Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn |

The Drum takes a look at the key ingredients for creating a successful app strategy that will deliver.

Top tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learnTop tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early,

With the exponential growth of mobile comes the wealth of opportunity for brands to enhance consumers’ lives by providing useful or relevant information, entertainment, or simply enabling them to complete concurrent tasks more seamlessly. This is where apps come in.

But with over 700,000 apps in Apple’s app store alone, and apps to inform, educate and entertain, it can be difficult for brands to understand how to implement an effective app strategy. Here, The Drum speaks to individuals from the app development sector to determine their top tips for applying apps successfully.


At the heart of an app is its user, therefore it is crucial for brands to understand their customers. “As with all marketing, it’s essential that the consumer is always at the heart of the creative idea,” says Mark Hadfield, senior planner, Weapon7. “This ensures relevancy and gives the app a real role in their lives.”
Kevin Galway, business development manager, bss digital, stresses the importance of understanding customers. “What do your customers want and what technologies do they use? Will they be prepared to pay for the app or do you need to deliver a native app and a web app to reach more users? Ultimately an app needs to be useful, enjoyable and informative to the customer – this is paramount to keep them coming back for more.”

Grapple CSO Adam Levene also emphasises the importance of harnessing the potential of mobile to make their lives easier. “It’s all too easy to borrow from what a brand is doing online. The smartphone is the most personal device in the world, always with customers and always on. As such, brands must get into the mindset of providing a first-class experience that provides ongoing value, solves customers’ pain points and makes their lives easier. More than any other channel, mobile has the potential to build deeper connections between a brand and consumers.” Seguir leyendo “Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn |”

Online Marketing: What Numbers Really Matter to Your Business? | via 

Just a couple of decades ago, one of the biggest challenges businesses faced was trying to calculate how much mileage they actually got from their advertising and marketing efforts. The reason this task was so hard was because most options for determining whether new customers were the result of a recent campaign or an existing channel weren’t that accurate.

Thanks to all of the online analytics tools that are now available, businesses can easily see exactly how customers are getting to their website. However, just because this information is available doesn’t mean that every challenge has been eliminated. Since these programs are so good at collecting information, instead of having a shortage, many businesses are now drowning in data.

If you have lots of data at your fingertips but don’t know how to use it to improve your bottom line, here’s what you should be paying attention to:

Are Your Active Marketing Efforts Paying Off?

If your website received more visitors this month than it did last month, it’s easy to assume that your active marketing efforts are paying off. However, that conclusion may be incorrect. If you’re currently focusing on a channel like social media marketing or PPC advertising, digging into your analytics may reveal that the increase is actually the result of another source such as natural search engine traffic. While that doesn’t mean you need to abandon your current marketing focus, knowing what’s actually happening is crucial for making informed decisions about your marketing efforts.

Which Channels Convert the Best? Seguir leyendo “Online Marketing: What Numbers Really Matter to Your Business? | via”

Create your own definition of innovation |

by Jorge Barba
innovation clarity

As part of my auditing process, one of the key questions I ask is: what was the most recent innovation in your industry?

Depending on how this question is answered, it will tell me a few things:

  • How this company both defines and perceives innovation
  • If they are focused on innovation
  • If they are keeping tabs on their respective industry

That question is followed up with a similar but less obvious question: who is the most loved in your industry and why?. This one tells me if they even care about delighting their customers. But it can also tell me if they associate customer loyalty with innovation. Seguir leyendo “Create your own definition of innovation |”

My customers are paying their bills late!

http://freelanceswitch.comGetting Paid by Freelance Clients

Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.

As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all.

1. Do Your Research

Get to know as much as you can about a client before you agree to do business with them. Get references from people who have worked with them and even pull a business credit report on a client if necessary. You must find a way to verify their financial behavior. You don’t want to bother wasting your time with someone who is notoriously a deadbeat.

2. It’s About the Contract

Never do any work on a freelance basis without having a well-structured, detailed contract. Although this takes time to prepare, it can end up saving you time (and huge amounts of money) in the end. Verbal agreements, handshakes, etc., these kind of agreements will never be enough. You need it ALL in writing.

You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy.

Be sure the contract specifies exactly what the payment terms are. Do they owe you money up front? When is the exact due date of the payment? And of what amount? Don’t leave any room for questions. Make sure a customer knows exactly when and how much they have to pay and signs to acknowledge this.

Include in the contract that “opinionated oppositions” will not be accepted. Specify that customers are paying for the service provided regardless of final reactions and that you are promising to deliver the service to the best of your ability in line with everything they ask.

Include in a note that if a customer decides that the original service was not what they had intended, or if they’ve changed their mind, that is to be considered a separate process and transaction. You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy. This video provided by the “Don’t Get Screwed Over”campaign highlights exactly what I mean by “wishy-washy”.

3. Utilize the Invoice

Seguir leyendo “My customers are paying their bills late!”

The 4 Dumbest Rules That Will Kill Your Company’s Culture

Fast Company
Expert Perspective

Imagine what a great place the working world could be without these dumb, stupid rules.

It’s hard to imagine that the Olympics would have some dumb, stupid rules, but if this world-class organization can have some, it’s not a stretch that companies have them, too.U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world all-around gymnastics champion, cried when she failed to make it to the women’s all-around finals. I can’t say I blame her. Wieber didn’t qualify because of the two-per-country rule, which prior to 2004 was the three-per-country rule.

The rule states that no more than two gymnasts from any country can qualify for the all-around finals, regardless of their score.Some might argue that this rule is a good one, as it gives countries who might not have a chance to medal in the all-around an opportunity to do so. But it’s still a dumb, stupid rule, as we know there is a snowball’s chance in hell these countries will beat out those who are truly the best.

This dumb, stupid rule reminds me of some of the rules I see in corporate America. Let’s begin with the most famous stupid rule of all: the customer is always right.

I learned about this rule early on in my career when I worked at the service desk at Marshalls. We’d have the regulars who would come in at the end of the season and return clothes that were obviously worn, and I do mean worn. We had to refund their money because the customer was always right. I recall a time when a customer tried to return some crazy item that we never sold in our store. You guessed it. The customer was right and we the customer service personnel had to find a place to store this large object.I also recall many a time when customers were down right rude to store personnel. How this was right I will never know! Seguir leyendo “The 4 Dumbest Rules That Will Kill Your Company’s Culture”

What Your Brain Has to Do With Your Brand

 |  |

Tell your employees and customers about how you think and behave, your innate genetic strengths and preferences, and you'll see your brand loyalty grow.


On a whim, I just Googled “personal branding” and got 7,300,000 results. On Amazon, I found 18,915 books listed under “Brand You.” That’s a lot of chatter. But I believe I have something new to add to the conversation.Business guru Tom Peters is credited with popularizing the idea of being your own brand 15 years ago. “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.,” he wrote.  “To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you…. You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description. Starting today, you are a brand.”

Your brand is not your current job or title. It is not your skills and experiences, although of course these things matter. It is not, as many people suggest, one particular attribute with which you “differentiate yourself.” It is not your reputation, which is fragile and depends on what others say about you.

“Brand you” is the sum of your innate strengths and preferences that are locked into your genes and etched into your brain. It is the way you think and the habits you have, the way your mind processes information and the manner in which you explain your ideas. In the language of my company, it is your “thinking and behavioral attributes,” how you see and interact with the world. These attributes generally do not change over time, and always can be depended upon, by you and others.

As author Maureen Johnson describes in her blog: “A personal brand is a little package you make of yourself so you can put yourself on the shelf in the marketplace and people will know what to expect or look for when they come to buy you. For example, Coke is a brand. When you see Coke, you expect a dark brown effervescent sweet drink that is always going to taste like . . . Coke.” Seguir leyendo “What Your Brain Has to Do With Your Brand”

5 Reasons Email Marketing Crushes Social Media Marketing for B2B

I know—how dare I have the audacity to hate on social media? It’s the way of the future! It will solve world hunger. It will have your babies.
And very soon, it will even make your decaf soy latte in the morning.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media is great, and you should use it in your marketing if that makes sense for your business.
But you should not put it ahead of email marketing.
Because all other things being equal, email marketing still crushes social media marketing. Here are 5 reasons why…() Seguir leyendo “5 Reasons Email Marketing Crushes Social Media Marketing for B2B”

Expert Online Business | By Silvia Pencak

 Expert Online Business |

Expert Online BusinessIf you want to grow your profits, then having an expert online business is a great way to do so.  Expert online business is one that can maximize the benefits of the internet.

Internet is home to a large pool of potential customers that search the web each day, for information on products and services.

Research has found that more and more consumers are opting to research their purchases online. Some estimates suggest that as many as 70% of all consumers find out the information they need about products via the web, or their mobile devices. What this means is that each day there may be literally thousands of people searching online for your product. If your business does not have an online presence, you are missing out on sale opportunities that may not come your way again.

In order to get your expert online business to work for you, you must have a very effective online marketing strategy in place. Internet marketing is all about getting more customers using the tools available. If you have a website, then the goal is to drive more traffic to the website.  You then have the opportunity to convert visitors to customers.  They can either buy online, or at physical store locations.

Some of the key components to consider when devising your online marketing strategy include:

  • Targeting the right audience
  • Attracting the right audience
  • Converting potential customers
  • Retaining customers

It is important to know the demographics of the audience you wish to target, and then create a strategic plan that will pull them to your business. Seguir leyendo “Expert Online Business | By Silvia Pencak”

Top 5 Reasons to Understand Your Customer’s Customer

The world is slowly climbing out of the great recession as companies around the world begin to increase investment and hiring. But for B2B sales teams looking to recapture growth during these early days, it’s critical to understand who’s really paying their bills and keeping the lights on — and guess what? It’s not your customer … it’s your customer’s customer. And if your sales team doesn’t deeply understand the business problems of these folks, then you’ll lose to competitors who do.

Before I get into the reasons why this is, consider some of the big, underlying changes happening in the market today. As companies start growing and investing again they are spending money, but they have fewer people than they had before. This means less time to accomplish key objectives and an even stronger focus on developing efficient strategies and processes to drive revenue growth ahead of the competition. As a result, they are changing the way they do business, innovating in the vertical integration of their product lines and socializing their go-to-market, because if they can innovate and out-execute the competition in the way they serve their customers they can gain more market share as spending comes back.


To accomplish this, large companies are now talking about “business transformation” in their sales teams, “cultural transformation” in how they interface with their customers, and building a “social business” as a new way to look at their internal collaboration process. With all these trends, the end objective is the same: How to better solve their customer’s business problem and so gain market share.

And so how do you solve your customer’s problem? Well like you, their challenge is revenue, profit and market share. So when your sales team understands their customer’s customer — and the business dynamics, competition and growth opportunities that their customer has — magic happens.

Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. You can focus on the customer’s business problem, not your products

It’s a cliché, but a true one: your customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions. But you can’t sell them a true solution unless you know what problem they are trying to solve, and understanding their customers will give you the insight you need to hold a useful conversation with your customer.

If you pitch product you become a tactical vendor; if you can discuss their customer and how they are serving their customer you become a member of your customer’s team. For example, is their customer driving price down on them — and so is your opportunity to help them take cost out of their operating expenses? Or are they focused on revenue and end user growth — and can your solution help your customer reduce their time to market?

Understanding the customer’s problem is sales 101, right? But it is surprising how many sales people still pitch product. It’s essential you provide your sales team with the intelligence and systems to stay on top of the customer’s ever changing end-business problem (see #5). Seguir leyendo “Top 5 Reasons to Understand Your Customer’s Customer”

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

For a company diving into Twitter for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. Where do you start? How do you get followers? How are you supposed to get customers? These are just a few of the questions that arise for businesses that are beginning their Twitter efforts.

In this post I’ll address some of these questions and give some advice for making sure you have an effective Twitter account. But before we begin, and just in case you don’t read anything beyond this point, please always remember this:

The key to remember with social media is that it’s about engagement.

It should not be looked at as a place to advertise your products. It should be looked at as a place to have meaningful conversations with people important to your business.

Ok. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s start by selecting a username!

Selecting Your Username

selecting twitter username

It’s crucial to use your real business name as your Twitter username. If your exact business name is taken, you can try to get something similar. A username that signals your location may be helpful. For example, if your business name is Widgets Inc and the widgetsinc username on Twitter is taken, you can try widgetsinc__ (home state initials).

Hyphens and underscores are always something to avoid, not just in Twitter usernames but also in domain names – it just looks unprofessional.

For example, some companies have multiple Twitter accounts. Zappos is a company that uses multiple Twitter accounts effectively. One is from the CEO, Tony Hsieh. The other is Zappos customer service Twitter account. They both serve different purposes. Hsieh occasionally tweets about the company or anything else he finds interesting. The Twitter Zappos customer service account handles all mentions on Twitter and uses Twitter as a platform to interact with current and prospective customers.

The Dell Outlet Twitter Account is run by Dell and sells refurbished computers. It is a great example of how multiple Twitter accounts can have a profound impact on a business.

Your Bio

twitter bio example

In the “bio” section of your Twitter account, you are limited to 160 characters. It’s important to not skim this part, as users with bios and a link have been shown to have more followers than those without. If you cannot explain what your business does in a couple of sentences, you may have to rethink what it is that you’re doing.

So explain what you do in your bio and the benefit of using your service or product. Here are a few I like: Seguir leyendo “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter”

Role To The Goal: How Developing Role-Based Personas Can Increase Conversions

A lot has been shown about the effectiveness of preparing customer personas. They help your whole team stay on track about who your websiteis for and add empathy to your process.

Creating lifelong customer value with your aff...

Commonly, customer personas are based on demographic and behavioral data. Demographic data is useful when your website is targeted at a very specific audience. For example; retirees who like to play golf. Behavioral personas goes deeper than demographic data and help you define the intrinsic wants and needs of your customer.

Both of these persona models are especially helpful when it comes to business model design, marketing, and branding. However, if you already have these in place and are now focusing on website conversion optimization, I’d like to introduce to you a third type of persona, the role-based persona.

Most of the time, people are visiting a website to fulfill a particular goal. They are on a mission! They don’t read everything and they certainly don’t linger around on a site clicking links out of curiosity, as many of us would like to believe. If something gets in their way, most of the time, they simply leave.

Here’s how you can avoid that and why role-based personas are useful for conversion optimization.

Role-based personas help you cater to your user’s goals and thus, fulfill your own conversion goals.

Here are some unique benefits to preparing role-based personas:

  • They do not assume a gender, age, income level, etc. This helps you expand your efforts to a wider group of people should you choose to do so.
  • They help you work with the dreaded tunnel-vision phenom. This is what happens when visitors are so focused on their goal that they don’t see anything else on your site.
  • They empower your users. By anticipating what your visitor’s goals are, you go a long way in making your visitor not feel stupid. Believe me, the last thing you want a potential customer to feel is stupid when they visit your site. Seguir leyendo “Role To The Goal: How Developing Role-Based Personas Can Increase Conversions”

Medición de Churn Rate en negocios no “opt-out”

El Churn Rate (también llamado attrition rate) es una métrica muy útil, que mide el número de individuos o items ingresando o egresando de un conjunto en un período de tiempo específico. El Churn rate, cuando es aplicado a una base de datos de usuarios, se refiere a la proporción de clientes contractuales o subscriptores que dejan a un proveedor en un período de tiempo determinado. Es un potencial indicador de insatisfacción de clientes, ofertas más baratas o mejores de un competidor, acciones de venta o marketing más exitosas por parte de la competencia, u otras razones relacionadas con el ciclo de vida de clientes (o customer life cycle) (Wikipedia).

Churn Rate in Communities

Entonces si trabajas con o en una celco (empresa que provee servicios de telefonía móvil) contabilizarás el Churn Rate como la cantidad de clientes que cancelan sus planes en un momento determinado. Simple y dulce :-)

Ahora bien, nuestro amigo el Beto “Albert” Einstein una vez dijo “En teoría, teoría y práctica son lo mismo, en la práctica no”. Así que vayamos a uno de esos casos donde no es lo mismo, uno de esos casos poco dulces y sexys.

Un buen ejemplo es un sitio de comunidad, digamos que queremos medir el churn rate de una comunidad en particular, ¿Cómo podríamos determinar que un usuario nos está abandonando? O sea, el opt-out en una newsletter no es Churn, cierto? El punto es que en una comunidad el usuario nunca dice”Me estoy yendo de tu comunidad!”, entonces…en que momento decimos, este usuario es parte del Churn? Seguir leyendo “Medición de Churn Rate en negocios no “opt-out””

Seven Tips for Creating Killer Product Pages
If you run an e-commerce site, your product pages are the moment of truth for your business. Either they convert your visitor into a customer or they don’t. This is not new information. Everyone knows that successful product pages are important to a successful e-commerce website; so why are there so many bad ones out there?Each visitor that makes it to a product page represents the heavy lifting and money spent to get them there. The product page is not the time to squander that hard work.

It’s up to you to create a user experience that gives the visitor what they need to become a customer.So what’s the definition of a good product page user experience (UX)? Simple: one that provides the information, assurances and motivation the visitor needs to become your customer.

This definition will vary from site to site and industry to industry, so it’s up to you to test and find the mix that works best for your business.To help you get started, we asked the UX pros at digital-telepathy, a user experience design company, to identify things you can do right now to improve the user experience of your product pages. Below are seven ways to get more from your product pages, with examples from some of their favorite e-commerce product pages and insight into what makes them work so well.Note: What works for these sites might not work for yours. It’s up to you to test features and functionalityagainst your existing product pages to determine what works best for your business.

Tip One: Cut the Clutter… Seguir leyendo “Seven Tips for Creating Killer Product Pages”

Quora: Will CPE (Cost Per Engagement) advertising ever take off?

Will CPE (Cost Per Engagement) advertising ever take off?
I doubt it – the reason is that it’s targeting metrics at the kind of marketers that don’t care too much about metrics.

Broadly speaking, there’s two kind of marketers in the world – a ton could be written about this, so I’ll just provide some sweeping generalizations:

Direct response marketers are companies that are typically very focused on ROI when they buy advertising – often these include companies you’ve never heard of in ecommerce, online dating, financial services, etc., where it’s easy to calculate the value of a customer and they are primarily getting their traffic through paid marketing channels. They like to back everything out to ROI by comparing lifetime value to cost per customer, and if not that, then at least cost-per-action or some similarly concrete metric.

In many cases, these kinds of marketers prefer search marketing, email marketing, telesales, and other things where it’s easy to quantify what’s going on – they stay away from Super Bowl ads though. They prefer CPA and CPC versus CPM or sponsorships. Seguir leyendo “Quora: Will CPE (Cost Per Engagement) advertising ever take off?”


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