Cool vendors make the purchase cycle easy: Tuesday’s daily brief
Plus, you may like telling stories, but do your customers want to hear them?
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Good morning, Marketers, and are you hanging with the cool kids?
Some tech vendors are cooler than others, right? Oh, I am naming no names from my personal viewpoint. What had never occurred to me is that someone would try to codify what “cool” means in that context. But trust an analyst firm to give it a try.
I just opened a report by Gartner from earlier this month which does indeed identify “cool” technology and service providers. The cool kids, say Gartner, are the ones that have moved “from a seller-centric to a buyer-centric orientation and moving from analog sales processes to hyperautomated, digital-first engagement with customers.”
That’s consistent with a report from Qwilr we recently covered, which points out what uncool vendors are doing. Who’s cool according to Gartner? Sales assistant platform Beehivr, salestech/martech connector Caliber Mind, GTM automation platform LeanData, value management solution MetaCX, revenue booster ringDNA, and AI ABM platform Xiq.
What are you thinking? Brands would like to know
Brands only sell when people like them. So how would a brand know, aside from those sales?
Opinion mining and sentiment analysis can provide that insight. Companies can monitor how well or poorly their brands are thought of, simply by monitoring social media, online vendors and their own internal data streams.
That sounds great until you stop and think about how to do this. Data gushes like water out of a high-pressure fire hose. Just managing the data streams is a challenge. Even then, how many sources of data can you manage? And how do you draw inferences from the data you are tapping? There are different approaches to handling the challenge. Sociality.io gleans data from social media, while Lexalytics and Diffbot rely more on natural language processing to draw data from many online sources.
So if you want to mine opinions, where do you start digging? Different domains yield different types of data. Amazon will provide lots of “star reviews.” Twitter may uncover complaints. Human interpretation of customers’ needs may work for some B2B brands with relatively small customer bases. Mass markets with high sales volumes generate huge amounts of data that can only be analyzed by algorithms. The upside here is that sample sizes are large enough to yield statistically reliable conclusions.
“More data is not good data,” cautioned Sociality.io’s founder Hasan Toprakkaya. The volume of data is tremendous, so “be more specific. Be more focused,” he said. “If you are building any kind of product, you need one hundred loving customers who are keen to share your product with their friends,” he said. “You should focus on those people, using opinion mining.”
Why you should respond to your customers on social media
It’s not enough to place ads on social media or tweet out one-way culturally-aware observations. If consumers see your brand on social sites, they expect you to engage directly with them, according to a new study released by social media software producer Sprout Social.
The company surveyed roughly 1,000 consumers and 1,000 marketers this spring about marketing goals and consumer expectations. The two don’t always align perfectly. For instance, when consumers were asked what makes a brand best-in-class on social, nearly half (47%) indicated that brands should offer strong customer service. It was the top priority on their list. When marketers were asked the same question, only about a third (35%) named strong customer service as a sign of good social presence. Five other action items ranked higher.
Other functions are valued too. That’s not to say consumers don’t value the other functions social media marketers perform. Consumers and marketers see eye-to-eye on transparency, which placed near the top for both groups (44% and 42% respectively). Telling a compelling story, however, lost some of its shine in the eyes of consumers. 37% of marketers think that’s important, while only 28% of consumers are looking for storytime.
Why we care: So whose perspective is right? The customer, of course. 44% of customers will unfollow the brand because of bad service, the same study found. Followers, in this light, are not a vanity metric.
Above are the social response stats across various industries (courtesy Sprout Social Index: Edition XVII (2021). Where does your company rank against the competition? Does your company even track these kinds of response stats? Customers are paying attention.
Google simplifies YouTube ad creation for SMBs
Google has introduced a new YouTube ad creation workflow designed with SMBs in mind. Now available globally on desktop and mobile, advertisers can create a campaign by simply uploading a video, selecting the audiences they want to reach and designating a budget. Along with the new workflow, the company is also launching a simplified campaign metrics dashboard.
Why we care. Until now, advertisers had to access the full functionality of Google Ads to launch a video ad campaign on YouTube, which may have been an intimidating prospect for SMBs working with fewer resources. This new workflow makes it easier for advertisers to get their campaigns up and running with a user interface that may be more appropriate for their needs and experience level.
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