At Vinnitsky Web Production, we help businesses grow through inventive and analysis-based design. We’re a digital marketing agency that provides web design, branding, SEO, search engine marketing, social media management, and more. Our team is focused on using the right tools and solutions in order to facilitate the success of our clients. Since 2016, we’ve been helping businesses big and small become competitive online. By combining technology and creativity, we produce amazing digital solutions that excite and inspire!
We recently joined Clutch, and we’re excited to share the very first review we received on the platform!
Clutch is a leading B2B research company based in Washington, DC. They aim to help business owners and managers find the best B2B service providers for their business needs. Their team of analysts collects detailed and unbiased reviews from clients about their engagement with a service provider. Clutch also creates lists of market leaders by industry and location based on their expertise and ability to deliver. They cover diverse industries, such as IT, advertising, and marketing.
The review came from Vin Service, a power tools retailer. After being referred by a former customer, the client hired us to develop their e-commerce store and conduct branding services. First, we discussed the project’s goals and specifications with the client. We then proceeded to create the logo and branding guide, and we developed the site’s structure and UX. After the client gave their feedback, we finalized the designs and made improvements on the platform.
The client was ecstatic about our work! They praised our creativity and originality, and they were thrilled with the result of our engagement. Additionally, the client praised our project management and communication skills. Dmytro Haba, Co-Founder of Vin Service, said, “It was a pleasure to collaborate at every stage. We always received timely feedback, communication and the reports were well organized using Slack, Clockify, and Figma.”
The client then rated us for our work quality, scheduling, cost-effectiveness, as well as their willingness to refer and overall experience working with our team. We’re pleased to receive perfect five-star ratings across all metrics!
In addition, we were featured on the Manifest as a Top Digital Marketing Company in France! A sister website of Clutch, the Manifest is a business news and how-to platform that analyzes and compiles industry data. Their website features leading companies to allow entrepreneurs and business managers to connect with the perfect agencies for their needs. We thank the Manifest for highlighting our work and giving us a platform for our clients to learn more about us!
Do you need help with your digital marketing efforts?Contact us today, and let’s discuss how we can implement our world-class digital marketing solutions to your business!
What is the advantage of audience segmentation?
All companies are divided into two categories: those who segment their target audience and those who can barely make ends meet 🙂 This may be too categorical, but there is a lot of truth in it. It is difficult to successfully develop new products, build competent communication with customers and make the right decisions if you do not know:
what products and services your customers need;
what arguments should be used for which target audience segments;
which consumers bring you more money and which ones you don’t make.
Segmentation allows you to divide consumers into groups according to a given criterion, and then for each group to develop a product, advertising, offer special terms of service, etc.
In this article, we’ll talk more about how segmentation helps shape marketing and create effective ads, but it can be used for other purposes as well.
What is required to start
To begin with, it is important to understand the problem that you want to solve with the help of target audience segmentation. Let’s say you want to build effective communication with different types of buyers who are at different stages of the sales funnel. Moreover, it is important for you to understand which of these categories brings more money. Then you need:
Divide target audience into categories depending on the interest in your product.
Find out the buying motives of each category.
Describe what the selection process looks like for each category: what stages do buyers go through, what arguments convince people to buy your goods and services, what kind of doubts they have, etc.
Analyze which categories of the target audience are more profitable for the company, for whom you should spend your advertising budgets.
Audience segmentation stages
It is convenient to correlate audience segmentation with the path that the buyer goes from the emergence of a need for a product and its choice to using the product and repeated, if lucky, sales.
Stage 1. Identifying the type of audience
According to this logic, consumers can be divided into 3 large groups:
Potential clients. This group includes all people whose problem, in principle, can be solved by your product, but who have not yet moved to the stage of the transaction.
Customers in the buying stage. These are people who are actively looking at goods and services or are negotiating but have not yet become buyers.
Customers who have made a purchase. This includes everyone who has bought something from you.
Of course, each of the groups can be segmented further, if such a division is appropriate. For example, see which of those who made a purchase continues to buy from you, and which groups bring more money, but this will be discussed later. Data sources and segmentation criteria
For each group, the main segmentation criterion can be identified, which can be used to cut off. For example, companies, when identifying potential customers, often try to be guided by socio-demographic criteria, but it would be a mistake to segment them based on social demographics alone. Wall-paper is not bought by people of 25-60 years old, they are bought by people who make repairs, and it does not matter how old they are and what their gender is.
Methodology for analyzing the collected data for stage 1
The collected information will help to understand which of the three groups deserves more attention. For example, if you have a lot of buyers who bought and disappeared (and your area involves repeated sales), then it is worth analyzing:
what is wrong with the product if people do not return;
how to build communication with missing customers (make an e-mail newsletter, start sending SMS with an invitation to update a manicure, etc.)
If many representatives of the target audience get stuck at the stage of the transaction but do not buy, then it is necessary to invest resources there. This could be boosting ads, developing more compelling landing pages or presentation materials, analyzing the work of the sales department, or improving a product.
Finally, the analysis of potential consumers will help to assess the market size in terms of the number of buyers and in terms of money.
Stage 2. Motivation to buy
It is very useful to segment your audience based on purchase motives. The more accurately you get into the pain of the target audience, the more effective advertising will be, the better sales managers will be able to convince customers. It is important to know buying motives for the first two categories: potential customers and those who are at the stage of the transaction (in general, the motives of these two groups for one product will be similar, but in the second category they are usually more detailed).
For segmentation, it is important to take into account that the motives for choosing the same product can be seriously different for different target audience groups. For example, advertisements for contact lenses can be built around a product and advertisements like “Eye comfort. The first pair of lenses is free. ” And you can analyze situations when people need eye lenses, for example:
Photographers need lenses because it’s impossible to photograph with glasses.
Athletes are most likely uncomfortable playing sports with glasses.
People who read a lot often have vision problems.
Each of these groups has a different motivation for choosing lenses that can be used in advertising, which is why it is so important to present a portrait of your audience well.
Data sources and segmentation criteria
The criterion for segmentation can be:
the need that prompts the consumer to choose goods and services. For example, you can buy a hamburger to satisfy your hunger, or you can buy a hamburger to reward yourself for a tough day.
an event at which a product becomes in demand. For example, you need athletic shoes for the new school year or a new suit to interview for a new job.
the trigger that started the purchase process. It often happens that a person realizes the problem, for example, wants to lose weight, but does nothing about it. And then some event (the girl’s contemptuous look, shortness of breath, employer’s demands) make him act.
Data sources for market analysis and segmentation can be:
situations that consumers describe when contacting the company;
insights obtained from in-depth interviews with buyers;
competitive analysis data.
Methodology for analyzing the collected data for stage 2
Sherrington’s 5W method is a good fit to organize information on the shelves. It is often used to quickly segment target audience. The methodology assumes answers to 5 questions:
What – what products are you selling?
Who – who is your customer?
Why – why does a customer need to buy a product, what problem/task does he solve?
When – when does a person need a product?
Where – where does the purchase take place? (the last question is not always relevant)
There is such a roofing material. His target audience consists of two groups:
These are people who are building a house from scratch.
Summer residents who already have a house, but the roof is leaking.
The motives of each group will be different, which means that each will need to build its own communication.
Stage 3. Stages of the transaction
The stage of the transaction can be viewed as a stand-alone stage, which will be different for each segment. For example, a potential target audience should be interested in a product, consumers who are at the buying stage should be turned into real buyers, and those who have already bought should be motivated to make repeat purchases or leave a good review.
Suppose a company is building log cottages, here’s how it can do segmentation by stage of the transaction.
Naturally, depending on the specifics of the business, the stages will differ, and depending on the business tasks, they can be segmented in more detail. The idea is to help company employees: marketers, sales department, service department – to identify the needs of a person and lead him from stage to stage.
An online clothing store for children can develop segmentation for regular customers based on the age of the children. To do this, you need to indicate in the CRM at what age the clothes were originally purchased. And for each group of consumers to make their own advertising campaigns or letter chains. So, after 3 months, the mother of a newborn is offered clothes for six months of age, and for children of 6 years old – clothes for a first-grader.
Methodology for analyzing the collected data for stage 3
For segmentation purposes, it is convenient to use the Hunt Recognition Ladder. Using this technique, you can analyze the customer journey from product recognition to product use. Let’s see how this technique can be used to sell the Marilyn Marketing Automation Platform:
Lack of awareness. Let’s say you haven’t heard anything about Marilyn and about advertising automation systems in general, but at the same time, you set up contextual and targeted advertising or run an agency that provides such services. And so you needed to know how to segment your target audience, you googled this article and just found out about Marilyn.
Interest. There are more and more advertising campaigns, there is no longer enough time to manage them and conduct high-quality analysis. You start to think about how to optimize your efforts and look closely at the possibilities of automation, and then you interesting article comes across…
Search for a solution. Then you come to the conclusion that automation systems are a good solution and you want to know more about them. And immediately you find an excellent case, where the capabilities of automation systems are well shown, and you also find out that automation will help you save more than 80% of the time on performing routine tasks (this is confirmed by the experiment ).
Comparison and selection. You start comparing different automation systems, reading reviews and testimonials. Communicate with technical support to make sure that the chosen system will solve your problems.
Confidence in choice and completion of the transaction. You find yourself requesting free demo access to finally test your chosen solution.
Hold. If you liked the system and the technical support answered all your questions, we just have to improve the product, add new useful features to it and delight you with a cool newsletter.
Stage 4. Average bill and LTV
All previous segmentation methods were aimed at developing effective communication. However, when customers are attracted, it is important to understand which ones are the most valuable to you and focus your efforts on them.
The most correct way to do this is to measure LTV (Lifetime Value). The indicator determines the total profit that the client has brought for the entire time of cooperation with your business. There are different ways to calculate LTV.
Data sources and segmentation criteria
The criterion for segmentation can be a choice:
Cost of purchases for the period for each buyer
Information for segmentation can be taken from:
1C, management accounting services
Methodology for analyzing the collected data for stage 4
To predict and calculate LTV, you can use cohort analysis. Using this method, you can segment your target audience into groups and see how their behavior changes, for example, which advertising campaigns bring more sales, even if deals are made with a long delay. You can learn more about cohort analysis read this article…
RFM analysis allows you to analyze the customer base in the context of three aspects: how much money buyers spend in a specific period, how often they make deals, and how long ago they made the last one. This allows you to understand the value of each customer for the company and create strategies for each of the groups: on whom to spend efforts, who to stimulate with discounts, to whom to make new offers, etc.
Eliminate uninterested audiences
Sometimes it’s easier to articulate not what characteristics your target customers should have, but the ones by which they do not suit you. Typically, buyers are cut off for two reasons:
You cannot serve this segment. For example, you don’t have the expertise you need.
It is not profitable for you to serve a specific group. For example, the acquisition costs are too high.
Filters can be set according to the following criteria:
By type of buyer. Your product may not be suitable for certain customers. For example, a psychologist may not work with children and adolescents, but provide services only to adults. For example, you do not work with companies whose turnover is less than 1 million rubles per month. Or you only work with b2c companies and don’t work with b2b.
By geography. You deliver only within Russia and do not work with other countries.
At the cost of attracting. Send a presentation, call back, write a letter – all this takes the sales manager’s time, and it costs money. If, after a certain number of touches, the client does not turn from potential into a real one, it is more profitable to leave him alone.
At the cost of service. Not all segments are created equal. For example, for the delivery services of a set of products with recipes, the costs are recouped from the fourth-order, so customers who make 2-3 orders are unprofitable for them.
What data is needed for segmentation
You can understand that the client is not yours by analyzing user behavior on the site, the history of communication with the sales department in CRM, and data from management accounting services. Use data to the segment from:
Initially, the work on audience segmentation and setting up advertising campaigns requires human participation, but when a sufficient amount of data on user behavior on the site is accumulated, then the search for an audience with the desired behavioral characteristics can be provided to algorithms. The system proceeds from the premise that “if someone walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then this is a duck.” In other words, it analyzes the behavior of people who leave applications on your site, and looks for people with similar behavior, in the hope that they will also leave applications. This tool is called Look-alike; Google, Facebook, and other advertising platforms have it.
Segments can also be geographically based on geolocation data. For example, highlight the audience that lives in a specific house, drives on specific highways, or purchases from specific stores. Check out an interesting example of how Marilyn can increase the potential audience of an FMCG brand in a grocery store chain by 5,000,000 people.
The most common mistakes in segmenting the target audience
Remember that creating segments is not an end in itself, they are needed to solve specific business problems. Here are two common mistakes when segmenting your audience.
Make according to the template. Sometimes there is a temptation to use a template from the Internet, but there is a risk of doing pointless work. For example, describe your target audience by socio-demographic characteristics. This, of course, will help when setting up targeting, but it will not help if you need to come up with advertisements for your target audience. It’s best to use in-depth interviews to find real insights from your audience. Therefore, it is more correct to select an individual solution for your task, rather than using ready-made templates.
Always strive for tight segmentation. This segmentation is easy to do when you want, for example, to classify customers by the number of purchases: made 1 purchase; made 2-4 purchases; made 5-10 purchases. In this case, it is easy to unambiguously assign it to anyone category. But it is not so easy to determine at what stage of making a purchasing decision a user is. He may well simultaneously study the technology of building a house and at the same time hesitate whether to build a house himself or hire a construction company. It’s wiser here to give up trying to tightly tie segments of your customer base to the sales funnel.
How to evaluate the effectiveness of target audience segmentation?
You can understand how effectively you managed to segment your target audience by the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Qualitative elaboration of segments allows:
Set the exact ad settings: select the necessary keywords, set up targeting, take into account the peculiarities of behavior (for example, people may not buy your product in rainy weather, and it is better to stop advertising on rainy days – Marilyn allows you to do this).
Make creatives that will fit exactly the needs of the audience. Above was an example where different segments of contact lens buyers were shown to have different motivations. Accordingly, you need to develop your own creative for each segment.
If you use different advertising channels (Google, Facebook), and run several advertising campaigns inside each channel, you will need a tool that will allow you to bring all statistics into one report so that it is easy to analyze which channels and campaigns are working efficiently.
Segment your audience to launch successful products, set up effective advertising, reallocate resources to those customer segments that bring in more money
Start by identifying three large segments: potential buyers; clients at the stage of the transaction; current clients.
It makes sense to work out each of these segments in terms of motivation for buying and stages of buying.
Relevant customers should be segmented by LTV or the average bill for the period.
You can assess how well the segments are built by measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. To make your life easier, use automation systems for these purposes.
Back in 1896, the American Elmer Levinson came up with the AIDA model. He used this selling model for his advertising agency in Philadelphia. And thanks to this it has gained great popularity. Among his clients were leaders from various industries. And Elmer Levinson hardly suspected that the AIDA model would remain relevant more than a hundred years later. She is still looked to for inspiration by copywriters, agencies, marketers, and managers around the world. In this article, you will learn what AIDA is marketing and how to increase sales with it. Get ready, there will be a lot of information.
What is AIDA
The AIDA model is a sales technique that has stood the test of time and millions of advertising campaigns. It is able to effectively influence the consumer, turning the audience into buyers and regular customers. The classic AIDA formula consists of 4 sales stages, where:
It is in these four planes that this model works. If you depict it in the form of a diagram, then you get a sales funnel in the form of an inverted triangle.
Often this technique is found as AIDA (S), where S (Satisfaction) is satisfaction. In fact, this is an update to the classic model, designed to provide a loyal customer base. Accordingly, work is underway here to create word of mouth, so beloved by entrepreneurs. You don’t have to pay for advice to friends and acquaintances. Accordingly, for this stage, the task is to create a sense of satisfaction from the purchase.
There is also the abbreviation AID (M) A, where M (motivation) is the motivation to buy. Usually, at this stage of sales, a motivator trigger is placed, which unwittingly makes the consumer decide to buy.
How the AIDA model works
The principle of operation of this technique is extremely simple: to capture the attention of a potential buyer, to interest him in a commercial proposal, to form a desire to complete a deal and urge to do it.
Thus, the AIDA model is based on human psychology. At all stages of sales, marketers skillfully place sales triggers and use cognitive biases. This is to stimulate the audience to go down as low as possible in the sales funnel. Accordingly, 4 stages are 4 tasks:
A (attention) – make a potential buyer pay attention to your ad;
I (interest) – to interest the consumer with a unique selling proposition;
D (desire) – to form a desire to own a product;
A (action) – push to the desired action, or rather, to make a purchase.
The AIDA model in marketing is aimed at buying through the psychological patterns of a person, but not based on the needs of consumers. Therefore, advertising by AIDA motivates for targeted action through positive emotions. It is important to ensure that the potential customer feels like the owner of the product after meeting him. According to the AIDA formula, only after getting to know the product does the buyer want to get in touch with the seller.
After presenting himself as the owner of some good even for a moment, a person seeks to acquire it. And he will do it, because now this benefit is absent, and you are just giving the opportunity to purchase a product or service. Then the “warmed up” user finds a contact, pays for the product, and receives satisfaction from the purchase.
Follow a strict sequence. Ignoring or neglecting one stage of the sale harms the integrity of the technique.
AIDA sales are effective only if the model works for the target audience. Therefore, such advertising is preceded by a thorough formation of a portrait of the target audience. Targeted advertising to help.
AIDA: pros and cons
The indisputable advantages of the AIDA model are traditionally considered:
Versatility and simplicity in all areas of marketing – even a novice marketer is able to build sales based on a formula;
Gives results in a short time – relevant for the FMCG segment ;
It is easy to track the effectiveness of each stage of sales – for this, it is enough to determine the key metrics and KPIs at each stage;
Opens up the scope for advertising creativity: each stage is a different task. For example, to attract attention, creatives are created that boggle the imagination. And the call to action includes not only end-of-life sales but also the multiplication of lead generation. The combination of all kinds of triggers and slogans allows you to experiment, and therefore constantly develop in the right direction;
The results speak volumes about what works well in the marketing strategy and where there are areas for growth.
As you know, not everything is perfect, and here AIDA is no exception. The AIDA technique has several disadvantages:
More than a century of AIDA aging is great. But over time, even proven methods become outdated and ineffective;
The AIDA model is not suitable for those companies that sell expensive goods or are intended for a narrow circle of people.
Where is the AIDA model used?
If your company needs to increase conversions, sales volumes, or generate demand, then refer to the AIDA formula. AIDA advertising is relevant in the following marketing segments and tools:
direct sales with a short decision-making cycle – for example, in the retail sector ;
in sales through a call center;
copywriting – this strategy essentially looks like a ready-made plan for an ad or other material;
in the advertising industry, creatives, directors, and screenwriters create promotional materials just using this sales technique.
AIDA formula in advertising
Now let’s look at how the AIDA model works in practice. As mentioned above, it is important to follow a strict sequence. It all starts with attracting attention.
So, the first stage A is attention. It is not so easy to attract the attention of a user or a bystander today. The reason is the abundance of information. Every day, hundreds, if not thousands of advertisements are dumped on a person. There is even a point of view that all companies and media resources are fighting not for traffic and the number of transactions, but for consumers’ time.
If there is attention, there will be leads, deals, and conversions. No attention – no traffic and sessions, and therefore no sales. The ubiquitous “banner blindness” is also affected here. This refers to the type of user behavior due to which users do not notice advertisements or similar blocks. This suggests that the audience tends to ignore the ad content.
Therefore, advertising agencies and companies are faced with the daunting task of getting attention. However, there are many ways for marketers and entrepreneurs to conquer audience time and, therefore, generate sales:
A defiant headline – make a bold statement, use pretty numbers, and ask a weird or funny question. A person subconsciously looks for an answer to any question. Remember that it has to work for the target audience. It is important that the headline evokes emotion in the consumer;
A spectacular and colorful picture is a simple and proven way to attract attention;
Unusual shape, animation, non-standard color scheme distinguish your advertisement favorably against the rest;
Advertising in an unexpected place – on the ceiling, escalator, hot air balloon, car, underfoot – in general, wherever the target audience does not expect to see the ad;
Sometimes sounds, unusual POS materials, and even smells are used.
Warming up interest
Congratulations, you managed to capture a few minutes of a busy user, now it’s up to his next step. After attracting attention, the advertising model of AIDA begins to heat up interest.
Interest in AIDA sales is what follows attention. Accordingly, for a copywriter in an advertising article, these are paragraphs after the headline, and for a landing page, the screens below. Marketers agree that the following methods are best for heating interest:
a description of the benefits of the product or service;
focus on differences from competitors.
The stage of interest subconsciously forms the desire to purchase a product, and it is necessary to strengthen it.
Try to make the prospect feel like the owner of the product. This will help:
Demonstration of a product or service in action;
The creation of a limit on the number of goods and the timing of the promotion is a strong psychological trigger;
Motivation with options and benefits at no cost – it can be free shipping or trial version, discount or related product as a gift;
Additional description of the advantages – listing of guarantees, interesting facts about the company in the form of “20 years on the market” or “More than 10,000 clients have trusted us”. This clears up most of the objections.
Push to buy
So, the potential client is “ripe” and mentally ready to buy. The easiest thing left is to call to action. The appeal must be clearly articulated. Be sure to indicate what the consumer needs to do in order to purchase the product: order a trial batch, place an online order, subscribe to the newsletter, and so on.
AIDA Sales Technique
And here you need to go over all the stages of the AIDA advertising model again. And this is where the versatility of the AIDA formula comes into play because many triggers and motivators can be placed at all stages of the sale.
And if above we reviewed the methods for each stage, now we will focus on the methods and techniques of sales for each link of AIDA.
Attention. Creative and unusual ads aren’t the only way to get attention. Also, the technique with the announcement of discounts and promotions, for example, generous discounts or special offers, works well. It has been proven time and again to drive sales;
Interest. As a rule, the second stage of AIDA sales tells about the company or the promoted product. They also place blocks from the category “Why should you buy it right now and not regret it”;
Desire. Here, the AIDA technique assumes that the marketer will again point out the customer’s real problems and point out a solution. Make the customer aware of the changes in life after purchasing the product. Use positive emotions;
Action. At the final stage of sales, a call is placed to perform the targeted action. It is this stage that accumulates previous efforts and turns the user into a client.
How to apply the AIDA model
You need to apply the AIDA model step by step. First, decide on your target audience. Then, as you create your promotional materials, answer a series of questions for each stage of your AIDA sales:
How can you draw attention to a product in your industry?
How do others do it?
What will it take to create creatives?
Form of communication: will it be a selling text, a separate landing page, outdoor, display, or contextual advertising leading to the landing page?
How is your product/service different from others?
What changes will happen if the consumer makes a purchase?
What values does the company transmit and which of them should be reflected in an advertising campaign? How does this help in promoting the product?
How will the consumer feel when they receive the product?
What problems and topical unresolved issues does the client have and how will the company help in solving them?
Where should you place triggers and sales scripts at each stage?
How will a customer make a purchase? What does he need for the targeted action?
Use this knowledge to improve your marketing strategy. The AIDA technique is still relevant due to its efficiency and ease of use. AIDA sales are not aimed at identifying needs but are designed to work with a ready-made target audience. Remember, it is designed to persuade you to make a purchase. Do not violate the integrity of this sales technique and increase your sales.
How to collect primary information for marketing research?
There are 5 main methods of conducting marketing research: observation, focus groups, surveys, customer behavior data, and experimentation. Each method represents a certain way of collecting primary information for solving business problems. Each of the 5 methods has its own advantages, disadvantages, limitations and is capable of providing information of varying completeness and accuracy. In this article, we will briefly, but succinctly, each of the research methods.
Observation is a very simple and convenient method of conducting marketing research. The necessary information is collected through the observation of the target audience. You can observe almost everything: how a person makes a purchase, what he does, how his day goes, how he watches TV, advertisements, etc. Observation can be inconsistent (when the audience does not know that it is being watched) and consistent. Observation can be both quantitative and qualitative marketing research methods.
In modern marketing practice, many ways have been invented for the most practical use of this method: the respondent is given special devices that track his actions; the respondent is asked to keep a diary and photograph certain moments; a human observer simply walks behind the respondent and makes certain notes; the purchase process is monitored using video cameras at points of sale; home visits to study the consumer’s life; the consumer offers to use a new product for a long time and monitors the entire process of using the product.
The observation method can give you really primary, undistorted information about your audience. You will be able to see the true behavior of the consumer in the environment familiar to him, see how he lives, how he buys, how he interacts with the world around him, and with the necessary things. High-quality observation methods generate a lot of insights and help to correctly build the concept of an advertising message. The disadvantage of the method is the interpretation of the information seen. The consumer does not give you an answer to your questions, he demonstrates his behavior to you at a specific point in time. It may not be typical for him right now, and you can build the wrong conclusions on the basis of this. Therefore, when you conduct qualitative observations, study the behavior of the audience over a long period of time, in dynamics.
A focus group is an extremely high-quality marketing study and is a discussion of a small number of people on a given topic. The topic can be absolutely anything: you can discuss a new film, a new product, a consumer’s lifestyle, perceptions of certain brands in the industry, the concept of an advertising video, product consumption habits. The purpose of such research is exploration, search for initial hypotheses, answers to questions.
There are always 3 parties to a focus group: the moderator, the respondents, and the observer. The moderator sets the general tone and direction of the conversation; makes sure that during the conversation each respondent can speak; asks prompting questions; helps to express and most importantly develop certain thoughts. He makes sure that the answers to the questions asked are as complete as possible, detailed, with a causal relationship. The respondents represent a group of 6-10 people and during the focus group, they take turns expressing their opinion on the questions asked. In general, the focus group resembles a mass interview. The observing party sits behind the glass and observes the process. The participants in the process do not see it. Observing party – the customer can send additional and clarifying questions to the moderator.
In focus groups, it is very important to observe the reactions and emotions of the respondents. When respondents are in a group, they behave differently than in a personal interview: they are less restrained and show lively emotions that are important to capture and which often speak more than words. It is important to make notes in front of the statements, which will then help to write the correct report. The effectiveness of a focus group is 80% dependent on a good moderator.
A survey is a marketing research method that involves a conversation with a separate representative of the target audience. If you require marketing services, discuss with professionals on a given list of questions. The survey is both a qualitative (in-depth interview) and a quantitative method. In a survey, it is important to correctly compose a questionnaire, which will not be problematic for the target audience to answer. Write the questions correctly: they should be unambiguous, complete, understandable, using simple terminology. After the questionnaire is ready, conduct a test survey, let several members of the audience fill it out, correct the items that caused confusion or stupor.
Collecting consumption data
A separate research method is the collection of information about the actual actions and purchases of the consumer. This type of information collection refers to quantitative research and takes place without direct interaction with the buyer. You can collect data on sales of large chains, a shopping basket based on actual store receipts, analyze purchases by credit cards, and cross-consumption. To implement this method, access to certain technologies and the personal information of buyers is required. Such studies are often carried out by large research agencies and can be bought as secondary information.
Experimental studies are conducted to understand complex causal relationships in customer behavior, assess the influence of various factors, test hypotheses, deeply study consumers, and search for insights. In the course of the experiment, certain conditions are specially created and the necessary situation is simulated. In any scientific experiment, it is important to take into account and control all the variables, work out the research project in detail and select the audience. Experiments performed correctly can provide very valuable and unambiguously correct information about the consumer. If you require marketing services, discuss with professionals
What is a look-alike audience?
A Look-alike audience is an audience that is similar in some ways to the original one.
Let me explain with an example. Let’s say you need to receive orders. You upload to the advertising account information about those users who have already made an order with you. The social media algorithm finds out what your customers have in common (place of residence, interests, behavior on the Internet), and makes a selection of users who have not ordered anything from you yet but are similar in some characteristics to your customers.
Practice shows that Facebook defines look-alike audiences quite accurately. That is, users collected using look-alike respond well to targeted ads.
However, it’s important to choose the right target audience for your look-alike ads to be effective as well.
What are the initial look-alike audiences?
You yourself determine the initial audience, on the basis of which you form a look-alike. Here are the main criteria for selecting a target audience:
interacted with your social media profile;
performed certain actions on the site (for example, paid for the goods, went to a certain page, clicked on the “Call” button);
watched videos on Facebook or Instagram;
downloaded your application;
are subscribers of competitors
This is not a complete list of possible similar audiences that you can collect.
How to choose the right audience
There are no exact recommendations for choosing a look-alike audience for a specific task, it remains only to test: collect several look-alike audiences for different reasons, run the same ad on them and compare the results. The more accurately the initial audience is chosen, the better the result it will give.
It is important to understand what goal you want to achieve and choose the right target audience for that goal. For example, if you want as many users as possible to watch videos in targeted ads, create a source audience from users who have watched similar videos on the social network.
The size of the initial look-alike audience must be at least 100 people. Facebook recommends using an initial audience of 1,000 or more for a look-alike. In this case, the algorithm is more likely to find the right users.
How to create a Facebook look-alike audience
Before you can create a look-alike audience, you need to build your original audience.
In the Audiences section, select a source audience.
In the upper-right drop-down list, select the line “Create a similar audience”.
Next, you need to choose:
The country from which the audience will be gathering. Please note that the city cannot be specified. If you have a local business, do not forget to specify the city when launching targeted advertising.
Audience size. It should be clarified here that the percentages (from 1 to 10%) that are shown in the window have nothing to do with the audience interest rate or the sample size. Many budding targeting experts are confused by these percentages, so let’s take an example.
If we choose 1%, then the social network algorithm collects for us the audience most similar to the original one, but the sample will be small. If we choose 10%, the audience will become significantly larger, but there will be less overlap in characteristics with the original one.
Usually, when choosing 1%, Facebook selects 160-180 thousand users who are most similar to the original audience. The lower the percentage, the more a similar audience will be selected. If you choose 2%, the sample is doubled (320 thousand people). Accordingly, the likelihood that the audience will turn out to be similar is reduced. Choosing 3% triples the size, and decreases the likelihood that a similar audience will gather. And so on up to 10%.
In my experience, 1% of the audience gives the best results. But I recommend testing different percentages. Perhaps, in your segment, audiences similar to 1% and 2% or more will show the same result.
If the original audience is too small (less than 100 users), then Facebook will alert you that the look-alike audience cannot be created.
When the look-alike audience has formed, you can edit its name and add a description to use later.
How to use a look-alike audience
Look-alike audience is used for targeted advertising. To create an advertisement for a look-alike audience, in the ” Audiences ” section, select the previously created look-alike audience and click on the “Create advertisement” button in the upper right menu.
You can also specify a look-alike audience when creating an advertisement from Ads Manager.
We figured out how to build a look-alike audience on Facebook. Any audiences and goals should be tested, and long-ago collected look-alike databases should be updated: new users appear, interests change, network algorithms are updated. Working with a Facebook advertising account requires experience and knowledge. It is best to entrust this work to professionals
Introduction to WordPress page speed optimization
Research shows that people are not very patient when it comes to the Internet. About 23% of people do not wait for a page to load if it takes more than 4 seconds. This may seem like a very harsh statistic, but it is not that difficult to achieve this result. If you can reduce the website load time to 2.9 seconds, then it will be enough for the website loading speed to be faster than half of the existing ones. This means that even minor site improvements can lead to tangible benefits for your business. With about a quarter of all sites running on WordPress, it comes as no surprise that users want to speed up their site loading on WordPress.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to increase your WordPress website load speed in 9 easy ways. You don’t need to be a programming guru to follow our instructions effortlessly. Using this guide, you will not only reduce the number of users who leave without waiting for the download but also significantly improve the SEO component of the site!
Step 1 – Checking WordPress Speed
Step 2 – Removing Unnecessary Plugins and Themes
Step 4 – Enabling Gzip Compression
Step 5 – Optimizing Images
Step 6 – Splitting Long Content into Pages
Step 7 – How to Increase Website Load Speed by Changing PHP Version
Step 8 – Using Caching Plugins
Step 9 – Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
What do you need
Before you start, you need the following:
Access to WordPress dashboard
Step 1 – Checking WordPress Speed
Before we start the process of optimizing your WordPress, we need to know how your site is in relation to others. Checking the speed is not just a formality, if your site’s loading speed is already optimal, then you will not need to follow this guide. There are many useful tools for testing the performance of your site. One of the most popular is the GTmetrix and Google Page speed insights tool. In addition to tables with dimensions, they give advice on how to improve performance. However, if you would like to compare your results with those of other sites, then we can recommend the Pingdom service.
Step 2 – Removing Unnecessary Plugins and Themes
We often add new features to our site to make it modern and relevant. In WordPress, this is done with plugins and themes. Quite often, new plugins and themes replace the functionality of the original site. Over time, you may find a huge number of plugins on your site that have not been used for quite some time.
A large number of these types of plugins can lead to severe degradation in WordPress performance. As a basis for our future optimization process, you should remove or at least disable unnecessary plugins. Ideally, only those plugins should remain that are necessary for the full operation of your site.
Minification is one of the most useful processes for increasing website speed. It consists in reducing the size of files and scripts (HTML, CSS, JS) by removing unnecessary characters such as spaces and comments from these files.
In addition to minifying files, you can also benefit from a separate form of compression, also known as Gzip compression. Basically, whenever someone visits your site, resources (files) are fetched from your server. The more resources, the longer it takes to load them on the user’s side. By enabling Gzip compression, you can significantly reduce the size of these resources, thereby speeding up the WordPress loading process.
Use checkgzipcompression.com to check if Gzip compression is enabled. If not, then edit your .htaccess file to add the following code:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image / x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image / svg + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / rss + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xhtml + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font / ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font / otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font / opentype
# For Older Browsers Which Can't Handle Compression
BrowserMatch ^ Mozilla / 4 gzip-only-text / html
BrowserMatch ^ Mozilla / 4 \ .0  no-gzip
BrowserMatch \ bMSIE! No-gzip! Gzip-only-text / html
Plugins like WP-Rocket can automatically enable Gzip compression on your site.
Step 5 – Optimizing Images
You might think that due to their static nature, images do not have much of an impact on site loading speed. Quite the opposite is true – high-quality images have a huge impact on almost every resource on your site. However, this does not mean at all that you should give up sharp images in favor of small and blurry sketches. There are many ways to optimize your website images. For example, the WordPress plugin – Smush Image Compression and Optimization provides a convenient way to achieve higher performance without losing image quality.
Step 6 – Splitting Long Content into Pages
Another private tip that you might come across when looking for ways to optimize WordPress is pagination. This process means splitting up large content into smaller pieces so that these pieces can then be displayed separately on different pages.
Pagination is often used for the comment section because loading thousands of comments on a single page has a significant impact on server resources. In WordPress, you can easily enable pagination – just go to Settings, then Discussion. Here you can specify the maximum number of comments for a page. It is recommended to indicate the average value. A small number of comments on a page can also have a negative effect, as the user may not want to constantly go to the next page to view them.
In addition to the comment section, pagination can help you split up an article. This can be quite useful for long articles, as users don’t always like a lot of text. Pagination can be implemented by adding <! – next page -> code to the text version of your article. WordPress will automatically detect the code and do the pagination.
Step 7 – How to Increase Website Load Speed by Changing PHP Version
This is one of the least known tips. However, it is also one of the most effective ways to increase your website loading speed. Migrating from PHP 5 to PHP 7 may seem daunting, but the benefits speak for themselves. WordPress performance doubles with PHP 7 compared to PHP 5; the former can handle 112% more requests / second than the latter. Moreover, WordPress gets a good performance boost thanks to PHP 7 memory optimization. That is why PHP 7 is installed as the standard version of PHP on all our shared hosting plans, which gives 5x the speed of a WordPress site.
However, one important thing to keep in mind is the lack of backward compatibility in PHP 7. This means that you may not be able to use certain plugins and themes, including those that work fine in PHP 5. To check which plugins and themes are on your WordPress is not supported by PHP 7, use the PHP Compatibility Checker.
Step 8 – Using Caching Plugins
Caching is a well-known mechanism that can reduce some of the server load. Basically, the cache stores information that is often used on the client’s system (browser, memory) so that the browser does not need to retrieve this information from the server again. Caching can dramatically improve website performance and is therefore one of the most effective methods to improve WordPress performance.
There are a huge number of plugins available for WordPress that offer different types of caching, WP-Rocket and W3 Total Cache.
Step 9 – Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Thanks to the lightning speed of the internet, it’s easy to forget that, in the end, web pages are on real hardware far enough away from you. And sometimes this distance is so great that it can negatively affect the response time. Most sites solve this problem with a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
When you enable CDN on your site, the client browser no longer needs to fetch every page from the server, instead, some static pages are hosted in the data centers that are closest to the visitor. This reduces the total number of requests processed by the server, which improves WordPress performance.
The choice of CDNs is overwhelming. The most popular is Cloudflare and MaxCDN.
In this tutorial, you learned how to increase the loading speed of your WordPress site with some tweaks and plugins. By following these steps, you can significantly increase the performance of your WordPress site.
2020 was a watershed year for many entrepreneurs. Someone has successfully jumped on the online wave. And someone has sunk into oblivion, never knowing the opportunities that self-isolation gave us. In this whole story, one thing is important: there are more purchases on the Internet, which means that the visual component of your site should work even more for promotion.
Web design is a ton of possibilities right now, but like all designs, they need to be used wisely. What has changed in 2020, and what will we take with us in 2021? Let’s talk about this!
1. Social networks are everything
Have you noticed that most sites, regardless of what they sell, have become more and more like the most popular social networks in the world? Let’s take a cosmetics and perfumery store – “Golden Apple”. Let’s open the homepage.
Doesn’t it look like anything? Similar to the homepage of any Instagram or Facebook account. This is especially noticeable when you open the site from a mobile device.
Here we have a cover photo and a “story” with current goods and promotions, and the main feed in the form of the most popular products and new products. The icons in the mobile version are downright reminiscent of the “Instagram” markup of the social network.
This design decision is quite understandable. The category of beauty products has been sold on Instagram for 5 years, so why not make a website similar to the page of your favorite social network, where you can see the current, study the feed. The interface is understandable for anyone who even visits the site for the first time because he has already seen all this somewhere and knows how to use it.
Such a design will be relevant not only for cosmetic brands and clothing. For example, the English language school SkyEng has been actively using the “Instagram shell” almost from the very foundation of the company.
This is another trend that is gaining momentum both among developers and among users. People are tired of the clutter and unnecessary information. Therefore, sometimes it is more pleasant to look at one picture of the main page and listen to the singing of whales, as the creators of the safe-whales website use, than to puzzle over the received stream of numbers and letters. By the way, this site uses not only minimalism but also up-to-date animation and soft shadows, which is another trend of 2021.
But minimalism, as a way to design your site, is not just one picture on the home page. Here, the task of the designer is to show in all its glory the product, information, or service that you offer through a few simple, understandable forms, and not focus on decorative elements.
The aforementioned whale rescue site does not hit straight on the head “send your money to us and we will save the whales.” From the main page, he introduces the reader to those species of whales that need species conservation and support. No clutter with unnecessary information – only whales.
The simplest and most understandable principle of minimalism has been used by Google for a long time.
As you can see, minimalism can also be different, so we propose to consider its features.
Simplicity in everything
Clear and clear lines, no unnecessary details, complex fonts and a variety of motley illustrations, a complex grid of information, and media placement. Simplicity can also be found in the internal content of the site: from photographs in the style of minimalism to videos and text design.
The second important feature of minimalism. It is worth noting here that earlier designers adhered to a black and white palette, a maximum of pastel, bright flashy colors were not used. But the new year dictates new rules to us. The most important thing about using any color is that it should provide good contrast between images and the background. The white background is still relevant. It can be diluted with bright semantic accents, for example, in those places where the gaze should fall in the first place.
Images without background
With the help of images, the designer creates an emotional connection with the client, so it is important not to overdo it here. You won’t have a second try.
Rules for the image in minimalism:
– it should not pollute the layout: a simple photo/graphics without small details, elements;
– the color scheme can be any, the main thing is that it contrasts with the background and presents your product in a winning way;
– images must be of the same style;
– more often use images without a background to make the product even more emphasis.
The basic rule here is less is better than more. The designer removes unnecessary elements and leaves only the main thing. The correct spacing allows you to draw attention to the right things on the site. A person does not have to digest information for too long, look for what he needs. As if a hanging photo/graphics/text in space helps the future client not to get lost in the flow of information, a tete-a-teta atmosphere is created.
It is also important to understand that this airiness must be created like everything else with the mind. Especially pay attention to the top of the layout. Most users make their first impression of a company from the first elements on the site. The second point is how adding white space and space will affect the size of the layout. Not all users like to scroll for too long. The third task for the designer and developers is how such a site will look on a mobile device. Whether the text is too small, and the photo or images are full screens.
3. Dark theme
Have you noticed that not only social networks have started to offer to go to the “dark side”? Sites will also help to save the charge of your mobile device battery. And this is not just a new trend, such giants as Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp, VKontakte, ASOS have long been pleasing to the eye, literally and figuratively, their consumers.
It is important to note that here, too, companies choose adaptation, if a person sits on the phone, then he can choose a dark theme on the site or in the application. True, on the desktop versions, not all sites have such a function. So, for example, the ASOS website on your PC will have a standard white background and pictures, but on the mobile device and in the application, you can choose the “dark side”.
Actually, why did web designers and developers decide to bring a little darkness into our lives? First, it is healthier for your eyes than the bright white light that is already around you. In addition, black is convenient in the dark. Moreover, if you believe the research for 2020, the average person spends more than 6 hours on the Internet every day, the eyes will definitely get tired during this time. Secondly, against a dark background, graphic solutions can look visually different and more advantageous than on a light one, which gives free rein for creativity. Third, it increases the contrast ratio.
In addition, dark themes are great for OLED screens (not only TVs but also Samsung smartphones), as they save energy and increase the lifespan of the screen. Dark shades allow you to create creative elements with a neon glow, which is also one of the graphic design trends of 2021.
4. Artificial intelligence
Unsurprisingly, this position appeared in our article on Website Design Trends 2021. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already deeply embedded in our Internet life. Any chatbot that pops up on the website of a medical clinic or home goods is also part of artificial intelligence.
In this story, AI takes pride in the domestic manufacturer.
Back in 2017, Artefact co-founder Rob Geerling pondered artificial intelligence and the design profession: what predictions are expected by 2025:
“I can well imagine a future where AI plays the role of a personal assistant, equipped with a deep understanding of our motivations, heroes, and what inspires us. They could evaluate our work, offer useful ideas and ways of professional self-improvement. The world will become a place where special bots can provide us with different points of view on a problem and different approaches to solving it. Where simulations of real users test the products we have developed: they test their performance under various conditions and propose adjustments even before the prototype turns into a working model. Where the A / B test algorithms (split test – several different versions of the page are evenly alternated for all its visitors) are constantly looking for opportunities to make even microscopic changes to improve the quality of the design. “
We do not undertake to think so far, but we can assume what will change in 2021. According to forecasts, more and more often we will see voice search on sites. This is due to the rhythm of a person’s life, in which spending time typing your request is a luxury. In the future, to reach such a level of using AI that the site, knowingly knowing the client’s preferences according to the data from BIG Data, will build the most comfortable platform for a specific user (hello to fans of the Black Mirror series). But this is still in the future, which has no time frame.)
5. Photo + graphics = love
A hybrid of photos and graphics is another trend in web design of the outgoing 2020 and the upcoming 2021. Such a collage is a tribute to pop art lovers, it creates not only a playful mood but also a certain layering. This adds interest to your product and service. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers on the Russian market favor this story, preferring standard solutions. Western competitors, by contrast, are easily embedding photos and graphics on their sites, from media sites to food and clothing. The use of such a technique in the latest segment of goods may indicate not only that your company is keeping up with the times, but also about the product itself, about your target audience. By the way, DePlace Maison uses another “2021” feature: fluid animation. On the brand’s website, your mouse will be a black blot, which you definitely want to play with, which means your visit time will be longer. And this is a guarantee that you will study the site and its products without knowing it.
6. Asymmetric layouts
Despite the social media style design trend, there is also an organic trend with it to break boundaries and understand page markup.
The usual grid, like that of online stores or news resources, is fading away. New forms appear that are unlike each other. The boundaries are really erased and the usual placement of “Menu”, “Contacts”, “About us”, etc. may look completely unconventional. An asymmetric layout will at least pique the user’s curiosity, which means they’ll start exploring your site, then your product. You will keep the client on the site longer than the usual square, understandable grid.
When using asymmetry, do not forget about balance and composition so that one part of the page does not “outweigh” the other. For example, the image should not be larger than the text block.
Let’s summarize who should use asymmetry and for what purpose:
– to revive the selling page, initially focusing the attention of users on the most important things;
– to facilitate the visual perception of information;
– it is more profitable to use the space on the page;
– the very situation of asymmetry is well suited for emotional design, the use of images/information of an advertising nature, goods that enhance emotional motives;
– a feeling of dynamism is created, the site ceases to be boring.
What not to do in 2021:
1. Use many different fonts, both in size and style.
What is the text on the site for? In order to read it, learn about you, your product, or service. But there is a big “BUT” – small print or using a complex font style.
A modern person holds attention for 8 seconds – during this time he can read only 18 words. If your text is larger, and also in small print, most likely, the user will simply scroll down the page further. Optimization Ways: Use video or animation + voice to bring your product to life.
Different font styles are also distracting and sometimes annoying to the user. Let’s go back to the door site example. Let’s look at the name of the company: how quickly did you read it? How many font styles have you counted? Thanks to this fragmentation, the impression of chaos is created, although everything is built logically. Old school: the information worth focusing on is highlighted in bold and the text size is larger, but at the same time, the clutter and variability make the visual perception heavier. The consumer first tries to read the name of the company, then sees the phone number, then tries to read the translucent and small text.
2. Use sliders
Whoever tried to open the MVideo or Zara website from the phone at least once will nod their heads in understanding. Sliders not only make the site heavier but also make it out of date.
According to a study by Nort Dam University, only 1% of respondents clicked on the slider. At the same time, 84% of clicks were only on the first slide. The principle of banner advertising on search engine sites works here, as a rule, it looks like a slider and is placed on the side of the site, so no one pays attention to it.
3. Low contrast fonts
We hope that no one does this anymore, but if you understand that this item is about you, call/write to the professionals in order to correct the mistake.
The editor of an Australian magazine, Colin Wheeldon, decided to ask his readers what color of background and text they consider acceptable:
– Black text on white: 70% good, 19% fair, 11% poor;
– White text on black: 0% good, 12% fair, 88% bad;
– White text on purple: 2% good, 16% fair, 82% bad;
– White text on royal blue: 0% good, 4% fair, 96% bad.
Very often, just by glancing at an advertisement and not even reading the text, you know exactly who is behind it. Our brains identify a brand by a specific set of colors, fonts, and images, which the company keeps unchanged. And so that over a long period of time there is no mixing of designs, and you continue to recognize the brand “by sight”, the style of the company is documented.
WHAT IS A BRAND GUIDELINE
A guideline is an instruction (technical passport) for using the corporate identity (identity) of a company/brand. It contains detailed rules and standards for working with visual brand attributes (description of the logo, color combinations, fonts), including ready-made design solutions. This is a clear algorithm for designers and marketers in the case of revision of individual elements of the corporate identity or redesign. The guideline helps to keep the brand’s face unchanged and maintain visual contact with the audience. Communication with customers is built using advertising media.
What belongs to the media of corporate identity? In fact, it can be any materials related to the company’s activities. Consider a list of popular advertising media:
company product (labels, packaging);
advertising materials (brochures, shelf talkers);
various documentation (business cards, letterheads, envelopes);
on the Internet – website, email newsletters, social media pages;
souvenirs (calendars, pens, bags);
company interior and outdoor advertising, points of sale, uniforms;
The guideline can be done in print, in electronic form (as a PDF document), or as a presentation (as a PowerPoint document).
GUIDELINE, BRAND BOOK, AND LOGO BOOK – WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES
The guideline, brand book, and logo book – often marketers confuse all these concepts, although there is a concept that they can act as independent documents. Let’s see how they differ. A brand book is a broader concept than a guideline, and often the latter acts as an integral part of a brand book. But the main property of the brand book is the display of the mission, values , and philosophy of the company, and the guideline serves to strictly adhere to the standards in the development and placement of corporate identity attributes. They also differ in purpose – the brand book is developed to a greater extent for the company’s employees and sometimes contains closed commercial information. A guideline is a guide for a wide range of users, including designers and marketers, who will collaborate with the company in the future.
The logo book is an even smaller component of the brand book and guideline, which looks like instructions for using exclusively the company logo (colors, fonts, placement, etc.).
WHAT IS THE USE OF A GUIDELINE
Why develop a guideline at all? What advantages does it provide and does your company need it? Let’s consider the main advantages of having a ready-made document:
It simplifies cooperation with marketers and designers when conducting advertising campaigns, and in the case of various modifications to the corporate identity.
Brand awareness and loyalty to the company increase. Clear standards for color solutions and rules for the placement of attributes (logo, slogan) allow unifying all advertising media of the brand.
Ensures that the “face” of the company remains unchanged. A clear framework for the use of brand style elements gives confidence in their identity across all advertising media.
Advertising costs are reduced and the speed of preparation of advertising materials is increased. It is enough to describe all the nuances once and there will be no need to “reinvent the wheel” and pay money for it every time. And if all this is also on a tight schedule?
The image of the company among clients, partners, and advertising companies is increasing
If you plan to transfer your business to a franchisee, then a guideline is a must.
A long enough list to start thinking about standardizing your brand.
GUIDE DEVELOPMENT – ITS STRUCTURE
There are no strict rules for developing the structure of the guideline, but there are some key points that must be present in the document. These include:
description of the logo and standards for its placement on advertising media. Includes options: different sizes of the logo, execution in different colors (including b / w), on a different background. The size of the security zone around the logo is indicated;
the coding of the colors used and the possibility of their combinations;
list of fonts with styles;
graphic elements – a catalog of photographs and background screensavers, if they are present in the corporate style;
rules for the preparation of company documentation. It is especially important if there are regional divisions and the unification of document flow is required;
possible combinations of brand attributes for display on various advertising media (in printing, outdoor and online advertising, points of sale, souvenirs, transport, etc.);
a list of prohibited techniques and compositions – everything that is considered unacceptable for use in the company’s identity.
THE MAIN STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
There may be two options – the guideline and the corporate identity are developed simultaneously and, preferably, by the same team. Or the company already has a corporate identity, and a guideline is created on its basis. In any case, before describing the object and the rules for working with it, the object must be created. First, a style is created, and then a standard for working with it. Let’s consider an approximate scheme of work on the development of a passport of standards:
a brief is drawn up (a detailed description of the task for the contractor) and a contractor is selected;
corporate identity is analyzed and divided into smaller elements;
all elements are described by a marketer with the assistance of a copywriter. The description explains in detail even banal, according to the author, moments;
with the help of the designer and layout designer, layouts of document pages are created, from which the guideline is ultimately formed;
the project is agreed with the representatives of the company and, if necessary, is printed in the printing house.
WHERE TO ORDER AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CREATE A STANDARD
Services for the development of corporate identity and description of its standards are offered by design studios, branding agencies, digital companies, and freelancers.
Each company and its brand are individual, so the cost of each development is different and is discussed in detail with the contractor. The final cost of the project is influenced by a number of factors:
you need a full development of the corporate identity or just a guide;
how deeply is the development of identity required, are layouts and templates needed for printing;
the scope of the company (B2B, HoReCa, or B2C) and its scale;
Some companies, if you order a complete strategy and corporate identity development, offer the guideline for free as a gift from the studio.
There are two types of guidelines: technical (the cost of development is cheaper) and communication. Their difference is that a slogan has been added to the communication view and additional elaboration of all elements of the identity is required.
On average, if the company already has a corporate identity, the cost of creating instructions only can be from 30 thousand rubles. With a more detailed development, this can be 200-300 thousand rubles. and more. You can find cheaper options from freelancers, but with this choice, you need to be prepared for low-quality work. However, there are exceptions.
SIGNS OF GOOD LEADERSHIP
How to determine that a document has been completed with high quality and meets the assigned tasks? Check the manual against the following criteria:
comprehensibility and accessibility to a wide audience;
ease of development of new attributes of corporate identity;
balance of information – it should be enough to understand the subject of study, but not too much so as not to get confused;
the leadership must have free space (growth points) for development and maneuver, the implementation of interesting design solutions within the framework of the standard;
remains relevant for a long time.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENTS OF WELL-KNOWN COMPANIES
In 2012, Microsoft rebranded and created simple guidelines for the use of its identity. The changes affected all products (OS, Office, TVs, phones, etc.) because any point of contact is a brand assessment. A very detailed guideline (the full brand book is 85 pages long) describes the rules for fonts, colors with shades and combinations, logo and its placement, contains photos and illustrations of the brand, prohibited designs, and much more.
The development of Aeroflot was carried out back in 2008, but it still remains relevant. The guideline describes in detail the options for corporate fonts, logos, and brand names in a variety of combinations and colors. There is a detailed aircraft paint scheme with paint specifications.
The Coca-Cola Company has developed a guide that displays the typeface of the logo, a description, the four corporate colors, the rest of the fonts, advertising options on transport, point of sale, and other media.
Do not expect that creating a brand book or guideline will make your brand world-famous by magic. But it is a fact that will move you forward on the path of company recognition.
Develop detailed instructions on how to use your corporate identity and gain appreciation from marketers and designers, successful advertising campaigns, and improving your brand image.
Direct Marketing– this type of promotion, which involves the transfer of information about a product, service, or company directly to the customer. Thus, the target audience receives all advertising information without intermediaries and third parties.
Direct marketing strategies include email marketing, print and online advertising, database marketing, outdoor advertising, SMS, phone calls, and more. While other advertising methods are aimed at informing potential customers about the brand’s services or products, direct marketing is aimed solely at motivating the recipient to make decisions. This approach helps to achieve results through the use of CTAs that encourage customers to take action.
Examples of CTAs in direct marketing:
More products on the site
Visit the store
Call us for detailed product information
Subscribe to the newsletter and get a 25% discount
Use promo code
The success of direct marketing strategies is measured by tracking the achievement of goals. Please note that direct marketing will be more effective if you use segmentation. In addition, choosing the right communication channel is essential for success.
Most companies that use direct marketing today avoid intrusiveness and inappropriate advertising. Therefore, they use services such as SendPulse to promote their products. The tools of email marketing, SMS, and web push notifications help to increase the effectiveness of campaigns.
Why direct marketing is important
Accelerates the process of attracting leads
Promotes effective promotion of services and products
Allows you to send personalized content
Easy to measure the effectiveness
Direct marketing is important to brands for a number of reasons. We have listed the main ones below.
Accelerates the process of attracting leads. Direct marketing campaigns allow you to quickly connect with your target audience and make the right offer at the right time.
Promotes the effective promotion of services and products. Unlike other strategies, direct marketing allows you to create targeted campaigns to attract highly motivated leads. This ensures maximum efficiency when sending promotional emails to a segmented audience.
Allows you to send personalized content. Marketers collect information such as age, income, and behavioral factors in order to send personalized messages. Thus, with minimal effort, brands show interest in every customer.
Easy to evaluate effectiveness. Brands track the success of their campaigns based on metrics such as the number of customers who clicked on ads, the revenue generated, and the ROI. What’s more, direct marketing lets you know how much customers are willing to spend on certain products or services.
Direct Marketing Benefits
Relatively small budget
Increases sales to existing customers and reactivates passive customers
Increases customer loyalty
Helps in promoting new business
Allows you to measure and evaluate the consumer quality of products
Direct marketing has many benefits for different companies. Here are the most useful ones.
Direct marketing ads target specific customer groups to maximize profits. To do this, marketers track customer behavior and offer the right products, depending on the interests of the audience.
Relatively small budget
Direct marketing targets specific demographic groups. This helps companies offer relevant products and services and increase sales on a tight budget. It helps you launch effective campaigns for a fraction of the cost of major promotions.
Increases sales to existing customers and reactivates passive customers
Customers are more loyal to companies that care and build personal relationships. Direct marketing allows you to increase sales to existing customers through analytics of the effectiveness of mailings. She helps to adjust the strategy.
Also, with the help of direct marketing, they reactivate customers who have not interacted with the company for a while. Firstly, it makes it possible to find out the reasons for the loss of interest of potential buyers, and secondly, it helps to restore relationships. The information collected from previous customers is used by brands to improve the effectiveness of campaigns and increase sales. Analyze the effectiveness of your mailings regularly and monitor the quality of your mailing list.
Increases customer loyalty
Direct marketing is a great way to build and maintain relationships with customers and potential buyers. It allows marketers to personalize advertisements and offers to forge and strengthen personal connections with their target audience.
Combine direct marketing with loyalty programs. For example, give discounts, send congratulatory messages, send out invitations to upcoming sales, and so on.
Helps in promoting new business
Direct marketing is a great launching pad for starting a new business. It helps to effectively interact with the target audience and increases sales. Moreover, the introduction of direct marketing tools allows you to attract new clients and form true brand advocates. With this approach, companies adapt easily and quickly to respond to market demands.
New companies can use direct marketing to:
Improving sales of specific products;
Sales of goods that are no longer produced
Customer retention and loyalty increase
Tracking advertising offers
Allows you to measure and evaluate the consumer quality of products
Direct marketing can be used to assess audience demand for specific goods and services. Moreover, it helps to test new markets, evaluate the tactics of promotion, efficiency, and effectiveness of sales. To improve strategy, marketers track and analyze the results of each campaign.
Direct and indirect marketing
In direct marketing, they build personal relationships with each client; in indirect marketing, all messages are conveyed to the audience through intermediaries.
Compared to these marketing strategies, direct marketing helps brands generate revenue faster. Moreover, if the campaign was well thought out and received by the audience, then the results are easy to measure.
It takes more time to achieve results using indirect marketing techniques. Building a brand on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using hashtags and SEO are long-term strategies. Therefore, companies have to wait a long time to generate income. However, it is impossible to say which of the two types of marketing is better. Plus, they work better in combination.
Types of direct marketing
Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular direct marketing methods.
Email marketing is a simple, affordable, and measurable way to communicate with customers. Here are some examples of effective strategies: promotional emails, newsletters, and trigger emails.
This type of direct marketing is based on sending promotional materials to mobile users. With the help of mobile marketing, marketers talk about current offers, sales and inform buyers about the status of the order.
Web push notifications are messages that are sent to users through a browser and appear in the corner of a mobile screen or computer. Push notifications allow marketers to interact with potential customers one-on-one. There is no need to collect email addresses or other personal data. And subscribers are identified by information stored in the browser used.
Other types of direct marketing
The list doesn’t end there. There are several other types of direct marketing that companies use:
Social media. Brands promote and expand their audience through social media. They help you get instant feedback from your audience in the form of comments and discussions.
Telemarketing. It involves making calls to potential customers to sell specific services or products. This tool helps you generate leads and track your marketing campaigns.
Direct sales. This includes sending company promotional materials that are aimed at promoting the brand, products, and services. For example, sending out catalogs, postcards, and letters.
Marketing communications is a collection of interactions between a brand and society. Basically, everything we say on behalf of a brand/company to people is marketing communication: a sign, a TV commercial, a press release, an article in a magazine, a post on Instagram. You need to communicate appropriately and effectively, based on the market goals and objectives of the company. What are the goals of marketing communications, how the 4 main communication tools work from advertising to sales, and how to build the entire communication chain through marketing channels – in this article.
What is marketing communications?
The concept of marketing communications is quite broad: it includes public relations, advertising, sales, and sales promotion tools, sponsorship. At the same time, marketing communications are part of the marketing mix along with the price, place of sale, and the product itself.
Communication in marketing is both the message delivery channels, the message itself, and the reaction of the target audience (feedback). Communication is when we came up with a product slogan, shot a video with this slogan, posted the video on a suitable channel (TV or Youtube), got contacts with the audience, and recorded feedback.
Marketing communications work and develop cyclically. The first stage: analysis – what is happening with the product now (for example, it has just appeared on the market). The second stage is setting the communication problem: what do we want to get in the future (to increase the audience’s awareness of the new product). The third stage – we draw up a strategy on how we will achieve our goal (we will place advertisements on TV and in shopping centers, attract bloggers, and so on). The fourth stage is an assessment of the effectiveness of communication: did you choose the right message and channels, how much you managed to reach the right audience (did people know about the product).
Then the cycle repeats. The goals may change: we introduced customers to a new product, now we are increasing its sales. We change channels, messages, and tools depending on the tasks.
Elements of marketing communications
There are a number of terms that are used when talking about marketing communications. Let’s list them so that further reasoning is clearer.
Source – brand, company, or person starting the communication process.
The message, information – the essence of what the source wants to convey to the audience.
Addressee – people to whom the communication is addressed, to whom the source wants to convey its message.
Channel is a way of delivering information to the addressee ( indoor and outdoor advertising, media, and so on).
Information (message) encoding is the form in which the message will be delivered to the addressee. The form is selected according to the channel: for radio, the message is encoded into a radio clip, for social networks in a post or story, and the like.
Decoding – feedback from addressees: how the target audience responded to the communication with deeds and words. Sales increased, product awareness increased, and a dialogue with consumers began.
Purposes and functions of marketing communications
Why do you need a variety of marketing communications tools? The functionality includes informing, expressing, and “ doing good ” – that is, you need to regularly communicate something, evoke emotions and make the life of customers better.
The main purpose of marketing communications is to promote sales, scientifically speaking, to stimulate the sale of goods or services. Sometimes you need to create demand first, especially when the product is new.
Increasing awareness, creating consumer motivation to buy, maintaining long-term relationships with customers, creating a brand and product image, regularly reminding oneself – all these are additional tasks of marketing communications.
Consistently and systematically, marketing communications from the image of a product or brand by “ sending ” messages to customers and collecting feedback. Nike, Coca-Cola, Mercedes – these great brands have been communicating with the audience for decades, instilling in them a love for the brand’s philosophy and generating a steady demand. The results are evident.
Marketing communications work at all stages of the transaction with the buyer:
before buying, they introduce them to the product, form a need (go jogging at Nike);
help you make a choice at the time of purchase (buy Nike at a discount today);
after purchase, contribute to the correct and comfortable use of the product (work with Nike online trainers);
stimulate further demand (buy yourself some more Nike);
build brand loyalty (buy only Nike).
In general, the task of marketing communications is to convey the attractiveness of a brand/product to the maximum number of representatives of the target audience.
Communication is part of a company’s great marketing strategy. Therefore, the message, channels, addressees, coding – everything is selected without interruption from global business goals and other elements of the 4P marketing complex (product, price, place, promotion), where promotion is promotion, that is, marketing communications.
Types of marketing communications
There are several types of marketing communications, but in reality, they are difficult and do not need to be separated. Everything works organically, in conjunction. PR is inseparable from branding, and advertising is inseparable from sales.
When a new product is being developed, when it develops, when it enters new markets, branding is needed. The task of this type of marketing communication is to form an attractive image of a product, to evoke positive associations in the audience that do not evoke similar products. Branding is a long process (remember Nike).
The most famous type of marketing communication. Advertising informs about the product, praises its qualities, helps to make choices, and stimulates demand.
Advertising works on paid channels (indoor and outdoor, TV, radio, Internet, media) and requires advertising budgets.
PR (public relations)
But PR is shareware. Posting news, press releases, giving an interview, speaking at a conference – all this can be done not for money, but for mutual benefit. The media get information and the speaker, and the company gets a mention, audience coverage.
PR is engaged in the creation and strengthening of the image in the public space. There is PR of different ” colors ” :
white – honestly speaking on our behalf;
gray – the source of information is hidden, the message can work against the person or for her benefit;
black – spreading compromising evidence against a competitor, slandering rumors, disinformation;
yellow – muddying or exposing scandalous details of the life of celebrities in the spirit of tabloids
green – PR with increased social responsibility.
Publicity is the formation of an image through publications. Usually, experts and public figures are promoted through articles, interviews, speeches. Formally, publicity is not an advertisement because no one pays anyone. The media take useful and interesting publications, and companies organize press tours, press conferences, and presentations for journalists.
Sponsoring also works for brand image. A sponsor gives money to organize an event, work on a project, and achieve a goal. There are also information sponsors who provide not financial, but other capacities – their site, their audience, and so on. In exchange for help, the sponsor is given the opportunity to tell about themselves through branding of the event space, advertising integrations.
Sponsorship is an investment in the image, so don’t confuse sponsoring with charity, which is usually carried out anonymously or at least not publicly.
Moving on to the ” venal ” types of marketing communications. Direct marketing speaks directly to customers through letters, phone calls, meetings, and communication at exhibitions. When a company communicates with a consumer right here and now for the purpose of selling, getting other feedback, or getting the client into the funnel (to begin with).
Sales promotion is all familiar promotions, contests, bonuses ” for a friend “, discount coupons, merchandising, promo events, tastings, and test drives, as well as posting typical or creative POS materials. Anything that helps to draw people’s attention and fuel buying activity. Communication is with the goal of selling more right now.
Loyalty programs stimulate demand in a slightly different way. Bonus points, cumulative discounts, membership in customer clubs – all these things help to build long-term communication with customers.
Loyalty programs work in a complex manner, shaping future demand and expanding the range of goods and services that are potentially interesting to the buyer. Let’s say a client has a haircut at our barbershop once a month. With his loyalty card, he has accumulated discount points for beard camouflage. Having tried a new service on favorable terms, the client can start ordering it constantly.
Selling a seller to a buyer literally at a store shelf is also a type of marketing communication. See for yourself: the seller advertises the product, informs about its merits, processes feedback, and persuades the buyer to join the loyalty program.
Presentation is a special case of direct sale, when a demonstration is held for the audience, it does not matter, a new iPhone, a car, herbal medicine, or a miracle vacuum cleaner.
Marketing communications as a system
All types of communication are tied into a single system that works consistently and cyclically. First, we develop a new product. We determine the price of the product. We organize its logistics – we find a place where the product will be sold. And we start promotion using different types of marketing communications: advertising, PR, sales promotion, and personal sales at points of sale.
For each type of communication, different tools are used: from product packaging to service maintenance (yes, this is also marketing communication, because there is a buyer and upsells).
Outdoor: billboards, streamers, signs.
Internal: lightboxes, POS materials, video, and audio.
When the message is ready, you need to find the most convenient channel for delivering information to the target audience. In principle, everything comes from the target audience: if she watches TV shows for housewives, then you need to make a commercial for a channel for housewives.
If the target audience loves YouTuber X, then you need to integrate with him. If a product needs expert advice, conferences are held with the participation of such people, they are given product samples for evaluation, and so on.
The second important point for choosing a channel is budget. For the same TV commercial, you may simply not have enough money. Then we are looking for where else we can communicate with the right audience and encode the message in an acceptable format. Oftentimes, budget constraints give rise to creative solutions.
Stages of marketing communications development
How are marketing communications created? When a decision is made to hook a certain group of people, you need to take a marketing ” microscope ” and carefully consider the representatives of the target audience. At the first stage, it is important to understand what is important for the group, what they expect from the product, what “ job ” they are hiring. Based on the obtained statistics and strategic insights, a communication message is created.
Having studied the target audience, we understand where to find it. What sites does she visit, what shops, cafes, and parks she visits, who is the opinion leader for her? We choose a marketing communication channel so as to deliver the message to the audience as efficiently as possible in terms of coverage and budgets. According to the channel, the message is given a form: a neon sign in the shopping center, native integration into Instagram, an inscription on the fence, an article in the magazine “The stars decided everything for us. “
The supposed effectiveness of communication is preliminarily analyzed. After the campaign, various indicators are analyzed: how many people saw the message, which channel and specific placement gave the maximum coverage, maximum feedback, how the communication affected the company’s figures, including direct sales. It is worth considering that many types of marketing communications, the same PR, have a delayed effect.
How to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing communications
To assess the effectiveness of communications, a traditional set of marketing and sociological methods is used: qualitative and quantitative.
The qualitative assessment is based on market research interpretations. These are focus groups (especially for a new product), in-depth interviews, content analysis, consumer panels, expert judgments.
Quantitative methods involve marketing research on a relatively large, representative sample. These are telephone, written, and Internet surveys. The received data is processed by professional programs.
Examples of marketing communications
The plant produces printing presses. Clients are printing houses. Marketing communications such as advertising, sales promotion, and direct sales at conferences and printing exhibitions are used. Communication channels: company website, contextual advertising, publications and advertising placements in specialized media, mailing to clients, telephone calls.
Barbershop makes haircuts and styling. For promotion, such channels as social networks, advertising on Youtube, posts, and stories from influencers, leaflets in the area of the salon are used. They also work with regular customers through the application.
The company wants to sell the premises. The communication channel is a local newspaper. The addressee is other local companies. The company advertises. The premises are being bought.
Korean cosmetics brand enters a new market. The brand makes integrations through the social media channel – it goes to “ Instagram beauty bloggers ” and to TikTok. Instabloggers tell subscribers about the products and advertise a sales promotion campaign from the brand. On TikTok, the brand runs the “ I am an idol ” challenge, which “ goes viral ” and increases brand awareness in a new market.
The correct choice of message, consistency of this message (one message in all communications), a good understanding of the needs of the target audience based on feedback, and excellent knowledge of channels and tools are important for the success of marketing communications. But there is always room for experimentation because this is marketing, right? Effective marketing communications for you.