3 of the Best Modern Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Source: https://postfunnel.com/3-of-the-best-modern-holiday-marketing-campaigns/

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s clear that the 2020 season will be quite different from past years. The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, particularly in the United States, making the season’s trademark large gatherings dangerous and unlikely. However, that doesn’t mean the holidays are canceled! Right now, marketers are making their lists and checking them twice as we prepare for the unofficial holiday kickoff: Black Friday.

To help get into the festive spirit, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite holiday marketing campaigns from the last few years. Sure, the jingling Hershey’s Kisses and Coca-Cola polar bears are classics, but these newcomers are also worthy of holiday cheer.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

Lagavulin’s 10-Hour Yule Log

We’ve all heard the adage about video ads: the shorter, the better. However, it appears we can make an exception for calming fireplace scenes — not to mention the calming presence of actor Nick Offerman. In 2015, Offerman posted a twist on the traditional Yule Log video on his YouTube channel, “My Tales of Whisky,” sponsored by liquor manufacturer Diageo. In the video, which was originally 45 minutes and then looped into a 10-hour version, Parks and Recreation star Offerman drinks Diageo’s Lagavulin Scotch while sitting silently in front of a fireplace.

The timing was particularly brilliant; Parks and Rec had ended its seven-year run earlier that year, and fans were already missing Offerman’s grumpy, government-hating, Lagavulin-swigging Ron Swanson. On top of that, this was a smart way to rebrand an old tradition for a new generation. Five years later, Lagavulin’s Yule Log has become a holiday staple in many millennial homes, with the added side effect of making viewers thirsty for a good Scottish whiskey.

Google’s Modern Take on Home Alone

Originally released in 1990, Home Alone has been a heavy part of the holiday movie rotation for 30 years. (Yes, we really are that old.) In 2018, Google decided to reimagine the beloved Macauley Culkin film for the modern world, showing all the ways the voice-activated Google Assistant could help with your holiday checklist: ordering food, setting reminders, turning the house into a booby-trapped fortress.

It’s a brilliant combination of nostalgia and humor that’s perfectly executed by Culkin’s return — now nearing 40 — as protagonist Kevin McAllister. Add in the setting, music, and even dialogue from the original film, and the result is the rare commercial 90s kids actually want to watch more than once. Oh, the good old days!

Apple’s Touching iPad Tribute

Typically, the desired outcome of a holiday marketing campaign is not to make people cry. Leave it to Apple to create a commercial that touts the iPad’s benefits while tugging at the heartstrings. That’s exactly what the tech behemoth did in 2019 in “The Surprise,” an ad with an all-too-familiar theme for parents: When the kids are rowdy, put a screen in front of their faces.

In this case, that screen is Apple’s iPad, and it’s seemingly the only thing that can make the young sisters in the ad stay calm. While that sounds like a troubling message at first, the commercial has a twist ending: the whole time, the girls were working together to create a touching tribute to their family, including their late grandmother. It’s a perfect way to show off the iPad’s myriad capabilities, from watching movies to taking pictures to creating art. Even more than that, it shows that despite all the stresses the holidays can bring, it’s worth it to be with your family.

The 2020 holiday season might be different from those that came before, but as these marketing campaigns show, there’s always room for new traditions. Wherever you find yourself in the closing months of this impossibly long year, we hope it’s filled with love and joy.

The post 3 of the Best Modern Holiday Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Why You Cant Trust A Webex Recording

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheWebinarBlog/~3/xnc1DokVHqU/thewebinarblog~Why-You-Cant-Trust-A-Webex-Recording.html

Did you know that your Webex recording might not capture what you saw and heard during your session? Let’s examine why.

My discovery stems from personal experience. I think you’ll find it instructive.

We start with the basics. I moderated a client webinar set up on Webex Events (that is the webinar version of their collaboration software, distinct from their peer-level meeting version). All went well during the webinar, without any notable tech issues. Several presenters participated from various locations around the world. Participants joined from many more countries. I had no complaints or reports of audio/video problems.

We recorded the webinar using the built-in Webex recorder and saved it to our Webex account on the cloud, as usual. When I reviewed the recording, everyone sounded great except for one presenter. Every time this person spoke, the audio was garbled to the point of being unintelligible. It’s important to remember that he sounded just fine in the live session. And that everyone else on the recording sounded fine. What the heck could cause the recording to repeatedly fail to capture what we all heard in the live session, and only have the symptom appear for one presenter?

I filed a support ticket with Webex and went through the usual obligatory rounds of confirming details, having it kicked up to higher levels of support investigation, and collecting log information from the affected presenter’s computer. I was assured that the Cisco engineering team was working on the case and that they would update me on the status.

To Cisco’s credit, they did keep me in the loop to ensure that the case was still open. Every few days I would receive a new email from my support contact informing me that they were still investigating. This went on for one month.

At the end of the month, I received the following reply:

Received an update from the Engineering team and they found that the garbled audio for one of the presenter happened because of the packet loss from speaker to server.

We appreciate your patience on this matter and understand the importance of this recording.

Engineering team has worked to the best of their efforts and apologizes for the inconvenience caused.

Kindly let me know if there is anything else we can help you with and feel free to email me.

I wrote back that I was confused. First of all, I could not tell whether this was a brush-off and that “Engineering team has worked to the best of their efforts” meant that they had determined there was nothing they could do and that the ticket was being closed without a fix. If that’s the resolution on a case, I think it needs to be much more explicit. (My interpretation was correct. That was indeed what they were telling me.)

My bigger confusion came from the statement that the underlying cause was packet loss from speaker to server. If the originating signal coming from the presenter’s computer up to the internet was bad, why wouldn’t we have heard that in the live session? His signal goes up to the server in the first place, where it gets redistributed back down to each participant’s computer. Shouldn’t we have heard the same garbled sound the recording captured?

When I posed this question to my support contact, I received the following breathtaking reply:

Server received audio data, if there is uplink loss, will do FEC mechanism to recover the lost packets, but it only apply to attendee, not for recording. If use latest recording solution video centric, it have FEC for recording as well.

My goodness, there is a lot to unpack there. I am no network engineer. FEC was a meaningless acronym for me. I looked it up and found that Forward Error Correction is a methodology used to compensate for the fact that the internet sometimes loses packets of data that get sent from one point to another. FEC appears to be particularly useful for WebRTC streams of audio/video media.

I can build a mental image of Webex “pulling” the data stream up from the presenter’s computer, then “pushing” it out to all the listening attendees on the webinar. It would appear that the FEC compensation for missing data occurs during the “push” side of the operation, so listeners don’t hear the dropouts that occurred during the “pull” operation. But the recorder doesn’t benefit from that extra FEC correction step, so it captures the uncorrected, lossy data stream.

Which takes us to that final sentence where I was told that if only I had used “latest recording solution video centric” all would have been well. I had to do a little more Googling to get to the bottom of this one. It turns out that earlier this year, Cisco added an option to their network recording options. If you use a supported browser, and you have the latest version of Webex, and you record to the cloud in MP4 format, and your meeting ONLY includes webcam video without any document shares or whiteboard, then you can record in Video Centric mode, which applies the error correction. By the way, if you share a video clip, it will work for certain video formats – but only for Webex Meetings and not Webex Events. Neat.

So there you have it. The Webex recording you save online may or may not have the same quality that you saw in the live session. It may be unlistenable. Good luck with that.

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Target Agrees to Censor, Gets Ratioed

Source: https://postfunnel.com/target-agrees-to-censor-gets-ratioed/

Whoever is in charge of the @AskTarget account would do well to open up a copy of Aesop’s Fables and read “The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey. The moral of that story is one that applies to businesses as well as individuals: “Please all, and you will please none.”

 

Instead of deciding who should get to ride on the donkey here, the question is what to do about a book for sale that some people assume to be problematic and so consider it offensive or what they call harmful.  Here’s the story in Tweets.

 

It all started with a rallying cry of “transphobia” that many who have actually read the book say is completely baseless. (The BlueIris04 account has protected tweets, though the screenshot had been copied by others):

The number of the breakdown on responses indicate a ratio not going the way the company would have expected. Some of them were defences of the book like the ones below:

But most focused strictly on the problem with censorship and following the dictates of whoever complains:

Far too many to list here said they will never shop at Target again because of this move.

One even chimed in as an employee:

The meta-analysis

Several also noted that banning books makes people want to read them and so pointed out that Target’s attempts to squelch the book will have the opposite effect as in the two examples below:

As for my take, I’d say that even if all the people who threaten to boycott Target follow through, the store will still remain profitable. However, that doesn’t mean that it made the right move here.

As a lover of books in general, I know that there are many that have some offensive content – even among classics. For example, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales includes a blood libel story, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice gave us another negative Jewish stereotype in Shylock.

Yet no one seriously expects such works to be removed because some may take offense. Part of being an adult is being able to filter through things for yourself without demanding that no one reads what you don’t like.

The post Target Agrees to Censor, Gets Ratioed appeared first on Post Funnel.

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How is Zara Shaping Customer Relationships?

Source: https://postfunnel.com/how-is-zara-shaping-customer-relationships/

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 27th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series. Today, we will be ranking the giant clothing retailer Zara.

Though it makes sense that the chic Spanish apparel retailer owned by Inditex group, the biggest fashion group in the world, would fit CRM best practices into their marketing efforts – this might not be the case.

Smart CRM retail marketers know that treating customers to a one size fits all approach is not the way to go. So, how do you think Zara is shaping customer relationships in a post-COVID world?

1. Be Transparent 7/10

As Zara continues to feel the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 300 store closures will occur across Spain, according to an article published by Murcia Today. In response, the fashion chain seeks to optimize their online presence and sales.

Moreover, Zara has announced the closure of its outlet, Calle Mayor, in the center of Cartagena, Spain. This devastating news for the fashion brand will obviously bring with it numerous layoffs at a time when unemployment rates remain high and economic downturn continues globally.

What contributes to Zara’s transparency here is that the brand has approved the release of such announcements in the news, stating that they have no choice but to direct attention towards online sales – due to the change in customer shopping habits.

Transparency is all about a brand coming across as more human, and with additional messages regarding store closures on their Homepage, they do get most of the points here.

2. Incentives and Perks 5/10

They do have a special prices webpage on Zara.com, with lots and lots of products on sale.

 

But in fast fashion, consumers learn to expect cut-down prices on “old” collections. Zara is only getting 5 points here because we could not find any other promotion currently. Nothing for new customers, no newsletter signup coupons, nothing that relates to the weather or for working from home. We always encourage brands here at PostFunnel to hand out promotional offers that make sense at these times. They will always be greatly appreciated by your customers and are a great way to retain them – a classic CRM tool.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

In the kids’ section on the brand’s website, there’s a holiday time tab that links to a festive new collection that has been launched and promoted by the brand just in time for the jolly season.

In addition to this, since the festive season requires lots of gifts for loved ones, Zara has considered this by creating a unique “Gift Guide” for customers.

The brand also addresses COVID-19 with a note to shoppers on their website that reads:

“We are fully committed to supporting all our workers, and to working with our suppliers to minimize the impacts of covid-19.

We’re also working closely with suppliers to ensure they are following official guidance to protect the health of workers in factories during the pandemic.”

4. Be Helpful 10/10

The brand supports sustainability initiatives by working with suppliers to reduce waste, as written on their site:

“We work with our suppliers, workers, unions, and international organizations with the aim of developing a supply chain in which human rights are respected and promoted, contributing to the United Nations Objectives of Sustainable Development.”

In addition, Zara uses a systematic method to know where and how all their garments are being handled. Zara also works with several organizations to protect labor rights.

To further promote sustainability, the brand tracks supply chains, drives the creation of collaborative spaces, and in 2019 – Zara performed more than 12,000 audits.

At the outbreak of Covid-19, Inditex donated face masks and hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare workers due to the shortage caused by the pandemic.

5. Realtime Personalization 0/10

The brand made no realtime personalization efforts – after adding a wool coat to our cart and going back to the HP – we didn’t see any similar item suggestions, for instance.

In addition, no cross-selling or up-selling techniques were implemented – and they easily could have – for instance, asked us to match the coat with a hat or a pair of gloves, better yet a set of boots (as they’re likely to be more expensive).

Finally, when logging off the website and hopping onto our social media accounts – no retargeting efforts were made by the brand in realtime.

6. Master UX 7/10

Our overall experience with the brand was positive. The Zara website is very cool and interactive, allowing the customer to really engage with the clothing on offer.

The video background showcases various collections giving customers a vivid experience with the clothing, accessories, and new fashionable styles. It seems like their website has literally been made with style to suit its trendy clothing offer. They do not get a better score here because it could take some time to get the hand of the site’s style.

Additionally, customers have to scroll so many times (up and down – left and right) to get to the category they wish to browse, which can cause frustration and confusion.

7. Leverage Social Media 4/10

Zara’s Instagram account boasts over 41 million followers. But, even with such a huge following, we didn’t notice the brand using the Insta-story feature – though they do post in high frequency. We were also surprised to see the brand almost solely post photos of new collections and items for sale, and nothing much beyond that.

Zara’s Facebook account boasts over 29 million followers. On this social media channel, the brand also posts stylish photographs of their clothing which are taken artistically. Once again, we would have liked to see something a bit more engaging for social media channels.

On the other hand, we did like their “Face to Face” video featuring various artists, including this one in New York:

Zara’s Twitter account has 1.3 million followers. The brand Tweets the exact same content as explained in the two social media channels above, which is completely not the kind of content people on Twitter love.

Perhaps this is Zara’s approach to remaining strictly a fashion brand that simply promotes their latest trends – staying away from any possible backfire that could easily be caused on such platforms.

**

Overall, Zara is getting a 43/70 here (61%) placing them towards the very end of the pack. We did not see that coming.

Too bad no personalization efforts and other common promotional tactics were used to engage customers on a higher level. For a brand that is so desperately looking to shift to online, they seem overall behind the curve on that front. Such CRM tools are bound to help Zara easily move on from their one size fits all marketing approach to a more fine-tuned, personalized approach.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home91%
  2. Lowe’s90%
  3. Petco90%
  4. Target87%
  5. Uniqlo86%
  6. West Elm81%
  7. The North Face81%
  8. Holland and Barret 80%
  9. Brooks Running79%
  10. Best Buy78%
  11. Etsy76%
  12. The Body Shop74%
  13. Gymshark73%
  14. William Hill 73%
  15. Iceland Foods71%
  16. Total Wine & More70%
  17. Tommy Hilfiger70%
  18. Walgreens70%
  19. Kohl’s70%
  20. Buy Buy Baby68%
  21. Fiverr67%
  22. Next63%
  23. Patagonia61%
  24. Zara 59%
  25. Burberry60%
  26. COS57%
  27. Dream1153%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

The post How is Zara Shaping Customer Relationships? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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2020 Top Marketing Channels

Source: https://postfunnel.com/2020-top-marketing-channels/

2020 has been one crazy year. The chaos brought on significant shifts in consumer shopping behavior and has changed the importance of marketing channels.

Take a look at the marketing channels you should pay the most attention to and those you need to press the brake on.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

Marketing Channels That Need the Most Attention

Social Media

Consumers are spending more time using social media for engaging with brands and making buying decisions. 22% of consumers said social media had influenced them to make a purchase since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

When it comes to choosing social marketing channels, looking to the latest social media statistics, YouTube and Facebook have the potential to be worth-considering in 2020. Facebook has 2.7 billion

monthly active users, and YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users, according to Statista.

This means that marketing your brands on the platform has the potential to boost your brand’s online visibility. Smart marketers are redoubling their efforts on these platforms as 74% of social marketers plan to use Facebook and YouTube (52%) more in the coming year.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind when marketing on social media. Demonstrate your values and showcase how you’re contributing to change.  Dig into your social data to find out when your target audiences are most likely to be on social media and what types of content are likely to resonate.

Leverage your social following to help spread the word of new product launches through user-generated content and make it easy for your audience to share your brand content on their social feeds.

Email

If you’re looking to free yourself from paid Facebook and Google ads, invest in email marketing. With an ROI of 36:1, email is one of the highest performing marketing channels.

The importance of email continues to go up year-over-year as 4 out of 5 respondents said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing in the same report mentioned above.

To reap the rewards of email marketing, you need to abandon the batch and blast approach.  Your email strategy should be targeted towards engaging and retaining shoppers throughout the customer journey, with personalized all email communications that reflect their interests.

How do you achieve this?

Leverage customer data to create a unified customer profile and use tools powered by artificial intelligence to send targeted and triggered messaging to consumers based on their interests, behavior, and profiles.

Design emails to include interactive elements such as gifts and videos to make campaigns more engaging and efficient. Ensure your messaging is authentic to maintain customer-brand relationships and to build long-term brand loyalty.

Multi Channel Marketing E-book

Marketing Channels That Need Less Attention

Banner Ads

Back in 1994, banner ads had a 44% click through rate. Fast forward to 2020; banner ads aren’t the most welcomed form of advertisement. Consumers have grown tired of online advertising and are turning to adblockers to improve their browsing experience. 527M people use mobile browsers that block ads by default, and 236M people were blocking ads on desktop.

Since consumers don’t see banner ads, thanks to adblockers, display advertising’s effectiveness is rapidly declining. The average click rate on a traditional display ad in the U.S. is 0.8%.

Based on the above, it’s best to allocate your marketing dollars towards personalized, targeted advertising on permission-based channels. This will make your customers more receptive to your marketing messages.

Television

 A twenty-second television ad used to be the most coveted product in advertising. TV ads are becoming less relevant as viewing continues to move away from traditional networks. In fact, many US adults say they will spend less time watching pay-TV programs (41%) after COVID-19.

At least three large U.S. media companies expect about 25 million U.S. households to cancel their pay-TV subscriptions over the next five years. This is on top of the 25 million homes that have already cut the cord since 2012.

Although television ads won’t disappear overnight, it’s best to shift your ad budget from traditional linear television to digital advertising.

Marketing Channels that Stay the Same

eCommerce Ads

E-commerce channel ads are gaining popularity as brands realize targeting shoppers exhibiting purchase intent with ads relevant is a no-brainer. Comprised of ads on Amazon.com and Walmart.com, this channel has been a solid performer during the pandemic. However, the growth rate for ad spending in the e-commerce channel is expected to max out in 2020, with growth slowing to 29.8% in 2021.

Now is the time to make the most of the advertising opportunities offered by marketplaces to attract consumers at various stages of the buying journey.

Price remains the most significant factor of influence for shoppers. Automatically reprice your products to suit market demand and stay competitive and participate in marketplace promotions to increase sales. Give your campaigns some time to build traction and gauge your ROI before increasing your advertising spend.

Paid Search

As consumers continue to flock online to make purchases, it’s imperative that you maintain your paid search presence to stay relevant. Digital online advertisements had about the same level of influence on purchases, at 22%.

Leverage paid search data to gain a granular view of consumer activity levels and see if there has been a change in on site behavior and sales. Use the insight you get to make decisions regarding your paid search strategy.

Reinvent your messages to be helpful, informative, and add value. Use Responsive Search Ads that adapt to show more relevant messages to customers. Update the advertising language in your campaigns to embrace authenticity and emotional decency. Think- “we’re in this together” instead of “buy our product now.”

Optimize your paid search ads and landing pages for both desktop and mobile experiences. If your customer journey has lengthened, re-evaluate your attribution model.

Watch conversion, click-through rates, and levels of engagement, so you can track the ROI of the campaign and determine how to adjust.

While there are several marketing channels to focus on during this period, it’s best to direct your marketing resources on channels where your customers spend time and search for products.

As you evolve your marketing strategies, understand nuances in consumer patterns, and channel investments against customer journeys.

The post 2020 Top Marketing Channels appeared first on Post Funnel.

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