Ask “Siri” and “Alexa”: 4 Things To Prepare For Voice Recognition Marketing.

Ask “Siri” and “Alexa”: 4 Things To Prepare For Voice Recognition Marketing.

A fundamental change is coming in how consumers will engage with content, commerce and advertising, driven largely by the rapid growth in AI-enabled voice recognition devices such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home. 

The interface is simple, to start you just trigger word – “OK, Google”, “Alexa” (Amazon) or “Siri” (Apple) – ask a question and get a response. Welcome to a future where your voice is the main signal for all your search and shopping functions.

ComScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be done through voice recognition devices by 2020, thus one can see why Marketers are keen to get their products recognized by Alexa or Siri. But how will voice recognition search work on these devices? It is believed that Alexa will query several resources available, including Bing, Yelp and a database of enabled Skills, including WebMD for medical queries. Having your solutions or products promoted/listed in Google Answer Box is also believed to be highly effective for them to be picked up by these voice recognition devices.

What Should Marketers Focus On To Get The Most Out Of Voice Triggered Search?

 

Voice Recognition Language

Using voice only, marketers will not be able to provide mouth watering images of products, environment, promotion models etc., but instead will have to concentrate heavily on script and language to enable these mental images and emotional responses.

Search & Key Words

Again, using voice only search, consumers search queries will be slightly different in conversation than those they would use if they had to type the search into a keyboard. Marketers will need to make sure their key words and key phrases match more closely conversational searches than those which are typed.

Consumer Memory

Research has shown that audio alone is less successful than audio and visual combined. Marketers will need to build in music, sound effects and branded tones to be strategically aligned to help drive lasting memories with consumers.

Structured Data

Structured data from within your website becomes more important because it is one of the signals used to power the search results or direct answers. Using structured data will help voice recognition search engines crawl your data more efficiently.

 

If you would like assistance to help your organization prepare for better search results from voice recognition devices and bots such as Siri and Alexa, contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today.

GDPR is coming May 25th, 2018 – what does your Organization need to know?

GDPR is coming May 25th, 2018 – what does your Organization need to know?

Let’s start at the basics, what is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, an EU regulation that was approved by the European Parliament in April 2016 to supersede the outdated Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. GDPR was designed to harmonize data privacy laws throughout Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. It will introduce tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches and will give people more say about what organizations can do with their data.

Who does GDPR effect?

GDPR applies to any ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’ of data. A data controller states how and why personal data is processed, while a processor is the actual party doing the processing of data. It not only applies to organizations located within the EU but it will also apply to organizations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of people (data subjects) residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

 

What are the key principles of GDPR?

Under the principles of GDPR, organizations must:

  • Collect no more data than is necessary from a data subject for the purpose for which it will be used
  • Obtain personal data fairly from the data subject by giving them notice of the collection and its specific purpose
  • Retain the data for no longer than is necessary for that specified purpose
  • To keep the data safe and secure
  • To provide a data subject with a copy of their personal data should the subject request it

How does this effect Data Subjects (Individuals)?

Under the new regulation, data subjects will have the following rights to:

  • Obtain details about how their information is processed by an organization
  • Obtain copies of personal data that an organization holds on them
  • Have incorrect or incomplete data corrected
  • Have their data erased by an organization, where for example, the organization has no legitimate reason for retaining the data
  • Obtain data from one organization and have that data transmitted to another organization (data portability)
  • Object to the processing of their data by an organization under certain circumstances
  • Not to be subject to automated decision making, including profiling

When will GDPR apply?

It will apply to all EU member states from 25th May, 2018.

 

What constitutes Personal Data?

Any information related to a data subject, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address.

 

GDPR is a Regulation replacing a Directive, what’s the difference?

A regulation is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU, while a directive is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve.

What does your Organization need to do to prepare of May 25th, 2018?

If you are an organization or business, located or operating in the EU, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner has produced a very handy 12 Step Guide on Preparing for GDPR

 

Fines and Penalties?

For organizations who breach the new regulations fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover may apply. Data subjects or individuals may also seek compensation through the courts for breaches of their data privacy rights.

What about Brexit?

As it is possible that the UK will still officially be a member of the EU on May 25th, 2018, UK organizations will have to abide by GDPR. However, what happens once the UK officially leaves the EU remains to be seen. The UK Government has indicated it will implement an equivalent or alternative legal mechanism. Our expectation is that any such legislation will largely follow the GDPR, given the support previously provided to the GDPR by the ICO and UK Government as an effective privacy standard, together with the fact that the GDPR provides a clear baseline against which UK business can seek continued access to the EU digital market.

Roger Leyden is CEO of RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions. If you would like to know more about how RML can help your organization’s needs within the EU contact us today for further details

Blockchain (yawn!!) – let’s break it down

Blockchain (yawn!!) – let’s break it down

Blockchain is probably one of the most popular buzz words bandied about over the past couple of years. But what exactly is Blockchain and what should you know about it?

WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?

Blockchain is simply a database or ledger that maintains a continuously growing list of data records (blocks) or transactions. Blockchain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, it is the sole system of record.

A Blockchain transaction will have the following attributes:

It Can Be Shared

Servers or nodes maintain all the entries or transactions (blocks) and every node sees the transaction data stored in the blocks when created.

It is Decentralized

There is no central authority required to approve transactions or set rules.

It is Secure

The database is an immutable and irreversible record. Posts to the Ledger cannot be revised or tampered with – not even by the operators of the database.

It Runs on Trust

The distributed nature of the network requires computer servers to reach a consensus which allows for transactions to occur between unknown parties.

Automation is Key

The software is written so that conflicting or double transactions do not become written in the data set and transactions occur automatically.

WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF BLOCKCHAIN?

Considering the popularity and potential uses of Blockchain over many sectors and industries, Gartner has developed the following SWOT Analysis

WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE BLOCKCHAIN EFFECT MY BUSINESS?

According to a Gartner Hype Cycle Graph for emerging technologies, it will take at least 5 to 10 years before Blockchain Technology is widely adopted by mainstream industries.

WHERE WILL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY MOSTLY BE USED?

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are a type of alternative and virtual currency that are decentralized and built on Blockchain technology. Bitcoin would be a very popular example of this.

Smart Contracts

These are legally binding programmable digitized contracts entered on the blockchain. Giving computers control over contracts will make business more efficient and the legal system more equitable.

Banking and Finance

All the world’s major banks are currently investing heavily in Blockchain Technology as it offers many advantages, especially in the areas of audit and regulation.

Property

By placing all property records on the chain, prospective buyers will be able to immediately verify all requirements including ownership, title, land registry, insurance, etc..

Healthcare

This technology should become incredibly appealing to the healthcare profession as it could allow doctors and hospitals secure access to a patient’s entire health history there and then.

Supply Chain

The supply of goods or services blockchain ledger can be updated and validated in realtime by each participant in the supply chain. It enables equal visibility of activities and reveals where an asset is at any point in time, who owns it and what condition it’s in.

The above is only a small selection of where blockchain technology may apply in the future.

If you would like to know more about Blockchain and how it may affect your industry in the coming years contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today

Social Media for Business – which platforms work best?

Social Media for Business – which platforms work best?

Social media for business has become a very important marketing tool, offering organizations opportunities to increase brand awareness, run targeted campaigns, increase leads and build community relationships.

Like everything in life, not all social media platforms are equal; some will appeal to B2C markets, others to B2B organizations, some to younger generations, others to more mature audiences and so on.

Here is a brief list of some of the popular Social Media platforms used in business today and to which types of business they may most appeal:

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

 

1. TWITTER

 

What is it?

Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users can post and interact with messages called “tweets”. Until recently a tweet was limited to 140 characters, however, Twitter has just recently doubled this limit to 280 characters.

What type of business is it suitable for?

Twitter is suitable to all businesses from the Sole Trader to the Multinational Corporation.

What should it be used for?

Organizations should use Twitter to highlight upcoming events, new product launches, important company announcements, customer service and much more. Due to its brevity, you can ‘link’ your tweet to a web page with much more detailed information, you can shorten the web page link address for your tweet by using services such as bit.ly and goo.gl. A great Beginners Guide on how to use Twitter has recently been published by WebClare.

When to use?

Businesses should post on and interact with their Twitter accounts on a daily basis.

2. LINKEDIN

 

What is it?

LinkedIn is a business oriented, professional networking social media service.

What type of business is it suitable for?

LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media for business platforms and is primarily suitable for businesses that operate in B2B (business to business) marketplaces and Recruitment.

What should it be used for?

Description of company and services provided, individual’s professional profile, new job postings, company and product announcements, highlighting upcoming events. LinkedIn prioritizes relationship building amongst members, do not lead with a sales pitch to a new connection, but rather build a relationship built on mutual interests or industry sectors.

When to use?

LinkedIn should not be over used as your connections may view this as spam. Posting a couple of times a week may be sufficient. As well as posting on your company’s profile you can also post on relevant LinkedIn user groups for a wider audience reach.

3. FACEBOOK

 

What is it?

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users and businesses to create profiles, upload photos and videos and post messages. With over 1.6 Billion active users worldwide, it is the world’s most popular social media platform.

What type of business is it suitable for?

Like Twitter, Facebook is suitable for all.

What should it be used for?

Facebook can be used for increased brand exposure, targeted offers, communication platform, building a loyal brand following and community. As part of your social media for business strategy your organization can use Facebook Ads to target selected demographics, geographical locations and much more. The Marketing Crowd offer wonderful courses on best practices for Facebook Marketing

When to use?

Post on a daily basis. Try to make posts interesting and encourage audience participation, including likes, comments and shares.

4. INSTAGRAM

 

What is it?

Instagram is an internet based photo sharing application that allows users and businesses to share pictures and videos on their accounts.

What type of business is it suitable for?

Luxury brands, fashion, food and lifestyle product companies.

What should it be used for?

Sharing visual content and short videos. By using the same filters consistently your organization or brand can establish a style that will become instantly recognizable to your followers. Using appropriate #hashtags is also very popular on Instagram.

When to use?

Organizations should aim to have at least one post per day.

5. PINTEREST

 

What is it?

Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use. Users can upload, save, sort and manage images which are known as ‘pins’ through collections known as ‘pinboards’.

What type of business is it suitable for?

Mainly suitable for Fashion, Food, Travel and DIY businesses.

What should it be used for?

This platform should only be used if your organization has great images to share. According to The Next Web Pinterest favors most recent content, pinning and re-pinning should be done on a regular basis.

When to use?

Frequently, many times a day.

6. YOUTUBE

 

What is it?

YouTube is a video sharing website that allows users to upload, view, rate, share, comment and subscribe to other users. YouTube is owned by Google, so when it comes to SEO, videos are more likely to appear in search results than other websites.

What type of business is it suitable for?

Any organization that has video content to share.

What should it be used for?

Product promotions and demonstrations, ‘how to’ guides and client testimonials.

When to use?

Organizations should try to post a new video at least once a week.

 

 

The above is a brief overview of some of the most popular social media for business platforms used today. Other platforms such as Yelp, Google+, Snapchat, Quora….. should also be considered depending on your organizations target market and demographics.

If you would like help with your social media marketing and which platforms will work best for your business contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today.

Why your organization should enter Business Award Competitions – 6 steps to consider

Why your organization should enter Business Award Competitions – 6 steps to consider

Business Award Competitions should become a serious part of your organizations overall marketing mix. As well as providing invaluable publicity, business awards can help lend credibility to your prospects, clients and give a sense of pride and motivation to your staff.

According to Ed Reeves, co-founder of Moneypenney, business award competitions “go a long way to promoting a business. An award win, or even a nomination, can act as a third-party endorsement for the business and a confirmed seal of quality which can reassure clients that they are, in fact, working with the best of the best.”

Your marketing and business development departments should treat business award competitions with the respect and resources they deserve:

1. Which Business Award Competitions should your organization enter?

Only enter award competitions that are appropriate to your organization and/or solution. Stick to genuine awards and don’t be lured by the multitude of new ‘fake’ awards which can be purchased, other organizations and peers can see through these instantly. A Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, Industry Body and or Channel Partner award is usually a good place to start.

2. Is your product/solution ready?

Decide internally if your solution is ready to enter the awards, should you sit out this year and enter the following year when your solution is more refined, developed and has a great customer success story to back it up?

3. Resources

Devote the resources and skilled staff to fill out the awards application form with as much detail as possible on why your solution should not alone be nominated but could also be a worthy winner. Where possible list customer success examples.

4. Publicity and PR

Make sure your marketing team fully exploits the PR opportunities presented. Remember that these business award competitions will help your organization gain additional publicity from the marketing efforts of the award show organizers, fellow competitors and industry peers. Even if you do not win, the fact your organization was nominated and promoted will stand to the organization for years to come. Make sure to develop an awards page on your website to list all the awards you have won or been nominated for.

5. Benchmarking

According to Small Business BC awards are often built upon best practice and industry standards. By measuring your business against the awards criteria and comparing against your competitors’ solutions, you will be able to assess where your product/solution stands in the marketplace.

6. Awards Ceremony

Awards ceremonies usually take place around evening dinners and social events, make sure to attend where possible as they present wonderful networking opportunities to mingle with industry peers. You could also use the opportunity to bring staff as a reward for their hard work and commitment.

If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization enter and win business awards that are appropriate to your industry contact us today.

Customer Prospecting, ugh, do I have to?…………..

Customer Prospecting, ugh, do I have to?…………..

The simple and easy answer is no you don’t need to do new customer prospecting. However, for those of us who would still like to have a business this time next year, the irrevocable answer is yes!
Customer prospecting is key to sustaining, growing and making a success of your business, whether you are a start up or more mature organization. According to Continuity Programs, customer prospecting delivers the following benefits:

• Higher Sales

This one is a bit of a no brainer and most likely the number one reason that any organization creates and executes a customer prospecting program. Gaining more sales will increase revenue and ultimately should lead to greater profitability if managed correctly.

• Customer Prospecting can lead to Decreased Costs

Very often organizations can become so focused on advertising as the key means to generate new business that they forget or overlook other lead generation opportunities. Having targeted customer prospecting campaigns can often be delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and deliver a better yield.

• Customization

Highly targeted prospecting campaigns allow you to customize your message to your intended audience, focusing on a need or solution that is highly relevant to them. Use customer success stories to back up your product or solution.

So now that you are hopefully convinced to start a customer prospecting campaign, here are some steps that Geoffrey James, contributing editor with Inc.com recommends you take:

1. Get a Decent List of Prospects

You can make up a great prospecting list from referrals, web site enquiries and networking (both online e.g. LinkedIn User Groups and offline e.g. Business Associations and Trade Fairs). You could also purchase a prospecting list that is focused on your target customers or industry niche.

2. Create a Qualifying Script

Define a conversational way to ask during the initial conversation if (a) the prospect has a need for your solution (b) the budget to purchase same and (c) the authority within their organization to do so.

3. Set Reasonable Goals for a successful Customer Prospecting outcome.

Set a target for how many prospects in your pipeline that you will need. For example, if you would like to achieve 5 new sales every week and you know from experience that you generate 1 sale from every 50 or so calls, you will need to make approximately 250 new calls every week.

4. Get into a Positive Mental state.

I cannot over emphasize the importance of this one. You will need a positive balanced approach. No one like to do business with a ‘Debbie Downer’, likewise this is hopefully going to be a business transaction, you do not have to try and be the prospects new BFF within the first 5 minutes of the call. Throughout the call be positive, optimistic and stay focused on what the prospects needs are.

5. Make The Call!

Work from a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Always listen to what the prospect is saying and be aware of signs or indications where the prospect is letting you know they are ready to purchase right now “we’ve been looking to buy something like this”, “I was going to contact your firm about this”, “yes, we definitely need to talk”. These are key indicators that can help you move straight to the close of sale.

If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization develop successful customer prospecting campaigns contact us today.

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