Your customers as well as your employees have increasingly cut the cord connecting them to a desktop computer. The first mobile apps may have only created a few ripples, but the demand has reached tsunami levels in recent years. Mobile apps have become essential for any business that wants to optimize customer engagement, deliver marketing messages that will actually reach the intended audience or provide field personnel with powerful tools to make their jobs easier while improving customer service. However, when developing a mobile app, it is important to avoid these five common pitfalls.
Companies launch a digital transformation initiative for a variety of reasons. Some are looking to respond to changes in customer demands and preferences, others are trying to remain competitive and some companies see the opportunity to expand into new markets. Whatever your organization's reason for undertaking a digital transformation project, you will need to plan and budget wisely if you want the project to be a success. Considering that IT budgets are set to increase by almost 2 percent in 2017, according to Gartner, the pressure to provide detailed, accurate budgets is likely to increase as well. If you are responsible for the task, the following tips can help you plan and budget for a digital transformation project that will be completed in 2017.
Topics: Digital Transformation
The holiday season is a critical time for retailers. On average, approximately 30 percent of all sales have traditionally occurred between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas, with jewelers and certain other retailers reporting that the holiday season accounted for 40 percent or more of their total annual sales. In recent years, an increasing number of shoppers have been turning to e-commerce sites instead of brick-and-mortar stores for their holiday shopping. For 2016, e-commerce sales are expected to increase by almost 14 percent although total retail sales are expected to increase by only 3 percent. If the predictions prove true, 2016 could be the first holiday season in which e-commerce's share of holiday sales exceeds 10 percent. However, the competition will be fierce, so it is important for online retailers to embrace the proper methods and strategies to give them an edge over their competitors.
For years, marketing gurus have been proclaiming that content is king. That three-word phrase returns almost 3 million results when entered into a search engine although not every site returned supports the concept. Nevertheless, it appears that marketers have ta
ken the message to heart; according to one source, enough content is produced during every 48-hour period to equal all of the content produced since the dawn of time. Wading through the sea of available content is a bit like thumbing through a 500-page novel to locate a single line that you vaguely remember but want to quote in its entirety. Most of what you are reading is so irrelevant to your current mission that you become annoyed and frustrated — much like your customers if you present them with a mountain of content that is not relevant to their current needs.
The Internet of Things, often called the IoT, is poised to change the face of business. As of 2015, researchers estimated that there were 3.8 billion connected devices in use; the projections range between 25 billion and 50 billion IoT devices by 2020. There are already cars, locks, streetlights, home appliances, fitness monitors and a wide variety of other smart devices available, and some experts assert that smart devices are beginning to power yet another industrial revolution that can prove as disruptive as steam, electricity and computers. Whether the IoT lives up to all of the hype remains to be seen, but one thing is certain — the IoT is already changing the face of business and will likely drive much more dramatic changes in the future.
Topics: Internet of Things
Repeat customers are the goal of every business. Acquiring a new customer can cost up to six times as much as retaining an existing customer. However, the big payoff can come in the amount that repeat customers spend. Recent studies indicate that a second-time buyer spends up to three times as much as a first-time buyer, and customers making three or more purchases spend as much as five times as much as a new customer.
There are times when maintaining the status quo is beneficial — a fact Coca-Cola discovered when it tried to convert customers to a new soft drink that bore the same name as the original but tasted very different.
Often, however, marketers need to challenge the status quo if they want to succeed. Technology evolves, customers change their priorities and competitors embrace new tactics.
Topics: Behavior Marketing
Reducing customer churn is critical to the growth of your business. You cannot offset lost customers by adding the same number of new ones; growth will be stagnant, but you will also be spending more to acquire the new customers, which means that your profitability will be negatively impacted. If you want to launch a war on your churn rate, the following tactics can help you win the battle.
Companies are drowning in data. As of 2011, IDC reported that big-data creation and replication would reach almost 1.8 trillion gigabytes.
That number could easily double every year; data is coming in from the Web, smartphones, inbound and outbound marketing, customer emails, opt-in programs such as loyalty programs, in-store transactions, and a variety of other touch points.