As we approach the holiday season, brands will be competing for the attention of customers and every single interaction will be crucial. So what can they do to make the most of their interactions, or what I like to call “atomic moments of truth?”

Let’s begin by examining a typical atomic moment of truth. A fan of your brand posts a tweet one evening in early December that her daughter’s holiday wish list is growing, and she doesn’t know where to begin: a #stressedmommy. If you’re able to recognize this instance where a customer is engaged and has a problem that you can solve, then you can take what you know about them, for example where they live, presence of and age of children in their household, past purchase behavior and contact information, and engage that customer and create a meaningful brand experience. You can do this by delivering a personalized e-mail communication, at that very moment, that offers gift ideas, a special online coupon/offer and an invitation to an exclusive, in-store holiday shopping event. (read more…)

While Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are excellent tools to engage existing customers, they serve a different function in the eyes of prospective customers than independent review platforms. Everyone knows your fans and followers love you; the best online review platforms are seen as more impartial and better places to research the quality of a business before making a purchase. That said, you can still leverage your social media presence into a compelling online review presence. Based on our observations of the 45,000 businesses with reviews on SiteJabber, below are our four best bets for doing just that.

Ask for reviews

Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers likely have profiles on leading review sites. Simply ask them to write you a quick review. You’ll be pleased to see that many are more than happy to — it just never occurred to them without your prompting.

Run a contest

Just like you may have offered giveaways or other discounts to gain fans and followers, do the same for reviews. (read more…)

When was the last time you tuned into a podcast? If you’re like 15% of Americans over the age of 12, it was within the past month. While 15% may not sound like much, consider that Twitter is used by approximately 18% of American adults — an only slightly larger slice of the pie that has had a profound impact on everything from how we consume news to how we engage with our friends and favorite shows.

Given the rise of smartphones and 4G/LTE connectivity, it is now possible, affordable and easier than ever to stream audio from just about anywhere. Whether you’re at the gym, commuting to work or roaming the aisles at the grocery store, a limitless amount of information can now go anywhere you go. In fact, Edison’s research found a huge shift between 2013 and 2014 in the percentage of podcasts that are listened to on a mobile device versus a computer. (read more…)

In the new world order of customer-led marketing, relevance is the name of the game — people expect marketers to deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right context, to the right device. They expect those messages, experiences and offers to become ever more real-time, seamless across digital and physical, and finely tuned with each interaction. It is part of the deal between brands and their customers now; people let brands into their lives for the price of relevance.

But for agencies to maintain their relevance through one of the most radical transformations marketing and advertising has ever experienced, the realities of the modern media and technology landscape need to be meaningfully addressed by agency leaders. A fresh coat of paint and a few “specialists” on the fringes will no longer do. Agency evolution needs to be foundational.

The omni-channel world

The advertising business is teeming with buzzwords and slang. (read more…)

Here’s a depressing reality for most marketers: 99% of brand-created content generates little to no engagement on social media. It turns out that most people have better things to do than like, share or comment on product-related posts, which means the vast majority of your social media and content marketing efforts are falling on deaf ears. So what’s a savvy marketer to do? Join the 1% of marketers doing well with social by following these six “newish” rules.

Don’t Try to Turn Social Into Direct Marketing
Content that you share on social channels or elsewhere becomes a lot more appealing to your target and a lot more effective to the marketer when the emphasis shifts from what you want to sell to what value you can provide. This means not trying to measure the effectiveness of (organic) social media on its ability to generate leads or close a sale, and instead focusing on metrics that primarily address current customer needs, and, secondarily, the interests of your prospects. (read more…)