Online customer service has become very popular these days with the emphasis on internet enabled services. Enterprises are trying to ensure that they can attend more to their customers without having to go through the normal channels. However, even with this migration to the internet, a lot of challenges are still presented that pose bigger problems for businesses. Generally, customers tend to rate their experience in terms of the following:
i. The ease with which they get through their experience on the website
ii. The extent to which the site was able to satisfy their queries
iii. The ability of the site to provide the expected experience.
There are some basic solutions that online customer services make use of in order to deliver excellent customer service via the internet. These include the following: (more…)
Banner ads were one of the earliest types of ads that appeared on the internet and were certainly very popular. HotWired ran the first banner ad online in October 1994 for AT&T and subsequently became a source of revenue for online advert companies, generating estimated billions of dollars in ad revenue. Actually, banner ads became increasingly unpopular as a result of the roaring success of the paid search model popularized by Google. The standard measure of a banner ad’s success is the Click-Through Rate (CTR) and at its peak, banner ads had a CTR of 5% and above. These days however, banner ads command a CTR of just 0.2-0.3%.
In spite of the drop in the popularity of banner ads, it still remains a viable means of advertising and still appears on a lot of websites. Unfortunately, a great deal of the complaints regarding the efficacy of banner ads is as a result of the inability of the advertisers to observe the basic rules and changes in order to realize good results. There are some practices that can be incorporated into a company’s banner ad program that will have a positive effect on the campaign. (more…)
The term ‘web analytics’ refers to the collation, measurement, analysis and reporting of internet data. The objective of web analytics is to understand and optimize the usage of the web. Its use is not restricted to the measurement of internet traffic to a website but can also be used to carry out market and business research. Additionally, it can be integrated with a marketing campaign so as to understand the effects of the traditional means of advertising on the traffic to the company’s website. The fact however is that web analytics have become an imperative for the success of any online enterprise especially a small business as it gives the small business owner the opportunity to determine the response rates to the website’s online investments.
In carrying out web analytics, there are certain terms that are used widely, representing specific metrics. These include among others:
- Hit: This refers to a request made on a web server for a file
- Page View: A request made on a web server for a particular file representing a page on the site.
- Visit/Session: While a visit is defined as a number of requests from a unique visitor for a page with a time lapse between each request of not more than 30 minutes, a session takes place when the unique visitor does not depart from that site to another within that same time frame of 30 minutes.
- First Visit/First Session: This occurs when a website has a visit from a visitor who has not been to that site before.
In carrying out web analytics for your small business, it is important to take the following steps:
- Collate Data: The first thing that you must do is to collect sufficient data and you can easily do this using any of the web analytics tools like Google Analytics. These data include among others, web logs, form to email requests and CGI requests.
- Convert the Data: You will also have to convert the data generated by the web analytics tool to a format that you can easily work with. Luckily, most web analytics tools do most of the work for you.
- Data Analysis: Bearing in mind that web analytics helps you discover trends, you need to analyze your data by looking for the following:
- If there is a specific timeframe for some visits
- The most popular pages on the site
- Whether visitors browse more than a page before departing the site
- The average time used by your visitors on the site
- The source of traffic, if they come from search engines
- The primary exit pages for your site
- The sites linking to yours.
- Integrate The Insights Obtained: Now that you have gotten answers to these questions, you have to integrate the answers into your efforts by remedying any deficiencies.
- Watch The Difference: The purpose of the changes you are making is to create a better impression with your visitors. See how that works.
- Re-evaluation: Web analytics is not a one-off activity. Once you have implemented the necessary changes, you need to embark on re-evaluation to ensure that all is right.
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The emphasis in the early days of the internet was on the enterprise but today, that emphasis has shifted to the customer. It has become very obvious to many enterprises that the internet is the most potent platform for making a connection with their prospects and customers. If the right connection or impression is not made during the first visit, the ability to market to that person becomes difficult. Sometimes, the initiative is lost at that very moment and may never be regained; worse still, word could spread on the internet about that one bad experience which could negatively impact the enterprise.
Web 2.0 designs are in tandem with the current trends on the internet. These current trends greatly enhance the quality of interaction between an enterprise and the visitors to its site. This will in turn increase the marketability of the site. Five of such marketing trends include the following: (more…)
Web logs, popularly known as blogs evolved from being just a means of posting a comment on a webpage. Today, there is talk of the ‘blogosphere’ which obviously is expressive of the kind height and coverage that blogs have today. The importance of this kind of clout to enterprises is that it provides yet another opportunity to connect with it target market. Thus blogs have become a potent marketing tool for companies. The downside to this sphere is that given its over 54 million (and expanding) population, companies are not just having to introduce or reintroduce their brands, they are also having to monitor its perception in the blogosphere. This is very necessary if the brand is to avoid any negative tagging which could immediately its offline activities. In all, blogging ought to be a very important part of any company’s marketing strategy. Here are some reasons why: (more…)
Branding is a practice which is not restricted solely to large companies. Many small enterprises these days embark on branding campaigns but they do so on a small scale as against the large scale campaigns planned and executed by the bigger enterprises. Branding has definite objectives amongst which are:
i. Differentiation: A brand MUST differentiate itself from others in its field in other to even be capable of recall by the target audience. The ability to stand out of the crowd is a crucial objective of branding.
ii. Competitive Advantage: The need to have an edge above its competitors is also critical to the success of a brand. A successful branding campaign will ensure that a brand has a competitive advantage over others competing with it.
iii. High Brand Recall: If a brand is to be chosen above its competitors, it must be occupy a top position in the minds of its target audience and this position will result from a successful brand campaign.
Five low cost techniques that can be used to achieve the above objectives include the following: (more…)
As ecommerce continues to grow exponentially, more people are getting involved in it especially one of its facets; affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is simply the practice of promoting and selling the products or services of a merchant for a percentage of the profit accruing from the sale. As ecommerce grows in popularity and enterprises try to sell their products and services on the internet, many are turning to affiliate marketing to help them get an online salesforce to promote and sell their products. The field gets more crowded daily as more people join the affiliate marketing profession and as this happens, there is the need to strategize properly in order to succeed.
There are various techniques that can be applied in affiliate marketing to enhance the efforts as well as boost the chances of making actually sales. We will look at five of such techniques: (more…)
It is a popular position to think that human beings make purchase decisions based on emotional factors and not necessarily logical conclusions. The fact however is that any message aimed at getting people to make a purchase of goods or services must be presented in a way that strikes the prospects in a way that compels them to see the benefit to them.
One of the best ways of doing that is by crafting a good value proposition. A value proposition is a statement that presents in a graphic manner, the benefits, costs and value that a company can provide for its customers. The value proposition therefore encapsulates the value that the customer stands to gain as a result of consuming the goods, services or associating with the enterprise in question. It stands to reason therefore, that every enterprise must have a lucid value proposition to provide a measure of conviction in its customers. (more…)
Customers are generally known to be careful about the way they spend their money. A lot of consideration goes into the purchases made by customers but at the end, the question they always ask is this; ‘what do I have to gain?’ They want to know why they should buy a product or engage a company for service in preference over others. It is never an easy task for a marketer to craft a value proposition as it is an encapsulation of so many issues that combine at the end to present a compelling reason for the customer to deal with a particular enterprise instead of others competing with it. Furthermore, this value proposition is usually just a statement that condenses so much for the customer to digest easily. Therein lies the difficulty and the potholes facing most marketers and their companies. We can summarize these challenges like this: (more…)
It is very difficult to ignore Google today in whatever you are doing particularly in online business. The task of marketing your business has received a great deal of enhancement through Google’s innovations. As the online business scenario evolves, Google has continually added various web-based tools that have a positive effect on the efficacy of online business marketing. Here are five of those tools: (more…)
The marketing profession has undergone nothing short of a revolution since the advent of the internet. Several channels have evolved over time and rapid changes have been registered as professionals act as fast as possible to grasp these changes and then build the practice so as to take the maximum possible advantage. All this is done while making projection in to the future to predict ‘the next big thing’ in getting products and services to the consumers as well creating a favorable impression. (more…)
Marketing is one of the most strategic issues in the existence of an enterprise. The ability to effectively sell that enterprise’s products or services is a critical factor in its success. In fact, without being able to market its products or services, a business hardly has a chance to survive much more to thrive. The number of large enterprises is small compared to the small enterprises and most of the small enterprises lack the financial resources to acquire and use complex and costly marketing tools. There are however many low cost tools of marketing that are available to small enterprises to prosecute their marketing needs. Most of these tools are internet based and can be used online. Five of these tools that can be easily acquired and used include: (more…)
E-CRM can be defined as the use of the internet, various electronic touch-points as well other telecommunications related means to initiate and manage the relationship that exists between an enterprise and its customers/prospects. There are many technology channels today through which e-CRM programs are executed and managed.
There are many challenges inherent in the execution and implementation of an e-CRM project. There are issues of high costs that normally attend such programs. Beyond that however, other issues such as the difficulty in establishing metrics for measuring the success or otherwise of the program must be considered. (more…)
Social media has become a buzzword today, not just for personal users but also in the business world. As a matter of fact, it seems to be gaining a lot more ground in the business world as its popularity increases and the number of users of social media explodes. One of the best definitions for the term social media was give by Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein who defined it thus – “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content“. Examples of the popular social media available today include social networks, wikis, blogs as well as online communities. Amongst these examples exists specific tools or resources which include Youtube.com, orkut.com, linkedin.com, xing.com, facebook.com, twitter.com amongst many others. Social media marketing which has become so powerful today simply refers to the use of these tools for promotional purposes. These purposes could be for marketing, sales, customer service and feedback, Public Relations and even prospecting. (more…)