Category: Events

Helping Small Businesses Manage Marketing in the Digital Age

The November 2015 AZIMA event invited Cory Elliot, VP of research at Borrell Associates, to share some useful and interesting research about small- to medium-sized-business owners and their perceptions of current marketing trends. For those who missed his presentation, here’s a recap with all the highlights.

Borrell Associates conducted a survey among SMB owners at 110 of its partnering entities in Q1 of 2015. This survey asked about spending on marketing now and in the future, as well as which tactics these business owners were most interested in using. The results pointed to a few common trends and challenges.

Overall Trends

According to the research, it seems SMB owners are overwhelmed by the number of marketing channels and options available in today’s landscape. They are interested in digital tactics, and there seems to be an increase in focus and spending on online marketing and advertising. In fact, digital ad purchasing exceeded print in quarter 1 of 2015, and the research suggests digital media will account for half of all local marketing efforts in 2016. Online and mobile tactics are also predicted to have the greatest increase in interest, while directories and local newspapers are expected to see the biggest decrease.

Based on the survey, it seems the hottest digital marketing opportunities for SMBs might not be ads. While search and social ad use are on the rise, small businesses are spending the most of their digital budgets on the following services (in order):

  1. Website design/hosting
  2. Social network support
  3. Lead generation programs
  4. Graphic design services
  5. Event marketing

Segment Trends

While many SMBs are increasing spending for online and digital tactics, some industries are doing more so than others. According to the survey, morticians, pet stores and government entities spend the very least on digital marketing. On the contrary, the automotive industry is quickly taking advantage of digital channels, as 66 percent of auto marketing budgets have been spent online and on mobile so far in 2015. Health care businesses are also beginning to spend more on digital marketing this year, with additional planned budget increases in the near future.

SMB Challenges

By far the greatest challenge noted by those surveyed was a lack of time. With so many options and how quickly channels change, staying on top of all of a small business’s digital assets is hard to do. Additional challenges included keeping up with social media trends and technology, as well as measuring marketing efforts.

Working with SMBs

To make this and other challenges easier to manage, Elliot suggests digital agencies and media companies consider the following when partnering with SMBs:

  • Establish ROI parameters first
  • Create “social” campaigns
  • Invest in social media management capabilities
  • Respect the SMB owner’s time and budget
  • Read up on beacons (fast – it’s the next big thing)

The insights provided by Elliot’s research provide marketers a better understanding of the perceptions the owners of small- to medium-sized businesses might have. We thank Cory Elliot for sharing his research with AZIMA and giving an interesting and valuable presentation.

A special thanks to Jessica Ropolo for her expert help with writing this post. 

Is SEO Dead? Danny Sullivan Reports on the State of Search

Danny Sullivan- AZIMA SEMPOAZ event Scottsdale

Once upon a time search engine optimization (SEO) wasn’t even a term and the main search-related challenge for a web developer to reach the top spot was simply wording websites with the desired keyword phrases and maybe sneaking some colored text on a matching colored background. However, as internet growth surged and new search engines flooded the landscape, being search savvy became a thing and discussions about being at the top of the search results became a brass-ring challenge.

Inbound Marketing – What it brings “IN”

Dan Tyre from Hubspot

Some 75 guests attended AZIMA’s October program where they learned about the role of inbound marketing and the latest trends in the segment. Dan Tyre, who is a founding team member at Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, shared his insights into the marketing trends. He started with trends in days of yore, and pointed out how the average customer considered the salesman as “He-Who-Knows-It-All” and was the go-to person for shopping insights.

Online Video – Engaging Ads Are Paying Off

As our lives get more entwined with digital and related games, and services and apps come out at a rate greater than anyone could possibly keep up, the ability to reach audiences is becoming increasingly fractured. In order to engage mass audiences and compensate for this fracture, marketers seek many slices of many pies to meet their numbers.

However, there is one channel that is massive and growing at a phenomenal rate: online video. In the U.S. alone, there are 190,000,000 unique people who watch online video each month. The key word there is ‘unique’. That represents 77{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} of the adults in the U.S. These 244,860,000 (that’s million) people watch 35,000,000,000 (that’s billion) video ads.

This poses a critical question: how do marketers capitalize on this massive, engaged and growing audience?

Recap of August Program: Second Screen Experience

AZIMA Second Screen Panel Event

It’s probably quick to recall countless moments of friends, family and colleagues swiping away on their phones as a meeting drags on or a TV show plays. Our adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to surge and as we integrate their use deeper into everyday activities such as watching TV, we inadvertently created a phenomena and marketing opportunity referred to as the second screen.

July’s Guest Speaker Joe Griffin Says The Future of Content Marketing is Bright

As content marketing rapidly evolves, the key to businesses successfully adopting it into their strategy is to know where it’s heading. Joe Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Phoenix-based iAcquire and ClearVoice,shared his knowledge and vision of the future of content marketing with a presentation to more than 120 guests on July 17th at Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s (AZIMA) monthly program.

While highlighting the fall of traditional content channels and sharing the ingredients of the “brave new world” of content marketing, Joe started his presentation by clarifying the shift from the old to new.

“The future of content marketing is here,” he said. “The general collapse of big journalism, the shift in consumerism over the last four years, adoption and usage of smartphones and smart tvs, and big data is changing the marketing landscape forever.”

Joe outlined the future with interesting statistics by illustrating some of the trends that determine the future of content. First he shared these startling mobile, social and search figures:

  • Smartphone ownership skyrocketed from 63 million in 2010 to 166 million in 2014
  • Smartphone usage followed the same path with an average use time/day of 24 minutes in 2010 to 2 hours and 51 minutes in 2014
  • The number of daily searches went from 3.6 billion/day in 2010 to almost 6 billion in 2014
  • In 2010, 62{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} of the population was on social media and in 2014 the number still climbed to 72{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903}

“The mobile revolution is the most fundamental change in the way we work,” Joe said.“The process of the purchase funnel is at the core of any content strategy.” He further explained this point with a graph that showed how mobile, search and social create myriad influences a buyer now considers on the path to purchase.

The presentation then highlighted the dramatic fall of traditional content producers and the shift to new publishers of content.

  • Newspapers newsroom workforce dropped from about 56,000 employees in 2006 to 38,000 in 2012
  • Native digital news organizations grow their staff
    • Vice: 1,100 employees
    • Huffington Post: 575 employees
    • Politico: 185 employees

Joe continued with what he calls the “Content Conundrum” by sharing a slide labeled “The Deluge of Crap.” As brands and many others become publishers of content the amount of quality content lessens. As search engines like Google and its Panda update attempt to battle this deluge, strategic content marketers have an opportunity to shine. “The winners in the post-deluge era will be the companies that build something precious,” Joe said, coining a quote from Velocity Partners.

After explaining the past and current content atmosphere, Joe shared the future of content marketing. “Big data, content targeting, native advertising, retargeting, off-line convergence and influencers are changing the game,” he said.

His presentation continued to explain in greater detail these future content marketing elements culminating with iAcquire’s unique ClearVoice tool to help find and connect with targeted influencers.

To learn more about what caused these fundamental changes to content and elements of the future of content marketing, check out Joe’s presentation here:

Be sure to join us on Thurs., Aug. 21 for our next program, “Is the Second Screen Experience Overrated?” Hosted in conjunction with Ad2 Phoenix, this unique program takes place at Macayo’s Restaurant in Phoenix and features a panel of experts who will discuss this popular topic.

We encourage you to learn more about AZIMA and contact one of our board members with any questions!

Join AZIMA in Celebrating Social Media Day on June 28 and Save on Registration!

social-media-day

 

There’s a lot of buzz lately about this year’s Social Media Day in Phoenix!

There’s a new format, a new venue, and a great roster of speakers lining up for the evening event which takes place on Sat., June 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Valley social media enthusiasts, small business owners, media, marketing professionals and others will all benefit from educational content sessions and networking! AZIMA will be there and you can save $6 using our special promo code: AZIMA when you register today!

Social Media DaySocial Media Day was created by social media giant Mashable in 2010 to celebrate the digital revolution, and has grown tremendously since its inception. Today, Social Media Day (#SMDay) has transformed into a worldwide celebration that is recognized by more than 100 countries, six continents and 17 U.S. cities.

#SMDAYPHX is now being managed and coordinated by MoniQue Shaldjian, owner of QtheBrand, a Phoenix-based digital marketing company specializing in social media, SEO, web development and branding.

Enjoy light appetizers and desserts, signature cocktails, cash bar, photo booth, as well as the Social Media Day celebration! Purchase your raffle tickets for a chance to win over $3,000 in prizes from local businesses!  Proceeds from the raffle will ensure continued social media education for the Phoenix community.

Schedule: 

6-6:30pm Registration (Lobby/Goldwater)

Content Sessions: (Goldwater)

6:30pm Social Media and The Legal Aspects Behind Using Intellectual Property

6:55pm Advertising on Social Media

7:15pm Social Media Fails (panel)

8-10pm Hors d’oeuvres, desserts, cocktails, and celebration. (5th Floor Terrace)

See you there!