Weekly Summary #9: 20 Jun — 24 Jun 2016

Hey folks! Welcome back to this week’s wrap-up! Hope everyone had a great week and is ready for an awesome weekend!

If you haven’t had the time (or energy) to check out the articles we have been sharing on social media this week, fret not! We’ve summarized the key takeaways from all the awesome content you may have missed!

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Mon, 20 Jun — Why Personalization Is Key To E-Commerce Success

Imagine if, for every person who entered your store, you could create a completely bespoke shopping experience. An experience tailored to their needs, desires and wants, with every step carefully planned to gently nudge them towards making that all important purchase. But that’s not all. Once they’ve left your store, you could keep in touch — every now and then, drop them a line to make sure things are going smoothly with their purchase. Wouldn’t that be a pretty amazing shop with an incredible service offering? The kind of place that you wouldn’t just buy from once, but would walk away and recommend to your friends?

What has just been described is probably still a long way away for offline retailers. However, for ecommerce businesses, this level of personalization isn’t just achievable, it’s something that more and more consumers are coming to expect. It’s now a prerequisite.

However, before you embark on your journey to provide a personalized experience for your customers, it pays to understand the various types of ecommerce personalization that you can employ:

  1. Navigational — Use browsing and purchase history to customize how customers navigate your ecommerce website. For instance, you can display products that a customer will like and most likely purchase the next time he/she revisits your website’s home page.
  2. Predictive Recommendations — Build a recommendation engine that allows you to suggest products to a customer based on the buying behavior of other users with similar personas.
  3. Third-party Data — This is when you go to an outside vendor to purchase data about a particular audience. Using third-party data is great for serving ads to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
  4. Database Segmentation — Segmentation allows you to send different emails to the various segments and demographics of your mailing lists. This helps you create more personalized emails that appeals to a particular segment of your customers, such as based on their purchase history.

Here’s the full article.

Tue, 21 Jun — Dominating Your WhatsApp Marketing Strategy

With over 700 million users and a daily engagement of 70%, more and more brands are making the effort to jump onto the brandwagon (pun intended) that is WhatsApp. But for marketers, WhatsApp has been a tough nut to crack. No ads, no media to buy and users disliking intrusive spam-like messages means marketers need to work even harder to generate engagement with their audiences.

There are currently 3 ways you can communicate with your audience:

  1. Personal 1–1: Highly time-consuming for brands and thus not overly scalable. However, if you have the resources, it can be effective for personal selling or customer service.
  2. Group Chat: All messages are shared to all group members including the full list of participants. As each can see the other’s replies, it is not highly used for marketing purposes, although some companies have had success as a digital focus group tool.
  3. Broadcast Lists: You send the same message to everyone, but each list member does not see if someone else got the same message or any replies. This is the most common scalable marketing use case.

Pros & Cons

Pros of WhatsApp marketing:

  1. Cost-free and algorithm free: Send messages to your entire subscriber base with no costs. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all implementing algorithms which severely limit your organic reach, maximum outreach without having to pay is refreshing.
  2. Message alerts for high engagement: WhatsApp tells your customers when you have sent them a message via push notification. A study found that as a result, your message has on average a 70% chance to be opened, often within minutes, far outstripping the performance of email marketing.
  3. Uncluttered environment: Right now, WhatsApp offers a quieter alternative in comparison to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This grants you greater visibility where there is minimal competition.

Cons of WhatsApp marketing:

  1. High user involvement opt-in: The most common method is encouraging the consumer to add your mobile number to their address book and then send an opt-in message. Alternatively, you can ask the consumer to fill in a form giving you their mobile number, then you send the first message requesting they add you to their contacts. Either way, this is a more lengthy process than simply clicking a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button. But on the plus side, you end up with a much higher quality list.
  2. Broadcast list limits: WhatsApp only permits 256 people per group. Although there is no limit to the number of broadcast lists you can create. Which means if you do achieve scale, there is a fair bit of manual labor to send messages. The more channels you have, the more time it takes to send as the message creation process is duplicated for each channel. But you can see this limitation as motivation for effective segmentation.
  3. Mostly manual impact measurement: While most social networks now provide analytics or insights, WhatsApp has only total network usage with messages sent and received. But smart marketers can combat some of the dark social factor by UTM tagging their post links as well as sharing buttons.

Learn how you can create your very own successful WhatsApp marketing campaign in this article here.

Wed, 22 Jun — Vertical SaaS Sales Done Right

Have you heard of Zenchef (previously 1001Menus)? Zenchef is a SaaS marketing platform for restaurants. Its mission: save restaurant owners’ time and enhance their day-to-day management in order to make them gain a bigger, more faithful clientele. In just 4 years, the team managed to scale its sales strategy and went from 0 to 2500 customers!

If you’re a SaaS (Software as a Service) startup finding it difficult to grow, perhaps you could draw some inspiration from Zenchef’s successful journey in selling SaaS for a specific vertical. Some lessons learned from them:

  1. Understand the business specificities of your target. In their case, restaurant owners have exactly 0 time to dedicate to their online presence. Their business is highly brick-and-mortar, they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, with their clients, and certainly not behind a computer. They rarely read the press or watch TV, which reduces acquisition channels. On the plus side: they conviviality makes them very faithful clients: Zenchef gets less than 1% of churn!
  2. Small businesses need a SaaS solution, not SaaS features. They don’t need (nor can they afford) many features or customizable software: they a need a simple solution, highly verticalized, where all features communicate with each other.
  3. Be obsessed with your funnel. From lead generation to customer success: Zenchef’s team is obsessed on optimizing every single step of their acquisition funnel.

Here’s the full article.

Thu, 23 Jun — Things I Wish I Knew Before Working At A Startup

Startups.

Everyone is talking about them. Uber. AirBnB. Instagram. Dropbox. Spotify.

This might make you want to quit your 9–5 job to join the startup crew and hit it big like these successful players. Sure, you’ll have a more flexible schedule, a closer-knit team, and the opportunity to learn new skills and fine-tune old skills. But there’s so much more you should consider before you jump ship to a startup.

So before you send in that job application to that dream startup of yours, take a look at some advice from the experts on what you should know before joining a startup:

  1. Not everyone can work in a startup. It is wrong to think that working in a startup is better than working in a big company. There are pros and cons in both works.
  2. Don’t make a startup your entire life. Too many people dedicate their entire lives to the startup they are working at — and this can be destructive. There are more important things out there, like family and friends.
  3. Don’t start for the wrong reasons, especially ego-driven ones (I want to have my own company, I want to escape the 9 to 5, there is a lot of money in this or that industry, I want to raise money, etc). Find the right reasons before you join a startup.
  4. Don’t look at it as just a career move, or a job. Look at it as the best learning opportunity you are ever going to get. Take every chance to learn from your co-workers, managers and founders. Write down the lessons you learn and the mistakes you make along the way.
  5. Join the startup ONLY if you truly believe in the idea and you are passionate about the problem they are solving. There will be loads of ups and downs, and your passion will ensure that you are persistent and that often is the key to a startup’s success.

Here’s the full article.

Fri, 24 Jun — The Importance Of Personal Branding

A personal brand helps you define who you are and the type of person you want to be. As an entrepreneur, a well-defined personal brand can also assist in establishing your leadership style and establish how you want to be known both in and out of the workplace.

A well-defined personal brand allows you to:

  1. Identify how to showcase your best self
  2. Understand your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Stand out from your peers and competition
  4. Establish credibility and confidence
  5. Demonstrate your value through your actions

So how do you build your personal brand? To begin, it requires a deep understanding of yourself. As you explore your personal brand, keep in mind that you need to be authentic and honest, as you will ultimately need to live up to it. Being dishonest with yourself leads you down the road of living a lie, which can create an inconsistent message to others and leaves you vulnerable.

The process of defining your personal brand require time and many, many iterations to refine. In fact, since most of us are changing personally and professionally all the time, your personal brand should be organic and evolve with you. In the end, a personal brand is a never-ending journey of self-discovery, and the sooner you take control of it, the sooner you can get on with achieving the most important goals in your life.

Find out how you can start building a personal brand for yourself in this article here.

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We hope you enjoyed this week’s summary and remember to tune in again next Saturday!

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