I have been using LinkedIn with amazing results and this led me to research more facts about this so in the last of our current series of infographics here are some impressive UK figures about LinkedIn.
We’ve been to a number of trade shows in the last few months and it’s still interesting to see that the number of companies offering email marketing solutions has not diminished. This led us to consider whether email campaigns continue to be an effective method for acquiring or communicating with your existing or potential customers.
Measuring results from your email newsletters involves a number of measures: -
- Open rates
- Click rates
- Bounce rates
- Abuse Complaints
- Un-subscribe requests
To really measure you also need to set-up and measure your goals however lets look at some headline industry facts courtesy of research by Mailchimp of 669,419,234 emails sent by their service.
Mail Chimp found that of emails featuring Daily Deals or Coupons only 19.3% of recipients open this with only 1.9% clicking through. So for every 1000 emails only 193 are opened with only a further 3.66 or 4 visitors going to the site which is about as low as it gets but the figures for Gambling are slightly worse with only 3.26 people visiting the site.
The most effective industry is Photo and Video services with 26 visitors for every 1000 emails closely followed by Construction & Architecture with 23 visitors.
By the way for our industry Marketing and Advertising the visitor rates are not much better than gambling at 4.5 visitors.
So it remains to be seen how effective email marketing remains but it remains a numbers game, for example there are reportedly 4.8 million businesses in 2013 in the UK. If we were to run a campaign for Volcanic to all of them, we could expect to have over 21,873 visitors. We just need a list of all their email addresses – Any clues where we could find them?
A few years ago 2010 we visited Old Trafford and attended a seminar at TFMA Manchester and were lucky enough to hear from their guest speaker from Google who was explaining how mobiles would be the most important device for selling to your customers. At the time only about 2% of visitors to a website came from Mobile devices but the gentleman was very sure and determined to get his message out.We listened and it proved to be probably the most important seminar we’d been to that year.
Two years on our customers are seeing an explosion in the visits from mobile devices and we can barely keep up with the demand in this space. So lets look at some of the statistics.
It is projected that by 2015 80% of the worlds phones will be Smart Phones with the leading Technology being that of Android Devices. By the end of 2013 mobile devices will overtake desktops as the method for browsing websites, quite a remarkable statistic.
Samsung is likely to overtake Apple as the main supplier of smart phones and only today Samsung announced that they had made a breakthrough in the development of 5G technology that will allow unprecedented data speeds making todays’ broadband feel like the dial up devices of the late 1990′s.
Do you have a mobile Strategy that is needed not only for Todays audience but for tomorrows?
Why not give Volcanic a call we may be able to help.
During my years in the digital arena I’ve seen many changes but probably the most interesting changes I’ve seen, is the move of responsibility for technology within an organisation.
I hope that by writing this I’m not giving away my age too much but when I first came across the use of technology in a company, it was the introduction of the word processors and accounts packages. At that time, the responsibility for the introduction of this technology was led by a few individuals who showed an interest, IT departments didn’t really exist but within a few years a whole new department formed and the birth of the IT Director and his team began.
By the time the 1990′s arrived and as we headed into the early 2000′s during the growth of the Internet, a shift in responsibilities started to occur, the Sales and Marketing Functions of companies started to get hold of budgets and to take control of the selection of technology and become the decision makers (much to the objection of the IT crowd).
As we entered the growth of Social again it was the Sales and Marketing teams that seemed to own the responsibility with IT departments playing the supporting role, however over the last year we have seen another shift, HR are starting to take back control of the recruitment process, Customer Services are now moving into Sales using the social media tools, Supply Chain Management and Finance departments are stepping forward.
Our observations are that Technology is no longer the domain of a single department or a number of departments but a Digital Strategy should be as important as the companies business plan and thus ownership is moving to Board Level. What does this mean for the IT Director remains to be seen however no company can survive nor thrive without it’s own clear digital strategy that encompasses all departments.
Volcanic have helped companies with their strategies, If you need help why not contact us
There’s a lot of discussion about how recruitment is changing, recently Volcanic (a Digital Agency, Manchester) has been involved in developing a system that helps recruiters take advantage of these changes and encourages them to create their own advanced talent pool to help find and contact potential candidates who are more passive than active.
We were recently commissioned to undertake some research into how the recruitment industry will change going forward. Our results showed that more of the talent acquisition and analysis will be undertaken either companies themselves in-house (by HR staff using power tools like LinkedIn) or through an outsourced managed service at a lower fee. Only a very small amount of talent will be acquired using recruitment companies and it will be those companies who have a very advanced talent pool system that will find passive candidates with the right skills and experience to fill the roles
Big Data – In Recruitment
With the changes in social behavior and data recording, once a candidate has been identified it is becoming easier to track that talent either by monitoring their profiles, adding their social presence and collating this data into a talent pool system. This concept is about ‘Big Data’, basically by having lots of data about candidates, their influence, activity and area of expertise. We can even add capability and psychometric testing into the data to get even better candidate views, If we then cross match the candidate data with the capabilities required from a role the candidate match will be better.
However it doesn’t end there as you add what the traits of what makes a successful candidate, we can further fine tune candidates and encourage development of candidates that do not quite fit.
The New Talent Pool
Recruitment Agencies, and HR departments should consider having a talent pool that: -
- Builds a ‘Big Data’ Talent Pool
- Allows for Mobile Job Applications
- Incorporates LinkedIn Integration
- Maps Social Profiles (other than LinkedIn) into the system
- Has advanced analytic tools
- Continues to map role capabilities to candidates
- Establishes what a top performer looks like
Volcanic have started to harness this power and have a number of clients that have seen the light – Have you?
I met a really talented photographer Ian Cartwright http://www.caramelphoto.com , I wanted to meet him because he specialised in photography for business. What I wanted to talk to him about was how to capture in an image that made a profile stand out or make it look Social.
In my previous blog I mentioned the importance of employer branding in the use and creation of social profiles, in this article I wanted to explain how you can stand out from the crowd by providing imagery that represents you in the right way on the right social platform.
I use www.gravatar.com this is what they say about their service ‘Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?’ It’s handy when writing the blog as people can see that I’m a real person not a company or name.
However on other profiles I may want to represent myself differently and particularly stand out: -
- Facebook – My images on facebook page says more about me as an individual they are more personal
- Twitter – for me is about my business and views and tends to be more professional
- LinkedIn – Is about business
- YouTube – can be both
- Word press is about my blog in this case for business.
- My business website profile represents what my company is about.
Ian gave me some great ideas and I wanted to share them with you: -
- Consider de-saturating photo’s rather than completely colour or black and white Lloyds bank do this really well http://www.lloydsbankwholesale.com/ have a look at some of their photo’s
- Rather do the standard portrait try to express more about who you are and what you do have a look at http://www.6wunderkinder.com/about it portrays a young fun company through using non-standard photographs
- Social is all about conversations so give viewers of your profile the starting point of a conversation by potentially revealing information about yourself through the picture
As the rise of social continues then as a company you should consider what your company or Employer Branding should say on your social profiles. LinkedIn recently improved the company overview section to allow businesses and employers to better demonstrate to their customers, suppliers, potential new candidates what there company is about.
Here’s a few tips to consider when looking at your employer branding: -
- Develop an Employer Brand Guidelines - that details the look & Feel or your brand, ensure that the tone of content reflects the company.
- Update all appropriate Social Profiles – Ensure there is a consistency to your employer brand across all the different social profiles.
- Consider providing Employer Brand Immersion days - so that your employees know what to do and what not to do when referring to their place of employment
- Amend Key Staff Social Profiles to reflect their role within the business and help guide viewers by telling them how to contact the company.
- Consider producing a Employer Brand Video or even a series of videos that capture the essence of what your business is about.
Once a employer brand has been produced, consider monitoring peoples comments: -
- Monitor employer review sites, such as Glassdoor.com to see how your employees view your business
- Listen across the various social networks to see how your employer branding is perceived
The benefits of a great employer brand are: -
- That your current employees will be proud to work for the company
- Potential candidates will understand and want to join your business
- Your customers will understand what you do and what’s important to you
- Any potential suppliers will know what you want and how to contact you
I remember a particularly great example of employer branding video from 2002 by the then world boxing champion Lennox Lewis, the effect of the video was not only to encourage recruitment but also to reduce the amount of police officers who were leaving the service, it was clear about the what the police did and it provided details on how to contact them.
A Business Plan as defined by Business Link contains the following: -
- An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. .
- A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell or offer, why and to whom.
- Your marketing and sales strategy - why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them.
- Your management team and personnel - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you.
- Your operations - your premises, production facilities, your management information systems and IT.
- Financial forecasts - this section translates everything you have said in the previous sections into numbers.
This is a good practice but many entrepreneurs will tell you that business planning is a powerful tool for evaluating the feasibility of business ventures. However I’m also reminded of a proverb that says “He who fails to plan, plans to fail” but if you’ve ever prepared and launched a business then you’ll know that when you start looking at sales you can easily be too optimistic or underestimate the costs involved in running the business which can have a detrimental affect, resulting in little or no profit at best or business failure at worst.
So no matter how many times you write that business plan or forecast those sales, it’s very rare that you get the figures right so managing a business then revolves around making adjustments to the books by either increasing sales or reducing costs or both.
One thing that wasn’t available to me at college was the social community, the principle of doing research existed but access to sales, customers and opinion was not possible without hard graft of doing the physical market research. If you got that wrong then you’d only discover this after the business started and only after incurring excessive costs.
Today with social media your research is available for free through your various social networks, you can get access people opinions and you can establish whether your business or products have demand.
Utilising the social networks enables you to fail faster allowing you to make changes to products and services quickly and tapping into the sentiment of your customers and thus make changes. In the worst case, if you can’t meet the expectations of your customers then the business will close but at least you can close faster and incur less costs.
I also remember a phrase from 1987 film Wall Street ‘Greed is Good’ the modern 2010 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ‘Is Greed Good?’ the strap line in my fictional 2012 film Wall Street it would be ‘ Fail Faster to Succeed’
Surrounded as I am by young enthusiastic team I’m amazed by the constant excitement about the discovery of new technology, website or a new app that seems to do something that they’ve never seen before and the way the technology rewards its users.
Web 1.0 was all about websites, visitors and products & services. Web 2.0/3.0 is all about Social – especially with the growth of Facebook, Twitter etc.
So what makes a website social as opposed to informative?
I’ll outline my thoughts…. Social websites let people share content (images, video or thoughts) and reward people for their effort – Followers/ Friends or scores. It all about competition the more people the greater the perceived influence we have, we even now have an app to measure how influential you are (Klout0 across various Social Networks.
So the difference between a web1.0 site (Tripadvisor) and web2.0 (Foursquare) is the fact that for the review you get points or rewarded and that the more points the higher up a league you go either with your friends or across the world.
Today building a website with content is no longer just about great content it’s also about building in competition and rewarding active users, provided you have a way of recognising who they are.
Being one of the older members of the company I’m classed as a digital immigrant (i.e. I was introduced into the digital world rather than grew up with it) rather than a digital native, however that said, I was the first person at my school to use a personal computer (1976), was in the first year of children to be allowed to use a calculator in my maths exams (1978) and was very active at the start of the dot com boom in the 90′s.
With all this background and experience you would think that developing a product, be it a application or a website or an App. then I’d be pretty comfortable in this space which in truth I am but unlike the early days the speed of development means that getting to market is faster but also that failure also is faster.
I cannot get over just how fast developers can produce code, it seems that when I developed some of my first website systems (theAA.com or IF.com) then the process was slow and cumbersome, the user requirements seemed to take almost a third of the project time but never stopped, the development took another third and testing the remaining time but significantly the overall effort was a lot bigger and the capability a lot smaller but the secrecy around the projects were vital as it was always felt that you must keep it secret until the launch so that you had a competitive advantage of being the first to market.
Today everything has changed, secrecy has been replaced and users are being engaged earlier, the development and testing has been rolled into one and the overall effort has been reduced from the thousands of hours to hundreds maybe a tenth of what we did all those years ago.
By engaging earlier, even prior to development, using social networks we can get feedback almost immediately and with the use of crowd sourcing then product refinement is substantially improved.