FutureLearn: Digital Transformation of Businesses – Notes Part Three

This post is a continuation of my previous one covering my Digital Transformation of Business. Again rather than a post on a single topic of this FutureLearn course, it is a collection of important points from the course notes and some of my thoughts on them.

Sensorial marketing
– this is about marketing stimulus. When you see, watch or hear an advert, it has an effect on you. It might call upon certain emotions or memories. 

Personal note: this is why multi-channel marketing works!

In digital marketing, people make purchase decisions much more quickly, so that stimulus is important. People using social media etc. are getting a huge amount of stimulus, so yours has to ‘create a rich experience’ to stand out. Also communication via mobile platforms should be a priority esp if marketing to the under 35s.
Also note the sheer level of competition against you, and that in social media all brands have a level platform to advertise from. So something about your brand needs to be able to stand out both to draw in clients and to keep them.

 (note from previous post – it’s also easier to keep current customers than to create new ones so it’s good to keep an eye on the competition. You will need to know what they are doing and whether they might have something that could entice people away from you.) User testing your digital customer experience is also important- checking that you’re creating a good purchase experience. The steps within the customer experience are called ‘Service components’.

A Useful Links Round-up for Social Media

Recently I’ve started to try and follow more social media expert accounts and blogs, so I’m making a short list on here of good articles that I’ve found in the past few days. 

There might be a couple on here from Hootsuite, because unsurprisingly their blog is pretty good. This one is kind of lengthy, but it’s a comprehensive glossary of social media jargon. Also, did you know that the correct term for a hashtag is an Octothorpe? I can’t imagine busting that out during the Monday morning marketing team meeting…

This post from Socialquant covered some stuff that I’ve talked about before, like choosing social media platforms carefully etc., but I like that it makes one point very clear – people go online to be entertained, so make your content at least interesting, and if possible funny.

This post about content re-using was interesting to me as it’s something that I do a lot at work, and do try to plan for. I work in live music, so bringing back concert footage as a #tbt or #otd tweet years later, or when an artist that we’ve worked with previously returns is useful and engaging content filler for us.

Another Hootsuite post – on the best times to post, is one that I’m going to be returning to quite a few times, as that is something that I’ve often felt has been a bit of a stab in the dark for me sonetimes, and while through experience I suspect I get it right most of the time, it’s helpful to have access to statistics that can help you plan. Also, slightly depressing fact:

Despite Twitter’s move to a quasi-chronological timeline, the average half-life of a Tweet isn’t long. According to an analysis by Wiselytics, it’s only 24 minutes.

Time is fleeting on Twitter, so don’t spend too long worrying about the tweet content – it’ll be gone soon.*

*unless you made a typo. People love to point out typos from a professional account. So, try not to do that…

FutureLearn: Digital Transformation of Businesses – Notes Part Two

This is a continuation of sorts from this post – I’m continuing to make notes from my latest  FutureLearn course. Some of these aren’t entirely connected- instead I’m making comments on what I think are the most relevant points of the course material so far. I’m planning to get a few more posts out of this, but I’ll likely be alternating them with other content.

The Importance of producing content (e.g. Blogposts, video etc)

Producing great content leads to inbound marketing. This is the opposite of the standard advertising model, where you are reaching out to the customer. You should be doing both, along with earned media, which is recommendations, and data collection/analysis.
The difference between product marketing and service marketing: 
The primary factor that distinguishes a service from a product is the fact a service is intangible. However, both products and services are built around the idea of use.

Service marketing is therefore the combination of all processes related to client and partner relationships, often referred to as CRM and PRM, as well as social networks.

Client relationships, social network and data analysis all have to work to together to create a seamless customer experience – so that every digital action that the customer has is easy, quick and a positive experience. 

A service position is what will come to define the company’s style and public persona, so it’s important that the entire company, especially those in sales and customer facing positions (but not just those people) understand it. 

(Personal note: this is where a company/organisation) could benefit from a style guide laid out in inductions and regularly updated, much like a branding guide. Does and don’ts when communicating online etc.)

Some Digital Marketing Notes

I’m currently working my way through another FutureLearn course – this time on digital marketing. Rather than summarise what I’ve learned each week, I’ve decided to cherry pick specific concepts and topics to write notes on.

Digital Marketing and Listening 

One of the most important parts of digital marketing is to be always listening to your customers, because they can communicate with you instantly and expect that back. Also to understand anything about your customer, and that they, their opinions and their needs may change very quickly, so you need to anticipate responding to them in a different way each time.
Of course, despite knowing all this it’s a bad idea to over communicate with a customer/client and appear to know too much.
(Some personal thoughts- examples of this might be companies that search their name on social networks such as Twitter to find users discussing them/complaining about them when not directly addressing them, or companies that search users interacting with rival companies in order to advertise their own services. This can be deeply intrusive and reflect badly on the organisation.) 

Future Learn: Sharing Online – Reflecting and Sharing Week One

The University of Leeds runs a frequent series of courses on FutureLearn about different facts of online learning, and how to improve your learning experience. While I’ve been learning online for quite a while, I’ve always meant to go through these courses and see if there is anything that could help improve my experience, so I’ve started with the ‘Reflecting and Sharing’ course, to see what they recommend.

It was nice to have the first week of the course recommend things that I already do – like this blog! I was also reminded of the use of Padlet, which I still have on my phone after initially writing about it, but haven’t used much since. We were asked to upload a picture to the course padlet – any picture, so I quickly woke my cat up for this beautiful webcam image… she wasn’t really impressed…

The course also recommended listening to or even starting a podcast – full confession, I’ve harboured podcast ambitions for years but probably not for this. It reminded me to look again for some business studies podcasts as they would be a good learning experience while commuting/travelling. It also recommended this book – Study Skills Connected: Using Technology to Support Your Studies, which I’m intrigued by and might look out for.

This is a two-week course, and I’m excited for next week’s section as it involves a written exercise. I’ve already been scanning ahead in the course material and hopefully I’ll have something to contribute.


Notes from starting to study Marketing Essentials

To try and improve my overall understanding of marketing and business, I’ve decided to start going through some degree textbooks (borrowed from my sister’s bookshelf) and making notes on some of the important principles. I’ve also starting some more FutureLearn courses soon.

The book that I’m starting with is Marketing Essentials Second Edition by Sally Dibb and Lyndon Simkin. My basic notes, points etc. are below. (I’ve always found that I learn better from initial handwritten study notes if I type them out and make sure that they’re in a coherent format). I haven’t got very far into the book yet, so there will be a fair few posts after this one, possibly in their own category and round-ups as with my FutureLearn work from the summer.

What is marketing?

Marketing is a complex set of processes

  • Creating Content
  • Communicating with customers and managing relationships
  • Delivering value
  • Providing insights and direction to the overall organisation

So, lots of different but interconnected strands.

The main focus is the understanding and ongoing satisfaction of targeted customers. ‘Targeted’ is the most important word here, it encompasses all the of the audience understanding that goes into marketing so that you can get your product in front of the people who want it, and continue to ensure that you do this as  your customers and/product evolve and change.

Challenges to Good Marketing Strategies

  • Too much of a focus on short-term results, meaning that there is less time spent building customer relationship/loyalty, and no clear long-term aims and goals.
  • Consumer apathy – due to failure to understand and cater to your audience, and lack of ‘big ideas’, especially at management level.
  • The change to consumers lives due to the internet – something that has happened very quickly over the past few years. Marketing and actual purchasing have both moved online through a range of channels – often two-way channels.

Marketing needs to be the ‘radar’ of an organisation, not just to understand the needs of the current customer base but to identify new and emerging markets and their needs. Marketers need to understand purchase behaviour and changing environments, and also have an appreciation for what their competitors do – their strategies and ideas – as well as wider mainstream marketing trends. This is what will make an organisation marketing oriented.

 Social Media Content, Tone and Audience

      A few days ago I started trying to write a blogpost of issues with the idea of ‘tone of voice’ when creating online content, especially on Twitter, but I struggled to articulate my ideas somewhat, so I’ve shelved that blog for now. However, whilst writing it, I came upon this recent blog from Adobe (https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/web-experience/content-channel-agnostic-better/ – I’ve been reading their blog posts a lot recently and they’re a pretty good resource.) 

      The post mentions that you need to ‘Create Content With the Customer in Mind’. This leads me on to another thought, what do you do when your audience is segmented? This must be a fairly common issue. Do you segment your social media channels to make one tailored towards one audience and one to another? This doesn’t strike me as a great plan, so there needs to be a way to balance voices that speak to different people on the same channels. Doing this needs a level of planning, so that it doesn’t seem uneven over time, and a careful understanding of audience. 
      Basically, this is something that I’m looking at for the organisation that I work for, as their social media network expands. Mainly, I’m looking at planning and arranging pieces of content so that the tone doesn’t appear uneven, and that while it is aimed at different audiences, it isn’t too disparate, and above all, follows a clear brand guideline for certain wording.