All Blogs and News (284)

Fast Lane: Getting Product to Market

3294932258?profile=RESIZE_320x320 Here are a few easy steps to get a new product to market and quick:  

  • Design an innovative product and be confident in your ability to deliver this product at some point in the “foreseeable future,” actual date not necessary.
  • Rock the marketing for said product and be sure to create a buzz. One way to accomplish this is to turn to You Tube.  Make a clever video, insert a hipster type, “Average Joe,” have him crack a few jokes, explain what your product is and hope this goes viral.
  • Now you may need some capital to manufacture your product, try crowdfunding.   Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and Tilt are a few crowdfunding programs gaining popularity.

Sounds simple right? This process is actually happening, people. Products such as Navdy, www.navdy.com/ are being sold online today as part of a discounted “pre-order” program powered by Tilt.com, yet the production of these Navdy units is not complete. They do not even have a solid date as to when consumers will receive their product and sales a

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3294932637?profile=RESIZE_320x320Shoppers often will learn about a product, retailer, or offer from a mobile ad, then visit the bricks and mortar store to complete the purchase. 

But tracking the store visit back to the ad has been a challenge for advertisers.  Placed (www.placed.com) provides a platform that measures the impact of mobile advertising campaigns in driving traffic to your stores. 

Chief Product Officer Tim Barnes said “the ability to quantify consumers' offline behavior with digital touch points will systematically transform the way media is measured.”

How do you measure the effectiveness of mobile ads to drive in-store sales? 

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3294932558?profile=RESIZE_320x320According to a recent report put together by the Baymard Institute, an independent web research company, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That means that 67% of web shoppers looked around your site, picked out one or more things they liked enough to save into a cart, and then just...didn't buy them. Why not?

 

The four main reasons online browsers don't make that online purchase include:

1. Taxes and Shipping. Shipping just bumped a $29.99 purchase up to $41.50. The total price is too much. Bye-bye, customer.

2. Buyer’s Remorse. Shopping around and putting things in your cart is a guilt-free pleasure. But once you see everything you picked out, a sense of regret can outweigh the actual enjoyment of potentially using the product. Customers start to ask themselves: Do I really need this product? 67% of them say "no." 

3. It was fun to pretend. I was just browsing or comparison shopping. I never planned to buy the item, or I went somewhere else and got a better price.

4. Proble

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3294931451?profile=RESIZE_320x320Amazon had 900 million visits Christmas 2014,  1.3 Christmas 2015, and have regularly cracked the 1 billion visitor mark every month this year (as of May 2016). Let that number sink in. That’s 3x the population of the United States. The giant of retail, Wal-Mart only has 240 million visits a month. Target? 140 million. Grainger (for you B2B manufacturers)? 7 million. And Amazon visitors are buying. Amazon holiday sales will likely be up 20-25% over Q4 last year. That’s a decade of double digit YoY holiday sales growth (in case anyone’s counting :)  And its not just the US - we see this growth in UK, Europe, and Canada.

What's their secret?  They key for any manufacturer or publisher to understand, is that Amazon’s success IS NOT simply due to the products Amazon buys and sells online. That’s only one part of it.

They succeed because Amazon.com is really a system that pits 4 competing divisions against each other to drive overall sales - Amazon Supply, Amazon Merchant, Amazon Marketing

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Online price discrimination?

3294933205?profile=RESIZE_480x480 If you’re shopping from a Manhattan zip code or logging in with a Mac (avg. household income for Mac owners is 32% higher than Windows PC owners), Orbitz concedes that you’ll pay more for your hotel room.  Orbitz has rolled out what it calls a “predictive analytics” initiative in an attempt to increase revenues.  Indeed, it’s not hard to find examples of different people paying different prices based on their demographic checkboxes.

Orbitz isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices, but more luxurious rooms at higher prices to certain users.

The sort of targeting undertaken by Orbitz is likely to become more commonplace as online retailers scramble to identify new ways in which people’s browsing data can be used to increase online sales.

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3294931742?profile=RESIZE_320x320Now that “the internet” has widely become considered a mature and stable sales channel, a small percentage of the more daring manufacturers and publishers are actually considering cashing out on catalogs and going “all in” online. The theory is, that customers only want to shop online and catalogs are costly and time-consuming paper weights that just end up in the old circular file.

 

As an online strategist, you might think that Yeoman would be encouraging this line of thinking. But you’d be wrong. We firmly believe that offline and online efforts need to complement each other. The question should not be "offline vs. online," but "are you where the customer wants to buy from you?"

 

These days, customers think of a “store” as both online and offline and will continue to migrate to the players that make it easy for them to buy – when and how they want to.  

 

Take one of our clients in the education space. They had such great results from our online demand gen programs that they decide

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Email is dead... long live email!  Here at Yeoman we handle quite a bit of email web operations for our clients as part of our Outsourced Web Operations services.  Part of that means applying our best practices to email newsletters and then tirelessly testing and tweaking our approach to maximize open rates and click-thrus.

That’s why I was tickled pink to find this infographic from Kissmetrics showing that industry research supports our key best practices for email marketing.  Some of the highlights include:

Format your emails for mobile. Not convinced you need to? Over 40% of consumers now open their emails on a device other than their desktop PC—a number that’s been skyrocketing in the last few years.

And if they can’t read it easily on their smart phone or tablet, 89% of them will just delete it, and 27% will unsubscribe from your list. With 39% of marketers saying they do not have a mobile marketing strategy, making a few tweaks to your email marketing plans could yield big compe

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3284397007?profile=RESIZE_320x320 The Yeoman team is pleased to announce the 7th update to its Website Best Practice Scorecard.  Now in it's seventh year, the scorecard let's manufacturer's and brands compare their websites against 121 Best Practices across multiple industries.

Manufacturers and publishers have a unique challenge with websites. Their sites have to combine sales, operations, marketing, support, and channel programs. These have to be organized and easy-to-follow for customers and partners. Plus they have to be 'consumer friendly' and keep up with the latest trends in devices and behavior. 

The scorecard was created by Yeoman Technology Group based on an extensive review of the top 500 websites of manufacturers, content/course providers, and publishers. This primary research was then combined with usability studies from leading consulting and analysis firms.  The result is a set of Best Practices criteria that are proven elements of successful websites and, in many cases, the expected functions of any p

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E-Commerce Loves Snow Days

3294931983?profile=RESIZE_320x320Snow days typically evoke cheers from kids and groans from your retail partners.  Bad driving, no foot traffic, and limited staff mean yesterday's big blizzard was likely a bust for revenue except for e-commerce.  Superstorm Juno may have crushed the malls, but it made online sales jump in almost every category.

Yeoman analyzed the "storm day" online activity and performance results of 125,000 client products across multiple markets including B2C, B2B, and Education segments.  We also analyzed performance of these items on Amazon.   The comparison was simple - how did year over year sales compare on the storm days this year versus last year. Last years days were cold but there were no major storms in the East coast.

Some of the results are pretty obvious, but there are a few surprises.  Traffic and revenue to B2B sites and B2B products dipped.  No surprise there; did everyone really work from home?  B2C product revenue had the biggest jump up 44% versus prior year.  Amazon specific act

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3294932846?profile=RESIZE_320x320The sea of government bids is a wide, daunting space. Whether you are fishing for smaller bids with a single line, or a school of large government RFP’s, chances are you don’t have the right equipment to suit your business needs.

Yeoman Technology Group has just the right equipment for the voyage. We have a department of research experts expertly appointed to find all of the fish, big and small, that fit your business niche. We scour the seas daily for the best local, state and federal bids that translate into a bigger sales haul at the dock for you.

Think we’re telling fish stories? Contact us and we’ll set up a free trial service to scour the vast internet ocean of RFP’s, RFQ’s, RFI’s, and more. There’s market share to gain. We don’t just drop fish off at the dock though, there’s more. We provide bid monitoring through the entire sale cycle (pre-bid advertisements to bid tabulation and awards). Want to know who caught the prize-winning fish that your company missed? We’ll deliver tha

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If AI still sounds like science fiction to you, you might be in imminent danger of falling behind the competition. But it’s not too late to get up to speed and start using AI to advance your business. If you’d like to learn more, join me as I co-host the upcoming VentureBeat webinar: “AI-powered customer engagement isn’t optional anymore,” live online on Feb 27th, or on demand after that date.
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The recovering economy may make many brands think the painful digital shift they’ve been undergoing in their channels will subside as traditional retail, wholesale, outside, and catalog sales get a lift with a stronger economy. They'd be wrong. While a stronger economy will help all sales, this recovery will likely see its biggest boost in digital channels – everything from direct sales and drop ships to social commerce and Amazon domination. There's plenty for a brand to do in 2018, but here are 5 trends you should be acting on now.
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Should a B2B Brand Tweet?

3294932071?profile=RESIZE_180x180 Tweeting may be darlings of retail, music, and news junkies everywhere, but should it be part of a B2B manufacturers' plan?

Sometime in 2014, social networking (including micro-blogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr) quietly surpassed all other online activities, accounting for 41% of time spent online (GlobalWebIndex).

If you looked back at Twitter in 2010, they had only 105 million users and 55 million tweets per day. Twitter now boasts ”about a billion” registered users who post  500 million tweets per day.  Digital Information World reports that by 2015, 99% of the world’s top brands have a Facebook page and 97% are active on Twitter. In fact, 46% of web users look to social media when making a purchase, and 67% of Twitter users say they are “far more likely” to buy from a brand they follow on Twitter that one they don’t—and the average Twitter user follows five or more brands.

Twitter is now the top news source for political information and trends (no surprise there)  But is it a

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DCT_SPECIAL107_1280x720.jpg?v=ap&w=650&h=366&api=7db9fe61-7414-47b5-9871-e17d87b8b6a0&width=250As the East Coast gets pummeled by the first blizzard of the year, organizations should have shifted their Sales and Marketing spend for the next two days.  It's not just the snow plow guys who are reaping benefits of snow. Regional E-commerce sales and traffic always spike during snowstorms.

How big of a spike?  A typical snowstorm can spike regional YoY traffic by 10-25%. This storm is impacting the entire Eastern Seashore, so that could drive traffic up over 30%.  If your sales team is in tune with the weather and redirects your demand gen spend (including email, Amazon marketing, Google & Bing PPC, as well as social activity) you'll see some great year over year results.  Yesterday we saw southern ecommerce revenue spiked 20% for one US retailer.  Instore traffic was going to be down anyway but the team already had a plan to shift messaging and spend to maximize the online lift.

For a brand / manufacturer, you should be able to leverage these type of events to boost your direct as

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Email Operations Review List

3294931410?profile=RESIZE_180x180What are you going to do that last week of December?  Many customers are taking time off and you may find yourself with some extra time to review, refresh and revamp.  A good place to start is to review systems and procedures that you typically set and forget.  If you’re not reporting and monitoring activity on those platforms on a regular basis, you may be missing out on some vital opportunities.
 
Take Email Marketing for example.  When is the last time you reviewed your email preference lists, brand lists, and workflows?  It’s common to complete the initial set-up and then assume automation is working well, but we’ve found that a quick review can often uncover some easy-to-fix problems.  
 
Here are 4 quick steps to get you started:

  1. Log in to your email marketing platform and go to your lead database and/or customer management section.
  2. Review the lists you have set up (may be set up by brand, customer segment, or interest).  Look for any discrepancies.  Are the quantities what you
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Are you ready to “wow” your customers and edge out the competition in 2018? With a dizzying array of channels and marketing tools, it can be hard to know what to focus on. We here at Yeoman recommend you focus on these 6 growing trends.
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Li-Fi

Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) uses visible light from LED lamps and overhead bulbs to deliver networked, mobile, high-speed communication similar to Wi-Fi (which utilizes radio waves).

The FCC has warned of a potential spectrum crisis because Wi-Fi is close to full capacity, whereas Li-Fi has almost no limitations on capacity - the visible light spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum.

It is predicted that future home & building automation will be highly dependent on Li-Fi technology as it is secure & fast.  Researchers have reached data rates of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) vs. the avg. U.S. broadband speed of about 15 Mbps.  As light waves can’t penetrate through walls, it isn’t all purpose as Wi-Fi, but it’s secure from being hacked from a remote location, but access is limited to that room.

PureLiFi, a spin off from the Univ. of Edinburgh, is the recognized leader in the field.  

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Smart Posture Trainers

Wearable posture trainers are the latest gadgets designed to help us improve our posture. They’re made for those who sit a lot for work. There are a variety of styles – from small modules that stick to your back, to headset styles, to magnets that clip to your clothing – and they often pair with an app to give you live feedback on how you’re sitting. Some of them are designed to vibrate a warning when it senses that you’re slouching or leaning to the side, while others have an avatar that shows you a live representation of your posture. The idea is to make you aware of how you're sitting or standing so that you can train your body for proper alignment.

This article reviews some of the choices that are out there, as well as some that provide additional tech such as heart rate, breathing, and walking habits to name a few:
https://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/the-best-wearables-for-improving-your-posture

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