Turning indirect sourcing into a multimillion-dollar profit center

Turning indirect sourcing into a multimillion-dollar profit center
Retail is facing massively declining margins and is struggling—and losing—against e-commerce. We highlight the case for change, and offer guidelines on getting next-generation, business-backed not-for-resale sourcing.
Retail is facing massively declining margins and is struggling—and losing—against e-commerce. We highlight the case for change, and offer guidelines on getting next-generation, business-backed not-for-resale sourcing.
Source: McKinsey

Turning indirect sourcing into a multimillion-dollar profit center

How to Discover Your Customers’ Most-Googled Frustrations (and solve them)

How to Discover Your Customers’ Most-Googled Frustrations (and solve them)
Google is a treasure trove for marketers. Currently (2017), it “processes over 40,000 search queries every second!” This “translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.” And just look at how much Google use grew between 2000 and 2012: It’s ridiculous! And this all means one thing. Google can generate valuable data like it’s nobody’s business. There’s arguably no other resource in history that compares to it. Another thing…

Google is a treasure trove for marketers.

Currently (2017), it “processes over 40,000 search queries every second!”

This “translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”

And just look at how much Google use grew between 2000 and 2012:

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It’s ridiculous!

And this all means one thing.

Google can generate valuable data like it’s nobody’s business.

There’s arguably no other resource in history that compares to it.

Another thing I love about the search engine is the arsenal of free tools it offers for gaining insights.

There’s the Google Search Console, Google Analytics, the Google Keyword Planner and Google Alerts, just to name a few.

These are all ideal for providing you with the data you need to better understand the behavior of your audience and improve your marketing.

And as we all know, data is a marketer’s best friend.

Without data, I wouldn’t know what direction to take, making it much more difficult for me to reach my demographic.

In this post, I’m going to cover an extremely important aspect of marketing.

It’s this: how to discover your customers’ biggest frustrations and how to solve them.

I’ve found that Google is perfect for finding out what irks my audience, and you can implement the same methods too.

Here are several techniques you can utilize.

Autocomplete

Let’s start with an incredibly simple yet effective feature: autocomplete.

I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

With the insane amount of data Google has accumulated and continues to accumulate, it offers autocomplete to streamline user searches and help people find the information they’re looking for quicker.

Here’s a screenshot that summarizes how this feature works:

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Notice I highlighted two key points.

Autocomplete predictions factor in the popularity/freshness of search terms and terms other people are searching for.

Using autocomplete can provide you with valuable intel on what your customers are searching for and, more importantly, what their collective frustrations are.

Let me give you an example of how you can use it.

Type in a broad keyword phrase that relates to your industry, niche or product you’re selling.

I’ll use “organic soap” as an example.

Here’s what pops up:

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Just like that, I can tell what some of the most popular search terms are.

It’s obvious people are interested in organic soap bases, recipes and organic soap-making supplies.

Therefore, this user base has questions and concerns about these topics.

So this is a good starting point.

I recommend recording these popular searches for future reference because you’ll want to create content around those topics.

Performing a question-based search

Another easy way to understand your average customer’s frustrations is to figure out what types of questions they’re asking regarding your niche/product.

You can do this by typing in search phrases such as “what is,” “why is,” “how to,” etc., followed by a broad keyword.

Here’s an example:

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Within seconds, I can get a pretty good idea of which aspects of the organic soap topic people are curious about.

Remember, if it pops up on Google autocomplete, you know a large number of people have entered that search phrase.

So, you’re dealing with a high volume of searches.

Again, you’ll want to record those search phrases because you can target them later on.

Performing a problems search

Let’s take it one step further.

Type in your broad keyword followed by the word problems:

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Here are some of the results I got:

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I also highlighted some frustrations, concerns and questions people have.

Considering the fact these are all on page one of this Google search, it’s safe to say there’s a significant number of people who share these frustrations.

As a result, these are all potential topics I could cover.

Using the Google Keyword Tool

You probably already use this tool for performing keyword research for SEO.

But it can also be useful for finding your customers’ pain points as well.

Here’s what you do.

Type in your broad keyword in the search box:

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Then scroll down to see what people are most interested in.

The main thing you’ll want to take into consideration is the number of average monthly searches.

Here are some highly searched keywords that let me know what types of questions and frustrations customers have:5211f908db704c3988acaf1cc3c86e72

Using Google Trends

I absolutely love Google Trends.

It’s one of the best ways to get a quick snapshot of the popularity of something and see how interest has either grown or declined over time.

I also like to use it to generate graphs for great looking visuals for my content.

To use it in this context, just type in your search phrase:

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Then scroll down to “Related queries.”

You can view related queries as either “Top” or “Rising.”

“Top” lets you know what’s most popular over time in the grand scheme of things.

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“Rising” lets you know what’s most popular at the moment and what’s trending upward.

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Use this information to spot any potential frustrations your customers might be having that you may want to address.

Identifying top blogs in your niche

Here’s one last technique.

Do a Google search that combines your broad keyword and the word blogs.

You’ll get results like this:

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Then click on one or more of the results.

This one looks good to me:

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Now, I can get a glimpse of the types of topics the top blogs are covering, which are indicative of what your average customer is most interested in:

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I can get quite a bit of information by just looking at the description of each blog.

But, of course, I can learn a lot more by actually clicking on a specific blog and scanning through the posts.

This should fill in the gaps in terms of discovering the average customer’s frustrations and can give me even more ideas for content.

Solving those frustrations

Okay, so I’ve discussed several different ways to gain an understanding of what’s irking your customers.

As you can see, Google is pretty much a be-all and end-all tool for this.

But how do you solve those frustrations?

It’s simple.

You want to create robust, comprehensive content that exhaustively answers these questions and addresses these frustrations.

I recommend writing down a list of topics based on your research and prioritizing them in terms of importance.

For instance, I found people were interested in:

  • what organic soap is made of
  • how to make organic soap from home
  • how to make organic soap without lye
  • toxic soap ingredients to avoid

and so on.

Now I can start creating content that covers those topics.

More specifically, my goal is to create content that outranks the competition.

Skyscraper it

As you may already know, I’m a huge proponent of the skyscraper technique: producing content that betters and outperforms your competitors’ content.

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept or need to brush up, this guide from Backlinko will tell you everything you need to know.

By following this formula and addressing the unique concerns of your customers, you’ll quickly be on track to generate traffic, build trust and “scratch their itch.”

Diversifying your content

I’ve mentioned many times before that interactive content significantly outperforms conventional static content.

Here are a few stats from Impact Marketing that show the importance of creating interactive content:

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When you break it all down,

interactive content drives 2x the number of conversions as passive content like blogs and eBooks.

Here’s what I suggest.

Look for ways to create different types of content your competitors have overlooked or ignored.

Rather than writing your standard 800-word blog post, write a long-form, 2,000-word post full of visuals, including relevant videos, graphs, stats, etc.

Or if there’s a pervasive question your customers have, try creating an infographic that succinctly answers it step by step.

In other words, think outside the box and be willing to go where your competition doesn’t.

This should kill two birds with one stone because you’re solving your customers’ biggest frustrations and providing them with incredibly helpful information while offering a level of depth your competitors are not.

It’s a win-win situation.

Conclusion

It’s amazing the insights you can gain from Google.

It’s a godsend for doing market research and will provide you with a wealth of valuable intel if you know how to use it correctly.

And the longer people use Google, the bigger the data pool becomes.

The best part is that it’s completely free.

As you’re probably aware, every demographic has its own specific pain points.

Your job as a marketer is to identify these frustrations and provide an effective solution.

By using the techniques I mentioned, you can do this in a very streamlined manner.

From there, you’re in a much better position to create content that hits its mark and can provide your audience with the answers they crave.

This, in turn, translates into a host of benefits including increased traffic, more leads and bigger profits.

Do you have any other suggestions for using Google to discover customer frustrations?


Source: quicksprout

How to Discover Your Customers’ Most-Googled Frustrations (and solve them)

How to turn marketing efficiency into growth

How to turn marketing efficiency into growth
At Western Union, fueling growth starts with taking a hard look at how effective current marketing programs are. Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer Libby Chambers explains how it’s done.
At Western Union, fueling growth starts with taking a hard look at how effective current marketing programs are. Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer Libby Chambers explains how it’s done.
Source: McKinsey

How to turn marketing efficiency into growth

582: The Talent Pool Your Company Probably Overlooks

582: The Talent Pool Your Company Probably Overlooks
Robert Austin, a professor at Ivey Business School, and Gary Pisano, a professor at Harvard Business School, talk about the growing number of pioneering firms that are actively identifying and hiring more employees with autism spectrum disorder and other forms of neurodiversity. Global companies such as SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are customizing their hiring and onboarding processes to enable highly-talented individuals, who might have eccentricities that keep them from passing a job interview —…
Robert Austin, a professor at Ivey Business School, and Gary Pisano, a professor at Harvard Business School, talk about the growing number of pioneering firms that are actively identifying and hiring more employees with autism spectrum disorder and other forms of neurodiversity. Global companies such as SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are customizing their hiring and onboarding processes to enable highly-talented individuals, who might have eccentricities that keep them from passing a job interview — to succeed and deliver uncommon value. Austin and Pisano talk about the challenges, the lessons for managers and organizations, and the difference made in the lives of an underemployed population. Austin and Pisano are the co-authors of the article, “Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Source: Ideacast

582: The Talent Pool Your Company Probably Overlooks

Upgrading your business to a digital operating system

Upgrading your business to a digital operating system
One element of a successful digital transformation is developing a new way of operating that relies on the right talent, prioritizing speed, and targeting milestones.
One element of a successful digital transformation is developing a new way of operating that relies on the right talent, prioritizing speed, and targeting milestones.
Source: McKinsey

Upgrading your business to a digital operating system

How Airbus is navigating a digital transformation

How Airbus is navigating a digital transformation
The commercial aircraft manufacturer is charting a course to software and services, focusing on creating new data-driven models to complement its hardware platforms.
The commercial aircraft manufacturer is charting a course to software and services, focusing on creating new data-driven models to complement its hardware platforms.
Source: McKinsey

How Airbus is navigating a digital transformation

18 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting Facebook Page

18 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting Facebook Page
Trust has always been important from a marketing perspective. But in my opinion, it’s never been more important than it is today. That’s because so many consumers have an underlying cynicism about brands and companies. And why wouldn’t they be skeptical? Marketing communications account for 70% of today’s spam complaints. Just think of all the scam artists, false advertisements and deceptive advertising techniques people so frequently encounter. Not to sound pessimistic, but modern consumers have a…

Trust has always been important from a marketing perspective.

But in my opinion, it’s never been more important than it is today.

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That’s because so many consumers have an underlying cynicism about brands and companies.

And why wouldn’t they be skeptical?

Marketing communications account for 70% of today’s spam complaints.

Just think of all the scam artists, false advertisements and deceptive advertising techniques people so frequently encounter.

Not to sound pessimistic, but modern consumers have a good reason to be suspicious.

As a marketer, you have to put your audience at ease.

And social media is a great way to do that.

Facebook in particular is ideal for creating trust.

You can even use it to turn casual fans into die-hard brand advocates.

In fact, Facebook has been instrumental in helping me expand my following.

As of right now, I have nearly 1 million followers on my Neil Patel page, and it’s growing every day.

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In this post, I’d like to cover 18 essentials mandatory for boosting the trustworthiness of your Facebook page.

These tactics have worked for me and countless other brands, and they can work for you too.

1. Verify your page

Just like on Twitter, Facebook has a feature where you can add a verification badge as long as you’re a public figure, media company or brand.

Here’s mine:

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It’s a simple way to prove it’s actually you and not a fake account.

Here are the steps involved in getting your Facebook page verified:

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Check out this guide from Facebook for more information on the process.

2. Use your core branding elements

In order to build a solid brand, you need to have identifiable branding elements like a formal logo, recognizable color scheme, style, etc.

Facebook gives you an excellent opportunity to reinforce your brand, which helps with trust building.

Include a profile picture and a background picture that incorporate your core branding elements.

Take TechCrunch for example:

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They use their signature green and white color scheme along with their logo.

3. Beef up your About page

The About page of your website is important.

In fact, “52% of people” want to see it on your website’s homepage.

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It only makes sense to create a robust Facebook About page.

Here’s a good example from Chris Guillebeau:

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Notice how he succinctly fills visitors in on his key info?

4. Include contact info

According to the same study from KoMarketing I referenced above, including contact information on your website is even more important than having an About page.

They found 64% of people want to see your contact information after arriving on your homepage.

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Of course, you’ll want to include this on your Facebook page as well.

Include as much info as you can.

Ideally, also include a phone number because this tends to be a significant trust factor.

Here’s what I have for my contact info:

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5. Link to your website

Any time you can create a link pointing to your website, you should do it.

This is just another opportunity for referral traffic.

It can also add to the trust users can feel from your Facebook page.

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6. Post personal pictures

Even if you’re a massive, big-name brand, you still want to create a genuine connection with your audience.

You want to come across as being transparent and authentic.

One thing I love about Facebook is that it enables you to combine business with pleasure.

I know it’s helped me increase my credibility by allowing me to show a bit of my own personality.

If you’ve ever scrolled through my pictures, you’ll see stuff like this:

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That’s my mom and me.

Or this:

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That’s my nephew and me having an epic intergalactic battle.

You want to be professional, but don’t be shy to share some personal information on your Facebook profile to help you gain trust and to be more likable.

7. Include behind-the-scenes content

Another way to forge a connection with your audience is to let them see what’s bubbling beneath the surface.

Give them a glimpse of what your team culture is like by including some behind-the-scenes content.

Here’s a great example from HubSpot:

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8. Feature influencers

I’m sure you know by now just how powerful leveraging key influencers can be.

Associating your brand with an influencer in your industry is almost guaranteed to elevate your trustworthiness.

The bigger the influencer, the bigger the impact.

One of the best in the business at doing this is Tim Ferriss.

Scroll through his Facebook photos, and you’ll see him with countless celebrities and influencers.

Here he is with the founders of Shopify:

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And here he is with author and tidying master Marie Kondo.

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I know this isn’t viable for everyone, especially if you’re a new or small brand.

But it can have a profound impact on how much your audience will trust you if you can pull this off.

9. Post media coverage

Again, this won’t be realistic for everyone.

And I know this is easier said than done.

But including any type of media coverage you’ve received can increase your trustworthiness significantly.

Here’s a quick snippet of me on Viceland as an example:

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10. Add videos

We all know video marketing is blowing up.

Just look at the massive rise of mobile video over the last few years:

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Why wouldn’t you want to get in on the action?

I’ve found that adding video to my Facebook page has helped me increase engagement while establishing myself as a trusted voice in the digital marketing realm.

I make it a point to include videos toward the top of my page.

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By clicking on the “Videos” section of the sidebar or on “See All,” visitors can check out my full archive of videos.

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If you haven’t experimented with videos yet, I strongly recommend giving them a go.

11. Take advantage of Facebook Live

But why stop there?

Facebook and several other social platforms now allow you to create live streams.

You should be interested because “Facebook Live Stream search popularity has risen over 330% since Facebook Live’s rollout.”

Engagement is off the charts, and I can’t think of a much better way to quickly boost your trustworthiness.

Just think about it.

People can watch your videos in real time and get to know you intimately, and you can instantly respond to their questions and comments.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger takes full advantage of this new trend with great success:

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You can check out his archive of videos for ideas and inspiration.

12. Inform rather than sell

The beautiful thing about inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is that it gives brands a way to advertise without overt selling.

Rather than blasting your demographic with mind-numbing marketing messages, content marketing allows you to educate, inform and entertain them.

This way they’re learning about your brand and getting real value in an unobtrusive way.

My Facebook policy is to inform my audience—not to sell to them.

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This has been a huge contributor to my success, and I recommend you take the same approach.

13. Stick to your central theme

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

This is what you want to avoid with your Facebook page.

In order to establish trust, you need to focus on your core competencies and not try to be everything to everyone.

Let’s go back to Darren Rowse.

His name is synonymous with one thing: blogging.

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Not home renovation or gardening or crocheting.

It’s just blogging.

This is what has allowed him to be one of the top experts on the topic.

Be sure you’re doing the same and sticking with a central theme.

14. Follow a consistent posting schedule

According to an article from CoSchedule that analyzed research from 10 different studies, one post per day is the recommended posting frequency on Facebook.

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Unlike on other platforms, like Twitter or Pinterest, where posting several times a day is acceptable and even encouraged, one post a day tends to work best on Facebook.

I do at times post more often as do many other brands, but this research tells us one important thing.

You need to get in the habit of consistently posting or at least curating fresh content.

15. Respond to comments

You know if you’re getting a lot of engagement, you’re winning on Facebook.

But to keep the momentum going and keep people interested, you need to respond as much as you possibly can.

That’s what I try to do.

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I know it can be time consuming, but this is a must for building real trust with your followers.

16. Ask for input

Looking for ideas on which features to include in your new product?

Or wondering what topics to cover on your blog?

Just ask your Facebook followers for their input.

This is a great way to perform market research, crank up engagement and make your audience feel valued.

Here are a couple of specific examples from Mavrck:

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You can get more ideas in this post.

17. Publish an occasional poll

Polls are another awesome way to engage your audience.

It’s a quick and easy way for them to give their opinions, feeling included.

Visit this page from Facebook to learn how to publish polls.

18. Have fun

One last thing.

Social media is meant to be fun.

It’s not meant to be overly formal or rigid.

So another key factor in trust-boosting is to have fun with it and let your personality shine through.

Letting your hair down, so to speak, can help you get the trust you’re seeking.

Conclusion

When you get right down to it, trust equals revenue.

Gaining trust is like knocking down the initial domino, which leads to a host of other benefits like engagement, a big following, leads, conversions and ultimately sales.

And the way I see it, Facebook is one of the best platforms pound-for-pound for creating trust.

You just need to understand which elements to leverage and put in the work to give your audience what they’re looking for.

What makes you trust a brand on Facebook?


Source: quicksprout

18 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting Facebook Page

Reinventing equity research as a profit-making business

Reinventing equity research as a profit-making business
The traditional business of providing equity research to asset managers has been under pressure in recent years. Nonetheless, equity research still offers an attractive business opportunity for banks and broker-dealers that can adapt to deliver the types of research the buy side values and successfully transform their operating models.
The traditional business of providing equity research to asset managers has been under pressure in recent years. Nonetheless, equity research still offers an attractive business opportunity for banks and broker-dealers that can adapt to deliver the types of research the buy side values and successfully transform their operating models.
Source: McKinsey

Reinventing equity research as a profit-making business