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How To Choose the Right Diversity Supplier

By Diversity and Inclusion, Uncategorized No Comments

Shifting Demographic Realities and New Customer Needs Drive Greater Demand for Supplier Diversity.

Most companies want to diversify their vendors and suppliers, but they don’t know where to begin. Acronym’s Chief Diversity and People Officer, Irwin Drucker, has decades of experience developing and executing Supplier Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

The descriptions that define a Diversity Supplier are changing as other categories of people who are economically disadvantaged are now being included.

And, as more data has been collected over the years, the benefits of supplier diversity – including increased revenue, increased level of innovation and broader though at the leadership level.

With all this in mind, Acronym has created a Guide to Diverse Supplier Selection.

From resources/directories and Certification explanations to checklists and questions to ask, this free guidebook has everything you need to define, develop, and execute your supplier diversity program.

Key learnings:

√ What is supplier diversity and why does it matter?

√ How do you find and qualify diverse suppliers and vendors?

√ How do you select the right diverse supplier for your business?

√ What is the business value and impact of Supplier Diversity Programs?

Download the Guidebook today and let us know if we can help you as you build out your own supplier diversity program.

Neuromarketing

How Neuromarketing Creates Connections and Conversions

By Brand Engagement, Content Marketing, Insights & News, Paid Media, Uncategorized No Comments

With customer data and AI driving digital engagement, brands need to take a human-first approach to create value through personalization and relevance. Enter neuromarketing.

What Is Neuromarketing?

Acronym’s VP, Integrated Media, Joanna Cohen is a neuroscientist and brand marketer. She explains,

“In its simplest sense, neuromarketing focuses on the psychology and brain physiology behind customer decision-making. Neuromarketing gives brands the ability to create more effective campaigns by understanding the way we perceive and process information. It helps us identify the emotional and perceptual triggers that are key to a customer’s decision-making and purchase process.”

How Does Understanding Neuromarketing Improve Brand Experiences?

The subconscious, specifically, emotion, plays a large role in influencing behavior. It can even change the way a certain brand, product or image is internalized in the brain. Most marketing strategies approach buying behaviors as a rational, conscious decision as illustrated below.

However, the human brain is much more motivated by emotions and the subconscious thought process, which is driven by the customer’s hopes and fears; their emotions and ego; their experiences and expectations; existing attitudes and beliefs (including social and political) and their behaviors. The process is actually more closely related to the below illustration.

Marketers and brands should take common emotional triggers into account when planning their digital campaigns. In fact, according to an IPA dataBank Study, marketing campaigns that focused on emotional drivers (the Feel, Think, Choose approach) were 31% effective as compared to campaigns that used the rational drivers (Think, Feel, Choose), which were only 16% effective.

How Can Brands Create an Emotional Connection with Customers?

So, if customers feel before they think and choose, how can brands tap into those emotions? The answer is visual imagery.

To begin with imagery is essential. Implicit memory, which is primarily visual, affects the way brands are perceived and this is encoded in our memories.

We’ve all heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Consider that two-thirds of the stimuli reaching the brain are visual and about 80% of learning is visually based. In fact, facial signals are encoded in the brain and have a much more immediate effect on customers’ attitudes than words.

Brands can shape customer attitudes by tailoring perceptual cues through the use of color, image selection, wording – including font style and size – facial expressions seen in images, messaging sequence and storytelling. In other words, focusing on how the brain stores information and the psychology and physiology behind customer decision-making, brands can reach individuals across the customer journey with the right messaging.

The more brands understand how their customers make decisions, the better they can leverage insights about the brain and how it stores information to design memorable and effective marketing strategies that target both the conscious and the subconscious mind.

If you’d like to learn more about how neuromarketing can improve your digital marketing approach, contact us today.

POV by Joanna Cohen, VP, Integrated Media.

New Features at Yelp

Yelp’s New Search Features Connect Customers with the Right Services Companies

By Insights & News, Paid Search, Uncategorized No Comments

Yelp announces new cost guides, an optimized search experience, and an easier way to review services businesses.

This week, Yelp announced new features including custom search filters, a new review flow, themed ads and Project Cost Guides to help customers find the right services companies. Here’s a breakdown of the new features and what they mean for services brands.

Custom search filters for services. 

New search filters enable users to define criteria to find fast-responding businesses (companies that respond within two hours), businesses that provide virtual consultations or businesses that specialize in a specific type of job or repair.

Businesses are selected to appear in themed ads based on their unique offerings and the kinds of jobs they specialize in. There is no additional cost to be included in themed ads and Yelp plans to roll out additional themes over time.

Generating more reviews for services businesses. 

When customers submit a project with Yelp’s Request-A-Quote, they will now be prompted to write reviews with a series of questions to initiate the review writing process.

Yelp’s Project Cost Guides provide details on what hiring a professional for a given project might involve, including an estimated cost, based on Yelp’s historical data.

There are cost guides for services in: home services, local services, automotive, event planning & services, pets, professional services, financial services, hotels and leisure, shopping as well as dedicated cost guides for specific services in numerous major cities.

Yelp Cost Guide

What this means for services brands.

These custom search filters for services deliver more tailored results for the user focused on their specialized needs.

Themed ads provide more visibility for businesses based on their categories. And, businesses featured in “fast responding” themed ads are seeing a nearly 10% decrease in cost per lead, according to data from Yelp’s early experiments.

Yelp’s new review prompt may help local services businesses improve their visibility on Yelp. Reviews are crucial for most local businesses — 87% of consumers look at reviews for automotive businesses, 86% look at them for repairs and 82% check them for plumbing and HVAC, according to a recent study.

These new features are designed to help Yelp compete against Google and other review platforms. If you have questions on how to make your brand more discoverable on Yelp, or in any online directory, please contact us. We are happy to help.

Snapchat Introduces Trends Tool

By Analytics, Insights & News, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Snapchat continues to boast 293 million daily active users who share visual moments from their lives. For marketers who want to improve their engagement on Snapchat, the platform introduced a new Tools feature called Snapchat Trends that highlights the most popular keywords so you can better engage with your audience.

How This Impacts You:

Market Research can now be found within Snapchat through trend data showing changes in conversation volumes for targeted keywords, including behaviors and categories. This can help marketers shift their messaging focus to better connect with Snapchatters.

Messaging and Copywriting can be adjusted to reflect keyword usage within Snapchat in a way that ensures marketers create contextually relevant content for target audiences.

Better User Profiles and Personas can be created based on the behavior insights from Snapchat Trends. By capturing more intelligence around your target audiences’ daily lives, including when and how they shop, marketers can better target media strategies that align with your target customers’ core interests to drive purchase.

Key Moments Identification becomes easier. We know that Snapchatters use the platform to celebrate major milestones. Now, with Snapchat Trends, marketers can identify the “hashtag holidays” that matter to their customers. From National Ice Cream Day to International Women’s Day, brands looking to “own” a relevant moment in time can utilize this new data for content planning.

Competitive Research on Snapchat is made easier with this new Trends tool. Marketers can not only understand customer sentiment around brands or products, but they can also gain competitive insights on how those products fit in the market. By analyzing multiple keywords in one query, you can evaluate customer conversations to determine brand health as compared to the competition.

In other words, with this new Trends tool, Snap can provide insights into top organic trends, helping brands monitor community chatter and understand top Snaps for trending topics. This helps brands learn more about potential consumers and the Snapchat community as a whole, so they can better research organic behaviors to determine the market fir for their vertical or product/service.

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage Snapchat to drive brand engagement, contact us today.

How-To Plan for SEO, Paid Media, & Social Media Success on #NationalPlanner Day

By Paid Media, Paid Search, SEO, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to plan, you are planning to fail.”

We believe that to be a self-evident truth. After all, effective planning is the foundation of success. So, in honor of #NationalPlannerDay, some of Acronym’s group leaders are sharing their top three tips for effective planning across your SEO, paid media and social media programs.

3 STEPS FOR SEO SUCCESS – Winston Burton, SVP, SEO

1. Structured Data  

Marking up your content and having structured data is the best way for Google to find that content fast. Structured data gives your content to Search Engines in a way they can understand it in real time, as opposed to waiting and hoping that the bots find your content. 

This saves both bandwidth and time.  It is also important to understand Search Engines are playing a ‘long game’ with structured data as it enables a far more efficient way to effectively answer a search query with a personalized and factual set of results. This is called ‘data retrieval’ versus the traditional and time-consuming exercise of ‘information retrieval’.

2. Voice Search and Task Completions

Search will transcend mediums yet again in the very near future. Like the meteoric trajectory we saw with the mobile device type revolution, where the preference swapped from desktop to mobile driven search, text-based search will soon be surpassed by Voice Driven Search with more results sets being of the audible variety.

Being prepared for this future of Voice means creating resourceful dynamic experiences that not only solve for the micro-moment but also personify your brand to the customer, creating lasting affinities into the next frontier of Digital.

Critical steps to take now include creating Actions for the Google Assistant and Skills for Amazon’s Alexa. Voice assistants represent a powerful application of Voice search and represent one of the leading behavioral influencing sources for quickly moving consumers off text search and into Voice. Soon Voice assistants will be able to complete tasks and you should be ready for that moment.

3. Creating Content for 5G  

Be prepared for 5G. 5G will speed up and change the content experience allowing new and innovative ways to connect with customers.

Hyper-personalized content delivery, high-bandwidth digital experiences, faster websites will ensure the CX is exceptional. It’s also predicted that the usage of ad blockers will go down, allowing advertisers to serve ads effectively.

Digital will evolve from 2D to 3D, and interactive and live content will become the norm.

3 STEPS FOR PAID MEDIA – Gregg Manias, SVP, Performance Media

1. Establish Parameters for the Plan

Begin by defining the overall objective you want to achieve and the specific conversion goals to demonstrate success. You also want to determine the timing of the campaign and consider the opportunities and challenges inherent in that timing. Also, plan for the frequency of the message within that timing.

Next, you need to understand who the target audience is and examine their online behaviors and media preferences.

Finally, determine your overall budget and KPIs as this will drive the spend allocation and metrics for success.

2. Analysis Historical Performance & Research Landscape

After defining the parameters, you should review past media performance at every possible level to understand how it has traditionally performed. When you’re running ads online, you have to know what you’re spending your money on, and which ads are delivering the results you need.

This will help determine what needs to be changed to achieve the new goals based on where you’ve seen success in the past.

From there, you want to research the category landscape, target audiences, and all data and insights available to you.

3. Identify Proper Media Mix Tied to Parameters

After taking the learnings from historical plans and research, you want to create an integrated media plan that ties back to all the parameters.

It’s important not to throw money at every shiny new channel. Remember that each media channel you use might obtain a single objective from the parameter.

For example, YouTube might be used to capture a younger audience in the awareness stage, while Bing might be used to capture demand from an older demographic who use a desktop device.

So, be sure you know what each channel offers in terms of the target audience and types of engagements within each media opportunity.

3 STEPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS – Mary Sutter, Director, Social Media

1. Use Social Listening to Stay Relevant With Social Trends

By listening to your target audience online and paying attention to the topics that most interest them, you can deliver organic content that meets their needs.

It can be very easy to believe you already know what your target audience wants from your brand(s). But, social media audiences, conversations and opportunities change constantly. So, listening to your target audience and even to your competitors can give you an edge in your content planning.

There are a number of terrific tools that enable you to follow the topics, issues, concerns and trends that matter to your target audience. We recommend Sprout Social as a terrific Social Listening and planning tool.

2. Utilize a Social Media Calendar to Stay Organized, But Be Flexible for Timely Posts

We all know content calendars are a useful way ensure you consistently deliver compelling content that addresses all key messages and product positions.

But, it’s also important to allow for spontaneous content that leverages memorable moments in time and/or allows you to include your brand in trending conversations.

There is something amazing about ‘spontaneity’, especially on social media.

People love it because it’s authentic. It’s not produced. It’s real. It just comes out of the moment. Of course, you want to ensure your in-the-moment content remains “on-brand.” Spontaneity in social media works when it’s still relevant to your audience. Don’t just jump on any bandwagon. Be selective as you mix spontaneity with planned content.

3. Track & Analyze Your Content To Determine What Works & What Doesn’t.

Too often, brands take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to social media. But, this could result in putting time and resources behind content that doesn’t deliver engagement or click-through.

It’s imperative you review the social media analytics (tied to your specific KPIs) so you focus on the content types that truly connect with your customers.

If you would like assistance with your planning process in Search, Paid Media, Paid and Organic Social Media or Business Analytics, please contact us today. In the meantime, Happy #NationalPlannerDay!

7 Reasons Why & How B2B Enterprise Brands Should Invest in SEO

By Insights & News, SEO, Uncategorized No Comments

Many executives have now heard that SEO is one of the most important digital marketing strategies. After all, according to a Google study, over 90% of business leads start in search engines.

However, executives’ knowledge of the discipline of SEO is usually very antiquated and negative. Which ultimately leads to the application of the usual “digital tactics”, which are closely related to time-honored classic marketing measures, such as paid ad campaigns in search engines or in social media. Compared to SEO, however, the hoped-for successes are usually of a manageable nature.

In doing so, executives miss the fact that SEO is a sustainable, data-driven technique that can drive up to 60% traffic to websites in many cases, as well as being a lead generation engine.

From the experts’ perspective, it therefore seems more than necessary that executives take the time to learn about SEO and recognize what this discipline is today and what it can do for their company.

After all, the benefits of continuous SEO work are clear. SEO is the basis of all online marketing activities and offers seven advantages that should be known:

1. SEO improves the ranking and visibility of websites.

Google has already received 390 billion searches this year (and counting). If you want your site to be found by your target customers, a strategic search engine optimization strategy is the first and most necessary step to take.

2. SEO provides lasting and sustainable free traffic to websites.

Prioritizing SEO gives you the power to do what you can to make sure your business appears first during those searches. And, because the right SEO strategy keeps your website’s traffic active, it’s imperative to have the right partners who can help you keep up with Google Algorithm changes so you’ll stay agile and can make key adjustments when they’re needed.

3. SEO generates leads and sells products and services.

Consider that of the billions of searches that happen on any given day, 15% of daily searches are new to Google. In fact, consumers now conduct  70% of their purchasing research online before they ever get into a sales conversation. Ranking well in search engines enables your buyers to easily research on their own while spending time learning about your on your terms

4. SEO works on a data-based and measurable basis.

There are hundreds of SEO metrics you can track. In fact, Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. By establishing which metrics are most critical for your business, you can track those KPIs in real-time and adjust your strategy accordingly.

5. SEO changes the perspective and reveals the intentions of potential customers.

The right SEO strategy, analytics and reporting can help you better understand why someone conducts a search that brings them to your page. It could be to find an answer to a specific question they have or advice on how to achieve a desired goal, otherwise known as informational intent. Maybe the person wants to find a place to go, known as navigational intent or they are driven by transactional intent – the desire to buy a product they want. Either way, intent matters. Understanding the “why” behind your customers’ search behaviors helps you to deliver the best search experience.

6. SEO can create synergies and minimize budget waste.

Because SEO delivers real-time analytics, you can easily and quickly adjust budgets to ensure you leverage the most successful strategies to avoid wasteful spending. Similarly, by measuring your customers’ search behaviors, you can align all of your online marketing and content to deliver even stronger multi-channel results.

7. SEO brings clarity about the competition and faces competitors proactively.

Running regular competitive analyses in SEO can help you examine ranking signals on the macro and micro levels that can help you uncover and capture the competitive niches that improve your ranking and ensure your content appears on all the right channels. The best way to beat the competition is to understand them.   

POV by Ulrich Franke, Managing Director EMEA

What You Should Know About Snapchat Brand Profiles

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Public profiles for Businesses on Snapchat are now available for non-verified accounts. This is the perfect place for businesses to create and share their organic content.

What are Brand Profiles?

Brand Profiles offer a permanent home to companies on Snapchat and give businesses the ability to display and showcase all their unique engagements in one place. This includes created AR Lenses, native commerce stores, and content highlights. Think of Brand Profiles as your own website and storefront inside the Snapchat app.

Snapchat launched public profiles in mid-2020, but until recently, only verified creators could access this feature. Now, all Snapchatters can create public profiles and leverage the many promotional opportunities they offer.

Essentially, a public profile is your business’s home on Snapchat. Snapchatters can find it through search, on the Discovery tab, via lenses, or through a paid ad. They can also access it directly from a snapcode or shareable URL.

Why this is important:

Snapchat is a great social media platform where brands can share stories, publish AR lenses, share highlights with your public snaps & stories permanently (like with Instagram’s similar highlight features.) Once your profile is public, it become discoverable via Snapchat search.

Businesses can link their eCommerce store to their public profile and Snapchatters will see your Shopify store when visiting your profile, making it seamless for them to navigate around the shopping experience. Public profile also allows Snapchat users to share your profile with their peers.

If you need assistance in setting up your Business profile on Snapchat, please contact us. Our social media experts will be happy to assist you.

holding phone

Instagram Launches Reels Ads in All Regions

By Insights & News, Paid Media, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Instagram Reels are getting ads.

The company announced it’s launching ads in its short-form video platform, Reels to businesses and advertisers worldwide. The ads can be up to 30 seconds in length, like Reels themselves, and will be vertical in format, similar to ads found in Instagram Stories. Also like Reels, the new ads will loop, and people will be able to like, comment on, and save them, the same as other Reels videos.

Instagram previously tested Reels ads in select markets earlier this year, including India, Brazil, Germany and Australia, then expanded those tests to Canada, France, the U.K. and the U.S. more recently. Early adopters of the new format included brands like BMW, Nestlé (Nespresso), Louis Vuitton, Netflix, Uber and others.

In a blog post, Instagram officials stated:

“After testing in select countries, we’re launching Reels ads to the world. Reels is the best place on Instagram to reach people who don’t follow you and a growing global stage where brands and creators can be discovered by anyone. These ads will help businesses reach greater audiences, allowing people to discover inspiring new content from brands and creators.”

The ads will appear in most places users view Reels content, including on the Reels tab, Reels in Stories, Reels in Explore and Reels in your Instagram Feed, and will appear in between individual Reels posted by users. However, in order to be served a Reels ad, the user first needs to be in the immersive, full-screen Reels viewer.

Why this is important:

As Instagram continues to position their Reels feature as a worthy competitor to the TikTok juggernaut, they are likely high invested in this placement becoming a success. It is also helpful for brands across all verticals to have yet another option for running content and reaching users.

This placement will roll out for all brands in the coming months and is probably best suited for more upper funnel KPIs like brand awareness and video views.

What action should brands take:

For optimal performance, creatives in this placement should be sized in a 9:16 ratio. At Acronym, we are still determining if existing creative that already runs in story placements is optimal as far as content, or if Reels sees more success in ads that feel more native and organic, as is the case with TikTok. Look for an update on that once we have it.

In the meantime, if you need assistance implementing ads on Instagram Reels, please contact us. We’re happy to help.

Is your analytics practice ready for 2018? This 7-step checklist can help…

By Uncategorized No Comments

Your data tells a story that has the potential to transform your business – but first you have to figure out what it’s telling you. And that’s in part why the beginning of the year is a great time to ensure you have the right tools in place to listen and learn. We asked our analytics team for their best tips to set your business up for analytics success in 2018 – their seven-step checklist follows:

1. Learn from 2017.

Per Janelle Olmer, director of analytics at Acronym, brands should look at trends and see how users interacted with their sites in order to inform their 2018 strategies.

“It’s almost like ‘use your analytics’,” added Chief Analytics Officer David Sprinkle.

In addition, the beginning of the year is a good time to take the previous year’s data and look at trend reports of all KPIs to make sure nothing looks fishy – and that the causes of any spikes are well documented.

“Document it…while it’s fresh,” Olmer said, adding to make sure to include any mistakes or intentional adjustments, like a big spend during a particular time period that resulted in a lot of traffic so you remember what prompted the spike and aren’t scratching your head a year later.

2. Review Traffic Channels.

January is also a good time to review traffic source attribution, to ensure channels are tagged correctly and to get key reports and traffic sources fixed if necessary.

3. Budget for Analytics – and Maintenance.

You should also make sure you have secured a budget for overall maintenance as part of your annual budget.

Once you’ve established your 2018 roadmap, you can then identify when projects are supposed to happen to ensure they are on both your budget and calendar.

4. Research New Tools.

Olmer also suggested researching what new tools have come out to make analytics easier – and to leave room in the budget for these, too. This can also help you plan for whatever upgrades you need to make in order to adopt new tools.

5. Evaluate How You Integrate Data.

Noting it might be somewhat aspirational, Sprinkle said you should nevertheless evaluate how to better integrate data between different systems.

“It’s getting easier and different tools are talking to each other better than they used to, so it kind of does come under ‘Check out the technology stack’ – it’s one of the things that could be an example of, for instance, making sure you can connect your CRM to your analytics data,” Sprinkle said. “Are your email and your display platforms talking with analytics? Or is your personalization engine talking with your audience management solution?”

6. Evaluate Opportunities to Automate Reporting.

If you’re spending a lot of your time measuring basic stats like how many visitors come to your site, you can probably benefit from some automation.

“Think over how you spend your time and how much has been using analytics as a thermometer versus a thermostat and how much is reporting what happened versus analysis of how [consumers are]…interacting with the website and how to help your marketing efforts,” Olmer said. “And if you’re spending all your time doing all the thermometer reporting – like how many visitors [your site had]…, you should evaluate if there are opportunities to automate reporting. You should be spending more time on planning and doing deep analytics and not so much on monthly/weekly reporting that tells you what happened.”

7. Spread the Word…

“If there is one more person in the organization who is not benefiting from analytics and you can pull them in to spread the word, [you should] find someone who you can share a report or some analysis with,” added Stephanie Hart, vice president of client services.