The Art of Consumer Engagement

When futurist Alvin Toffler talked about the upcoming “experiential industry” in his 1971 book Future Shock, he pointed out that people would be willing to collect experiences as consciously and passionately as they once collected things. Indeed, as highlighted in Forester’s annual report, companies with better customer experience tend to have more loyal customers. When consumers like the experience you deliver, they are more likely to consider your brand for another purchase and recommend you to others.In today’s world, consumers are ever more empowered to support things they really believe – this is simply called the feel good factor. With emerging technologies shifting the power from the marketer to consumers, companies should put more emphasis on engagement methods that will provide the right level of interaction and experience that consumers are looking for. By creating in-depth experiences, brands are not only continuing to make a deeper connection with consumers, but they are also creating great content and driving social sharing.Engagement is the journeyWhilst every brand wants more engagement with consumers, most companies still have not figured out how to meet the complex expectations of today’s connected consumers. With brands more focused on creating a demand measured in sales, companies need strong systems in place to better manage the customer experience across all channels.Here at Hotcow, we believe that great experiences are the best form of advertising. However, crafting an experience requires serious forethought and planning in order to generate successful results. Rather than focusing on the quantity of consumptive sales, brands need to identify or anticipate the needs of consumers and come up with clever strategies to fulfill these needs in order to lead to sustainable results.Empowered consumers have the tools to opt-out and block any type of marketing from brands. They enjoy the ability to consume only the content they want and use the same tools to disseminate their own thinking about brands lacking in their trust. With social media and review sites changing the game of how businesses need to respond to customer needs, brands need to focus their marketing efforts on offering intrinsic value beyond the sale of anything.Over the long haul, building trust with consumers is a much harder job than creating a sale; and in today’s scenario, it is also much easier to lose. Brands who offer consumers things that will make their lives easier and cleaner, improved services and consistent brand engagement activities are more likely to reach that so desired brand loyalty.The destination: LoyaltyIf the only way to achieve brand loyalty is through deeper engagement and intrinsic value, marketers need to re-evaluate how they will focus on customer retention. Your marketing must provide the appropriated level of interaction and experience to create richer connections and help consumers to make a positive impact on their lives at large.Consistent experiential activities should be built around a proactive process of matching consumers’ expectations in terms of needs, wants, aspiration and channel preferences. Only focusing on traditional loyalty programs is not enough to keep consumers excited. Consumers want to interact with brands and find the real value in it.Ultimately, brands should focus their attention on acting responsibly in the interests of the consumers, rather than just worrying about being held accountable. If marketeers make sure that what they are doing is likely to create value for consumers as well as for the company, the evidence they need afterwards to prove the effectiveness of their activities should take care of itself.

Tips For Buying Wooden Garden Furniture

Wooden garden furniture can add a touch of class and elegance to your home. You just have to make sure that you choose the right type of garden furniture. It should go well with the décor of your home, withstand the climatic conditions of your area, and meet your requirements.Here we discuss some tips for buying wooden furniture.Decide the Type of Wood You WantWooden garden furniture sets are available in different types of wood like teak, cedar, mahogany, eucalyptus, oak, pine, and bamboo. If you want something that can withstand rough weather conditions and last longer, you should choose teak. Teak furniture requires minimal maintenance and is resistant to moulds and termites. But, it is expensive. Eucalyptus is another good choice for outdoor furniture. It is sturdy and looks great in natural finish. Pine garden furniture is aesthetically beautiful, but can get damaged easily if kept in sun or rain for long. Cedar outdoor garden furniture is quite popular. It does not warp and split with aging. Moreover, it is resistant to insects. Whichever wood you choose, you should ensure that you cover your furniture when not in use. Paint it regularly to keep it looking new for years.Decide the Purpose Of Buying FurnitureIf you want furniture just for relaxing and spending some time with your family and friends in garden, you could think of a small table with a few chairs. If you intend to throw garden parties, you will need huge benches and tables that can comfortably accommodate your guests as well as food. For those who love reading and soaking in sun outdoors, a lounge chair or comfortable sofa is perfect.Measure the Space Available For FurnitureBefore you go shopping for your furniture, you should measure the space available for it. Avoid overcrowding your garden area with over-sized tables, armchairs, and swings. You should leave adequate space for people to move around. If you have limited space, you should choose space-saving furniture items like folding chairs.Decide What Style You WantIt is available in different styles like traditional and contemporary. You should choose a style that complements your garden area and also the décor of the rest of your home. For instance, for giving a wooded ambience to your garden, you should choose from teak furniture in traditional styles. But if you want to give trendy look to your garden area, you should choose from contemporary styles that are sleek and classy.Before you invest in outdoor garden furniture, you should properly assess your requirements. This will help you in selecting the right outdoor furniture. Apart from paying attention to style, size, and wood, you should also check how durable the furniture is and how much maintenance it would require.Nowadays, you can buy wooden garden furniture and patio furniture through online stores. Not only they offer good quality products at reasonable rates, but also have a wide range to suit different needs and tastes. Before placing your order, you should always check the shipping costs, delivery time, and return and exchange policy of the online dealer.

Do You Make These 5 Marketing Automation Mistakes?

Marketing automation has become a vital tool for businesses of every size. It can help you gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Speed up sales results. Plus, enable you to engage more contacts with personalized messages sent at the right time. So you can build good relationships.Yet not each marketing automation system is the same. In fact, very few have all the essential tools in one package of services. If so, that can cause you to integrate system parts from third parties that can cost you time and money, especially when things go wrong down the road.That is why it’s vital to first know what a full all-in-one marketing automation system is all about.Marketing automation is a server-based software that integrates different technologies.4 Automation Technologies Most Vital for Marketing CampaignsFirst, it includes a CRM that allows you to collect, store and use information about your contacts. To be able to segment your contacts by custom fields and tags, behavior – such as opening emails and clicking on links, plus purchases.Second, it includes an automated messaging system for emails, text, postcards and tasks. This allows you to send each message to contacts based on when they opted in, a date, behavior, purchase and more.Third, it has eCommerce functionality. It integrates order pages with a form and payment gateway for one-click purchases. Plus it can allow you to integrate with a shopping cart if you prefer. Most of all, it can automate processes based on successful or failed transactions, subscriptions, trial periods, payment plans, coupons and more.Fourth, it must have a campaign builder that enables you to take each contact on a personalized journey with measurable results. This allows you to create multiple campaigns for opt-in, sales, upsell, downsell and retention.A marketing automation system such as one by Ontraport can provide additional features. These include marketing tracking to help you see which ads, landing pages and emails are generating the most cost-effective results. Affiliate marketing and membership site to help you boost the number of customers and sales. Landing page and form builder to enable you to design professional looking sites in minutes. And a lead router and scoring system to help you and your sales team follow up leads and convert them into customers.Three key benefits of a marketing automation system are that you can customize it for your business. You can have multiple marketing campaigns at the same time that operate 24/7. Plus you can automate processes specific to contacts along their journey. But there are also marketing automation mistakes you can make along the way.Marketing Automation Mistake #1: Sending eMails to Contacts Who Did NOT Opt-in
Marketing automation involves permission based emails. That means you send emails to contacts who give you permission to send them information. You can get permission when each contact opt-in to your system. However, importing a list or manually adding contacts to your marketing automation system is a violation of SPAM rules. If you do this you can compromise the delivery of emails even to those whom give you permission.Marketing Automation Mistake #2: Not Maintaining a Database of Active Contacts
Even after you get a contact to opt-in, you must keep them active. That means, you must continually send them emails with relevant content to engage with at least once per week. Otherwise, they may forget you and not open the few emails you send. Over time, they can become less engaged, diminishing email delivery of your entire database. A re-engagement campaign is an effective method to get non-engaged contacts to interact with your emails again. You get these contacts to tell you if they’d like to remain on your list or opt-out. So you can maintain a consistent and clean contact database.Marketing Automation Mistake #3: Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
Marketing automation allows you to measure the results of your campaigns. This includes opt-ins, sales conversion, email open and click link rates, landing page visits, sales, ROI and more.However, focusing on the wrong metrics can cause you to misinterpret the true results. For example, you may have two campaigns where one has much higher open rates and lower click rates. Yet when you calculate click to open rates you can see an entirely different result. Before starting each campaign, it is vital to know the metric you seek to focus on to determine success.Marketing Automation Mistake #4: Not Split Testing Campaigns
All campaigns differ by the type and number of contacts, content and more. Split testing campaigns is the key to finding what works right. But the key to split testing is to test just one variable at a time. Such as a headline, price, offer, design or target audience. The campaign that wins is the new control. Then you can test other campaigns against the control.Marketing Automation Mistake #5: Not Having a Certified Consultant on Your Team
Marketing automation is both an art and a science. It requires a mix of technology know-how with direct response marketing expertise. Plus an objective mindset that is not biased toward the company or product. These are why it is best to have an independent consultant certified in the use of the marketing automation software on your team. To develop the strategy and build a custom automation system for your business. Plus, to train your team on using the system.