Feb 27
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It is no secret that Digital Marketing has undergone a significant transformation over the last few years. Digital Marketing is becoming critical for businesses due to customers spending more and more time online determining which products or services are the best for them. Changes and advancements in Digital Marketing are accelerating and it can be hard to keep up. If you thought 2014 was full of surprises, wait until you see what 2015 has in store.

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1. Content Marketing is Key
According to The Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” But why is so much emphasis being placed on Content Marketing lately? Because it’s showing positive results. Companies are now establishing authority and gaining the trust of customers by consistently creating valuable content without selling. Instead of pitching their product or service to customers, companies are now delivering information that makes buyers more knowledgeable. The idea is as companies deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers they will ultimately be rewarded with business and loyalty. The growth of Content Marketing also suggests that traditional marketing techniques like TV ads and radio ads are becoming less effective. Marketing efforts now rely on tested solutions and companies pay more attention to customer experience and present content in a more emphatic, client-oriented way. However, a major struggle for many companies is finding creative ways to stand out among the competition.

2. Video Marketing & Visual Storytelling
During the last few years we have seen the use of videos for marketing purposes steadily growing. Videos are perfect to show how a service or product works in such a way that is impossible to achieve with text or images alone. YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine play a greater role in content marketing strategies, but visual storytelling pieces like infographics and data visualizations do too. Visual Storytelling can be a perfect medium to help a company’s message stand out from the crowd and nurture engaged consumers. Together with heightened use of videos and visual stories crafted for marketing purposes, companies will inspire emotions and send a clear message about the brand to consumers.

3. Diversity in Social Media
Companies are now provided with an assortment of social media platforms that allow them to produce engaging content and build their audiences across more channels than ever before. Facebook is still the predominant social network for the vast majority of ecommerce businesses (with 1.3 billion users – and growing). However, as important as Facebook is, it should not be the only social media platform used to engage your customers or potential customers. Why? It is common today for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks. By diversifying, businesses are seeing positive results from their investments in social media, including more opportunities to reach different audiences – and ultimately giving the business a solid foundation.

4. Mobile Optimization
The importance of mobile will grow in each and every aspect of business, including Digital Marketing. Many believe that the mobile web will become bigger than desktop usage in 2015. Due to the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, most analysts agree that companies will have to put more thought into leveraging mobile technology in order to create an experience that serves the consumers needs. Otherwise, it is easy to lose customers to competitors who have adapted to this trend. As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.

5. Marketing Analytics
Marketers already use dozens of analytic tools in order to see how customers interact with their company’s products or services. The importance of marketing analytics will rise in 2015, when companies spending for analytics will rise by 60% and 73% over the next three years. Accurate marketing metrics and analytics provide critical insights into which marketing campaigns actually influence pipeline and revenue. Campaigns help convert leads and really help align company’s sales and marketing processes. Bottom line is without accurate analytics it is impossible to tell what is really working from a marketing perspective.

These are the Top 5 Digital Marketing trends we expect to grow in 2015! Feel free to add to this list if you have any another expectations. We are always excited to hear your thoughts!

Feb 20

Unique Selling Proposition

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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In an ever growing economy like today having a Unique Selling Proposition is an essential tool for your business. As previously mentioned in our July 3rd blog post, in order to attract customers, you need to have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). But what exactly is a USP and how can you establish one that is going to work for your business? Before you can begin selling your product or service to anyone else, you have to sell yourself on it. If you cannot adequately sell yourself on your product or service, you are not going to win over any potential customers. A USP becomes critical when your product or service is in a highly competitive industry. Very few businesses to date are one-of-a-kind. By identifying the business trait that makes you unique, you can differentiate yourself from your competition. For most businesses identifying a USP is not easy, in fact, it can be very difficult at times.

So what should you consider when trying to identify your USP?

Get to know your customers & the real reasons why they buy your product or service over a competitor’s
It is likely that many of your potential customers have a difficult time deciding which option in your industry is worth their time, money and trust. The selection process can be daunting especially for customers lacking the experience to know what truly distinguishes one competitor from another. This becomes your job to assist them by making your USP distinctive, authentic, and worth remembering. They need to be able to see exactly what your business has to offer that your competition does not.

Nonetheless, before you start thinking about which aspects set your business apart from your competition, you need to know exactly who you want to sell to and why. Too often, companies become consumed in their product or service and forget that it is the customer’s needs, not their own, they need to satisfy. It is important for you to know why they buy from you. What is it that sets you apart? For example, BMT Micro sets itself a part, among other things, through our customer service and our advanced automated fraud screening services. We take great care to ensure the safety of all transactions through our system. Our vendors set themselves apart from their competition by offering multiple payment options to their customers for convenience and providing safe and secure transactions, as well as having a full time customer service center through BMT Micro.

Research your competition and explain how your business solves your customer’s problems
One way to start is by examining how other companies use their USP to their advantage. If you examine what they sell and how, you can learn a great deal on how companies differentiate themselves from their competition. This requires a careful examination of other companies’ ads and marketing messages. For example, if you have larger competition and they are beating you by offering a better price, you have to find another business trait that addresses the customer’s needs. Once you have done that you can then build your sales and promotional efforts around that. You have to show your customers that your product or service can meet their needs and solve their problems. If they choose your product or service, how will that impact their life? What makes your business so different than the rest of the competition in your industry? Why should they choose you? The answers to these questions should structure the base of your USP.

Your USPs are very important to your customers and you need to be aware of them in order to retain these customers. It is also good to leverage your USPs when promoting your brand. However, keep in mind that you need to keep re-visiting your USP to ensure that it is still relevant and unique for today’s competitive market. As we mentioned before, if the USP does not set you apart from the competition, then you will need to find a new USP to promote. The more you know about your customer, the better strategy you will be able to put together for your sales and promotional efforts. These strategies should be driven by emphasizing your USPs. Remember: A successful business is not just about having a unique product or service; it’s about making your product or service stand out even in a competitive industry.

How can BMT Micro help our vendors stand out?
Once you have identified your USP, whats next? Your next step will be to start developing a strategy for your sales and promotional efforts. For our vendors, BMT Micro is able to provide assistance in this area. Recently we launched a Product Profile series on our blog highlighting and reviewing products for which BMT Micro acts as reseller or payment processor. We began the series with a post highlighting the software PMView Pro which you can reference here. By utilizing our Product Profiles, PMView Pro was able to feature their USPs and show customers exactly what their business has to offer that their competition does not. Product Profiles act as a third party resource for our vendors to emphasize their USPs for their sales and promotional efforts. Our goal for our vendors that participate in the series is to: increase their brand awareness, reach out to a larger audience for an increase in sales and reduce some of their marketing costs. For additional exposure, all Product Profiles will be shared on all social media platforms of BMT Micro. If you are a vendor and would like to see your product highlighted or reviewed, please contact us for more information!

Feb 13

Multilingual Service

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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For any business wanting to expand globally, it is important to take the business to where the customer lives and speak to him in a language that he recognizes. We have talked about this before, in our blog dated June 4. A general knowledge of other cultures is of essence: it is often not enough to translate, word for word, your original message to the target language, and think that this will be enough to ensure that your message will be correctly received and understood. Many different aspects go into intercultural communication: language, or the words we choose and the sentences we form with those words, is one thing, but just as important is matters that are not necessarily said or translated through the words themselves. Matters of cultural, social, and regional reference, intonation, a way of living, existing – and for you, as the business person, a way to correctly interpret and understand these signals, use them to your advantage and reciprocate, with your customers, within that same field.

Here at BMT Micro, because we have customers and vendors from all over the world, we receive communications, oral and written, in many different languages. Of course, we are located in the United States, with a mainly American staff; however, one of our strengths, compared to many of our competitors, lies within our ability to reciprocate in many different languages and that we have an understanding of the various cultural frameworks associated with languages from different regions. BMT Micro receives emails from people speaking German, French, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese… and many, many more languages! Granted, we do not speak them all, but we are a company of multilingual capability and we do respond to emails in all the languages mentioned above. We are also always looking to add languages to our repertoire: our shopping cart is available in most of the languages mentioned above, with a Dutch version coming out soon. We are also currently looking into a Russian translation of our shopping cart, complete with system messages and order info in that language.

There are many facets to intercultural communications and providing a multilingual service; more than just adding languages and/or being able to conduct a rudimentary conversation in a foreign language. At BMT Micro, we are aware of sociolinguistic aspects of communication and have sufficient linguistic experience to be able to decipher not only communications in various regional variations of one and the same language, but also communications that are incomplete or contain colloquialisms or slang words. One must make note of the fact that not all communication comes in the form that you may have learned it at school: when you receive a phone call, the communication is instant and it bears with it e.g. aspects of the individual’s regional origin through the phonetic intonation in itself, but also perhaps through the choice of words. Canadian French is not exactly like the French that they speak in France. Yet, at BMT Micro, we answer phone calls in French and resolve customers’ problems in both. In written communications, sometimes, we get messages with such “inventive” spelling and incomplete sentences or sentence fragments that school book grammar would not suffice. For many companies dealing with global communications, Google Translate would be a go-to source to make sense of what your customer is saying. But Google Translate would not make sense of slang or inventively written language – it would only return an error or the message in the same language again! Google Translate may be useful to a certain point, but a lot of times, it presents more errors than it does proper language. Nothing beats a real, live person having the intercultural and multilingual skills necessary to properly communicate and aid customers and vendors with whatever inquiries they may have!

Feb 6

BMT Micro Vendors’ Area

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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When you sign up as a vendor with BMT Micro, you get access to our Vendors Area, which offers you a multitude of features that you can use to not only set up and manage your account, but through which you can manage your sales and offer your customers a great variety of options for purchasing or enjoying the product(s) that you have for sale. In our blog post from November 21, 2014, we touched upon the gift certificate options that are available in the Vendors Area. This blog post will give more of an overview of some of the things available to you, as a vendor with BMT Micro. Our system is created to be simple – easy to use and easy to set up for immediate return on product listings – but it contains more than may first meet the eye.

Sales: obviously, in the vendors’ area, you can manage all sales related matters, such as seeing both pending sales and sales that have been completed. Your sales summary can be viewed either as a list or as a graph, depicting sales statistics and information over a given time and/or based on a product name or the country from which the purchase was made. The detailed sales summary can give you information about how many units of a certain product were sold at what price, considering what discount etc. Vendor royalties are clearly at display on the main page and also throughout the sales statistics, so that you can always follow along and know exactly what you have been earning for each and every sale. The EU sales summary will give you information on sales within the EU members states. The sales statistics can be ranged or grouped in many different ways; there is an option to consolidate the information not only through the product’s name or ID number, but also through customer comments on the product(s) or how they heard about and came to your business in the first place. This could be very valuable information for future marketing purposes; e.g. in reaching out to your target audience, whoever and wherever they may be.

Products: When you have signed up with BMT Micro and added your products, you can always go back and edit or manage these products to fit your needs as they change over time and with the sales statistics that you are able to see. Some products may not work, or you will have developed a new version of them, but maybe you don’t want to get rid of them altogether, just in case? With BMT Micro, your products can either be active (and up for sale) or inactive (not currently for sale, but still in the system). You can filter either of these options through the product’s name or ID number. You can manage files, upload or delete, as your need dictates. You can add and manage activation codes for your products. You can manage pricing tiers for all of your products and there are many different options for discount schemes, which may provide you and your customers with exciting sales and purchase opportunities, depending on the type of product and what type of discount you may want to offer. There is much that can be done in this department and we will address the various discount options in more detail in a different blog post down the line.

Customers: As a vendor with BMT Micro, you can easily manage all your customers, find their information from within our system, to better resolve their problems or answer their questions, you can manage their download passwords and subscriptions and see the comments that they have made on your product(s).

Affiliates: If you want to partner with affiliates to increase your sales, there is a place for that as well in our Vendors Area. There is detailed information on what the affiliate program is all about and how it can benefit you. You can see statistics on affiliate sales and you can email your affiliates all at once if and when you have important information to share. As we have stated before in the space of this blog, using an affiliate program can be an effective way to market your products with little or no cost.

These are only some of the features available to you in the vendors area – but there is much more that remains for you to discover or take advantage of as a vendor with BMT Micro. Signing up is as easy as 1-2-3: register, upload your products, and start selling! Some e-commerce providers may approve your account after a weeks long review; with BMT Micro, the review is almost instant and you can start selling in a day or less! We have several plans for you to choose from, or we can customize our plans to suit your needs. With the numerous functions featured in our Vendors Area, managing your online sales has never been easier!