Is Blogging Good For Business?

is blogging good for business

Photo courtesy of Neonbrand.

It’s my turn to write a blog and as I am brainstorming about what to write, I thought about how beneficial blogs are to business and how they should be an integral part of an online marketing strategy. Is blogging good for business? You betcha! Whether you’re a small or large business, blogging is important, and here are four reasons why! Continue reading…

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The Marketing Dream Team

older man wearing a lakers jersey, holding a basketball

Epic Grandpa photo courtesy of Andre Hunter.

What takes 8 research sessions, 18 site visits, and 6 clicks in a span of 17 days?  According to Google Research, that is the path a consumer takes to make a hotel booking.  Keep in mind that 55% of website users spend less than 15 seconds on a website.  So how do you make a memorable impact? How do you become a “marketing dream team?” Continue reading…

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Beacons – Little Powerhouses in the Digital Landscape

young woman looking at beacon message on cell phone

Have you walked into a store to find a coupon appear instantly on your phone? Then you’ve been beaconed. Check out a few impressive stats on these miniature marketing marvels hitting the digital landscape.

What Beacons are and How They Work

Beacons are small, battery-powered transmitters that send targeted messages to nearby mobile devices via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. At anywhere from $5 to about $50 each, beacons are relatively inexpensive. Cost factors include features such as battery life and signal range. Continue reading…

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Local Advertising Online: Try Evergreen Facebook Ads

local advertising online

Most platforms for local advertising online have developed some aspect of self-service to make it easier than ever for anyone to set up an ad campaign. So, you could probably spend a few hours per platform figuring out how to do this yourself, but would you be maximizing your spend? Would you be targeting the right people? Would you know how to analyze campaign stats to determine what’s working and what isn’t — or even execute an A-B test? Continue reading…

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Another Pea to a World of Pods – A Quick Guide to Instagram Pods

peas in a pod

Been wondering about Instagram pods? Wonder no more! (Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash)

Instagram Pods have sprouted all over, so because Instagram holds a special place in my heart, I’ll answer what they are, whether you should be a part of one, how to join and I’ll give my final opinion — even though you didn’t ask for it. 😉 Continue reading…

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I’ll Take Your Numbers, and Raise You by a Format and a Graph

using charts and graphs for data analysis

Marketing Analytics—Why visuals are your best friend ever

Here I am, coming into week four of a football pool. I’ve been close to the bottom every week (not the bottom, just close…alright practically bottom) and I can’t figure out why I can’t even be mid-pack. Continue reading…

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How to Get Data-Driven Results in Marketing

Prior to coming to SJ Marketing, I worked in hotels, in various roles, but most recently, I was focused on reporting and analyzing data. In this case it was room rates, commissions, and even looking at weather patterns as a cause and effect. Data is all around, in every business, and more and more we are hearing the term “data-driven results”–it is time to embrace the data and use it to propel the best conclusions. But how do you get data-driven results in marketing?

The Data Must Tell a Story

In marketing with the shift to digital advertising, we have the opportunity to get trackable results, in real time, where that was not an option in print, tv, or radio. Of course, numbers on a page, are well, just numbers on a page. Do you know how to tell a story? And that my friends, is what we at SJ Marketing are here to help with. Here are three basics to hep you get on the data train (“toot, toot!”):

Your Marketing Objective is the Basis of Your Data-Driven Results

Without defining an objective, how do you know if your campaign was successful? Have a clear objective at the outset. Your set objective might be what led you to seek our expertise. Increase brand awareness, sell a specific number of tickets to an event, generate a certain amount of revenue–data exists in the form of demographics, impressions, and conversions, to name a few. In the broad sense, hoards of data is recorded and available for a multitude of measurements; however, without a goal, it is difficult to use the numbers to tell a story.

Present the Data as a Visual to Help Tell the Story

The number-one reason why many businesses do not embrace data is because there’s too much of it and nobody has time to extrapolate it. And everyone knows pictures are worth a thousand words, so I have one word to describe a thousand words–infographics. No one wants to look at tables with of a bunch of numbers. It makes our heads hurt and takes far too much time to analyze Case in point: What comes to mind when I say “USA Today?” Most likely, you are thinking USA Today Snapshots (one of those random surveys that is always in the bottom corner of their webpage). This snapshot is a simple graphic that is quick, to the point, and shows how results correlate amongst each other. We at SJ Marketing present the data with dialogue, telling the story behind the numbers, not simply overwhelming you with spreadsheets of data to make your head spin.

Cause and Effect in Data-Driven Results

Correlation versus causation. This is a big one when it comes to data-driven results and definitely can be a point of contention. The more I dive into digital marketing, and even in the data world in general, the more I find that data can find correlations to inform your strategy, but to pinpoint “A” caused “B” is a whole different story. For example, we can gain customer insights and back it up with figures. Want to know which keywords gain the most traction for you in search, or find correlations in time of day/week and engagement on social media that can produce a better ad quality and value? We can do this and correlate with ad performance based on historical results. This is at the heart of data-driven results, but it is all based on your marketing objective.

Marketing Data is Your Friend

Bottom line: The data is available to inform the strategy and decision-making process. It is available to learn more about who your customers are, discover trends, and improve your targeting to maximize your marketing spend. Just think: If your “strategy” was Lake Tahoe, your “data” was the mountains, and you were taking a panoramic of your business–wouldn’t you need both to enhance the picture?

– Julie Sabor, Account Coordinator

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Hitting the bull’s eye with data.

Remember the days when advertisers were shouting from breaks during the most watched TV shows and spreading their media spend across newspapers with the highest circulations? Today, that shout has splintered into billions of target-specific whispers. The right data mix, delivered across programmatic exchanges, creates a phenomenon like telepathy.

Chances are, forward-thinking marketers have an accurate prediction of what you’re going to do when you open your computer, even when you don’t know. Look at the ad units on your browser. Your favorite brands (and their competitors) are probably popping up constantly on Facebook. That dress you were browsing reappears across a variety of websites for a few days then disappears and that film whose trailer you watched starts following you.

The world of programmatic media placement and predictive modeling has gone beyond the questions of “what is the best environment for my ad?” or “who is the appropriate audience for my product?” and now extends to the entire online map of what leads a particular individual to a purchase at a certain time.

Advertisers, the savvy ones, are lifting campaign performance via data integration. These campaigns are nimble: making improvements in real time, tying in page context and media use insights, past user behavior as well as demographics, and enterprise wide (not just online) data collection sources. The people who manage these campaigns, like myself, are constantly testing ideas, new data partnerships, and conversion page optimizations to keep pushing performance.

Data is only as good as the system it lives in. How do your web insights help you communicate with your customers? How long does it take for seasonal browsing habits to become a trend? A microtrend? How long before you respond and change the page flow for your users? How do you adapt user experience options for anyone who doesn’t fit this trend? How do you answer these questions?

Most companies, according to a study by Lynchpin and Econsultancy, are held back by an analytics skills gap. Data is captured but never utilized. It’s imperative to pull multiple data points into a main, actionable insight. The integration of data is at least as important as the data itself.

What data’s out there?

– First party: web analytics and retargeting, FB follower segmentation, email capture and CRM strategy.

– Second party: partnerships with someone who can strategically leverage your first party data in exchange for theirs.

– Third party: provided (for a fee) by data aggregation companies. The baseline for industry standard audience targeting.

First party is the big opportunity: I’ve managed campaigns where first party data integration lead to an 18:1 ROI (as a baseline, the same creative/landing page configuration elsewhere yielded 4:1.) As a growing trend, the implementation of first party data leads to an increase in lifetime value of a customer. (Source: Signal)

A case study in support of data: Kraft Foods, embarked on test to leverage small segments of its data from more than 100 million monthly unique visits to its digital properties.

From customer interactions, Kraft gathers 22,000 individual attributes, including flavor preferences, and uses them to design personalized ads to specific customer segments such as Easter celebrating people with a sweet tooth. To drive sales around the holiday, Kraft pushed a popular dessert recipe to this audience. The result: a 23% sales increase for four Kraft products used in the recipe and a 4x return on their ad spend. Read more about this campaign here.

How are you systematically tracking and gathering data so you can learn from campaign results? If you aren’t sure, reach out to me at smith + jones to see how we can help make sense out of your data and drive record results.

– Jesse Plate | email: | phone: 775.831.6262 x207

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