Do You Know Both Types of User Experience?

Hint – there’s Google’s version of User Experience which is things that they can measure like keyword density, functionality, load time, how your site adapts to mobile devices, etc. And then there is the actual user experience for, well, users. 

What do website visitors think about your company when they first see your site? Google can’t measure “look and feel”, but visitors to the site sure will. They will have an impression of your company based on your site within seconds. If they decide to stick around, how easily can they find what they’re looking for? Does the site have real value or is it so focused on getting the visitor to take an action that you’re missing some crucial steps visitors may want to take before they commit to filling out a form or clicking through to a commitment.

Don’t worry – user experience does take into account your business goals and objectives, it just makes sure best practices are used to achieve them in terms of the quality of the user’s interaction and their perceptions of your products and/or services. 

Here are some aspects to keep in mind when planning a new website, or refreshing your current one. 

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need. As part of this, content strategy should be very focused. You don’t need to over-elaborate, but you need to remember that new visitors to your site don’t start with knowledge about your company, products or services, so don’t forget the basics. And before you can sell your company, sometimes you have to sell the concept itself. For instance, a site for a solar installation company can’t just focus on why choose them, but must start with “why solar?”.
  • Usable: The site must be easy to use. This should go without saying, but not every visitor will understand all the modern ways to show where menus are, or what is clickable. Try to see your site from a technically-challenged point of view as needed.
  • Desirable: The image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation. If it’s just screenshots or stock product images, then where’s the emotion? Can you show people using your product or benefiting from your service? 
  • Findable: The content needs to be easy to navigate and to find onsite and offsite. Don’t forget internal links when talking about a topic. Users shouldn’t always have to look back up to the menu to get to another element of the website. 
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities, but don’t forget basics like font contrast against backgrounds and type size, especially if you have or target older potential customers.
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them. A lot of hyperbole with no factual information will generally not sit well.
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Packaging is Key to Retail Success


Reggie Colalongo found out the hard way that the last step in manufacturing – packaging – can be the most critical.

She began her cultivation career on farms – growing and extraction, which naturally stemmed from her background in community gardens and agriculture. Then she met Bret Burroughs on a farm in Mendocino County and they saw the market changing. Reggie and Bret opted to enter the California recreational CBD edibles market and created Solstice and Sun, with a desire to create and offer artisanal products that would be vegan and organic, gluten free, as well as customized with different textures and flavors. 

Of course, the packaging needed to reflect the uniqueness as well, and included a special paper compression wrapper from Japan for each piece with everything packed into stately matte black boxes that they felt met compliance guidelines. What they didn’t count on was that in a dispensary, their stately boxes kept being placed near the bottom of display areas, with more colorful options getting front and center placement. In addition, their boxes were smaller than many others and the elements on the outside weren’t really giving potential customers a good sense of the goodness inside.

Realizing the issue, they went back to the drawing board and commissioned much more colorful, larger vertical bags featuring a serene landscape of rolling hills, with the sun high in the sky and bordered with fruits representing each flavor, with an overlay of their logo and information. They also sourced the bags in California, rather than having boxes printed in China. Another upside, the bags were easier to fill than boxes, and lowered their labor costs.

The changes were immediate – their products began to command much more prominent spaces in dispensaries, and an increase in sales followed. 

As Packhelp co-founder Konrad Kwiatkowski wrote in an article for Fleximize as his #1 tip – “Keep packaging eye-catching so that it immediately stands out and is remembered by the customer.” He also shared,Packaging is also an opportunity to tell customers who you are as a brand and what you believe in. Product packaging cannot scream at the customer – ‘buy me!’. It needs to be intriguing, create a mood and prompt a range of emotions.”

“It was a great lesson for us,” explained Regina. “The packaging has to do the selling for you in the store because no one is there to explain the product. And if you can’t get someone to pick up your box and read about what’s inside, you’ve lost before you’ve even begun.

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Emails without a compelling subject line cost you time, money and opportunities

Email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to connect with your customers, engage with potential clients and really educate people about your brand and its unique aspects. But none of that matters if people don’t open it. So after the list itself, it’s the subject line that needs to be the focus, not an afterthought.

According to Invespro, 47% of email recipients open email solely based on the subject line and 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. 

Here are some best practices we’ve found from deploying hundreds of thousands of emails:

Decide what you want the email to accomplish

Are you looking to generate immediate sales? Bring a prospect further along as part of a nurture campaign? Introduce your product or service to a new audience? Make sure you understand the desired outcome before crafting the email and the subject line.

Make sure the subject line matches the content

No one likes to be misled. If the subject line promises or hints at one thing, and the email focuses on something different, recipients will feel tricked and that does not reflect well on your company.

Double and triple check the spelling, grammar and links

No one wants to issue a follow up email with the subject line – “Oops – open this one instead.” Multiple tests and taking nothing for granted are crucial.

Use emojis sparingly

They can add interest to a subject line, but don’t use them instead of a word. And make sure they are relevant to the subject line in a quickly identifiable way. Also check your emails that incorporate them to make sure your platform will deploy them correctly. They must carry a unicode. You can’t just copy and paste one in place.

Make sure the words fit the audience

If you’re writing a 60+ audience, stay away from trendy words they may not understand, for example. It’s crucial you speak to your recipients in ways they understand and relate to.

Use a subject line that will generate an emotion

Will someone miss out if they don’t take action? Is it a limited opportunity in terms of space or products? Is there a limited timeframe in which to act? Fear of missing out (FOMO), missing a deadline or not getting in on the ground floor of a great opportunity?

Personalize the subject line if you can

Subject lines with a person’s name get opened 22% more often, according to Invespro.

Consider lists and numbers

If you have some impressive numbers to share, incorporate them. “25,684 opens can’t be wrong – sign up for our subject line course”. They also help subject lines stand out in a sea of words.

Use capitalization sparingly

It’s like yelling at someone so you can do it for the first word or to really emphasize something, but you shouldn’t use it for the entire subject line. 

Use powerful action words

Use words that tell the reader what you want them to do, and how they will benefit. “Sign up for Acme’s conference. Afterwards your promotion awaits!

Consider using a relevant question

It’s engaging and makes the reader want to “answer” it and learn more because they’re curious.

If it works with your topic, incorporate “we”/“we’re” or “you”/”your 

This can make the reader feel like they’re part of something that you’re sharing together, and that you’re speaking directly to them.

Make your subject line the right length

Shorter is better, but you still need to share enough to compel someone to open it. Aim for a subject line between 6 and 11 words, as these perform the best with an average open rate of 21% on a warmed list, according to Invesp. This can also make sure enough of the subject line appears on mobile devices for readers to understand what you’re trying to communicate.

Incorporate a compelling emotional trigger word

You see them a lot because they work – words like “free”, “professional”, “limited”, “exclusive”, “innovative”, “urgent” and more. Search for words that make your subject line jump off the page without rising to the level of hyperbole.

Test subject lines against each other

Narrow down your choices to the best two that represent different approaches and send them to a good sized sample size. If one performs much better than the other in terms of the open rate, then use that subject line for all the remaining emails. No one says you can’t send emails out in smaller batches, and it may even make more sense in terms of your sales department following up.

Write, write and write

You probably won’t hit on a great subject line on your first try. It may even make sense to write the draft email first to see what direction it’s headed before you start trying to craft subject lines. Think about them from all angles and write at least 10 before you start narrowing them down and see if you can convey the same message in a shorter, more direct, more compelling way.

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Targeting keywords in your blogging strategy

Achieving a high rank in search engines should be the goal of every business with a website. And since that should be every business, it’s crucial that all aspects of your website be optimized.

But let’s start at the beginning – what are keywords?

They’re the words we speak or type when we’re looking for something. It can be just a single word or a phrase or just a list of words. Long-tail keywords are those with more than one word.

Search engines want to give people the best reply to their query so it pulls those websites that seem to answer the question best. And how does it know? It knows because:

  1. Those websites load and function great on all devices
  2. The headlines have those keywords
  3. The images are described in tags with those keywords
  4. They have a lot of those same words in their content
  5. There is a lot of new, relevant content being added
  6. The website is linked to from a lot of other reputable websites (backlinks)

Let’s concentrate on #5 for a minute. Much of the new, relevant content on websites comes in the form of blogs. The sole purpose of blogs should be to answer questions customers or potential customers might have, as well as provide more in-depth information on your products or services. But your ulterior motive should be to use the keywords you are targeting with enough frequency to add to your credibility as a reliable source for questions that include those keywords.

Your list of keywords can start with the obvious ones related to your business. It can be expanded with terms related to your business but not exclusively about it. If you have an insurance company, you can have terms about insurance, but also financial well being, trusts, wills and other related subjects.

You won’t use all of them when writing a blog – just focus on one or two that are related. But it will give you a list of topics to work from.

And it should go without saying that the writing should stay natural and not force words into an article that seem out of place. Take advantage of the meta description – additional text that appears in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and lets the reader know what the link is actually about. Try to link the blog internally – that is, if you have information about a particular product, and then you delve into an aspect of that product with a blog, use a link on your website to guide the reader to the blog. You can also link from your social media accounts to your blogs.

Sound confusing? Spot can help you implement a blogging strategy or take over the whole process if you like. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!

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Three Essential Techniques for Property Management Marketing

Effective, targeted marketing is key to growing your business. When you are in the property management business, it is often difficult to find the time to focus on new marketing initiatives. Unfortunately, that can mean losing out on meaningful connections and opportunities that can help your business grow.

If you are interested in improving your company’s marketing in the new year, here are a few strategies that you can implement today!

Get involved and give back

This one is huge! One of the most important ways you can get your name out there, get more visibility, and get name recognition is to get more involved with your community and to give back.

When people see companies making a difference and showing that they care, they remember. It creates good word of mouth and positive buzz surrounding your brand.

Try reaching out and partnering with other local businesses, sponsor local events, and participate in community activities or outreach programs. You’d be amazed at the difference this small step can make in your business and the positive impact it can have on your community.

Partner with Airbnb

Airbnb has been one of the hottest trends in the hospitality industry, why not get in on the action? Partnering with Airbnb is helping property companies stay relevant and competitive in the market today.

Market your values

Who are you? What do you stand for? Increasingly people want to know what the company’s they do business with stand for. Putting out a strong mission statement, marketing your values, and standing by them is not just a tool, it gets people in your corner and can help create brand loyalty. People want to feel like they are contributing to making their community a better place through shared goals, hopes, and dreams. Don’t be afraid to share yours.

Need help with your 2020 marketing initiatives? Turn to the professionals at Spot Color Marketing

Marketing may seem like a time consuming and daunting task. It doesn’t have to be. These are small steps you can take today to increase your brand awareness. Need more help or want to take things a step further?

Contact the experts at Spot Color Marketing. We can help you grow your business with tailored marketing solutions that meet your specific needs. SEO, geofencing, text advertising, web development. Let us help you get the word out about your business, and we’ll let you focus on what is important to you: providing the highest-quality property management services to your clientele.

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Raising the bar on transparency, choice and control in digital advertising

Advertising has made possible open access to quality information and communication on the web—it’s changed the way people learn, play and earn, and it’s made the internet open for everyone.

But the ad-supported internet is at risk if digital advertising practices don’t evolve to reflect people’s changing expectations around how data is collected and used. Our experience shows that people prefer ads that are personalized to their needs and interests—but only if those ads offer transparency, choice and control. However, the digital advertising ecosystem can be complex and opaque, and many people don’t feel they have enough visibility into, or control over, their web experience.

New protections and controls in Chrome

As you may have seen, today Chrome announced its plans to improve cookie controls. To better protect user privacy and choice on the web, Chrome intends to make it easier for users to block or clear cookies used in a third-party context, with minimal disruption to cookies used in a first-party context. While Chrome has long enabled users to block cookies, these changes will let users continue to allow their online banking site, for example, to remember their login preferences—a function that first-party cookies enable.

Chrome also announced that it will more aggressively restrict fingerprinting across the web. When a user opts out of third-party tracking, that choice is not an invitation for companies to work around this preference using methods like fingerprinting, which is an opaque tracking technique. Google doesn’t use fingerprinting for ads personalization because it doesn’t allow reasonable user control and transparency. Nor do we let others bring fingerprinting data into our advertising products.

The changes in Chrome will empower users to make informed decisions about how to control the use of their data for personalized advertising. They will also ensure users are able to continue accessing a broad range of quality ad-supported content, with confidence that their privacy and choices will be respected.

A new level of ads transparency

As the Chrome announcements demonstrate, transparency, choice and control form the foundation of Google’s commitment to users—and advertising is no different. With tools like My ActivityAd SettingsWhy this Ad and Mute this Ad, we make it easy for people to see how Google tailors ads for them, switch off individual factors we use to tailor ads, stop seeing ads from a specific company or simply opt out of personalized ads entirely.

But all of this is not enough. We believe you should also know what data is used for ads personalization and by whom.  

That’s why today we’re committing to a new level of ads transparency. We want to give users more visibility into the data used to personalize ads and the companies involved in the process.

As a first step, for the ads that Google shows on our own properties and those of our publishing partners, we will disclose new information through an open-source browser extension that will work across different browsers. The new information will include the names of other companies that we know were involved in the process that resulted in an ad—for example, ad tech companies that acted as intermediaries between the advertiser and publisher, and companies with ad trackers present in an ad. The browser extension will also surface the factors used to tailor an ad to a user, which we provide today.

The extension will display information for each ad we show a user, and will present an aggregated snapshot for all the ads Google has shown a user recently. In the future, we will look for additional ways to make it even easier for people to access this information.

In addition, we want to offer a simple means for others in the advertising industry to surface this kind of information. To that end, we will build APIs that enable other advertising companies, should they choose, to disclose this same type of information to users through the extension. We expect to begin rolling out both the browser extension and APIs in the coming months.

While offering more information privately to individual users is important, we also believe that making this type of information available publicly will help increase transparency at the ecosystem level. That’s why we plan to build tools that allow researchers and others to view and analyze aggregated and anonymized data from Google and other providers that elect to use these new APIs.

As we introduce these enhanced ads transparency measures, we’re eager to receive feedback from users, partners and other stakeholders so that, together, we can identify industry-wide best practices around data transparency and ads personalization, including ways that people can take action to shape their experiences.

All of the changes announced today represent an important step in ensuring that the ad supported web provides people with access to high-quality content, while protecting their privacy. We will continue to explore opportunities to evolve our tools and practices in ways that enhance user transparency, choice and control.



Written by: Prabhakar RaghavanSVP, Google Ads & Commerce


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Southern California Attorney Case Study



The Company:

Our client is a California-based DUI attorney providing high-quality DUI legal defense services to clients statewide.

The Situation:

Our objectives for this client’s project were to:

  • Target Torrance, California
  • Increase traffic to the website
  • Increase inquiries and leads
  • Increase sales for legal services

The Solution:

Spot Marketing designed a banner ad that reflects strength and legal expertise. Using our DigitalDirect solution we set up geo-fences around key areas in Torrance, California that are likely to receive higher traffic volume based on bail bonding density, crime rate and age. The client started at a 10,000 impression per month rate. We set-up retargeting to ensure that his ads were shown repeatedly to the target audience.

During the first phase of the campaign and 3rd month (January 19) the client was getting a .25% click through rate, which is successful, but we knew we could do better. We increased the impression rate up to above 20,000 impressions because the reach was not broad enough for the area.

The Results:

The Spot Digital Marketing team was able to deliver their client a campaign that immediately began performing. This project highlighted the extreme effectiveness of scaling up impression rates within a highly specific target demographic. During the month of February we increased impressions by 13,741 for a total of 23,741 and saw a 1.5% click through rate. This is over a 200% within 30 days and the client is happy with the results.   


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Tips for LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly important tool to build your company’s brand. Remember that Spot Digital Marketing’s social media management services are always here to help – just call us at 503.477.4355 to learn how we can help your brand’s online presence take off. We’re currently working with a number of businesses on enhancing their LinkedIn practices. In the meantime, read over these LinkedIn marketing priorities for 2019 from Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today to see if your brand is on track!

Are you planning to make LinkedIn a focus of your digital marketing efforts in 2019?

For those that are looking to get more out of the professional social network, it can be helpful to know what others are doing on the platform, and what they’re looking to achieve with LinkedIn’s tools. That’s the focus of this new infographic from LinkedIn – the platform recently surveyed its members to get more insight into expectations, priorities and more, related to platform use.

There are some interesting insights here. The questions are obviously LinkedIn-specific, but it’s worth noting the most popular topics (the platform’s ‘Matched Audiences‘, which combines your data with on-platform insights, is a key focus) and what other marketers are using LinkedIn for.

You can read LinkedIn’s full report here, or check out the graphic below.”

All credit to Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today. Please find the original posting here.  

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5 Mobile App Marketing Tips

Calling all mobile app creators, marketers, designers, and more: “marketing is not a magic wand that can set anything straight and right with the swirl of a stick, it requires a series of intelligent moves and playing your cards right,” says Bhavya Kaushal of With that in mind, read on for five fantastic tips from to strengthen your position in the mobile app market!

“Marketing is one of the most important tools in the business ecosystem these days. It is not a magic wand that can set anything straight and right with the swirl of a stick. Marketing requires a series of intelligent moves and playing your cards right. Moreover, coming to the app industry, in which different apps are mushrooming every day, it is important to understand which marketing strategy works best and how one can make them work.

Amidst the growing competition, it is important to possess that one thing that can give your mobile application an edge over the umpteen others in the market.  

Here are some simple tips to improve the marketing of your app.


Today’s digital market is neck deep with mobile apps. So how can you ensure that your product stands out? Rahul Bahukhandi, CEO and Co-founder of LaYuva feels that Mobile apps have been using referrals and cashback to lure customers. “This incentive still works when an app wants to reach the masses.” Another important aspect, he adds, is how receptive the company is while receiving any feedback and incorporate the suggested changes to make the consumer experience better.

Strategic Campaigns

Marketing is driven to serve the two sides of the business – one is at the supplying end and the other is at the receiving end. Anupam Sengupta, Marketing and Revenue head Sqrrl feels marketing activities should ensure both sides benefit in the business cycle. He suggests KPI-driven campaigns with ad networks a good way to do so.

“Ad networks, in today’s digital market, have opened a new channel for growth, as they work in close collaboration with both the demand side (advertisers) and the supply side (suppliers),” says Sengupta. He believes that influencer-led campaigns can be another useful strategy because recommendations work really well in the world of marketing. “Influencer marketing has given organizations with a new channel to tap into, promising not just brand awareness but reach as well.”

The 4 P’s of Marketing

With so many new names in your playstore to cater to your needs, how can marketing strategy help a particular app to stand out? Gaurav Kapahi, Co-founder and CEO of GoldSeat, says, “You need a rock-solid marketing strategy from start to finish.” He adds that the perfect marketing mix is dependent on the product, placement, price and promotion. “It is important to prioritize the placement of your apps, and in case of mobile apps, entrepreneurs must try to go with social media marketing strategies.”

Partnerships and Collaborations

Partnerships are one of the easiest ways to garner a larger consumer base for your product. Ishaan Sethi, CEO and Co-founder of Delta Apps feels the same and adds, “We also collaborate with various queer organizations to help them reach a wider audience through the app and other collaborations that lead to a win for everyone involved.”

Sengupta also feels that strategic partnerships (value-based or commercialized) are very effective to implement.

Focus On the Offering

While there are many strategies that can come in play, everything boils down to the quality of your product. If the product lacks contemporary relevance or is not up to the mark, all market strategies will fall flat. Melissa Hobley, CMO of OkCupid, says, “We keep our energies focused on building a superior product and encouraging a community of kindness and trust where you can celebrate your story and find meaningful matches through it.””

All credit to Bhavya Kaushal of Please find the original posting here.

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The Necessity of Marketing

The Harvard Business Review stresses that great innovation needs great marketing. Read on to hear from Denise Lee Yohn on the importance of marketing!

“Innovation is a top priority for almost every organization. But to achieve success through innovation, companies must put as much energy and investment into marketing new offerings as they do in generating them.

The role of marketing in some companies seems to have diminished in recent years, with the growth of artificial intelligence-driven algorithms and predictive analytics that offer up information, goods, and services to customers. The popularity of private label goods and products from companies like Brandless and others that seem to eschew marketing also seems to make the argument for less marketing, rather than more.

But marketing is and should not be executed merely through tactical functions of acquiring and retaining customers, as many companies practice it today. The search, content, and loyalty campaigns that most managers call marketing these days are common downstream tactics for generating or maintaining awareness or repeat purchase; the full, business-growing power of the marketing function comes way upstream — from creating markets. Understanding people’s fundamental needs and drivers, identifying customers, and developing the entire go-to-market and usage ecosystem are the essential aspects of marketing — and the ones that the success of innovations, especially breakthrough ones, hinge upon. Marketers need to be included in development discussions earlier in the innovation process.

Consider what has happened when a revolutionary product or service has been launched without the full power of marketing: Google Glass. These smart glasses were a stunning technological advancement — which ultimately failed. Among its missteps, Google didn’t identify the burning consumer needs that would drive Glass adoption. It needed to know the “can’t-live-without-it” use cases that would motivate people to overlook or work around the product’s early shortcomings. Plus, the product was initially sold only to “Glass Explorers,” a group comprised mainly of tech geeks and journalists who were important in the industry, but not the kinds of aspirational role models that mainstream consumers wanted to mimic. The company failed to create a robust and durable market for the product, it had to discontinue it less than two years after its launch.

Strategic, upstream marketing that is incorporated into the innovation development process can clearly define who to sell the new offering to and how to sell it in ways like this:

Identify unmet and even unknown customer needs. Oftentimes, people don’t know they need a new-to-the-world innovation — and sometimes they have been settling for a workaround or poor substitute for so long that they don’t realize an alternative is possible. Before the smartphone, for example, people thought nothing of having to wait to use their computer to access the internet and use email. The marketing disciplines of anthropologically-based research and needs-based segmentation uncover the most significant holes in people’s lives that new products can fill. So instead of making assumptions about potential customers and their needs, marketing might help identify entirely new or different customers for innovation teams to consider.

Understand the deep-seated drivers of perceptions and behavior that are relevant to a product’s appeal. A robust marketing trend analysis reveals the cultural, social, and psychological dynamics that should be addressed in the development of and communication about an innovative product. For example, the adoption of virtual reality has been much slower than technologists expected it to be for many reasons, not the least of which is the design of existing headsets. They’re big and clunky — not something mainstream users want to wear much. A greater emphasis on the marketability of VR products, instead of their capabilities and content, could focus VR innovators on improvements that would make their products more appealing.

Engage with customers through use cases and benefits instead of functionalities and features. If an innovation is truly breakthrough, people need to be educated on how to use it and why — particularly mainstream customers who are compelled less by what a product does and more by what the product helps them do. Marketing helps companies address this through 1) customer research, which tests the appeal of various use cases and often uncovers new ones; 2) insight development, which explores beyond the functional benefits of use to identify the higher-order, more valuable ones; and 3) positioning work and communications framing, which determines how best to convey those uses and benefits to customers compellingly.

Develop the entire customer experience ecosystem. Innovators usually become so wrapped up in what they’re developing that they overlook all the other elements necessary to make delivery and experience of the offering successful. Take the first e-reader to be developed, the Sony Reader. The product was a technologically-advanced product, but it failed because Sony didn’t enlist the book publishing industry as a partner to provide the content the hardware required. Sony hadn’t tapped the customer and customer experience orientation inherent in marketing to ensure the ecosystem around its product would be as well-developed and well-designed as the product itself. When Amazon later launched its Kindle device, it offered an integrated experience of hardware, software, service, and content that made it seamless for the customer to buy and use it — thus producing a successful launch.

Use a go-to-market strategy appropriate for the innovation and its customer. The lackluster performance of the Sony Reader also resulted from the company’s misguided channel strategy. Sony tried to sell the device through traditional consumer electronics stores such as big box technology retailers instead of channels that book readers naturally use. Marketers know the importance of attending to all “4 Ps”: price, place, and promotion, in addition to product.

Another example of integrated marketing and innovation is the story of the K-Cup coffee pod from Keurig. One of the K-Cup inventors, John Sylvan, was motivated to solve a common problem: the stale, bitter sludge that coffee becomes after sitting in a pot in the office breakroom all day. People had been tolerating the problem for years. But Sylvan understood that there must be a solution and, after he and Keurig co-founder Peter Dragone developed one, they convinced office managers, their wisely-chosen target market, of the possibility too.

Sylvan and Dragone also were keyed into people’s emotional connections to coffee enough to recognize that coffee preferences varied significantly by region and that local roasters had locked in loyal customers. So they enrolled regionally-known coffee roasters such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Diedrich Coffee, and Tully’s to provide the coffee for the K-Cups. By appealing to different customers’ flavor preferences, they not only tapped into the broader context of coffee culture, but also increased the perceived value of coffee made a single cup at a time.

They pitched their machines to corporate accounts on the benefit of saving costs (money on the coffee itself as well as the loss of productivity of employees leaving the office to get a fresh cup from the local coffee store). Keurig developed partnerships with other players in the K-Cup product world, enrolling existing local distributors to install machines and subsequently entering into distribution deals for its K-Cups with coffee retailers Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. It is also developing more eco-friendly products. These are the kinds of strategies that help get innovative products in front of the right customers at the right time.

Today’s advanced innovations such as 3D printing, bitcoin, and virtual reality have gotten some traction, but they and other revolutionary products and platforms like them need the right marketing expertise to generate the depth and breadth of market engagement they seek. Innovation alone may be enough to initiate the adoption life cycle, but marketing remains the bridge necessary to cross the chasm between early adopters to the wider group of people who will form a viable, valuable customer base.

The bigger the innovation, the bigger the risk of failure. Because marketing can reduce those risks, it matters as much as innovation — perhaps even more.”

All credit to Denise Lee Yonh of Harvard Business Review. Please find original posting here.

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