5 Kissmetrics Populations E-Commerce Marketers Can’t Live Without

A few weeks ago we released Populations, a tool to help marketing & product teams track key groups of people across their growth cycle. And just last week, our CEO Brian Kelly announced the new phase of Kissmetrics – Customer Engagement Automation (CEA).

CEA combines our powerful behavioral analytics with engagement tools to boost acquisition and user engagement in key areas of the funnel. It’s a great choice for SaaS and e-commerce teams.

Here’s five Populations e-commerce marketers can set up to monitor key parts of the buyer journey.

1. First-Time Buyers

A first time buyer is a fresh chance to gain a new repeat purchaser. The more of these coming in, the more you can convert to repeat purchasers for life. Hence, the better your business will be.

Here’s a hypothetical Population that’s tracking first time buyers.

first-time-buyers-ecommerce-population

This is looking at the first time buyers you’ve had in the last month. If this were your data, you’d want to keep this Population increasing – especially if you can maintain the 30%+ when compared to 90 days ago.

You can contact each person in this Population by scrolling down and clicking this button:

view-people-in-population

Click that and you’ll get a list of email addresses (or however you identify people). You can also use these people in a Campaign and send an email to incentivize them to repurchase:

configure-your-trigger-campaigns

You can then target these people with an email offering a coupon, free shipping, new product announcement, etc. Call the campaign a success when they Purchase:

first-time-buyers-kissmetrics-campaign

We’ve created this video if you’d like to learn more about our Campaigns feature:

2. One & Done Buyers

This is one Population you’ll want to continually reduce in size.

You can set up a Population to basically say, “show me all the people that purchased at least 6 months ago and have not purchased since.”

Here’s an example for that Population:

one-and-done-buyers-kissmetrics-population

If this was your data, you’d have to compare it to the total number of purchasers you’ve had. If, for example, you’ve had 50,000 customers purchase over the lifetime of the company, you know this is really good data because only a small percentage don’t come back to purchase. On the other hand, if you’ve only had 500 total purchasers, you’d know you were in trouble with getting customers to come back and repurchase.

3. Big Spenders

Your big spenders are those that are the most valuable. They spend more than all your other customers. Obviously, you’ll want to retain these customers and know if you’re getting more or fewer of them.

To get some use out of this Population, you’ll first need to have some context. You’ll need to know your average purchase value and ideally the average amount of times people purchase during a specific time period.

Let’s say most people spend $30 on every purchase and purchase twice every 3 months.

To find your big spenders, you’ll have to have a Kissmetrics property that records purchase amount. Once you have that, you can create a population like this:

create-a-new-population-purchase-amount

Let’s view that Population:

big-spenders-kissmetrics-population

You’re up 3 customers from 90 days ago, so we can’t complain much. If we’re also up 23% in orders compared to 90 days ago, we know we’re doing really well.

From here, we can do the same thing we did with our first time buyers. We’ll create a Campaign and incentivize these big spenders to keep coming back to us. Get enough of these big spenders coming back, and we’ll increase our overall lifetime value per customer.

4. Monthly Repeat Buyers

Repeat buyers are the lifeblood of an e-commerce company. No store can survive long solely on first-time buyers. Like SaaS companies, retaining as many customers as possible is crucial.

monthly-repeat-buyers-kissmetrics-population

This shows us that it has held steady, and increased about 2% compared to 90 days ago.

5. Browsers

These are the lurkers, your comparison shoppers, and the ones who overthink every purchasing decision. They visit your site routinely but never seem to pull the trigger to purchasing.

You can set a Population to say “find me all the people that have visited at least 10 times the past 30 days but have not purchased.”

browser-shoppers-kissmetrics-populations

The number of people in this Population is down slightly from 90 days. This, obviously, means it’s headed in the right direction. You can decrease the number of browsers by having special offers, increasing conversion rates, lowering prices (for those that price shop) or getting more products in stock that those browsers are looking for.

Use Populations to Track People Across the Buyer Journey

Populations makes it easy to see how groups change over time along with the changes in your marketing activities. Identify the weak points and take action with Campaigns – all within Kissmetrics.

If you’re already a Kissmetrics user, sign in today and Populations will be ready for you. If you’re not a user and would like to learn more about Kissmetrics, you can request a demo.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

How to Launch a Customer-Centric Sales Strategy

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” — Jeff Bezos

Customer Centricity Is More Important than Ever

It seems that it should go without saying that businesses need to be customer centric. However, in the constant drive for sales and profitability, companies sometimes forget who ultimately pays the bills. While the drive to focus on customers has existed for decades, due to technology that empowers the customer, it is now more intense than ever.

With the Internet and mobile technology, customers can find the information they need anywhere, anytime. They can look up companies online, read reviews, ask their peers for referrals via social media platforms and more. As buyers have become more informed, their expectations have risen, and they have become a more potent force in determining company success and failure.

The companies that will win today are those that let their customers lead the way.

It’s no longer a simple matter of meeting customer needs. Businesses need to go beyond that and find ways to delight their customers. Thus, customer-centricity includes designing products, services and solutions that solve customer problems while also making purchase and delivery easy and providing necessary support.

Easier Said than Done

Intuitively it makes sense to set delighting customers as the goal, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, most B2B companies fail to deliver. The proof is in a Gallup report that showed that around 7 out of 10 B2B customers are indifferent to or disengaged from their vendors. It wouldn’t take much for them to stray to a competitor.

How to Let Customers Lead Your Sales Strategy

Today, we’re focusing on one part of the customer-centric equation — sales. Satisfying customers is not enough — that’s a low bar. You want to raise the bar and find out how to delight customers. So a customer-centric sales strategy starts with talking to customers.

Here are three approaches to learning more about your clients:

1. Conduct Buyer Persona Research

To sell in a way that meets buyer needs, you must understand how they buy. That understanding needs to start from when they recognize that they have a problem and begin to research solutions. You want to know who buyers talk to, where they look for information and what they seek. Plus, you need to understand the interplay between purchase decision-makers and influencers. Last but not least, find out why they decide to buy from you or your competitor.

To create your initial buyer personas, do some in-depth interviews with customers and prospects who chose not to buy. However, do not consider the personas you create to be a finished product. You can always build on the information to create richer, more nuanced profiles. Buyer persona research should be part of your continuing feedback process, similar to customer satisfaction research.

2. Learn from Your Wins and Losses

It’s also worthwhile to conduct regular win/loss sales analyses. Once again, this means talking with customers directly. You cannot rely on your salespeople to give you objective feedback on why they won or lost a sale. Often, they simply don’t know because they are not trying to understand the buying process. Instead, they’re working to land the deal. Also, it’s hard for them to be objective. That’s why so often you hear that price was the problem.

Go through your database and find some sales that you just acquired as well as some prospects who bought from a competitor or decided not to buy from anyone. Have a third-party conduct the research because they’ll be objective and be able to ask the right questions. You’ll also find your customers and lost prospects will feel more comfortable talking with them than one of your company’s associates.

3. Mine Your Data

Your marketing automation and customer relationship management systems can give you a big picture view of your customers. For instance, you can dig into the data to see what content attracts people, the emails they open, which ads are working, firmographics and more.

Don’t try to tackle customer-centric selling all at once, but rather take it a step at a time. For instance, you might start with mining your data, and then gradually follow with programs for developing buyer personas and win/loss analyses. As you become more informed about the buying process, you’ll be able to improve the customer experience.

Are you ready to deliver what your customers really want? Read Customer Experience Simplified to learn how to exceed expectations.

Customer Experience Simplified

Image credit: Pexels

New eBook: 30 Essential Ingredients to Stock Your Content Marketing Kitchen

My mother was the chief cook in our household. It was a thankless job. Her customers were three kids with radically different ideas about what was edible and what was, like, totally grody.

When we asked what was for dinner—one of her least favorite questions—she would frequently answer, “Well, we could make peanut butter sandwiches, if we had any bread. Or any peanut butter.”

In other words, regardless of what your diners are craving, you can only make what you have the ingredients to make.

Mom’s little proverb holds true for content marketing, too. We have finnicky readers to please, people who won’t settle for filet mignon when they really want a classic PB&J. They’re increasingly demanding a more personalized menu: Research shows that over 200 million people use ad blockers to cut out content that isn’t to their taste. To make a crowd-pleasing recipe, you have to stock the right ingredients.

For marketers, these staple ingredients come in many forms: types of content, distribution channels, and specific tactics are the bread, flour, and eggs of our trade. Once you have a fully-stocked pantry, you can mix and match these staples to create truly delectable marketing recipes.

For TopRank Marketing’s latest eBook, we went grocery-shopping for the essential elements of great content marketing. But we didn’t just hit the supermarket – we got tips from some of our favorite gourmets as well.

The end result is part shopping list, part how-to, and part recipe book: Mastering the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe: 30 Essential Savory & Sweet Content Ingredients.

Here are just a few prime cuts from the eBook.

Crunchy Content Formats

Don’t give your audience the same old blog posts day after day. Everyone wants a little variety in their diet. Try these formats to change things up:

  • Podcasts. Get tips on choosing the right format and topic, and crafting the right mix of informative and entertaining content to make your podcast memorable.
  • Video. Learn the key considerations for a successful video, including picking the right format, writing a compelling description, and frontloading your most important message.
  • Case Studies. Take your case study beyond an antiseptic white paper with these storytelling and formatting tips.

Toothsome Tactics

Filling out a month’s content menu can be daunting. These tactics can help you create quality content at scale:

  • Crowdsourcing. Learn how to persuade an audience to contribute, and make sure their contributions will be valuable.
  • Curation. Learn how to source and (ethically) share other people’s content with your audience.
  • Research & Surveys. Get tips on doing preliminary research, creating surveys, and maximizing participation.

Delicious Distribution Channels

Serve your content piping hot to the perfect audience with tips on distribution channels like:

  • Digital Newsletters. Learn how to personalize your newsletter, make it easier to consume, and target the right audience segments.
  • Email Marketing. Get tips on crafting a clickable subject line, how to reward your subscribers for opting in, and finding the right cadence.
  • Native Advertising. Learn how to keep your native ads ethical, valuable, and authentic.

Feeling Hungry Yet?

This blog post is only the first course. Download your copy of Mastering the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe: 30 Essential Savory & Sweet Content Ingredients to sample the rest. In addition to all the staples you need for a well-stocked content pantry, you will get some of our team’s favorite top-secret recipes. Each one combines staple ingredients to create an integrated marketing campaign that’s sure to satisfy the most discerning palate.

Like mom said, you can’t make peanut butter sandwiches without the bread. Or the peanut butter. And you can’t make great content without stocking up on these 30 ingredients.


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New eBook: 30 Essential Ingredients to Stock Your Content Marketing Kitchen | http://www.toprankblog.com

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#CMWorld Interview: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers

The 2017 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B content marketing research uncovered some fascinating insights this year. One of the most interesting aspects of this research was the techniques B2B marketers are leveraging to better understand their target audiences.

And the techniques they aren’t using.

When asked which techniques they used to better understand their target audience(s) for content marketing purposes, “Auditing Existing Buyer Data” didn’t even crack the top ten (at 24% of respondents). Now there’s a real head-scratcher.

So what were the top 3?

  • Website analysis (58%)
  • Keyword search (57%)
  • Employee feedback (50%)

While all of these techniques are wonderfully helpful, I’d gamble they aren’t giving B2B marketers the ammunition they need when it comes time to flesh out an editorial calendar.

This points to a truth that Adele Revella has spoken about, blogged about, and even wrote a book about. When it comes developing content, the majority of B2B marketers are simply making stuff up. They’re acting on a hunch, publishing tons of content to see what sticks, hoping their gut is pretty close to what customers or prospective buyers need to hear.

But most of the time, they’re dead wrong.  

I recently interviewed Adele to get her thoughts on this, as well as hear about her upcoming CMWorld talk. It was an inspiring and insightful conversation. If you have the time, please read her book. In it, Adele literally unveils her entire business process, and reveals the playbook for crafting true buyer personas.

If you just have a few minutes to spare, here’s what she had to say in our interview:   

Question 1: When looking to paint a more comprehensive picture of buyers, which attributes should content marketers seek to uncover?

“We make a key distinction upfront between buyers and customers. A buyer persona is there to help you be better at communicating with potential buyers. A customer persona is about helping customers once they have purchased.

First off, the key isn’t in the attributes of the buyer. While we do recommend that companies keep it simple by focusing on a few demographics like industry, company size, or job title, what really matters about your buyers isn’t in these basic attributes. Rather, it’s all about the how, when, and why of the buying decision you want to influence with your content.

The real meat of a buyer persona is what we call the 5 Rings of Buying Insight. From conducting real interviews with buyers, you can learn:

  1. What triggers the buyer’s investment  (what happens in the org that requires investment)
  2. The success factor insight (the benefits they seek from this investment)  
  3. Perceived barriers (why buyers wouldn’t choose you, or not invest at all)
  4. Decision criteria insight (questions your buyers have, features and functions)
  5. Buyer’s journey (where do they go, who do they trust, what steps do they go through to make this choice)

Our big message is stop focusing on who the buyer is. Rather, the meat of the persona will be the buying insight: the how, when, and why of their decision making process.”

Question 2: If content marketers have limited budgets, what activities or steps can they take in developing personas?

“Frankly, I would encourage marketers not to spend too much time creating buyer personas or profiles. Rather, try to gain insights from buyer interviews. It really doesn’t have to cost any money at all. If someone can get to, and interview real buyers in the right fashion, then you’ll be well on your way.

I would argue that the time invested in performing interviews is going to save B2B content marketers so much time on the back end. Instead of making stuff up, or going through endless revision cycles with internal stakeholders or clients, you can offer buyer interview insights as a stake in the ground about what content needs to get produced. This will save significant time and money.   – questions the wisdom. It’s really about  where are the marketers spending their own time and budget. Frankly, I have a training background; my heart was always in teaching. The mistake that nearly all marketers are making today is thinking about too many personas. Not only are they making stuff up, they’re making stuff up for multiple personas. It’s more content for more personas, without any real insight. In the end, it’s a wasted effort in most cases.

Truthfully, there are very few instances that we should be making different content for different audiences. We interview thousands of B2B buyers in our work, and these guys are building consensus among their buying committees. They are looking, and responding to the same stuff. There might be one special decision maker that needs a few key questions answered, but frankly that’s it. The rest need to have the same questions answered. This idea that we need different content, and different messages for each buyer is consuming an enormous amount of time and budget, which is simply being misallocated.

We’re making too many variations. Buyers we interview are saying they are ignoring most content because it’s not helpful, and isn’t talking about something that they care about. Buyers will tolerate working with a format they don’t prefer, if it’s truly helpful.”

Question 3: When only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy and only 34% say that their content is very effective, which aspects of content marketing strategy should marketers focus on first, in order to get improve performance?

“For one thing, the reason it’s not effective is we’re talking about the wrong thing to the wrong people. We’re producing way too much content. We don’t have a strategy, or we aren’t being honest about what strategy really is. Strategy is a choice. And marketers are not making a choice at a strategic level, they are making choices every day at the tactical level. They are making these choices without being fully informed. Their choices are based on what the company wants to say; “We have a new product, we entered a new market, WE WE WE!”

But they don’t really have the ammunition to stand up and say, “Hey, hold on, this is what the buyer wants.” A strategy ought to be built at the intersection between what the buyers want to hear and what we have to say.  They don’t know what the buyer wants, so they aren’t making good choices. And strategy is about choices. This road leads to what I call Random Acts of Marketing.

As marketers, we don’t get to why very often. We get what happened, but we don’t know why. We know things like, “This web page has lots of views.” But, why? “This particular marketing piece got a 10% uplift in engagement” Well why? So, we’re in this constant state of making stuff up.”

Question 4: What is the biggest content marketing opportunity today?

“Building a strategy based on buyer insights gained from real-world buyer conversations.

This is one of the things I am talking about at Content Marketing World this year. First of all, it’s not practical for marketers to stop production, and focus on strategy for a set period of time. That’s NEVER gonna happen. Marketers are measured by how much stuff they produce. How many leads we produce, how many MQLs we produce, how many pieces of content we produce, whether we got everything done in time for the launch. We’ve got to get realistic about this.

The reality is when you do persona work, the goal ought to be start small. Take one hard-to-achieve goal: a new market, a new product, something that the organization can recognize will operate outside of “business as usual.”  That’s the place to isolate a single resource to go do some of these interviews, and build real-world buyer insights.

People think this is a huge task, but in 10 interviews you can learn enough to change everything.

That being said, this is a very specific type of interview. You need people who have a background in journalism. People who aren’t going to be scared to death to get on the phone with someone who is representative of the target buyer and is willing to have a structured, but unscripted conversation with that person. Get the story.

The truth is you don’t need personas. You need guidance to go change the way you do something. Change isn’t going to happen if everything’s “working.” Everyone’s too busy doing everything else. You’re not done.

You need a content strategy built around your persona, not the persona itself. Distribute the strategy to your team, not the persona.”

Question 5: How do you have a good interview with buyers?

“If you’re not a person who can comfortably conduct interviews, you need to find someone who can. Go to your local college and talk to journalism students. Or hire folks with a journalism background. Or someone who has significant qualitative research experience.

The other options is practice the skills you need to get good at this. For marketers following a seat-of-your-pants approach, it won’t be as good – but they’ll certainly learn stuff. Unlike most business books, my book literally lays out all of our intellectual property and shows you how to do this. Should you choose to invest time, it’s absolutely something you can learn. I won’t lie, doing interviews well requires decades of experience. But that shouldn’t stop you from diving in head first.

Despite hundreds of webinars, countless interviews, podcasts, I could never share enough detail around how to conduct interviews well. Anybody that’s serious about this should be able to go buy my book, and trust me I’m not getting rich on my book. But the comprehensive playbook is laid out in it.”

Question 6: What are a few signs that buyer-centric content is working?

“In B2B marketing our ability to measure anything we do on sales results is difficult at best. I encourage marketers to keep their existing set of engagement metrics and obviously look for change. But also, start measuring  how many efficiencies you’re gaining within the organization. It’s what you’re able to STOP doing that’s the measure of success here. How many times recently have you stopped doing something and it helped. Being able to push back against the organizational pressure and random ideas that come at you, when you know that your focus is working. Marketing is everyone’s playground, and when we can start to see random acts of marketing diminish, we know we’re being successful.

When we can stop saying, “I think”, and start saying “We’ve been interviewing buyers, and they think” is when we’ll really be successful. This is what eliminates the hierarchy in organizations, and gets everyone focused on delivering valuable content to buyers.”  

Question 7: What are you looking forward to most at Content Marketing World 2017?

What I love about Content Marketing World is the people. Not only are there tons of smart marketers, it really feels like meeting up with old friends. I love the dialogue. We simply have to keep learning. I’ve been around this industry a long time, and I can say for certain that we have NOT cracked the nut on marketing. It’s in having this dialogue with each other that we can crack the nut.

It’s also a great way to go take a break from our day-to-day insanity and really open our minds and say, “what can I learn?” Each year, I walk away from Content Marketing World feeling inspired. And that’s what it’s really all about.”

Want More?

If you’d like to learn more from Adele and other amazing Content Marketing World speakers, be sure to check out the first eBook in our series, The In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition. Also, stay tuned for our next speaker interview coming at you next week!


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#CMWorld Interview: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers | http://www.toprankblog.com

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How can Visual Search Change SEO for E-Commerce?

How can Visual Search Change SEO for E-Commerce? written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The visuals of a website attract more users than a mere text. A web page that is facilitated with images, videos and infographic earn 94% more views than the one having a bulk of the textual content. The more the people are engaged in your eCommerce business, the more they place orders, and the more you earn.

The human minds are programmed to process visuals at a speed of 60,000 times higher than the text. We forget the facts and figures, but remember a lot of visual details. Due to the facts, the eCommerce websites are recommended to ensure the display of visual content to improve the SEO and website usability.

According to 3M &Zabisco research, 90% of information that enters the brain is visual. While it is also more digestive compared to text, customers are found to respond faster to it.

How can Visual Search Change SEO for E-Commerce?

The search engine optimization is all about facilitating the end user with the best possible search results. Visual search is also a step forward in creating ease and comfort for the users to search products by images.

The problem with conventional search tools

Usually, a user is required to remember the name or any detail of the product he searches online or has the communication skills to describe it in a word or two. If he fails to do so, the search engine or your eCommerce website may bring forth irrelevant results.

The visual search comes to the rescue when a user is ignorant about the brand, style, design, make or model of his favorite item, but has an image to search for. He feeds an eCommerce website with that image and gets a list of matching products to his requirements.

Visual search is powered by pixel-by-pixel comparison technology to help the end users get easy access to all the products that match their provided images, videos, logos, etc.

Neiman Marcus is the reaping the benefits of visual search tech

Neiman Marcus, a famous fashion clothing brand, is following the trend to maximize users’ comfort in finding products of a similar style and design. They have switched their focus recently to the visual search technology that is allowing users upload a photo and get a complete suggestion list of the products that matches the color and design.

How can Visual Search Change SEO for E-Commerce?

How a visual search option improves SEO?

Visuals have an enticingly amazing presence on your eCommerce website. The search engine frequently indexes the images and videos from your website, which elevates website rankings according to its quality and usefulness.

In terms of off-site SEO, images and infographics can play a vital role in maximizing your business reach through social media platforms that are famous for visuals. For example, Pinterest is a prominent platform to exhibit your products where people search for images. Instagram is also emerging with higher potential to business promotions.

While considering the on-site SEO factors, visual search is a brilliant tool to improve the usability and user experience of an eCommerce website. Following are some of the different ways a visual search can contribute towards the user and SEO-friendliness of your website.

Remove multiple steps in finding products

A conventional eCommerce website requires the users to select between different categories and browse through the entire list of products to find the one they need. This procedure of carrying a user through multiple steps towards a product search is a hectic job and the core reason for a decline in conversions.

The visual search removes the hassle of going through a typical method. A user is required to input an image and find matching search results. The removal of additional steps turns out to be more user-friendly.

It is a valuable tool for users who visit your online store for a specific product. They might not be interested in digging your website deep as they are concerned about their required store items.

Practically speaking, a checkout process that includes multiple steps right from the product search is prone to a higher cart abandonment rate. For example, the user experience starts with searching for a product. If the beginning is time-consuming and stressful, what do you expect the users to proceed to the checkout page?

Improve the on-site search experience

There are loads of search filters to have on your web store for assisting users in easily finding their required products. For example, you can allow users to search a product by its brand or manufacturer, or by an attribute. It requires the users either to know the brand or an attribute of the product they are looking for.

The visual search has no such criteria. The users are no longer required to know the product name or anything related to it, but an image. They can get a snap of a product they like the most with built-in cameras in cell phone and any other mobile device. And, upload it on your website to have the results of similar products. It is that much simple.

The SEO is all about improving the shopping experience for your targeted community. Having a high quality and well-optimized images on product pages of your website does not only communicate a better picture to the search engine algorithm, but also to the end users.

How an improved on-site search benefits your website?

  • It enhances the user experience and achieves customer satisfaction
  • It narrows down the search and increase conversions
  • The users save a bunch of time in getting to a landing page
  • It improves your website exit percentage
  • Expose more products in suggesting similar searches

Skip the dead ends

The dead end occurs when the user reaches a category page and do not find the required items. In a conventional eCommerce structure, a user enters a query similar to a product or clicks a brand logo to find quality products. This may provide a list of products, but not the relevant ones. And, the user may leave your website.

With a visual search, the users find a lot of results that may not exactly match the one they are looking for, but quite similar to those. It eliminates the dead end with the message, “Sorry! Your search didn’t match any results.”

It is quite relieving for the end users to have a list of similar products then finding nothing in your store. They are engaged in their findings and consider buying it on the spot or save it for later. It brings you qualified leads, which are expected to convert sooner or later.

For instance, a consumer needs Nike Joggers that his peer was wearing in the morning walk and captured it through his cell phone. He might be sure about his manufacturer, but not about its design.

The conventional method is that he will visit your store and browse different subcategories in men’s shoes. He may be fed up for the search difficulty of your website and may switch to another tab to find the same somewhere else.

But, by allowing him to try a visual search, you can facilitate his search in finding the exact or similar product on your store. And, there, you get a qualified lead.

How to implement visual search technology into your website?

The addition of a feature or functionality requires the webmaster to write a code or install a plugin among the available ones. Every eCommerce platform has a range of tools for adding a technology, whereas you can select from the third part suppliers as well. Some of the worth considering options include Visenze, Slyce, and Cortexica.

Any feature is added to an eCommerce website with the intention to increases the conversion. The incorporation of visual search does not assure higher conversions, as a feature is not necessarily fruitful for everyone. So, you need to thoroughly measure the conversion rate, cart abandonments, page views and page exits. It will help you study the impact of a visual search so that you can take precautionary measures if the results are not satisfactory.

Final Thoughts

The search engine optimization has drastically changed with the increased internet population. Today, the websites are not ranked on the basis of their higher number of poor backlinking strategies, but the way it is helping the users to solve their problems.

The addition of visual search to an eCommerce help the users easily find products of their choice. It is assisting them to visit the landing pages they need and save time in roaming around the websites. In this post, different ways are discussed to help you understand the significance of visual search for an eCommerce website.


About the Author

Asad Ali is a digital marketing strategist having experience of more than 7 years. Currently, he is heading the marketing team at Go-Gulf Saudi Arabia – a custom web design company. His vast exposure to SEO, design optimization, boosting conversions and targeting relevant customers makes him an industry expert.

Digital Marketing News: Generational Social Media, QR Code Comeback and Bing’s Chatbots

Social Media Use by Generation [Infographic]
Preferences vary by generation – this certainly isn’t a well kept secret in the marketing world. So how do you create a message, and choose a medium, that will resonate with your target audience? This infographic shares some ideas. MarketingProfs

Pinterest’s object-recognizing Lens feature now scans QR codes, too
QR codes, like the common cold, never seem to really go away. Pinterest announced this week that their Lens feature will now allow users to scan QR codes that lead to web pages within the Pinterest app, eliminating the need to download a special app to do so. MarketingLand

Bing to Integrate Chatbots into Search Results
Bing is rumored to be integrating chatbots into their search results, and are expected to be announcing this addition at their annual Development conference this week. Developers will be able to use Bing’s bot framework to create their own bots, and will also work via Skype. Search Engine Journal

New Study Reveals How the Expectations of Gen Z ‘Are Reshaping Brand Experiences’
A new study from American Express and Forrester examined the brand expectations of Generation Z and found that Gen Y and Gen Z share similar brand expectations in some respects and both value digital experiences. However, they did find that Gen Z was more likely to want to chat with customer service reps over the phone, and are more likely to drop brands for slow responses in online chats. AdWeek

You Can Now Upload Instagram Posts from Outside of the App Itself
Social Media Today reports: “When you go to instagram.com on your mobile device, you can upload an image direct, without having to open the app. At present, it’s still not possible to upload images from the desktop version of the site, but this new functionality may bring that a step closer.” Social Media Today

YouTube User Stats From Brandcast 2017: 3 Trends in Video Viewing Behavior
YouTube has released user stats from Brandcast 2017, showing trends in video viewing behavior. For example, there are 75% more channels with more than 1 million subscribers than last year, and watch time of TV channels on YouTube has grown by 50% year-over-year. Think by Google

The State of Voice in Five Charts
eMarketer released new research that showed that Amazon has cornered 70^=% of the voice assistant market with the Echo Dot. Millennials are driving 23.3% voice assistant use, followed by 13.4% of Generation X. Digiday

Limitless Snaps
Snapchat has announced: “Today we’re making a pretty big change to the way you create and send Snaps. We’re reorganizing the layout of our creative tools, adding a Magic Eraser (you’ll find this under the Scissor tool), and adding a new setting to the timer: infinity!” Snapchat

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! Have something to share? Tweet us @toprank or leave a note in the comments.

The post Digital Marketing News: Generational Social Media, QR Code Comeback and Bing’s Chatbots appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Transcript of Is Your Comfort Zone Holding You Back

Transcript of Is Your Comfort Zone Holding You Back written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Transcript provided by Verbatim Transcription Services

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Transcript

John: Sure, your comfort zone sounds like a nice, warm cozy place, doesn’t it? But is it holding you back? We’re going to talk to Andy Molinsky, author of Reach on this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

John: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by Thrive Leads. This is a tool that we use on the Duct Tape Marketing website thoroughly for content upgrades, for slide-in boxes. Actually, we even use the visual editor for all the pages and landing pages that we design. Go check it out at DuctTapeMarketing.com. We’ll have a special link in the show notes for today, and check it out.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Andy Molinsky. He is a professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School, and he’s also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today called Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence. Andy, thanks for joining.

Andy Molinsky: Thanks for having me.

John: I just want you to know that for the first time ever, I’m doing this podcast not wearing pants and I’m very comfortable.

Andy Molinsky: Hey, that makes two of us.

John: I thought I’d step outside of my comfort zone a little bit and really get into this thing. For all listeners, I’m just kidding.

Andy Molinsky: Me too.

John: Let’s start with this idea of facing your fear and stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s kind of a popular topic these days, maybe it has been for a long time. It seems like it is popular right now. Why is this such an important thing?

Andy Molinsky: I think a lot of us realize that our fears, and our worries and anxieties hold us back from reaching our true potential. I think that’s where it all comes down to; it’s sort of being our best self, reaching our true potential. And I think everyone is looking for that key to unlock it, and there’s a lot out there. I wrote the book about stepping outside your comfort zone, but it’s not that I don’t struggle as well. I certainly do and I too was looking out there at the internet, and all the memes that you find on Google Images bout stepping outside your comfort zone, just check a leap, and so on and so forth, and I also wasn’t satisfied. That’s why I wanted to really dive into it from a research perspective.

John: You know, I’ll be the first to admit. The word ‘comfortable’ sounds okay to me. It sounds pretty nice and it doesn’t sound like a negative thing. Why do we make it such a negative thing?

Andy Molinsky: I don’t think it is a negative thing. I think that’s a misnomer. I think that when you look online and you see people saying, “Life only begins at the edge of your comfort zone and nothing ever good happened in your comfort zone.” I think that’s not true. I mean, I think the reality is that we have situations in our lives, times in our lives, when it’s perfectly appropriate, acceptable, and actually pretty wise to stay right in your comfort zone.

But I think there are other situations and times that for a lot of us, it would be nice to be able to have that courage or confidence to step outside our comfort zone. Those are the situations that I’m focused on.

John: What do you think keeps people there? I certainly know as I get older, there are times when my morning routine gets messed up or something and I’m uncomfortable. What do you think keeps people in that area we call the comfort zone?

Andy Molinsky: I should be clear that the topics that I’m talking about, these are sort of like tasks, situations at work where – like speaking up, being assertive, public speaking, making small talk, if you’re comfortable with participating in a meeting, these kinds of things. And I think what I found, and I did a lot of research on this topic, other’s research but also my own. I went off and spoke with managers, executives, doctors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, rabbis, priests, goat farmers, you name it.

I found there were five main things that kept us in our comfort zone. I call them sort of like psychological roadblocks. The first one is authenticity, the idea that it feels really inauthentic to me to be acting in this way, and that pulls me right back into my comfort zone. The second one is likability, the sort of rational or irrational fear people will hate me if I act in this new way. Incompetence, the fear that I’ll look like a fool or I’ll feel like a fool. Resentment, some people deeply resent having to step outside their comfort zone in a particular situation. And morality… This doesn’t happen for everybody, but I certainly found enough cases where people felt stepping outside their comfort zone was a bit of an ethical wall.

It doesn’t mean that every single situation you encounter, that each of these roadblocks are going to pop up. But even one of them can make it hard and can make you retreat right back into the comfort zone.

John: Let’s take an example of somebody… Because you know, these are real, I think. Let’s say I have this new sales job and I’m supposed to go meet people at the industry networking event, but that’s not really my thing but I’m going to go, and I’m going to be somebody I am not because that’s how I think I’ll get ahead. I mean, that drives right into the authenticity, doesn’t it?

Andy Molinsky: No question. I mean, it could be a lot of them right there. Inauthentic, this is not me. And by the way, sales is funny. I found so many people struggle with sales, from small business owners, to entrepreneurs who are really product people and then all of a sudden realize, “Oh my gosh, to build a business, I have to actually go sell stuff.” So, you got authenticity, ‘this doesn’t feel like me’; likability, ‘I’m going to look like a jerk.’ I’m imposing on them to ask them to buy something; incompetence, the feeling that I look like a fool doing this. I’m bumbling. I have no idea how to do it, the imposter syndrome – which I think really is the … I think the imposter syndrome is kind of the combination of authenticity and competence.

I think that’s a really good example. I think a lot of people feel kind of sleazy or slimy selling something.

John: Yeah, I mean just the fact that it… I mean, typing ‘I hate selling’ into Google and you’ll find 60 million entries in there. And I think that’s what really people are really saying, is it’s not that I hate selling it, it’s that I hate what I think selling is.

Andy Molinsky: And I hate what I feel like when I’m selling, and I hate what I think other people think of me as when I sell.

John: I guess we’ve already determined though that in order to survive in life, there’s a lot of selling that has to go on in some fashion. How do you start making it authentic? I mean, yes, okay, I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone. It’s not something that I really like doing, but could I do it in a way that was authentic?

Andy Molinsky: Yes. What I found is whether it’s selling, whether it’s making small talk, public speaking, no matter what it is, I found that there were essentially three key tips that people seem to use across all these professions in my research. And also, when I then sort of reflect on my own experiences too.

The first is conviction. What conviction is, is figuring out why the pain is worth the gain for you. Why is it worth it to have some sort of deep sense of purpose, that there is a reason that I’m doing this, and I really value this? For example, it could be a professional reason, that I’ve always wanted to start my own company. I’ve always dreamed to be an entrepreneur, and if selling is part of it, god darn it, I’m going to go sell.

It might also be a personal reason. I know for me personally, I’ve got kids. I have a 10 and a 12 year old. And for me often, conviction when I’m stepping outside my comfort zone comes down to like, you know, I’m telling my kids they need to step up and be confident, and step outside their comfort zones and situations. How about Dad? I got to step up too. That’s the kind of dad I want to be.

So for me, it’s very personal often. But the point is that wherever it comes from, you have to find your source of conviction. That was number one. Number two was customization. Now, I think this is probably the most interesting thing I’ve found, the most surprising thing I found on my research. This is really cool. You can take pretty much any situation. You can put your personal spin on it. You can customize it.

It’s sort of like you’re buying a pair of pants at the store and going to the tailor to kind of tweak it here or there. That’s the analogy I like to use, because that’s what you can do with situations. Sometimes it’s body language, sometimes it’s bringing a prop, sometimes it’s the way you script something. It could be a lot of things. So with your example of selling, for instance, maybe you decide that for you, what’s critical is telling a personal story. Maybe you only decide to sell stuff that you yourself really love and can tell a personal story about. Maybe you script out the first few words. Maybe you wear a lucky ring that no one else knows is lucky but you know is lucky. Maybe there’s a time of day that works for you. Maybe having a buddy with you makes more sense.

Whatever it is, it’s very personal, but you can often find ways to tweak your situation just a little bit so that it feels just that little bit more comfortable for you. So you’ve got conviction, you’ve got customization; and the last one is clarity. That’s pretty simple. I found a lot of people struggle stepping outside their comfort zone because they do what psychologists call catastrophizing. They think of the worst possible scenario.

I mean, it’s natural when we’re afraid of something. But what I found is that the people who are most successful were able to sort of find the middle ground, that psychological middle ground, “I’m not going to fall flat on my face. I won’t feel like an utter disaster. It’s not going to be completely awful. It also probably won’t be unbelievably great either. It’ll probably be somewhere in the middle. I’ll slip a little bit but I might surprise myself” and so on and so forth.

But sort of claiming that sort of more realistic middle ground and having and anchor to anchor yourself there I found was also really key when stepping outside your comfort zone.

John: What are some tips that you give to people as you consult, coach, advice on taking some of these steps? For example, stepping outside your comfort zone to give your first live presentation ever to that 10 million dollar client that you have to win might not be the first place for you to do that, right? I mean, are there some tips for that?

Andy Molinsky: Yes, I was just going to say that as you were describing that example. I was going to say “Don’t start there!”, right? Take steps. Make a plan. Let’s say you are a couch potato like me and you want to go run a 10K. You’re not going to go off the couch and run that 10K. You’re probably going to pull a muscle and you’ll probably make about 50 yards outside your house. You want to give yourself a reasonable training schedule.

Confidence is like a muscle. You need to build it. And so, you need to practice in what I call just-right type of situations. Right where you are at this point in time, but stretch a little bit. And so, you find that if you can create those opportunities for yourself and do that over time and come up with a plan, you’ll get to that point where you’ll have to do that ultimate presentation.

But I wouldn’t start out there.

John: Using your running analogy, anybody training for a marathon or something, you’ll add a mile to your long run every week or something as you’re trying to ramp up. You don’t just go out there and see how far you can run one day.

Andy Molinsky: Exactly.

John: Let’s catastrophize for a little while. When you did some of your interviews, did you find any instances or at least stories where people came back and said, “You know what? I did push out of my comfort zone and I lost my job.”

Andy Molinsky: Good question. No, but I’d have to imagine that probably exists. I certainly found cases of failure, but most of the cases of failure that I’ve found were people who underestimated the challenges of stepping outside their comfort zone and sort of didn’t do this work in preparing, understanding what their pain points were, figuring out ways to address them, applying different tools as techniques as we’re talking about, starting out slow, and so on and so forth.

When people just jumped in, like just got off the couch and started to run six miles, that’s where I found the problems.

John: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign. This is really my new go-to CRM, ESP, marketing automation, really low cost. Any size business can get into it. Starting at like 19 bucks a month, you can keep track of your clients, you can see who is visiting your website, you can follow up based on behavior. Check out ActiveCampaign. There will be a link in the show notes, but it is DuctTape.me/DTMActive.

In organizations, stepping out of your comfort zone is not always rewarded. It’s not always seen as a positive. I mean, where does this have to come from inside of organizations that you’ve worked with?

Andy Molinsky: It’s interesting. It’s a good point. I think you’re either going to get a corporate culture, an organizational culture that is resistant to the idea, that is like neutral or kind of isn’t particularly supportive or unsupportive, or is actually particularly supportive. I think you are probably going to be able to find… You could probably think right now and you could pinpoint your organization somewhere on that continuum.

I found some organizations… I’ve been actually surprised at the amount of organizations that I’ve encountered where this is almost baked in. This is really critical because if you think about it, the amount of money, and time, and effort it takes to recruit the very best people to your organization, you want to be able to keep them and develop them. And especially if you’re in a relatively fast-moving field, these people, your human resources are going to have to adapt. You’re going to have to adapt. Their job titles might completely…

You might have titles at the organization in two years that don’t actually exist right now. And so for that reason, helping people learn to step outside their comfort zone is a critical asset. I know a lot of companies are interested in having their high potentials, the people they designate as high potentials develop these qualities, but I personally also think it is a critical element for people even who aren’t sort of tapped as the so-called high potentials.

John: What role does society play in molding people, or even let’s start at the beginning, I mean your parents?

Andy Molinsky: Yeah. I think that’s where I start a lot. As I mentioned, I have kids. I think about this a lot. I think it’s important to really know and understand your children because that will get a finger on the pulse of where they are right now, what kinds of challenges they are capable of pursuing.

Like you know, if you just sort of have a default view as a parent, “Just go suck it up. You just have to go suck it up, and push them out of the nest.” That might work for some kids, but it might actually deeply backfire for others. I think it is really critical to understand your kids and to then help them find opportunities and circumstances where they can step outside their comfort zone, develop that confidence, and then maybe encounter an even larger challenge.

But kids obviously, as anyone listening who has kids knows, they all develop at very different paces, they all have very different backgrounds, personalities, and so on. That’s why I think really knowing your kid is so key.

John: Throughout the process of researching and writing this book, and the interviews that you did, are there one or two examples of somebody who did something that for them was outside their comfort zone and there was kind of like a favorite whim?

Andy Molinsky: One of the stories that resonates with me, and that I cover throughout the book actually, is a story of this woman named Annie Harris and she worked for an investment firm. Her job was to go make sales, as we were talking about earlier, with potential high net-worth clients or really rich people; get them to invest their money in their business.

She was really doing well. She was gaining confidence, but it turned out that in order for her to make these sales, it was the protocol at the company that they had to bring along a portfolio manager on these meetings. It was her and then the portfolio manager. It turned out this portfolio manager was a total jerk. I mean, I don’t know if this is a PG podcast, but you know, insert word that’s worse than jerk and you get what I’m saying. She would tell him beforehand that the client really cared about tax and tax issues. And then during the meeting, he would completely dismiss tax and tax issues and so on.

She was livid. She was embarrassed. She was ashamed. She was frustrated. She was angry but she could not get herself to confront him. She was a very unassertive person. She was a people-pleaser. She simply couldn’t do it at least at first. Over time eventually, she was able to confront him, but I thought that was just a great story, how she went from being completely passive and undermined by this jerk, to the point where she walked into his office, opened the door without asking, slammed the door without asking, walked over to his desk and started to talk to him and tell him that he had to stop.

John: And the result?

Andy Molinsky: The result was that not only did he stop, but she also gained confidence. She realized, “Whoa, I actually could be more assertive than I thought I could!” That actually then transferred to some other relationships she had. She was managing a guy who was working remotely and she always had wanted to talk to him about the fact that she didn’t think he was being very efficient with his remote work, and so on, and she was able to finally talk to him. And so, it really reverberated across all different aspects of her work life, but that was sort of the tipping point for her to get up that courage to be able to step outside her comfort zone. It worked well.

John: That leads me very well into my last thought. A lot of this getting outside your comfort zone is to maybe develop some new behavior, some new habits that are seen as positive. Anything that you have found that is kind of key to making those new habits stick?

Andy Molinsky: Yeah. The stuff that we talked about before, having a practice routine, starting small and building up, having a perspective, I would call it a learning perspective. And I think a lot of us out there who were perfectionists tend to see things through the performance lens, like “I screwed up”, or “I’m great”, or “I did well”, or “I didn’t do well”, as opposed to learning, where we’re actually seeing mistakes as data for how we can improve next time. We might think of our business processes like that but we don’t cut ourselves the same slack. I think that’s really key to be able to do that.

And then often times, I think it’s very useful to have some form of a mentor type. Now, I don’t want to say mentor because sometimes it’s hard to find just the right mentor; but someone, a coach, a mentor, a spouse, a good friend – someone that can help nudge you outside your comfort zone, someone you can talk to about it, and so on and so forth, I think that’s also key.

John: Maybe even a person to help you recognize it. That’s probably [INAUDIBLE 00:19:59], right?

Andy Molinsky: Absolutely, to so to speak call you on it.

John: And I know there are some other tools that go on with [INAUDIBLE 00:20:07] tell people where obviously the books available everywhere, but you want to tell people where they can find out more about you and your work?

Andy Molinsky: Yes, definitely. Come visit my website. I’d love to connect with readers and anyone interested in these topics. My website is www.AndyMolinsky.com. That’s spelled A-N-D-Y, M-O-L-I-N-S-K-Y dot com. I’m on LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter, and so on, and I’d love to hear from you.

John: Awesome. Talking with Andy Molinsky, author of Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence. Andy, thanks for joining me and hopefully we’ll bump into you out there on the road.

Andy Molinsky: Sounds great, thanks for having me.

[OUTRO]

 

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