Marketing

Digital marketing topics.

Enrollment Fuel: Actively Fueling the Collegiate Admissions Process

Building Upon Expertise

As you may have read about in one of our recent case studies, a client of ours sought assistance in heightening the reach and effectiveness of their University Admissions marketing campaign.  Specifically, we helped them utilizing our new technology “Digital Direct Mail”, which focuses online banner advertisements to households based on their IP address.  As you may have read, students who received these advertisements were 35% more likely to apply to the university we partnered with, while saving significant dollars in the process.  Through this relationship, we saw an area of opportunity to use and improve upon our expertise in multi-channeled marketing campaigns in order to aid universities as they seek to cut unneeded admissions costs.  Our improved offerings do just this– providing an even better avenue to reach and maintain students that fit a given university’s culture and values. Specifically, we took tried and true methods used in marketing today like direct mail, popular techniques used in digital marketing, such as behavioral analytics, predictive modeling, and IP triangulation, and packaged these with our unique ofenrollment fuel logofering “Digital Direct Mail”.  Our improvements did not end here.  We also partnered with the provider of a new digital platform that significantly amplifies our ability to assess and respond to students’ interactions with universities’ marketing efforts. This new technology is called “Enrollment Fuel”. Enrollment Fuel differs from other marketing offerings because each online user’s activity is actively recorded and factored into a real-time “score”. Since this “score” is actively responsive, we have the ability to infer an individual’s interest level at an unprecedented level. Let us further explore why the technology composing Enrollment Fuel is truly innovative.

Actively Responsive “Brain”

A modern (well-developed) digital marketing campaign typically consists of four important systems with distinct yet necessary roles.  Firstly, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system’s role is to capture relevant details about customers and their inferred interests based on their interactions.  Meanwhile, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system’s role is to utilize information provided by the CRM and turn it into usable data for businesses to use to generate sales.  A company that uses both of these tools would have the ability to provide personalized advertisements based on what the user has viewed.  At first glance this combination seems effective; our platform, however, has the ability to actively integrate these two tools using a responsive “brain” that forms these systems into an interconnected and responsive whole.  This artificial intelligent brain has the ability to communicate between the CRM and the ERP in order to eAIbrainnsure that what the user is actively engaged in or not engaged in is factored into their virtual experience and presentation.  Other platforms do not have this “brain” capable of providing truly real-time advertisement experiences and connectedness.  This technology further differs from other digital marketing offerings because it also uniquely connects the remaining two important systems: the Content Management System (CMS) and the Marketing Automation system (MA).  Since these two systems are also governed by the same artificial intelligence, they too respond and adapt to real-time updates across all systems.  The interconnectedness of the CMS is significant because this allows Enrollment Fuel the unique ability to, again, actively manage what content is highlighted for an individual on a specific website through reorder or removal of items declining in popularity.  This active systemic communication provides Enrollment Fuel’s CMS a truly unmatched ability to deliver actively changing one-to-one content management, as well as overall unbiased content sorting.  Lastly, when used under Enrollment Fuel’s operating platform, the Marketing Automation (MA) system can also actively respond to new data, and offers the ability to reach consumers after referencing their actively changing “interest score”.

Active Systemic Communication = Saved Time and Money

After assessing some of the nuts and bolts composing Enrollment Fuel, it is clear that our offerings can deliver when it comes to both reaching a specific audience, as well as active adaptation to their changing interests.  However, at this point one might question: do these improved capabilities really mean that much for universities?  The short answer is yes. This is true because, currently, other marketing providers do not have the capability to form their four systems (ERP, CRM, CMS, and MA) into a cohesive and responsive whole.  Therefore, businesses that do not have this artificial intelligence need to spend much more money financing the manpower necessary to both assess all of the changing data provided by each system, and also communicate areas of opportunity and weaknesses cross-functionally. Since our technology has the unique capability of forming an active connection between these tools, however, our offerings provide the opportunity to avert these unneeded costs.  Therefore, Enrollment Fuel offers universities the improved upon benefits of reaching and responding to people at the individual level, while, simultaneously, minimizing the costs of doing so.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

As always, if you have any question/disagreements/comments please feel free to share your thoughts!

Digital Direct Mail: Reaching Millennials in an Age of Distraction

Millennials Love Immediacy

After spending my usual time exploring LinkedIn this morning, I came aimgrescross an article again concerning one of the most popular discussion topics of the year: the millennial generation, and how to best advertise to them. As you have likely noticed, this topic has been widespread across the Internet for some time now, as marketers are still trying to get to the root of this generation’s unique preferences. As I talked about in Monday’s blog post, millennials live and breathe digital communication. Along with this unique familiarity with the Internet, however, come other important implications to consider. For example, recent research inferentially supports the idea that technology has an inverse relationship with attention span (referenced article). As many of you (especially if you are parents!) have probably noticed, kids these days just aren’t “as present” as they used to be; which makes intuitive sense provided their data usage. Additionally, it makes sense why marketers have discovered that millennials are less willing to sit through advertisements than other generations have been. So what can be done to reach this generation that desires immediacy above all else? Tai Tran, the author of our referenced article, Why Millennials Matter to Marketers in 2015, provided several possible ideas.

3 Values to Consider

Like me, Tran is a millennial researching and writing about marketing in the digital age; therefore, we both have first hand experience understanding what guides and explains our peers’ behavior. Tran believes that, since millennials desire immediacy, they are changing the face of what effective digital advertising should look like. Specifically, he argues that millennials desire these 3 “values” in their ads: authenticity (i.e. ads with relevant content), social support (i.e. relying on recommendations from others in order to save consumptionary time), and accessibility (i.e. if they cannot easily access the item, it is not worth the hassle). Tran argues that for businesses to be successful in reaching millennials, their advertising campaigns should adhere to these values. Tran wrote at the beginning of his article that digital advertisements do not follow these “values” and that they need to be improved accordingly. Specifically, he argues that “push advertisements” are not effective anymore because millennials do not like to be sold to. Let us dissect this idea.

Current Digital Marketing Fulfills These Values

The idea that millennials do not like to be sold to is true—they would rather, as Tran mentioned, rely on advertisements with meaningful and familiar content, and on recommendations from within their network. When thinking of traditional digital advertisements wherein individuals are “bombarded” with sales pitches, someone who understands millennials would agree that this tactic would likely be ineffective overall. As a millennial, I agree with this conclusion: I hate being flooded with advertisements for products that I do not care about. However, as I discussed with Tran via his article, this is not where digital “push” campaigns have been headed. Rather, with improvements in technology, digital marketers are now able to reach specific groups of people based on their needs and interests. A further improvement in data driven marketing includes the new technology offered by Bann Business Solutions, called “Digital Direct Mail”. As many of you know by now, this innovative technology reaches consumers with online bannimageser advertisements that are targeted to specific physical addresses. Therefore, Bann Business Solutions has the unique capability of reaching individuals through both cookies and through reaching specific demographic areas. I believe that this ability to utilize data to fine tune e-advertisements will continue to improve going into the future. I agree with Tran that most people would generally prefer to have no advertisements; however, I think that improvements in digital marketing are allowing the opportunity to cater to millennials’ “values” at both the individual and group level. Since these improved “push” advertisements are relevant to a specific audiences’ interests, they have proven more effective and will continue to improve. After talking to Tran about these new improvements in digital marketing, he wrote: “targeted push ads will be the way to attract millennials!”

 

Thank you to Tai Tran for providing a great article and for taking the time to discuss these ideas with me! Tai’s article can be found here: Why Millennials Matter to Marketers in 2015

As always please feel free to respond with any comments/disagreements/questions! Thank you for taking the time to read!

 

 

 

 

Digital Direct Mail: Communicating to Millennials Using Their Language

Digital Direct Mail: Communicating to Millennials Using their Language

Have you ever tried to reaMillennialch a Millennial on the phone only to receive a text message response? Conversely, are you a Millennial who has acted in this way—thinking that responding with a text message was “easier”? For years we have communicated through phone conversation, so where does this generational disconnect come from? In his article “Why Won’t Millennials Call Me?”, marketing strategist Chuck McLeester provides a possible explanation for these differing preferences. Let us explore his ideas and discuss how they relate to digital marketing and, specifically, to Digital Direct Mail.

As a Millennial myself, I have witnessed firsthand this preference for digital communication; I also often prefer to communicate with others via text message. Mr. McLeester believes that this preference could be rooted in Millennials’ experience using Instant Messenger applications as teenagers. These impersonal applications allowed users to communicate in whatever way they desired; rather, they could always be their best possible “self”. This technology allowed users the ability to better think out responses and, arguably, better communicate a desired emotional expression through the use of emoticons and punctuation (i.e. they could communicate a specific emotion even if they were not feeling it). Through shaping and reinforcement, McLeester believes that Millennials steadily acquired a preference for this impersonality in such a way that other generations do not understand. He also argued that this impersonality has led Millennials to avoid human contact in areas other than phone conversations, such as face-to-face transaction type situations. This idea of experiential shaping makes sense: Our parents grew up talking on the phone and we did not. While McLeester argues that this experiential difference has caused Millennials to avoid human contact, I disagree. In my opinion, each preference boils down to what is seen as easier to each generational group. Although I agree that text message communication platforms are less personal, I do not think that this preference implies human avoidance tendencies; rather, it stems from more experience and understanding of digital communication.

Although I believe that using both mediums is necessary, I think that this understanding of Millennial preferences is important to consider when reaching out to them. Specifically, this understanding should be applied to how businesses and universities directly market to Millennials. When it comes to communication that is not face-to-face, I think that digital marketing is the best route to consider. As McLeester pointed out in his article, Millennials can often view phone calls as “intrusive”; therefore, using the communication medium that they have more experience with would likely be the most effective. Specific to our purposes, as many of you know, Bann Business Solutions has recently introduced a new technology called “Digital Direct Mail”. This unique product targets consumers with online banner advertisements that are targeted to specific physical addresses. This technology is innovative because it allows businesses and universities the opportunity to directly reach specific individuals of the Millennial generation using the digital medium that they are the most comfortable with.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! As always, please feel free to respond with any comments/disagreements/questions!

Thank you to Chuck McLeester at targetmarketingmag.com for the article referenced and shared insights!

 

The Cost Effectiveness of Digital Direct Mail

full mailboxAfter spending some time on the LinkedIn group “Direct and Database Marketing”, I came across a discussion topic that I found rather interesting and relevant to Digital Direct Mail; which, as many of you may know, is the unique and innovative digital marketing platform offered by Bann Business Solutions. As a reminder, this new technology targets consumers with online banner advertisements that are targeted to specific physical addresses.  Most people perceive digital marketing to be less expensive than traditional methods; after all, postal costs have gone up. One important question to consider is whether these mediums of advertising are perceived differently by consumers? Well, a member of this specific LinkedIn group thought so, claiming: “With consumers receiving less (postage) mail these days, your message now has a better chance than ever of standing out”. At first glance, one might agree with this sentiment, as sending a letter takes more time and effort on the business’ end. However, email advertising significantly differs from Digital Direct Mail, and further I think that it is clear that the benefits of reaching specific consumers through an online medium far outweigh the costs when compared to the traditional postage medium.

Research has provided empirical support for the idea that consumers do in fact prefer traditional postal advertisements to unsolicited emails (spam), so this individual from LinkedIn was correct in their reasoning (journal of interactive advertising study). However, when it comes to Digital Direct Mail, these findings are not generalizable. The beauty of Digital Direct Mail is that this product allows reaching a specific audience: an audience that would likely be interested in the given product or service. Because of this, this marketing would be less likely to be seen as spam, and would therefore be less irritating to those that are reached when compared to other digital means. Although I agree that spamming many individuals with unsolicited emails/unwanted e-advertisements would indeed be perceived as more annoying than receiving direct mail, Digital Direct Mail is a different animal.

In summary, I do believe that direct advertising through postal mail will remain relevant for some time to come, as this requires more effort and is perceived as more thoughtful to recipients. However, digital marketing is less expensive, and Digital Direct Mail allows the unique opportunity to reach a specific group of people that would likely be interested in the given product or service. This technology minimizes the costs of digital marketing while, simultaneously, heightening the benefits.

If you have any questions/disagreements/comments please feel free to comment! Thank you for taking the time to read!

Making a Great Video

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Video marketing grows every year as more and more video-friendly devices become available. The video medium is a fresh opportunity to interact with your audience and builds a unique rapport. If your video goes viral, the benefits can be virtually limitless. But whether your video is destined for Gangnam Style-level fame, or it is just seen by your key customers, you can’t ignore the value of videos for social media.

Here are some basic things to keep in mind:

1. Don’t be shy— If you are not excited about getting in front of the camera it is easy to put off trying out video. Don’t be shy! Pick a topic you know, make a compelling point and make your first few videos short. It doesn’t have to be perfect or complex to be effective. In fact, the simpler the better.

2. Use the talent you have -– Maybe you are not the ideal person to be in front of the camera. You never know who would be the best person to represent your company. It is not necessarily your marketing people or even your CEO. Give several people a chance, experiment with personalities and you might be surprised who is the perfect cheerleader(s) for your brand.

3. Consistent publishing –- Develop a realistic schedule and stick to it. Don’t fret about the quality of your camera or your editing capabilities. The more natural your videos are the more likely they are to connect with people. Start with short, easy videos and produce them on a regular basis. As you get more comfortable with the medium and your content, your videos will likely evolve all on their own.

4. Make sure your videos can be found—SEO is the key! It is essential to understand from the beginning of the process just how to make sure your video will be seen. Use all the opportunities you have to describe or tag your video. Use keyword rich titles and subtitles. This will help the search engines to identify your content. Always provide links back to your site or a call to action to help create traffic.  Optimize all the verbiage surrounding or linking to your video. You don’t want all your hard work to go unseen!

With a small investment of time you can reap big rewards if your videos are done right. We can help! Contact us to learn more.

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