Politicians vs Designers

Politicians vs Designers

As I mentally prepare for the onslaught of political campaign ads I’ll be forced to look at on streaming and social media soon – I think about a new wave of young politicians who are not particularly going the marketing route their relic predecessors went.

Art and graphic design have long been utilized for political and civic discourse. But as a designer, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with an old-school campaign manager their fossil-like strategies of campaign design and advertising are all too familiar and gross. Striking slogans. A deified figurehead. Vague illusions to an appealing, yet totally fabricated lifestyle. Supporters of politicians on any side literally parade their brand colors and slogans, in what could be considered an unparalleled show of “brand loyalty.”

I did a thing…

I won’t say who, but you can do a few minutes of googling to discover who I may have designed for many moons ago. He was a young and bright guy running for senator and his brood was chock-full of a passionate, young campaign team with goals of a better world. The community’s overwhelming response to his campaign’s artistic and creative branding and marketing was so amazing to see. And then… As a well-branded grassroots campaign does, he started to do well. So well that he caught the eye of a high-brow campaign manager who worked with the likes of elected presidents and senators from the past. Who brought her template of stuffy branding/marketing guides to re-do the vibe our team had created. He immediately went from being seen as a sleek, innovative, out-of-the-box, modern politician to just another ivy-league, privileged douche running for office. Needless to say, he didn’t win.

Graphic designers when listened to, have the ability to change how your community sees you with your branding and marketing assets. I think of the Wide Awakes campaign aesthetic:

Many new political organizations are focusing their efforts on giving political art greater public exposure. We can do this without pushing any one political agenda that the whole world is coming privy to.

Go rogue! Be bold. Stand out from the pantsuits and the $800 ties. Your community is quite over that type of politiican!

Why even bother hiring me (1)

Why even bother hiring me!?

MY PALMS WERE SWEATING.  I COULD FEEL THE LUMP IN MY THROAT TIGHTEN AS MY FINGERS CLENCHED THE CORNERS OF MY BLOUSE.

Keep it cool, Jacquelyn. 

I straightened my back with the clearing of my throat and eyed his profile as he was reviewing the proposal.

They’re going to ask me, I silently cringed.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to respond if they did, despite the fact that the question had been plaguing me from the moment I set up my freelancing business in 2015.

In my mind, I couldn’t understand why a business would bother spending $__K/month on my services when – really – they could just hire someone in-house for probably less than that.

He closed the proposal with a nod, “Alright, so just to confirm this would include the copy as well? ”

After clarifying the details and agreeing to a non-compete with competitor brands, we shook hands and the deal was done.

“In my mind, I couldn’t understand why a business would bother spending $__K/month on my services when – really – they could just hire someone in house for probably less than that.”

Just like that.

If you’ve ever landed your own clients you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s one of the best rushes on this planet – a validation of all your efforts and work!

I was on cloud nine the whole rest of the day.

But – to be honest – it took me a few more years before I would fully understand why businesses would even bother hiring me when, oftentimes, the cost seems much higher than trying to hire internally.

WHY DON’T BUSINESSES JUST HIRE INTERNALLY?

The truth is there are different motives, depending on the size of the business. And there are pros and cons for both situations. 

For large brands – you know, the Nike’s of the world.  The reason they outsource to agencies is mostly due to something called Opex, which stands for operational expenditure.

These are basically funds used by a company to cover expenses such as wages, maintenance services, rent and utilities, and brands.  Directors are given budgets around these and – while you may think your agency costs the brand a lot more – many of these brands don’t have the budget bandwidths to add more staff to payroll due to Opex and CapEx (capital expenditures) restrictions.

A reminder here – as a former employer myself – I have come to learn through the years that staff are actually very EXPENSIVE.  They get sick, they take time off, they need training and go on maternity leave.  A $5K/month employee will cost a company a lot more than an $8K/month freelancer – who can fulfill work year-round and around the clock. A freelancer also gets more done in that 1-month timespan than an employee can who has to commute to you, settle into the office, leave for a lunch break, get back into the groove of things, and crash at 3 pm. Studies have shown that in the 9-5 work schedule the average “great” employee only gets 3ish hours of impactful work done a day…

But surely in the long run hiring internally is a much smarter idea?

Perhaps, but let’s have a look at why smaller businesses choose to recruit freelancers vs internal staff.  

Firstly – most businesses have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to anything digital marketing – let alone specific marketing activities such as video content and social media strategy. The platforms and tactics are so new and ever changing that, unless you’re on top of it all the time, you get left behind.

And the reality is that in order to manage staff, you need to have a concept of what needs to happen or how to know if they’re even doing a good job.

So for most entrepreneurs and business owners – trying to become an expert in something that would just consume a lot of their time makes no sense.

They simply don’t have the knowledge to even know how/who to hire for such a role nor do they have the time/patience to try and train/manage said individual(s) in their business.

Secondly – for most digital marketing services offered in the market – the skillset needed to complete the full picture often requires a whole range of skills. There’s a saying in the industry of “looking for a unicorn” and it’s not far off. You need a hybrid person of a graphic designer, marketer, strategist, data researcher, and creative content writer.

Take FB marketing, for instance,  in order to be a good FB marketer one must be able to:

  • Write copy
  • Have an eye for creative
  • Understand the potential of Reels and Stories
  • Have an analytical mind able to interpret data
  • Be a strategic and adaptive thinker

So you’re needing someone that can use both their left and right brain!  Not an easy feat as most of these people are already doing their own thing!

When a startup or small business wants to grow fast and has needs for competence, tapping into an agency means they essentially get the whole package – all the skills required – in what would otherwise oftentimes require three people internally to complete.

So – plain and simple – businesses just want the headache taken off their plate and want results. And they want a solution NOW.

PROS & CONS OF HIRING AN AGENCY – WHY BOTHER?

PROS

  • Fewer headaches
  • Faster results
  • Access to a bigger suite of skills
  • “Round-the-clock” service
  • Oftentimes cheaper than internal staff
  • My favorite… Less B.S.

CONS

  • Long term, once Opex stabilizes, wiser to hire internally
  • As your business scales this can get costly
  • Can’t treat like a slave (kidding, kinda…)

SO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

Every business has different needs and will require different solutions based on where they’re at.  As a general rule of thumb:

If you’re still in a start up phase – hire the unicorn in small batches, not an employee. It’s the same premise as to why you would lease vs buying a building. It doesn’t make sense to put that overhead on your shoulders when you’re in a volatile and/or active growth stage of your business.

If you’re a well-established business that has had great results from your digital marketing activities already and are spending more than $15K/mth on an employee that you’re not happy with – it may be time to start shopping for your forever unicorn. Please note, to hire a competent full-time digital marketer/unicorn you’re looking at roughly $70K-$120K per year – so it’s not cheap either!

Grab a saddle, and meet your new unicorn!

Jacquelyn Tolksdorf
hello@unglitch.io

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How To Discover a Target Audience for Your Business

Whether you’re launching a new product or a new service, you’ll need to define your target audience. A target audience allows you to focus your marketing efforts and minimize the chances of your marketing campaign failing. But what is a target audience? And how do you discover a target audience?

An example of a target audience could be working moms between the ages of 30 and 39, living in San Francisco, interested in healthy food, with a monthly income between $4000-$5000. Those consumers are defined by their demographics, interests, and buying history. These can include their location, age, employment, education level, and annual income level, among others.

Unglitch.io will also use “target audience” to define a client’s buyer personas or ideal customers. Which is even more detailed than a “target audience” and more of a fake profile of your ideal customer to get familiar with.

If we’re talking about the above target audience and buyer persona might be:

Jane, 31, is an insurance agent in San Francisco. She has a health and wellness blog on top of her 9-5 job. She’s pursuing a health and wellness coaching certification and wants to turn her blog into her full-time job as a health and wellness coach. She’s very active on Instagram and curates an aesthetic feed. In her free time, she practices yoga and meditation. 

The Benefits of Discovering a Target Audience

If you know that your target audience spends most of their time on Instagram, it makes no sense to waste time on Twitter. 

Another reason identifying a target audience matters is because it simplifies your keyword research. Keyword research is crucial for creating content and any paid advertising campaigns that you’ll use to promote your offers as well as your website copy. 

Knowing that information makes it easier to write marketing copy that speaks directly to your audience’s interests, pain points, and desires. Compelling copy is key to converting visitors and followers into loyal, repeat customers. 

Lastly, defining your target audience allows you to refine your current offers and develop future offers that coincide with your audience’s interests. That makes every subsequent marketing campaign more likely to succeed and significantly improves your bottom line. 

How Does Unglitch.io Discover a Target Audience

  1. Segment Your Audience 
  2. Conduct Market Research 
  3. Perform Competitor Analysis
  4. Look at Industry Trends 
  5. Talk to Your Audience
  6. Interpret Data

How To Reach Your Target Audience 

Social Media: When it comes to social media networks, you have many choices. As mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean that you must be active on all of them. Instead, focus on social media platforms you know your audience is using. 

Content Marketing: An excellent way to establish authority and credibility. It’s also a great form of marketing that can help you improve your SEO and reach audiences who are in the research stage of their buying journey. 

People often look for more information before purchasing or comparing different options. Informative blog posts, reviews, and product comparisons can go a long way to helping them make their purchase decision. 

Video Content: This might not surprise you, but this is on the rise and is set to take over all forms of content pretty soon! From long-form video content to short, entertaining clips shared on Facebook and Instagram Reels. Videos show no signs of slowing down.

Interestingly enough, older audiences prefer YouTube over other social media platforms, so it could be a great fit if your products are aimed at that particular market segment. 

A few ways you can use video content to reach a specific audience include educational and behind-the-scenes content, entertaining short-form content, webinars, product demos, video case studies, and brand interviews.

Email Campaigns: All of the marketing methods mentioned above are perfect for raising brand awareness. Ideally, they should help you funnel your followers and website visitors to your email list. Once your audience is on your email list, you can use email campaigns to nurture the relationship and drive purchases. 

Offline Marketing: Offline marketing typically involves placing ads on billboards, TV, radio stations, and various print publications. This type of marketing however can be the most expensive. With little to no ROI (Return on Investment) so you need to be careful. It’s exciting to see your business on a billboard in your town. But the $1000’s you spent on it could have been best used elsewhere to get you sales.

Final Thoughts

Knowing your target audience is the crucial first step in creating marketing campaigns that reach the right people at the right time. 

So I’ve shared what a target audience is. Shared tips to discover a target audience and walked you through different ways to reach your target audience. The only thing left to do now is to take action and implement these tips. 

Good luck!

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You Can’t Afford to Not Invest in Social Media Marketing in 2022.

In 2019, 73% of small businesses used social media marketing to increase traffic, generate leads, and create strong connections with their audience. That number continues to rise today as the number of users has grown well beyond 3.7 billion. Read on for 4 ways you can expect to see ROI from social media!

INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS + RECOGNITION

Millennials and Gen Z go straight to social media if they’re interested in learning more about a brand they just discovered. 

But what about consumers that have never heard of your brand? Increasing brand awareness starts with meeting your current and potential audience where they’re already at. 

A solid social media strategy can help you create organic social media content and paid advertisements that put your brand in front of the right audience at the right time with the right messaging. When this happens time and time again, brand recognition is built and an engaged community begins to form. 

Don’t just take it from us, here’s what the stats say:

FOSTER AN ENGAGED COMMUNITY

A recent study found that 89% of people that follow a brand on social media will ultimately end up purchasing from that brand. How do we get these followers to stick around long enough to eventually convert?

The answer? Quality content and an engaging community. 

Why is fostering community important? Before you can convert an audience, you must come to know the audience and the audience must come to know you as the brand. When you show up consistently and provide value, users will share about you, resulting in more users coming to know you. Once they know you, they will start to like you. Once they start to like you, they will start to trust you. And where there is trust, there is a sale on the horizon.

Don’t just take it from us, here’s what the stats say:

INCREASE SITE TRAFFIC + SALES

Social media is an effective way to direct consumers to your online shop. Consider your social media like a digital handshake inviting users to your website. If consumers like what they see on social media, they’re likely to get to head over to your site.

Think about it like window shopping. Where social media is the window display and your website is the inside of the store. Your social media should be a beautiful sneak peek enticing people to come inside and see all that your website really has to offer. When you fully understand your audience and have a solid social media strategy in place, you can put together irresistible content.

Don’t just take it from us, here’s what the stats say:

IT IS COST-EFFECTIVE

Organic and paid social media tends to be significantly more cost-effective than “traditional” marketing methods, like television or newspaper ads. Plus, when you pay for social media management, you’re often not only paying for the content but also customer support and data analytics. Investing in social media creates a direct line to support customers’ needs and overall satisfaction with your brand through interpersonal dialogue.

Don’t just take it from us, here’s what the stats say:

Six-Facebook-Mistakes

Six Mistakes You Could Be Making on Your Facebook Posts

I’m not going to even get into bad graphics here…

Not Playing the Long-Game

A lot of the issues I see having with reach are due to wanting every post to have a financial gain associated with it and, when they don’t, page owners give up. They stop posting, they stop replying, and the page goes stagnant. You have to accept that not every individual post is going to make you money and that your long-term Facebook strategy has to revolve around building an audience and a community of people who want to hear what you have to say.

Understand that social media is social and that Facebook’s algorithms reward pages that interact with their fans positively and engagingly. When you post with that strategy, the strategy that keeps “social” in mind, Facebook (and other social media sites) will show your posts to more of your fans and that will lead to more sales in the long run than if you posted only items that ask for money.

Creating Posts With Outside Links in Every Post

Now I understand how this can be frustrating as you may have the strong urge to promote something (say a web page or product page). When every post you publish on Facebook has a link in it, its reach will be abysmally low.

Social media is for selling, but specific selling or call-to-action posts should be less than 5 percent of your overall posts. Ninety-five percent of your total posts should be brand building, those interactive posts that build trust and connection, and it is these posts that demonstrate to Facebook’s algorithms that your posts are things the social media platform wants to show to your fans. Why? Because that 95-percent of posts are what should keep people on Facebook. Focus on giving great content so that when you do post an outside link, Facebook will share it with more people.

Using Bad Words…

No…I don’t mean swear words, but there are no-no words that Facebook considers naughty. What are they?

“FREE”
“SIGN UP”
“SALE”

Use these words/phrases only when necessary and sparingly even then. Also, try not to use the words in both a graphic and in the caption of the post. Facebook (and in this case all social media platforms) limits your reach any time you use these words in posts, captions, or descriptions. It does this because it knows you want to make money or acquire event, membership, or contest sign-ups, so they’re going to limit your reach.

Only Posting Here and There

If your busy season is only once a year or your page revolves around an event, it can be tempting to post only around that time or event. But your reach will significantly decrease if you do not post consistently, as Facebook sees your page as a dead page.

Believe it or not, regular posting doesn’t have to be a time-consuming thing, and it doesn’t have to be in real-time. Batch-post scheduling lets you sit down and schedule ahead of time your posts for a given week or month. If you do not have the time or do not like creating content for social media this is something you should definitely outsource to a pro.

Not Talking to Your Followers

The biggest issue I see with page owners is that they simply can’t wrap their minds around what people want to see on social media. There is a simple solution if you are in this boat… Ask!

Asking your fans questions is one of the best ways not only to build engagement but to discover what content they are interested in and the new products and services you can sell them. Questions also help you find your customer’s pain points and problems. Not to mention it humanizes your brand. Stop trying to “sell” something or talk down to your audience with complicated info – talk to them like you would in a friendly conversation.

Using A.I. to Write your Posts

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my thoughts on Artificial Intelligence writing content for social media. If you’re interested in seeing what AI can do, companies like Copy.ai or the best out there, Jarvis AI – can do give them a try! However, if you’re struggling with building an audience or getting them to engage on your current page, I would suggest going a human route first.

Not surprising. But my main complaint of bots writing content is it sounds robotic and is not personalized for humans.

This is why it’s a great idea to explore companies and agencies that offer a full spectrum of services to handle your social media management like:

• Creative Writing

• SEO

• Graphic Design

• Data Analytics

• Target Market Research

Ryan-Reynolds-Marketing

Why Ryan Reynolds Is So Good at Marketing

Sure it helps that he is a funny, handsome, famous actor, but there is more that Ryan Reynolds has to offer besides his pretty face. If you didn’t know; aside from formerly owning Aviation Gin and currently owning Mint Mobile Ryan Reynolds also owns Maximum Effort; his own ad agency. He is the brain and the mouth behind some of the most successful ads for his brands and the brands he represents.

So what can you learn from this marketing guru?

Add Humor To Your Content…Obviously

Here’s the thing… Most business owners take themselves waaaaaay too seriously sometimes. The audience you are trying to attract doesn’t know you yet. Why are you boring them from the jump? Many marketers are so busy churning out marketing campaigns today that they forget to add a bit of humor in them. Ya know…a thing that all living beings enjoy!

Reynolds brings his natural comic sense to his campaigns, of course. Check out the recent video he did to help promote his new movie Red Notice where Reynolds plays an art thief stealing an ancient Egyptian artifact and in a meta act, brings his steal to…The Antique Road Show.

The video is even funnier if you’ve already seen the movie.

He Thinks Like His Customers

To become a successful marketer, you should think like your customer first. This is why hiring out for your marketing can be beneficial because sometimes it’s too hard for a business owner to think of their customer if they can’t picture a person unlike themselves. This is assuming your product or service indeed solves a problem or meets the customer’s needs, of course. Reynolds says that his reputation alone would not be sufficient to market Aviation Gin. Sure, it would help market the drink the first time. But the drink should be good enough to sell itself afterward.

He’s Quick + Gives His Marketing Specialists Room to…well MOVE!

Of course, that comedic timing is helpful in other creative avenues as well! Reynolds’ company is known to be quick in using the current trends to promote its brands. For example, Reynolds cleverly used the controversial Peloton bike ad in 2019 to promote his brand. While Peloton was busy controlling damage caused by its ad, Reynolds created a brilliant spoof using the same lead model, Monica Ruiz, within 75 hours, making it one of the best ads in 2019.

As he claims, “I can turn something around in 36 hours that another company would take weeks to figure out.” Reynolds attributes this quick turnaround to the minimal corporate structure and hierarchy his company has. Reynolds’ office is small and has a few marketers. The company further has an informal culture. This lack of a corporate ladder and bureaucracy removes the need for going back and forth for approvals. It gives his marketers the much-needed freedom to work on ideas and execute campaigns within a short duration.

He’s…Himself

In times when customer trust in brands is declining fast, being authentic in your messaging goes a long way in building that trust back up. Most marketing and advertising campaigns today create hype around a product or service.

However, people have developed dislikes for products and brands with hype; they expect a brand to provide genuine information about the product or service AND BE ya know…HUMAN! They want to buy from brands they can relate to and feel comfortable with.

These are a few key points brands and marketers can adopt while promoting their own things.

Third-Party-Cookies-Are-Dead

Third-Party Cookies are Dead

Third-Party Cookie in 2022: Everything to know about what it is, why it’s going away, and what’s next…

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you’ve probably come across cookies daily.
One minute, you’re casually browsing for a new bathing suit then click out of the website before buying. Not long before you’re seeing that product appearing across ALL THE OTHER websites you start visiting.
That experience stems from the third-party cookie, a simple piece of technology that’s had an outsized impact on the advertising industry as we know it today. Now, after years of controversy surrounding the third-party cookie, its days are numbered.

So what is a cookie, exactly? It’s really just a text file that is placed in your browser by a website. It’s sort of like an identifier for…well YOU!

Of course, that definition only scratches the surface. While its origins and the mechanisms that make it work might be simple, the cookie has helped fuel the 455.3 billion digital advertising industry through the 21st century, making it possible for marketers to send personalized—or invasive, depending on who you ask—ads to people based on their browsing behavior.

There’s no denying the third-party cookie has made marketers’ lives easier since its inception. But it’s also come with several drawbacks, some of which have spurred its demise.

Just because you can endlessly target people doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy what’s being sold. Research is mixed as to the effectiveness, and even the relevancy, of targeted ads in influencing users.

Plus, cookies are based on history—where someone has been. Sure, this can help marketers understand where someone might go next, but most people don’t need to be sold on a book they’re already planning to buy, or a hotel room for a vacation they’ve already booked.

All that aside, the biggest problem attached to cookies is that they come with major privacy concerns. The cookie was never designed with privacy in mind. It can be used to capture all sorts of data on you. In the right hands, all of this data can be pretty powerful. 

But fear not, there are many things that are killing the “cookie”.

Consumer Annoyance: Heard about Facebook in the news lately? Simple questions on a Facebook personality test opened up the aperture to a lot of consumers on how your information could be leveraged in negative ways. All from a former president using them to boost $R*#P political ads to unethical marketers watching your everyday choices made on the internet.

GDPR + CCPA: These two pieces of legislation have also contributed to the third-party cookie’s demise.

Chrome Browser: Many browsers are now giving you the option to block cookies, but the real nail in the coffin for the third-party cookie arrived last year. In January 2020, Google said its Chrome web browser would stop supporting the cookie within two years, although the company recently extended the deadline to mid-to-late 2023.

Google: Of course, Google wasn’t just going to stop making money from advertising. In 2019, Chrome rolled out Privacy Sandbox, an initiative to help advertisers reach the customers they want, while maintaining personal privacy for users. One of Google’s proposed replacements for the third-party cookie is “Federated Learning of Cohorts,” or FLoC. Instead of targeting users on an individual level, Google will segment users by interest group—or “cohorts”—based on browsing history. So, even though you might be placed in a cohort of, say, cheeseburger-loving amusement-park enthusiasts, an advertiser would theoretically have a hard time singling you out as one. Cohorts also change each week in response to a person’s browsing behavior.

Marketers, agencies, publishers, and everyone in between are preparing for a mostly cookieless future—and imagining what it might look like.

My Thoughts: 

Some in the industry believe the erasure of third-party cookies will be a good thing for the copywriters and art directors of the world. Why? Without cookies, it will only become harder for marketers to know that someone looked at red lipstick, then serve that person an ad featuring a picture of red lipstick and hope for the best.

In other words, creatives will literally need to get creative if they want to capture attention. I think what this creates is a really awesome opportunity for more data-informed creative. It’s the art of advertising and the art of media coming back. It’s not just about serving an ad to the right person at the right time but making sure the content within that ad is compelling enough to catch someone’s eye.

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How to Get Ready for Holiday Content

Creating for brands’ marketing during the holiday season is a bittersweet experience. It’s one of the industry’s busiest times of the year, while also being one of the most fun and festive! Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Read on to discover five ways to incorporate the holidays into your content strategy!

HOST A GIVEAWAY

There’s no better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a giveaway. These contests are a great way to gain recognition, followers, and business on social media platforms. Our biggest tip when doing this is to collaborate with other brands.

BE FESTIVE AND RELATABLE

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we love a good meme. Find GIFs or iconic photos that relate to your niche and the season (you can find great ones on giphy.com!). Not only is this content entertaining, but it’s also shareable and a great way to reach new audiences. If you’re having trouble creating visuals, source ones that you can repost!

If you’re looking to *add a little bit of spice* (TikTok reference, anyone??), utilize the power of copy! Research puns related to all things holidays: Christmas, snow, elf, Santa, etc. Being punny is a great way to bring a smile to your audience’s face.

SHARE A GIFT GUIDE FEATURING YOUR PRODUCTS

Another festive way to include the holidays in your social media content is by creating a gift guide featuring your products! If you are a skincare brand, for instance, consider creating a gift guide for women filled with products to promote relaxation. You could include a robe, candle, tea, and more! But ultimately remember to include your products in the guide. This is a great way to be “salesy,” while still providing additional value for your audience.

RELEASE A FREEBIE

Gift your audience this year by releasing a valuable freebie that serves their needs. This is a great way to show audience appreciation. The freebie can be about anything and everything, but it’s always extra fun and relevant if it’s timely! Consider creating a content calendar to get them through the end of the year. Your audience will be grateful to have a new resource to add to their collection. Plus, if they find it valuable, they will likely be more open to purchasing another resource from you in the future.

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in getting your content calendar ready for the holidays. If you want to get in touch about your holiday marketing you know where to reach me! Psssst…It’s at hello@unglitch.io.

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I Want to Talk About My Sunday Riley Customer Journey

First off, what is a customer journey…

Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…

What is a sales funnel…

Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?

  1. Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
  2. Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
  3. Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
  4. Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
  5. Clarifies optimization and development priorities

You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.

As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!

Step One: Build Customer Profiles

The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?

I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.

Step Two: Define General Stages

Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.

Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!

Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.

Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!

Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.

I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.

Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.

This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?

Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?

I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.

Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage

Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.

When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.

But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!

Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage

Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.

Account for all of the following touchpoints:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
  • Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
  • Social media channels
  • Customer support
  • Your website and apps
  • Email
  • Packaging and delivery

Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth

I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.

Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion

Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.

Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback

Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).

Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”

This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:

And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:

In the End…

Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?

Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.

But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!


Choose-Your-Wholesale-Beauty-eCommerce-Products-Carefully

Choose Your Wholesale Beauty eCommerce Products Carefully

Business Strategy, SEO, + Competing w/ Other Brands

Choosing brands to buy wholesale from is no easy task! Pick carefully! Because while it may be tempting to buy products you like or are trending — you need to think of a bigger picture. Let’s dive in!

Choose a Wholesale Resource

The easiest way to avoid mishaps from the jump is using Faire to pick the products you want to stock your online store with. I can even refer you to unlock bigger discounts since so many of my clients use this wonderful platform! Say I want to stock my store with different loofahs! I can find them on the website:

With Faire, you can find UNIQUE products to promote and sell on your web store. Faire will tell me products that have a “High Sell-Through” rate and are good investments. Each product on the platform is unique and the majority of the brands that sell their products wholesale on here for you to make sales and they do not compete with your website… Wait…what!? Brands are competing with my website?

Choose the Right Brand

Now don’t just think Faire will do ALL the work for you! It’s best to pick a brand that has an honest wholesale strategy in which their website does not compete on Google with their wholesalers. Because SEO is a fickle b!*@% when it comes to popular beauty products you want to sell you need to do some market research on what your target market is buying, what adheres to your own brand, and a brand that isn’t in a million online stores. Brands want to make sales of course! But if they tell you you’ll make sales with their products

Let’s see an example…

An example I have now seen 596,230,496 times since 2020…

Think About SEO

Babe Lash is even on Faire, but they are selling everywhere else too. You want to know their top wholesalers? Amazon! Sally Beauty! Walmart! They also do a lof of marketing and SEO work to also be the main seller of their products on their own website.

So say you choose Babe Lash without doing research that your clients might like these high-end expensive mascaras. You also did not do a quick google search pretending to look for Babe Lash before your stocked your inventory with Babe Lash. Now you’re stuck with a ton of expensive mascara that no one is buying because you will never rank on Google as a seller of this product.

In order for someone to buy this product on your website you have to do A LOT of promoting on your social media telling them where to buy it and why to buy it from you. Which to be fair, you should be doing anyway. But also to be fair…why would anyone buy it from you when they can get it from the brand themselves…? The answer. There is no reason to buy from you. So to Babe Lash’s delight — you’ve now helped promote a product and Babe Lash didn’t pay you a dime for that work. In fact! You paid to promote it by buying it wholesale! Win for Babe Lash. Now this is a the strategy of most MLM (blog rant for another day…).

So what should you do instead…

Hire Unglitch.io…or DIY!

Some Tips…

Use Faire…trust me! Avoid places like Alibaba/Ali Express or SHEIN to buy over-seas cheap products. Other people are doing this as well and consumers are on to them!

If not using Faire, try to find unique brands on Etsy and build a wholesale relationship with them.

Ask yourself these questions when you see a product you might want to add to your store:

• Does the product adhere to MY brand guidelines? Ex. If you are a vegan-only beauty business, do not sell collagen products. Check out FrogFuel’s Why You Can’t Find Vegan Collagen

• Is the product solving an issue? It’s easier to market a product from an up-and-coming brand that is destined to succeed. What does your target market have their eye one. Ex. With Gen X leading the way in buying more zero-waste, eco-friendly, diverse, and lgctq-friendly brands — these products will begin to sell more in coming years.

• Is the product’s brand getting good press? If I was an esthetician today and was to pick my first product to add to my store I’d start looking at new brands in the press. Ex. 42 Black-Owned Beauty Brands to Support Now and Always

But if you want to dive deeper into true market research, customer journeys, and more – reach out to Jacquelyn at hello@unglitch.io today!