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From Underdogs to Top Dogs – Celebrating Champions

From Underdogs to Top Dogs – Celebrating Champions

Cajam Marketing helps underdog small businesses become top dogs

Philly! Philly! In the far reaches of South Central New Jersey, the Philadelphia Eagles fans at Cajam Marketing are celebrating the team’s first Super Bowl victory.  DVRs are set for the victory parade today, and a Cajammer or two may take a longer than usual lunch break to catch a few minutes of the parade on TV.Minutes after the final whistle blew on Super Bowl Sunday and the Philadelphia area erupted into a huge street party, Cajam Marketing President Kathy Gould texted our team about the victorious Eagles and the parallels to our business model. Even during a Super Bowl celebration, Kathy’s marketing wheels are turning.

Underdogs Become Top Dogs

Who doesn’t like a good underdog victory story?  As e-commerce marketers, we root for the little guys and gals every day as they go up against the mighty Goliath, Amazon.com. Amazon has transformed the online marketplace faster than most could have imagined. One company, Amazon, grabbed an estimated 50% of all 2017 holiday retail sales.

We’ve seen e-retailers struggle in the wake of Amazon, but we’ve also seen some businesses evolve and strengthen their niche markets and bottom lines. In a small organization, it’s easier to be nimble, innovative and stealth. Just like the awe-inspiring “Philly Special” trick play, the small companies can catch the bigger companies by surprise.  The right marketing capitalizes on a small company’s strengths and tells a victory story.

“…A Team Can Make a Miracle”

In his victory speech, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson celebrates his team with his words, “An individual can make a difference, but a team makes a miracle.” This sentiment especially resonates with Cajam Marketing’s Kathy Gould. “At Cajam, we celebrate the team every day. At bigger agencies, frequent staff changes and turnover can disrupt the continuity and growth of an account. At Cajam Marketing, we are proud of our team’s tenure. Linda and I have over 50 years of combined experience. Our team members have all worked with us for more than a decade. When you work with Cajam Marketing, you get the stability of a real team — each of our team members is an expert in his/her speciality area, and we come together as a brain trust for your business,” says Gould.

Never Give Up

Even New England Patriots fans have been touched by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ personal journey to victory. In his post-game speech, Foles recounts how he almost quit. With the support of his teammates, and a lot of hard work and dedication, a second string quarterback triumphs in the biggest game of his career.  His story is inspiring on and off the field.  This message is especially important for small business owners. Smaller companies can feel overwhelmed, but with the right team around you and steadfast faith that hard work will be rewarded, the little guys and gals can triumph too.

Photo credit: This top dog has waited a long time to wear this Super Bowl championship hat. Thanks to Cajam Marketing friend Beth for sharing this photo with us. SaveSave

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Back to Basics: The Human Connection in Digital Marketing

Back to Basics: The Human Connection in Digital Marketing

The Human Touch in Digital Marketing

At the risk of over-sharing, here’s a tidbit about Cajam Marketing: our marketing team often talks in song lyrics, and just about any topic can inspire a tune. A recent discussion involving lots of charts and acronyms like ROI and AOV called to mind Bruce Springsteen’s “Human Touch,” “…just a little of that human touch…” (Cajam Jersey girls give extra points for Springsteen lyrics), as well as Rick Springfield’s “we all need the human touch…” For marketers, a brief musical flashback to a pre-digital era is a good reminder of the timeless quest for human connection.

In data-driven digital advertising, there’s a tendency to lose touch with the human side of marketing while sorting through numbers. We tally “conversions,” an impersonal term for a very human moment. A real live person needs something, looks for it and finds it on your website. Using emotions like trust and reasoning, this person decides you have the best solution, enters a payment method and clicks the order button.

Online retailers, in the absence of face-to-face interaction with shoppers, need to work a little harder to build a relationship with a website visitor. With a combination of song titles and marketing wisdom, here are a few tips to add the all-important human touch to the digital shopping experience.

Make Me Feel Your Love

Interpersonal Communication 101: Everyone wants to feel special and loved. (Go ahead, hum whatever song popped in your head about feeling special and being loved).  Keep this basic human need in every step of your marketing plan.

What makes a customer feel special?

  • A handwritten thank you note in the shipping box or post-purchase
  • A free sample
  • A non-salesy phone call, especially to diffuse a potential conflict like a shipping snafu
  • “My account” customer registration to foster a sense of belonging. Amazon Prime membership is a prime example.
Chewy.com postcard

This handwritten postcard from Chewy.com adds a personal touch.

Baby Hold On To Me

Offer a tangible reminder of your brand. Send something your customer can hold onto like a friendly, well-designed postcard or branded swag related to your product line (like the mini pencils IKEA keeps in easy reach in its stores)

Other ideas:

  • A postcard mailer with an offer to a targeted list (we recently received postcards from HelloFresh, Chewy.com and Boxed.com, and guess what? They worked.
  • A printed card with product tips, recipe, etc. included in the box

Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Continue to grow your customer relationship after the first sale. Post-purchase emails with tips related to the product and links to other relevant information like a blog article or idea book can strengthen your bond. Despite the “e” in “email”, an email can evoke a clubby feeling of community. A branded box and creative branded packaging are often retained for future use, keeping your brand name in sight.

99 Problems

Be the solution. In the simplest terms, every person who visits your website is in search of an answer. Helping someone solve a problem builds trust and gratitude. Be sure to focus on the benefits of your products, and pay attention to your visitor’s needs.

The Power of Love

If you show the love through genuine customer service, friendliness and care, your customers will love you back. A happy customer becomes a repeat buyer and a brand champion. Customers who feel connected to your brand will share their love with friends. Encourage customers to post photos and videos featuring your products on social media, write product reviews and spread the love.

Need marketing help? Cajam Marketing offers guidance, planning and creative resources to help you build your brand and grow your business. Contact us.

Celebrating 16 Years: What We Have Learned About Marketing So Far

Celebrating 16 Years: What We Have Learned About Marketing So Far

Cajam Marketing Celebrating 16 YearsAs Cajam Marketing celebrates its 16th year, our team reflects on the evolution of marketing and the lessons we’ve learned. In 2001, Amazon was still known as the largest river in the world. There was also an online book and music store called Amazon, where you could easily search for book titles. Google had just begun selling text-based web advertising. A cell phone was a luxury and used primarily for making work calls – no Blackberry, no iPhone, no QWERTY keyboard, no built in camera in 2001.

In 2001, the more seasoned (a nice way of saying “older”) Cajammers were honing their marketing skills in print advertising and a burgeoning new web based e-commerce application called Yahoo! Store. The younger Cajammers were working on their Destiny’s Child dance moves and instant messaging their friends on the family computer. From Netscape to Snapchat, the marketing know-how we developed in the early days is just as relevant today as technology, connectivity and e-commerce continues to evolve.

Lessons In Print

Our roots in print marketing, direct mail and catalogs prepared us for e-commerce. Well written, descriptive copy, good pictures and an eye-pleasing layout still sell products.  Attention to the details builds trust and can make a small company seem just as big as the larger competitors. “Always check the phone number,” was drilled into our proofreading minds. Make sure your customers can find you.

Making Sense of the Numbers

In the glory days of direct mail marketing, before click-through rate was a thing, coded mailers helped us track the performance of a mailing list. Even with the limited amount of performance markers at the time, we learned data analysis saves money and offers valuable insight on how to get a mailer in the hands of a purchaser. Today, there is a wealth of digital marketing data to dig through, and it takes an experienced data analyst to drill down to attribution, maximize return on investment and find new opportunities.

Be a Shark

In the classic movie “Annie Hall,” (which was considered an “old movie” in 2001), the character Alvie, played by Woody Allen offers some insight, “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” The same observation applies to marketers. Our skill set keeps us agile and ever-evolving at the same pace as digital technology. We’ve been around long enough to see some retailers come and go. The companies who are able to pivot to new platforms and embrace change are the ones with staying power.

Soak It Up

Our team is continuously learning. We study new trends, we master new technology, and we keep our certifications up to date. We are all naturally curious – and a bit studious – and that serves us well. There is always more to learn and discover, and that’s one of our favorite parts of the job.

Stay True

Unlike other digital marketing companies, Cajam Marketing has a very high employee retention rate. We’ve been working with each other – and many of our clients – for years. Our tenured team genuinely cares about the success of our clients, and we often become part of their team.

Put It to the Test

The rapid pace of online growth offers a great chance to discover new marketplaces every day. There was no such thing as social media marketing in 2001, but the human desire to share has been around since the beginning of time. Be open to new platforms and promote your business using the tried and true marketing values that have remained relevant through the decades: authenticity, usefulness and pleasure. Most importantly: measure and test these new initiatives. Will Instagram Stories work for your business? You won’t know unless you try it.

It often pays to be an early adapter on a new channel when the costs are lower or free. One word of caution: don’t rely solely on the numbers from the channel to gauge performance. They may be using different metrics, and a reported “conversion” there often doesn’t translate to a conversion on your site. Track any campaigns with Google Analytics as well for a better snapshot of performance.

The Next 16+ Years

Our retrospective look back at Cajam Marketing gives us a good perspective on the future. When the next Google or Amazon comes along, we’ll be well prepared with our accrued knowledge – putting the customer first, understanding the logic of data analysis as the metrics we measure change, communicating well regardless of the medium, and continually learning – not to mention our 2001 Destiny’s Child dance moves.

Looking for a seasoned marketing team? Contact us.

What Can Google Analytics Tell You About Your Business?

What Can Google Analytics Tell You About Your Business?

Cajam Marketing Data Analytics“Who sang the original version of this song?” “How many times has Duke University made it to the Final Four?” “What is “Googled” the most?” (Siri says “Lamar Odom” was Google’s top trending general search in 2015). Thanks to search tools, personal assistants like Siri, and apps like Shazam, we have the answers to every question imaginable, right at our fingertips.

During the workday, e-commerce store owners, managers and marketers expect this same instant gratification when presented with more pressing questions related to company performance and profitability. Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, you can easily find answers and gain actionable intelligence about your business.

As marketers, we love data. While we understand not everyone shares our passion for patterns, funnels and demographics, we are a bit perplexed when we learn of a website that is not utilizing some sort of data collection. At a minimum, we recommend adding Google Analytics to your website. There are no monthly fees or contracts required. The valuable insights Google Analytics provides about your business are well worth the time it takes to set up the tool properly,

Why Do I Need Google Analytics?

We spend a lot of time asking questions. We’re also quite good at providing answers. Here are some great reasons for adding Google Analytics to your website.

Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Google Analytics will tell you a lot about the visitors to your website – how they got to your website, which pages held their attention, and which pages converted them to a purchaser or subscriber – or made them leave.

Can You Give Me Directions?

Just like the Google Maps app, Google Analytics can tell you which way to go. Before any website redesign or major change, we recommend using the page metrics tools and Google In-page analytics for valuable insight about the page elements that work or need improvement. You can get instant answers to important questions like: What’s the page load time? What’s the page value? What are your top performing pages? What are your lowest performing pages?

Can I Help You Find Something?

Google Analytics funnel reports show how visitors move through your site and give you a clear picture of any stumbling blocks on the conversion path. Google Analytics site search data helps you see if visitors are finding what they are looking for on your website. This data also provides good information about the lingo used by your visitors, so you can adjust your content to include these relevant keywords.

Who Needs All This Data?

You may never log into your Google Analytics account, but you still need Google Analytics or some sort of reportable tracking on your website to collect historical data. One day, you may want to sell your e-commerce business, and potential buyers will want to see your numbers before they make an offer. If you think “less is more” when it comes to data, Google Analytics makes it very easy to create a custom report with only the information you want and automatically email this report to you when you want it.

Will Google Analytics Help Me Get a Raise?

It’s possible. Google Analytics can certainly help you discover new opportunities, increase conversions and grow revenue. Employees (and business owners) who provide quick, accurate, and actionable answers gain the respect of co-workers. Google Analytics also gives you the power to settle workplace disagreements and allocate resources fairly. Which button performs better? Which banner ad gets the most conversions? Take the guesswork out and the office bets off with a simple analysis.

Will Google Analytics Help Me Predict the Future?

Consistent historical data is more accurate than a crystal ball when it comes to anticipating inventory needs, staffing during high traffic times and campaign successes.

Do You Have More Questions?

We are an inquisitive group of marketing professionals, and we relish a good data dig. If you want more information, we’re happy to help. Contact Cajam Marketing.

Holiday Season Ready: What Online Retailers Need to Know About Bing, Gemini and Other Marketing Changes

Holiday Season Ready: What Online Retailers Need to Know About Bing, Gemini and Other Marketing Changes

Commerce Holiday Tips for Paid Search and CSEsAs the countdown to the busy online holiday shopping season begins, online retailers may need to freshen up their paid search and comparison shopping engine strategies. In the ever-changing search engine marketing landscape, we’ve recently seen significant changes in platforms, partnerships and ad products. Here is a short summary of what you need to know as you revamp holiday ad campaigns and allocate ad budgets.

Make the Most of the Microsoft and Yahoo Deal

If you advertise on Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo’s Gemini platforms, you are probably aware of the amended search relationship between these two powerhouses. Before April 2015, Yahoo was contracted to serve Bing ads to all desktop search traffic. With the new deal, Yahoo is only obligated to carry Bing Ads for 51% of its desktop search traffic and has no limits on mobile search traffic. Yahoo can now serve more ads to desktop and mobile devices through its Gemini platform. This could lead to a huge shift in volume from Bing Ads to Gemini.

At this time, the volume being serviced with Gemini is low and concentrated on mobile, but Gemini is gearing up to launch a lot of new features in preparation for increasing volume. Billed by Yahoo as “the first and only unified marketplace for search and native advertising,” Gemini could be a lucrative place for promoted videos, articles, music and other media.

If you only have a Bing account, you’ll have to open a separate Gemini account. At a minimum, merchants should have their top keywords set in Gemini and prepare for the potential of a bigger shift in the future. Merchants should also monitor native ads regularly to ensure these ads are driving qualified traffic.

Gear Up Bing Shopping Ads

While Bing may see less exposure on Yahoo, 51% of the ads on Yahoo desktop search will continue to be Bing ads. As with Google, Bing is also expanding visibility and opportunities with Shopping Ads. These ads on Bing have been slower to grow, but volume with these types of ads is expected to increase. In most areas, Bing is duplicating Google’s features and capabilities.

Transition to New Comparison Shopping Engines

2015 continues to be the year of comparison shopping engine switches, mergers and buyouts. Earlier in the year, Facebook purchased TheFind and ended the service that was previously the last free comparison shopping engine. Connexity recently purchased PriceGrabber and now owns Shopzilla, Bizrate and Become.

PriceGrabber has announced they will stop servicing their platform on  October 31, 2015. To keep your visibility on PriceGrabber you need to have an account with Connexity. This platform will now service PriceGrabber, Shopzilla, Bizrate and Become. Aside from the different platform, there will be new pixels and new bidding requirements. To avoid interruption, start the transition as soon as possible.

 Test Facebook Ads

Although Facebook growth has slowed, it is still the #2 most visited site after Google. When Facebook first launched advertising options, it was often reported that ROI was not strong enough. In the past year, Facebook has considerably enhanced their advertising capabilities. If you haven’t tested Facebook ads recently, it may be worth another look.

Facebook has always had the capability of strong segmentation, but now there are different tactics that can be used to target more precisely, resulting in more sales.

  • Custom audiences – there are now numerous ways you can customize your audience aside from location, gender and age. You can even import an email list to match to Facebook profiles.
  • You can target audiences similar to your customers by interest, demographics and actions on Facebook.
  • Remarket to your website visitors.
  • Target your Instagram followers.
  • Product ads similar to Google are also in beta.

Test Advertising on Other Social Channels

Compared to last year, there are many opportunities to monetize your social following. If you have significant traffic on any other social channels, test the available advertising features. Social channel advertising is constantly evolving. All the major players have been launching new opportunities including buy buttons and advertising options. This includes Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Polyvore.

Determine which social channels are most important to your business. Every industry is different; while Facebook is the most visited social network, your social ad campaigns may lead to more sales on Pinterest or Polyvore.

Free Samples to Affiliates and Bloggers

Affiliates and bloggers can help create buzz and traffic to your site. These influencers can drive conversions through product reviews and endorsements. Keep in mind the Federal Trade Commission requires bloggers and affiliates to reveal if they receive a free sample or gift from the merchant. The advertiser can be fined if the affiliate or blogger does not disclose this. Remind your affiliate partners and influencers to be transparent.

Be In the Know About Amazon and Google Changes

Online marketing is in constant flux, and it’s a challenge for key decision makers to stay on top of all changes and sift through new ad products. The one certainty for holiday planning and beyond is Amazon and Google will continue to influence your business – and your competitors too. Learn more about the end of Amazon product ads and the surge of Google shopping ads.

As the holiday season approaches, there are plenty of evolving and emerging advertising avenues. If you need help determining the best strategies for your business, or finding the time to implement them during your busiest season, Cajam Marketing can help.

Get an audit of your Bing or Connexity marketing with Cajam Marketing’s specially priced service packages. Check out Cajam Marketing’s value-priced services.

E-Commerce Marketing: Google and Mobile Holiday Season Strategies

E-Commerce Marketing: Google and Mobile Holiday Season Strategies

Attributed to taromanaiai / Shutterstock.com

Attributed to taromanaiai / Shutterstock.com

Online merchants have long to-do lists to prepare for the busy make-or-break holiday shopping season. As you prioritize the tasks most likely to bring in conversions, optimizing your Google advertising should be at the top of the list. Here are three important questions that can help you get your Google holiday season strategy in order.

Are your Google Shopping Ads a major contributor to your sales?

Google Shopping ads (previously called product listings) have seen tremendous growth since this product was initiated. Last shopping season, shopping ads started to be a significant part in conversions and sales. Many retailers are now reporting shopping ads have overtaken their text ads. This trend will continue as Google and Bing show more text ads more frequently on all devices.

If you haven’t seen these large increases in your Google shopping ads, it is time to evaluate your strategy and optimizations now as you prepare for the holiday season. Google has significantly increased features and capabilities in the past 18 months. The platform is much more comprehensive, and the days of simply setting up a feed and bidding are over. Take advantage of the new optimizations to increase your shopping sales or improve return on ad spend including:

  • Feed Content
  • Negative Keywords
  • Segmentation by Labels, Product Category, Item IDs
  • Mobile Bidding
  • Promos and Extensions
  • Campaign Priorities
  • Assist Value

Are your marketing tactics reflecting the large shift to mobile?

The mobile takeover has been talked about for years, and now mobile revenue is here to stay. Many ecommerce sites are reporting higher sales from mobile than desktop sales. A user-friendly mobile site is now a “must-have” to compete and capture all revenue opportunities. Given the surge of mobile conversions, marketing tactics have to be adjusted as well.

In April, Google made a big change to its search alogorithm that could affect your site’s SEO. Google now penalizes non-mobile sites by only displaying mobile friendly sites in the search results for queries from a mobile device. You can check to see if your site is mobile-friendly here.

Here are some other considerations to make sure your marketing tactics are aligned for mobile:

  • Are your emails mobile friendly?
  • Are you using mobile paid search ads and sitelinks differently than your desktop ads?
  • Are you testing different landing pages for mobile versus desktop?
  • Are you making bid adjustments differently for mobile?
  • Do you have different banners for retargeting for mobile devices?

Are you utilizing all available extensions in Google?

Most advertisers are aware of sitelinks and how they increase performance. Google continues to add new extensions, each with its own advantages. They improve click-through rate and conversions when implemented successfully. Some of them include:

  • Call out extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions
  • Review extensions
  • App extensions
  • Structured snippets extensions

If you need help keeping your Google marketing campaigns in line with the ever-evolving ad products and changes, Cajam Marketing’s Google® certified paid search specialists can help. Just in time for Q4 and the start of 2016, Cajam Marketing is offering specially priced audits of Google Shopping accounts.

Prepping for Black Friday? Learn how the discontinuation of Amazon product ads and recent comparison shopping engine changes can affect your holiday season online marketing.

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