Is Instagram the new Facebook?

Concerns about an inceasing number of ads, ‘big brother’ effects and recommendation features have people wondering whether Instagram is becoming more like Facebook.

Source: WSJ Tech News brief podcast (https://t.co/JYAcwcXZOk)

Is Interest in Voice Search on the Rise?

Many publications and podcasts have been touting the rise of voice search since 2018 began.  For example, Forbes recently published an article titled, “The Continued Rise of Voice Search and How Your Business Can Leverage It” on January 29, 2018.  Voice search poses many benefits for both businesses and consumers.  Is interest in voice search actually gaining traction despite recent praise by prominent sources?

Voice Search

Source: Google Trends

The trend graph above shows that online search requests for the phrase “voice search” on Google are noticeably lower than reported in years past.  Roku and Amazon Fire are contributing to a resurgence in voice search interest though.

Businesses and consumers can benefit greatly through improved voice search technologies.  Do not to go overboard with recent voice search hype until voice search technologies prove to be viable staples for your search optimization strategy.

What are your thoughts about voice search?

Educated, Millennials Drive Podcast Listenership

Entrepreneur Magazine recently featured an interesting story about the importance of podcasts.  Approximately 24% of the U.S. population currently listens to podcasts;  podcast listenership is expected to rise in the upcoming years.  About 68 million people actively listen to podcasts.  Millennials, consumers between ages 18 and 34 years old, account for 44% of all podcast listeners.  More than 50% of podcast listeners have a bachelor’s degree, or higher.

Millennials prefer podcasting to comparable digital and social media information sources (e.g., blogs).  Podcasts give consumers an ability to listen on demand when they want.  Podcasts are becoming ever increasingly popular due to an uncanny ability that allows educated millennials to consume digital information on the go.

Why does Podcasting Matter?

Many podcasts attract consumers across niche categories.  Comedy, news, sports, politics and business are among the leading podcast genres.  Marketers should participate in podcasting (e.g., host podcasts, be a guest on podcasts, sponsor podcasts, etc…) to reach desirable market segments.

Did you find this blog posting helpful?  Please let Somediafy Digital Marketing and Research Firm know what think.

Sources:

Entrepreneur Magazine

Six Colors

Low-Cost Sampling Requires Better Judgment

Non-probability sampling, market research
Non-probability Sampling Methods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Pinterest

Probability sampling is more accurate than non-probability sampling (Trochim, 2006). Probability sampling allows researchers to collect a random set of data to minimize sampling bias.  Non-probability sampling is not as accurate as probability sampling; however, can sufficiently meet research objectives at a fraction of the cost and time necessary to attain probability sampling data.

Judgment sampling methodology is a type of non-probability purposive sampling.  Judgment samples take place when a researcher chooses participants based on certain attributes (Cooper & Schindler, 2008).  This sampling technique is typically used during the beginning stages of research.  It can also be used to select a partisan body for examination.  Judgment samples do not provide the same level of accuracy as probability sampling techniques.  Judgment samples should not be written off entirely though.  Judgment samples can provide directional insights to guide future research endeavors.

Many organizations operate with minimal marketing and research budgets.  This is particularly the case with small businesses which may not perform marketing research altogether to avoid perceived expensive research costs.  An organization can perform initial low-cost judgment sampling to clarify points of emphasis before moving forward with more expensive market research projects.  For instance, a marketing director might think their widget manufacturing company has little brand awareness.  A low-cost judgment sample analyzing widget industry digital (e.g., social media) postings can in fact reveal that online brand awareness about the widget manufacturer is better than expected.  The marketing director can now decide whether to further pursue a brand awareness study, or research different areas of interest (e.g., customer service and/or product quality).

In conclusion, judgment sampling is not as accurate as most probability sampling methods.  Judgment sampling can be a less expensive way to achieve research objectives.  Organizations should determine research budgets and goals prior to partaking in probability, or non-probability sampling.  Ultimately, determining marketing research goals will contribute to better judgment and marketing research outcomes.

References:

Cooper, D. & Schindler, P. (2008).  Business Research Methods.  McGraw-Hill Irwin.
10th ed 372-402.

Trochim, W. M. K. (2006). Non-probability Sampling. Retrieved from
https://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampnon.php
on December 14, 2017.

How Can Your Organization Improve SEO?

A recent post by Jessica Thompson of Search Engine Land explains contributing factors for better website SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Thompson’s article titled “SEO Ranking Factors in 2017: What’s Important and What’s Not” acknowledges that search engines constantly retool ranking algorithms to better categorize organic online search results.  Variables that once generated prominent SEO rankings no longer matter though.  New variables like mobile-friendliness and website security (HTTPS) influence search rankings, but to varying extents.

Below is a list of potential variables that can impact your organization’s website ranking:

  1. Website Security (HTTPS): Maintaining a website with better user protections can contribute to improved website rankings; however, website security is not the only factor to consider.
  2. Content length: A review of top-ranked search results reveals that content featured (e.g., posted articles) is 45% longer than content on sites with lower search engine result rankings.
  3. Direct web traffic: This variable demonstrates that the amount of people visiting a site is more important than the number of people simply searching for a site.
  4. Bounce rate: Bounce rate a) indicates whether site visitors go to a website and b) determines the length of time site visitors stay on a site.
  5. Link building: Link building is one of the most important things that organizations can do to improve search engine optimization.  Organizations seeking to improve SEO should increase both the quantity and quality of links to and from company websites.

Do you know of any additional variables that can affect website rankings among leading search engine search results?  Please comment if so.

Source: Search Engine Land

Should Marketing & Sales Departments Align?

Introduction    

Teams are multi-tasking units that perform goals to accomplish a task (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001).  Teamwork is extremely important among marketers and sales departments.  Historically, marketing and sales departments operated independent of each other.  Statistics show organizations with marketing and sales teams that work in tandem are more profitable, make more sales and retain more existing customers.  Organizations with marketing and sales teams that are aligned perform better than organizations that do not integrate marketing and sales functions.

Marketing & Sales Teams Should Collaborate

Teams are the support structures for organizations.  Teams can be found across every level within most organizations.  Teams exist both horizontally and vertically within organizational layouts.  Businesses have executive teams, project teams, and marketing and sales teams among others.  Furthermore, teams can exist outside of individual organizations.  For example, businesses can work together in teams to facilitate creativity and innovation en-route to bringing products and services to market.  Business teams are expected to perform as effective groups.  Marketing and sales teams collaborate to conceptualize products and services to bring to market (SHRM, 2017).  Marketing and sales teams’ primary goals include increasing sales, improving marketing performance, lowering costs and improving service (SHRM, 2017).

Kevin O’Connor of Fast Company (Fastcompany.com) says that businesses can have great ideas; however, acknowledges teams of talented people organized strategically are necessary to succeed (O’Connor, 2012).  Within marketing, structured marketing and sales teams can make all the difference between success and failure.  Successful organizations get marketing and sales departments on the same page.  Marketing generates leads that the sales teams later converts into customers (Glynn, 2017).  Marketing and sales departments that collaborate versus working in silos are much more productive.

“Smarketing” is a popular phrase used to describe the successful coordination of marketing and sales teams (or departments).  Companies with sales and marketing teams working in tandem report seeing 36% higher customer retention, 38% higher sales win rates and 208% more revenue from marketing efforts (Ye, 2017).

Conclusion

Marketing and sales teams often have different goals.  Great organizations are tearing down barriers to coordinate efforts between marketing and sales teams (Marketo, 2017).  Leading sources state that marketing and sales team alignment can improve Return-on-Investment (ROI), sales productivity, and top-line growth.  In addition, some statistics suggest that an inability to align sales and marketing departments teams around the right objectives costs Business-to-Business (B2B) companies more than 10% in lost revenue (Murphy, 2015).

References:

Marketo. (2017). What is Marketing and Sales Alignment?  Retrieved from August 7, 2017 from website https://www.marketo.com/marketing-and-sales-alignment/

Marks, M., Mathieu, J. & Zaccaro, S. (2001).  A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes.  Academy of Management Review, 26, 356-376.

Murphy, A. (2015). 10 Stats on the Business Impact of Marketing Marks, M., Mathieu, J. & Zaccaro, S. (2001).  A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes.  Academy of Management Review, 26, 356-376.

Glynn, F. (2017).  7 Experts Share How They Make Marketing & Sales Collaboration More Effective.  Retrieved on August 8, 2017 from website https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/experts-marketing-sales-collaboration-more-effective

O’Connor, K. (2012).  9 Ways Great Companies Organize Their Teams For Success.  Retrieved on August 7, 2017 from website https://www.fastcompany.com/3000584/9-ways-great-companies-organize-their-teams-success

SHRM. (2017). Developing and Sustaining High-Performance Work Teams.  Retrieved on August 8, 2017 from website https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/developingandsustaininghigh-performanceworkteams.aspx

Ye, L. (2017). 20 Stats That Prove the Power of Sales and Marketing Synchronization.  Retrieved August 7, 2017 from website https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/stats-that-prove-the-power-of-smarketing-slideshare