Facebook’s ‘Add to interests’ feature

Facebook briefly introduced the ‘Add to interest’ feature in their newest feature trials venture. Surprisingly this was done only for pages with commercial media and text.  Although the feature / option quickly disappeared from pages where it was introduced, but it left us wondering if Facebook might be preparing a modified plan for users to opt-in to brand messages or even some sort of discovery engine, based on profile segmentation and customization. This may impact the promoted pages by a huge margin, who may see the spiraling hits/likes from their pages/group rocketing like never before.

This looks like Facebook is all geared to take social media to the next big level, targeted online campaigns from the analysis of Big data, collected from social behavior online. What do you think about this new offering from this social media innovator? write to us to tell us your take on this sneak peek..

The option quickly disappeared from pages, but it left speculators wondering if Facebook might be plotting a way for users to opt-in to brand messages or even some sort of discovery engine.

Top Social Media Marketing Channels

In an independent survey conducted by Business Fundas, the top channels as perceived by social media marketers were identified and ranked. For this study, the over 20,000+ twitter followers (and also other social media marketers on twitter) were presented with a questionnaire for understanding the perceived importance of the various media for these marketing experts with a conversion of 1034 respondents for the study. Based on the results, the following results were obtained:

The top social media marketing channel based on our survey results was search engine. It performed extremely well as a channel to improve brand or service or product awareness, as well as a channel to improve conversion rates from potential leads to actual customer engagement.

The results for the best channel for creation of awareness for the service or products are as displayed in the graph below:

As these results indicate, some of the more popular and initially perceived important social media channels like Twitter, Digg, Reditt, Stumbleupon received lesser votes in confidence when it came to actual performance in terms of a channel to increase service or product or brand awareness.

Similarly, the top social media resources to convert potential customers to buyers are as follows:

As is evident from the results of the graph, the top resource, as perceived by the social media marketers in both cases are search engines. This was closely followed by Facebook and Youtube. However, some of the more popular and initially perceived important social media channels like Twitter, Digg, Reditt, Stumbleupon received lesser votes in confidence when it came to actual performance. Maybe since these are perceived as more of a media for capturing interesting sources of stories and / or multimedia, they are losing their importance as channels of social media marketing.

Do let us know what are your feedback about the social media marketing channels. How do YOU draw traffic to your blog? Is that a sustainable source of traffic or does that depend on daily marketing efforts and link exchanges amongst colleagues to promote your content? Do let us know.

Pricing of Information Technology

There are multiple approaches to pricing of information technology products and services.  Although pricing strategies differ based on whether the software or system is getting sold as a product or getting leased as a service, there are certain basic generic strategies for pricing the same. These strategies are being discussed in this article. Continue reading “Pricing of Information Technology”

Top Online Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate marketing is a highly popular emergent marketing practice in which a business model rewards an affiliate marketer for each customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. More popular examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant (who is sometimes also known as ‘retailer’), the network (Affiliate marketers create this network), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer or consumer. The value creation is through a network where all the marketers benefits not only from his direct sales but also the sales of those affiliate marketers who joined the program under him.

Online or Internet based affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because most affiliates use regular advertising business models like CPM, CPC, CPI techniques. The techniques to gain the attention of the customer  include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, internet affiliate marketers sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.

While everyone is jumping the online marketing Bandwagon, it is crucial to know how to do things the proper way to optimize your success.

Some of the more popular affiliate marketing plans which an online marketer can look towards are as follows:

  1. Amazon.com offers the best kind of referral if you have a great online presence. You can potentially sell thousands of items and also selective items which suit the theme of your website and make 4% to 15% of the sales of books, electronic gadgets and what not.
  2. BBL Marketing media is another promising affiliate marketing platform which market online classified ads and take a percentage of the potential sales.
  3. Share sale is another top affiliate marketing opportunity if you like promoting technology based services.
  4. There are multiple software firms which offer a percentage cut if you can sell their product through affiliate marketing, especially which create social media software, like Twitter/Facbook marketing software like TweetAdder or FriendAdder.
  5. Many online services like website hosting services from GoDaddy are also a good opportunity for affiliate marketers. If you refer anyone to use these services, you will generate a decent cut of the sales.
  6. Last but not the least, there is the huge chain of affiliate marketing banking on Pay-per-Click and Pay-per-View on the posting of advertisements by the affiliate marketer. The most popular amongst them is  MyLikes and SponsoredTweets . In these programs you can make easy money by tweeting to our followers. Similar opportunities are also available if you post advertisements in your Facebook profiles.
  7. There are multiple opportunities to create sponsored posts in blogs and earn through that. One of the most popular website to do that is Pay-per-Post.

Hope these inputs helped you to kick-start your career as an affiliate marketer. Do let us know if you know of any more highly popular affiliate marketing programs.

By the way do you know how to create a successful viral marketing campaign using social media?

What is Customer Network Value

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos.

Customer Network Value is the Value generated from the network (Both social and professional) by the acquisition of new customers through word of mouth advertising.

Jeff Bezos, the founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Amazon.com never said anything truer when it came to realize Customer Network Value. Typically it has been seen that for both B2B products and especially for B2C products, word of mouth proves to be a better media for advertising than most other media, and actually the returns on investments are that much higher.

Typically every customer has their own Customer Life-time Value (CLTV) to the firm. But very few managers realize that this is only a small fraction of the value that can be generated from a customer. The social and professional network provides another great source of value to the firm, potentially called the Customer Network Value.
Customers, on an average, through their network can potentially rope in, 2-5 times their own life time value (revenue), from their network, if they are satisfied. A satisfied customer, on an average, brings in 2.8 new customers to your firm, in the B2C segment, through word of mouth.

Not only by creating customer satisfaction, you are increasing his life tme value to the firm, by increasing customer loyalty, but also you will increase the customers network value and rope in new customers.

And all this extra network value for almost zero cost of acquisition. This is of prime importance in today’s business scenario since typically, cost of new customer acquisition is 5 times than to retain an old one. Although it is difficult to determine the exact origins of this value claim, the earliest sources that we can find attribute it to research conducted by the Technical Assistance Research Project (TARP) in Washington, D.C. in the late 1980s. Around the same time, other loyalty pundits claimed exactly the same findings as their own (for example, the Customer Service Institute, Consumer Connections Corp., and ITEM Group).

How ever big may be the multiplicity value, it boils down to one thing, Customer’s network value cannot be rejected in current times.

By the way, did you read our article on customer lifetime value estimation and management?

Win their Hearts & Success will Follow

In a world full of media messages and news, the task for any marketer nowadays is to successfully cut through all of the ‘noise’ and reach their customer. Many businesses used to believe that the main way to sell a product or service was to create long fancy names alongside complicated terminology, and the customer would fall at their feet begging to buy the new product or service. Now whether that worked for a time is debatable, but to operate like that in today’s marketplace is suicide!

Continue reading “Win their Hearts & Success will Follow”

Have You Considered Affiliate Marketing?

Long story short, affiliate marketing is a way to make money by recommending a product or service to someone else. Think of it as a sales commission opportunity. While some businesses and companies charge a fee for affiliate membership, there are countless others that let you sign up for free. Before you jump the gun and become an affiliate for any and every affiliate program you see, take a few moments and consider the following:

Continue reading “Have You Considered Affiliate Marketing?”

You CAN Judge A Facebooker By Their Profile Picture

You’ve heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but the truth is you really CAN. If I see a book with the title “Ravenous Love Affair” with a picture of a Fabio lookalike feeding strawberries to a desperate housewife, I know that’s not the book for me. I have no interest in romance novels so I don’t even need to pick it up. Although I might be pleasantly surprised by the superb writing and nail biting story line, I will never know because I wont touch it. Continue reading “You CAN Judge A Facebooker By Their Profile Picture”

Facebook Friend Request DOs and DON’Ts

DO: Write A Personal Message To Your New Potential Friend

Tell them why you are choosing to friend them. Is it because you are in a common Facebook group? Did you go to grade school together? Did you read something interesting on their blog and decide to make a connection? Why do you want to be friends? For some, it’s pretty awkward to get a friend request from someone you’ve never seen before. A personal message will put your friend’s mind at ease. Continue reading “Facebook Friend Request DOs and DON’Ts”

10 Success Mantras for Viral Marketing using Social Media

By definition, social media marketing describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing. In recent times, this has been used extensively to market content (blog) and products, even those with B2B utility. Continue reading “10 Success Mantras for Viral Marketing using Social Media”

The 7 Ps of services marketing

Services are very different from products. So the marketing concepts need to be revisited while marketing a service. Services can range from financial services provided by the banks, technology services provided by the IT company, food and ambiance as a service provided by restaurants or even a blog where an author provides a service (information presentation, interesting reading etc) to his audience. Services marketing are dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price,  Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. The 7 P framework is one of the most popular framework for deciding a marketing strategy, right from strategy formulation to actual implementation. Continue reading “The 7 Ps of services marketing”