My heart goes out to those of you who were in the path of Hurricane Ian as well as to those of you who are still dealing with the destruction of this year’s earlier hurricanes.
After moving across Florida, instead of heading out to sea, Ian changed course and hit land again in South Carolina.
During devastating times like this, let’s find the strength within us to keep going despite what life puts in our path.
Let’s be like the ordinary people who stepped up and used whatever means possible to help neighbors and strangers to safety.
While the damage from this powerful hurricane still needs to be assessed, fortunately most residents heeded the warnings to evacuate.
My husband and I were saddened to see how Ian flattened Fort Myers and Sanibel Island. The seashell capital was a favorite vacation spot of ours.
Heidi Cohen with seashells on Sanibel Island
As one Florida official pointed out, the destruction left by Ian underscores the need to re-evaluate how we rebuild in fragile environments.
Since we must consider how to construct buildings and infrastructure to work within the natural environment and reduce the impact of extreme weather events in Florida and the rest of the world.
Sunset on Sanibel Island
Table of Contents | Volume 10, Issue 40
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Amazon’s Movable Prime Day Promotion
Having planned many promotions across a variety of businesses, I’ve learned that even your best performing promotions erode over time. As a result, each time you run a specific promotion, it may yield lower sales and/or profit.
Actionable Marketing Lesson: Promotional Planning
- Create and test and new promotions each year. This ensures your marketing continues to yield equal or better profitable sales.
Because your acquisition and sales quotas tend to increase each year while your marketing budget remains constant or decreases. This is particularly true during difficult economic times.
This applies across your acquisition, onboarding and retention marketing. Your ultimate goal remains to increase the number of new profitable customers and their lifetime value.
The key to success is quality. This means attracting customers who have the ability to pay for your products and who continue to purchase from you over time.
So the profit (aka: Marketing ROI) they generate exceeds the marketing investment to acquire them and the cost of the products purchased.
For many marketers, their promotions follow the seasonal trends of their business offering. The better known promotions include January White Sales, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduation, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Back-to-School, Labor Day, Halloween and the Winter Holidays.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary in business, Amazon introduced Prime Day in July 2015. The promotion had two factors in its favor:
- They scheduled it during an otherwise slow retail period and
- Other retailers didn’t realize the impact it would have on their sales.
As any good marketer knows, once Amazon added this major sales event to their promotional calendar, it would become a regular feature. Since they’d need to meet or exceed the past year’s sales.
The 2022 Prime Day Sale generated a record $12.09 billion dollars. With most of the sales coming from the US, Amazon reported that the typical Prime Day Customer was a high income, suburban woman between 35 and 44.
Due to inflation concerns, over a quarter of Prime customers surveyed by Numerator reported purchasing everyday goods that they’d purchase anyway. This included home goods, beauty and health products, food and groceries, and clothing. By contrast, 20% purchased high ticket items that they’d only buy on sale. (DigitalCommerce360)
Actionable Marketing Lesson: Diversify Your Revenue Streams
Amazon has 3 distinct revenue streams to increase Prime Day success. They are:
- Product purchases. Beyond being a commerce platform for many businesses, Amazon has house brands. Often, they’re knock-offs of best sellers on their platform. Amazon often announces the specific dates of its Prime Day Sales with short lead times. So competitors face supply and inventory problems.
- Subscription revenues. With 200+ million members worldwide (April, 2022), Prime Membership loyalty program costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month. It includes free shipping, digital photo storage and video and music streaming. Prime Day promotions increase memberships and members tend to spend more on Prime Day than non-members.
- Advertising revenues. As the granddaddy of Ratings and Review sites Amazon is the first search engine for over 40% of shoppers. It’s the third largest online advertising venue following Google and Facebook. Before and during Prime Day, CPCs for Amazon’s Sponsored Ads can increase as much as 2 to 3 times your usual budget. (Source: DigitalCommerce360)
This year, Amazon added a second Prime Day promotion called “Prime Early Access Sale.” Offering 2 days of holiday deals on October 11th and 12th, Amazon has its Black Friday and Cyber Monday head start. Again leaving competitors little time to manage marketing and supply chain issues.
What does this mean for you as a marketer?
Figure out how your business can succeed by offering products and services that don’t compete with Amazon!
Assess how your organization can add value where Amazon can’t. Focus where your location and speciality provide unique value to your customers. Consider special items and offerings that have a personal touch. Some of these can become new revenue streams such as alterations for clothes or special service contracts.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Create special packages. Combine a set of related items that make sense to your customers. Even better, have them already gift wrapped.
- Offer special shopping hours and/or services for top customers. Make shopping chores into a treat. For example, invite your best customers to shop either before or after work. Add to the experience by offering coffee or wine.
- Build relationships with your best customers who want to support local stores.
► Use Community Content To Change The World
As a content marketer, have you ever considered building a community to develop content as a means to bring about significant world change?
For most content marketers, the answer is no.
But most marketers aren’t Seth Godin. In addition to his legacy of marketing books, Godin was a book packager early in his career. He edited The 1997 Information Please Business Almanac.
To get people interested in and talking about climate change and related issues, Godin reached out to his network. He planted the seed that would create a book to accomplish this mega-goal. He believes books still impart wisdom. Unfortunately, too many people don’t read them since it’s easier to watch a video.
Godin believes that to cause cultural change, you need to simplify the topic. The Carbon Almanac teaches readers that fixing our environment requires community effort. This book helps readers to understand how to become part of the conversation now.
Contributor Bio Page
To accomplish this, Godin brought together a global community of 300+ people who were already working on the problem to create a must-read piece of print content.
It’s easier to get people to join when each member truly wants to halt or reverse pollution-related problems.
Godin built resilience into the project by getting people he knew involved and others who felt they were doing things that were helpful but not working.
Containing 97,000 words, The Carbon Almanac isn’t meant to be read like a book. Instead, it consists of different types of text and visual content. Providing footnoted information, it aims to start conversations about how we, as individuals and organizations, can change our world together.
Actionable Content Marketing Tips
- Build a community to help create something bigger than any individual can do on their own. This type of work is a forerunner of Web 3.0. (BTW, Mark Schaefer is working with his community to develop a book.)
- Empower the people at the center of the community to act. Allow people to keep their agency.
- Create a culture where the product is the ultimate goal. So you attract enough people who are extraordinary.
► Get Your Audience To Talk
While podcasts have existed for almost 2 decades, they really took off in the last few years due to increased use of voice-enabled devices, mainly voice assistants and smartphones. In addition, Spotify has helped grow this audio content format.
Podcast listening is expected to reach 177 million people over the age of 12 in the US according to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial.
On average, podcast fans listen to an average of 8 episodes per week.
Many podcasts use the popular two host approach or a host and guest approach. Depending on your content, you can develop other formats.
On their podcast page, The Carbon Almanac Collective allows for a variety of podcasts related to their topic.
They added a new twist. They allow listeners to contribute to the podcast and make it easy for them to record their words.
Actionable Voice Marketing Tips
- Test adding new formats to your podcast to increase listener interest.
- Ask listeners to recommend your podcast to friends and colleagues. It helps to have an easy to remember and spell name.
Virtual Travel Marketing Minute
► Shetland Wool Week Extends Its Borders
As you may know, I’m a diehard yarnie who will travel to the ends of the earth for wool. The Shetland Islands, an archipelago about 100 miles northwest of Scotland, are one of these remote places.
On these wee islands, the sheep outnumber the human population. Since about 500 BC, Shetlanders have created woven and hand knit textiles that provide insulation. (Source: Vispring)
In 2016, like many yarn-loving travelers, my husband and I celebrated Shetland Wool Week. The in-person only festivities revolve around their world famous wool. It includes exhibitions, classes and events covering topics like weaving, spinning, dyeing, Fair Isle, lace knitting and, best of all, shopping. As a result, the event is a major boon to the small, local economy.
As a New Yorker, I was surprised that the classes consisted of 16 to 24 people at most. By contrast, my small, local yarn store would have figured out how to cram at least twice as many people per class.
Setting it apart from other yarn events, Shetland Wool Week selects an annual patron. This year, Whalsay knitter Linda Shearer was honored. The patron designs the festival’s themed hat made of Shetland wool, of course! The pattern is distributed free online so attendees and others can knit it and wear it to the festival.
Since the Shetland Islands were shut down during the pandemic, they turned to online conferencing to hold their classes. This allowed them to keep some revenue flowing into their economy. As a paying participant, I was surprised they didn’t increase the size of their classes as much as the technology would have supported.
This year, Shetland Wool Week sent a free daily email chock full of festival and local news and photos to the members of their list.
In addition, they created a set of free videos which were promoted in emailings.
Actionable Small Business Tips
- Charge for virtual tours of landmarks and talks to provide another revenue stream.
- Make videos of the festival’s classes and offer them online at specific times with an additional live session to answer questions. Beyond boosting revenues, it would provide another reason to send emails.
- Create a monthly knitting circle for a small fee. This would give global knitters the ability to participate in this unique culture.
With fall weather blowing into town, it’s time to check that your marketing is on track to drive sales for the last quarter of 2022 while you drink your pumpkin spice coffee.
As we enter 4Q22, it’s time to check that your sales are on track to meet your budget. Here’s an 8 step guide to help you with your forecasting.
To support your sales forecast, here are some ideas to improve your product-related content.
Marketers and salespeople know engagement is a must in today’s digital environment.
The Digital Engagement Landscape: Why Digital Is Your Bridge for Bringing Audiences, Marketing and Sales Together, investigates what people actually think of digital engagement and identifies improvement opportunities for organizations. [This eBook is offered free by ON24, Inc.]
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
October 10-12th, 2022 in Arlington, VA.
The market for Voice/AI solutions is growing exponentially.
Join me and the top people working to transform the user experience. Use code: Cohen20 for 20% off of any ticket.
October 10 -15, 2022 Cincinnati, Ohio
This entrepreneurial-oriented event subtitled Spark The Future, is run by Pete Blackshaw and Cintrifuse.
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum
October 12-14th, 2022 in Boston.
Ann Handley brings B2B back to Boston with 49 Sessions. 4 Keynotes and shenanigans!
► Content Jam, Chicago’s Largest Content Marketing Conference. October 25, 2022 – in Chicago, Illinois.
Run by Andy Crestodina’s Orbit Media
► SparkTogether 2022
November 10, 2022 – Paid tickets for virtual event.
Organized by Rand Fishkin and his team, this event won’t be recorded.
If you don’t have the budget to attend a conference IRL, check these tips:
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