Difference between Goal, Objective, Strategy & Tactic

The purpose of my blogs is to take inspiration from my everyday chores, events, scenarios and try to relate it to those marketing lessons which were once crucial to clear college tests with flying colors. That was back in the post-grad days when tests were taken (simple) and now I am put to test everyday in real business situations (not that simple). Marketing jargon, fancy presentations topped with promising case studies can be an impressive start for your marketing career but you have got to produce results. That is usually the unwanted question or exclamation mark while evaluating your marketing campaign.

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One of my favorite dialogues from House of Cards puts it just right…”One has to be smart to know what they don’t know.” So when going gets tough ask yourself what you have been pretending to know all this while because now is the time to actually know it!

This post is about the four pillars of every marketing campaign that are often misused, overused, underused or used for no reason at all. It’s the GOST…Goal, Objective, Strategy, Tactic.

  1. GOAL

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Or more precisely business goal. This is a very long term of view of what the business should become or should accomplish. Goals are meant to be ambitious and to some extent far fetched that can keep the work force motivated forever. for example, the goal of a cooking oil company would be to become the number 1 cooking oil of the world. Even if the brand ends up being the least used cooking oil in its geographical region, the goal will always be same.

2. OBJECTIVE

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When your boss asks the objective behind your strategy…make sure you have a number in mind. That’s right, objective is where you define the way to achieving the business goal using concrete and justified numbers. Taking the above example, when the cooking oil company comes to me with the goal…it expects me (the marketer) to figure out HOW?

So one of the objectives would be to double the sales in one year. If we are presently we are selling 100 bottles we have to increase the sales to 200 bottles. There can be multiple objectives in a campaign. Like in this case, the new cooking oil company might want to achieve considerable brand awareness as a part of this campaign.

3. STRATEGY

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This according to me is the most misused word of all! so now you know that growing your business is not a strategy and so is increasing product sales. Strategy is a critical bridge that connects you to the objectives and subsequently the goal. when i say bridge…picture one of those hanging bridge connecting two mountain cliffs and not the concrete modern day bridge just to maintain the thrill of this crucial step 😀

It is true that strategy can make or break your campaign that’s because it answers the very important WHY? Strategy should answer why you are doing what you are doing and if the answer is not aligned with your objective and goal…you know what’s wrong. For example, sampling would be a good marketing strategy for increasing the sales of cooking oil. And so would be reviews by influential cooks and food connoisseurs. Strategy constitutes multiple steps that individually and all together contribute to coming close to the goals.

4. TACTICS

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Tactics will take you to the white board and multicolored excel sheets. That’s because when you are working on your tactics you need every little detail to action the campaign. If the cooking oil company plans to use sampling as a strategy to let people try out their product for free, the tactics would include the plan of action to make this happen. For example, where to give free samples – malls, hypermarkets, mini marts ,etc. key locations to target, number of stalls and other minute details.

Hope you have got the GOST figured out now and with the basics in place the result will be… YOU ON TOP!!

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Who Would The Avengers Be In The World Of Digital Marketing? — The Comic Vault

2018 is looking to be a busy year for digital marketing, with brands searching for new ways to reach their customers and drive engagement. 2018 is also set to be a great year for superheroes and a film I’m looking forward to seeing is Avengers: Infinity War. Before I let my inner fanboy take over, […]

via Who Would The Avengers Be In The World Of Digital Marketing? — The Comic Vault

Email Marketing – Yes, No or Maybe? 2 minute survey

You know a work place discussion is really important when it continues to bother you even after work! The topic that has been populating my mind and browser tabs lately is Email Marketing and this is how my mindset and activities evolved during the past few days:

  1. Questioning the importance & impact of email marketing
  2. Spending hours digging email marketing stats
  3. Believing the stats
  4. Preparing and executing an email campaign
  5. Analyzing the response

and Bam!!! back to step 1 – still questioning the importance & impact of email marketing

I need answers…if not a resounding Yes/No, at least a “certain” maybe. But before I ask your help here is the definition of email marketing  – “Email marketing is the targeting of consumers through electronic mail (email). Often associated with data mining, email marketing can be used to impact consumers in a variety of ways. In general, email marketing is a more evolved, digital form of traditional direct mail marketing.”  Source: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1658/email-marketing 

Kindly take this 2-minute survey and help me move on from step 1 😀

https://sonali65.typeform.com/to/KqEI6n

I will be sharing the outcome of the survey to continue the discussions 🙂

 

Human Billboards – GeekWire

Walking on the campus at Washington State University, Jonah Friedl had an “aha” moment. He wasn’t just surrounded by fellow students, he was among an audience perfect for marketing. “There were 1,000-plus millennials in the same place at the same time,” Friedl said. That realization inspired the creation of Nomad, a Bellevue, Wash.-based marketing startup […]

via Startup Nomad’s ‘human billboard’ marketing blends digital technology with a personal touch — GeekWire

#5 Things Your New Website Should have and #5 Things It Shouldn’t

This post should begin like a horror movie….

BASED ON TRUE EVENTS

That’s all the effort i’m going to make to jazz up the post intro because i have used most of my time on the title 😛

OK, cut to chase! lately I have been directly, indirectly, passively and aggressively involved in building content for some websites. So, I can safely say that this post is based on my experience and thorough study of what a good website should and should not contain in terms of CONTENT. Now to lay the foundation correct, in this post I’m talking only about the content components which includes written, pictorial and visual form of information on your website. A website though contains many other factors like being device adaptive, SEO friendly and responsive but I will refrain from including these factors in this post. So here we go…

Your Website SHOULD Have:

#1 YOUR STORY

Now why would you say things like “to know more about us check our website www…” It’s not just a catch phrase. If you want people to know about you on your website, please tell them! I strongly feel that sections like About US, Our Story, Vision, Mission don’t get much attention (content wise) and end up being a drab part of the website that only has innovative adjectives to describe the business, company and leadership. But if you think of it, this part of your website is like a whiteboard where you can tell your story to the world in the most engaging way possible!

So don’t just use words…use keywords (all relevant ones), include real images ( not models) that prove your story and walk them through your journey using videos.

#2 CLARITY & FRESHNESS 

At times there could be a lot of things that you might want to tell your visitors like how you are different, what special offering you have, latest promotions, the new mobile app you just launched and so on… Having all details inside your world wide web identity does make sense but a clear distribution of content is a must so that your consumer is not lost in the clutter. Always include a site map that charts out the website’s contents for clear and easy navigation for the user.

Using fresh content in a variety of formats like a mix of text, infographic, image transitions and videos can cut the redundancy and monotone of content heavy websites making it an easy experience for the visitors.

#3 CALL TO ACTION

Loading your website with data and no proper call to action will end up making it an online repository of information that people can at best refer to. If you want people to use your website and use it regularly then add one click actions that they can take to get what they want! start by providing different means to contact you like phone, email, instant chat, contact form, etc. Invite them to join you social media community to be up to date with your offerings. Be proactive and lead them to the next actions by giving reminders, directions, multiple options and support services.

This obvious component of a website is not always obvious for developers who are masters of the subject. If possible, know from a sample of your target audience if the call to actions are clear, simple to understand and not misleading before going live.

#4  VISITOR’S FEEDBACK

The process of developing and finalizing a website can be overwhelming and so its completion might seem like a good riddance at first. But no! do not consider your website as a state-of-the-art creation that does not have a scope for improvement. The best part of websites with friendly content management systems is that you can change the content, images, videos, articles as seem fit even after your website is live. So why not change it basis your visitors’ feedback?! It is highly advisable to take a quick feedback from your users before they exit the website to be sure of their experience. It is also an effective way of making an otherwise static website more interactive and engaging.

#5 ORIGINALITY

This definitely does not deserve the last position here but I want this point to remain out there for us to ponder. There is no substitute to original content on your website! because you can only add value with original, authentic and helpful content that your users can rely on and look forward to. If they welcome your content…then you have arrived. Even in this context, content takes into account not only what you write but what everything that else that supports your writing like visuals. Include pictures from your life, work, pass time depending on the theme and purpose of the website to connect with people.

Refrain from using stock images with models who reside on multiple websites representing different things. Such attempts hamper the trust of your users even if the rest of your content is original. Use of videos to make your content personal and provide a gateway for users to know you better and relate.

 

Your Website SHOULD NOT Have:

#1 DEAD LINKS

This is borderline offensive you know…alluring someone successfully to take interest in your content and promising them a lot more at a click of the mouse only to show them – THE PAGE DOES NOT EXIST – really? Make sure your links exist and lead somewhere helpful. Having dead links can be frustrating for your users and can leave them with a bad experience on your website.

#2 DISTRACTIONS

There is text loaded….there is cluttered information and then there are distractions on website. Imagine sliding banners, flash screens, pop up screens, auto chats, audio offers, auto-play  videos all happening at the same time on your website. It will surely scare your user and the instant reaction will be to close the tab and move on. It is OK to have a variety of content on your website but try to emphasize on one or two at most at one time.

#3 DATED INFORMATION

Always be sure that the information being shared on your website is correct and up to date including the contact details, address, team members and news updates. Correct information is the cornerstone of authentic content on your website which the users can not only believe in but also rely on. Not updating the correct contact number or office address will not only reduce the users trust factor but can also hamper the business significantly.

#4 NO CAPTION IMAGES

Highly recommend including captions to the images that go on your website. This does not just make it easy for the visitors to related the images to the text but also believe in those images as real and conveying a message. When using pictures to tell a story with timeline always add the year and date if possible to showcase the legacy of your business or company.

#5 REPEAT CONTENT

This happens all the time and I’ve figured out why! The latest website templates and designs are more like an assembly of placeholders for your content. It definitely makes it easier for us to chose the right slot for the right information but then the situation comes when you are out of content and the slots are empty. And we commit the crime of repeating the same content to fill the empty spaces and justify it as repeat “visibility”.

2 things though – repeat content is more likely to spoil user experience and you can get rid of the extra spaces! customized templates allow enough moderation to use only what you want and remove the rest.

Hope this article is helpful. Let me know your thoughts and happy to learn more about websites 😀

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Top Visual Merchandising Trends of 2018

source: https://www.repsly.com/blog/consumer-goods/visual-merchandising-trends-2018


Brick-and-Mortar storefronts don’t fear a challenge as they take on the age of digitalization. Seeking a hands on experience, consumers look for ways to combine in-store shopping with the convenience of online shopping.

Take a look at how Kate Spade revolutionized window shopping. In their Kate Spade Saturday campaign, they employed digital window shops where customers could shop without ever stepping foot in a store. Talk about fashionable. Follow in the footsteps of brands like Kate Spade with our top five visual merchandising trends of 2018.

1. Dynamic Lighting

Turn on the lights! Lighting has a powerful impact with one fourth of consumers making an unplanned purchase because of it.  Dynamic lighting involves the color of the light, the intensity, direction, and even movement that turns shoppers into customers.

To feature a product, place a brighter light on it. Using an incandescent lamp – which is sharper and brighter –  can highlight its details and importance. Keep surrounding areas dim to focus attention. Bright lights in general tend to exude a positive vibe that can increase purchases. When using colored lights, match the colors of your packaging or product to a light in the same color family such as a hunter green package with a light green light or a deep red with a pink light. This will avoid unpleasant color clashing. Color also influences our mood. Remember that colors in the blue family will have more of a calming effect where reds tend to excite and stimulate.

2.  Interactive Merchandising

On average, people spend 5-8 minutes in the fitting room. But what if you never have to step foot in a dressing room again? The use of virtual reality, coding technology, and motion sensors make shopping more interactive and digital.

Mac Cosmetics recently launched their “Virtual Try-on Mirror” that lets customers try different makeup styles without ever putting a drop of makeup on their skin. Meanwhile, UGG Australia’s touch screen displays allows customers to customize, order, and research products within the store. The lesson here? Get customers involved. Whether it be incorporating tablets for use on displays, in store demos, or digital kiosks, boost your strategy by offering opportunities for shoppers to engage.

🇺🇸 | Learn about the mirror launched by MAC Cosmetics in the US this week that allows customers to preview how certain MAC shades and looks will appear when applied to their own faces. https://hubs.ly/H09cDFz0 

3. Neuromarketing

 Neuromarketing addresses the psychology behind buying habits and preferences.The field of is still young, but initial research can reveal how cues, like color, visuals, audio frequency, light, and smell influence the buying experience on a neurological level.

Although it may hard to get your hands on some of this groundbreaking research, it can be helpful to analyze the psychology of buying until further developments are made. Getting to know the overall ambience of your store from the type of music to the warmth of lighting can cue shoppers to make a purchase. There are also options such as tracking consumer’s eye movements and psychological tricks like removing the dollar sign from price tags that might be more accessible than the more advanced EEG and fMRI s

4. Augmented Reality

Virtual reality helps consumers conceptualize a product in a way that was impossible before modern tech. Now, they can see products in action before ever making a purchase.

TopShop currently gives virtual reality glasses to shoppers so that they can feel like they are front seat by the runway, seeing the clothes be worn and real time and helping them visualize how they could incorporate the clothes into their own wardrobe. These augmented reality applications provide customers the chance to “try on clothes” or other products in a totally new way! You can get virtual reality glasses that put your shoppers into the right mindset or environment with videos and images that communicate your story and mission. 

5. Minimalism

Keep it simple. Distractions are at an all time high, so it can be a refreshing change to clear the sensory clutter fogging our focus. Flashy decorations and displays are good attention grabbers, but they can ultimately distract from the true vision of a product.

Some retailers have manufactured entire spaces to reflect clean lines, sharp edges, and bright spaces. These kinds of setups allow you to showcase your product instead of hiding it. Use clearly defined lines which can be crafted from metal space that refines otherwise soft spaces. Neutral colors also contribute to the minimalist aesthetic and allow your product to pop. While you may not have control of your entire retail space, you can reflect the minimalist spirit in your displays using open space, whites and beiges, and avoiding overcrowding.

SaveDesign MilkThe Miami-based brand, Miansai, designed a SoCal space in Venice that reflects its accessories line: minimalist, laid-back, refined.16Andras KokaiRetail Interiors

All five trends display a certain level of consumer centrism. The tools work to provide shoppers with an environment focused on them. The styles, technology, and techniques prime the shopper while also ramping up energy and excitement with cool features.