How to use online PR effectively to increase sales

hands-1167619_1280The discipline of public relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing.  PR is essentially managing the flow of information and news between a person or organization and its various publics such as customers, partners, employees, bloggers, journalists, and others.  There is a lot to like about PR, particularly when brands can tell their stories in far greater detail and at a fraction of the cost of a typical advertising campaign.

A well executed public relations program has many benefits—from an implied third party endorsement of a company to enhanced customer relationships and industry reputation.  The end result is an accelerated buying process, moving leads deeper and faster into the sales funnel towards conversion. Continue reading

Why customer experience is the new differentiator in banking

Banking IndustryThe Canadian financial services industry spent an astounding $8.7 billion dollars on information technology.  According to a Deloitte 2014  Industry Outlook, many banks are investing on IT to focus on revenue growth, customer experience, and security.  There is a strong desire by the banking industry to drive performance, mitigate risk and improve operational efficiency.

Customer experience is the new differentiator, requiring the seamless and unified delivery of online, branch, and mobile channels.  By leveraging technology, banks can better understand customer spending habits, preferences and product demand and  grow revenues.

McKinsey research, The three Cs of customer satisfaction: Consistency, consistency, consistency supports the belief that a consistent customer journey across multiple touchpoints is a key predictor for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Key findings include: companies can differentiate their brands by focusing on customer experience; building trust leads to long-term business success; and consistency-driven emotional connection is essential for customer loyalty. Continue reading

Demonstrate ROI with Marketing Process Automation

380_wpm_lowresI recently came across an interesting post by Vince Koehler of Sales Benchmark Index, a Georgia-based sales and marketing consultancy focused on sales effectiveness.  I recommend subscribing to their blog. The topic of Marketing automation is growing in popularity because of the increased pressure on marketers to show Marketing ROI.  Marketing has become more complex with the need for faster sales velocity, better insight into campaigns, and the flexibility to adjust marketing budgets on the fly.

I know, why is a PR Pro like myself writing about marketing automation? In a former life, I did a stint as a marketing operations manager.  But more importantly, PR and all marketing activities must foster engagement with identifiable communities and generate leads.  I take a holistic viewpoint in my PR practice and recognize the need for process integration and metrics.  We must always define and measure success. Continue reading