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Transparent Marketing: Research into social media marketing reveals surprising consumer discovery

April 25th, 2016 2 comments

If you’ve read MarketingExperiments for any amount of time, you’ve seen how clarity trumps persuasion. Instead of trying to sell in marketing emails or on landing pages, help your customers clearly understand the value they will get from your conversion objective.

That’s why I was so surprised by some research I recently came across about sharing promotions on social media, a medium where selling is particularly frowned upon.

You can watch the interview with Dr. Lauri Baker, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Communications at Kansas State University and co-creator of the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement, where we discuss this specific research along with other social media marketing tips. Below the video, I’ll give you my take on the subject.

 

Social media is a great channel for transparent marketing.

“There has been a lot of research done on transparency,” Dr. Baker told me. “Everybody wants to see that product from start to finish. They want to see that farmer aspect; they want to see that created in an authentic environment. A lot of that happens from just stories. Highlighting the people that are producing this food or this product, and show the places that it’s coming from. Those are the things that customers are really connecting with and wanting to see.”

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Value Force: How to win on value proposition and not just price

April 11th, 2016 No comments

A recent question we received is a fairly common concern we hear from readers  customers only care about price — what do I do? So we’ve decided to answer it here on the MarketingExperiments Blog, since the answer might help you as well. And if you have a question you’d like answered on the blog, let us know.

Thanks for the outstanding workshop on value proposition. I agree that value propositions are the core to growth for any brand but the challenge I have is marketing products in a highly commoditized and fragmented category (olive oil).  Price is such a dominant element of the value proposition that it’s difficult to compete unless you’re competitive on price, which is a no-win strategy. How have you seen other brands effectively create and market a value proposition that did not rely strongly on price? ”

– Brian

 

First, let me start by defining terms, which might help. Price is not an element of the value proposition. Price is part of the cost force of the buying decision.

For every purchase customers make, they weigh the cost against the value. If the cost is too high, they will not purchase. So, essentially, a company that does not have a strong enough value force (Vf) must reduce the cost force (Cf) to get the sale.

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Value Focus: Which aspect(s) of your product should your marketing emphasize?

March 31st, 2016 No comments

As a MarketingExperiments blog reader, I can already assume a few things about you. You’re an evidence-based marketer. You are an effective communicator. You have an exceptional understanding of marketing. You are skilled at analyzing campaign effectiveness. And you have experience in a wide range of marketing disciplines.

But if you were pitching yourself at a job fair, and could emphasize only one of these elements about yourself, which would it be?

Savvy marketer that you are, I’m guessing you would first size up the company you’re applying to — ask questions of the recruiter, take a look at the booth and read some of the literature — before deciding what value to highlight when presenting yourself.

The way you approach marketing your products and services should be no different.

 

Don’t bury the lead

Almost every product or service has several ways it benefits customers. Your challenge is to determine the value focus — which element of value will you lead with in your marketing.

You may highlight more than one element of value as secondary benefits on your website, in your print ads and in your email marketing. However, there likely is a place within your marketing where you have to choose what the primary value focus should be — the headline of your print ad, the hero space on your homepage or, perhaps, the entirety of an email.

Let me give you an example from my own customer journey.

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Consumer Reports Value Proposition Test: What you can learn from a 29% drop in clickthrough

March 21st, 2016 No comments

The results are in. Last month, we asked you, the readers of the MarketingExperiments blog, to write the most effective copy for a Consumer Reports email in a way that could test which value factors were most appealing to Consumer Reports donors.

To expand the amount of test ideas, we also asked the readers of the Convince & Convert blog.

We’ll get to the results, and the big winner of the MarketingSherpa Summit package, in just a moment. But first, a little more background and a few lessons.

 

A little background

Every year, prior to MarketingSherpa Summit, with the help of the MarketingExperiments blog audience and the audience of another marketing blog, we run a nonprofit organization test with a nonprofit organization.

Partnering with a nonprofit gives us a real audience to test with. More importantly, it allows us to use our collective ability as a community of marketers to create effective messaging for a greater good.

Prior to the test, we work with the nonprofit for a few months, diving into the data, getting an understanding of previous tests and coming up with hypotheses.

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Appeal: Does your value proposition actually make customers say, “I want this product or offer”?

March 7th, 2016 No comments

Startups can reveal some pretty enlightening information about what makes a successful value proposition. After all, unlike established companies with divisions and brands and patents and factories and distribution networks, the main asset many startups have is their value proposition (often communicated as an “elevator pitch”).

CB Insights recently conducted a post-mortem of more than 100 failed startups to try to figure out what went wrong. 

 

The top reason they failed — “No market need,” cited by 42%.

To put that into marketing terms, their value proposition had no appeal.

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Email Marketing: Preheader testing generates 30% higher newsletter open rate for trade journal

February 18th, 2016 No comments

“Most email clients nowadays pull and display a preview text in addition to the sender (or ‘from’) name and subject line of an email. While all inbox fields are fertile ground for optimization and A/B testing, optimizing preheader snippet is frequently a quick win,” Laz Tyrekidis, Digital Marketing and Audience Director, Metropolis Business Media, said.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the quick wins from preheader testing run by Laz and his team. But first, a quick primer on preheaders in case you’re unfamiliar. Preheaders, as seen below, are frequently found in email app inboxes on mobile devices, but can also be seen in webmail inboxes and desktop email client inboxes (depending on the view settings chosen by the user). They will also appear at the top of the email itself.

 

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