Case Study: SMS Gateway Nurtures Sales

So you don’t think your online sign up process needs SMS gateway support? Take the case of one our clients in the energy comparison business, who has given us permission to use their experience with our SMS gateway as a case study. For this article we will refer to them as ‘Energy-Comparator X.’ An involved online sign-up process needed some SMS problem solving. The gas and electricity comparison market is a high volume, low margin game. Timely acquisition is key to yielding big returns; and a high cancelation and drop-offs can be extremely costly on profits. Here’s a quick overview of the process involved to switch a customer from one energy retailer to another: Customer enters address details into comparator site. Comparison engine provides product offers in area. Customer chooses product offer and accepts terms and conditions. Customer service agent rings to verify the customer’s authority to ‘switch’ account. Comparator sends customer data to new energy provider. Customer is officially ‘switched’, and comparator gets paid for the sale. Energy-Comparator X had a problem. Cancelation and customer drop off was eating into profit. Switching an energy customer requires coordination of marketing, onsite sales messaging, customer service and old fashioned data entry. This process had 6 major links in the chain to sign up, and one major failing point. One core part of the sign up process is to verify the customer’s identity in order to switch the household’s electricity account. A customer service agent would have to ring the customer to authenticate they are not being fraudulent. This was all well and good for online sales made 9 to 6pm,...

A Brave New World – Social Customer Relationship Management

We are currently witnessing societal and business change not seen since the industrial revolution. The combination of mobile phones, the internet and social channels are revolutionizing every aspect of our lives. Within this brave new world where the customer is ‘front and centre and totally in control’ in terms of what and how they want to be engaged, we need to re-evaluate the traditional means of communication with current and potential customers when it comes to the online environment. Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) businesses have the ability to combine social media engagement with customer relationship management. For savvy businesses looking to capitalise on the next stage in the social/ technology revolution, SCRM is the next frontier. Presently there is a stampede of businesses jumping into social media via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. Unfortunately there are very few businesses that really ‘get’ social media and the opportunities it provides. For those businesses that understand the opportunity, SCRM provides them with vehicle to locate and engage with their customers. Gone are the days of trawling through business directories or purchasing email lists. Business can, for the first time, locate their target market in the numerous social channels, blogs and online communities. There are a number of ways you can locate your target market and l am happy to supply these to readers who are interested in receiving this information. All you need to do is either shoot me a message via Twitter @thesocialtonic, Blog thesocialtonic.co or Linkedin: stephenbduggan. Once you have found your customers, you need to interact with them on their terms not yours. This is the biggest mistake...

Measuring The ROI Of Your SEO Campaign

Hi everyone, my name is Mike van der Heijden and I work as a Senior Business Analyst at SEO Works, an Australian based SEO services provider with offices throughout Australia. I have been invited to be a regular contributor to Marketing.com.au on everything and anything in the wonderful world of online marketing. Today’s article discusses the various reports/information you should be requesting from your SEO professional or potential SEO company to ensure that you’re making the right investment with the right company. As I like to say, search engine optimisation professionals shouldn’t work for you, they should work with you. Even in this day and age there are still people (and companies) who are unsure about Search Engine Optimisation, and rightly so! SEO companies and professionals have been wrongly educating the general public on how to measure the success of a campaign. For years clients have been told that the success of a search engine optimisation campaign can be measured by traffic and rankings! Enter The Rankings & Traffic Metrics If you have ever engaged a Search Engine Optimisation company/professional, you undoubtedly have seen a “ranking report” and a “traffic report”. I won’t go into the details of each as the level of detail of these reports vary from company to company, but generally are an overview of traffic of your website (perhaps broken up by source e.g. PPC, Organic, Direct etc.) and the rankings of a list of keywords. Let me ask you a question, after your investment in SEO and seeing a ranking report and/or general traffic report have you gotten the feeling that what you (or...

Mobile Marketing Trends in 2012

The penetration of smartphone ownership in Australia is one of the highest in the developed world and the numbers are continuing to rise. According to Frost and Sullivan, around 41 per cent of Aussies currently own a smartphone and this number is expected to hit 65 per cent in the next five years*. For most Australians, the mobile phone is rarely out of sight, providing marketers with an almost constant point of contact with their target audience and presenting a range of opportunities to engage on a deeper level than ever before. Consumers can now be targeted with instant offers and promotions, based on factors such as their location, preferences and demographics. With new apps and m-commerce technologies being developed each and every day, mobile is a channel marketers cannot afford to ignore. To gauge how marketers are implementing mobile into their cross channel marketing and advertising strategies, Responsys partnered with Econsultancy to survey the behavior of 650 professionals from around the world. Respondents ranged from both companies (in-house marketers) and supply-side (including agencies and consultants) and the results paint a revealing picture of where mobile sits in the marketer’s list of priorities. Overall, we found that marketers are integrating a range of different mobile channels into their digital strategy, and while this is encouraging, it is also clear that many are missing an opportunity to further engage consumers and maximise revenue potential. Check out our infographic below to find out more and for a few tips in how to become a savvy mobile marketer. * The Frost and Sullivan Australian Mobile Device Usage Trends report 2012 Author Simon...

The Real Cost of Marketing

How much marketing costs, or how much to spend on marketing can be a very tricky question for a lot of companies to their collective head around. It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg scenario. You need to undertake marketing to attract clients but unless you have clients (and therefore a bit of cashflow), you can’t afford to undertake marketing. Sound about right? And when it comes to working out a marketing budget, how much to spend can be impossible to work out. How long is a piece of string? While we can’t answer that for you, we can give you some elements to consider when putting together a marketing budget. First of all, do you know what marketing actually is? What is marketing in a nutshell? In case you aren’t sure here you are: marketing is everything that your company does in order to reach your target audience and convince them to buy your product and service. Don’t forget about the second step in that definition. It is no good to just ‘reach’ your audience. You must motivate them to take action, to buy your product, to log on to your website, to phone your service number. This is the only way you are going to convert your marketing spend into profit. Otherwise, what’s the point of spending the cash at all? The next thing to remember is that marketing is a process, comprised of many elements, steps and phases. A good marketing campaign is not a two day TV ad placement. It is an integrated program which may include (but in way should be limited...