Why You Need A Corporate Blog & How To Ensure Its Success

Corporate Blog & CMS Systems

Corporate Blog & CMS Systems

Regardless of the size of your business, a blog and user friendly Content Management System must be a critical components of your Marketing Mix.  This entry includes discusses the importance of having a corporate blog and includes some great ideas to make it a smash hit.

A blog is a great addition to your web strategy because it provides another avenue to communicate with existing and potential customers.  In addition to offering supplemental information, that does not have a place on your main website, blogs are good places to discuss new ideas and sometimes discover previously unrecognized opportunities.

If you currently have a blog, here are some suggestions for adding interesting content that will attract more visitors.

  • Consider interviewing some experts in your industry.  You probably have many experts in your field that are not widely.  These people can share interesting content.  By posting interviews with these experts, your blog may gain a loyal following.
  • Invite new people to contribute articles to your blog and participate in discussions.  This technique, known as Guest Blogging as gained popularity over the past couple years.  Many webmasters indicate that Guest Blogging can provide a nice change that breathes life back into a blog site.
  • Use your blog to create an online conference.  If successful, your conference or seminar can be run quarterly or annually at little to no cost.
  • Consider adding blog entries in different languages to reach foreign markets.  Our inexpensive certified language translators can easily translate your entries into any language.

If you do not currently have a blog, you should consider the many benefits and opportunities that they provide.  THE MARKETING ANALYSTS offers a complete Content Management System and blogging platform that puts the power of the web into the hands of your non-technical marketing employees.  With Google friendly pages, search engine optimized content, in-depth web analytics, complete onsite training, and virtually every option your team can dream of, your new web platform will give you a competitive edge against your competition and offer rapid ROI.   Contact us today for complete details.

Predicting Customer Loyalty & Customer Churn To Maximizing Profitability

Some customers are loyal and others are not.  Rather than spending money to attract any customer, companies could focus their efforts on getting the right type of customers.  Is it possible to identify customers with a higher propensity to defect at the drop of a hat?  Sure, credit card companies often use predictive risk scoring models to evaluate potentially risky customers.

You can probably think of a number of customer loyalty factors that can predict customer churn and customer loyalty.  Some factors that are often mentioned include transience, youthfulness and price sensitiveness.   As you might imagine, the return on your marketing investment will be much greater if you start with potentially loyal customers as opposed to potentially disloyal customers.

How Do I Profile Potentially Loyal Customers?

The best place to start is by building a database that contains both loyal and defecting customers.  A careful analysis of the loyal customers and disloyal customers can reveal some valuable insights.  While this is a good first step, THE MARKETING ANALYSTS recommend further analysis using predictive analytics for customer segmentation.  Once behavior based segments are identified, profitable strategies can then be developed to maximize your Marketing ROI.

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Developing Customer Profiles: The First Step in Market Segmentation and Target Marketing

Target Marketing Through Predictive Segmentation

Customer Profiling, Target Marketing & Predictive Segmentation

 

Modeling Customer Behavior for Segmentation and Target Marketing

Before you design your next marketing campaign, you should consider the ideal customer that you want to target.  To maximize effectiveness and ROI, your marketing collateral should target the right audience, with the right offer and be delivered through the right medium.   However, knowing the best offer, storyline, theme, length and medium to use requires in-depth knowledge about your target.  Gaining this level of knowledge often requires marketing research and the aid of predictive marketing analytics.

Where do I start?

Without much effort, many companies can identify a number of good marketing segmentation variables.  For example, direct mail marketers might identify demographic and psychographic factors.   Marketers that are more sophisticated might apply a crude RFM model.  RFM models have been around for years.  In short, RFM is based on the premise that the people who bought from you recently are more likely to respond to new offers than people who made a purchase in the distant past.  Large financial institutions will likely take the RFM approach a step further by combining data purchased from external suppliers.  Next, genetic algorithms are trained to classify customers into groups based on their propensity to use a particular product or respond to specific types of offers.

Unsure Where You Should Start? . . . Spend A Day With Your Customers

If you are unsure where to start, then you need to connect with your customers.  You need to be in front of your ideal customers as much as possible to understand them.  While you can easily conduct a survey, it is often better to start by “spending a day” with your customers.  Try to figure out what your customers do in the morning, noon and at night.  Can learn more about them by follow them online through social media circles?

Surveying Your Customers

If you decide to conduct a survey, you might consider collecting the following types of data.

  • Demographic Factors: Age/lifecycle, income, disabilities, mobility (in terms of travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location
  • Socioeconomic: Disposable Income, Memberships to clubs, Vacations, Entertainment patterns, Assets owned, Investments
  • Customer Behavior and usage patterns
  • Risk profiles
  • Profitability of customer
  • Customer tenure

However, collecting this data through surveys will be challenging.  As an alternative, you might consider purchasing equivalent data from information suppliers or coming up with creative ways of capturing this information on your own.

Once you have completed your research, you should know enough about your customers to start developing customer profiles.  When you can start answering the following questions, you are close to developing a segmentation strategy and a predictive model for target marketing.

  • Who is your “perfect customer”?
  • Why does a customer buy (or not buy) your product?
  • Do customers buy from you (or your competitor) for any particular reason?
  • Do customers tend to buy specific products at particular times?
  • How much consideration do your customers give when making these types of purchases?
  • What benefits do they see in your company (or your products)?

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Ensure The Success Of Your New Product With Conjoint Analysis

Using Conjoint Analysis To Develop Successful New Products

Using Conjoint To Develop Successful New Products

Conjoint analysis is a term given to a broad set of marketing research techniques that are used in new product development.  Some of the main types of conjoint analysis include Choice Based Conjoint (CBC), MaxDiff, and Adaptive Conjoint Analysis (ACA).  Because each offers special advantages, THE MARKETING ANALYSTS offers all major types to address the specific requirements of your project.

How Can Conjoint Analysis Help Me?

When the correct conjoint method is used, it is extremely effective determining the optimal set of features that a new product should have and the best pricing strategy.  Conjoint analysis works by simulating an actual purchase experience and explains how people make choices between products and services.  The result is a dynamic market model that determines the best product design and pricing strategy that optimizes profitability, market share and how the behavior of competitors will influence your market position.

How Conjoint Analysis Works

While the conjoint analysis has been used for many years, new varieties continue to be developed that provide more powerful and accurate results.  In a typical study, respondents are asked to make a series of product feature relates trade-offs or choices.  The simple exercise usually asks respondents to select or rank the most preferred alternatives from a selection of competing alternatives.  The analytical analysis is usually carried out using hierarchical Bayesian mathematics.  Because of the flexibility of new conjoint methods, research studies can be conducted by web or paper-and-pencil surveys.

Conjoint analysis can be used to determine what really drives customers to buy one product over another and what customers really value, when the following assumptions are met:

  1. A product (good or service) must be able to be described or represented by a set of attributes that are mutually exclusive.
  2. Consumers view the product as a combination of attributes that can be exchanged for others.  An example is the inclusion of an additional product feature in exchange for a higher price.
  3. The total utility (value) of the product being analyzed is equivalent to the sum of the individual utilities of each attribute.  It is important to realize that several common forms of “conjoint analysis” do not consider nonlinear relationships, particularly interactions among attributes.  Ignoring interaction will lead to bad research results.
  4. Products with a greater overall utility are more attractive than products with lower total utility scores.

When these assumptions are met, conjoint analysis provides quantifiable and actionable data that include:

  • Relative importance for each product attribute
  • Most desirable level of each product attribute
  • Potential market share for the product
  • Market segmentation information

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Translation: Getting it Right the First Time

Get Accurate & Professional Translation Service

Get Accurate And Professional Translation Service In Over 30 Languages

Many companies hire translators to translate their websites, marketing materials and technical documents without taking the proper care to ensure that they will be done accurately.  This often results in unprofessional or unintelligible translations, which in turn reflect poorly on the company and, in the case of technical documents, can become a liability issue for the company.  Often, these companies are not aware of the poor quality of the translation unless and until a native speaker lets them know.  The company then has three options:  keep the poor translation as it is; scrap the translation and do nothing; or hire a new translator to re-work the translation.  All three options are costly in terms of time, energy and money.

Whether you need translation of a website, translation of certificates, or translation of technical documents for the oil and gas industry or the health care industry, it is important that you ensure your translation is done professionally.

The key to getting professional translation service is two-fold.  First, the translators must be professional linguists, preferably with an advanced degree in translation or in the source language that they translate from.  They should also have significant verifiable experience as a translator.  After all, you don’t want a first-timer translating your patent documents or licenses.  Second, professional translators must be expert in the technical field in which they translate.  For example, a professional medical translator would typically have an advanced degree in a foreign language as well as a medical degree or significant experience working in the medical field.  Expertise in a technical field involves knowing and understanding the terminology specific to that particular industry, and ensures the translation conveys the author’s intended meaning.

Finding true professional translators who possess all the necessary qualifications can be an expensive and frustrating process.  This is where THE MARKETING ANALYSTS can help separate the true professionals from the rest.  Each and every translator THE MARKETING ANALYSTS employs must pass a rigorous screening process.  At a minimum, our translators must possess a Bachelor’s degree and have significant experience in a technical field.  Many of our translators have advanced degrees in translation and/or a technical field such as medicine, law or engineering.  By employing only highly skilled professionals, we are able to guarantee the quality of every translation job we do.

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS offers the highest quality translations in over 30 languages.  For more information on services provided by THE MARKETING ANALYSTS, please contact us today.

Using Marketing Research To Develop Successful Product Lines

Marketing Research For Product Line Management

Marketing Research For Product Line Management

Most organizations market more than one product.  For example, Unilever, a giant consumer products manufacturer, may offer one of its shampoos in a variety of scents.  From a marketing perspective, a company’s product line is the group of products that are closely related.  For instance, products may be similar in a broad sense because of product class.  Proctor & Gamble has a food products line, a paper products line and a cleaning products line.  Products within a line may perform a particular function such as laundry care.  A product line could also be identified by price points and by distribution channel strategies.  For example, the Kenmore brand of appliances is only available through Sears.

Strategic Product Line Management

When developing a new product line or evaluating an existing product line, there are several factors to consider.  For example, what variables should be used to distinguish one product from another?  Many companies find it useful to distinguish between lines using a good-better-best approach.  For example, Lennox Industries, a manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment (HVAC) has a builder grade line (entry level $), a standard line (good $$) and their Signature line (best $$$).  As another example, Dr. Pepper offers a diet line of soft drinks and a regular line of soft drinks.

Because a company may offer several classifications of products and define its various product lines in many ways, there is a real need for a term that encompasses all offerings from an organization.  That term is the product mix. For instance, Samsung manufactures and sells televisions, mobile phones, monitors, Blu-ray players, cameras, heavy equipment, ships and more.   The term width of product mix is used to identify the extent of product lines associated with a company’s firm regardless of how diverse or narrow it might be.

Product Line Decisions & SKU Reduction

In many companies, marketing departments have launched too many new products that offer little differentiation and provide no incremental profit.   In addition to development and marketing costs, the cost to warehouse, distribute and continue to promote these items can be equally expensive and inefficient.    You can easily understand the challenges facing product managers when you factor in additional challenges that include retail space limitations, slotting fees, stock-outs and gaining visibility.  As a result, there is a tremendous need for better decision-making relating to new product development, sku rationalization and sku reduction.

Strategic Product Line Planning

To solve the problem, THE MARKETING ANALYSTS offers proactive marketing research techniques to determine if the amount of differentiation of a new SKU offers incremental value.  This type of research provides extremely valuable results when planning a SKU based on new flavors, colors, scents, sizes, etc.).  Our translation and marketing research techniques provide answers to questions like “What is the best set of product combinations (SKU’s) that will maximize profitability?”, “What is the most efficient combination of SKUs to offer that maximizes the differences between SKU’s and avoids perceived similarity?” and “What should the priority be when offering new SKU’s?”  Most importantly, our approach provides manufacturers with the answers they need before investing in product development and marketing launch strategies.

Web Strategy Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive, It Just Has To Be Effective

Web Strategy

Web Strategy

Often business success is made by innovative decisions, sometimes by the fall of an exhausted competitor. However, when journalists write about why a business took one course rather than another, they are most interested in identifying a single decision that was made by one person.

In the current economic climate, you can probably think of a number of companies where one person was blamed for an entire company’s demise.  While there are many examples in the news, we tend to overlook some of the more obvious ones that include poor choices in marketing budgets. One example is the number of companies that continue to ignore the importance of professional search engine optimization; search engine marketing; social media; web analytics; content management systems CMS; web translation and localization; and other web strategies.

There are many reasons why Marketing Directors may be hesitant about investing in web strategies.  Some Marketing Directors are overwhelmed by evolving web trends, new jargon and other complexities.  Others believe that web strategy requires substantial investments that don’t payback in their industries.  There are also Marketing Directors that invested in a web strategy once that failed, and will not try it again.

Regardless of the importance that you place on your web site, Internet usage continues to increase.  In the past, having a website meant that your firm was on the cutting edge of technology.  Today, all legitimate businesses have websites, and most recognize that having a website is not only a mark of professionalism, but also a critical component in their sales and marketing strategy.

A successful web strategy requires a continuous and dedicated effort by experienced web professionals. When the responsibilities of web presence are left to inexperienced workers, even the best-intended strategies can backfire and cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. In other cases, a company may invest considerable time and money into web strategy efforts and see little or no results.  This is often the case when an employee is given the responsibilities of managing web strategy, but has not received continuous training and kept up with changes.  This is because the formula to achieve high rankings changes continuously. On a regular basis, Google, Yahoo, Live (Bing), Ask and other engines make changes to their ranking algorithms. Therefore, what works today may not work tomorrow for your organic search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. .

At THE MARKETING ANALYSTS, we believe that it is critical that your web presence be a part of your marketing mix. With our talented team of professionals, we will develop a solution that gives you a competitive advantage. We offer a comprehensive line of web solutions that includes content management systems (CMS), Search Engine Optimization and Language Translation and Localization.  Contact us today for a no pressure, professional evaluation and learn what our team of web consultants can do for you.

Customer Retention Strategies With Measurable Results

customer-retentionBy now, most economists agree that we have entered “The BIG L”, a long, slide down that is accompanied by a long period of flat or low economic activity.  Some economists even believe that we could be headed into a depression by 2011. Unfortunately, the end most likely won’t be good since we are still trying to find our way out by printing money, issuing Treasury Bills, and bailing out inefficient businesses.

As a result, Marketing Departments are continuing to cutback.  However, companies need to focus on making smarter investments in customer retention.  Customer retention strategies must address consumer trends toward less expensive product and service alternatives.  Corporate budget decisions must focus on reaching those customers who are most likely to leave.  When customers alter their purchase behavior, they may be lost forever.

Marketing Strategies

Marketers can initiate a number of strategies to counter customer defection.  Some strategies include adding new product lines and incentive programs.  Highly targeted direct marketing campaigns that utilize customer profiling analytics can also help retailers.  Maintaining a communication strategy with churning customers is also important since low priced retailers will try to retain their new customers once the economy recovers.

Your Retention Solution

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS provides a complete solution to your customer retention needs.  With our advanced technologies, we conduct sophisticated customer profiling and identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.  Our services recommend the best strategies to retain customers and provide maximum ROI.  Whether you need a single service or an integrated approach, we have the flexible solutions that can improve customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty and value.

Divide and Conquer with Market Segmentation & Target Marketing

market segmentation & Target Marketing

Market Segmentation & Target Marketing

With over 6.7 billion people in the world, it’s nearly impossible to satisfy everyone with a single marketing mix strategy. With the exception of unbranded, plain labeled package goods that are aimed at the mass market, a marketing strategy that attempts to satisfy everyone is destined to fail.

Many years ago soap manufactures determined the need for special marketing strategies to target individual markets. For example, Dove targets soft skin and Irish Spring promotes extra sex appeal. Therefore, capturing large portions of the market often require that firms use market segmentation strategies and develop custom marketing mix strategies to target market each segment.

What is Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation is the process of dividing the total market into several homogeneous groups. By adjusting a marketing mix strategy for a specific market segment, companies can focus on satisfying the needs of specific portions of the target market.

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS use advanced multivariate statistical analysis to segment markets. Often, our segmentation techniques will combine demographic, psychographic, geographic and perceived product benefit data to identify homogeneous customer groups. By doing so, we provide marketers with better information to target, attract and capitalize on similarities within a segment.

Analytical Marketing Research, Quantitative Marketing Analysis & Predictive Marketing Mix Models

Marketing Solutions with Rapid ROI

Marketing Solutions with Rapid ROI

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS offers a variety of analytical marketing research, quantitative marketing analysis and predictive marketing mix solutions that can make your firm more competitive by improving its decision making and marketing ROI.Whether you have a project that requires predictive data analysis or you are considering a new marketing research project that requires planning, we offer solutions to meet your marketing requirements.

Data Analysis: Sales Forecasts, Predictive Marketing Models, Analytical Marketing Research, Campaign Analysis, Survey Data and more

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS has the analytical resources to handle nearly any project because we offer the most advanced marketing research techniques.Our team of statisticians and marketing research professionals can analyze your sales and marketing data and provide clear and concise reports with highly relevant insights.

Customer Retention, Predictive Customer Churn, Customer Lifetime Value Analysis

Customer satisfaction studies provide good information but they have weaknesses.Happy customers will leave at the drop of a hat, while unhappy customers may stay for years.You have made a large investment to acquire customers, make sure you don’t let them leave you.Let THE MARKETING ANALYSTS help you identify defecting customers before it’s too late.

Our process begins by profiling active and deactivated customer groups to develop metrics that drive purchase behavior. Next, we train and deploy defection scoring and segmentation neural networks to flag customers who are likely to defect.  The procedure automatically detects customers who have potential for defection but have not been contacted for customer retention purposes in recent times. Preventive actions can then be initiated for customers who have been identified as potentially risky.

Optimal Marketing Mix Models

For decision support, a growing number of Marketing Directors are turning to Marketing Mix Models (MMM). By turning to predictive marketing methods, Marketing Managers can determine the best way to allocate their budgets and maximize their marketing and sales strategies.The typical Marketing Mix model is based on multivariate statistical methods, neural networks and time series forecasting methods that use your historic sales, marketing and ROI data as inputs to determine the optimal allocation of resources and project the impact that various strategies will have on volume, revenue and profitability.

Targeting Marketing: Customer Profiling & Marketing Segmentation for Customer Acquisition

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS understands that you have limited resources and can’t market to all of your customers all of the time.That’s why we offer solutions to make your marketing programs as effective as possible.By using information contained in your database, we can generate highly targeted lists of customers who are most likely to respond to your next marketing campaign.

Marketing Analysis

Did your marketing program provide an adequate return on investment?We can answer this question and even develop automated reports for your future campaigns.If you need reports from your IS system, call us today.We have the expertise to provide the information that you require.

Cost Effective with Quick Turnaround

THE MARKETING ANALYSTS provides a similar (and often better) portfolio of advanced predictive marketing research and analysis solutions as large marketing research firms but at prices they can’t beat.In addition, we guarantee your complete satisfaction with our services and solutions.Contact us today and learn why we’re your best choice for Predictive Marketing Services.