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Marketing in the New Year: Looking Ahead to 2016

December 18th, 2015 No comments

2015-2016As we glide through the final days of 2015 (we hope you are gliding rather than stumbling), it’s not too late to think about what’s on tap for 2016 as we plan for the soon-to-arrive new year.

For the past few months, many articles have been written with predictions of the hottest marketing trends for 2016. Here are a few to consider.

Search/SEO:

The number of people who use online search to find health or medical information continues to increase. And the majority of health information searches start with a search engine, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Thus, SEO continues to be an important component of digital strategy. However, some recent changes related to search engines can impact your SEO strategy moving forward:

• Yahoo has begun to partner with both Bing and Google. This means that Yahoo searches can show Google search results – including organic listings and paid ads – which can increase your exposure in searches. It also means that Bing’s ads will appear in 51% of desktop searches delivered by Yahoo.
• With the release of Windows 10 earlier this year, Bing ads are getting a lot more exposure because Bing is the default search engine in Microsoft’s new OS. Search has been made a more integral feature in Windows 10 by having a search box appear at all times in an onscreen task bar.
• Microsoft’s new Edge browser (the replacement for IE) helps to facilitate searches by allowing the user to highlight text in the browser and right click, after which Cortana can bring up the search results in a sidebar.
• Bing Native Ads was recently launched with ads appearing across MSN.com (the default start page for Windows 10). These ads can be managed via the Bing Ads interface.
• Social media, specifically Facebook, are working on strengthening their search functions. This should lead to greater brand exposure. In addition, advanced social media searches can include functions such as making purchases and engagement about what was purchased and opinions about products and services.

Emerging Social Platforms:

• Everybody is on Facebook and Twitter, and many organizations also utilize LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. However, a somewhat surprising player is quickly rising in the social media universe: Snapchat. In fact, social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk predicts that Snapchat will be one of the top three social media platforms for the 13-50 year old demographic in 2016. Over the past couple of years, Snapchat has become very popular with young people, in large part due to the fact that Snapchat posts disappear shortly after they are viewed. Longer posts where several individual Snaps are combined, called Snapchat Stories, disappear after 24 hours and can be viewed multiple times by followers during the 24-hour period.

As with Vine and Instagram, spontaneity is the key to using Snapchat. So Snapchat can be useful for real-time engagement over a short period, like a flash sale, a limited-time coupon or other offer, a giveaway, or even to build up anticipation for an upcoming event.
• Snapchat Ads are still in limited use, but show promise for mobile ads in particular, because the video ads take up the full screen of the mobile device, thus better capturing the user’s attention.
• Facebook has a local services listing page in development. Similar to Yelp or Angie’s List, this feature will allow Facebook users to connect with local service providers. For organizations already active on Facebook, this feature looks to provide an additional means of connecting with customers.

Virtual Reality (VR):

VR is getting a boost in 2016 with the introduction of Oculus Rift. As this device – and the others that will surely follow it – becomes ingrained into common use, its potential marketing uses will be revealed. One marketing aspect for which VR shows promise is personalization. With the ability to tell stories from a 360-degree perspective, the promise for consumers to become immersed in marketing campaigns is ripe for development.

Internet of Things (IoT):

IoT has been on the horizon for a while now, as items such as wearables and connected devices have become more common. It is predicted that wearables will achieve a 28% adoption rate in 2016. Wearables and connected devices generate data, which can be mined for detailed information about the users and lead to more personalized engagement. It’s possible that we may see the first wearable native ads in 2016. The future of the IoT is certainly promising for marketers.

Mobile:

Mobile technology has become a core component of digital marketing. But advances continue. In 2016, you’ll need to consider:

• Google’s “mobilegeddon.” Back in April, Google updated its search algorithm to promote mobile, responsive-friendly Websites. If your organization’s site(s) is not optimized for mobile, Google will penalize your site in search results. In addition, people don’t want to use a site that’s not easily viewed or used on their mobile devices. With 80% of local searches performed on a mobile device and 91% of Americans keeping their mobile devices within reach 24/7, your organization must consider mobile as the center of its marketing strategy.
• Will Facebook become completely mobile in 2016? In the 3rd quarter of 2015, the equivalent of 47% of Facebook monthly active users were mobile-only users, an increase from 34% during the same period in 2014.
• Mobile wallets will be a standard feature on new Smartphones and more retailers will accept payments from proximity payment platforms such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and others. Mobile wallets provide an opportunity to connect with customers with coupons, rewards/loyalty programs and other options as they pay with their phones.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for marketers. We look forward to the opportunities and challenges, and we’re sure you do as well.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a Happy New Year to all!

Get Your Social Media Strategy Ready for 2015

December 19th, 2014 No comments

social media 2014It’s getting late in December as we slide down the fast track to 2015. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day – they all fly by so quickly!

Along with everything else you’re doing to wind down 2014, you should take a few minutes to consider your social marketing strategy for 2015. Even if you have a social media plan in place, it’s a good idea to review and tweak it at least once a year.

Here are some points to consider when reviewing your social media strategy:

  • What are your 2014 analytics telling you? Knowing how many Facebook likes and shares, Twitter retweets and Pinterest pins you garnered this year is nice, but there’s more to the data than these numbers. You should dig deep enough to learn:
    • The type of traffic being referred to your Web site by social media
    • To which pages the social media traffic is referring visitors
    • The conversion rate of referred traffic
    • What your competition is doing.
  • Are your social media objectives stated clearly? If your objectives are not clear and measurable, you’re more likely to flounder in meeting your goals. Also, if you’re considering new social media efforts, like Facebook ads or promoted tweets, you need to be clear about why you’re doing it and have specific goals to meet. All social media tactics should have specific goals and different social media channels have different strengths and potential impact.
  • Is your social media strategy integrated with your owned, earned and paid channels? Your social media plan should be co-dependent on your owned channels and generating earned media. Are you using social media to support all your channels?
  • Have you performed an audit of your social media channels for 2014? Just because everyone else is on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean your organization should be, if the ROI isn’t favorable. If an audit shows that one or more social media channels isn’t bringing in the expected traffic, do you have an alternate strategy to replace it? Maybe you should.
  • Are you keeping up with changes/new players in the social media space? New social media channels are popping up on a regular basis. While many of these new channels are “niche” channels that aren’t necessarily pertinent to your organization, you should at least assess the latest channels to see if they might be appropriate for your particular brand and/or target audience.

Whatever your social media strategy, it’s important to assess and evaluate your strategy to ensure that all parts are working efficiently and effectively together.  We’d love to hear what you’re doing and learn about your results. Let us hear from you.

And in case we don’t talk with you again before 2015, all of us at Greystone.Net wish you a happy and joyful holiday season. We look forward to what 2015 holds for us all.

 

 

Categories: Social Media, Strategy Tags:

Factors Influencing Emergence of the CDO Role (Part 2 of a Series)

August 29th, 2014 No comments

chief_digital_officer_cool_600In the first of this series, we talked about how the roles of the CMO and CIO/CTO are converging with (and sometimes into) the role of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Now, let’s look at what’s driving this role merger. A primary driver of the emergence of the CDO role is, of course, the move to digital transformation. With the number of mobile devices exceeding the number of PCs and Wi-Fi nearly ubiquitous, it’s essential to have a marketing leader in place who’s up-to-speed with the latest technology and trends.

Traditional marketing strategies alone no longer bring about engagement with today’s customers. An organization’s marketing and branding strategy must be re-evaluated from the ground up in order to appeal to an increasingly tech-savvy audience.

A Few Key Concepts

 

The concept of converged media means a marketing leader must work to leverage all types of media to reach the target audience. In the past, an organization could focus primarily on paid media (TV/radio/newspaper ads, mail campaigns, etc.) and work to get exposure on free media. But this is no longer a viable strategy. Today’s organization must develop a workable strategy with online and social media components forming a large part of the overall plan. Using converged media is important because:

  • It takes multiple exposures to a message for consumers to believe it.
  • While social media is pervasive and popular, not as many people see social media content as you may think.
  • Leveraging earned media within your owned channels brings customer loyalty because they want to help you tell your story once they’ve been won over.

 

The patient experience is becoming the heart of modern marketing because:

  • Distance between a communications message and patient experience has collapsed to a click.
  • The experience often starts online and crosses all devices, defines your brand.
  • Social media gives everyone who has a experience with you – good or bad – the ability to share their story with others.

For these reasons, the patient experience is now paramount to marketing. Just remember to focus on the “patient journey,” not just individual interactions.

 

More and more, the marketing technologist is an essential member of the marketing team. With increasing sophistication of technology, an understanding of the underlying components of the various platforms is required. This doesn’t mean that marketers need to be coders. But every marketing organization must become technology‐savvy. In other words, good marketing management now incorporates good technology management – a necessary component that provides differentiation and competitive advantage.

 

Big data … you already have much of it, but you have to be able to leverage it effectively. Every year, a half trillion dollars is spent worldwide on marketing, yet nearly 40% of it is deemed “wasted.” Data enables you to be more targeted, more effective and efficient and provides a platform to prove it. Big data is the missing link between marketing actions and results. When developing and managing your data, you should:

  • Find a data savvy manager, which isn’t easy.
  • Find a good data partner.
  • Use data to sync up corporate goals and strategies.
  • Think big, but build incrementally.

 

Finally, in a time of increasing technology and shrinking resources, the ability to implement agile marketing is essential for a modern marketing leader. You can no longer survive with just a static annual marketing plan. Agile marketing lets you get more done, in less time, with better results. Consider the 70:20:10 balance:

  • 70% of your marketing is planned “marketing as usual” activity.
  • 20% of your marketing is programmatic (marketing automation), in which campaigns are automatically triggered by an event and deployed according to a set of rules applied by software and algorithms.
  • 10% of your marketing is purely responsive.

These are some of the trends shaping the role of a Chief Digital Officer.

Next time, we’ll talk about how a marketing leader positions himself/herself for becoming that digital leader.

 

 

Categories: Big Data, Branding, Social Media, Strategy Tags:

HCIC: Backstage Pass Webinar Series Continues This Week

July 15th, 2013 No comments

Backstage PassIf you haven’t already signed up for this week’s HCIC: Backstage Pass presentation to be held on Thursday, July 18th, you’ll want to be sure to sign up today! At Noon CDT, Mark Glyzewski, Multimedia Supervisor, and Anne Theis, Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, from Salem Health in Salem, Oregon, will speak on the social media topic, “Stepping Up Your Online Content.” The session, which will run until 1:15 p.m., is one of the social media topics being presented during this Webinar series.

Mark and Anne will discuss how their organization, located 50 miles from the metropolitan news outlets in Portland, took an innovative approach to dramatically increase news coverage and exposure in their market. Hiring a news reporter from Portland, Salem Health launched an internal strategy designed to do the following:

  • Attract Portland, OR, television media to do more stories on Salem Health.
  • Package news in such a way that Portland TV could do stories without traveling to Salem.
  • In the absence of media interest, produce their own news and publish online.
  • Take advantage of story opportunities when Portland media is in Salem for government or other business.

As part of their presentation, Mark and Anne will share strategy and approach, case examples and results.

Each Backstage Pass session is $95. The sessions are presented as a Webinar so all you need to do is block off the time on your schedule and get an internet connection and a comfortable chair. And if your plans should change after you register, don’t worry – you can get a recorded copy of the live session within a week of the original presentation. Register now for this week’s session, as well as the remaining two sessions.

And don’t forget next month’s presentation on August 15th: “Google Analytics: Beyond PageViews and Visits,” presented by Joe Ebeling and Cesar Paredes from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri..

Categories: Best Practices, HCIC, Social Media Tags:

HCIC: Backstage Pass Webinar Series Continues This Week

June 17th, 2013 No comments

If you haven’t already signed up for this week’s HCIC: Backstage Pass presentation to be held on Wednesday, June 19th, you’ll want to be sure to sign up today! At 12 noon CDT, Christine Bon, Senior Web Specialist and Jonathan Fine, Director, Web Services at Advocate Health Care in Oak Brook, IL, will speak on the social media topic, “Marketing Physicians via the Web and Social Media.”The session, which will run until 1:15 p.m., is one of the topics that will be presented over the next few months during this Webinar series.

Backstage PassChristine and Jon will discuss their organization’s new campaign that uses the Google Display Network with a series of banner ads to track consumer interest in Advocate physicians. Hear how Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being used to leverage and build awareness of live streaming video chats to promote physicians and build relationships with communities and patients.

Each Backstage Pass session is $95. The sessions are presented as a Webinar so all you need to do is block off the time on your schedule and get an Internet connection and a comfortable chair. And if your plans should change after you register, don’t worry – you can get a recorded copy of the live session within a week of the original presentation. Register now for this week’s session, as well as the remaining three sessions.

And don’t forget next month’s presentation on July 18th: “Stepping up Your Online Content,” presented by Mark Glyzewski and Anne Theis from Salem Health in Salem, Oregon.

Categories: HCIC, Social Media Tags: