysis is possibly the best means of identifying the feasibility of an impending venture or project.  This analytical tool is used for the identification and categorization of internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses in SWOT analysis are termed as internal factors while opportunities and threats are termed as external factors. Potential ventures are only considered as serious possibilities only when the strengths and opportunities outweigh the weaknesses and threats.

SWOT analyses, flexible as they are, can be conducted for the following:

·         a situation

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

Survey on 'Why top level executives attend conferences'

In an effort to learn more about the conferencing behaviours of Fortune 1000 executives, Goodman Lantern conducted a survey featuring 191 top-level panelists. Our main aim was to discover why these executives choose to attend certain business events, how they research upcoming conferences, and what motivates them to participate as exhibitors or sponsors rather than attending in an observational capacity.

Download the entire presentation (free)

Determining the “Worth” of Attending an Event

An overwhelming 62.6% of respondents choose to attend conferences based on the quality of marketing and communication received before the event. The second-most popular method, ranking in at 41.3%, of decision-making in this regard is learning about these events from peers and colleagues.

Reasons for Attending an Event

One of our main motivators in conducting this survey was to discover why Fortune 1000 executives attend certain conferences and events. Most of our panelists, around 68.9%, claimed that these events presented a wealth of networking opportunities – clearly a driving force behind making their decisions. The runner-up reason for attending events was to meet experts and speakers face-to-face, a motivating factor for nearly 31% of our panelists. At least 21.1% of the executives interviewed stated that they saw event attendance as a way to invest in themselves and their professional endeavours.

Motivation for Sponsoring or Exhibiting at an Event

According to 51.3% of our participants, industry reports and knowledge produced at the event form the bulk of their motivation for exhibiting at or sponsoring an event. The next-highest motivator, 39.9%, for our panelists was the quality of attendees. Additionally, 22.6% of our survey participants stated that a speaking slot was motivation enough for attending a conference.

Produce industry reports and knowledge for your conference via Zero Cost Content via Goodman Lantern's research platform.

Understanding Social Attendees

While the event industry might be constantly growing and evolving, one thing is certain: social media is here to stay. Event profs are working in an age where social attendees are the major target. Understanding the psychology behind this phenomenon enables people to plan better events. Social media has an effect on the way events are planned, marketed, and hosted. It has such a huge impact on the event as a whole that it simply cannot be overlooked. Traditional marketing may not be dead but it certainly has taken the backseat.

Learning to Embrace Social

The complexities in our social lives are what make our existence so exciting. Social media provides access into the thoughts, experiences, and insights of other people in a way that is entirely new. Before the Digital Age we had to rely on information provided - edited information. Now we have access to information in its raw unedited form. It makes a huge difference.

Event profs now have access important tidbits regarding social attendees regarding the two "big C's" in human nature: competition and cooperation. Social media enables people to connect and observe from afar. It's a remarkable tool.

Who They Know and Who They Want to Know

When attending an event, one of the first things people do is check their network to see if they know any other attendees. Cleverly designed event apps enable people to connect with their peers in a safe online environment. Hosting live pre-event discussions is one of the best ways to get people talking.

On the other hand, people also want to know who they can meet or get to know better at an upcoming event. For attendees with this particular networking goal, social media provides the perfect medium for breaking the ice. Live Q&A sessions are a great tool and should be used as much as possible.

 

 

Pop-Up Events: No Need for a Permanent Structure

There's been a long-standing misconception that dictates all events should take place in brick and mortar structures. Event pros will be pleased to note that a new trend is steadily taking hold: the pop-up event. Temporary structures are a great way to fit a large number of people into your event without struggling to find a space for hire.

A  Big Top's Not Only for the Circus

You could easily fit over 100 attendees into a big top for your event. Utilise the space in such a way that it fits with your theme - make it more comfortable by bringing in soft cushions, a few extra tables, and some gorgeous decor. You'd be surprised at how affordable this option can be, especially if your local circus is in hibernation and could use the extra funds from your rental.

Transparent Marquees can Extend your Event Space

If you've planned an event at a historical venue but have no way to accommodate your dinner guests comfortably, consider hiring a transparent marquee.

You would be amazed at the amount of banquet-style table space available inside a marquees. Your guests can enjoy their dinner in comfort, whilst being able to meander leisurely through the building at your chosen location.

Stretch Tents are Trending

If music festivals are anything to go by, stretch tents are a huge hit. Stretch tents are ideal for pop-up events because they work well on any terrain. They offer protection from the elements as they come in virtually any size. And, of course, they look absolutely spectacular.

Without the linear, rigid feel of most other structures, these tents offer a sense of freedom. Event attendees will no doubt experience something akin to that summer vacation feeling - a nostalgic feeling that event organisers so often try to replicate.

Another great feature of stretch tents is the fact that they attach so easily to existing structures. This makes them the obvious choice for smaller event spaces that need cohesion between permanent and existing structures.

 

 

Creative Marketing: Displaying Logos at Events

There has to be a better of displaying logos at events. Gone are the days where marketers and event profs can get away with taking the easy way out. Consumers tend to bristle at in-your-face, lacklustre, or slapdash efforts at making branding memorable. Event managers need to think outside of the proverbial square when figuring out how to display company logos. Try a subtle approach, give something more fun a try, or use technology to your advantage. Your options are virtually endless if you know where to look.

Give a Photobooth a Bash

The verdict is in: people love photobooths. There's an undeniable element of nostalgia involved in taking an instant photo. It conjures up a person's favorite memories and positive emotions. Hire one of these fabulous devices and you've added that sought-after personal connection. Logos can not only be displayed on the outside of the booth, but they can be printed directly onto the photos as well.

Hire a Street Artist

Watching an artist at work is an almost magical experience. There are so many talented street artists out there - most of them working with completely unique materials. You can really bring your event to life by hiring one of these creative geniuses. By incorporating company logos into their art, they create something memorable that will really stick in an attendee's mind.

Edible Logos Aim to Please

Basically, the aim of your event is to ensure that everybody leaves happy. Nothing makes people happier than a snack or two. Try to find innovative ways to offer attendees edible logos. Molded chocolates, beautifully iced biscuits, refreshing ice pops, branded drinks... The opportunities are amazing if you really think about it.

Digital Caricaturists Exist to Amuse

Caricaturists have gone digital - and it's a good thing too. People love to laugh. Really great people love to laugh at themselves. Bring in a digital caricaturist to entertain people and give them something to share on social media. Company logos can easily be worked into digital caricatures, making a lasting impression.

It's amazing what you can come up with when you take the time to think about it. Originality is so important in terms of marketing at an event; use your intuition and imagination to come up with something truly great.

Snapchat Finds its Footing in the Event World

Snapchat_Logo_Goodman Lantern Blog Social media continues to take the world by storm. Despite the fact that it may feel as though the current “big bosses” in social media are the only ones that matter, the fact is that social media really is in its infancy. It will continue to grow and evolve at a remarkable rate - after all, that’s the nature of the concept in its entirety.

Whenever a new social media platform is established, it is adopted by younger, more techno-savvy users. As the user base expands to include previous generations, these new brands begin to dip their toes into the realms of highly competitive B2C marketing. At this point, influencers, celebs, and advertisers throw themselves into the mix; and then its just a matter of time before event organisers find a way to get in on the ground floor of the action.

This is where Snapchat is at the moment. At the precipice of popularity.

What is Snapchat? Is it Just for Kids?

Until recently, teens have been the epicentre of the user-adoption rate for Snapchat. The messenger aspect of the app seems to be its biggest selling point. It’s all about image-sharing kicked up to a new level. The instant messaging aspect of the app is also what attracts teens, like AIM did a generation ago.

Snapchat messages disappear after 24 hours. This ghost-message effect is what put marketers off the app initially, and it is probably responsible for the app’s slow growth over the last few years. Quite obviously, marketers want their messages to stick around for a good while - after all, that’s the entire point of engaging with your audience, right? Well, perhaps marketers could find a way to spin this ghostly feature in their favour.

Don’t Fall Behind

Employing the FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic is something that event organisers have been doing for decades. In essence, Snapchat uses FOMO to create somewhat of an addiction. Users crave the knowledge of trending news and posts that won’t be around forever. There’s a delightful edginess to it that other social media apps are lacking.

Most social media platforms are a constant stream of identical calls-to-action. Users are beginning to find these constant ads fairly tiresome - there’s nothing new to keep their curiosity piqued. There is a growing cynicism that prevents users from developing an interest in event posts that they have seen a hundred times and will continue to see a hundred more.

Event professionals need to market the most exciting aspect of their industry: the fact that it’s all temporary. If you only have one chance to view content before it disappears or attend an event before it’s all over, chances are you’re going to invest more of your time and interest. This is the magic that apps like Snapchat are able to capture.

Ever-Changing Event Social Media Strategies

Social media is constantly in motion. It’s an ever-growing, ever-evolving communicative medium that has a mind of its own. Due to its sometimes unpredictable nature, event organisers should be aware of the fact that their social media strategies require regular adjustments, deeper insights, and frequent research. Over the last few months, even social media kingpins like Twitter and Facebook have announced a new array of features and changes in algorithms that will affect the way these platforms are used by individuals and businesses alike.

Eliminate the “Anti-Social” Aspect of Social Media

Due to the enormity of social media as a whole, it can feel a little impersonal when interacting with brands online. Many social media users have reported feeling as though they’re dealing with a big machine, rather than actual human beings.

“There is increased interest from our membership regarding interacting via Facebook and Twitter, so we definitely want to build on that momentum. I’m still working on goals and execution, but I would like to use social media to create more buzz around our events, not only with members but prospective members and attendees,” says Adrienne Bryan, database manager for the Association of Florida Colleges.

One of the best strategies is to find volunteers to collaborate with creatively on social media. Something that has turned out to be quite popular is the ‘Instagram takeover’ during which the company in question surrenders their event page to the volunteer for the entirety of the event. It adds some unexpected spice to the brand - you would be surprised at the difference a change in tone and pace can make.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most important things to consider when working on your social media strategy, is realising that this is no place to establish a comfort zone. In terms of social media, you always need to be on your toes.

Don’t stick to the same old platforms you’ve gotten used to over the years. Keep yourself open to the possibility of using new tools and applications as and when they become available to you. New social media platforms pop up all the time, and each one creates its own community as it grows. In order to become a successful social media strategist, you need to get in on the ground floor of every new opportunity when it comes along.

 

Periscoping - Live Action Streaming is Here to Stay

Goodman Lantern Blog Periscoping Periscope is taking the live events sphere by storm. The app was launched earlier in 2015, and since then “Periscoping” has become one of the biggest event trends of this year. While live video certainly may not be a new concept, there’s something about Periscope (and its competitor, Meerkat) that has the world of social media spinning just that little bit faster. It’s all about accessibility – knowing what’s happening right then and there. Periscoping goes hand-in-hand with the transparency that modern consumers hanker after so much. There’s a rawness to it that people seem to crave. It’s the unedited rawness of live streaming video with none of the touch-ups or filters that the media world has come to rely on so much over the last few decades. This is what globally conscious consumers are moving towards; they want to connect over the truth.

Online Video is a Long-Term Phenomenon

Online video content is popular and according to Articulate it is here to stay:

  • By 2018, video content is expected to account for 79% of all consumer internet traffic
  • In emails, the word ‘video’ boosts click-through rates by 65
  • YouTube is the now officially the second largest search engine in the world
  • Video is shared more than all other types of content

No More FOMO

The “fear of missing out” is one of the things that drives modern consumers more than they would like to admit. We do, however, live in a world where trends matter. People want to be a part of something bigger, something better – and when they can’t have that they will settle for being a part of the live action in some way. It’s all about interconnectivity. People are fuelled by the desire to connect with other human beings over shared interests and experiences. That is what event organisers need to hone in on.

Not only do app users have the ability to view these events live, but they can also provide feedback in real time. This makes the experience all the more real. People want to have their opinions heard. It’s that simple. A Peek Behind the Curtain

Periscoping offers users the chance to get a behind the scenes view of events. Smart marketing is all about showing viewers something unexpected; something that makes them feel like a part of the bigger picture. Brand transparency is going to keep growing as one of the most important factors in a consumer’s decision-making process, so it’s really about time that event organizers get with the program.

Audio Beacons Add Value to Event Experience

Audio beacon technology has the ability to turn any smartphone into a device that has a “sixth sense”.  Using microphones on smartphones as an access point, audio beacons send ultra-high frequency sounds that the human ear cannot hear. With these capabilities, apps have the ability to deliver relevant content in an almost completely organic way. Event planners and marketers are staring to incorporate this technology into the event planning process; finding new and exciting ways for attendees to really immerse themselves into the experience.

Is Privacy an Issue?

Of course, there is the possibility that attendees may feel as though their privacy is at risk. There is a bit of discomfort involved in using any app that has direct access to one’s recording devices. Organisers will need to find a way to ensure that event attendees feel safe in downloading and using the relevant apps.

The smartest approach is to give attendees a little bit of a head’s up before your event. Send out an email or social media blast on the apps they’ll need to use and how these will interact with the beacons. Let them know that the apps are exclusively for the event, and can easily be deleted without leaving a trace afterwards.

Put a health and safety spin on it if you need to. Let your attendees know that the beacons are active for security reasons as well. Should there be any sort of unexpected issue at the event, an immediate notification will be sent to attendees ensuring that they are prepared in time.

Keeping the Event on the Fast Track

One of the best ways to ensure that attendees feel good about using audio beacon technology, is letting them know that the whole process is in aid of a seamless experience. Registration should be a breeze – eliminating frustrating queues by having attendees register through the app and receiving confirmation via email.

Audio beacons provide event updates in real time. Attendees will receive notifications (should they choose to) when anything of interest is about to occur. If there’s a particular keynote speaker they have an interest in, or if there’s a demonstration they’re absolutely itching to see, this technology will keep them in the loop.

In the end, it’s all about adding value to the attendees’ experience.

The Ins and Outs of Event Goodie Bags

We all have them… the secret stash of event and conference goodie bags lurking at the back of the closet. Chances are you don’t even remember what most of them contain. Admittedly, we all take one peek inside the bag, browsing for that kitsch-looking pen you can keep in your handbag or briefcase for emergencies. Everything else is of little interest. Over the years, goodie bags seem to have become little more than a formality. Like the cursory bag of stale Jordan almonds at a wedding reception. With just a little forethought, they could be so much more. Promotional bags and products are a $19.4 billion industry. It’s about time event organisers started putting in a little more effort.

Top 5 No-No Items

To make things simpler, it’s worth eliminating the following 5 items from any goodie bag list:

  • Pens
  • Tote Bags
  • Mousepads
  • Stress/Foam Balls
  • Random office supplies
  • Wristbands (or anything clothing besides t-shirts)

These are items that no one wants or needs. It’s time to start thinking of guests as human beings with a real life beyond the event.

Get a Little Personal

Event bags are the organiser’s way of thanking guests for attending. Quite obviously, it is impossible to personalise each bag for each individual guest. There is, however, a way to make the bag an integral part of the event experience.

Event Manager Blog suggests the following: "Set a goal that you want the bag to achieve. Just giving people a place to stash junk and office supplies is a wasted opportunity. Communicate the strategy to workshop leaders and exhibitors. Enlist them in the plan."

Try to think of travel-sized gifts that attendees might think of as a little luxury. “Usefulness” can sometimes be overrated. People like to feel special – it makes for a memorable event.

Avoid a Design Faux Pas

Style should never be overlooked. Goodie bags should have a little bit of a designer feel. If you can swing it, aim for a recyclable material in an effort to keep the event eco-friendly. Work in your CSR wherever possible.

Aim for a “dynamite in small packages” vibe. Keep it vibrant, punchy, and eye-catching but remember that your guests will need to lug the bag around all day. Bigger isn’t always better, but beauty certainly wins out.

Event Pop-Ups: Outside the Box Buzz

Pop Up Events Goodman Lantern The trend of “pop-ups” gained a huge amount of momentum during 2015, and is poised to continue this growth throughout 2016. As EMEA Events Manager at Facebook, Shara Tochia is an authority on many aspects of the events industry. She reports that there has been a marked rise in this type of event, across a very wide demographic, including stores, fitness studios, events and many others which are increasingly sought-after. There is a particular taste for the unusual and the unexpected - anything that adds a sense of wonder and occasion to a unique development. Tochia boldly encourages start-ups and new concepts, saying, “It’s time to get very creative and think outside the box.”

These temporary retail and event locations capitalise on their temporary nature and the public’s increasingly powerful fear of missing out on great experiences to create an incomparable buzz of interest. This type of endeavour has become so popular that even large companies have begun to host their own pop-up spaces, sometimes even taking place within the confines of a larger store. The appeal of hosting a pop-up is extremely broad, including the ability to test out ideas and gauge interest before embarking on a permanent venture, move dated stock, build unforgettable experiences, and even attract new interest from untapped corners of the population, creating a brand impression with staying power. 

Popertee.com predicts that more spaces will become available for pop-ups as property owners begin to realise how lucrative short-term leases can be. Additionally, the relatively low cost of hosting a pop-up will mean that smaller businesses and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to afford premium space, often directly beside larger corporation’s efforts. Another growing trend is tech-enabled retail experiences that become seamless for the client to pass between various mediums. The most exciting aspect of the pop-up culture, is the sheer limitlessness of what can be achieved in a pop-up space. Creativity and innovation are leading the march in building incomparable retail experiences for increasingly discerning clientele. 

Pop-ups offer an unparalleled level of intimacy between companies and their clients, allowing decision makers to keep their finger on the pulse of what the trending demands and needs of their customers are. The importance of staying relevant is at an all-time high in a world where pop-ups are appearing on every street and dominating the retail environment across the globe.

Video Content: The Gateway to Creative Communication

Video Content Goodman Lantern Video content has been gaining popularity recently, to such an extent that in 2010, Forbes reported that among senior executives, 80% report watching more video than they did previously. Alan Newton, Eventopedia’s COO and Co-founder quotes his Creative Director, Pete Davies as saying that, “visual might be the new text,” - a prediction that seems to be coming into it’s own with 75% of senior executives preferring to watch work-related videos on business-related websites, while 52% also make use of YouTube. Newton believes video is the trend that shows the greatest opportunity as a creative communication tool, but cannot be overlooked as a tool for traffic generation when it is considered that 65% followed videos up with a visit to the creator’s website. Cisco has gone on record saying by 2019, consumer internet traffic will be 80% video, which would amount to a 64% rise from 2014’s figures.Video is considered to be the most significant method of communication between companies and their clients, but also in the business to business environment.

Tom Afek, CMO and co-founder of Showbox, believes that the creative and intelligent use of intuitive production platforms combined with appropriate research and execution allows any marketing manager to create engaging video content to highlight their company.  He recommends four “basic principles” of creating video content, beginning with the often underestimated importance of great content to fill the video with. A tight, punchy message is given a new breath of fresh air when coupled with engaging visuals and audio cues. Also vital is an attitude of transparency and a focus on viewer engagement - both aspects can appear daunting, but can be achieved by efficiently utilizing user feedback tools that allow comments and interaction between consumers and companies.

Another vital aspect to be considered is the placement of your video. Afek recommends a combined strategy of using a video hosting service such as YouTube, but stresses the importance of embedding the video on a relevant, prominent section of your company’s own site, diminishing the problems caused by distraction of competitor videos with good ratings. Consistency is the final piece of Afek’s focus, highlighting the need for a dependable and reliable outlook that communicates stoicism and steadfastness of resolve to any potential clients who view a number of videos in succession, or who are exposed to your company’s content over time. The fact is that the next generation of consumers demand to know as much as they can about every facet of the companies they support and to feel involved in their lifecycle - a sentiment that is often summed up into the extremely broad term, ‘relationship building.’

It's Time for Marketers to Hedge Their Bets on Augmented Reality

Once thought of as a gimmicky approach to advertising, augmented reality is rapidly taking the marketing world by storm. Previously relying on klutzy QR code use cases, augmented reality campaigns were limited to simplistic video launches from a poster or product. In 2016 and 2017, however, we have much more to look forward to. Immersive Experiences are the Way Forward

Augmented reality is all about bringing digital objects into the “real world.” This is a little different to its cousin, virtual reality, which transports the user into a different space, serving as a distraction rather than the sought-after immersive experience so popular at marketing events today. Currently, advertisers seem to operate on a principle of consumer distraction - an approach that is rapidly becoming passé.

According to Text100, "The augmented reality apps market is expected to generate revenues in excess of $3.2 billion this year." The reason for this is simple: most SmartPhones are ready for this type of technology, making the entire development process much less of a hurdle than it would normally be. Generally speaking, augmented reality apps rely on behaviour that modern mobile phone users are completely familiar with. Watching a video, listening to a song, or taking a photo are intrinsic parts of every user's daily life.

Consider the benefits of launching a marketing event for a range of products, attendees simply lift their phones in the motion of taking a photo and are instantly immersed in an interactive shopping experience?

Visual Search is the Next Step

"Visual search" is a subset of augmented reality allowing SmartPhone users to snap a picture of a television screen or static advertisement, instantly receiving the full range of information they would need before making a purchasing decision.

At events where immersive experiences are all the rage, screens could easily be set up to allow for an attendee's journey of discovery. There is something infinitely more rewarding about discovering pertinent information oneself instead of being talked at or read to from a stuffy podium.

Immediately Measurable Results

One of the greatest benefits for marketers is the fact that augmented reality campaigns are immediately measurable. Some quick investigation from their desktops will show results regarding in-app camera click, the type of device used, the gender, location and time of engagement. This is the type of brand-owned insight that enables marketers to track certain behaviours that until recently have remained a somewhat "closed book".

Essentially, with the right approach, augmented reality can turn modern marketing its head - in the best possible way, of course.

 

Big Data in Event Marketing: 2016's Biggest Trend

Big Data has been described as being “the accumulation, storage and manipulation” of very large data sets, and has been a steadily growing trend in the event marketing industry in 2016. Jan Sysmans, DoubleDutch’s Head of International Marketing, believes that the use of big data will replace the industry’s reliance on anecdotal evidence alone. Marketer’s decision-making changed completely when web marketing, email, and digital advertisements became commonplace. Another change is due with the digitization of the event marketing industry, granting marketers access to a wealth of deep data resources.

Sysmans also believes that laptop usage will decline in favour of mobile devices, paper handouts will be increasingly phased out by digital content, and an increase in useful data being collected through techniques such as polling, sentiment analysis, and “real time lead and contact scanning”. Additionally, attendees have shown an interest in actively participating in events, allowing them to mould the event to their liking. Liz King, the Chief Event Specialist of Liz King Events also predicts a big focus on data collection as planners gain experience and skill with accessing and successfully channelling big data. “I’m excited to see how planners will embrace big data and all the changes we’ll see at our events because of it.”

Zeta Interactive CEO, David Steinberg believes that big data’s event evolution throughout 2016 and the years to come will include five main areas of improvement. The first of these is the unification of databases into one highly efficient, user friendly combination of transactional and predictive data. He believes that the next logical step will be the need for real-time data streaming from an array of devices, along with a method of harnessing and actioning them in real time to streamline the process and deliver an exceptional experience for attendees. Steinberg also predicts the rapid adoption of increasingly available and accessible machine learning tools, many of which are already gaining momentum. He also believes in the increased popularity and advantages associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the re emergence of meta- and master-data with the aim of improving usability and security.

Experts and industry insiders tend to agree that 2016 is a big year for the adoption of big data technologies and techniques, which will revolutionise the event marketing industry and lead to even more impressive, popular events.

Keeping Up with the Evolution of Marketing

Marketing is constantly evolving, always growing to include new ideas, new combinations of tactics, and new insight into current practises. At the moment, marketing is heavily focused on social media channels to an unhealthy degree. Forbes.com’s Daniel Newman recently wrote that, “Social media is one platform of many, a tactic that does a great job of supporting broad campaigns but flounders by itself.” It’s important for marketers to realise that there is more to a holistic strategy than simply excellent social media figures. Social media should exist as a supplementary, supportive entity, rounding the end-user experience to be more palatable and accessible. Unfortunately many highly effective, more ‘traditional’ tactics often fall by the wayside. One such example is the careful creation of owned emailing lists - which can be curated to be of specific interest to each of your user groups. There are many advanced tools online that allow your clients to do the work for you, allowing them to toggle their areas of interest for themselves, giving them full control over the types of information they receive. In an article for Fourthsource.com, Warren Duff emphasised the importance of email tailoring; “If you’re going to deliver your marketing messages via email, do it right: this means displaying subscribe fields prominently and providing easy access to an email preferences centre.”

Content marketing is another often overlooked aspect that should be part of a comprehensive strategy.  Brianne Carlon, Rush of the Business2Community, wrote that every content marketing strategy needs to include interactive, bite-sized, personalized content - a trifecta that makes up the foundations of modern content marketing. Getting this combination right is tricky, “but if you can master the creation of quality content that stands out from the rest, operates seamlessly on mobile and offers a personalized experience, you will not just survive 2016; you’ll thrive.”

Keeping in line with the trend of deeper engagement and tailored experience, is the reemergence of relationship marketing into a prominent position in the makeup of any rounded marketing strategy. Clients want to feel valued, a stipulation that has the power to dictate long term customer loyalty, or utterly destroy a company’s reputation if ignored. There needs to be a large degree of accountability, reliability, and supportiveness in the business-client relationship. The key to making it all work is neatly summed up by PCMag.com’s Brent Johnson, “At the core of relationship marketing is a focus on working together—you and your customer—to jointly accomplish your goals.”