Tag Archives | Online

Enalito Thriving eCommerce Summit Nov 2020

Enalito is a company that provides various software tools to empower and support eCommerce businesses.

On a regular basis they conduct a summit in which they host these style of discussions to help educate and support their existing and their potential customers.

Currently, I do not use any Enalito's products and at no point during this process did they pitch me. This is an important thing for me to point out because Enalito appears to be focused on truly supporting and empowering their audience. This attitude of being useful and valuable first, and then exchanging money second sets a great example in their space.

Here is the video recording of the panel in which I participated:

Things we discussed:

  • The importance of identifying and communicating your brand's deepest purpose and passion
  • How is COVID affecting the eCommerce space and how does that affect different business categories?
  • What are the best marketing strategies to dominate your market in the next 5 years?
  • The growth of SMS and direct messaging
  • How does the ROI on paid advertising vary by category?
  • How to understand your consumer's behavior
  • The single greatest point of advice for new internet entrepreneurs

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The Dumbest Mistakes When Returning A Product To An Online Vendor

My eCommerce business has now shipped over 100,000 orders since late 2015. We have a return rate of about 2.5% which means we've probably processed about 2500 returns and I personally received and processed every single one of them. For the most part, it is a simple and routine part of my workload but there are some patterns I see from our customers that DRIVE ME NUTS.

The returns from the last several days that I will be processing today

Below are some of those patterns distilled into some suggestions and advice that I wish my customers would read… but alas it would probably be a little rude to include the below in each package that goes out the door.

Um, You Just Returned The Thing You Said You Want

Yeah, this happens all the time. Someone ships something back to us claiming we shipped them the wrong one. Sometimes they want a refund and other times they would like an exchange. I open up the package, read the note, look at the product and say to myself “you just shipped me the thing you said you want.”

Before you ship back a product triple check that it isn't the right thing. Maybe the packaging looks a little different than what you saw online, maybe you are looking at the product wrong and falsely identifying it, or perhaps you just don't actually know how to use/recognize the thing you just bought.

Instead of jumping to conclusions contact customer service and ask clarifying questions. Include pictures of what they shipped you and ask if this is the correct product. Trust me its frustrating for the business and embarrassing and frustrating for you to find out you screwed up. When I call you on the phone and say, “if you wanted an X I can just ship you back the thing you just returned,” you are going to feel foolish.

Uh, You Shipped Your Return To The Wrong Place or Didn't Include The Thing We Need to Refund You

The big key here is ASK for return instructions and then follow those instructions.

For example, a lot of modern online retailers drop ship products from various different locations or manufacturers. The origin address on the package that you receive may NOT be the correct address to send the return. This is a common issue for us. We include a card inside every package that tells the customer to NOT return the package to the address on the label and we still get about 12 returns a month to that address.

Even more frustrating is when people don't include any identifying information in the package. Something shows up and when I open it I just find the product. No order number, customer name or information, or anything else that would be helpful. Sometimes I can find an order that has the same return address but this is more problematic when people take things to a UPS store or small shipping service retailer that will put their own address on the return label instead of the home address of the customer.

At very least if you do nothing else just include a piece of paper with a name, address, email address, and phone number. Then if we can't find your order at least we can call you and ask you for more information.

You Just Super Overpaid To Ship This Back to Me

Ok, this is no skin off my back but it still hurts a little when I see that my customer just overpaid to ship back a product. If the customer is paying for return shipping then that will leave a bigger sting than it needs to and if they are using a prepaid label provided by the company and they use the wrong packaging then the business may have to pay for the difference in postage when it arrives.

The most common issue is the use of flat-rate packaging. USPS flat rate boxes are generally the best deal in postage when you are shipping something that is heavy. The Flat Rate box is the same postage no matter the weight so putting a lightweight, small product in a box and filling it up with newspaper is almost guaranteed to cost you more than you need to pay.

Take a cue from the vendor. However they shipped it to you, that is probably the cheapest way to ship it back to them.

Here Is An Idea; Call Us Before You Call Your Credit Card Company

This is the worst. I get a notification from the merchant company (the guys that help us accept credit cards) notifying us that a customer has just disputed the credit card charge. I contact the customer to ask why they disputed the charge and they respond with, “It wasn't what I wanted” or “I want to return it.”

Disputing credit card charges when you did, in fact, authorize the charge is dishonest and painful for everyone involved. You may have to get a new credit card which is an inconvenience to you. On our end, we are charged a fee for every dispute and we have to put together a packet of evidence to prove we, in fact, did get a payment from YOU and we did in fact ship you a product.

Now if you have gone the rounds with a retailer and they are treating you like crap and not willing to enforce the return/refund policy they claim to have in place then sure, go ahead and call your card company. But if you need customer service, like wanting to return the product for a refund, call/email or otherwise contact the company before you go to the effort of disputing the charge on your card.

With a lot of card companies once you dispute it I cannot refund you even if I want to. It puts the transaction in a category of untouchable and if I can show them that the charge came from you and I shipped the product to your billing address you may never see that money back. Just contact us and tell us what you need.

Well, Did You Read Our Return Policy During Checkout?

I feel like a jerk when we get contacted by someone asking us to do something completely outside of our policy and I have to say no. We generally will go outside of the policy to make customers happy but sometimes we get requests that we cannot honor for one reason or another and if the customer had just read the policy before checking out they would have known about those restrictions.

When you buy something online that costs more than you think about 5 minutes of your time is worth; READ THE RETURN POLICY. I know this is a pain and nobody does it but before you drop $100 don't you think it is worth reading a policy that you can read in under 5 minutes?

Next Time Don't Throw Away The Paperwork & Packaging

A lot of companies have a policy that you can't return something if it shows clear signs of wear and use. One of the best ways to demonstrate that you didn't use it at all or very much is to carefully put it back in the original packaging the best you can. Not only does this at very least suggest minimum use but the company may appreciate that they don't have to spend money on more packaging to be able to repackage and resell the product you've returned.

When something arrives in the mail you don't know what all you may need in order to return it. Keep the packing slip (which has your order number on it) and all the product packaging at least until you are 100% confident you won't be returning it.

Actually, We Would Love For You To Review Us

There is a tendency among customers who have a positive return experience to think they are doing the company a favor by not writing an online review. Afterall we don't want potential customers to see that you didn't like the product enough to keep it right? WRONG.

Customers sometimes do not purchase a product because they are concerned about the potential work involved in returning it if they don't like it. If you have a positive experience in the return and refund of your order then write a positive review. Tell people the product wasn't for you but you were very happy with how easy it was to contact the business and get the return done. This will help customers who have reservations about a potential return to feeling comfortable enough to buy.

Keep The Tracking Number

When you ship that return package KEEP the receipt that has the tracking number on it. You never know what might happen. The package might be lost by the Post Office or you might have accidentally forgotten to include the return paperwork.

That tracking number is the only other proof you have that you returned the product to the vendor. Don't throw it out until the refund posts to your credit card.

Oh, and while not deserving of a full section of this article please also:

  • Do not write your credit card number on the return paperwork
  • Return the correct product to the correct company
  • Type and print the return letter/request if your handwriting sucks
  • If you smoke or someone in your home smokes try spraying the product with Fabreeze before you package it up and hope we'll refund you
  • If you have pets try a lint roller on the product so as to remove all the hair before you send it back for a refund
  • Avoid using packaging that isn't recyclable. When I open returns I have two piles… one for packaging that I can put in our recycle bin and one for packaging that will go in the garbage. If it isn't fragile, don't use a bubble mailer.

Hopefully, you found that advice helpful… and next time we are hanging out together ask me for my best return stories. I got some doozies that you wouldn't believe.

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SEO or Paid Traffic? A Conversation About Priorites

I was talking to a business owner this morning who is in this dilemma. The business is starting to become stable enough that they want to invest in advertising (we should talk later about why they should have been advertising since the beginning). Today, businesses hear all about how valuable and important SEO is but they are also being sold paid advertising by a variety of vendors. Trying to sort out where online to allocate a small budget is really challenging. Vendors are calling and talking about directories, SEO, social, search ads, social ads, banner ads, text messaging, and much much more. I get it… I spent years being one of those vendors.

For the purpose of today's article I'm going to simply lump all the PAID advertising into the category of Paid Traffic and compare that to SEO with an emphasis on where a new business should begin to invest.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of TRYING to get one's website or web content to appear or rank high in organic search results. If I'm an attorney in Phoenix and people type “Phoenix Attorney” into Google I want my site to organically (not in the paid ads) be high in the search results. This is SEO.

Paid Traffic is any online advertising vehicle into which you insert a paid ad budget and expect to get some amount of qualified traffic to click through to your website.

Today's advertising community loves to talk about the benefits of SEO… and here is why:

  1. When done properly, work can pay off for years in the form of “free” traffic because you did the work to rank well
  2. Vendors who sell SEO services aren't held to a high standard because they are being paid to do something that is often unmeasurable and generally won't show any results for weeks, months, or years to come.

It is easy to see why some small business would be lured in by the idea of spending minimum amounts of money in advertising but getting super high on Google so that the leads and customers come in forever without any significant work. The pitch is however, a big fat lie. Here is how, as a vendor of SEO services, I would have to pitch you if I was being fully honest:

Mr Customer, being at the top of Google's organic search for your top search phrases will pay off endless future benefits but frankly, it often takes years to get into the top five results for competitive search terms unless your website already has a lot of traffic and domain authority from Google. Domain authority is built over time by showing Google and the other search engines that you can and do produce content that is relevant and valuable to an audience which brings me to my next point. The number one core activity in SEO work is content generation. Not junk content for the sake of having content… that stopped working in 2010. I mean legitimately valuable content that is better for the reader/consumer than your competitors content. Now, regardless of the work you are in; I suspect that in order to generate that type of content you will have to be involved. There is nobody at my agency/firm/office that produce content about your company and industry as well as you can so even though you are going to pay me to help you format it and train you to write it in the best way possible YOU are still going to have to write it. Lastly, you should know that because SEO benefits come so long after the work is done; if at all, we won't have enough traffic coming to the site in order to generate enough data to know if the lead/sales funnel is actually working. Meaning; the reason you want traffic to your site at all is because you have a service or product to sell. If we bring 100,000 new visitors to your website and zero of them contact your or buy your product then the work was for nothing. We need to optimize the marketing process and lead/sales funnel on your site in order to increase the CONVERSION RATE of that traffic to buyers/leads and in order to do that effectively we need a steady inflow of predicatable traffic… and SEO won't bring us that for a long time. So not only do you need to wait for any results at all but you also will waste a lot of eyeballs on your site because we won't have enough data in order to optimize the marketing funnel. You should also be aware that we do not own Google, Bing, or Yahoo and despite having some sense for what they are looking for in web content; we don't actually know for sure exactly how they choose to rank sites and they tend to change that criteria and methodology from time to time so its possible that our efforts even if successful could become worthless if the algorithm changes in a way that is negative to the work we've been performing at your cost. Lastly, please know that while we will do “stuff” for the money you pay us each month we won't be able to guarantee ANYTHING and may not have great answers about the impact that our work is having for at least 6 months until after we get started. Ok?

Would you Buy From Me????

Is this starting to make it clear why you need to prioritize Paid Traffic over SEO efforts?

Your #1 Goal in any online advertising is to optimize your marketing funnel. It doesn't matter how much traffic you can drive if none of that traffic opts in, buys, or contacts you with interest in your service or product. In order for any marketer to optimize the sales/lead funnel they need to drive traffic into it. SEO just can't do that in the beginning. In addition having to pay for advertising will force you or your marketing agency to make the funnel as good as it can be… something you will be grateful for when your SEO work starts to pay off in the future.

In addition, while paid traffic sources are sometimes finicky or can shut you down for misuse; they are still FAR more consistent and reliable a source of traffic than is SEO.

Now don't misunderstand me… I'm a big advocate for SEO. We take content creation and SEO ranking very seriously in our business. We set goals, and we work to achieve them… but SEO is our long game… Paid Traffic is our short game and it should be yours too.

Resource: Entrepreneurs You Are Machine Builders

Resource: Our Content Creation Formula for SEO

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Business to Business Online Marketing Tactics

Recently I presented a training at a local Chamber of Commerce for business leaders about how to correctly engage in business to business marketing online.

jacob paulsen denver

I talked about ten core principles:

  1. Your Online Presence needs to be reflective of your best personal professional self.
  2. You need to be human
  3. You need to be found in the search engine
  4. You need to have a website ready to capture leads
  5. You need to offer up awesome valuable stuff for free
  6. You need to target the few, ignore the masses
  7. You need to do your homework
  8. You need to leverage LinkedIn
  9. You need to have a platform
  10. You should read these three books

Here is the deck I used to present: B2B Marketing Solutions.

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Do Digital Marketers Need to Know All Of This?

Marketing and Advertising present a very complex environment. Marketing experts have to surround themselves with people who have expertise in each part of the marketing cycle and the various mediums where marketing and advertising are placed. Within the digital space there are a lot of unique media and marketing systems used by today's experts. Below is a quick summary of some of the higher level parts of the digital marketing ecosystem for those who may be beginners and are trying to understand the moving parts.

marketingFor the digital marketers out there I have to wonder; do we have to know all this stuff really well? Digital marketing expertise is hard to find in our current marketplace. For smaller companies who may not have the budget to bring on a full team of marketers to represent these different facets its going to be difficult to find someone who has a moderate to deep understanding of all of them. As far as making yourself a strong asset in the job market is it better to be widely versed or deeply versed in one or two different media?

I would say both. For the large and small players in the game there is a need for leaders and marketing managers who can talk all the talk and form high level strategies based on a working knowledge of all the aspects of the ecosystem. And that isn't limited to digital. Getting experience and training around traditional ad platforms like TV, radio, outdoor, and print is also key. Within the best organizations however there is also a need for people who are more deeply versed in one specific vertical or medium. Depending on where you currently are in your career in the digital marketing or more broad marketing spectrum in learning and building a track record, you may choose to go niche or broad. Pick your poison and drink it often!

Email

Email isn't dead. Ranked number one in a recent study among US marketing professionals as the highest ROI medium of digital advertising, email marketing is a critical component of any company's strategy no matter the size.

Social

Understanding how to create utility and engagement in the social space is as much an art form as any other marketing medium. Often considered a low cost to free solution, social marketing is a place to invest resources and expertise in order to build short and long term results.

Mobile

Speaking here more specifically to SMS and MMS marketing, retailers and big brands can leverage the number one most responsive communication tool to connect with consumers and drive them to action.

SEO

Currently 70% of online ad budgets are allocated to SEO. This moving target marketing method is about optimizing one's site to make it rank better on the organic algorithms of major search engines like Google. Its half cat and mouse games with the search engines and half an issue of creating truly valuable content and utility in a way that is compatible with technology best practices.

SEM

I prefer to use the term Paid Search but SEM is the term most often used to refer to the practice of buying paid ads (generally pay per click) on search engines like Google based on the location and keywords used by the searcher. The ultimate compliment to SEO efforts.

Display & Rich Media

Generally referring here to banner ads, streaming audio, and video pre-roll sold direct to site, through an ad network, or through an ad exchange while using a high number of data and profile targeting filters and parameters to make sure the ad is being shown to the right people at the right place at the right time at the optimal price.

Data and Analytics

The key need to look at the large amount of data coming from owned, earned, and paid media and advertising across all these various media and come up with key insights that strengthen future marketing efforts and products.

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How Do You Get A Klout Score of 60 and Why Do You Care?

Short Answer: Stop worrying about your Klout score and start creating value for people online.

Klout Overview:

If you aren't familiar with Klout, this website set out to measure the online influence of people. They give every online user a score between 1 and 100 and connect marketers and brands with users that are influential in the topics most important to the brand. Since their launch there have been some competitors that have come into the space as well. You can setup your account at Klout.com and connect your profiles from your various social networks.

Klout scoreAccording to Klout the average score is about 20. A score of 50 would put you in the top 5% of users and a score of 63 would put you in the top 1%. Klout also identifies and allows users to identify for themselves topics around which they are or mean to be influential.

How Does the Klout Score Work?

Naturally Klout isn't going to share their full algorithm for how they calculate scores. There are some things that we know both because Klout has shared the information and through testing.

Connecting different social networks will only help you. Engagement from different social networks adds to your Klout score incrementally. If you have low influence on one network adding it will still only help your overall score.

Things you would assume effect engagement do effect the Klout score. Comments, like, favorites, shares, and retweets for example all increase and drive your Klout score.

Why Might You Care?

Your Klout score can certainly help stroke your ego I suppose. Some people also setup their account so that they can receive Klout perks. Perks are the “gifts” given to users from brands based on their influence in a specific topic.

I think most importantly you should think of Klout as a way of measuring if you are doing it right. Are you, or is your team, really engaging your network and audience correctly. Do people care about your brand and open themselves to engage with it? Klout is a way of measuring that. It isn't perfect but I think its the best tool we have.

Example: I have a friend who has less than 1000 Twitter follower and he has a Klout score of 63. I have over 20,000 followers and my Klout score is 60. So which is more valuable, engagement or size of audience? ENGAGEMENT is more valuable and that is why the Klout score removes the smoke screens and allows us to see what really matters.

So Your Focus Should Be On:

Identify what you want to be known for.

Create and push out value for people around those topics.

Focus on people. Engage them and care about their content as well.

 

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The Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to RSS

In the next 5 minutes it will take you to read this post you will become an expert in all things related to RSS and how it can be used and leveraged for online marketing. Hold on to your seats.

What is RSS?

rss tutorial and guideRSS originally referred to Rich Site Summary and more recently is dubbed Real Simple Syndication. Whatever it stands for it refers to the format in which content is published on a website (generally a blog or news site) that allows that content to be FED to outside sources or subscribers.

To technical? Essentially RSS is the technology or format in which EVERY news site and EVERY blog publishes their content. You've see the cool orange icon that looks like a wifi symbol on it's side all over the internet and now you know what it is for.

If you are using WordPress you can find your RSS feed by typing in www.yoursite.com/feed/. If you are the site of someone else you can generally find the orange icon somewhere to guide you to their feed. Some of the larger news publishers may give you multiple options to subscribe to the RSS feed of a specific content category (DenverPost Example).

Where Is It Used?

It is used everywhere online. Site publishers have a great need to be able to somehow automatically publish their newly published blog posts or news stories out via email, to social networks, or direct to RSS subscribers. The uses are endless and it is the standard format for the entire web. Different browsers read RSS feeds differently so depending on what type of browser you use you may have had different experiences with RSS to date. When you click on a link or icon to a RSS feed some browsers open up a page that looks like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Other browsers may prompt you to add the feed to your reader or subscribe to the feed.

What Are The Practical Applications?

The primary purpose of an RSS feed is to… well… FEED content from the published site to somewhere else. Some examples would include:

Direct to Subscribers Via RSS Readers

Many of the more techy folk online use RSS Readers to subscribe to the RSS feeds of all their favorite sites. A RSS Reader is a great way to stay up to date with lots of different blogs and/or news sources without flooding your email inbox constantly with new updates. Feedly is a good example of a popular RSS Reader. Offering, and making easy to find, a RSS feed for your site is going to make it easier for that type of user to subscribe to your content.

Direct to Email Subscribes Via a RSS Email Tool

Because a large number of internet users don't know a lot about RSS Feeds and Readers, a lot of site owners and publishers allow their visitors to subscribe to the blog or content via email. Email may be the primary way the content is delivered to the subscriber in these cases however the email is still fed from the site RSS Feed. Very few of the primary players in the email marketing space have a half decent RSS delivery tool (exception is MyEmailProgram.com) so most site publishers use Feedburner or Feedblitz. Feedburner (owned by Google) is a free tool that allows publishing RSS via email but there are rumors or concerns that Google may eliminate the product sooner than later. Feedblitz is a comparable paid service.

Direct to Social Media Via a RSS Syndication/Publishing Tool

Since the introduction and popularization of Social Media networks like Facebook and Twitter, many different products have hit the market to make it easy to automatically publish RSS feeds to social media. This saves some time when you publish a new blog post as a tool or app can automatically push out the new post to your social profiles. There are many native Facebook apps like RSS Grafiti and an even larger number of Twitter publishing tools like Twitterfeed.com. A lot of your social media clients like Hootsuite also have built in RSS publishing tools.

To an Aggregate Site

There is also a lot of growing popularity around building out aggregate content sites that pull in and publish content from other popular sites or blogs into a single site. These “dailies” or “paper” sites focus on a specific topic or event and serve the consumer as a place to find a lot of content around the desired topic without having to subscribe to multiple sources. These sites live on the RSS technology to help them pull in blog posts and other RSS feed items from other sites.

How Do Marketers Use RSS?

Syndication

Marketers primarily use RSS technology as a method by which to distribute content to the internet. Great syndication content strategies help traffic directly by exposing a greater number of people to the content. It helps indirectly by supporting SEO elements. It helps engagement by encouraging social sharing. Above is a great overview of the various ways to syndicate content.

ECommerce & Affiliate Sales

If you run an online store RSS technology can make it easier for your affiliates to drive more sales to your store. Affiliates love programs  that offer some sort of RSS feed for deals or specials because they can be setup to automatically feed to Twitter or to a website sidebar widget.

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ROI Is An Equation Not A Theory

I like the ABC show Shark Tank. If you aren't familiar with the concept, entrepreneurs walk into a room of venture capitalists and try to convince them to invest money into their idea/business. Most of these entrepreneurs seem to have never watched the show before coming on it as they consistently don't have the answers to some of the more common questions. One of those… “What is your customer acquisition cost?”

As marketing channels become diverse and difficult to track, the business world is screaming for transparency, reporting, and return on investment. All to often us digital marketing folk have to go into meetings with top decision makers and tell them that while we can't tell them what the bottom line value of a Facebook like or a Retweet really is; we are sure it is helping the business grow in consumer engagement, loyalty, and brand value. It sounds like a load of crap to be honest but sometimes its just the best we can do.

As marketers we have to remember that ROI is not a theory to be preached as an intangible. Its a formula. If I invest X dollars into a project or initiative how will it increase Gross revenue? The formula isn't complicated and it always exists. As businesses grow and invest resources into multiple strategies and initiatives it becomes more difficult for them to track the return on any one of those programs. This is where some of those challenges exist.

As you move forward to grow the business stop and ask yourself, how am I going to measure this? How can I isolate the revenue growth I will achieve from this plan from other things I have in the works?

Oh, and in case you are curious, customer acquisition cost is exactly what it sounds like. If I have to spend $1000 on advertising to get 300 people to go to my website and I know that my standard conversion rate on that type of web traffic is 10%, than I will get 30 new customers. That is a customer acquisition cost of $33.33. If my average ticket size is $50 then my ROI is $1500 making for a net profit of $500. If this could be scaled it would be a profitable business model.

What is your formula?

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Value Is King – New Marketing Reality

In the online marketing conversation we have been using the phrase “Content Is King” for a very long time. Even 5 years ago most of the experts agreed that creating content for contents sake was central to any online strategy. New content, when formatted and syndicated correctly, drove both direct traffic and indirect traffic through increase search engine optimization. Today we live in a deluge of content where little if anything actually sticks out above the crowd. The search engines are constantly tweaking the algorithm to drive results based on useful and quality information and the SEO gurus are trying to embrace that reality while searching for tactics that can facilitate shortcuts.

After all the years of human existence we are finally getting to a climax in society that requires that people actually create real value for others in order to stand out. Marketing is no longer a shouting match that requires large ad budgets. It has instead become a match in utility. How can be the most valuable to the end consumer? The big brands have known this for some time and they are working hard to become integrated into lifestyles of their consumers by putting resources behind non-sales related utility and value. The most common examples include mobile apps that help solve a common problem without directly promoting the companies products.

The new marketing reality is (as it has always technically been) “Value is King.” He who creates the most value for the consumer wins. Value could still be content as we have been traditionally thinking about it as blog posts, eBooks, YouTube channels, etc but it could also go a different direction. Marketing still has the same formula of identifying the target consumer, determining what problem/pain you can solve for them, and then solving it. Now, particularly in the online world, we must stop creating content for the sake of content and work on a solution that creates value.

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Utility Marketing Best in Show

SignIn a marketplace where brands are starting to understand that the shouting match of traditional advertising isn't really getting them anywhere, some brands are starting to embark on a noble cause of becoming more useful and relevant to their consumers. It is difficult for smaller brands and local businesses to discover how they can participate in this new age of utility marketing but its a worthy endeavor.

Here are some big brands that you know well that I think have something figured out.

  • Charmin Sit or Squat App: It would be really lame to put out a mobile app that allowed customers to learn about the different toilet paper products on the market. Charmin (P&G) decided it would be more valuable to align themselves with a popular “Public Restrooms Directory” app that helps people find and rate public bathrooms that meet their needs.
  • Nike Golf 360: This new program available from Nike helps golfers keep track of their game by inputting scores and other important information via the mobile app. The program then creates some customized feedback and makes available a lot of good training content and videos.
  • Betty Crocker YouTube Recipe Channel: Speaks for itself right? If you like to cook you would find these videos valuable and next time you go to do your shopping that value that Bettey Crocker just provided you is going to pay them back at the checkout.
  • Google Flights, Weddings, or Weather: Google's business is built around utility marketing. Thier introduction of tools like Google Flu, Flights, or Weddings are great examples. Tell Google your wedding date and they will help you plan your wedding by making it easy to find all the local vendors of the various products and services you are going to need.
  • Asics Marathoner App: Training for a marathon is more complex than it sounds. Asics gives you the training schedule and input you need to make sure you don't die on mile 18 of that 26.2 mile race.
  • Delta Bag Tracker: Fedex style tracking of your luggage is super cool and does come in handy.
  • Nestle – Pregnancy Guide App: Yes I'm serious. Nestle owns a large number of the household brands in your pantry beyond just the chocolate but it just seems to be the right brand to put in front of expectant mothers who need feedback about what they can expect in their pregnancy.
While none of these utility marketing initiatives directly put revenue in the company they all make the brand (and by extension the product or service) more valuable and more relevant. If you are one of those people who hates the term “Building a Relationship” when referring to the advertiser / consumer transaction then you haven't fully understood Utility Marketing.
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