Cookies and the customer journey

  • By Marnie Blair
  • 13 Nov, 2017
The need

I’m generally quite a frugal person, I won’t buy something unless I really feel like it’s justified. One day however I did wake up and think – actually I think I do need a new pair of shoes.

So I start with a nice wander around the city in my lunch break. No pressure, just a little window shopping… as I was taking another sip from my cookie cream frapuccino (I was treating myself, it was a nice day!) I saw them. And they were perfect.


The consideration

White leather lace ups, comfy, practical AND pretty; it was clear in that moment that I needed them in my life.

BUT, and it’s a considerable but… the price tag.

I couldn’t justify spending that much on a pair of shoes. Nope. Not on an impulse buy at least. I needed to take some time to think it through; what do I have to wear with them? Can I afford them this month and what will I have to sacrifice if I was going to jump in and buy them?

You know… the usual questions.

I trudge back to work, feeling glum that my moment of shoe matchmaking was so short-lived.


Engagement

Sat back at my desk I was finding it hard to concentrate, I was distracted…
I searched for the shop name in Google, it didn’t take me too long to find the shop’s website. One last little sneak peek won’t do any harm, right?

After trudging through their search filter, I lingered on the trainer’s page, feeling dangerous with my cursor hovering over the ‘Add to basket’ option. CLICK. That’s alright I’m not buying them- I’ll just stare at them in the checkout and pretend.


Re-targeted

Having got my fill of danger shopping, back to work I went, negotiating my way around the web trying to find inspiration for a new blog when, POP.

There they were on the side of an online article.

POP POP POP POP

Again, again and again they followed me around the internet… willing me to go back to the site and finish checking out.

Their site had ingeniously planted a tracker code that followed me around the web after I had left. Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit, a whopping 98% of consumer’s do exactly what I had just done… window shop.

Well guess what? Retargeting works.


The Purchase

Fast forward one week and I’m sat smugly in my new trainers- trying to ignore the significant hole in my pocket they’d burned… after all, they were worth it… right?


Find out how you can use Retargeting to convert your window shoppers, click HERE
By Tom Kay 13 Nov, 2017
I was chatting to one of our advertisers the other day.

Elphicks, a furniture store based in Huntingdon is now in its fifth generation and Sue the Finance Director said something that got me thinking.

“We had an 80 year old in the other day who was What’s App’ing our sofas to her daughter”!

I thought that was brilliant!

But the belief still exists that today’s swish digital world is a young person’s game…and anyone who’s still got a thing for Cliff Richard is somehow alien to the net.

OK, print reader demographics are likely to be older – loyal audiences with disposable income for whom their favourite paper or magazine remains part of the routine of life.

But when it comes to digital, it’s actually the over 65s that are driving growth.

62% of them are Facebook users.

In fact, I was working with a group of GCSE students recently and many said they were leaving Facebook because ‘’Mum and Gran are on there – it’s sooo not cool seeing your Gran comment on your posts’.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why, in just six months last year, Facebook rival Instagram added 100 million to its daily user count and is now being tagged ‘the youth platform’.

With 59% of it’s users under 30s, and only 8% aged 65+, the kids are safe from Granny, for the moment anyway.

The point I make is, when you push those all important messages out across your social channels, take into account your audience and target it appropriately.

It’s not as clear as ‘digital’s for the young, print’s for the old’.

Each platform has its own appeal – and subtle changes to your messaging can make all the difference.

Pintrest’s female audience outnumbers males by 2 to 1, whilst Twitter’s male/female split is right down the middle.

30-64 year olds favour Pinterest over Instagram and Twitter…and those now at retirement use Linked-In almost as much as the demographic behind them.

Our advice would be a less-is-more policy when it comes to social media. ~

Choose one or two channels that work best for your brand and target market – and stick to them, rather than trying to do everything.

And to help you choose, I’ll leave you with a few more stats…

% global users

18-29 year olds
88% Facebook
59% Instagram
36% Twitter
36% Pinterest
34% Linked In

30-49 year olds
84% Facebook
34% Pinterest
33% Instagram
33% Linked In
23% Twitter

50-64 year olds
72% Facebook
28% Pinterest
24% Linked In
21% Twitter
18% Instagram

65+ year olds
62% Facebook
20% Linked In
16% Pinterest
10% Twitter
8% Instagram


Males
75% Facebook
31% Linked In
28% Instagram
24% Twitter
17% Pinterest


Females
83% Facebook
45% Pinterest
38% Instagram
27% Linked In
25% Twitter


Source: Pew Social Media Update
By Tom Kay 13 Nov, 2017
Do you know how long the average person spends with their digital devices per day?

According to a recent report its 8 hours and 41 minutes. What a shocker. And to put that into context, its 20 minutes more than the average nights sleep.

So, just for once, I put the Iphone down, switched off the Kindle and went about buying a book I’ve been after for a while. I’m into local history. I won’t bore you with the details but I thought it would be a nice bit of respite from swiping a screen just for once.

Having picked the Iphone up again in order to find the nearest stockist (oh the irony) I came across a wholesaler who told me they could send it through to my local high street book store within a couple of days for me to pick up.

Yes, Amazon could have delivered to my door in a flash, but I had the week off work, had little planned and actually quite relished popping into the shop for a browse anyway. There’s nothing like the smell of a good book shop.

So how disappointed was I when I wandered down the high street and found it was closed. I thought the owner might be having a late lunch so hung around town for a bit, but still the shop remained in darkness.

The next morning I popped back. Still no sign of life. Pulling the Iphone out of my pocket (we will never get away from them will we…) I quickly found the shop in question on Google.

No opening times. Bummer.

But hey, a phone number to call…

I expected at least an answering machine. I didn’t even get a ringtone. It was clear this phone number was incorrect.

Hey, link to the website…Oh wait, link is broken. No website.

Eventually I found another phone number…a mobile. This time I did get an answer. It wasn’t the calm, vocal-serenity you expect from the owner of a book shop. Rather a gruff Glaswegian who sounded like he’d been woken from the world’s worst hangover. I apologised and hung up.

As the rain started to fall I made a dash back to the car…on the way, making two clicks on the Iphone and buying the book from Amazon.

Local traders must make it easy for consumers. Some do a brilliant job on a budget one millionth of what companies like Amazon spend on marketing in a week.

Others seem to have given up.

Keeping your digital presence accurate and up to date is easy and cheap to do. There are products that automatically straighten up your opening times, phone numbers and address details, removing broken links, filling in the blanks and validating your company info.

It’s even more crucial if you want your business to be found online. Search engines will mark you down if your info is inconsistent in the 50+ places it appears across the internet.

We all know in tough times, personal service is the cornerstone of the local high street. It’s why people don’t go to the big boys.

So don’t fall at the first fence. Ensuring your business is consistent right across the internet makes it easy for customers to find you, trade with you, build a relationship with you…

whilst making sure Rab C Nesbitt soundalikes get the beauty sleep they need without the unnecessary disturbance.


To find out about digital presence management click www.archanthub.co.uk/dpm
By Tom Kay 13 Nov, 2017
I always get a certain response from people whenever my job comes up…

‘So what do you do?’

‘I work in marketing actually…” comes my reply.

The response always tends to be the same. An awkward silence as a follow up question is desperately scrabbled together to carry on the conversation.

Marketing these days tends to be an umbrella word that covers just about every element of business. Ask a marketier what they do and even they’ll be hard pushed to answer in a sentence…

Marketing is simple. It’s just communication. And we all know the best communicators are the ones who listen as well as talk.

This is a blessing for local businesses, because quite frankly if I’m the Marketing Guru at Averylargecompanyindeed.com I spend my days in a swivly chair at the top of a tower overlooking Canary Wharf deciding where to spend my mega million marketing budget.

Sure, I have a data department and someone somewhere will be conducting focus groups for me on a lovely colour coded spreadsheet, but the reality is I’m so far removed from the coalface of my business, how can I ever have real conversations with my customers?

For SMEs, that ‘face time’ (as the marketiers call it), those one to one conversations is your every day. You sit on the frontline. There’s no hiding in offices. From dawn till dusk, you hear direct from your customers. You answer their queries, take on their problems. Spot the trends. You listen.

Of course there’s no getting away from the relentless need for convenience driven by today’s online world – but personal service, a business that will go overboard to help me, offer the right solution and build a genuine relationship is still craved by customers…

The funny thing is, the big boys know this and are desperate to convince customers...

The funny thing is, the big boys know this and are desperate to convince customers they do local just as well.

In the last few years we’ve seen company logos redrawn into more friendly lower case fonts. Every retail outlet seems to have ‘We love ‘TOWN NAME’ signage in the front to convince us they are personal, relevant and human.

One of the biggest utility companies has just produced its latest series of online videos on shaky iphones with graphics that look like something off Windows 98 and staff with the broadest accents they may wish to consider subtitles – anything to look less corporate.

But you – Mr or Mrs SME – you are the real deal. No faking it. No smoke and mirrors. And that’s something to celebrate.

So grab your iphone and piece together your own video. Spend twenty minutes every other week summing up those customer conversations in an online blog. Create a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. Offer some top hints and tips.

Your potential customers will love you – as will Google, which actively promotes fresh, local and unique content in its search rankings.

Some people call this ‘Content Marketing’. I just call it conversation. And it all starts with listening . The most powerful marketing tool you’ll ever have.
By Tom Kay 13 Nov, 2017
The Smell in the Kitchen

You know when you get a whiff of something unsavoury…

I blamed it on the cat at first, but as the smell got gradually stronger I realised it was coming from behind the fridge.

We’ve got one of those big American jobbies which took three of us to budge. What was there left us all running for fresh air.

That’s right…a mushroom farm was growing in my kitchen. Years of dripping from a weathered hose had ruined the lino, walls and subsequently created a new species of fungi.

So, whilst I had the job of ripping up the floor, the wife hit the internet to look at what she hoped would be our nice fancy new tiles….
(I say ‘what she hoped’ because at that stage she didn’t know I would be fitting them…)


Fast forward two weeks….

Two weeks later I’ve cursed my millionth expletive, my wife’s threatening to leave me, the kids are in tears, I’ve used up a second box of band aids and huge chunks of plasterboard are strewn everywhere (how was I supposed to know removing the skirtings was so damn hard??)

….So I did that thing no DIY-wannabe ever wants to do…

             
I asked someone for help.

Well, I say someone…I mean something. Google.


What I found surprised me. Rather than the stereotyped ‘suck in air through your teeth’ guy we all know and loathe, there were some really useful hints, tips and ‘how-to’ guides, scattered across the websites of trades people. The majority of them it seemed were sole traders or small independents.

A few were local and I was genuinely impressed by how much they wanted to help, not just sell.

Articles. Video. Diagrams. Question and Answers.

In fact, I was convinced I was going to see a message flash up on the screen telling me ‘right, you’ve seen enough, put in your credit card to read the rest’ but no.

Just helpful and relevant advice for DIY donut heads like me.


So, what’s the point of content?

I mean, why bother going to all this effort? Particularly if you are a one man band where time is money. Why not just chuck a phone number on your site and get people to call?


Point #1: Google likes it.


Google actively promotes businesses who have an online content strategy. And when I say strategy, it can be as simple as keeping a blog refreshed.

Unique content gives you a much better chance of appearing higher up the results pages – which of course means more brand exposure and more enquires.
With 40,000 searches every second, Google knows iffy sqiffy answers to our questions just won’t cut the mustard… ‘User Experience’ is key - bringing back the most relevant results which will answer our questions...

Note I say questions…because that’s how we search…Nowadays…and in some part due to the rapid rise of voice based search, like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home devices, we can have a conversation with our tech. It’s become our buddy.

We ask a question. It gives us the answer…. Shame it’s no good with a hammer. …Which reminds me, I must ask Google ‘What happens if wife files for divorce on grounds of mental anguish derived from DIY torment”.



Point #2: Customer’s like it .

Content which helps your potential customers gets you on their radar – and shows them why they need you. It might be today. Or, if you’re a stubborn so and so like me who doesn’t want to be beaten, it could be some time in the future (once you’ve done a bit more damage and got through even more Band Aid boxes).

Getting into the habit of writing content for your website also showcases your customer service, knowledge, experience and levels of trust ...as well as providing a good dollop of what the marketing physiologists call ‘reciprocity’.

The need to reciprocate.

When someone does something nice for us, we like to help them. It’s the way humans are hard-wired. So if a prospect has just read your enticing content, guess what, it gives you the edge when they draw up their shortlist.



Now… about that kitchen

…I did give up with the kitchen repair job in the end. It really was cheaper than a solicitor.

A nice chap called Tony who had a particularly good blog on his website popped round and finished it in record time.

He even let me have a tenner off the bill - on the condition he could take a few snaps of my ‘handywork’ for his next article…’10 ways NEVER to repair your kitchen’.
By Marnie Blair 13 Nov, 2017
The need

I’m generally quite a frugal person, I won’t buy something unless I really feel like it’s justified. One day however I did wake up and think – actually I think I do need a new pair of shoes.

So I start with a nice wander around the city in my lunch break. No pressure, just a little window shopping… as I was taking another sip from my cookie cream frapuccino (I was treating myself, it was a nice day!) I saw them. And they were perfect.


The consideration

White leather lace ups, comfy, practical AND pretty; it was clear in that moment that I needed them in my life.

BUT, and it’s a considerable but… the price tag.

I couldn’t justify spending that much on a pair of shoes. Nope. Not on an impulse buy at least. I needed to take some time to think it through; what do I have to wear with them? Can I afford them this month and what will I have to sacrifice if I was going to jump in and buy them?

You know… the usual questions.

I trudge back to work, feeling glum that my moment of shoe matchmaking was so short-lived.


Engagement

Sat back at my desk I was finding it hard to concentrate, I was distracted…
I searched for the shop name in Google, it didn’t take me too long to find the shop’s website. One last little sneak peek won’t do any harm, right?

After trudging through their search filter, I lingered on the trainer’s page, feeling dangerous with my cursor hovering over the ‘Add to basket’ option. CLICK. That’s alright I’m not buying them- I’ll just stare at them in the checkout and pretend.


Re-targeted

Having got my fill of danger shopping, back to work I went, negotiating my way around the web trying to find inspiration for a new blog when, POP.

There they were on the side of an online article.

POP POP POP POP

Again, again and again they followed me around the internet… willing me to go back to the site and finish checking out.

Their site had ingeniously planted a tracker code that followed me around the web after I had left. Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit, a whopping 98% of consumer’s do exactly what I had just done… window shop.

Well guess what? Retargeting works.


The Purchase

Fast forward one week and I’m sat smugly in my new trainers- trying to ignore the significant hole in my pocket they’d burned… after all, they were worth it… right?


Find out how you can use Retargeting to convert your window shoppers, click HERE
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