How to Develop a Winning Go-To-Market Strategy for Reaching Your Business Goals – RisMedia.com

This month, Real Estate magazine spoke with Regis Hadiaris, vice president of product marketing at Rocket Central, who discussed the right way to develop a successful go-to-market strategy that will help real estate professionals fulfill their goals and reach new levels of success.
Paige Brown: Tell us how you got started with Rocket Mortgage®, how it led to your current role and what exactly that role is.
Regis Hadiaris: I joined the organization in 2004 as a founding member of our award-winning digital marketing team. We dramatically grew the organization through integrated performance, brand and digital marketing. In 2012, I moved into digital product development to lead a top-secret project that ultimately became the revolutionary Rocket Mortgage experience, widely recognized as reinventing the mortgage industry. For the last three years, I’ve built our product marketing discipline, which drives adoption of our consumer and partner experiences.
PB: As vice president of product marketing, what are your primary roles and responsibilities?
RH: Our product marketers are the key to effectively and efficiently bringing things to market: new digital product experiences for financial services, innovative mortgage products and so much more. We are the best at handling life’s most complex moments so that our clients—and the clients of our Rocket ProSM partners—can live their dreams. We put the client at the center of everything we do by understanding deeply through research and analytics, defining a go-to-market strategy with crystal clarity and activating omnichannel marketing with a strong sense of urgency.
PB: What is your favorite part of your job?
RH: My passion for making financial services radically simple has helped me take on a wide variety of roles at Rocket Companies®. In all of my experience, seeing our extremely talented team members grow their skills and accomplishments, our partners expand their businesses and our clients reach their dreams has been a tremendous honor for me. In my current role, we’re ensuring that everything we do in our Rocket Pro partnerships is a win for our partner and their clients.
PB: What are your goals and objectives when it comes to developing a go-to-market strategy?
RH: A go-to-market strategy must clearly outline the opportunity. What’s going on in the market? Who are your target audiences? What jobs are they trying to do? How can you be the best at helping them with those jobs?
From there, a successful go-to-market strategy will clarify your distinct competencies, value proposition(s), places you will market, communications strategy, how you will promote and how you will enable teams like sales, customer support, etc. When all these things are defined, you can prospect, onboard and nurture effectively to reach your business goals.
PB: Why is a strong go-to-market strategy important for today’s real estate professionals?
RH: Clients have more choice in real estate agents than ever before. Whether you are a real estate agent or own a real estate brokerage, you have similar goals. You want people to know you, like you, want to work with you and, ultimately, transact. Clients expect that you are incredibly dialed into what is going on in the local market. You must find ways to stand out from other agents and make your marketing efforts work harder…and a strong go-to-market strategy achieves this.
PB: Please give us some insight on the go-to-market strategies that you have helped develop.
RH: My team and I have developed go-to-market strategies across all our consumer and professional businesses and products, including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket HomesSM, Rocket Pro TPO, Rocket Pro Insight, Rocket SolarSM, Rocket Money and more. Our work is used by our award-winning sales, marketing, training and communications teams to align and execute at the highest level.
PB: What are some tried-and-true strategies that real estate professionals can implement into their brands today? Why are these so important for finding success?
RH: The speed of the game keeps getting faster. Client expectations about what you deliver keep increasing. Standing out among other real estate professionals is a challenge. The way to win is through the experience you deliver to your clients and the word-of-mouth it generates.
Here are three strategies real estate professionals can implement to attract new clients, save time, increase the percentage of winning offers, ensure timely closings and generate more business:
Once you have these experiences in place, you can deploy marketing tactics in your local market for effective prospecting, onboarding and nurturing to help more clients than you dreamed possible.
The above article is sponsored content. For more information, visit
www.RocketProInsight.com.
Paige Brown is RISMedia’s Managing Editor, Social Media/Blog.
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Five email marketing tips for photographers – Photofocus

A ThinkTAP company
Keep your photography business top of mind with a well-thoughtout, ongoing email campaign. These five tips will help you achieve enhanced email marketing ROI.
You can’t send an email if you don’t have anyone to send it to. With today’s email privacy laws, getting permission to add someone to an email list is imperative. But remember, you already have a client list. Offer them a small discount or token of appreciation to sign up for emails. If you have social media followers, do the same. Followers come and go, and social media algorithms are constantly changing, so there’s no time like the present to see if they’ll join your email list.
The value of doing this is that you can remain in your customers’ thoughts via email if they subscribe. Photography may not always come to mind for people, and even if it does, your particular business may not come to mind. But if they receive quality email content from you, there’s a better chance they turn to you when they need photo services or their friends ask for recommendations.
Know your target audience and write about topics that appeal to them. An enticing subject line and a relevant, engaging story has a better chance to garner attention from email recipients. Talking about yourself or bragging about your work does not.
You don’t need to be a writer. Brevity is fine, it’s the story that will drive the interest. You just need to be what your customers are interested in. Stand out. Find a niche. Test what works. Maybe your clients like humor, maybe they like quick tips, or maybe they like photo galleries with detailed descriptions. Your email analytics will help you figure out the formula.
If your business centers around baby photography, consider emails that have parenting tips, offer photoshoot ideas, or photo gift ideas for grandparents. Chances are that your customer base may be searching for these things anyway, so why not give them some helpful advice. You’ll stay out of the trash folder and be top of mind.
Do travel photos? Write about destination recommendations. Animal photography? Have a silly photo of a pet of the month. Nature photography? Maybe sharing awesome landscape photos is enough. Wedding photography? Surely your experience has given you some unique wedding ideas to pass on. Be of value and people will read your emails.
Always have a call to action, or CTA, in your email. If you’ve gotten people to open your email and read it, there needs to be something to drive action. Perhaps there’s a tie-in to your article, such as 10% off back to school photos in your email discussing high school sports, teen fashion or hair styling trends. Offer a free package upgrade if someone refers a friend to you in your article about Thanksgiving family photo ideas.
You must be consistent to remain relevant and increase the chances of your email being opened. If someone gets an email once every six months from a company, they probably don’t feel very engaged with them, and they probably hit delete. The goal of this campaign is to drive constant engagement and provide content that subscribers may look forward to, or at the very least keep in their inbox.
You may be able to start small with your personal email client, but email marketing software can help immensely. It will offer customers subscribe and unsubscribe features that work the proper way, give you analytics on your email performance so you can improve over time, and automate sends.
There are many tools out there, such as Moosend or MailChimp. Pricing, mailing limits, templates, forms and A/B testing are all important features to consider, but it comes down to the best tool that suits your particular needs at this particular time.
Best of luck engaging customers and being top of mind in email.
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Andy Ford is a Florida-based digital strategist and video producer with over 20 years of experience. His career has spanned the sports, news, corporate, and healthcare environments. He is an Adobe Certified Professional in Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Video Design. Andy enjoys creating tutorials on industry software, is an author for CreativeCOW, and also instructs on digital marketing strategy. In his spare time, Andy enjoys traveling, cooking, and nature photography.




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How Influencers Help Build a Better Customer Experience – CMSWire

CMSWire's customer experience (CXM) channel gathers the latest news, advice and analysis about the evolving landscape of customer-first marketing, commerce and digital experience design.
The high interest in social commerce through social media has drawn marketers to influencers, seeking opportunities to gain customer attention. Influencer commentary on products and services has developed into a critical growth factor for many brands on social media. 
Today, the choice of influencers can feel as overwhelming as the platforms themselves. Thus, marketing managers must exercise savvy selection compared to years past.
Influencers arose from high social media usage among consumers. They dominate on these platforms. People online have come to view and listen to influencer suggestions for their products and service choices. This evolution of behavior has caused social media platforms to redevelop their environments to keep influencers and their audiences drawn in. 
Take YouTube, for example. An eMarketer article noted a Hub Research study in which 43% of surveyed US consumers watch YouTube videos from influencers weekly. As a response, YouTube is strengthening its reliance on creators to boost engagement on the platform. Given the high consumer interest in watching, it makes sense for YouTube to cultivate a strong relationship with its influencers. Doing so aids its competition with TikTok, which I covered in a previous post
TikTok has combined the best features of video — which makes it a formidable presence against Instagram and YouTube — while establishing creative communities around particular topics in the same way Twitter has. This has made TikTok the best of both worlds and encourages an environment where influencers can build communities. Micro-creators — influencers who focus on creating a product — flourish especially well, drawing a hyper-engaged niche for which TikTok has become renowned.
All of this reflects the significant development of seeds for social commerce features. Social commerce lets followers conduct purchase activity, such as autofill of payment, without leaving the initial platform where the purchase is initiated — namely, the social media feed. This simplifies attributions and extends the customer experience a brand and influencer have cultivated.
Related Article: Why Your Brand Should Care About Influencer Marketing
Meanwhile, the ecosystem for influencers is being shaped by new sophistication in drawing followers to a profile. Some influencers are finding success by building followers into an active community rather than a follower audience. Having followers often means the communication feels one-dimensional — the influencers say a few observations, and the followers react and comment on those observations. With a community, more threads reflect everyone's participation.
A community audience result from real people who want to engage and build relationships with the profiles they follow. Many influencers are finding that the effort leads to potential long-term customers — a form of building long-term value and reducing customer churn. Moreover, people recognize that follower accounts can be mimicked or corrupted, so a profile may not speak to what the audience is aspiring towards. Thus, good influencer choices for managers are the ones who want to speak to their audience more frequently and naturally.
Plus, managers must recognize the growing proliferation of one type of influencer online. A class of influencers called the creator class is emerging. Creators are influencers using the products and services they describe in their videos and posts. They also create things from the products and services they mention.
For example, if I were an influencer of hobbies and crafts, I might mention a particular brand of store I go to to pick up my items or a particular toy or brand that I use in building my crafts. This creator class creates a different level of influence among their followers.
Influencers are sensing their growing presence online. As a result, they are starting to throw more weight onto platforms. The recent criticisms from the Kardashians against Instagram trying to be more like TikTok exemplify how high-profile influencers are starting to weigh in more on the directions platforms can take.
All of this comes as people's time on social media has peaked.
Daily social media usage, according to Statista, rose from 145 to 147 minutes over the last two years. This means platforms will likely continue to find ways to optimize their environments to keep influencers from migrating away from one platform. The more opportunities influencers have to make sales on a given platform, the more likely they are to remain and not shift resources away to a competitor. 
Related Article: Is Influencer Marketing a Fit for B2B Marketing Plans?
The combined changes in social media and influencer trends lead marketers to a golden opportunity to pick an influencer that can enhance customer experience objectives. But marketing managers should examine a number of qualities among the influencers they are considering.
They should look at how influencers manage their audience online. They should review comments and engagement, studying posts to determine what kind of voice the influencers have and how that voice aligns with brand management plans.
Managers should also consider what sort of brand safety keywords should be avoided. These choices are not a matter of censorship: the objective is managing the algorithm on the platform. You want influencers using words that your team determines are best for the brand. The usage can be a guardrail rather than guidelines offering influencers the ability to work with the brand while retaining their creativity and independence.
Managers should look at the influencer's past posts and see if any controversy came up and how the influencer handled it at the time. Doing so helps the brand understand what risks they may be exposing their brand to. Oftentimes, influencers are criticized for what they may have said in the past.
Lessons from current influencer issues regarding how associations are handled abound. For example, CNBC reported that Kim Kardashian is seeking to be removed from a lawsuit against EthereumMax, a crypto token that created losses for investors. The suit, which also includes Floyd Mayweather, is that the financial failure, an alleged “pump and dump” investment scheme, would not have scaled without her endorsement on social media.
Marketers must also be aware of the growing interest in community building and what legality issues can arise that differ from that of attracting followers. Platforms have provided all the creative tools to build a community, but what happens if the influencer moves to another platform? Who has "ownership" of the community — the platform, the brand or the influencers themselves?
It's a sticky question. Platforms are working to provide more in-experience shopping for users, which draws more followers for the influencer who had started with followers even before being approached by platforms.
In simple terms, it means that the relationship could spiral into a vicious cycle that brands can be caught in the middle of. But marketers should be encouraged that more and more platforms and influencers are working together and most often see a mutual benefit in creating a community online.
Influencers have evolved from online entertainment into the right curators for customer experiences. The one marketers choose should reflect their brand's values to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

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The 11 Best Marketing Books for Beginners to Consider Reading – Solutions Review

Marketing Books for Beginners to Consider Reading
The editors at Solutions Review have compiled the best digital marketing books for beginners to consider reading based on their relevance, overall ratings, publish date, and ability to add value to a business.
SR Finds 106Beginner marketers can access countless online resources (including Solutions Review’s buyer’s guides and best practices) to help them grow and fine-tune their skills. But sometimes, you might want to do things the old-fashioned way and expand your bookshelf with a well-written and researched digital marketing book with insights catered to the questions entry-level marketers might encounter in their careers.
To help, our editors have carefully selected the best digital marketing books for beginners from recognized leaders, experts, and technology professionals in the field. From learning more about social media marketing to mastering marketing automation software, these publications can help readers sharpen their industry skills and continue to grow their marketing abilities. Each book listed has a minimum rating of four stars and ten reviews per book.


Becoming a Digital MarketerDescription: As the marketing industry evolves, new and experienced marketers must adapt to the latest trends and technological advancements. Marketers must have skills in building a website, running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, managing SEO strategies, and tracking analytics. With this book, Gil & Anya Gildner—the co-founders of a search marketing company—will educate their readers on fundamental marketing tools and best practices for paid advertising, social media, email marketing, copywriting, reporting, freelancing, marketing agencies, remote work, and branding.
Beginner's Guide to Google AdsDescription: This book acts as a “sequel” to the one above, as Anya Gildner provides readers with a deeper look into the world of pay-per-click advertising that builds off of the insights in Becoming A Digital Marketer: Gaining the Hard & Soft Skills for a Tech-Driven Marketing Career. With the second edition, Gildner expands the online guide portion and updates the material to cover the latest tips and tricks for launching, managing, tracking, and reporting on Google Ads. Other topics covered include keyword research, conversion optimization, automation, privacy, advertising, and more.
Description: Becoming an SEO expert is easier said than done, especially since Google’s search engine algorithm often changes the criteria it uses to determine what pages rank highly on their results pages. However, SEO is a staple of every successful marketing strategy, so learning how to utilize it in your marketing efforts is crucial. In Jessica Ainsworth’s book, readers will know what SEO is, how it works, and start to develop their ability to run an SEO audit for their website, optimize their site, research keywords, use tags, write blogs that rank, drive traffic to their pages, and boost conversion rates.
Description: Digital marketing encompasses multiple channels, technologies, and strategies that marketers need to know about if they want to find success. This extensive title from Stephanie Diamond provides readers with over eight hundred pages of expert insights and best practices for beginners or professionals looking to brush up on their skills. Topics covered include digital marketing strategy development, creating content, developing customer experiences, reaching millennial audiences, social media marketing, promoting channels, influencer marketing, and analyzing marketing data.
Description: Written by expert marketer Benjamin Sweeney, this popular title provides marketers with a “crash course” of marketing strategies that cover everything from basic tools to more complex digital strategies. Marketers will learn how to create marketing plans that reach the target audiences, boost search rankings, use social media to increase engagement, use different channels to connect with audiences, master SEO best practices, and more. The book is best suited for aspiring or early-career marketers but can also help entrepreneurs, agency marketers, students, influencers, and creators learn to connect with people in digital spaces.
Description: Michael Ezeanaka, an Amazon bestselling writer, has written a book to provide marketers with a compact introduction to the world of Facebook marketing and advertising. Readers can expect to learn how to use Facebook Ads Manager, create effective buyer personas, manage Facebook pages, monitor customer behavior, develop sales funnels that convert, create Instagram ads, grow email lists, and more. Alongside the nearly two hundred pages of insights, the book also includes a case study demonstrating how to make money on Facebook Advertising.
New Rules of MarketingDescription: David Meerman Scott’s book has sold over 400,000 copies since debuting and is now in its eighth edition. It has been updated to reflect the changing marketing trends influencing how marketers interact with their customers. Across 400+ pages, readers will learn about AI and machine learning, social media best practices, case studies, real-world examples, web-based communication technologies, emerging techniques, and how to identify the marketing trends that will keep you ahead of the curve. The book is ideal for business owners, marketers, entrepreneurs, PR professionals, and managers.
Salesforce for Beginners
Description: Across this book’s 17 chapters, Shaalan will help readers grow more acclimated to the Salesforce platform and let them see firsthand how it can be used in their sales, service, marketing, and automation efforts. By the time they’ve finished the book, readers will have learned to create and manage leads in Salesforce, explore a multitude of business development accounts and acquired contacts, achieve marketing goals using Salesforce campaigns, perform business analysis with reports and dashboards, build an effective Salesforce security model, and much more.
This is MarketingDescription: Seth Godin is one of the biggest names in marketing, as his popular blog, online courses, lectures, and best-selling books have helped countless people learn how to use empathy-fueled marketing tactics to solve people’s problems for them. This book, which has over 2,300 reviews on Amazon, reviews and assesses many marketing tactics we take for granted and uses them to create a roadmap toward lasting success. Readers can expect to learn how to build trust with a target audience, position their brand to reach the right people, avoid outdated marketing tactics, and reframe their marketing strategies to connect with customers in a meaningful way.
The Top 13 Best Digital Marketing Books You Should ReadDescription: Building a successful business requires following a reliable plan for rapid business growth. In this book, writer Allan Dib reveals how to generate new clients, profit more from existing ones, and share insights to help readers close sales, beat competitors, get the most value from small budgets, and improve profitability without losing customers. The text is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses looking to transform how they approach marketing and achieve more significant results. Still, the tips and best practices will be helpful to companies of all sizes.
GO TO BOOK
Written for busy business owners and marketing professionals, this book is packed with expert-level knowledge and insights written in approachable language that gets right to the point. Author Andrew Macarthy covers essential topics, tips, and best practices for social media marketing strategies, paid advertising, content marketing, driving brand awareness, attracting customers, increasing website traffic, closing sales, and more. This new version of the book comes equipped with updated tips, examples, and strategies for social media marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and beyond.



Data Management Solutions

Solutions Review brings all of the technology news, reviews, best practices and industry events together in one place. Every day our editors scan the Web looking for the most relevant content about Enterprise Information Management and posts it here.

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Collabra Technology Hires Former Zillow, eXp Realty, Radian Executives to Lead Marketing and Product Development – PR Web


Collabra Technology
SPOKANE, Wash. (PRWEB)
Collabra Technology, a real estate digital marketing company on a mission to empower real estate agents to grow their digital sphere of influence, today announced the appointment of three key executives to lead marketing initiatives and product development: Eric Bloomquist, vice president, product management; Tara Clark, vice president, product marketing; and Cynthia Nowak, chief marketing officer.
The new team brings a combined 60 years of real estate industry experience as well as expertise scaling high-growth technology companies and promoting brand awareness.
Eric Bloomquist has been in the real estate industry for nearly 30 years and part of the founding or leadership team at multiple real estate and proptech companies, including Radian, JetClosing, Homegenius, and Qualia. During his career, he’s guided several enterprise tech implementations focused on removing friction from the process of buying or selling a home. Bloomquist will oversee Collabra’s product development lifecycle.
Tara Clark was one of the original marketing hires at Zillow where she led the development and expansion of all consumer-facing email programs. During her 11 years at Zillow, she also built and led the email marketing teams and resulting outcomes across multiple lines of business, including the Premier Agent program, and other Zillow Group brands such as Trulia and Zillow Mortgages. At Collabra, Clark will bring the voice of the customer into our product development process and build our go-to-market strategy.
Cynthia Nowak has nearly 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, mainly at start-ups in various stages of growth. As an early employee at eXp Realty, Redfin, and Zillow, she has led all aspects of marketing and communications as well as investor relations. As CMO, Nowak is responsible for driving the company’s brand recognition and engagement across multiple platforms.
“We are thrilled to bring on three new hires with vast and varied real estate expertise who understand the ever-shifting needs of brokers and agents. Together, they will form a scrappy team of dreamers, designers, builders, and marketers to bring our vision to life,” said Russ Cofano, CEO, Collabra Technology.
About Collabra Technology
Collabra Technology is on a mission to empower real estate professionals to build and maintain powerful spheres of influence. We are building for a future where real estate content, data, and technology are merged to create opportunities for enduring and extraordinary customer relationships.
The company’s RElumio suite of products connect directly with MLSs to create cutting-edge marketing materials to shine a light on an agent’s listing and help build their digital brand with listing videos, websites, and flyers in one easy step.
Sign up to receive our upcoming free Guide to Digital Sphere Mastery at collabratechnology.com.
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What Retail Experts Think About Lowe’s Marketing Reorg – Forbes

Marisa Thalberg, chief brand and marketing officer at Lowe’s, has left the home improvement retailer as part of a corporate reorganization.
Lowe’s said last week that it was doing away with the CMO role and that its marketing team would now report to Bill Boltz, executive vice president of merchandising. The retailer said that Jen Wilson, senior VP, brand and customer marketing, has been promoted to senior VP, enterprise brand and marketing and will report to Mr. Boltz.
The retailer’s online team and Mike Shady, senior vice president of online, which previously reported to Mr. Boltz, will now report to Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s chief digital and information officer.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
A company spokesperson told Ad Age that the reorganization was necessary “to improve alignment across the business …, we need deep integration between marketing, merchandising and stores.”
There was a wide range of responses to the reorg from the experts on the RetailWire BrainTrust in an online discussion last week, with some unconvinced that stacking marketing under merchandising was the right way to align things.
“This move by Lowe’s is a bit of a head-scratcher,” wrote David Spear, senior partner, industry consulting, retail, CPG and hospitality at Teradata TDC . “Let’s remember, Lowe’s reported annual income of $96 billion in 2022. One would argue a company this size can’t afford NOT to have a CMO reporting directly to the CEO, and second, moving a C-1 individual under merchandise will inherently reduce the impact of marketing initiatives. It’s unfortunate because I thought Lowe’s had terrific momentum from a marketing standpoint and was soundly executing uniquely experiential plays.”
“From my experience, that’s a mistake,” wrote Lee Peterson, EVP of thought leadership and marketing at WD Partners. “Merchandising is short-term thinking: what did I sell today? Marketing is long-term thinking: how can we further the brand? To have merchants, who are incentivized by sales and profit and not long range brand goals (other than outside brands) not thinking in terms of the future. And maybe that’s what Lowe’s needs; sales now, but in the long run this will not play out well for them.”
“I [will refer to] merchandising as promotion,” wrote professor Gene Detroyer. “I have been a marketing manager and a promotion manager. Each demands an entirely different mindset. Marketing is longer-term. Promotion is short-term. When marketing is the tail on the promotion dog, the company loses focus on the brand. While promotion is important, the brand is what carries a company into the future.”
The Ad Age piece points out that it’s unusual for retailers to place marketing under merchandising. Richard Sanderson, a consultant at Spencer Stuart, said the practice was more common in grocery more than a decade ago when “marketing was really driving weekly promotions and print circulars.”
Some on RetailWire’s BrainTrust, however, were more bullish about the possibilities of the new setup.
“I agree with a more product-first approach, not to discount marketing, but it has to start with the right product,” wrote Brian Delp, CEO of New Sega Home. “From there, you can clearly define the features and attributes that are marketable. It will be interesting to see how this develops and if others follow.”
Others saw more potential with a reorg of a different order.
“I have long wished for better alignment between marketing and merchandising, and I admire Lowe’s willingness to take this bold, but risky step,” wrote Dave Bruno, director of retail market insights at Aptos. “However I always envisioned it the other way — merchandising reporting to marketing.”
“A brand’s value and the ability to fulfill on the promise should drive all decisions,” wrote Patricia Vekich Waldron, founder and CEO of Vision First. “I’m all for removing by silos, but this move is backwards — marketing should drive merchandising.”
Though that suggestion too had its opponents.
“The ascendancy of marketing was a 21st century thing and, in my opinion, created as many problems as it solved, including them running their own IT departments,” wrote Paula Rosenblum, co-founder of RSR Research. “Let’s put it this way — I’d rather marketing report to merchandising than the other way around.”
Ms. Thalberg’s departure, CNBC reports, follows two straight quarters during which Lowe’s posted same-store sales declines against strong year-over-year comps. Lowe’s benefited in 2021 from its customers receiving government stimulus checks and focusing more of their attention on their homes in the face of the pandemic. Consumers in 2022 have focused their spending on necessities and cut back on discretionary spending as a result of rising prices and economic uncertainty.
Ms. Thulberg’s exit from Lowe’s is likely to be followed by others at retail as more companies look for answers to boost sales during a period when customer demand has slowed, inventory has piled up and companies engage in a steady stream of markdowns to move merchandise as the Christmas season draws near.
But as other retailers may be looking at ways to rearrange responsibilities and direct reports, some on the BrainTrust say they expect no real change from this particular shakeup.
“Marketing is part of merchandising anyway,” wrote Ananda Chakravarty, vice president of research at IDC. “Merchandising sells products and marketing needs to support it — hence the importance of alignment. This move though is caused by a leader exit, but Lowe’s has taken the right steps to fill in the gap.”
“Honestly this is the way it always was,” wrote Ms. Rosenblum. “Either under merchandising or a quasi-peer. Retailers don’t sell branding. They sell products. Then marketing and merchandising work together to determine which products they can buy specifically for promotion.”

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Social media management costs for businesses in 2022 – Sprout Social

Written by Aubree Smith
Published on August 25, 2022
Reading time 6 minutes
Investing in social media management increases your brand’s awareness, generates leads, drives traffic to your site and boosts community engagement. While that sounds great to executives and stakeholders, they may not understand how the costs associated with social media translate to business objectives.
If you need help getting buy-in for your social strategy and building your budget, this social media management costs guide will help you get started.
We’ll walk you through what is normally included in the cost of social media management, how the cost of agencies compares to freelancers and the average amount a business should spend. Let’s dive in.
First, we need to be clear. There is no one-size-fits-all social media management cost. Brands will spend differently depending on their unique goals.
However, based on average costs, we determined a comprehensive social media management program is roughly $12,300 per month. That number includes all costs related to content creation, advertising campaigns and social media management software.
Here’s a breakdown of how we calculated this figure.
Although the cost of launching a social channel is technically free, running the profile and creating a content calendar costs a brand anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per month.
The estimated cost depends on factors like talent sourcing. Do you use in-house talent or outsource content creation? For example, at Sprout, our content and social management is driven by our internal team members, but we contract content creation, too.
Here are average rates for both:
Graph from Sprout Social's Creator Economy report. In the graph, the cost of working with creators on different social media platforms is explained. The costs are also broken down by post type.
The cost is also influenced by which channels you use and how often you post each month. For example, you will invest more resources into video content for platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
To run a successful platform-specific advertising campaign, you should plan to invest at least $5,000 per month, according to Sprout’s Manager of Digital Marketing, Maggie Anderson. She points out that often the cost can be much higher, so you should consider this number a starting point.
Anderson explains, “Before finalizing your social ad campaign budget, pinpoint your goal, campaign duration and audience. These factors will help you choose targeting strategies and platforms that will work best for your campaign—which ultimately determines your budget.”
As you incorporate more platforms and run longer campaigns, expect the overall expense to increase.
Your campaign metrics will reveal ways you may need to optimize your strategy to reach your desired goals, so leave room in your ad budget for flexibility.
Whether you manage multiple platforms through a social media management tool, an agency partner or both, you will pay around $100-$4,000 per month.
The price is influenced by the number of profiles you manage, the volume of inbound messages and mentions you receive, the size of your community and the features you use.
Continue reading to learn more about the costs of working with a social media management agency and using a social media management tool.
Some brands use agencies to complement their in-house social teams, while others use them to outsource all their social media management tactics. If you decide to work with an agency, here are the cost parameters you should plan for.
We asked 440 agencies how much they’re charging for their social media services. About 24% of the respondents said they charge an average of $500-$999 per month while 15% charge within the $1,000-$1,499 range.
Interestingly, 28% of agencies said they didn’t offer hourly rates, but of those that do, a quarter charge between $100-$149 per hour.
A graphic from Sprout Social's Agency Pricing and Packaging Report that illustrates the cost ranges of agencies from $500-$4,000+.
Sydney Nielsen, Sprout’s Manager of Customer Marketing, says, “Working with agencies is an investment that delivers high return. Agency partnerships allow you to tap into marketing professionals with extensive technical expertise who can deliver multiple creative and innovative campaigns at the same time. They give you insight into what’s working, what’s trending and where your brand should focus your efforts—without requiring trial and error.”
While the services offered depend on the agency type, they often entail:
Keep in mind the scope of your social media management needs will impact cost. Prices vary depending on your goals, service term and the number of tasks the agency performs.
Other brands opt to work with freelancers to fill their social media management gaps. Freelancer costs shift based on their experience level and the extent of your project. On average, freelancers charge a few hundred dollars to $10,000 per month. Many freelancers also offer hourly rates.
Once you determine your goals and budget, search for freelancers with the skills you need who fit your price range. Here’s a list of marketplaces you can use to kickstart your search:
If your team opts to work with freelancers, we recommend starting with smaller tasks. Make sure their work aligns with your goals and expectations before partnering on large-scale, critical projects.
Today’s social media managers know publishing, scheduling and reporting from the native platforms would be inefficient (and, in some cases, impossible). Social media management software simplifies the hard work of social media so you can focus on connecting with your audience and building insights-driven strategies that elevate your brand.
For a robust and cohesive social media management platform like Sprout Social, you can expect to pay about $89-$1,000+ per month depending on your plan, integration needs and the size of your social team.
Here’s an overview of our pricing models.
Standard
Professional 
Advanced
Customers can use bonus features like Listening, Premium Analytics and our employee advocacy tool for an additional cost.
By using a management platform like Sprout, your social and customer care teams can save time and increase productivity. Sprout’s integrations will make your team more informed and efficient, so you can spend most of your time growing and maintaining customer relationships and fine-tuning your strategy.
In addition to a social media management platform, you might need other tools that can supplement your social media strategy. Here are two examples of platforms that can help you track your customers’ journey and generate new content ideas.
1. HubSpot
HubSpot’s integrated CRM platform helps you monitor social engagement in the context of your customer relationships.
The platform gives you a detailed understanding of your customers’ social interactions and how many marketing qualified leads you’re generating from specific platforms—which makes it easy for you to prove the ROI of your social campaigns.
Cost: $800/month (Professional)
2. Post Planner
Post Planner curates articles, images and custom content feeds so you always have something fresh for your followers. The platform identifies your most popular posts, and has automated features to repurpose and recreate top-performing content.
Cost: $39/month (Business)
Designing your social media management budget requires thinking critically about the resources you need to reach your goals. While the upfront costs of social media might seem expensive, finding the right mix of tools will set you up for future success.
After all, growing your social media presence is a marathon, not a sprint. The investments you make in your management strategy today will accrue and deliver long-term gains.
Tap into the robust power of social by starting your free 30-day Sprout Social trial today.
Aubree Smith
Aubree Smith is a Content Specialist at Sprout Social with a passion for helping others grow as social media marketers. Her enthusiasm for guiding others extends beyond Sprout, as she is also a registered yoga teacher.
Read all articles by Aubree Smith
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Top 3 Ways to Generate more Leads with Email Marketing – IoT Business News

Top 3 Ways to Generate more Leads with Email MarketingFor a business to keep flourishing, lead generation should be a constant companion. It’s the lifeblood of a business. However, over sixty-one percent of marketers admitted that it’s one of the biggest issues they try to fix in digital marketing.
In order the improve this area of your business, email marketing needs to be considered. Let it be among your primary channels.
This guide introduces you to the bolt and nail of how to work email lead generation into your business. Keep reading!
This is a method for gathering leads using an email opt-in form. Everything revolves around collecting data on likely clients, for example, their names and email addresses.
However, the lead-generating strategy via email marketing doesn’t end with the lead opt-in form. It likewise includes decisively following up on these leads to convert them into lasting clients.
There would be many individuals who may merely give their email addresses for a gift. Sure. However, not all of them will be your potential clients. That is the reason you want a procedure as opposed to the spray-and-pray method of building your email list. With email lead generation techniques, you can :
Reach a more ideal audience who will be interested in what you offer ;
Improve your brand awareness ;
Develop a healthy relationship with your leads and convert them into repeat customers.
There are several strategies for generating more leads with email marketing. Here are three effective methods.
There are some webinars you don’t necessarily need to host by yourself. You can collaborate with different professionals and experts. And get more leads in the process.
You could likewise show up as a co-host or guest for a webinar facilitated by another brand. It works the same way as composing guest post articles and podcasts.
When you offer additional value on a branded podcast or a webinar, you are positioning yourself to take advantage of a new audience. That’s an opportunity to send thousands of traffic to your landing page! You email the opt-in form.
A significant part of any media or occasion association is cross-joint effort. Once the online course, digital recording, or article is distributed, ensure you and your accomplice elevate it to their crowds in their most significant channels. That is where you can plug your source of inspiration for new crowds.
It is crucial to becoming more creative with your subject titles. These are what make people want to click your stuff. A good subject line inspires urgency or curiosity.
Use components like emojis, italic text style, and bold text to catch the attention of your crowd. They attract their gaze to your email. The headline is the most important part of your email. Take your time when crafting one.
This strategy can have an enormous effect on the outcome of your marketing campaign. It expands your email-open rate, as well your conversion rates.
For example, should you start an entertainment blog and had an engaging email list, you need to only be posting stuff on the latest entertainment news. This helps you to maintain a better connection with your audience.  However, you still need to come up with the best headlines that will draw their attention. Developing this skill is very important.
This method permits you to leverage your most valuable content into an email collection apparatus. For instance, gated content is content that is available solely after your guests have given their contact details. This type of content can be used as a content upgrade. This means you can use it to entice readers to legally join your email list.
For example, after guests read a post on your blog, you can then propose that they download a pertinent article, report, digital book, and so on in return for their email details. In the short term, you will build your list faster. In the long run, you will make more sales.
There are many methods for generating quality leads for your business, email marketing stands out. When you master a few of the methods of email marketing, the results are lifelong. Finally, give lead generation Hello Pareto a try.

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Is User-Generated Content the New Influencer Marketing? – Talking Influence

[Talking Influence]
Talking Trends in Influencer Marketing
Working in social media, user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing are two terms that have been ingrained in my vocabulary from the very start of my career. My team and I are constantly discussing ways in which UGC and influencers can form part of our social media strategy to deliver tangible results for clients.
Although UGC and influencers are similar in the sense that both work as brand ambassadors, contributing to a company’s content strategy and influencing audience decisions; there are distinct differences between them.
Unlike influencer content, UGC isn’t sponsored by the brand, which enables the content to feel more authentic. In fact, 55% of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing which goes to show just how powerful this form of social media marketing is becoming. 
It will come as no surprise that TikTok has had a huge impact on the popularity of user-generated content. The app is full of real-life customer reviews and videos, which hold a real sense of authenticity and trust.
As a result of the way TikTok inherently works, the content produced by these users can reach a mass audience simply through the way the For You Page (FYP) functions – and this is multiplied when considering how common it is to share videos via direct messages.
The TikTok FYP algorithm suggests content based on users’ actions and preferences, from likes, shares, and comments to how much time was spent watching videos. 
This means that users are likely to be shown UGC-containing products they are actively interested in. For example, a user who is interested in beauty and makeup might be shown real-life reviews of a new foundation or eyeshadow palette. 
Brands should look to harness the power of this content for increased awareness. Some studies have shown that millennials find UGC to be 35% more memorable than content from mainstream sources. If your target demographic is millennials, you should absolutely be using UGC to build brand recognition.
On TikTok, there is a real sense of user-generated culture that is continuing to grow; a culture which is now being adopted by Instagram and could easily spread further onto other channels like Pinterest or Twitter. But where does this leave influencer marketing? 
With the growing trend towards UGC, what does this mean for influencers? 
In recent months, more influencers have faced scrutiny for partnering with brands that don’t align with their values. 
A recent example is Gemma Owen from Love Island partnering with the fast fashion retailer, PLT, despite being the owner of a sustainable swimwear company. It goes without saying that fast fashion and sustainability do not go hand in hand, so this partnership appears less authentic to consumers.
As a result of this new scrutiny, there has been a lot of talk implying that influencers are losing their influence – and without that, what benefit do they offer a brand? 
Larger influencers have been slowly becoming less prevalent for years as consumers favour real voices and authentic reviews. Data by HypeAuditor recently found that nano-influencers with fewer than 5,000 followers have some of the highest engagement rates in the industry.
Despite this negativity surrounding influencers, brands continue to utilise them as a key aspect of their marketing strategies. In fact, 17% of companies spend over half of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing can work incredibly well, but there are two important considerations:
So, is UGC taking over influencer marketing? 
The trend for UGC is certainly continuing to gain momentum across social channels and brands should take note. However, it will only be effective if it’s a part of a wider strategy – you really can’t rely on UGC to replace your own social media marketing.
Consumers want authentic and unique content. Real voices and honest customer reviews have never been more important than they are right now. The rise in UGC is shining a light on the way the influencer marketing industry has been operating up until now. TikTok has and will continue to play a huge role in this shift.
Influencers still play an important role in social media marketing, but perhaps they shouldn’t be the lynchpin to your success. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to partner with the right influencer and brands should tread carefully when it comes to vetting each influencer. This should include a full review of all their social channels and any previous brand collaborations. While UGC hasn’t taken over influencer marketing just yet, it’s certainly catching up and no one can deny that it’s changed the way we as marketers play the game.
Sophie is the Social Media Manager at Wolfenden, working to develop and implement successful social media strategies for clients. These bespoke approaches are designed to build a loyal online community as well as increase brand awareness and follower engagement. Sophie works closely with the Digital PR & Content team to develop effective multi-channel campaigns. With yeas of experience in Social Media Marketing, she started her career in Organic & Paid Social before moving to Wolfenden to build their Organic Social offering and create a team of experts. In 2021 Sophie won Agency Young Marketer of the Year at the Hotel Marketing Association Awards for her work managing the grand opening of a hotel during the pandemic (tricky business!).View all posts by Sophie Madgewick
[Talking Influence]
Talking Trends in Influencer Marketing

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