It's a fierce world out there. 581,173 companies were formed last year in the UK alone. That's a new potential competitor for some other company every minute. In one country. If you're in business and you don't believe there are people out there trying to steal your exact customers - as in the ones who are paying you money right now - then you've already lost. It's happening, and not in the exciting itshappening.gif kind of way.
There's an old adage that says the best defence is a good offence, and when it comes to gaining a competitive edge in digital marketing, these are wise words. For this month's infographic, we outlined How To Kiss Your Competitive Edge Goodbye so that you can put an end to your business's bad habits and advance onto your weaker competition's territory.
There's a practical reason for being introspective and honest about your business's faults (beyond the notion that it's just simply a good idea). You can bet that whatever area your business is lacking, whether it's your conversion rate or social media presence, is a common pain point in your industry. Once you fix the issue, you'll be left staring at a glaring weakness in a bunch of your competitors! That sounds like an opportunity. It's like in sports when your figure out your opponent's weakness or inability to stop a certain move, you attack that weakness over and over until they do something about it.
"The Customer Experience" is such an interesting marketing discussion because, unfortunately, the perception of the delivery and the experience are often different. Well, they aren't supposed to be different. If your business is creating and delivering a different customer experience than the one you advertise, you're in big trouble. According to multiple studies, social media is a problem area where businesses aren't delivering the experience they think they are. As of 2014, 46% of marketers believed social is absolutely core to their business. Great, that's the way it should be, right? There's a problem, though: 46% of consumers report that brands don't provide meaningful content on social media.
Whoops. It's great to come up with big ideas and talk about them, but until you can actually deliver, don't say that you will. Once your business gets its customer experience on the track, find the chinks in your competition's armour and start taking advantage!
There seems to be a social media theme developing here, but that makes sense given how much trouble some industries have had in adapting to a social landscape that's here to stay. The Social Engagement Benchmark Report for Twitter claims that tweets containing a photo generate 128% more replies and retweets than those without. Seems simple enough: tweet more images and you'll increase your social engagement rates. And yet, the same report found that brands and companies only tweet photos 8% of the time. Sometimes, fixing a problem is as easy as letting the data dictate your actions.
As technology continues its advance into our daily lives, the importance of automation within the business world is also becoming more apparent. Case in point, 63% of companies are outgrowing their competitors by using marketing automation. Again, great data that everybody is using, right? Nope. Only 37% of B2B marketers are using marketing automation to generate leads. Weird. Very, very weird. But hey, all it means is that if you take this stat and put it into practice, you'll immediately jump ahead of your competitors.
What is it with saying one thing and doing another? We suppose it's that other old saying about nothing good coming easy, but come on people! If 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, then shouldn't every single marketer in that group take advantage of that knowledge? We hope so, but 59% of marketers report not customizing their lead-nurturing efforts to target the sales funnel and buying stages. Hmm, interesting, disappointing...and highly useful to those of you who want to take advantage of a glaring weakness in an opponent. You know what to do.
This one is just staggering. Online stores, and eCommerce in general, have exploded. You can now shop for anything you want online. Really, anything. But since it's so easy to shop, consumers hop around a lot and abandon their carts even more (to the chagrin of e-store owners, we're sure). But the numbers say that for companies that use them, abandoned cart emails generate 60% of their revenue on the day of sending. That's a ridiculous stat that every single online store should be using. Except they're not, as only 15% of marketers currently send abandoned cart emails. In short, if you've got an online store, use abandoned cart emails to increase profits and lap competitors.
That brings us to the end of the How To Kiss Your Competitive Edge Goodbye infographic but here's the whole thing.