Friday, December 2, 2016

Google My Business Improves Notification Settings


Recently Google made an important announcement to the market that they had made significant improvements to the Google My Business Package.


These changes will now allow any and all Google My Business users more direct control over the notification settings and their ability to choose what they want and don't want to be notified about by Google. 
Contained within this, Google are additionally integrating added types of updates which they believe will provide additional value and relevance to understanding your business. 
This new format as pictured above is a hybrid of the previous preferences contained within the new set of settings, that users will begin receiving from Google moving forward..
Importantly as stated you the user will have the ability to preferentially choose or not choose any of the available options and be able to change that preference on the settings page at any stage in the future as your needs may also change.

To do this you simply click on or off the notification option and the change is automatically recorded by the system from that point. The link to unsubscribe will also routinely appear in the footer of all notification emails should you wish to stop receiving the notifications.

So another nice refinement by our friends at Google that will hopefully provide even deeper insight and clarity around your business dynamics. To learn more about all aspects of social and digital marketing simply click on:
http://victorianchamber.com.au/business-solutions/training/course
and select a course that's right for you.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Virtual Reality Update: VR Box Series (II)

Since the last recent post on virtual reality I know a lot of people have asked about the content side of things that is required once you have your VR headset and Bluetooth controller.


Thankfully there is a sea of free or extremely low cost, quality content that is extremely easy to get online and use on your VR Box Series II..



From the point of view of quality existing content for schools,  the Google Expeditions site is here:

The experience comes from the app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.vr.expeditions), downloadable onto any Android device/phone and suits Google Cardboard - our VR headsets are the same as Google Cardboard but better, they're solid plastic and visually appealing.
 From the Google support article for getting started (https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/6335093?hl=en&ref_topic=6334250):
Expeditions are group experiences with a guide leading and the explorers following along. We recommend a tablet for the guide and phones, a virtual reality viewer, for the explorers.

If you want to put together your own kit, you can use the app with Android tablets and phones. Expeditions will run on any Android device running KitKat (Android 4.4 and above) but multiple devices are required to use the app. Essentially for any BYO teacher kits, our headsets are perfectly fine.



Also note anything with the following Google Cardboard icon, is compatible with the VR Box Series (II) headsets.



 Updated information on this incredible unit is available at:
https://verve.digital/vr-box/ It is a truly impressive unit that simply requires a modern smartphone runs on any regular mobile and does not require a laptop to run off ensuring a greater level of freedom of movement.


Some additional great immersive (360) videos can also be obtained from:
  1. Jaunt: https://www.jauntvr.com/
  2. 360Rize: http://video.360heros.com/
  3. Littlstar: https://littlstar.com/
  4. Discover VR: http://www.discoveryvr.com/
  5. YouTube (There is a growing range of 360 degree videos here): https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=360+video
  6. Google Play & Apple Store apps

So regardless of how proactive you have been to this point, the advent of Virtual Reality technology now affords another exciting opportunity to differentiate your business offering from competitors and provide an even higher degree of value added service delivery that will continue to allow for a more interactive and immersive brand experience.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Painful Lessons to Be Learned Through The Samsung Note 7 Experience

Background

Too often the history of our collective corporate experience has repeatedly chronicled  the failings of companies that have brought products to the market without having performed the required amount of due diligence and as such have let down, financially disadvantaged and in extreme cases even harmed their customers.


Multiple Examples

In recent memory for example examples have been highlighted from various markets including Toyota from the motor vehicle market with their tragically under tested brakes that caused the deaths of unsuspecting drivers, pharmaceutical products such as some statins and T Channel blockers that were directly connected to patient deaths and now we find The Samsung Note 7 which potentially, whilst charging may in some cases catch on fire.


Implications

 For Samsung the implications are indeed dire. Approximately 2.5 million phones have been recalled globally and incredibly the replacement phones were also prone to the same fault. Initial financial data released to the market suggested that this mistake will cost the company around five billion dollars and more importantly will force them to shut down what was one of the biggest and most prestigious brands in telecommunications, namely The Samsung Note.

No doubt the product designers and technical staff are already at work trying to redesign a new flagship that long with some inspiring marketing may yet re-position it as a winning brand for the future.  Of course this will all take time and as the clock continues to click other android makers such as Google with its Pixel phone and Apple with its i Phones are naturally the big winners as the users are forced to switch across to other phones.

The Way Forward

For Samsung and all of us watching some serious lessons need to be learned. 
1. When you make a mistake, you need to own it.  Samsung knew about the problem and initially were very slow to respond.
2. When you do respond, be measured and put the customer's needs first. Samsung rushed  replacement units out again without and proper due diligence which again put their customers lives at risk.
3. Apologise.  If Toyota from the example above deserve credit for one thing it is that they did admit fault, and went on the proverbial front foot early to make positive changes. This approach I suspect bought them good will amoungst the PR disaster that they were involved with.

So moving forward let us wait and see what Samsung do next and how they learn from some terrible mistakes that have hurt their brand so profoundly this year

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.


 







Thursday, October 20, 2016

Targeting Facebook Ads to Specific Business Locations



 
Facebook now allows you to specifically target your businesses Facebook ads to individual addresses. This provides an obvious advantage to those businesses that would ideally benefit from location based targeting.
 
The number of possible examples for such a system are endless but as a simple illustration imagine a mobile coffee vender that   drives around and wants to promote their business and perhaps promotional codes that incentivise first time and repeat usage of their coffee.

Such a business would be able to send the ads to actual physical addresses where the maximum chance of usage would be in play not to mention the maximum potential benefit from the customer who works there and therefore receives the maximum amount of convenience by having the coffee delivered to their doorstep.






So here's how you go about it.


1. Design the campaign based on what it needs to convey to the intended target audience.
E.g. Buy a coffee and bring this included bar-code for a free muffin.
External content can also be leveraged here with hyperlinks to: additional pictures, videos or posts.

Then simply post this tailor made content and core message on your Facebook page.

Now you can utilise the Ads Manager function that will allow you to deliver that same message to specific locations. Alternatively this can also be accomplished via the Create Campaign function under Business Manger.




Access the Ads Manager and start a new campaign.
This will drive you to another display with various options to select from. For this example, the best option is the first, Boost Your Posts. Make a  selection from the sidebar to choose preferred campaign objectives.

Name your campaign as a matter of Standard Operating Procedure  and then click on the Set Audience Option to proceed.

2. Decide on Your Targeted Audience

Here you make a conscious decision on who will see the ad based on location. The:
More Demographics Options allows for example you to target Workers by Employer name, Job title, industry or office type making it a simple matter to precisely control who will see the ad.

3. Set a Budget

As is the case with Adwords or any other digital advertising option setting a realistic budget is an important step. You can set the daily budget and the number of days that it will run for. So for example if you set a $3 per day budget to begin with for 7 days you know ahead of time that it will cost you $21 for the week to assess how effective this type of advertising is for you.

Additionally Facebook provide the option of naming the ad so that in a setting of multiple ads for that campaign where AB Testing is happening, it will be simple to assess the relative success of each individual ad.

4. Write the Ad

Click on the Choose Your Ad Creative

You may chose to select  an Existing Page Post drop-down list to the left of the preview.
Select your content and place your order.



The current limitation is that as things stand we can only target one location per ad although this may change moving forward.

So if you think this system could help your business, give it a try and see what impact it has on your sales.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.


Regards,
Daniele.




Saturday, October 1, 2016

Differentiation Through The Delivery of Skill, Consistency and Higher Levels of Strategic Thinking


The All Too Familiar Status Quo

Despite what many people claim, in my experience the simple reality is that in most cases the businesses that I have seen and worked with, show little if any real differentiation between themselves and their competitors. The result of this being that usually the consumer in the absence of any compelling point of difference, understandably resorts to simply comparing prices to determine which option provides them with better value, which in turn leads to price wars that systematically bleed all profitability out of markets and leave all players vulnerable to anyone that can lower the price below the current level.




 Any Market Offering Can Be Differentiated

I'm pleased to say that recently I saw a new business first hand that is certainly doing all it can to change this scenario for the better. Specifically Con Pedis  (pictured above) is the new principal for the newly opened Craigieburn Branch of Professionals Real Estate at:
Shop B00-04A:Craigieburn central, Craigieburn, 3064, Victoria, Australia.

Con was presented in recent months a real challenge of selling a charming and classic period style home in an area where most buyers were looking for newer, brick, largely, modern kit homes with more space and less intrinsic appeal.  A difficult task that had proven too difficult for others and would require a well thought out strategy and plan to work.

Accordingly Con began by submitting a brilliantly descriptive piece on the home to the local paper that along with the pictures, beautifully captured the home's intrinsic beauty and elegance whilst outlining all the authentic features and specifics that would provide potential buyers with a rare property with so much obvious value.

Con negotiated to have an article placed in the local newspaper in both the hard-copy as well as the online version on the paper's website, ensuring that all interested parties would have access to this information.

As well as this master stroke, Con also arranged for a well though out advertising campaign to run concurrently through the key outlets including specialist press, corporate website, direct mail and outdoor signage, all strategically designed to provide promotional support for the target market.

From the point of view of home inspections again Con left no stone upturned with a  well timed series of planned and extended, open inspections along with any additional personlised one on one inspections as requested.


Filling Customer Needs

 In every instance Con was ensuring that the specific needs of the target market were being fully recognised and met. This distinctive property was a classic case of a niche market.

To sell it Con brought his all his proven expertise and experience to bare and designed a game plan that would appeal to that specific individual that was interested in this type of property.

From a personal point of view  I rarely get to see such a  high level of professionalism, attention to detail and above all commitment and consistency in service delivery. Cons open, honest and transparent approach created an optimal environment for effective negotiation, that ultimately lead to a‘Win, Win’ situation for both the Vendor and Purchaser. 

His approach is a case study in itself of how intelligent planning and strategy can drive genuine and meaningful differences that provide customers with the outcomes that they value.

Certainly even in markets that are largely though to be generic, people make all the difference.
That is to say the Right People who have the knowledge, experience and proven track record, that are above all are committed to working with you to achieve your goal. 


Con Pedis is one of those rare people who has truly raised the bar in his industry and should act as a guide for other businesses to follow. 

Con can be contacted on: 


PH: 9303 8440
M:  0413 123 643
E: con@professionalscraigieburn.com.au



So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.







Tuesday, September 27, 2016

VR Set To Revolutionise the Worlds of Business and Training

Over the last ten years there has been an undeniable and ongoing swing in the importance of all things social and digital in business marketing. As business people we have become aware of the universal customer need to for businesses to become much more interactive, experiential and ultimately engaging.



Businesses that have adopted this mantra have certainly enjoyed a first mover advantage over slower, less responsive rivals. Not surprisingly the technology we use is also continuing to evolve and support this customer need and the most obvious example of this is in the form of the Virtual Reality Units and Bluetooth Controllers that have a virtually unlimited number of potential business applications.

Despite some brands being priced very high with price tags of between $600 to $3000 per single unit, I'm pleased to say that other quality, entry level units are much more affordable and given their quality, functionality and access to large amounts of impressive free content, represent true value for SME's in particular.

One such option is the VR Box (Series II) model that has just been released. https://verve.digital/vr-box/ It is a truly impressive unit that simply requires a modern smartphone runs on any regular mobile and does not require a laptop to run off ensuring a greater level of freedom of movement.
There is a plethora of content online where much of it is actually available free. Some great immersive (360) videos can be obtained from:
  1. Jaunt: https://www.jauntvr.com/
  2. 360Rize: http://video.360heros.com/
  3. Littlstar: https://littlstar.com/
  4. Discover VR: http://www.discoveryvr.com/
  5. YouTube (There is a growing range of 360 degree videos here): https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=360+video
  6. Google Play & Apple Store apps
Even as a teaching tool for teachers and trainers, many of these can be woven into teaching classes, such as the Shipwreck and underwater shark experiences, space exploration, city flyovers, sporting and events etc.

Also interesting to note is that the Google cardboard app and related content can also be viewed on these headsets as they implement the same VR viewing methods via a smartphone.

In terms of dedicated curriculum, Google has launched Google Expeditions (https://www.google.com.au/edu/expeditions/) where the VR learning and experience comes from the downloadable app. The full Google Expeditions kit is not required and at its foundations each student would have a headset and the teacher would facilitate the learning experience from e.g. a tablet, all connecting to a single access point (WiFi).

So regardless of how proactive you have been to this point, the advent of Virtual Reality technology now affords another exciting opportunity to differentiate your business offering from competitors and provide an even higher degree of value added service delivery that will continue to allow for a more interactive and immersive brand experience.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Advertise On Pinterest With Promoted Pins




What Are Promoted Pins

When you have important visual pins that will drive business for you, Pinterest gives you the option of paying for Promoted Pins which is the advertising modality within Pinterest.
When you scroll down your personal feed you will read the term: Promoted By on pins which designate promoted pins the way Google Adwords have ‘Ad’ on them.  Any pin that is public can be promoted in this way.
Essentially as a first step you need to think critically about the thing that is central to what your business does. In other words what is your ‘core’ business? Within any area you will be able to see the level of activity within Pinterest as measured by the number of people that follow that area.

Mobile Friendly Video Pins

Pinterest have now also confirmed that you can now also incorporate Promoted Video Pins that are at this stage at least, being targeted exclusively to mobile users that as we know make up the vast majority of Pinterest users with over 80% of use happening on a mobile device. These video pins are viewed on the mobile screen as an animated GIF and when selected direct the viewer to the full video.
As an added incentive those businesses that use these new video pins will be able to at no cost, add six free pins below the video. These complimentary pins show as a carousel under the video, and are used to provide additional content regarding the product being marketed.  

Currently the videos are on third-party video players like YouTube but Pinterest is developing its own video system so it is just a matter of time until it replaces the current system and users will upload video content directly the Pinterest system.

Using Promoted Pins

The key benefit with the use of Promoted Pins is that you can effectively target defined groups where you create an ad campaigns based on three main business goals: Namely: Awareness, Engagement and Traffic.

Brand awareness campaigns allow you to promote your pin to your target market using a Pay per Impression (PPI) model of 1000 impressions.   Whilst with engagement ads, the Pay per Click (PPC) system is used where you pay each time someone clicks and enlarges your pin, repins your pin, saves your pin, or clicks and your pin.With traffic campaigns, the business pays for each click-through on your pin.

Personally as with Adwords which is also PPC I have always preferred the value that PPC ads provide. 

Budgeting for a Promoted Pin Campaign
Pinterest will provide you with a CPC budget estimate based on the keywords and interests you are targeting. Typically it will be around a dollar plus per click so it is more expensive potentially than a Google Adword but I believe a good complement to it.
For brand awareness campaigns, you will be looking at around 3 to 5 dollars per click.
Industry reports say that around 5% of all pins are promoted pins.
Image result for pinterest promoted pins options

Buyable pins are also now available as promoted pins represent a change where when you buy you no longer need to be transferred to the seller’s site.

So until next time, Good luck and good marketing.

Regards,
Daniele.