Digital Marketing Outlook: Are You Headed in the Right Direction?

Before business owners and managers, webmasters and IT professionals worried about Google algorithms, social media activity, and customer analytics, they saw email as a powerful ally in their digital marketing efforts. To some degree, text messaging (SMS) and multimedia messaging (MMS, which can include sound, images, or video) also figured into their programs.

Emails containing digital brochures, posters, and other information designed to capture attention were sent to customers and prospects as a form of reinforcement to more traditional means of reaching consumers, and sometimes to give people a link to the business’s website. Today, such email marketing techniques still exist, but their popularity has given way to more technical and radically more effective means to market digitally.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]In the Philippines, more than 30% of the population use the Web every day.[/perfectpullquote]

Online digital marketing services these days are not limited to email, for all the power email lends marketing practitioners. Now, more people consume gigabytes of information in a day without even opening their mailboxes.

In the Philippines, more than 30% of the population use the Web every day. Every week, an internet user averages 21.5 hours online. This means that, although most Filipinos who use the Web use it to send and receive email, the status quo has changed. People are using more of the Web, for a longer time and for more needs. This is an exciting time to be using the internet to grow your marketing prospects.

Keyword revolution

While it’s easy to find a digital marketing services list in this day and age, there used to be a time when people thought everything relied on keywords. Email marketing, social media, websites, blog posts and even news were stuffed with keywords that linked to landing pages designed to capture the audience. It wasn’t unexpected to see Justin Bieber’s name tied to a product that was not only irrelevant to him and whatever he represented, but was also done without his permission.

Now, people know better—it’s not just about keywords. As a matter of fact, a good digital marketing agency would advise against such practices because the people behind it know that the norm has shifted to organic searches, mobile marketing, and social media leveraging.

Are you doing it right?

You can sign up for online digital marketing courses to get you started on a smooth and savvy marketing program for your brand; it may not cost pennies but it will pay for itself many times over in how much you learn and apply to your efforts. But before going that route, find out whether your current digital activities are putting you on the map.

Here are some questions you should answer first.

Digital Marketing

  • Do you have direction? When you’re in marketing, the most important part of your activities should involve direction. Without it, you are wasting valuable ad spend. This is why your digital marketing services PPT presentations should include where you’re aiming a specific marketing activity, particularly online. This is the playing field where geo-targeting is easier, more diversified, and more powerful.
  • Do you have a customer value proposition? This is how your customers find out what’s in it for them. Without it, you cannot expect customers to keep coming back. Their loyalty depends on how you answer their needs. If you can’t, someone else will.
  • Is your digital marketing included in your overall marketing plan? Some business owners think they should devote only the smallest portion of their budget to digital marketing because it is less important. This is not how you should look at it. That may have been true before, but today digital is your strongest and fastest customer-getter. Treat it as an after-thought and your competitors will pass and make you irrelevant.
  • Are you creating enough original content? Original content is valuable in making people see you as an authority in your field, as a power player they should join. One blog entry every two months is not enough. Do this regularly to give your customers something to look forward to. Never duplicate content, whether yours or someone else’s. This is a waste of time and money and will only pull your campaign down.
  • Is your content optimized? All that content won’t matter if it’s not optimized. This is where you need a digital marketing company that knows how to keep you on top of searches. Optimization is an active and dynamic part of your marketing efforts and it must never stop.
  • Are you focusing on e-Commerce? A growing percentage of people are using the web to purchase what they need. e-Commerce is booming, and it should be one of your best tools for selling.

These six questions and your answers to each one will give you an idea whether your online marketing efforts are headed in the right direction. As a business owner, you should care about how your efforts are converting or not converting. Otherwise, you are wasting money and time and falling behind on searches, when what your online presence should be doing is helping you do the opposite. There’s something to be said about trying to do everything yourself, but when it comes to digital marketing, do not hesitate to get a professional’s help.

Targeting Today’s Customers – The Millennials

Today’s consumer base is dominated by a unique market – the Millennials, or Generation Y. Born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are lavished with modern conveniences and thrive on the perks of the digital world.

Businesses see the Millennial generation in two ways: an easy target for marketing and an unstable consumer base easily influenced by what their smartphones can provide them. What they fail to realize is that Millennials are not a uniform group. They bridge the gap between old technology and the digital world. And that’s what makes them a tricky market.

 

How Do You Tap into the Millennial Mindset?

Marketing to MillennialsWhile they form segmented groups based on age, Millennials have two common behaviors: urgency and sociability. Millennials are easily distracted with new information. They make quick decisions, and they usually do so through social channels.

The best way to position your business and make sure you fit into the Millennial mindset is to work around their traits. A young professional’s preferences are different from that of a college student’s, but they both fall in this generation. This means you have to develop a marketing strategy that corresponds to a specific age group of Millennials.

 

Who Wins at Marketing Millennials?

Marketing to Millennials is not a hard feat, as long as you know how to get through their barrier of quick decision makings and social preferences. Let’s look at some of the brands that win targeting the Millennial market:

1. Apple

Apple ranks 1st in the chosen brands that have a huge following of Millennials in today’s world dominated by mobile. Apple’s core message is simplicity, and this syncs perfectly with the Millennials’ dislike for all things complicated.

2. Coca-Cola

Creativity is the core of Coca-Cola’s Millennial marketing strategy. Recently, the famous beverage brand teamed up with McDonald’s for a music-driven summer sweepstakes. By using the Shazam app, customers can record themselves singing karaoke videos with their specially marked Coke cups from McDonald’s restaurants. What better way to engage Generation Y than through their love of selfies and the new carpool karaoke fad?

3. Uber

If there’s one thing that Millennials value, efficiency in every aspect of their lives goes at the top of the list—and this is where Uber wins. The ride sharing company reinforces their brand through experiential marketing, resonating the Millennial lifestyle and interests with their value propositions.

 

What Drives Millennials to Stick to a Brand?

Marketing to MillennialsBusinesses that put themselves in the Millennial psyche will fare better than those who make a hit-and-miss marketing plan. So, what makes this generation of consumers loyal to a brand?

A strong social impact

Their exposure to technology and the internet makes Millennials more socially conscious than what Boomers think. They buy products from businesses that know how to give back to the community. Nielsen’s study shows that Millennials are most willing to pay for sustainable offerings.

If you want to target this market, you need to make social causes a priority in your value propositions. Connecting your messaging with causes that your audience finds relevant can influence their spending power.

A multi-channel approach

Millennials don’t stay on one channel. The advent of social apps and digital devices has made them multi-channel powerhouses. They’re savvy when it comes to web research and shopping, thanks to the different social media channels available today.

Taking one channel out of your marketing plan can cost your business potential customers. Identify the best ways to connect with your Millennial audience. What channels are they most likely on? Where do they engage brands the most?

Personalization and authenticity

Today’s generation of consumers want to feel as if your messaging was created specifically for their interest—they want to be different from the usual market. They value personal expressions, and wish to see these reflected on the brands they patronize.

The key here is honest messaging—don’t be too sales-y. Invest in relationships on online communities by being open about the value you are offering. Don’t just make them buy from you; make them live by your brand.

One thing that targeting Millennials taught us is that customer experience matters above all. And it’s not just about any experience; it’s an experience that resonates to who they are and what they want to share. The more you understand them, the higher your chances of success for your marketing strategies.

Changing Pace: Key Pointers for a New Digital Strategy

The continuous changes in the digital landscape have taken business marketing to a new level. It’s not just about being visible to your audience; you need to know how to tap into their interests and make an actual connection. As dynamics shift from businesses to consumers, how you execute your digital strategy can make all the difference.

A digital strategy can take your business from good to great. It allows you to build the foundation for your online presence, providing you the root to grow your business.

But, how do you change directions in your digital strategy when the need arises? You can’t just dive straight into changes then expect results in a blink.

Before you think about changing your digital strategy, ask yourself these questions:

 

1. What is important for your business?

BusinessYour digital strategy will most likely succeed if you align it with your business objective. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? What can I get from this?” You need to have a strong sense of how your digital strategy will affect your business as a whole.

Let’s look at how Nike works its digital campaigns. Instead of simply promoting products through endorsements from athletes, the famous sports brand uses innovation and online engagement as part of its strategies. By thinking of the potential opportunities for their business, and then combining these with creative digital strategies, Nike has always something new to offer to customers. This puts them at a completely different level from competitors.

Every strategy is different for every business, though. Look back to your business goals, so you can align your digital strategy accordingly.

2. What are the needs of your customers?

Your digital success is not just about ROI—it’s all about how customers will respond to your brand. To get the right digital experience, set realistic expectations and understand the behavior of your customers.

The price of ignorance can be high. When you don’t have a clear idea of what your customers need, your business will have a hard time meeting deliverables. What happens after this? Customers turn to others – your competitors.

Defining your customer value proposition provides you the opportunity to identify strong points that connect with your prospects.

3. What are the digital trends that you can use to the advantage of your business?

Digital Trends

How effective you adapt to trends will take a large piece of your digital strategy. You can change the rules, follow the trends, or do both. It all boils down to thorough analysis of your situation and a dash of creativity.

One great example is shifting to an omni-channel approach. As consumers are becoming more proactive with connecting to businesses, the omni-channel approach provides a complementary experience to your prospects. To maximize opportunities, you need to:

  • See things from the perspective of your customers
  • Gather the right data
  • Segment your customer base
  • Develop consistent messaging across your platforms

The secret to developing an effective digital strategy is not to try everything at once. Don’t bite more than you can chew; take one trend at a time and see how this will fit into your digital strategy.

4. What are your digital capabilities?

The real roadblocks to integrating a successful digital strategy are the fast-paced technological changes. All your efforts will go to waste if you fail to adapt to the evolution of the digital landscape. In this aspect, evaluate your digital capabilities.

How will you know what methodologies to apply if you don’t know how to work on them? Think of your existing strategies before you shift to a new one. Reviewing what you are doing now makes it easier to identify weak spots, so you don’t replicate them when you transition to a new digital strategy.

Your digital strategy should be as fluid as your industry; it should be flexible for easier adjustment when the need arises. One final question: Is it time to move out of your comfort zone?

Only you can answer that.

Instagram to Improve Ads and Accept More Advertisers

Instagram recently announced several planned improvements to their advertising module, stating that these are in preparation for making their ads service available to all businesses. For the past 18 months, the social media platform has only accepted ads from a few handpicked brands, but it appears that this will change soon enough.

One of the improvements will be more refined customer targeting options, as the current system only allows advertisers to filter audiences by age, gender, and country. After implementation, brands will be able to identify customers based on user interests, demographics, and many other factors. Instagram will eventually start to use Facebook data as well, opening up even more targeting possibilities.

Future ads will also contain various Call to Action buttons. Brands can use these to drive specific objectives, such as getting customers to download an app, visit their website, or purchase a product. This feature will hopefully provide a seamless transition from casual browsing to conversion.

New Carousel Advertising

In addition to normal image and video ads, Instagram is also planning to offer a new carousel advertising format. This will allow businesses to use a series of images and create a visual narrative, while letting users control the flow of information. According to the platform, the goal is to let brands “tell a deeper story” to potential customers.

 

The Impact on Social Advertising

How well will these ads fare compared to other channels? That remains to be seen, but Instagram has shared some promising numbers from their pilot run. For instance, they claim that sponsored posts on Instagram yielded a 2.9x higher ad recall than the Nielsen Brand Effect’s norms for online advertising.

While Instagram has long been known as a platform for branding and not much else, a robust advertising system will give businesses a direct, concrete way to earn profit. With over 200 million daily active users, this could become an excellent lead generation tool for brands of all sizes, and a major source of revenue for Facebook.

Social media marketers should keep an eye on these developments over the coming months. Once implemented, Instagram will likely become an even more important and lucrative online marketing channel.

5 Ways to Boost Your Email Open Rates Immediately

Email remains one of the most valuable tools in the digital marketer’s arsenal, and for good reason. It features one of the best ROIs of any channel, while simultaneously having an extremely low barrier to entry. Nonetheless, many brands still struggle with low open rates, and see lackluster results. What can they do?
With dozens of emails flooding an average person’s inbox every day, be sure to find a way to stand out. Here are a few quick fixes worth trying:

1. Master the subject line

Subject Line
The subject line is the most important part of any email.  It should be strong and straightforward without becoming boring. Try to identify the reader’s need in the fewest words possible – a subject line of 50 characters or less is standard.

2. Be careful with timing

Timing

Sending your email at the right time is essential. Is it best to email your list during weekend mornings, or on a Thursday afternoon? There is no universal answer to this, as every industry is different. You may need to rely on split testing to find out what works best.

3. Watch out for list fatigue

List Fatigue

Email frequency is a balancing act. If you send emails too infrequently, it lowers revenue, and subscribers might forget who you are. On the other hand, flooding their inboxes every day might significantly reduce their interest to open any future messages.

4. Get past spam filters

Spam Filters

A recipient cannot open your email if it never even shows up in their inbox. To improve deliverability, you need to remove anything that might trigger these spam filters:

• Aggressive marketing terms such as “click here”, “free”, or “buy now”
• Subject lines in all caps or with multiple exclamation points
• Typographical errors and poor grammar

5. Segment your list

Segment Your List

How targeted are your emails? By segmenting your subscribers list based on occupation, interests, and other defining factors, you can create tailored emails that target recipients will genuinely find interesting.

You may choose to implement our suggestions now, but they may not be enough to make your email marketing campaign successful. You still need to grow your list, and deliver valuable content consistently to make your subscribers keep coming back for more.

Talk to our experts and let us know how we can help you.

Behavioral Psychology in Marketing: When Audience Response Matters

There’s more to marketing than just putting your brand out there. It relies on the emotions of your target audience and their response to your brand. How you influence those emotions to your advantage is the dynamics of every marketing strategy.

Consumers are naturally emotional—they react and provide feedback when the situation calls for it. They rely on personal feelings and experiences rather than static information when making important brand decisions.

At the core of it all, it’s our responsibility as marketers to drive your target audience to action by reinforcing behaviors and emotions.

When Audience Response Matters

 

Reciprocity: Providing and Obtaining Equal Value

There’s this concept of equivalent exchange: To obtain something new, you need to provide something of equal value in return. When you provide your target audience with something of value, they are more likely to respond or “return the favor” in some ways.

In a marketing perspective, equivalent exchange applies when you provide valuable content that warrants the attention of your target audience. In turn, they are more inclined to share the information obtained from your content − whether through word of mouth or social media.

 

Persuasion: Creating the Urge to Take Action

As opposed to equivalent exchange, the art of persuasion focuses on one side of marketing: how to provide the motivation and urge for a response. This requires a deeper look at your target audience’s emotions and needs, so you could speak to them in a way that they would easily understand.

When you apply this to digital marketing, persuasion is the act of building rapport with consumers. To get to the heart of conversions, clicks or any response, a digital marketing strategy with a strong persuasive pull must involve thorough understanding of how consumers think.

 

Authority: Showing Who’s Boss

People always follow the voice of authority, whether it’s their CEO, their favorite author, or even a talk show host (think of Oprah Winfrey and her loyal followers). When consumers view someone as authoritative, they are more likely to trust the views of that person.

The same principle goes with marketing. Think about how Matt Cutts and John Mueller became the digital landscape’s most authoritative figures. By publishing case studies, participating in webinars, and launching infographics with credible statistics, your target audience will think of you as an expert on the subject matter.

Understanding how your target audience reacts or behaves can take your digital marketing efforts from good to effective. In the end, it’s all about the right positioning, messaging, and consumer profiling to trigger a favorable response from your audience.

Google’s April Fools Pranks are Better than Ever

The first of April means, to many Filipinos, that it’s time for summer vacation. It also means – and this applies to the entire world as well – that it’s April Fool’s Day. Every year on April 1, Google does its share of coming up with big pranks for netizens all over, and this year they came up with ideas that are either awesome, ridiculous, or just downright crazy. It’s great marketing, and it’s very entertaining for users at the same time.

Let’s have a look at some of the pranks they pulled this year, some of which I got to try myself:

Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge

Fans of Pokémon not just in the Philippines, but around the world particular, will be very happy about this prank. Google Maps wants to optimize their Maps experience with the help of a Pokémon master, but true to the show’s theme song, you “Gotta catch ‘em all” first.

Joining the game is easy. You just open your Google Maps app on iOS or Android devices, click on the search bar, and then click the blue “Press Start” next to the Pokéball below the search bar. In my case, I was taken to the map of Tokyo, where I started looking for Pokémon that appeared. You need to pin them to catch them, and you can view what you’ve caught in your Pokédex. I’ve caught 44 of 150 as of writing.

Google Maps in Pokémon Challenge Mode

Google Maps in Pokémon Challenge Mode

Google+ Auto-Awesome Photobombs

Eric Murphy-Chutorian, a Staff Software Engineer at Google, posted on his Google+ profile that they were introducing a new feature to Google+ Auto-Awesome today: Auto-Awesome Photobombs. All you have to do, according to the post, is to upload a photo of yourself or your friends, leaving a space for a celebrity photobomber, and you can expect what he calls a “spontaneous appearance in your pictures!”

Right now, he says, they’re starting with David Hasselhoff, but they will be adding more celebrities – that is, according to the post. The image is supposed to look like this:

Auto-Awesome Photobomb on Google+ for April Fools, featuring David Hasselhoff

Auto-Awesome Photobomb on Google+ for April Fools, featuring David Hasselhoff

Additionally, if you mention him on Google+, you might just get a reply.

I tried this April Fool’s Day feature and didn’t get photobombed (except for the original photobomber in the picture – the security guard behind me, inside the store). However, I did get a reply from David Hasselhoff, as promised:

My attempt at Auto-Awesome Photobomb didn't work, but "David Hasselhoff" did have a reply

My attempt at Auto-Awesome Photobomb didn’t work, but “David Hasselhoff” did have a reply

WazeDates

Google’s pranks weren’t limited to their own properties – the startups they acquired also joined in the fun. Waze, the popular social mapping software they acquired last June 2013, announced an acquisition of their own, Israeli startup SingeSpotter.

The result of this announcement is new service WazeDates, where drivers will be alerted whenever another single driver is in the vicinity. The official blog says:

“WazeDates, powered by SingleSpotter, alerts drivers to other likely singles on the road nearby. Wazers can adjust preferences to search for drivers based on age, sex, orientation and more. Once a desirable driver is found, users simply invite them to a destination by sharing their ride, or use Map Chat to say hello.”

They’ve even created a video explaining their expanded service more:

Entertaining and Effective User Engagement

These pranks, and the other pranks that Google pulled this year for April Fools, arguably top their April Fools pranks from last year. What they do have in common with last year’s pranks is that they are both effective at the following, which is important in online marketing and branding:

  • User engagement (they got users to participate in the prank)
  • Viral quality (they got users to talk about the “new features” that they announced and let people test today)
  • Cross-platform marketing (they pranked using multiple resources in their large pool)
  • Driving organic traffic to their different properties (thanks to the previous three points)

What are you doing to attract and engage visitors in your online marketing strategy? Talk to us now and let us help you create an effective strategy today.

Leading the Philippines into the Digital Age

This year, TrueLogic is focusing on technology updates and aims to bring the local market a robust suite of analytics tools to help creative agencies and businesses offer a state of the art reporting system to their clients. Over the last few years, e-commerce and the digital landscape has grown by leaps and bounds locally and will keep growing in 2014. As the year moves forward, TrueLogic is securing creative agency partners to offer SEO, and reporting technology.

33 Million Internet Users and Still Counting

Internet penetration in the Philippines just keeps growing, and the number of internet users in the country is expected to jump from 33 million in 2013 to 41 million in 2014. Many Philippine e-commerce watchers, including Digital Filipino founder Janette Toral and Our Awesome Planet founder Anton Diaz, predict that 2014 will see the continued growth of Philippine e-commerce. Toral points out that the e-commerce trend is not limited to “super stores” alone – startups, service providers, and even rural banks are getting in on the action.

A diagram showing why the Philippines is the perfect digital storm

The Philippines is the perfect digital storm. (Image from Will Greene and TigerMine Research)

The Philippines’ growing digital market offers unlimited opportunities for companies and investors in 2014. A digital report by Tigercub Digital (co-authored by digital strategist Will Greene) describes the country as the “perfect digital storm” that combines favorable demographics, strong economic growth, and increased digital engagement.

Greene also points out that the Philippines has the highest level of brand engagement and openness in Southeast Asia, and one of the highest in the world.

A chart showing online brand engagement in Southeast Asia

(Image from Will Greene and TigerMine Research)

According to Greene, the Philippines led Southeast Asia in Q4 2013 in online brand engagement across different metrics (such as social shares and website visits) and across many content channels (such as social networks, blogs, and online forums).

Partnering For Success

The Philippines is still relatively new to the digital scene, and it’s easy to get left behind without the right partner. Despite the increasing demand for online services and e-commerce, the Philippines still faces many challenges when it comes to digital marketing. These challenges include the lack of skilled workers with digital competencies, minimal support and local funding for start-ups, and a limited access to digital marketing education and training. Aside from that, many businesses still haven’t integrated digital into their overall marketing strategy, because they don’t know how to get started or they don’t see the value of doing it.

Our company’s focus this year is to fill in the digital gaps for these companies by identifying what’s missing from their marketing strategies and providing the most effective services to meet their requirements. By successfully integrating web analytics, SEO, and content development into a client’s marketing strategy, we open their doors to the millions of potential online customers in the Philippines and across the globe.

Creating Positive Press

Content marketing has always been about establishing a business’ reputation and earning customers’ trust. With major search engines like Google constantly emphasizing this core philosophy, and many Filipino shoppers still wary of buying things online, any company needs a solid content development and creation strategy to reach local consumers through the internet. Effective content marketing helps make a positive impact online for brands in industries like gaming, retail, insurance, banking, e-commerce, air travel, accommodations and much more.

We’ve made sure to keep up with search engine’s algorithm updates and our client’s changing needs. Our methodology is centered on great content, from production to publication. We work closely with all our clients during content development, and establish partnerships with top online publications to make sure the content we create is distributed on the right channels.

The Philippines will dominate the e-commerce industry in 2014, and we will proudly help local companies usher in this digital era. Contact us to start working with the digital marketing company that will lead you to online success.