About this blogI like to write and I'd like to be better at it. This blog is where I practice.
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This week I’m going to a seminar on marketing for SMEs and entrepreneurs run by Ulster Bank in conjunction with SmallBusinessCan which promises to be an interesting affair. Some of the topics under discussion on the SmallBusinessCan website will be addressed, such as:
- Marketing or sales?
- Social Media
- E-commerce, designing your website, app or website?
- The classics
- Cloud, social media, software and systems
I’m looking forward to hearing what the panel will say about the first topic. One of SmallBusinessCan’s founders says “My personal view is that a good sales person is worth 10 marketers.”
First of all it should never be an either/or. Both disciplines have their place in any organisation and, at their best, complement each other well. I wrote about this before (and not just so I could post a photo of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in full flow).
Secondly, it is better to make selling everyone’s job rather than marketing. Developing everyone’s ability to spot a sales opportunity and nurture it to a certain point before passing to the sales team will reap more dividends. The same cannot necessarily be said for marketing though. It’s a rare outfit that allows everyone in the organisation to contribute to the Facebook page or Twitter account although hats off to those who do. This requires good training, trust and a blame free culture.
A recent survey by The Channel Partnership in conjunction with The Leadership Foundation found that over 80% of sales and marketing professionals believe their activities are not aligned, no doubt having a significant impact on the bottom line. More than half said that the lack of a clear strategy was a key factor in the development of co-ordinated plans, as was lack of time, budgets, structured processes and senior direction.
Hubspot, the lead generation software people, has abandoned the traditional silo structure altogether in favour of wrapping their sales and marketing functions around buying personas, effectively banishing any ‘us and them’, ‘sales v marketing’ rifts. It must work for them – they’ve recently raised $35m investment money to expand into Europe.
So marketing isn’t quite dead yet, then.
The global apps industry continues to grow massively – iTunes approved it’s millionth app back in November – yet it is still in its infancy. It’s a very exciting place to be working right now.
For hard working appreneurs the only stats that matter are the number of downloads and the rate of returning users – these are the magic numbers that investors want to see.
And getting there means marketing. Unfortunately there is a derth of case studies, research, advice and online chat about how to do this.
Most of the marketing advice tends to be either:
1. Buy online advertising to get your users (as eshewed by those platforms with ad space to sell) or
2. Get an influential person with large social reach to promote your app (as advised by smug people who’ve achieved this).
Neither of which is a valid strategy for most cash and time strapped start ups.
So, here’s a summary of a thread I found on Quora with a bit more useful information about how to market an app.
Essential actions to market your app
1. Identify your target customers and the pain point your app is solving for them
2. Articulate this in a value proposition and snappy description
Must do actions to market your app
1. Provide awesome screenshots (not to be under estimated)
3. Use social media to create a buzz – blogs, Facebook and Twitter were the platforms mentioned
5. Capture email addresses as soon as possible and ask early adopters for reviews
6. Engage with app influencers to secure reviews
7. Launch in phases
8. Identify your (SEO) keywords so your app is easy to find in the App Store
Jury’s out on these actions to market your app
1. Buy advertising space
2. Focus all your energy on marketing within the App Store
3. Learn how to do it properly by building one app purposely to throw away (Angry Birds was Rovio’s 57th game)
4. Have a lite and paid for version of your app
Have-fun-but-not-high-hopes actions to market your app
1. Get it featured on The Big Bang Theory
2. Ask Stephen Fry to play with it
One marketing tactic missed from the Quora thread is the importance of email marketing to drive downloads and engagement. Another is the clever (ie neither stalkerish nor so infrequent it’s irrelevant) use of push notifications within the app to drive repeat use.
It stands to reason that best practice for app marketing will evolve in 2013 though, like SEO marketing, it may well be a moving beast as the boundaries and rules set by the App Store change. But what then of Android? Time will tell.
This great post about how to market yourself for job opportunities in marketing gives tips that apply to job seekers in any industry. It also reminds me of a post I wrote a while back called what job seekers ought to know about writing.
The fourth of my series of infographics for this week is this summary of phobias suffered by creative types.
It raised a smile, especially the client relations comments at the end (I think I’ve heard all of those as a marketer too). Grr.
I could add a few more, especially the phobia of DON’T TOUCH MY SCREEN!! (you know who you are) but that wouldn’t be nice.
Source: Thanks to Design Taxi for the share.
And thanks to you for following this mini infographic series so far this week, if you have been. If not you missed The Social Sickness (social media personas) on Monday, Opinion Burnout (customer surveys) on Tuesday, The Evolution of Time Management Tools on Wednesday.
If you don’t want to miss the last infographic tomorrow just pop your email address into the box on the top right to receive these blog updates straight to your inbox.
The third infographic I wanted to share this week is a journey through time management tools.
There are a lot of tools and techniques to help us manage our time better and I’ve blogged before about how to prioritise tasks. How refreshing to note that not having enough hours in the day is nothing new.
Source: Thanks to Generation Demandforce for the share.
If you don’t want to miss the other infographics this week just pop your email address into the box on the top right to receive these blog updates straight to your inbox.