Archive for the ‘core benefits’ tag
Up until today, Microsoft hasn’t publicly acknowledged the existence of Windows Phone 8 (codename Apollo). After an unfortunate leak last week and a video meant for hardware partners prior to that, a handful of new features in the next build have already been outed. But like most leaks, it doesn’t quite paint the whole picture. They rarely do.
Microsoft is shifting the core kernel of Windows Phone over to one that’s a bit more familiar to developers. Yes, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be incestuously intertwined at its NT kernel core, the same one that’s been used in Windows proper since XP. The long term vision is to have a unified operating system but at this moment the notion of ‘writing once for all platforms’ doesn’t apply. It will eventually but there are some baby steps to get to that point. A shared core benefits everyone involved: consumers, developers and hardware partners.
Today Microsoft is squarely focused on giving developers a taste of what’s to come. Though they aren’t providing any dev sleds (hardware) or software until later this summer, Microsoft says that “developers will be taken care of.” The first batch of Windows Phone 8 devices will ship this fall.
Microsoft has yet to announce details of how or whether or not Windows Phone 7 devices will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8. More here.
Both consumers and developers can expect better hardware (think faster, better) with support for multi-core processors (up to 64), a more powerful GPU for gaming, in-app purchases ($$$ for developers), a faster web browsing experience with IE10, support for SD card expansion, better multi-tasking, a mobile wallet and improvements to enterprise security.
Native code in WP8 will allow developers to simplify the porting process for apps that may already be available for iOS and Android. DirectX, Direct3D, and SQLite can be used for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
Most notable of the consumer features may be Wallet, Microsoft’s gamble on NFC. The Wallet hub, however, will integrate third party apps, including loyalty rewards programs and the like. Content between devices like a Windows 8 slate and WP8 device can also be shared via NFC by tapping devices together. A native Chase app is on the way this summer. Local deals shared amongst friends or found on the web can also be stored in the wallet hub for redemption on the move. A separate PIN can be used to protect your wallet.
VoIP apps will also function more natively in WP8. And no, Skype will not be baked into the core OS. WP8 will support three screen resolutions: WVGA, WXVGA and true 720p. SD card expansion will be possible for file transfers and you’ll finally be able to side load apps, load music or transfer files from phone to phone.
Nokia Map tech will be rolled out in WP8 as well. Nokia will provide native turn-by-turn in upcoming WP8 devices. Location-based apps like Nokia Maps will run in the background, so if you get a text while getting turn-by-turn directions, you’ll be able to check and reply to that text and immediately jump back into Maps without missing a beat.
Just how much faster is IE10?
Windows Phone 8 will be enterprise ready with secure boot and a form of BitLocker. App distribution will be flexible and controlled by the business and devices will be able to integrate with software management systems.
There are now over 100,000 apps in the marketplace with more on the way like Words With Friends and Draw Something.
Monday marked a fundamental shift for the future of Microsoft. Ballmer repeatedly hammered home the importance of unifying hardware and software, something Apple has nailed for quite a while. The Surface appears to be the first arm of the business to wholeheartedly embrace that notion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or insider knowledge to know that the Windows Phone team hasn’t been tasked with the same objective. But at it’s core, the team in Redmond needs to nail the software before they even think about hardware.
It almost had to happen. Ad stacks are proliferating across the digital media landscape, and corporate behemoths such as IBM and Adobe are refining and growing their suites of digital marketing and advertising software offerings. All the while, Google has been very quiet on the display advertising front.
No longer. Yesterday at DoubleClick Insights, Google announced its commitment to going full-bore into the stack wars with what Neal Mohan, vice president, display advertising, described to me in an advanced briefing as “the biggest upgrade in DoubleClick history.”
Everything advertising at Google — search, the Google Display Network, AdSense, text ads, rich media, YouTube, and mobile advertising (AdMob) — will be combined into a new brand: a digital advertising suite dubbed DoubleClick Digital Marketing. The components include:
- DoubleClick Digital Marketing Manager — an upgraded version of the DoubleClick ad server, the control panel for ad scheduling, delivery, reporting, and more across premium media.
- DoubleClick Bid Manager — a revamping of media buying platform Invite Media. Google promises faster processing and better reporting to manage audience buying across ad exchanges.
- DoubleClick Search (launched last year), which enables buying across multiple search engines.
- DoubleClick Studio — a rich media solution that now incorporates Teracent.
- Google Analytics integration.
“It’s a rolling thunder kind of rollout,” Mohan explained. Workflow, reporting and portfolio management components won’t be released for several weeks. “We invested very heavily in building out a unified stack instead of kluging together existing products.”
Mohan identified three core benefits of turning all Google’s ad products into a unified stack (and DoubleClick is the platform used by most top agencies and advertisers). The first is “giving time back to our advertisers and agencies.” In a typical week, Mohan estimates that up to two full days are spent in various digital platforms that don’t talk to each other. “By bringing all these pieces together, we can save up to six working weeks per person, per year,” he said.
Unified reporting and attribution is the second benefit. DoubleClick promises its suite will provide perspective and insights across campaigns and channels. How did display influence search, or vice versa?
Finally, Google says it is offering cross-channel campaign optimization that will encompass bidding and campaign management.
How will Google’s stack differ from the other major players such as Adobe and IBM? Most notably, DoubleClick includes an ad server — those two players don’t serve ads (AppNexus, however, does). Critically, the stack will maintain an open API to enable integrations of other software packages.
An open API is a desirable feature in any ad technology stack, but here it’s critical as (Google+ excepted) social support is something earmarked for an unspecified future date, not the present. Moreover, it’s hardly a secret that Google’s relationship with Twitter is tenuous, and with Facebook openly competitive. Both can be viewed as significant shortcomings in a truly integrated stack — though clearly no stack out there is all things to all advertisers.
Social isn’t Google’s only long-term goal. “Digital, whether on the search or display side, has been a result of performance marketing,” Mohan said. “The brand opportunity still remains untapped.”
Smashing silos and making digital processes easier, more streamlined, and unified is a good thing. What remains to be seen is if the digital brand opportunity lies in display advertising, or in social channels such as earned and owned media.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
Home pages. If you have a website, you have one of these bad boys.
And no matter whether you’re selling real estate or racoon prevention (that’s really the entire spectrum there, right?) there are certain things that your home page MUST do if you hope to sell your product or service.
Let’s break it down.
The 6 Things Your Home Page Must Do
- Needs to speak the users language
- Needs to communicate who the customer is
- Needs to communicate the core benefits
- Needs to show passion for the product
- Needs to build trust
- Needs to push user into the sales funnel
Do you know who your typical customers are? Do you know where they shop? How much money they make in a year? How many kids they have? As a whole, all these things may not seem important to you compared to the product you sell, but they are important characteristics for your customers and how they make their purchasing decisions. Having a well-defined persona can help you build a better marketing plan in the long run and help you target your marketing campaigns and offers to the right groups of prospective consumers. At the end of the day, personas put a face to your customer and help you identify their needs and wants.
Knowing persona characteristics can be invaluable to your company as you develop your marketing campaigns and products over time. If you are having trouble reaching your customers in a way that is valuable to your company, you might consider doing some research and building some personas. Here are six core benefits to why establishing well-defined personas is a good idea for you and your customers.
6 Core Insights From Well-Defined Marketing Personas (And How to Leverage Them)
1. An Understanding of Customer Needs/Interests: When you’re trying to buy the perfect gift for your mother, spouse, or friend, you can easily visualize them in your head as you shop. You can imagine their needs and wants, the things they’d love, the things they’d be interested in, and all the things they hate. Customer personas work in the same way. They allow you to better understand the needs and wants of your customer base.
How to Leverage It: By knowing the problems your customers face, you can cater your content to your audience in a way that they’ll find valuable. Use these insights into your customers’ needs and wants to identify the topics your prospects want to learn more about, and create content around those topics.
2. Knowledge of Where Customers Spend Time: Once you know the background of each of your personas, this insight will help you gain a better understanding of where your customers spend their time online, where they go to get their information, and which social networks they typically use to connect with family, friends, and co-workers.
How to Leverage It: Knowing this information will allow you to better target your content and promote it in the places your prospects are most likely to see it. If one of your personas tends to spend more time on Facebook compared to another, who prefers email, you’ll know which type of content needs to be in each place. The prospects you want to reach are more likely to react to the content that interests them if it’s found in the channels they already populate.
3. Better Quality Leads: So far, your personas have helped you to identify what interests them, which content topics they prefer, and where to find them. What does that all mean exactly? It means you are going to be able to better cater your marketing to the right people in the right places, all which gives you the powerful opportunity to generate better quality leads.
How to Leverage It: Use the information you collect about your prospects to help you make a personal connection through email marketing and be better able to direct your messages in a more personalized way. This will also enable you to build better lead nurturing programs targeted at different personas and improve lead quality for you company, which in turn means better customers!
4. Consistency Across Your Business: At HubSpot, we use personas internally and leverage our knowledge of them constantly. If someone references one person over another, I know exactly which customer group my co-workers are talking about. Across the board, personas create a consistent and specific understanding of each target group of customers within your company.
How to Leverage It: This information is incredibly useful for your sales team. If a lead is designated as one persona over another, Sales can be better able to tailor their sales pitch before even connecting with the lead for the first time. They’ll already have an idea of what is important to that lead and their company, they’ll be better prepared for the particular questions the lead might ask, and they’ll have a clearer understanding of what it will take to close the sale.
5. Richer Closed-Loop Analytics: Once you know which persona will lead to your most ideal customer, you’ll also know which leads your marketing and sales team should be spending the most time on attracting and working. This creates more efficiency within your company overall because there is less wasted time dealing with leads that will never purchase or acquiring customers that don’t stick around for long term.
How to Leverage It: Use your closed-loop marketing analytics to identify which of your different marketing personas make better customers. Then allocate your time and money effectively to the right channels that are the most efficient in attracting these better customers.
6. Better Product Development: Not only do personas allow you to generate better quality leads and customers, but they also help you work with your customers and build future products/product features to suit their needs. With well-developed personas, you can create products and services that are more closely aligned to what your customers want, allowing you to better cater to their needs. You’ll be more likely to keep customers for the long haul if your products and services grow and change with your customers.
How to Leverage It: Use the information you gather about your different marketing personas to inform and make recommendations to your product development team so you can create killer products that appeal to your customers.
When working with personas, you are really just turning shifting your view of ‘customers’ to actual people with specific interests, wants, and needs. Get to know your ideal customers better, and you will find that the benefits are endless. How has your company leveraged the use of marketing personas to gain business?
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This post was written by the Web Marketing Ninja—author of The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing, and a professional online marketer who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger. Curious? So are we!
I tweeted a couple of days ago how wonderfully evolutionary sales page copy can be as it passes between the different people who are working on it. At the time, I likened it to Chinese whispers with a happy ending.
It’s a tweet that culminated from the copywriting process for Darren’s brand new book on DPS, Click! How to take Gorgeous Photos of your Kids. The book’s sales page presented some interesting challenges for me and reminded me of some important lessons that I thought would be good to share with you all.
1. Thinking before writing
All of Darren’s sales page start with a semi-workshop, usually with Darren, Jasmin, and myself. We’re not at this stage thinking about the specific words we’ll use—we’re thinking about the core message we’re hoping to convey and how we’ll present it. We weigh up the core benefits of the product and pick which one we’re going to lead with. It normally starts with a bit of a brain dump and ends with us exploring more specific personas—the ones for which we created the product in the first place.
With Click!, we started with a simple audience definition: “those who wanted to take photos of kids,” but soon realized that it needed to run a little deeper than that. We came up with four target personas: moms, dads, grandparents, and pro photographers. Whilst the book is perfect for all of them, the key benefits of buying the book were distinctly different for each group. We discussed options to create a page that conveyed a message to all, but settled for focusing on moms. We felt they were more likely to respond emotionally to the sales page.
2. Engaging the word nerds
Often the hardest part in the copywriting process is to draw a line in the sand and put an initial draft into play. It can be quite daunting but among the team at ProBlogger we have a Georgina, and that always gets us off to a good start.
From a short brief from Jasmine, Georgina provided the first draft. This was always going to be a tricky one for her, as there was a strong emotional entanglement in the messages (Moms and capturing the memories of their kids), and that meant we’d need to tread a fine line between making an emotional connection and looking shallow. I think Georgina did a great job, and we could have run with this version right out of the box, however Darren and I always like to take things a little further.
3. The deliberation begins
I just realized something as I’m writing this post: I’ve known Georgina for over five years. She’s used to me pulling apart her copy. But all’s fair—she’s changed as many of my words in the past with her editorial hat on. So the deliberation stage usually takes place with Darren and myself shooting it our over Skype. Sometimes we’re only tweaking things here and there; other times we’re making wholesale changes. A couple of hours later, we end up with a second version of the sales copy loaded up on Darren’s blog.
With Click! I decided to re-write the whole first section, as I felt we could be a little stronger in our messaging, and a little shorter in words. I spent some time and came up with a version that Darren incorporated into the final sales page. There were a couple of things I wasn’t 100% sure about, and I was keen to see what would happen in the next phase—the field test.
4. The first field test
There is nothing scientific about our field tests. Depending on the product, we’ll usually pick a few connections from our networks, and get them to honestly tell us what they think of the sales page content. Formal tests would follow a more structured approach, with a little more thought put around specific questions, but we’re usually running out of time, and with true blogger spirit, do what we can with what we’ve got.
With Click! It was pretty easy to contact all the moms we knew that were online at the time. But that was where the easy part ended! The response we got was interesting. The couple of phrases I wasn’t sure about basically horrified every mom who saw them. It was back to the drawing board, pronto. Whilst I’d never call writing fun, all I can say is I’m glad we knew before we email a couple of hundred thousand people! Motivated by some of the suggested alternatives, we set about creating a second revision.
5. The second field test
Nine times out of ten we never get to this, however, in the case of Click! the moms had spoken, and we’d made some pretty extensive changes from their feedback—and hoped we were right. So we re-tested the copy. A few nervous minutes later, the feedback was much better and we had a sales page ready to ship.
6. Time to shine
Once we’re happy, all our sales pages go through some pre-flight checks. A final pass at the copy to make sure as many typos are corrected as possible. Then we check and double-check that all the order buttons work, and the images are in place. Once that’s done it’s off to launch we go…
Whilst the lead-up is quite extensive, it’s the result that matters. In the first nine hours of launch conversion rate of the sales page was around 10%—there’s nothing wrong with that!
There are a few important lessons that we can take from this latest sales page evolution:
You are not your customers
I’m not a mom, and I don’t have any kids, so I need to be mindful that I’m writing a sales page for someone completely different from me. Seeing things from others’ perspectives is the key to writing sales pages that will convert more people than just yourself. If you’re ever unsure, seek feedback from others.
Small things can have a dramatic influence
Within the first version of this sales page, we included one sentence that struck the wrong chord with the reviews. There are over 500 words in this page, yet five seemingly innocent words could turn buyers away in droves. If there’s anything that can show you the power of copy, this is it.
Revisions can be a good thing … and a bad thing
Suffice it to say my initial revisions did more harm than good. But the second revision turned things around sharply. You need to be careful not make changes for their own sake, and if you do, make sure you take a step forward rather than backward.
So there you have the life and times of a team ProBlogger sales page. And we haven’t even started the A/B testing yet!
Stay tuned for more posts by the secretive Web Marketing Ninja — author of The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing, and a professional online marketer for a major web brand.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger