Better Marketing in Less Time

The integration of CRM and marketing automation tools has lead to increased sharing and visibility of marketing & sales information within those departments and the wider organisation. AI is now more than ever doing the heavy lifting to deliver sophisticated, data-driven insights to help organisations win and retain more customers.

 

CRM and marketing automation tools such as Salesforce, Hubspot and Prospect.io make it easy to use AI-based features where you need them and integrate them into your business over time.

 

AI FOR ALL BUSINESSES

Instead of hiring more data scientists and marketers, small and medium-sized businesses can use third-party tools with easy-to-use interfaces and efficient machine learning functions to connect their data and workflow to get a smarter picture of their customers.

 

THE POWER OF HUBSPOT

Marketing automation software automates marketing actions or tasks, streamlines marketing workflow and measures the results of marketing campaigns.

Hubspot is the world’s top inbound marketing platform, which integrates blogs, social media monitoring and publishing, contacts, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation and analytics in one user-friendly and powerful platform.

 

Hubspot’s 18, 000 customers worldwide use software and services to transform their outbound marketing ( cold calls, email spam, trade shows, TV ads, etc. ) into incoming lead generation, allowing them to leverage remarkable content and integrated experience to deliver leads and better sales  results – not to mention their great online training which helps you grow in your understanding of how best to target customers.

 

TALK TO YOUR IT DEPARTMENT

Humans and AI applications form a very complementary team when it comes to social media marketing.

For social media AI applications to really flourish they must interface with the business analytics and business intelligence applications used in their IT department.

 

If used strategically, the use of AI in a company’s social media and business intelligence efforts can go a long way toward putting (or keeping) the customer at the centre of their organisation.

 

POWER IN THE DATA

AI in marketing will undoubtedly continue its rapid expansion. Companies that track and store their historical and real-time sales and marketing data will be the first to benefit.

But as with other technological advances in marketing ( such as CRM or modern marketing automation software ), the market will naturally reduce the cost of integration and learning curves, and small and medium-sized businesses will be able to access AI’s capabilities almost as well as their larger competitors.

DON’T BUY EMAIL LISTS

With tools like Prospect.io you don’t need to buy email lists anymore. You simply need the name and company of the person you are trying to reach and Prospect.io can find the email for you. Using publicly accessible data and clever AI algorithms Prospect can match a name to an email to 100% accuracy and then you can send drip email campaigns to those customer to uncover the business opportunities. Always remember to provide the prospect with an optout message and respect the boundaries and then use Prospect.io as your very own target audience detective tool.

 

ECOMMERCE & AI

Advertisers and e-commerce companies have the most to gain from machine learning because of the ease of measurement and quick feedback needed to train and improve machine learning algorithms. Drip is the world’s first ECRM Ecommerce CRM designed to build personal and profitable relationships with customers on a scale. Ecommerce marketers all over the world are beginning to see their customers in full color with Drip features such as comprehensive tracking, hyper-segmentation and robust email marketing automation.

 

SMALL BUSINESS & AI

 

In order to achieve digital marketing success, thousands of small businesses use AI via Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms. With more options than ever before, small businesses are building powerful AI strategies without having to hire data scientists or expensive marketers.

 

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

If you are new to using artificial intelligence and automation in your sales and marketing approach then start with the basics:

  1. Start with the data – use what you know about your current customers to drive information gathering for your ideal customer. Store it in a place where it can be shared across different tools.
  2. Find a new tool – you know already what gets your customers attention and brings them to you. Find a tool that makes that process easier, faster and/or fills the gaps that you really wish you could do now.
  3. Use the data and the new tool together – trial a new marketing campaign with improved data and tools
  4. Go back to step 1 and repeat!

If you still have questions please give us a call to find out how we can support your newer, smarter approach to marketing your business.

Call Today 1300 796 771

4 Simple Web Design Techniques for Better Lead Generation

Roses are FF1919, violets are 1C86EE, Futura is a controversial font choice but Comic Sans is just wrong.

But seriously, why is great web design still such a big deal and how does it translate into better sales results?

Great Design Knows the Visitor Already

Even if you’re a new business you will have some sense of your ideal customer. So make sure you do your research and form an accurate, detailed picture of the customer by answering questions like:

  • What do they do on a typical day?
  • What are their biggest challenges/pain points?
  • What information do they use to make a purchasing decision and how is the decision made?

Knowing your visitor means knowing what to put on the page. If your customer can’t approve the purchase themselves, for example, then you need cater for their information needs and those of the boss.

Great Design Knows a Mix of Content is Best

 

A website needs a compelling proposition, a good story. This very rarely (read almost never) happens via large blocks of text. A website must cater to readers and scanners, but prioritise scanners because they are the large majority of site visitors.

Scanners will pause on page where there is a break in text, this happens with:

●     Links

●     Images

●     Videos

●     Infographic/Stats

●     Downloads

 

 

 

 

confusing floor tiles

 

So if you want them to take away one or two key points, use something other than text to convey that point. Think about what gets people’s attention and weave that into your compelling (product) story.

Great Design Knows That People Do Business with People

 

Seems sensible right? So many websites forget this by:

 

●     Using 100% obvious stock imagery

●     Not having a clear way to contact a real person

 

tree in front of garage door

Everyone on the web has a mobile phone, and all phones have a camera function. Take photos of your team, your work environment, your city, take photos of real things that will connect your customers to you.

There are some amazing news tool out there for automating Q&A, service issues and lead generation but you must still provide an opportunity to talk with a real person.

Prioritise other contact methods on your website if you need to, but make sure they can talk to a real person when they need to. Even just having the option makes converting a visitor into lead more likely.

Great Design Keeps Asking, “So What?”

So now that we’re clear that on your website you need to:

  • Know your ideal customer
  • Use a mix of interactive content to reach them
  • Emphasise connection on a human level

You must still give them a clear reason and a method to take the next step.

 

The all important call to action needs your consideration. They’ve read down the page, maybe they’ve even clicked on a link or two, but they have not moved into the lead category. 

drawer design fail

Compelling (product) stories should lead to good business opportunity and a well-designed website should help you do that.

Right when they are about to ask, “so what?” give them something good in return. Insight they can’t get elsewhere, a stat they’ve never seen before, a report they didn’t have to do themselves.

Avoid Design Fail

Avoiding #designfail with these 4 important techniques is really about applying common sense when designing your website, because lost business is no laughing matter.

The Great Thing About Problems

I love checking my Fitbit App at night, on the days I exercise. Watching the good green vibes explode off my phone when I hit the preset step & activity targets make me feel like a ninja. But when I’m sitting down and I shake my wrist a bit and the step count jumps for no reason it’s like I’ve eaten a donut and my taste buds missed the party.

A big problem

While I’m not giving up on my Fitbit just yet, this is a big problem. But it’s also exciting, because we have all the right ingredients to solve it.

People solve problems

The first ingredient, and most important, is people. People are great at finding problems and also coming up with ideas to solve them.

Data helps

The second, and one we have in abundance, is data. I, and many others, have been providing Fitbit with years of data on my exercise and sleep habits. If they asked me for permission to anonymously share my data to build a better step and sleep counter I would say yes quickly.

Finding the patterns

The third ingredient is machine learning. Machine learning happens when we teach computer programs to find patterns in data. Surely within that repetitive data lurks a pattern that can tell when I’m really busting out the steps and when I’m having an animated conversation.

Problem solved

Dump these ingredients in a computer mixing bowl with amazingly fast processors that can find the way to improve the counter in days, not months. Then I’ll know how many steps I need to counteract those Christmas party indulgences and truly attain ninja status.

And that’s the great thing about problems.

  1. You’re not the only one thinking about it
  2. The data is out there to help solve it
  3. Human intelligence can guide the technology needed for the end solution

So, what’s your problem?

Give Time Back with One Simple Tool

Having watched a few scary TV shows I was pleasantly surprised with the dark sense of fear that passed over me when I finally saw the Upside Down in Stranger Things. The sense of stolen youth and the unknown were palpable, and I’m thrilled season two is finally here.

But placing a support request with my average service provider, I can always wait for that. As a consumer the sense of the unknown, foreboding and lost youth is the same as with the Upside Down, only it’s reality television.

As developers, marketers and support technicians we recognise the possibility that our clients might feel the same if we don’t constantly work on better ways to process help requests and manage the communication flow.

So we asked ourselves, how specifically could AI help us expedite the workflow, especially when the request is first initiated?

Fast and Furious?

Most clients get it, technical issues come up and the fastest way to get resolution is to put the issue on your plate, after all that’s what they pay you for.

But sometimes fast means you just have to call them back to get more detail, which does not mean faster resolution, just greater expectation on the client’s part.

More Hunter, Less Gatherer

Using an automated 1st level support agent can help customers log tickets faster while still retrieving the necessary detail you need to initiate an investigation.

Your own decision tree and existing support process, especially at initiation, is ripe for automation. Contact details, issue description, follow up questions (have you restarted your computer?) and other common questions don’t need a hands on approach to gather, only to solve.

Making your support team 10-20% more productive by removing the gathering exercise for simple requests puts profitability back into your service and makes a happier team.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Using artificial intelligence to gather and process customer request data demonstrates:

1. Your clients have a problem solving partner, not a time waster
2. You would like your staff to have less interruptions providing more time for thoughtful and efficient solutions
3. Your growing business can scale intelligently and iteratively
4. You respect everyone’s time because you’re thinking about ways to give it back

Your AI automated agent will not solve every problem but it will resolve 10-20% of the noise in your support-based business, giving everyone more time to binge watch Stranger Things.

You’re welcome. wink emoji

How to Close the Abandoned Cart Loop Every Time

“Excuse me, is there anything I can help with?” Says the perfectly polished sales person at your favourite store. They aren’t pushy, they are available, knowledgeable and helpful.

 

And on the back wall of the staff room their sales numbers are off the chart. They capture every possible sale with efficiency, courtesy and a subtle tenacity.

 

It’s too bad that same in-person experience can’t be replicated in your eCommerce store…or can it?

 

While we can’t read a person’s body language online we certainly have the data to predict their interests and intent. Combining that data with artificial intelligence allows every online store to convert potential abandoned cart scenarios or translate them into wish lists for a later purchase.

 

Abandoned Cart Detection

 

With extensive experience in developing eCommerce stores we know there are certain types of browsing activity that precede an abandoned cart. This data, combined with demographics and browsing behaviour deliver an informed assistant approach.

 

Abandoned Cart Conversation

 

On detection of the pre-abandonment activity your AI sales agent pulls on various data sources to inform their offer of assistance.

 

Brand New Visitors

 

Making a first impression counts as much online as in-person so polished offers of help are an important way to start. Why not offer them a discount too for their first purchase? The clever assistant can even apply the discount to an existing cart, removing some of the checkout friction.

 

Returning Visitors

 

Having contact details provides the best opportunity to start a conversation and ultimately convert into a sale. So if a return visitor is browsing and even adding to cart incentivise them to that next step by suggesting compatible products, supporting articles or videos, or a review that might just sway their behaviour.
Validating their journey based on the journey of others is a great way to open dialogue and get to the point where you can formalise your communication on other channels such as email, chat apps or even SMS.

 

Existing Customers

 

They’ve likely already made a purchase and invested some trust in your store, so the conversation is slightly different here. You’ve got the contact details, consider the best way engender loyalty providing unique discounts. If you’ve noticed they abandon carts regularly ask them why and then deliver follow up specific to how they answer.

 

Abandoned Cart Conversion

 

The above strategies are tailored to the customer type but ultimately all serve to personalise their shopping experience and convert them to paying customers on each shopping trip.
If they are not ready now, let them save the cart for later and use your AI sales agent to manage the wish list reminder process.
Using AI to solve the abandoned cart problem is about putting all of the pieces of shopper data together into one insightful puzzle.

3 Reasons A.I. Customer Service Makes Financial Sense

As customers, we will never go backwards. We will keep demanding more and better and faster. If we don’t get it, we will vote with our feet and our social media voices.

As businesses, if we don’t invest in continuously improving customer service we can only compete on price, that joyless race to the bottom.

If you’re serious about a great customer experience then it’s time to get real about artificial intelligence (AI) because the return on investment is measurable and significant.

Businesses implementing AI in their customer experience are not replacing their existing model, they are augmenting the model where it makes financial sense. So where does it make sense?

Customer Support Cost Reduction

As organisations add new customers or new products and services their customer support request volumes increase. Using an automated agent as a first responder resolves the simple, repetitive requests that don’t require human intervention.

When the requests are more complex or require escalation the automated agent delivers a warmed up customer where the live support agent is briefed on the customer need and the customer does not have to repeat the basics of their issue.

Real Savings

Reduction in support requests requiring a live agent and/or a phone call.
Live agents maximise productivity in dealing with a smaller volume of more complex tasks that only a human being can solve and reducing the brain drain of answering repetitive questions.
Machine learning from automated agent conversations is more rapidly mobilised into website FAQ and support documentation.

Expansion of Customer Self-Service

Companies with developed customer portals already allow customers to manage their own accounts, but customers still want and need a helping hand even if they are logged into a portal.

Once authenticated, automated agents can better support the customer based on their personal history within the portal. Transactions, previously logged support requests and access to rebates and discounts are just a sample of what an automated agent can serve up all in one place and in one conversation.

Real Savings

Reducing customer churn. Providing an adaptable, personalised experience and delivering information in a timely and useful way is critical for customer retention.
For organisations it provides real time feedback on how well the customer portal is functioning. Easily gauge and improve on the customer experience by understanding what is used and/or confused.

Improved Sales Conversions

For eCommerce sites reducing any point of purchase friction is a critical, but sometimes frustrating pursuit. In the case of some businesses the retail experience is only online, and overheads are already stretched across multiple areas of the business and staffing a phone or live chat 24/7 isn’t financially viable.

Using a combination of automated support and personalised data retrieval, customers receive timely advice, supported by previous purchase data and available loyalty rewards.

Improved Bottom Line

  1. More sales conversions per site visitors and/or unique sessions
  2. Less abandoned carts
  3. Improved sales through remarketing efforts

Using AI to enhance the customer experience has clear financial benefits, but it also helps improve the person to person experience too.

As customers we want to know our money and our time is valued and adding AI to the customer support experience doesn’t just say that, it SHOWS it.

Conquering the Abandoned Cart

As a successful online retailer it’s second nature to see sales roll through your store, but the frustration of even a single abandoned cart never really goes away. That is unless you understand why it happens and employ tactics to convert them to sales.

 

Close to 67% percent of shopping carts are abandoned and this percentage has been going up every year since online shopping was possible. The reasons why abandoned carts happen have not changed much but the ability to address the problems head-on has.

 

Problem #1: Unclear or High Shipping Costs

 

Every single person out there is looking to try and save money on shipping. No one wants to show off their new item only to find out they paid twice the shipping cost – it’s like walking into a store and asking for a mark UP at the register.

 

Solution: Tell them early, often and be transparent.

 

  1. Australia Post – If you want to do shipping cost by the book then link your cart directly to real time AusPOST shipping costs. No games or great mysteries here because they can price check it directly on the AusPOST website – everyone wins.

  2. Flat rate shipping – You should have your shipping costs and margins down to a science by now but maybe you need flexibility AUSPost does not offer. Switching to a clear, concise rate structure by # of items or weight will allow you to incentivise a higher spend for better shipping rates.

  3. Free shipping – a massive winner so if it’s practical then do it. You can make everything free by adding a standard shipping cost into the price or set simple conditions to qualify and then make sure to remind them of those conditions on every page of your website, by using the word FREE.

 

Problem #2: Not Having the Right Payment Options

 

Having built hundreds of shopping carts ourselves we understand that the payment methods that work for your organisation may not be the ones that customers prefer. But the good news is we’ve come a long way since Paypal as a single option and new options spring up every month, you need to start nimble.

 

Solution: Provide 2-3 options, track what’s most popular on your site and re-evaluate every 12 months.

 

  1. Stripe – Imagine setting up an account in 10 minutes or less that allows you to process credit card payments right on your checkout page (SSL required). This is what you get with Stripe, in addition to removing sales friction from page-directs or extra account setups just to make a payment. It’s easy, seamless and it just works.

  2. Paypal – Still the golden, international standard for online payment processing and we still recommend it as a solid choice for accepting credit card payments. If your clients are also regular eBay shoppers will give them the comfort they need to convert the sale.

  3. Bank Merchant Account – With Stripe and Paypal you still don’t get direct access to your cash until it’s in your bank account. Setting up a merchant account with your bank and processing payments directly into your bank account makes money management easier. Most of the big banks offer this facility, it’s up to you to negotiate the fees associated with your merchant account.

  4. Layby – In the last 12 months multiple online layby options have sprung forth. End customers are really loving this, the immediacy of getting something now and paying for it over time. Zippay and Afterpay are the most popular choices but you need to check the fine print and make sure your preferred layby option will talk to your eCommerce system.

 

Problem #3: They Aren’t Ready to Buy Yet

 

Almost no one goes to a website once, adds a product to cart and checkouts straight away. They compare prices, look at other comparable products and check customer reviews on your products and business. You know this already, so accept it and start building a more memorable customer experience.

 

Solution: Make customers feel respected and supported.

 

  1. Wish Lists – They know you value their money, but have you shown them you value their time? Let customers continue the shopping journey instead of restarting with a Wish List. In return you get an email address and the chance to follow them up and sweeten the deal with marketing automation. If they are serious shoppers they will remember you for saving them time.

  2. Customer Support – All shopping carts being equal, this is where you can really set your experience apart. If your products have some complexity, can they live chat with someone about their questions? Better yet are you using intelligence automation to engage customers and provide answers and reassurance 24/7?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when shopping carts get dumped, spending too much time on the problem and not the solution.

If you are addressing these top 3 concerns thoughtfully, effectively and with regularity then you’re turning frustration into knowledge and tactics that will help you conquer the challenge of the abandoned cart.

Turnaround Lacklustre eCommerce Sales in 3 Steps

You started your eCommerce site to expand your revenue and your reach, but lately its not doing anything noteworthy and you have a sneaking feeling you’re just coasting. Sound familiar?

 

Having produced and supported hundreds of eCommerce sites across many industries in the last 10 years we’ve seen common themes for successful sites. What these companies do, and the tools they use, can be boiled down to three areas.

 

1. Automate Site Visitor Analysis

eCommerce sales conversion rates average 3% globally, so for those that don’t convert you can still capture valuable behaviour data that will help you convert better in the future.

 

Optimizely for A/B Testing

 

What your designer or developer thinks might convert better could be wrong. Remove the need for arguments by using Optimizely and find out what users respond to. Use that data again to inform future sales strategies on your site.

 

Kissmetrics for Building Ideal Customer Profiles

 

With Kissmetrics, you can leverage data to determine where your best customers come from, who your best customers are, and how to convert more customers on your website. The tool allows you to view revenue metrics broken down by traffic source as well as providing insight into what’s keeping people from checking out.

 

2. Intelligent Pursuit of (More of) Your Ideal Customers

Once you have a decent read on what brings repeat visitors and sales to your site you need more of those customers. An effective content marketing strategy paired with cost-effective advertising will help you do that.

 

GoAnimate Explainer Video Creation to Demonstrate Product Benefits

 

The engagement stats on using video versus any other content medium are undeniable and exponential in some cases. Building shareable (and if lucky viral) product content is best executed through GoAnimate because its easy, engaging and cost-effective. Adding these to your website, your YouTube channel and social media also gives you a baseline of shareable content that can be used and reused.

 

Tribe to Find Your Ideal Social Media Influencer

 

To achieve faster and more high profile exposure for your brand use Tribe to find your power middle influencer. Tribe puts you in direct contact with the 250,000+ Australians that have more than 5000 social media followers. Submit your campaign brief and influencers will bid for your business then you get to choose who you work with and how. Aligning with a rising star is a powerful possibility with Tribe.

 

Google Shopping for a More Targeted Ad Spend

 

Advertising with Google Shopping is a visual and cost-effective way to display what you sell, matching up head to head with your competition. Product comparison via Google Shopping is a standard starting point for most online shoppers so make it easier for them to find your products linking directly to your website where all your great product content and authority lives. Conversion rates from Shopping campaigns can easily convert at 3 times the rate of general Search campaigns.

 

3. Find Your Evangelists and Loyal Supporters and Keep Them Close

You’re now intelligently and actively courting your new batch of ideal customers, but make sure not to leave your loyal fans hanging. They’re the ones who interact regularly with your brand and provide unsolicited positive feedback so ask them to formalise that positivity and then reward them for good behaviour.

 

Reviews.io to Harness the Power of Positive Feedback

 

You have to work hard for sales, but getting people to say nice things about your products & service is harder right? Not with Reviews.io. 90% of happy buyers will provide a review and this software not only manages the entire review collection and distribution process but it will help you achieve the coveted Google seller rating faster than a manual review process which helps you save even more on your Google Shopping advertising campaigns.

 

Smile.io to Create and Automate Your Customer Loyalty Program

 

They’ve already given you positive feedback and referred you to others, now it’s time to reward them. Personal emails and one off discounts are nice, but scaling the power of positivity should be automated and delineated.  Smile.io is a powerful and cost-effective tool allowing you to create your own influencers, putting you in the driver seat of managing your online reputation.

 

From Lacklustre to Arse-kicker

 

There is a theme here:

 

  1. Automate data capture to create insight about what works
  2. Use that data and insight to spend wisely, attracting more of what works
  3. Get serious about capturing crowd-sourced data and insight to create a continous loop attracting more of what works
Creating your own eco-system of what works does take effort, but so does starting an online store in the first place. In the fastest moving marketplace your data collection and analysis methods must be sharp and evolving, but thanks to the growth in apps most of the hard work is now automated.
These ideas and tools will give you the power to choose how fast you grow and that is anything but lacklustre.

How to Protect Your Website & Brand from Hackers

Tough to admit as digital marketers, but our website was hacked a few years ago. It was frustrating, time-intensive to fix and mostly embarrassing.

We hung our heads for a bit, but then realised our experience could actually benefit others. We had taken our website security for granted but the process of restoring our online reputation painted a clear picture of what we, and other WordPress sites could do to strongly discourage future hacking attempts.

While some of the information below is unique to our WordPress security service it is a strong guide for anyone needing to  keep their online reputation safe.

WK-Wordpress-Security

 

 

Women ARE Bad Drivers And Robots ARE Evil

Traitor…that is likely the nicest thing my female colleagues, team members, friends and family are thinking right now. Shame on me really, because I’m here to tell you why we should throw those antiquated ideas out the (car) window.

 

Women, on average, are are looking after more than one person at any given time, requiring more patience and thought in getting from here to there.  So if we take a bit more time or allow more than one car to merge remember the literal and metaphorical band-aid at the back of our mind.

 

The Light Bulb Moment

 

As a managing director I think a lot about our customers and the service experience we deliver. The best win we get is the light bulb moment on a client’s face telling us we nailed it and frankly I got into this business because of those damn light bulb moments. Helping people can be addictive and (spoiler alert) the IT industry is actually full of people like me.

 

So we love these “nailed it” moments but in reality we now have to nail it each time customers need our help, not just when we are face to face.

 

As our client base grows we have to be more strategic about that “nailed it” service delivery. How do we keep the service personal and effective, but expand it in a smart way?

 

The statistics around our customer service expectations are that at least 50% of us expect it to be 24/7. We also don’t want our time to be in vain, spending precious time on the phone, only to not get the answer or solve the problem.

 

Over time technology has rushed to fill the gap, sometimes quite effectively. Live Chat, as an example, is a personal and convenient conversation that can help us get the answer we seek or progress it to a point where we know what we need to do next.

 

What live chat does not fully solve, and it is a big gap for companies, is true scalability. As you grow your client base you need more team members to staff the chat. You train them on the same content, the same procedures and sit them in the same desk solving the same problems. Formulaic but not cost-effective in the long run.

 

Our own light bulb moment came last year when we saw how far artificial intelligence had come. Google, Apple and Facebook have been at this for years, but for the rest of us the technology has evolved from esoteric movie fodder to something far more practical and democratic.

 

Artificial Intelligence For Business

 

Companies of all sizes and industries can now have their own personalised service agent using artificial intelligence. Think of it as a harmonic merge of Siri and live chat, tailored for your business objectives.

 

Front line chat agents are expediters to the end game, allowing companies to be “on” all the time cost-effectively. They free up people on your team to excel at solving the complex issues, allowing you to hire for unique skills rather than repetitive tasks that scream low ROI.

 

While this opportunity may sound scary to some make no mistake, your competitors, your board, the CEO is already thinking about this. It is time for all of us to join the conversation and make technology work for us, improving the service experience while still preserving our fundamental humanity and those beautiful light bulb moments.