You may have recently received information about the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR is a new European Union regulation designed to significantly enhance the protection of EU citizen data privacy. The GDPR will employ discrete regulations for all organizations and businesses who collect or process personal data. The deadline for compliance is this Friday, May 25, so read below to see what you need to do!
Leap day is here. This special correction day occurs once every four years in order to sync our calendars to the seasons.
When working with clients to improve their financial performance, we are often presented with the task of measuring how marketing expenses impact their business. Of all of the expense categories that we analyze, we observe a marked level of debate within companies and business owners as to whether they are:
1) Spending the "right" amount on marketing
2) Allocating their budget toward the most effective marketing endeavors
While we aren't experts on the “artistic side” of marketing, Bridgesphere is uniquely positioned to use our financial models to help companies determine whether their marketing expenses are "appropriate" within the context of the financial health of their business.
Looking at Marketing as an Investment:
One of the reasons marketing expenses give rise to confusion is the notion that a portion of any company's marketing spend is probably an "investment", versus an "expense".
Marketing "investment" is generally considered to be those expenditures that are expected to generate revenue years into the future. For example, investing in new brand identity is an endeavor expected to yield financial benefits for years to come.
Marketing "expenses", however, are generally expected to yield their benefit during the current year. For example, this month's spend on LinkedIn ads are expected to generate a meaningful benefit to your company in the current month. In the future -- you have to spend more money on such ads to continue to derive any financial benefit.
A Pitfall in Analyzing Marketing Solely as an Investment
When management teams rationalize that current expenditures are expected to generate revenues well into the future -- incremental spending becomes easier to justify. That’s one reason marketing budgets get out of whack. Quite frankly, that is how poorly run marketing teams are able to bleed their companies of the very cash flows they need to preserve their financial health.
A critical exercise in analyzing your marketing spend involves striking a careful balance between marketing investments (cash spent today that is expected to provide long term benefits) and marketing expenses (cash spent today to provide a short term benefit).
How is this accomplished? By optimizing your marketing expense.
Superbowl 50 (#SB50) graced us with its presence this year in the Bay Area. The only thing I look forward to over Superbowl weekend are the commercials and the halftime show.
Since I didn't make it to the halftime show, the commercials were my source of entertainment. They showcased the usual suspects: chips, beers, car and gaming companies.
The overarching theme seemed to be individuality, empowerment to be who you are - clearly these brands are targeting the Bay Area’s growing population of Millenials and Generation z kids. Plus, there was an attempt at depth and emotion in promotion of the products or flat out ridiculous humor to be memorable. Despite the overall lack of creativity by the larger brands, some did manage to make me laugh or think differently. In addition, money was spent in other creative ways to promote brands, businesses and products. I note where specific brands were highlighted despite not paying for a 30 second spot at the Superbowl.
Content continues to be the most important portion of the marketing mix as is generates better search rankings and hopefully your target audience finding you.
However, with so much content in the world now, it’s easy for your target to miss your message. In fact, five exabytes of content were created between the birth of the world and 2003. In 2013, 5 exabytes of content were created each day.
In 2014, every minute:
Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
Email users send over 200 million messages.
Source: ACI Information Group http://bit.ly/1mNQHTW
Having a great content distribution strategy, timeline and tracking tool is the best way to organize your efforts and cut through the clutter to reach your target market. By this, I mean a strategic schedule posting to all of your online channels: website, blog, social media, email and ads. It relates to special events, happenings and ideas in your industry to be timely, relevant and useful. Some tips to remember:
Consistency shows your customer you are a credible expert in your field. Producing high-quality, relevant content addressing your target audiences challenges, problems, etc. will underscore your value and expertise. 1500 words is the ideal blog post length for link backs, credibility, keyword optimization. Knowing that life is full, this is not always possible, it’s important to continue to write, even if 200 words is what you can create! Be sure to use keywords relevant for your business and images.
How Much Should You Post on Social Media?
For more detail on this, refer to my blog post:, “ How Much Should I Post on Social Media?”
-Don’t be afraid to post more than you think you should, and be open to experimentation.
-Don’t be afraid to "repeat yourself”. Your customers may have missed the post the first time.
Treat the newsletter as the special place for those customers that will continue to purchase from you. They’ve signed up to be involved with you more than the average customer. Let them know about promotion prior to everybody else. They’re more likely to purchase from you. Customize your content whenever possible - use personalization in emails and subject lines.
This year, I’ve received many gifts. From family, friends and strangers. After having a wedding, ramping up my business and moving into a new community, venturing into new territory has shown me how compassionate humans can be.
With Fall comes events: conferences, special dinners, anniversaries which means the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to your customers. Plus this gives personality to your brand and business. Having digital tools to promote and enhance the offline experience ensures that you'll have a successful event. Further there are some simple ways to make your event flow smoothly for your audience.
Have you ever wondered why advertisers tap into our emotions when creating their ads? Every holiday season, Apple will show a video created to trigger emotions. Or, the ad will show the jaded teenager turning into a sappy home-video creator. I'll admit it, I get chills, each time I watch this video.