In 'The Art of War' Sun Tzu said that "if you know your enemy and know yourself, you should not fear the outcome of a thousand battles", and it is a reflection that can be extrapolated to many aspects, including marketing. We will assume that you know your brand perfectly, you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and, above all, that you know the product/service you offer like the back of your hand. And that at some point in that introspection you have realised that the so-called generation Z is your target, or at least part of the audience you want to address, so the next step is to know the enemy. What is Generation Z The so-called Z generation comprises those born between 1994 and 2010, although the years vary according to the different experts. It is the generation that follows the millennials and is also known as centennials or post-millennials. Zetas are digital natives, the first to be born with a smartphone under their arm, and have grown up in a completely digitised world, so they feel like fish in water with technology. Social media is their natural habitat, so much so that according to a Comscore study, Generation Z prefers social media for news consumption. They are used to immediacy and always having information at their fingertips, which has an impact on the way they consume. According to a study by The Atlantic, comScore and Harvard, "Generation Z is one of the most difficult segments of the population for brands, media and marketers to reach. They are smart but sceptical consumers, with higher expectations of brands and a tendency to be less loyal. Issues such as social responsibility, feminism, diversity or sustainability also concern them in the brands they consume, and personal recommendations and social networks are for them an impetus to action. How to market to Generation Z Use the right channel Now that we know the enemy, it is time to plan the attack, starting with the channel through which we will approach them. All our attention must be focused on making sure that everything can be seen on mobile phones. Our website must be responsive and so must our way of connecting with them, so we will use the same channel that generation Z uses: mobile and social networks. It makes no sense for us to advertise on the radio, for example, if what the Zetas listen to is Spotify, or to advertise on TV if what they do is watch Ibai Llanos touring Marbella Vice on Twitch.   Centennials are one of the generations that uses social networks the most, and not just one. From TikTok to Twitch to Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr or 21Buttons. It's important to understand that we're not going to find too many zetas on Facebook, so marketing to them on that channel is a waste of bullets. Five shots on target are worth more than 500 off target, so focus your efforts on channels they use, such as Tik Tok. Tailor your message to your audience Not only the channel is important, but also the language spoken and the tone. You don't speak the same way to your mother as you do to a friend or a neighbour in the lift. Adapting the way you communicate with your target audience is vital. To help you understand the importance of this, I will tell you a story. An explorer discovered a small village in the middle of the Amazon. He tried to communicate with them speaking English, but nobody understood him. He tried mumbling Spanish, but nothing. He ended up making himself understood by signing and thought he was going to be invited to a banquet, but if he had spoken the same language as them he would have known that the banquet was really him. It is important to speak the 'language' of our target audience. This means that it is no good using the content of millennials to reach the zetas through their channels, because that way we will only manage to imitate Mr. Burns in 'The Simpsons' trying to look young. It is about adapting form and substance to the listener. One example of adaptation is that of the luxury brands that are collaborating and doing fashion shows inside videogames such as Animal Crossing. Marc Jacobs, Valentino and Sandy Liang, for example, have presented new collections there, and firms such as Gucci even have an island in the game. Image and video above all else We've talked about how zetas have the whole world at their fingertips, so losing their attention is much easier than gaining it. Play it safe and create content that is easier for them to consume, such as images and videos. Consider that the online video consumption rate of this generation is 91%.   In this case and for this generation, fast content is a very appropriate strategy, as it is the content that they tend to demand. Show yourself as a personal and authentic brand Within the content we show it is important to give a space to our brand image because as we have said before, for this generation it is vital that the brands they consume fit their way of thinking and their concerns. If we only show what we want them to buy, they will not connect with us.  Lush, for example, is a beauty brand whose products promote sustainability, zero waste and the use of vegan ingredients. On their social networks they not only show their new shampoos and talk about their qualities, they also show us some of the actions they carry out at brand level to reduce the environmental impact or promote employment in unprotected areas.   It is a way for the public to connect with you not only because of what you sell but also because of how you are as a brand, something that is very important for generation Z when it comes to deciding to consume. The storytelling of your brand must be taken care of and your marketing must tell a story. Creating authentic messages, making sure that the brand has personal qualities such as feelings, values and purpose, is one of the maxims for targeting this generation. Use new forms of marketing and be creative With Generation Z it's not just about impact, it's about connecting and engaging them. In addition, content must be creative to hold their attention. Forget the classics and embrace new ways of communicating. The type of marketing we use should involve them and make them participate, like the TikTok challenges, for example. Our marketing should encourage participation to increase engagement.   Influencer Marketing, for example, is a great way to reach Generation Z as long as it is used in the right channels. It's no use making an advert like the one Fanta did in 2017 with El Rubius, if you broadcast it on TV but not on YouTube, for example. Generation X will see it, but not their children, who are the ones we really care about.   It is important that the influencers or micro-influencers we use are from the same generation and related to the brand because for generation Z, authenticity is a priority. Using Dulceida to market a motorbike when she has never been on one is a waste of money. On the other hand, using well-known motor influencers such as Bea Eguiraun or Andrea Bautista is a triple score. Not only because the campaign will be better targeted, but also because it is more credible and authentic.   It is estimated that by 2030 Generation Z will be the most influential generation in the global economy and their income will exceed 33 million euros. Getting on this bandwagon now and connecting with them bodes well for the future. You just need to surround yourself with the right team. Shall we talk?    Main photo: Gabriele Diwald
According to the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, games are older than culture itself, and he even considered them to be the starting point of complex human activities such as language, war or art. They occur in all periods of our lives and in all cultures. We don't just play when we are children, play is part of leisure for adults that can range from a game of mus on the faculty lawn to an escape room with your friends or a game of Call of Duty alone at home. Nowadays we all have a device at our fingertips on which we spend a lot of our time and which is also a tool for playing games. The Nokia snake that we all got addicted to, the famous Candy Crush and even the most recent Pokémon Go are just a small example of how we also play with our mobile phones. Anyone can play at any time thanks to smartphones and games, as well as entertaining us, can become another marketing tool thanks to gamification marketing. What is gamification marketing and how does it benefit your company? In 1896 the company S&H Green Stamps sold stamps to retailers and used them to reward loyal customers. In 1973 Charles Coonradt's company introduced "The Game of Work" where employee feedback was obtained by playing sports in the workplace. In 1981 American Airlines introduced the first frequent flyer programme, rewarding frequent flyers. And although it was Nick Pelling, a British video game programmer, who coined the term gamification in 2002, every single company before him was already using gamification marketing in their strategies. If we translate "gamification" literally, we would be talking about gamification, which is the implementation of game mechanics in non-game contexts. If we talk about gamification marketing, we are talking about the application of these characteristics or mechanics similar to those of games in marketing that can be applied to both digital marketing and offline actions. The aim is not only to entertain our users, but also to involve them and get more interaction from them. As a company, gamification increases engagement, generates a large amount of data through interactions between users and the system, and achieves a very interesting dynamisation for our social networks, for example. It also increases brand loyalty, which is very beneficial now that competition is fiercer than ever, and is easier and more affordable to implement than it might seem. Gamification can be used to reward users or to present our products in a more original way, as Balenciaga did for example with its video game Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, which became the excuse to present its next autumn-winter 2021 collection in a different, interactive and accessible way. But it is not just a concept for the user, it can also be a powerful corporate tool. It can be used to incentivise employees, make their work more attractive, create an atmosphere of trust and encourage participation.   How to apply gamification marketing in our strategy Identify who you are addressing As with any other marketing strategy, you have to study your target audience. We know that it is not the same to speak to a group of 15-year-olds obsessed with TikTok as it is to speak to a group of parents at school. It is vital to know where any action will be directed to in order to adapt it to the receiver. Think of a movie, for example the Korean film "Parasites". If you watch it in the original version and you don't know the language, you will most likely end up cutting it out, no matter how good it is. But if you watch it subtitled or dubbed in your language, you will be hooked and you will get everything the film wants to give you. With any marketing strategy it is the same, we will have to "adapt the language" to reach our target. Simplify the concept How right the architect Mies Van der Rohe was when he said that less is more. This phrase should be tattooed on the arm of every designer in the world and it applies, of course, to gamification marketing. Use a simple concept, especially to start with.   Let's take an example of a gamification that succeeded using a simple concept: Foursquare. It was born as a social network that incorporated game elements and its operation was very simple. Every time you indicated your position you were given points and with their accumulation, medals. You could even become the "mayor" of a place if you accumulated enough points in the same place. Imagine the amount of data it collected and how practical it could be for them as a company.   You don't need to make a role-playing game involving hundreds of characters for gamification marketing to work. Remember, less is more.   Nostalgia is always a good idea On a psychological level, nostalgia is a powerful emotional concoction. It evokes memories of our childhood or youth, which is why there are now companies creating arcade games that remind us of the Donkey Kong that we millennials played as children. One example is Miu Miu, which has created games such as the one launched with its Twist perfume, starring Elle Fanning. In it, the actress runs around backstage collecting perfumes. In this case the objective seems merely playful, but it is an emotional way of connecting with the user, with their inner child, in a positive way. Create rewards that matter McDonalds has been using gamification marketing for years in one of its most famous campaigns, the Monopoly campaign, which has been running since the 1980s. It is just that, a Monopoly adapted to the fast food giant. The big prizes are few and far between, but you might win free fries on your next purchase that will entice you to come back for dinner next Sunday. Another example is Starbucks, which uses a rewards programme. For every purchase in the establishment you receive a series of points that you can then exchange for free products. And in case you're wondering, it works. According to Forbes "in 2019, Starbucks attributed 40% of its total sales to the programme". This same type of gamification marketing is especially easy to apply for companies such as Carrefour or Lidl, but it can also be used by local businesses such as your local bookshop or the coffee shop you pass on your way to work. Simple to implement and with very positive return results, both for regular customers and to get one-off customers to become repeat customers. The most important thing is that the prizes or rewards you offer are likely to be of interest to your current or future customers. Generates competition among users We like to win, it's a feeling of euphoria that comes over us even when we play cinquillo with the cousins in town at Christmas. Offering meaningful badges, trophies and prizes will create a sense of competitiveness that will keep people engaged, especially if the game is fun and allows you to "challenge your friends". The Apple Watch and its fitness app uses this as a lure for workouts, which you can compare with other friends who have the smartwatch. There is no prize as such, just virtual medals, but the joy of achieving them is real.   The rewards should be interesting so that the user wants to win the prize and encourage their contacts to participate. An example: you are a gym manager and you want to implement a gamification strategy for your users. You can create a programme of strength exercise challenges that will challenge your users at different levels of weight and repetitions and, upon completion, offer them a reward that will increase in value. From a smoothie at your local fruit bar to a grand prize that could be a free physiotherapy session.   This competitiveness is also applicable internally in your company and can be used as a corporate tool. For example, Cortefiel offers a 100 euro voucher to spend in its shops to the employee who makes the most membership cards in a month in the Community of Madrid. A win win because it stimulates the competitiveness of employees and also does so with a gesture that benefits the company thanks to the cards. And it only invests 100 euros, which has an impact on the results of more than 20 shops. Be creative with your games and your prizes Originality and creativity are essential in marketing also in this type of strategy, both in the game mechanics you want to apply to your business and in the rewards your users will receive. Rewards can be adapted to any type of business, whatever it is. Even a management agency is fertile ground for gamification. And although classic is xi and never goes out of fashion, don't be afraid to innovate. Instead of the classic hotel nights for customers who have visited five times in the last year, how about a scratch card for each of your guests? It could be the classic "keep playing" or prizes such as a bottle of champagne in the room, a premium drink at the hotel bar or a night in the best suite. The same goes for gamification itself. You can dare to create a mini-game in your taxi service mobile app that is a Mario Kart-style race with other users. The one with the best score throughout the week will be the winner of a 10 euro gift voucher for their next journey. Collaborations can even be made with other brands and departments. For example, H&M is preparing an exclusive collection with an internationally famous graffiti artist, but only the first 100 who reach a certain number of points in the new game installed in their app will be able to enter the pre-sale and get these exclusive designs at a 40% discount. Users see the action on social networks (both the artist's and the clothing brand's), download the app and subscribe, which generates very interesting leads for the future.   And don't worry, because Game over will never be in your vocabulary if you surround yourself with a good team that is not afraid to take risks and create something fun and that gives your company the opportunity to grow in a different way.   
Words are a powerful tool. Together with a melody, they make "Smells Like Teen Spirit" more alive than ever. The words of the final scene of "Blade Runner" are the ones that catch you in the rain. They are the ones that pierce you in Martin Luther King's speech, and the ones that mesmerize you in a good book.  British writer Diane Setterfield says that "words make you a prisoner." And words, in expert hands can also make you money, for example by using your company's blog. The blog is a tool we can use in marketing that has incredible potential to help our brand. That work goes far beyond the traffic it attracts to the web, and by taking care of the content, the company blog can be key in our marketing strategy. Keys to a successful corporate blog As with any marketing tool, it is key that we first do a research of both the target we are addressing and the type of content that the target is looking for, in order to connect with them in a simpler way. Blogger blogs stopped being used a long time ago, so integrate your company blog into your website, as another section. Design, both visual and editorial, is vital. Take care of it and think about your brand identity, because the blog must breathe the same air, photos included. If you have a more rogue brand, it doesn't make sense for your articles to be written as if they were written by a member of the RAE. Analyze your voice as a brand and use it in the same way on the blog. But what are you going to talk about? It is important to be clear from the beginning what will be the theme of your blog, and listen and observe your audience to adapt your content to them without losing the essence of your brand. And forget about constantly selling. A content of value for the customer will do much more for you than trying to sell, sell and sell at all costs, because the reader will end up getting bored. For example, it makes sense if you have a brand of hair products made with natural ingredients to write an article about tips on how to make our time on the planet have less impact on the environment, instead of the last five articles on your blog talking about how great your products are. SEO is very important when we talk about a blog since it will determine how we will be positioned in that great ocean of information that is Google. The best thing to do is to have a specialized team that can make the most of the blog using SEO to your advantage. Once you have observed and studied your audience and analyzed the style and content you will use, it is essential that you consider the same as with any social network: objectives to be met. This way the strategy will always be much more effective. Planning is key, think in advance articles that can be part of your company blog and set the dates of publication of the same, always thinking that quality is more important than quantity. It is better to publish one a month with interesting and valuable content, than one a day with content that does not contribute anything to the reader. Finally, it is important that the blog is a funnel that receives visitors from other channels, such as social networks or email marketing. Using the rest of your tools to attract traffic to the blog, such as Pinterest or Instagram, is key to getting future customers to your blog.  Benefits of having a successful company blog Improve your brand image. The blog is an ideal informative tool to let your customers know who you are. In addition, by offering content that adds value, the audience will have a very favorable opinion of you. Improve your position in search engines. The existence of quality content helps to meet Google's requirements to increase your rankings, which has a positive impact on improving your positioning. It helps you build a community and inform it. Company blogs such as Whatsapp, for example, use this space to inform about improvements in the application, changes or how to solve possible failures, so it acts in some way as a customer service. In addition, you can form a network around the blog of recurring users who come to it and that will be your small community. It is a source of knowledge to help you improve. Like any measurable tool, it helps you to learn and to identify more easily what works and what does not. It is a sales tool. Not only does it help you at an image level, the blog offers you another window to sell either products or services, and in a much more natural and subtle way. Ways to make money with a company blog There are several "formulas" to monetize a company blog but beware, it will not be to start writing words one after another and that the money comes into our account as it comes out of a slot machine. None of them is magical and all of them require time and effort. For a blog to work and be successful, it is essential to be consistent and the quality of the information it provides. Through a blog you can earn money with affiliation and advertising, for example, which would get sales to third parties. Even with traffic we can make a blog profitable. But in the case of a company blog what we are interested in is to attract future customers and get to be in their heads, which can only be achieved with hard work and dedication. Let's take an example: you have arrived here, a marketing and web design company, because you were looking for how to monetize your blog. You have read our article, which has given you some basic notions on how to start this new project, but you have realized that your website needs to implement some changes in the design to be able to host that blog you need so much. That collaboration opportunity might not have existed without this article. One more example with a product instead of a service. You have been teleworking for a year and you notice that at the end of the day you are tired and your eyesight is getting worse. You search on google for some of the symptoms and land on the blog of an optician who talks about eyestrain. Among the remedies to avoid it are some eye drops sold on the website itself. You are just one click away from solving your problem and it's all thanks to the blog. It is not that every time a person reads your company's blog you earn an extra euro, it is that it is a perfect window for the world to get to know you and to find your place in it. A formula to improve your brand image, to provide content to the community and for those potential customers to see in you the solution to their problems. Main photo: Anomaly  
Is there life outside the web? 3.8 billion people use social networks. This data should be more than enough to convince us of the importance of focusing our digital strategy on social media, but there is more.  Changes in user habits make the digital plane evolve constantly, so our strategy must adapt accordingly. In 2020 WhatsApp was positioned as the third social network with more users in the world, only surpassed by Facebook and YouTube, making it clear that it should not be ignored.  In February 2020 it already had more than 2 billion users according to data from the messaging application itself and it is a tool that we use on a daily basis and on numerous occasions. It is used to talk to family, send memes to friends and in some cases, even as a line of communication for work-related issues.  Contrary to what many may think at first, Whatsapp can be much more than a simple instant messaging application. Its usefulness goes much further and can be as effective a marketing tool as applications such as Pinterest or Tik Tok. Automatic responses, broadcast lists, company profiles... The possibilities offered by Whatsapp are more than it may seem and even a parallel application has been created to manage it in a much simpler way, its Business version. What is Whatsapp Business If you want to make your company's communication with its customers easier, Whatsapp created a free application designed for small companies and businesses. The idea is to facilitate communication and promotion of products and services, in addition to helping in the purchasing process because it has built-in tools to automate, organize and respond to messages.  What possibilities does your company profile offer you? You can publish information about your business such as opening hours or website, offer a product catalog, organize chats and contacts with different tags, set up quick replies (messages that you send frequently and that allow you to answer frequently asked questions faster), and automatic responses, for example welcome messages. It also has access to application statistics that allow us to check whether or not our actions are working, something fundamental in any marketing strategy. Focused on larger companies, you can use the WhatsApp Business API. KLM, Uber or Booking are some of those that have integrated Whatsapp in their marketing and customer service campaign.  How we can use Whatsapp in marketing A direct and personalized customer service One of the advantages of Whatsapp is the customization it offers. It is a means of communication with your customers face to face that can allow us to provide customer service and support in real time. In this way we build customer loyalty and provide faster solutions to our users. A means of communication  Whatsapp offers the possibility of sending promotions, offers, news through groups or mailing lists, which could be comparable, for example, to an email marketing campaign but with a difference: the opening rate of Whatsapp marketing is much higher. Think that we open the application an average of 25 times a day, so it is complicated that they do not see our message if we send it by Whatsapp.  It is an ideal spokesperson for your company to communicate with regular customers and allows us to take advantage of it for different types of content, because it allows us to send from videos to text messages through PDFs, photos or audios among others. A channel to increase traffic Not only can we send ads via Whatsapp, but we can use it as a means to generate traffic to other media, such as the blog of our website, for example. If we offer relevant and interesting content to our users, we can increase traffic to our website.  One more way to sell Whatsapp allows you to adapt your catalog of products or services to the tool and since its implementation, and according to WhatsApp data, every month more than 40 million people consult them. Users who enter a company profile can share both the catalog and the products at the click of a button.  In addition, recently the shopping cart has also been implemented to facilitate the purchase process that is done through the application. Here is an example of how it would work. A small movie and series merchandising store in Valencia has posted its catalog on Whatsapp. We passed by their shop window on a Sunday and fell in love with one of their products, but the store was closed so we went to their phone for inquiries via Whatsapp. It is a quick way to communicate with them and when we get to it we see their complete catalog and fall into temptation adding to the cart a Baby Yoda stuffed animal, "The Godfather" movie poster and an "ET" mug. When we complete the order we receive a single message to the company with the three products, two more than we thought we would buy when we passed by their shop window. How to start using Whatsapp as a marketing tool As with any marketing strategy, before we start sending messages to our customers, it is important to study not only the competition but also our own customers. What can we offer that will be interesting to them? There is no point in bombarding them with messages through a channel if the message is not well targeted. Once it is clear who we are going to target, we can get down to work following a series of guidelines: - Establish the objectives to be met. Each of the social networks we work with must have independent objectives. For example, on Instagram you want to increase your number of followers, on Pinterest you want to increase traffic to your website and on Whatsapp your goal may be to build customer loyalty. Think about what you want to achieve so that your actions are directed there. - Increase your database. If we want to communicate through Whatsapp we have to have phone numbers. We can work with other social networks to increase that number of data, but looking for the customer to include us in their contact list. This way the communication will be more accepted since it comes from someone we already know. One way to achieve this is by creating sweepstakes and promotions that are only active via Whatsapp, for example. - Plan your content. If we are going to use Whatsapp as a means of communication, it is important to do a little pre-planning of content, just as we would do with any other social network. And be careful, it is not good to overdo it. We run the risk of being annoying and becoming a spam account from which everyone avoids. - Use clear and quick messages. Whatsapp is an ideal medium for fast content, so use simple, impactful and catchy messages, and stay away from long commentaries and podcasts that no one will listen to. - Use valuable content. If we create a group or a mailing list to share information, it must be relevant information for the user. If we do not comply, we are likely to end up on the blocked list. If during registration for example on our website the customer chooses which topics are of interest to them, we can create different groups according to those interests. For example, a chat for offers and promotions, and another one for news and novelties. - Speed is vital. If you are going to use Whatsapp as a means to improve your customer service, think that your response must be quick, even if it is to answer that you are already studying their case. Think that it is instant messaging and the customer demands speed in its use. Few things are as annoying as someone leaving you on hold and not replying until three days later. - Use all the means at your disposal. You can use not only chats to communicate, but also Whatsapp status, for example, or the application's status or stories. A more discreet and even less invasive way of communication.  - Analyze your results. To know if any action or campaign on social networks is effective, an analysis of its results is essential. This step will tell us what does not work so that we can change and improve. Using a medium that continues to grow is a new opportunity. And if you are not sure what your strategy should be, we can help you along the way. Just contact us to get started and start making the most of an application as common in our daily lives as Whatsapp.  Main photo: Dany Zheng 
Together. Besides a song composed by Gianni Gastaldo and performed by Paloma San Basilio, together it is also an adverb. And an adjective. It is a synonym for united or linked. Acquire the essence of something close, near, and that works at the same time. And it is also the keyword that gives meaning to smarketing and on which this type of business strategy is structured that will help you make your budget profitable. What is smarketing We will begin by saying that marketing is a set of strategies used to commercialize a product and to stimulate its demand. In a company, the marketing department aims to publicize the product or service so that it reaches users or potential buyers. On the other hand, the sales department is in charge of selling different strategies. If marketing is the yellow tile line that leads you to a product or service, sales are the friendly clerk who opens the door and invites you for a drink. Once both are understood, we can say that smarketing is the union of marketing and sales. It was born from combining "sales" and "marketing" and, under this structure, both departments must plan a strategy together in which to fight for common objectives. The actions taken by both should have measurable goals and everyone, as a single team, will be held accountable for the results. It is the union so that the demand for your product flows and grows harmoniously. In this concept, we work as a team to prevent possible sales, leads, or any other objective of our company from being lost. If the objective becomes something common, the whole team, regardless of the department, is focused on the same point. In classic business organizations, the marketing and sales teams have always worked separately, but rowing to the same place, and moving to collaborative work has many benefits. What does smarketing bring to a business More and better results Companies that work with smarketing manage to increase the ROI of both departments, in addition to increasing business income. Organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams achieve 32% revenue growth. Additionally, according to MarketingProfs, sales profit rates increase by 38% and customer retention rate is improved (36% higher). More efficiency By unifying objectives, these are achieved in a faster way, which increases our efficiency as a company. If both departments work together, you avoid wasting time or duplication, and if they also use common tools (for example the same CRM), you save on company expenses. Improves actions and helps us get to know our target audience better Two heads think more than one, and this type of organization that combines the efforts of two departments allows us to improve the perception we have of our clients and thus improve the campaigns carried out. Actions are more measurable Something vital in any strategy, be it content, marketing, or sales, is the measurement of the actions carried out. Smarketing favors action measurements and makes it easier for you to understand what is most effective. Improve the work environment Numerous studies claim that a good work environment improves employee productivity. This type of strategy encourages teamwork, empathy, and creates a healthy work environment, something essential in any company. How to integrate smarketing in our company Putting smarketing into practice in a company can be one of the points that change the future of our business. But how can we start to integrate it? The first and foremost thing is to keep in mind that we need planning as with any other strategy. Surrounding ourselves with experts in the field can be vital when implementing a new mechanism in our work organization, but there are some key points to follow that we can summarize briefly. - Unify objectives. It is vital to begin that the team is clear at all times what are the objectives to be achieved. Having clear goals and that they are the same for everyone is a fundamental step when integrating smarketing into our business. - Promotes open communication. To achieve the integration of both departments, communication is essential. A couple who do not speak will not get very far and here it is the same. If we want this "marriage" to be happy and lasting, open, and constant communication in the team is essential. - Unify the tools and concepts used. The saying goes that "each teacher has his booklet", but in our case, the book to use must be the same. If the entire team belongs to the department it belongs to, uses the same tools, and speaks the same language, the access, and management of information is facilitated, time will be saved, confusion avoided, and results improved. Implementing, for example, a CRM tool common to both departments is a perfect formula for this. It should also be noted that the data used and the KPIs must be the same for both departments to be able to check the joint results. - Evaluate the results. At this point, the periodic review of the results comes into play, which allows us to work on the motivation of the team (celebrating the successes of the campaigns) and the areas for improvement in a more orderly way (evaluating errors more objectively). It is essential for this to hold meetings in which to analyze these results and establish new objectives. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, he did so by saying a phrase: "Let's make history." With smarketing, we can also make history in our business, but together. That word is without a doubt the key to carrying out this strategy. Main photo: Janis Rozenfelds          
Finding ourselves by chance and getting the crush like in romantic comedies is something that, in marketing, has gone out of fashion. Companies no longer expect us to find with their products by chance, but are rather looking for a way to reach us and make us fall in love using the best possible path. Contextual marketing is one of those paths and we'll tell you what it consists of. Contextual marketing According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing is a social process through which individuals and groups meet their desires and needs.” Contextual marketing seeks to meet those demands, but at a certain point in time, taking advantage of the information and data we have.  It focuses its efforts on developing real-time actions that work based on the context from which he will perceive that action. With context we mean the time of day, the weather, the location of that person or his or her own consumer profile. That is, we seek to attract the attention of a customer at a certain time. The idea is to create a marketing strategy that “embraces” the customer and moves away from invasive advertising and is as personalized as possible without them noticing it. Instead of throwing a thousand bullets with a machine gun without a peephole and getting a hit only once, we'll use a sniper rifle to fire as few bullets as possible for better results. With contextual marketing we fine-tune that shot to get a more effective message. We look for the right content for the right people at the right time. One of the features of contextual marketing is that it uses campaign personalization, which increases results. Knowing exactly who you're talking to and what you need is the cornerstone of that context that gives meaning to this type of marketing.  Beyond putting the recipient's name in an email marketing campaign, we're talking about customizing the campaign to target him and what he needs, as if it were an ad out of Minority Report. Using your favorite communication channels, offering solutions to your problems, or addressing that person, can become an art and is a must when we talk about contextual marketing. Differences with inbound marketing  It's easy to confuse inbound marketing with contextual marketing, so before we go further, we'll explain what is the first one so you don't confuse it with the second one.  Inbound marketing is focused on loyalty and brand image, using information from our target audience as a weapon. The better we get to know our target, the better we can apply marketing to them to get them to stay with us. Contextual marketing is a momentary action that serves that person at that time. It seeks to maximize the profitability of the strategy does not keep it over time as inbound marketing does.  A practical example of contextual marketing Victoria is a 27-year-old single, childless woman who lives in Madrid in a shared flat. She works as an intern at a law firm and in her spare time she is passionate about food, film and live music.  As a company, you don't have to know all this data, but you do decipher the digital breadcrumbs that Victoria leaves. Victoria has no plans for Saturday, so check the internet for something to do that weekend. She finds a cooking course that she saves as a favorite on her computer and goes to work. At lunchtime he opens his Instagram account and it shows her an ad for cooking courses. She clicks and reads. A couple of days pass, and at dinner time she visits a recipes site and at the top of it there is an announcement of the cooking course. It's not that the cooking course chases her, it's that it shows up when she needs it. In this case study, contextual marketing has arrived in ad format at different times, but it can be another type of action, such as a social media campaign with content that our audience has claimed before.  For example, let's return to the same case of the cooking course. The company that performs them has an Instagram account and throws a question in their stories with two options to choose from in a quick survey. Which recipe do you prefer,  Christmas biscuits or pasta sauces? Whatever the result, the company will offer content in its Instagram account that provides something to the public based on that answer, in this case a recipe. From this content comes the opportunity to announce its Christmas cookies and pastries course or an Italian cooking course for dummies on a date when social meals are frequent, such as December. Contextual marketing actions are not only limited to the digital sphere, but can be worked by merging traditional media with digital media, the so-called on/off fusion. An example: Victoria finally did one of the cooking courses of a shop-workshop that is a couple of blocks from her way back to work. A month later, when she is walking back from work, she receives a text message when she is near the store informing her that the sales on kitchenware and cookbooks have just started.  Another simpler example is postcode ad targeting . In this way, this small bakery in the neighborhood can be advertised only to customers who are close to their premises, which facilitates a possible purchase. Benefits of using contextual marketing in your campaigns - As it is a format adapted and customized to the moment our target audience lives, it is much less invasive than standard marketing.  - You target potential customers just as they are about to make a purchase decision, so increase the chances of a sale. - You send the message the customer needs right when they need it, so it's a personalized marketing action that usually responds to a specific need, the customer will see it as a solution to their problem. - Because they are non-invasive ads that respond to a customer's need, this type of content becomes more “friendly”, which improves the customer's perception of the brand, because they seek to solve their problem and not simply “sell” to them. How to include contextual marketing in my digital strategy The CEO of the consulting firm Edelman, assured CNBC that “brands need to find solutions instead of selling image. They must be tangible and quick, non-generic and conceptual.” To achieve this, data is essential. It's about understanding how your target lives.  In order to include contextual marketing within our strategy, we need to follow several steps: -Understand our target. It is essential for any content strategy that we know who we are going to because we will not communicate equally to 17-year-old gamers as to their parents or grandparents.  -Implement tools to extract data and customize actions. You can use big data, CRM and CMS and even use data that can be extracted from social media campaigns. Ideally, the tools you use will learn on their own thanks to machine learning to simplify the work and improve it over time. -Create the content strategy. Once we have all the data collected, we will create the content strategy just like any other kind of marketing action, only taking into account that context we are going to work on and performing the customization of the actions. -Use tools to measure results. As in any action, it is vital that the work does not end with the ad or campaign, but that a report of results is made that will help us improve in future actions. According to the World Economic Forum , more than 44 zettabytes are generated each day on the net, and these data reflect a person's environment. Your social networks, what you look for on the internet, your interests. Anything can be transformed into data. In order to manage them, we need to use data analysis and segmentation tools, as well as have the necessary knowledge to use that data and achieve results with our actions.  It is essential to have a team able to handle that data and redirect our content to the customer's need, to make them feel part of the brand and not just a viewer destined to receive and receive mass ads that ends up discarding without even considering them. A team of professionals trained and experienced in different communication styles both in social media, one of the most fertile ways to achieve this type of results, and in digital marketing.  A team like ours, focused on making the results as exciting as the way to achieve them. Shall we talk?
Skaters in the road
Agile is a set of methodologies and processes for projects development. It is based on the flexibility and speed to adapt to changes and project conditions, using these changes as an advantage. The projects are divided into small phases that have to be finalized and delivered in short periods of time, together with a continuous re-evaluation and adaptation of the plans. It emerges as a revolution in the 90`s compared to traditional project management models.The computer sector created this model with the objective of improving software development processes.The good results, since its inception, made posible that Agile was adopted by other sectors. Its name is precisely due to what these revolutionaries sought: the maximum agility and efficiency possible in the management paths, which seemed stuck in long processes that did not allow them to advance with firm step or react to possible changes. The short work phases are linked to partial deliveries, so the accumulations of work and the extra hours at the end of the month ... do not get along well with the Agile methodology. This way of working has been adopted by both "startups" and large companies. As explained by the saying attributed to the Roman emperor Julius Caesar, "Divide et impera", divide and conquer. Agile Manifesto In this manifesto created by a working group led by Kent Beck in 2001 the principles on which all Agile methodologies are based are summarized. The highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous deliveries of products that satisfy a need. The requirements are changing, and must be exploited to offer a competitive advantage to the client. Frequent deliveries will be made, weekly, since the division of work allows executing it in this way. It is necessary the daily joint work between the client, company and the developers, with the objective of measuring progress. The projects are developed around motivated individuals. The methodology is based on multifunctional and self-organized teams, which should allow finishing the work of dispatches, referring to orders from above without being in direct contact with the project. The most effective communication between the members of a team is face to face. Regular meetings with collaborators and clients are very important. The finished product is the only project worth. But this doesn´t mean that it isn´t important to use simple language to inform the customer of the changes during the process. Agile needs sustainable development. It is not about working, but about reaching the product. It is appropriate to maintain a constant rhythm throughout the processes, rather than working overtime. Technical excellence and design facilitate agile work. It is important that although we have not decided from the first moment, there is a clear quality in the design. Simplicity is essential. Sophisticated instruments are not necessary to manage the product, it is better to do it in a simple way; which will also facilitate communication with the client. Self-management is very important. As a general rule, teams work better and more motivated when they feel responsible for their project. Changing circumstances and work at regular intervals allow teams to adapt and reflect on how to be more productive or effective. The most important Agile methodologies are Scrum, Kanban, Crystal Clear y Extreme Programming, among others. Scrum It is probably the most successful one. Why? Because it is the one that best adapts to other sectors besides software development. Scrum is an Agile methodology used to reduce the risks in projects realization. It is based on the daily monitoring of progress, which allows an improvement of communication in the team and with the client. To do this, Scrum works with Sprints, which are a kind of phases that must be completed within a certain time frame. Each Sprint lasts a period between one and four weeks and will contain one or several well-defined deliverables, for example, in a Branding development we could have several sprints (brand platform, naming, visual identity, brand manual, parts and AAFF). All the tasks of each Sprint are defined in the Backlog o Product Backlog, which is a kind of central repository where each of the project tasks are from beginning to end. When working with Scrum, particular roles are also used, such as: Product Owner: he is the representative of the business and interlocutor of the feedback with the client. In each Sprint you must mark the agreed goal so that the product increases its value. Scrum master: it basically manages the processes and tries to eliminate the impediments that arise for the delivery of the product. He is responsible for Scrum moving foward. Development team: self-organized professionals, who work according to each one`s role and capable of generating an increase in value without relying on external aids. Stakeholders: are the people who have the commercial needs and wants, that is, those who finally propose the requirements that must be met. Agile for marketing agencies The marketing sector has traditionally been considered chaotic, perhaps because the existing methodology is reduced or, why not say it, bad. This has generated delays in deliveries and problems between customers and agencies. To reduce these problems, solutions have been sought such as the application of the Agile methodology to the world of digital marketing, even if it is something recent. It´s true that the world of design takes more time applying these methodologies for the development of UX / UI or user experience. Being a very close section, I think the design has been the gateway for the Agile methodology has been extended to digital marketing. There are a series of Agile processes that adopted by the marketing agencies, increase productivity, as well as the commitment of the professionals involved in the project. The application of this methodology has real advantages in the creation of the annual marketing plan, in the elaboration of a social media plan or in the execution of tasks and projects with marked delivery over time. Why? Because, for example, if the client requests some kind of change, the team will be prepared to carry it out during the process, not on a finished project. The planning of the Sprints, offers the continuous possibility of adaptation and improvement to the adversities of the project. The 15-minute daily meetings help the team synchronize and create a plan day by day, evaluating the progress toward the Sprint goal. If we also do a weekly meeting as a retrospective, the possible errors in the development will be reduced and will make the team work like a perfect gear. The use of digital applications such as Asana or Trello, for the management of projects and processes is essential for an agile operation of the agency. These applications make it easier for each team member to manage their daily tasks, in turn, within general boards divided by clients or by general projects. The application of Agile in marketing agencies has three great advantages: Greater customer satisfaction: intervenes and receives fast and continuous deliveries. Reduction of costs: repetitions are avoided and it is stepped on insurance. Most happy and productive team. More and more marketing agencies use Agile methodologies, since it is proven that they increase productivity and offer proven results in attracting valuable leads. Therefore, if you still do not use any of them, what are you waiting for?   Image by Alternate Skate
Skate boarding trick
For some time you have heard about a new social network called Snapchat that has changed the rules of communication that existed until now. Since its creation in 2011 its popularity has been increasing, and today we can say that it has become a worthy rival of other greats such as Twitter or Instagram. The interesting thing about this social network is the window of opportunities it has opened for the digital marketing of companies. Once you read this article you are going to change your vision about Snapchat, finally you are going to banish that image of social network focused on the youngest and you are going to see it as a fundamental communication tool for your company.   What is Snapchat and how does it work? Before tackling the bulk of this article, how to include Snapchat in your digital strategy, it is necessary to know well the characteristics that differentiate it from its competitors and what functions can be useful to us. Pioneer in a new form of communication based on the fugacity of messages, Snapchat has achieved great success with a simple and dynamic messaging format that allows the sending of videos and photos that can only be viewed for a limited time and that after that time will be eliminated. There are two channels of communication, a private one through which you can only see your "snaps" (term with which they know the messages that are sent through this social network) those contacts to which you decide to send it with a duration per message of 1 to 10 seconds, and a public one known as "Story" that all your contacts will see and are deleted in 24 hours. Both channels can be very useful tools for companies, since each one can fulfill a function, one for a direct attention with the client and another one open for a more general communication. In addition to the two main ones already mentioned, Snapchat included a section called "Discover" entirely dedicated to brand advertising. The price of this space is quite high but the scope is enormous, so this option is relegated to companies that can make a large outlay. As a curious fact Snapchat has launched a sunglasses called "Spectacles" that include cameras to record and upload these videos directly to your story, is a gadget that only works with this social network and is gaining many followers in the United States. Their eccentric and daring design makes them an essential accessory for retro and Snapchat lovers. Can you imagine covering your company's events wearing these glasses? Write it down, because it could become the next object of desire for community managers. Gafas de sol "Spectacles"    Snapchat has a wide range of possibilities when it comes to advertising a company. All you need is good planning and some tricks that we'll tell you about below. How to plan a digital strategy in this social network? There are three rules to keep in mind when planning your digital strategy in Snapchat: 1.- The advertising consented by users is the most effective when it comes to achieving changes in the consumer's purchasing attitude, as indicated by numerous studies. A company that approaches its product to the public through non-persuasive channels and that this, unconsciously, agrees to consume the advertising content, has guaranteed success. 2.- Advertising storytelling is fashionable. Tell a story to sell your product, you will reach the public by involving them in the story and creating feelings towards the brand. Snapchat bases its communication on storytelling, take advantage of it. 3.- We live in an impatient society, in which immediacy is a characteristic that prevails in all aspects of life. If we want something, we want it now and we go to online channels and express shipments to get it. In Snapchat, immediacy plays a fundamental role, due to the transitory nature of the messages. If you use it in a coherent way you will be able to keep your audience active in the social network, and you will feed their interest in knowing more content. With these three rules of communication in mind, it's time to get down to work. You can include Snapchat in your digital strategy as long as it suits your target audience, that is, if your product is aimed at a consumer between 15 and 35 years old, this is your social network. It should always be a complement to your strategy, because what you like best is to find a transmedia content, that is, that each social network adds valueto your brand story and that users of one move to another to learn more. Snapchat has to fulfill a function within your strategy and given the characteristics that make it different from the rest, this must be to maintain direct and close contact with the public, and the creation of a community faithful to your brand. How to achieve this? 1.- Creating personalized filters for your brand. You can use this option on designated days such as Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve, making your brand unconsciously part of people's lives. Also, by sharing this content, you can reach not only your current audience, but future customers.   2.- Launching offers Playing with the concept of immediacy you can create promotions, both privately and to all your followers, who will only have a limited time for use, managing to direct them to the point of sale and therefore to the final purchase.   3.- Creating a customer service channel via Snapchat Break down the barriers that are often created between consumers and business and humanize your brand with a direct contact. Make your audience aware of how valuable their opinion is and one more participant in the dynamics of your company. Create community.   4.- Using Snapchatters  As in the rest of social networks, Snapchat has an army of very powerful influencers that will increase your sales with just a recommendation of your product. It is proven that the consumer is more influenced by a purchase recommendation than by an advertisement. In this video you will find more examples of the best practices, other tips and hacks to create better content and engagement on Snapchat: Surely after knowing all these reasons Snapchat will become a fundamental tool within your digital strategy. Follow us on Snapchat!   Main photo: Dylan Nolte
Cómo sacarle el mayor rendimiento a tus Facebook Ads
The scale of the online marketing world is leaning more and more towards Facebook Ads. The companies are investing more money in them and take them more into consideration when they need to promote their businesses, whether it is to turn their investments in sales or online reputation. Facebook knows this and they don’t stop when it comes to offering upgrades in their Ads service, with new displays and ways to reach the target. But, as in every great battle, a good strategy is needed to win. A strategy that allows us to make the most out of every Euro we invest in Facebook and makes us feel it’s worth spending. Here are some ideas to get your strategy to yield results. Renew your ads It’s normal that not all of your ads work the same way. Some will be successful and others barely will. Don’t let an ad go on indefinitely no matter how well it has worked. Just like with TV ads, people get tired o seeing the same cologne ad every Christmas. Seize the opportunity to learn from it and analyze how that ad has worked the way it has so that you can replicate its success with the next ones. Ideally, you would change 90% of your ads once a month and freshen up you impact on the masses Use several displays Facebook does not live on images alone. Experiment with the format of your ads. Try putting up a video of less than 30 seconds, or an image gallery, even an animated gif. The novelty of the format can attract not only the attention of your target audience but also make the users share your ad, and that can lead to total success. There are also formats to get certain customer’s data called “Leads”. Create a good form for obtaining data and offer something in return. You’ll be attracting more people than you ever were before. Several designs for the same goal Can’t pick a Facebook Ads design? Well, use several. Pick up the same idea and make subtle changes. Change the color, the text, the call to action… make multiple combos and analyze the data. Next time you renew your app, check out the statistics. They’ll probably lead you to better defining how your Ad’s design should be. Tip: match the same text with several images and colors. There’s always a combinations that stands out above the others. Segment your audience Facebook gives you all the tools for your advertisement to reach your target audience and not turning in mere spamming. Go through the segmentation options to avoid wasting money. You can make your ad only pop up in specific regions. Or only be shown to certain age groups. It would be like handing an ad for a pizza place to a 20-something college kid living with roommates. Sure hit. Stunning design Don’t use boring images from boring photo stocks. Be creative and really profit from it. Every day millions of photos are published in Facebook by the minute. If yours doesn’t make an impact right away it will get lost in the timeline abyss. This is your cover letter and it better be unique. Try not to put too much text in the image or Facebook will reject it. Study your competition and offer the exact same opposite visually. Dare to be innovative and if it doesn’t work, try again.   Measure, compare and discard You have to take your time to study the data. If you’ve ever heard the words “Big Data” this is the closest you’ll ever get. Thoroughly analyze what has worked and what failed. Put your data in a document and study. Compare every month that data of all your campaigns: the likes, the downs, the reach, the comments and the amount of shares. And if your investments generate revenues, reinvest. Lots of people stop making Facebook Ads as soon as the notice the slightest improvement, but the key to success in this business is to never be out of sight. Be persistent and optimize every Euro of your investment.   Main photo: Chien Nguyen Minh
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