Posts Tagged ‘pr news’

Is M-Commerce Retail’s Final Frontier?


Retail is experiencing nothing short of a commerce revolution and the speed of change is accelerating, and with Australian consumers known to be early-adapters and with mobiles at mass saturation point in the market, the implications for Australian businesses are profound.

According to Michelle Hammond of Start Up Smart, Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce is one of five key new trends that are transforming the retail marketscape.

She cites the latest eBay Online Business Index (OBI),  which reveals that nearly half of Australia’s top eBay businesses said they would optimise online content for mobile.  These findings were backed up by new research from Nielsen’s who have underscored the power and potential of this new trend.

So what does this actually mean for business?  It seems the attention span of consumers is shorter than ever, and the edge that M-Commerce has is in shrinking the time-lag between the initial stages of product research and identification and the eventual purchase.

Businesses who want to tap into this mobile marketplace need to enable their web presence not only with an online ‘store’ for purchases, but to take that extra step so that there are only a few easy, linear steps in the sales trajectory.  While Julius Ceasar famously Came, Saw and Conquered, for M-Commerce the mantra needs to be ‘I see’, ‘I want’, ‘I’ve bought’.

It seems to me there are a few must-dos for business here.

If your business has a good or service for sale, there must be a way to complete that transaction online.  Cataloguing and uploading your inventory may seem painful but it is a crucial step.

It is worth considering in addition to the traditional ‘online store’, can you develop an ‘App’ that you can offer for a free download for your customers?  The development of these Apps need not be expensive, and is a worthwhile investment to set you apart from your competitors.

If, on the other hand, your business offers more esoteric and less tangible products, such as knowledge, advice and expertise; then think about how to ‘commoditise’ your business… if you are selling your insights, why not distill them into a buyable format – can customers buy your book, or pay for a consultation?

Once you are M-Commerce enabled, you place your business in a space where you can recruit your customers as your secret sales team – why not prompt purchasers after they have bought your latest product to ‘share’ the sale via social media, and incentivise them for doing so?  This ‘word of mouth’ sales endorsement is nothing new, and is so easily adaptable in our digital age.

How is your business faring in the push towards fleet, fast, flexible commerce of the future? I would love to hear your insights on this.


Yours in PR

How do Brands and Customers Interact on Social Media?


The social media revolution has swept the globe with such force in recent years that it is only now, after some time has elapsed, that we can look in the rear view mirror and see exactly what effect it has had, and continues to have on how customers interact with brands.

Interesting new research commissioned by Fishburn Hedges in collaboration with Echo Research have released surprising new findings about just how social media has changed how, why, when and how often customers interact with brands.

Among their findings are the following golden little snippets:

  • The number of consumers that interact with brands via social media (in the United Kingdom) has doubled in the 8 months from August 2011 to April 2012
  • 65% of respondents would rather interact with a brand’s social media page than ring a call centre
  • 40% of respondents believe that the use of social media by brands improves their customer service
  • Social media is not just for the young – while almost half of the age group 18-24 use social media to interact with brands, the figures are high across all demographics, including 27.4% for the 55+ age bracket

This is fascinating research and it would be fair to propose that a similar phenomenon is taking place here in Australia.  It reinforces the view that the investment that major brands (particularly those in the B2C sector) have made in social media is actually paying dividends, particularly for those wanting to target the fickle and elusive youth market.

To read the report in full, including the groovy infographic, click here

I would be interested to know from the readers just how social media is changing the way that you interact with your brands, and with your own customers.


Yours in PR

Why Journalists Should Think Like PR Agencies


Previously I have written about how those working in PR need to think like journalists and to get a better understanding of how the media works, so as to better influence  it on behalf of their clients.  Indeed, an entire section of our monthly e-news, Queentessentials, is devoted to Meet the Media, providing insights into just how the media works, so that we can all target the information that we send them for best effect.

Today Paul McIntyre from AdNews wrote an article in which he quoted the views of Fairfax Media’s General Manager for News, Darren Burden, who has encouraged Fairfax journalists to think more like PR people.

Intriguing!  Let’s hear more.  Burden assets that the conventional way newspapers approach stories was to break the stories then walk way and let radio and TV take the story on.

That, Burden says, is about to change.  “We need to think more like a PR agency, which shocks people a bit but it’s about when you have a great story and you set the agenda, you don’t walk away from it. Instead you take it and drive it for three days so people understand what the story is about.”

This will be a surprising revelation for many journalists, who although they reportedly source up to 50% or more of their content from PR, and can be critical of publicists, sometimes referring to PR as being the ‘dark side’ of the news.

Burden says journalists need to start driving stories and owning them.  I find this a fascinating insight, and I think it adds much to the commentary about the fuzzy grey line between news and PR, how these industries collaborate, how they compete and how each can learn from the other.

From my experience, working with journalists is a wonderful symbiotic relationship, where, if handled well, everyone wins – the client gets media coverage and the journalist writes a great story.  This is not to say that this interplay is not without its challenges.

To read Darren Burden’s remarks in full, visit the article here.  I would welcome your views on this controversial topic.


Yours in PR

%d bloggers like this: