THE iMARKETING CAFE

Shane Barker, Digital Marketing ConsultantShane Barker is a leading digital marketing consultant who has been working with various celebrities, start-ups and also the fortune 500 companies. He has over 20 years of experience helping businesses devise the right digital marketing strategies and implementing them for business growth. Shane has been a contributor to publications like Yahoo Small Business, Salesforce, and Marketing Profs and more.

Shane has also been actively guiding and mentoring young entrepreneurs/small companies and start-ups to build and scale up. He is a regular at hackathons and various other start-up events. In this interview, Shane talks about his consulting practice, career, clients, case studies, digital marketing trends and lot more. Read on.

Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, nearly 40% of marketers have shown interest in increasing their budgets for influencer marketing.

Businesses use influencer marketing to increase their reach, brand awareness, engagement, and sales. They collaborate with influencers in their niche to launch or promote their products or services.

However, this form of marketing doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Some marketers face challenges calculating the ROI, identifying the right influencers, or with other aspects of their campaigns.

If you too have faced similar challenges, this post will help you with some effective tips to overcome them.

Gen Z MarketingGone are the days when marketing strategies revolve around the buying habits and behaviors of millennials.

Today, there’s a new generation entering the workforce, dramatically changing the market and how brands should strategize their next move to win in their respective industries.

Why Marketing To Generation Z Is A Huge Thing

Who are these new entrants in the market anyway and why are they such a huge deal?

Gen Zers are those who were born after the mid-90s. They have a greater level of confidence in using digital technologies after witnessing its continuous transformation since the day they were brought to this world.

Chatbot

Image Courtesy: pymnts.com

Chatbots captured my interest in 2016 and that’s when I started researching in-depth about chat bots and how they are affecting the business landscape across the world. My findings and insights gained showed that there was a huge potential in Chatbots to become a new age medium of communication for businesses with their customers and prospects and also that Chatbots will change the face of customer support landscape. No doubt adoption of Chatbots by businesses is happening across the world and it’s also gaining momentum. My research also led me to write three successive articles on the topic titled ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Conversational Interface.’, ‘Will Conversational Interfaces Change the Face of Customer Support and Engagement’ and ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Conversational Interfaces

Colors

Image Courtesy: scottthorp.files.wordpress.com

Have you had one of those days where no matter how much you think you just can’t come up with a single idea? I sure did! Although there isn’t much scientific explanation for mental blocks, it does happen to all of us.

May be it is due to lack of inspiration or due to not-so motivating results, or due to mental exhaustion, whatever the reasons are – it is important for us to get out of this block and get our creative juices flowing.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

In 2016, the economy has never demanded so much and been so competitive. Educating yourself with regards to your customers’ preferences is now indispensable for any enterprise. In this age, consumer insights play a pivotal role in the success (or failure) of a business. Market research is defined as ‘’the practice of gathering valuable information to help you find out if there is a market for your proposed product or service.’’ The data collected from market research helps aspiring entrepreneurs make smart, profitable business decisions. As the experts in this graphic outline, it is detrimental for business owners, big and small to carry out market research in order to stay ahead of the competition and improve upon existing products or services.

Market research allows you to detect and categorise threats as well as opportunities within the market place while also providing information that can help you make educated, informed decisions. The more accurate the information – the better the decision. For market research, the future looks bright. Digital trends for 2016 predict that social listening analytics will be a must-have for every marketing and market research manager as well an increase in popularity of DIY market research. Predictions highlight that DIY market research will democratise the sector. The folks at Surveygoo created this infographic that gives us some industry insights into market research in the digital age.

Larry Kim, Founder of WordstreamLarry Kim is the founder of WordStream, a leading search marketing software and services provider based in Boston, managing approximately a half-Billion in annual ad spend across over ten thousand customers. He regularly shares his advice and insight with over a million visitors a month at his WordStream Blog and is a top contributor for leading industry publications including Inc. Magazine, Social Media Examiner, Search Engine Land and Social Media Today.

Larry has spoken at or keynoted numerous industry events including INBOUND, SearchLove, SMX, Pubcon, PPC Hero Conference, ClickZ, Marketing Festival, SEMPDX and many others. He was recently named “Most Influential PPC Expert” for 2015, 2014 and 2013 by PPC Hero Blog, and won Top Search Marketing Awards for 2015 from the US Search Awards and Search Engine Land.

Larry recently founded a Chatbot Building Platform called MobileMonkey ( Update: 2017 ). In this interview he talks about his company Wordstream and the startup journey, small business marketing, Google’s rank brain and more. Read on.

“Useful X Enjoyable X Inspired = Innovative Content” – Ann Handley

Our mistakes as content marketeers can cost us a lot, and worse yet, more often than not – it is difficult to see what our mistakes have cost us.

Honestly, I think ‘damage control’ is not really a very feasible option for marketing on the internet, because once it’s out there it’s out there. The only option we have is to take careful, well-calculated steps and do everything possible to avoid mistakes in the first place.

Many of us think that marketing is a pretty mechanical job – build a product, look up for best practices online, throw a bright spotlight on the proposition, and done. If only it were that simple!

Personally, in my attempt to market Hiver, I made a few not-so-obvious discoveries. Not everything they teach you at business schools can be put to good use – the hard truth that very few like to talk about.

There are lessons that were always meant to be learnt the hard way – lessons that books, and blogs do not talk of.

It isn’t easy being a bricks and mortar retailer these days. Many retailers feel they are fighting a losing battle with the growth of online retail. However, bricks & mortar retailers need to understand that the vast majority of sales are still made in-store.

One interesting trend is the amount of people using their smartphone to check reviews in-store. In this instance, technology is hugely beneficial to bricks and mortar retailers. The vast majority of consumers who check reviews online will buy the item in-store, rather than waiting for the online delivery of the item.

Now that we know people want to buy in-store, how do you create an environment that maximizes the potential of the sale? The most successful retailers are the ones who turn their store in to ‘hubs’. For example, simple things such as optimizing in-store WIFI enables customers to research items more easily, and increases the chances that they will buy the item in-store.