Insights

  • Best Practices for Digital Asset Management

    by Victoria Silow | Aug 01, 2018

    Digital Asset Management

    “What platform should we use to manage our digital assets?”

    It’s a common question bandied about in many an executive meeting, and you may have heard it in your own organization. While there’s nothing wrong with this question itself, it has to be asked at the right time. So many organizations put the proverbial cart before the horse when it comes to managing their digital assets, looking for the right tech solution before they’re actually ready. It’s akin to charging ahead with marketing tactics without having your strategy set.

    Before answering that question, you need to stop and take a look around your organization to determine the best place to start.

    Take Control of Your Digital Assets First

    For many organizations, the optimal starting point is taking control of their digital assets. What does this mean? As organizations grow and corporate structures become more complex, a once-well-oiled and streamlined asset management process can quickly breakdown. Things spread quickly, version control grows out-of-control, and no one in the organization has a good idea of what exists, and where.

    Start with one simple question: Who in my organization needs access to these assets?

    While it’s true that the marketing team will need the company’s digital assets for projects like product catalogs and promotions, others in the organization may need access to the data as well. You may also have distributors or vendors outside of your office walls who need the latest information to accurately represent your product in the marketplace.

    Step one is to identify all of the potential stakeholders and gather requirements from them, in order to develop a true and accurate picture of the digital asset landscape.

    Coordinate Communications

    Coordinating how you communicate new digital assets to these stakeholders is an important consideration that will influence your path forward. Explore how you are currently providing information about updates to existing products, new product launches, and even changes to individual product features.

    It’s not simply about making sure the digital asset itself is communicated accurately, but that the stakeholder gets the appropriate education about this new information. A brand representative with incomplete knowledge about a product can be just as dangerous and damaging as one with no information at all.

    Supporting with Technology—Important Considerations

    Now that you have a better handle on these preliminary questions, you’re almost ready to choose a platform to help support your digital asset management. Consider these important issues when selecting that platform:

    • Implementation: Do you have the resources in-house to support implementing the platform, or will you need to hire a consultant to help get it running and support all of the touchpoints and stakeholders you’ve identified?
    • Integration with Existing Systems: What else is part of your infrastructure? You may have a CRM system, marketing automation tool, and a variety of other software and services that should be considered when choosing a platform,
    • Security: You don’t want to inadvertently open your organization to a potential security hole or flaw. While a well-implemented and maintained platform should not create any risks, it’s a question worth asking—especially given that a variety of users will be accessing the platform.
    • Usability: Speaking of users, usability should be a key consideration in your selection criteria. The best platform is the one that gets the most use. Sometimes an overly complex platform with all of the bells and whistles may seem like the best option, but it could overwhelm a typical user. You may want to bring a representative sample of stakeholders and users—not just your tech team—to the demos to get their impressions.
    • Cost and ROI: Every new technology is an investment. You’ll need to determine your break-even point to see if the ROI on the platform makes sense for how you’ll use it.
    At Trellist, we’ve helped organizations navigate the sometimes complex process of vetting a new digital asset management system.  If you have a hurdle you need to overcome as you explore your options, we’re happy to help—just contact us at digital@trellist.com.
  • 7 Tips to Optimize Your B2B Product Detail Page

    by Victoria silow | May 09, 2018

    Trellist_Blog_productpages_v2-01

    Think about how you, as a consumer, make an online purchase. You probably know what you want and may have a product category in mind that fits your need. However, there are likely many different products available. So you do a search or visit your favorite online mega-retailer’s website to check out the product options for a potential match. What you find will ultimately influence your decision and make or break the sale for that brand.

    Virtually the same dynamic exists in the B2B space between manufacturers and their end customers, and your marketing efforts should be focused on meeting customers’ needs in much the same way. There are many ways to nurture a potential buyer through the sales funnel, but swaying their decision to purchase your product over a multitude of other options may come down to the strength of your product detail page. Having details about your product gets you in the game as a potential provider, but the strength of those details and the way you present them is ultimately what drives the conversion. Getting these pages right should be among your top priorities as a product marketer.

    These seven tips and tricks will help you identify areas to focus on, with steps you can take to make each of these elements a little better.

    1. Consider search volume when naming products and product pages

      When you’re naming a product and the related product detail page, consider the search volume for the term you’re using. Tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner offer an easy (and free) way to identify closely related words and phrases that may be more popular among your customers based on search volume. Every term in your keyword planner will have a “more like this” button; click it to reveal even more potential keywords to use for your product name and product page title.

    2. Use the right keywords in product descriptions

      These same keywords should be fodder for your product descriptions. They’ll help your pages appear higher in search results and also spark recognition among customers who have those keywords in mind when searching for products like yours. However, always remember to write for a human audience, not a robotic one—even if SEO is an important part of your product marketing strategy. You’ll never out-game the search engine algorithms, so write descriptions that will engage the customers you’ve identified in your 1:1 marketing playbook.

    3. Include FAQs on the page to help users troubleshoot

      You’ve heard all the questions about your product before. Whether they’ve been fielded by your customer service team, discussed at a trade show booth, or expressed through an online contact form, you likely have a list of frequently asked questions at the ready. How does your product work? What comes in the box? What are the dimensions? All of these questions have been answered before, and providing them on the product detail page in the form of an FAQ section is another way to market all of the important aspects of the product. You should also provide an option for asking any questions that haven’t been answered, which is a great way to field additional market research about what’s important to your customers.

    4. Tell a story with videos and images

      Product detail pages are chock-full of information, but they don’t yet replace seeing and experiencing a product in person. The right images and videos can tell your product’s story in a way that helps bridge the gap between the real world and virtual one. These images and videos can focus on features that aren’t apparent in written descriptions, functionality that may not be obvious, or comparisons to existing methods that show how your offering is superior. People love a story, and this is your chance to tell a visual one about your product.

    5. Build the brand promise into the description

      Speaking of stories, the product detail page is also a place to tell your brand story and reiterate your brand promise. Since people may be deep-linking into your page from a search engine, they may not know much about your brand before they get there. The product description is your chance to talk about quality, guarantees, speed, and anything else that may set your product and your company apart from the competition.

    6. Maximize opportunities for conversion

      The product detail page is one of the last steps in the sales funnel, so you should do just that—SELL. Make sure it’s filled with call-to-action language and is clear about what the customer needs to do to purchase, including obvious buttons and streamlined order forms. You should also A/B test the varying colors, sizes, and call-to-action language to see how performance changes. Just be sure to change only one variable at a time to pinpoint what improves performance.

    7. Put away the cookie-cutter content

      Creating content for the product detail page is not the time to cut and paste; in fact, doing so will do more harm than good when all of your products start to run together in your customers’ minds. These pages should be unique and help differentiate the features and function of the product offering. Creating unique content can be challenging if you have a large number of products to define. If this is the case, focus on the top products first, and work your way to less popular products if and when resources allow.

    At Trellist, we help brands define their merchandising strategy and then implement it across a variety of channels, including product detail pages. We’re happy to share our best practices if you need help refining your approach.

    To start the conversation, contact us at digital@trellist.com.

  • 8 Tips for Making the Most of Your Trade Show Investment

    by Victoria Silow | Dec 19, 2017

    Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to mingle with customers and prospects, soak in thought leadership, and bring home an avalanche of new leads and potentially win new business. If you’re planning to exhibit at an industry event, all of these benefits are possible. Unfortunately, it’s easy to miss out on most of these opportunities and watch helplessly as your ROI plummets if you don’t prepare properly.

    Exhibiting at a trade show is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. It starts with building a strategy that rolls up to your organizational goals, supported by tactics that some of your fellow exhibitors may not have considered.

    At Trellist, we’ve helped clients in the Fortune 1000 refine their approach to trade shows to make a bigger impact, from attracting new prospects at the top of the funnel to showcasing their thought leadership in front of industry decision makers.


    Making the Most of Your Trade Show Investment

    The following tips have been taken and distilled down from strategies that have worked for our clients:

    Tip 1: Have Clear Objectives in Mind

    As they say, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. In order to assess the success of your trade show experience, you must have clear objectives in mind before you ever leave the office. Do you want to position your CEO as a thought leader through a keynote appearance? Is your goal to drive lead-generation through your booth? Are you launching a new product or fielding market research? Regardless of what the goal is, you should have it clearly in mind along with a plan to capture and measure results.

    Tip 2: Market Before, During, and After the Show

    Your marketing efforts for the trade show should start well before the exhibit hall opens. You should be marketing your presence there through the appropriate digital channels—on your website, through email, social, and the other online watering holes where you’re likely to find your audience. If you’re a sponsor at the show, you’ll likely receive an opportunity to reach registered attendees before the show through a blast sent out by the show organizers, inclusion of your materials in attendee bags, and more. Don’t waste these opportunities.

    At the show, make sure you have a publicly posted list of activities and events happening at your booth. This will entice people to come back.

    After the show, the real work of engaging and nurturing the leads you captured begins. Continual outreach is important to help reinforce your company’s value proposition and awareness for your products and services. At Trellist, we’ve helped clients avoid much of the heavy lifting around these efforts by helping them build a nurturing strategy fueled by thought leadership content and executing through a CRM and marketing automation tool.

    Tip 3: Double Down and Cut Out What Doesn’t Work

    There’s no need to attend every industry trade show. We understand that this can be a scary thought for veteran exhibitors used to having a presence at every event, but the alternative is worse: instead of making a big splash at a key show, you’ll be doomed to a lackluster presence at many shows. Rather than spread your budget too thin across multiple shows, the better strategy is to double down on the most important one. Reallocate your budget and use it to capture additional opportunities at that key show that you may have otherwise missed out on.

    No one remembers the bit player who served as the supporting actor in hundreds of movies throughout his or her career, but you can be sure the audience remembers the breakout star in last year’s summer blockbuster. That’s the impact you’re trying to make at a trade show.

    Tip 4: Location, Location, Location

    If you follow the advice in Tip 3 and save your budget for one or two big shows, you’ll have more flexibility with your booth size and location. You don’t want the 10x10 at the back of the hall. Instead, you should target larger booth spaces at:

    • The entrance of the exhibit hall
    • Near show sponsors and other activities
    • Near or in the pathway to bathrooms and food vendors
    • Away from your competitors

    For shows in the United States, the back left corner of the show floor is a dead zone. Visitors are used to driving on the right side of the road and reading left-to-right, so traffic naturally flows in this direction on the exhibit floor.

    Tip 5: Create Energy in and Around the Booth

    It’s human nature that we’re attracted to novelty and things that stimulate our senses. You should keep this in mind when deciding how to build and stage your booth. Tactics like interesting lighting, music, giveaways, and demonstrations will get visitors to linger long enough for you to give your 30-second elevator pitch before they’re off to the next booth.

    A client ran with this idea by including a small oven in their booth and baked chocolate chip cookies during the entire show. The smell was so delicious, patrons couldn’t ignore it. (Of course, the requisite disclaimer is to always follow the exhibit hall rules for what you can and can’t do at the show).

    Tip 6: What Would You Say You Do Here?

    So many companies fall into the trap of making their value proposition indecipherable to casual visitors who wander by the booth. What you do should be clearly stated on your booth, so that it catches the attention of even the shyest visitor who may not want to make eye contact with your booth rep. People cruise around trade show floors with one or two “must visit” booths in mind, and simply pick up treats and tchotchkes at the rest. If you have a billboard-worthy slogan that clearly states “we do this for you,” you just may catch a new customer that would have otherwise walked on by. Make sure that statement clearly indicates how you can help them perform better or solve a common pain point in your industry.

    Tip 7: Get Your Best People Out Front

    You’re at the trade show for a purpose—to drive your business forward. To do that, you need your best company representatives in, and preferably around and in front of, your booth. They should be engaging with visitors as they walk by, breaking the ice with questions and offering insights. While the glitz and glam of the booth can help stop them, your representatives should have a high level of subject matter expertise to properly represent your brand.

    Naturally you’ll think of your top salespeople for this opportunity, which may be the right fit. However, don’t discount the idea of bringing a customer service representative, product designer, or an engineer. Your subject matter experts exist in every department and have something to offer customers. As an added bonus, attending a trade show helps these team members develop a broader perspective on the industry, your competitors, and what matters most to customers.

    Tip 8: Don’t Let Leads Linger

    Finally, make sure you follow up on leads shortly after the show, ideally in the first five business days after you return. This includes both leads that came through the booth and contacts you made with people on a more personal level during networking events and standing in line for coffee. If you wait much longer than a week, the memory of who you are and what you do will fade. Again, to reiterate our point on marketing after the show in Tip 2, your follow-up and nurturing efforts should include multiple touchpoints, since one “thank you for visiting the booth” may not be sticky enough. Customers and prospects need to see your message multiple times in order to remember it.

    Whether you’re a trade show veteran or coordinating your first show, Trellist is here to help turn these general tips into a customized strategy for your organization.

    To learn more about how Trellist can help you get the most out of your trade show investments, please contact Victoria Silow

Insights posts by: Victoria Silow

Victoria Silow

A strategic digital marketing consultant with global B2C and B2B experience, Victoria manages transformational client engagements with a focus on eCommerce sales growth and integrated, data-driven marketing success.