MineWhat Platform

The most comprehensive toolkit for growth stage eCommerce businesses.

Making the most out of the ads on your online store

By some estimates digital ad spend in 2014 was just around a 150 billion USD and is likely to go even higher. Add to this the extremely complex nature of the online ad space in general it can be quite daunting for someone just starting out to navigate through, here are some pointers.

Display vs Search

Shoppers tend to discover your products via multiple channels and given how long and widely varied a buying cycle can be, it isn’t a question of one or the other as much as it is of what kind of a mix of the three you decide to have. Having a good mix of the three is often better than focusing all your efforts on one.

A recent Survata study suggests that for around 34% of shoppers Search is the first stop on their buying journey. Besides search gives you a good way of targeting shoppers who are currently in the market. While running these ads you can consider adding search engine partners to your targeting as that will help you widen your reach. Most eCommerce stores have multiple categories listed, so it can be quite difficult to customize keywords and the campaign for each. When this is the case you can use the Search Dynamic Ads option to automatically target relevant content from your site.

Display ads make more sense from a visibility standpoint. They can help you get your brand or offerings into the customer’s psyche and could bring in conversions a little later. Choose where to show ads on the display network, filter based on content, site similarity etc…To decide on a good mix between the two, you can take a look at how shoppers are finding you. On MineWhat you can not just find a distribution of traffic across different acquisition sources, you can also figure out what categories and brands work best on each one of those so you can fine tune your targeting strategy. If you are going in for a mix, the Search Network with Display Select (SNDS) can give you the best of both worlds.

Is mobile worth it for you

In addition to deciding what kind of a mix of search, display and retargeting you want to go for, you also have to look into whether you need to have different strategies for specific devices as well. While mobile is in right now, skewing your targeting totally toward mobile devices isn’t the right thing for everyone. Shoppers interact with different types of merchandise differently, for example shoppers are more likely to buy books using mobile devices than they are to do so for apparel. Use different attribution models to see if your mobile shoppers buy when they are navigating to your store or if the purchase then happens on desktop or other devices. This will help you adjust your ad strategy accordingly. With MineWhat, our customers can look at data from device specific interactions for each category and brand separately and make changes based on that.

Targeting your ads

There are multiple ways you could target your ads.

  • Location based targeting: Try to find out which of your merchandise works best across different locations so you can then create a targeted campaign around just those products.

  • Placement: While running campaigns on the Display Network, you can choose to target different sites that are similar in content to yours. Another way of going about this is to use your analytics tool to see what are the most common external drivers of traffic to your site and you can target those.

  • Remarketing: You can set up remarketing on both Search and Display networks. This will let you target specific customers who have visited your site before and can create drastic increases in site traffic. According to a recent study around 30% percent of consumers have a positive or very positive reaction to retargeted ads.

  • Demographics: Another key aspect of targeting is to to figure out what demographic your merchandise appeals to and target them alone. If the merchandise you stock is quite varied you can then tailor individual campaigns for each demographic.

Surviving the holiday season: How to not lose money on markdowns.

Markdowns are a bit like a necessary evil for the retail industry. Attempts by retailers to move away from this model have nearly always ended in failure. The problem is even worse online as all it takes for a shopper to go to a new store is to open another tab. Each year as the holiday season heats up it isn’t uncommon to see banners displaying 50% off and more. But unless you run a large store and do large enough volumes to justify the markdowns, you are going to be losing a lot of money trying to keep up with all the dicounting. Here are a four ideas that will help you avoid just that

Never get into a pricing war:

Having a price match guarantee is a slippery slope. While you might get more traffic to your store you might end up losing money because of the huge discounts. Instead, focus on adding extra value to your shoppers for the money they pay. Try adding non monetary benefits to each purchase like the possibility of winning a huge prize, more coupons etc…


Start early and start small:

Start your promotions as early as you can, before the holiday season fully sets in. That way you can hopefully generate enough revenue to justify deeper discounts later on in the season or maybe, just maybe avoid the discounting craze all together. The discount rates on these early sales don’t have to be too high, just work on putting it in front of as many people as possible. While promoting your sale use messaging language that is similar to what might be seen later on “regular” holiday sales.

Unless you sell extremely niche products, you are most likely going to be competing with larger stores with a much bigger marketing budgets than yours. Instead of going head to head with them for CPC ad space, look at local media outlets for your ads. You could possibly get the same level of shopper attention where it matters without having to compete with the biggies. Another approach you could take is to get in touch with influencers in your area and get them to endorse or promote you.

Encourage loyalty:

Unless you do large volumes, those extra orders you get because of a huge discount are not going to help much. You can either focus on getting more traffic to your store or on increasing the average order value(AOV) of each customer. To get in more traffic give out discounts based on successful referrals. One idea to increase the AOV is to have discounts that apply only on purchases above a price range.

Discount based on target demographic

It is quite likely that the whales on your store will continue shopping with you even if you don’t have huge discounts all the time. Find out what products these people are interested in and avoid discounting them too heavily, instead put all the heavy discounts on products that the masses might be interested in.

3 Tips for converting during the holiday season: How MineWhat can help

With the holidays coming up, I’m sure you are thinking up different ideas to make the most out it. Cyber monday sales in 2013 is estimated to have brought in around $2.2 Billion in sales. This year it’s likely to go even higher. Here are some new perspectives on three common ideas you might be using to bring in more customers this season.

Landing pages

Create multiple ones based on shopper segments:

Different shoppers want different things, having multiple landing pages will help you target each need better. Pick the most common shopper demographics on your store and create one for each. A good starting place is to create different ones for desktop or mobile users or for each acquisition source with substantial traffic. On MineWhat the summary reports have data on how much traffic in comes into your store from each segment so you can decide if each one warrants a landing page of its own.



Choose the right products:

Landing pages are very often the first thing a shopper interacts with on your store.On average only about 35% – 40% of the visitors to an online store, go on to view a product. Quite often this could be simply because the shoppers aren’t interested in what they see on the page. On MineWhat you can spot exactly which products are the top sellers for each segment and use these products on your landing pages.



Refine your product selection:

Customer preferences can change very quickly. If you intend to start your campaigns early and let them run late into the season, it’s quite likely that the products you picked for your landing page the first time are no longer the ones they are interested in. If you’ve got MineWhat installed on your store you can create reports to see which of the products on your campaign are the ones shoppers are engaging with or buying and use that to continually update the selection for each landing page.


Email Campaigns

Create retargeting lists:

A bizrate display advertising study indicated that about 25% of online buyers like receiving behaviourally retargeted ads because the remind them of what they were looking at previously. Shoppers sometimes need a little nudge before they make a purchase decision. Instead of basing your email retargeting only on what shoppers did on your past emails, you can run specific emails based on what products shoppers are viewing or interacting with on your store.

On MineWhat you can use the behavioral segmentation feature to create lists of shoppers who’ve viewed any specific product or a group of products. You can then email these shoppers with those products alone, to increase your chance of conversion.




Email automation:

Email frequency around the holiday season usually tends to shoot up. With more emails going out each week, it might get harder to send out personalized emails. On MineWhat you can get spot exactly which products work for each shopper segment. You can also use the MineWhat API to insert these products directly into your email templates as well. You can configure this to work automatically without you having to do anything manually.

Provide an opt out:

As you increase your email frequency, let your subscribers know that they will be seeing more from you in their inbox and ensure that you offer them a holiday opt-out. Otherwise you might end up pushing your members to unsubscribe altogether or mark your emails as Spam. One other thing you can consider is to create a preferences page, where customers can choose how often they receive emails.


Homepage Banners

What do you display on your homepage:

Design your homepage depending on what you want your shoppers to do on it. Amazon for example has a homepage that at first glance might seem totally cluttered. But they don’t want their customers to purchase products on the homepage, instead they make it easier to navigate to different campaigns or collections on their store.

Create collections/lookbooks:

Make your shoppers lives easier during the holidays by creating gift guides or product collections and display them on your homepage. Categorize the guides by relationships(gifts for boyfriends, gifts for spouses, gifts for girlfriends etc), by price (under $10, under $15 etc), by gender (Ideas for men, for her etc), by personality, by color, by product category, by age (babies, kids, teens, adults) or by top rated products. For more ideas on homepage design click here.



4 ideas to encourage impulsive buying among your shoppers

If the Flintstones were real, I’d imagine Fred would walk down to the neighbourhood market place once a week with a list of items he would need. Since those imaginary times, shopping has moved from being something you had to do once in a while, to a social and leisure activity. A marker of this change is how much of shopping now seems to be impulse driven. Some studies suggest that impulsive buying accounts for up to 80% of the purchases in some categories. Here are 4 ideas you can use to encourage your shoppers to indulge in a bit of impulsive buying.

If the Flintstones were real, I’d imagine Fred would walk down to the neighbourhood market place once a week with a list of items he would need. Since those imaginary times, shopping has moved from being something you had to do once in a while, to a social and leisure activity. A marker of this change is how much of shopping now seems to be impulse driven. Some studies suggest that impulsive buying accounts for up to 80% of the purchases in some categories. Now this should sound like every retailer’s dream, but like most other things with human behaviour, it can be quite difficult to predict and manage. Here are 4 ideas you can use to encourage your shoppers to indulge in a bit of impulsive buying based on some research in this area.




Push low price affinity products to shoppers

By some estimates, impulsive purchasing of items like candy and magazines account for around $4.2 billion in annual store revenue. These products sell because(among other reasons) they have a strong association in people’s psyches and require little to no conscious thought to make that purchase decision. The same concept can be applied to an online store as well, pick low priced products that have a strong association with other products that a shopper is interacting with and push these to them. On that note, here’s a plug, 🙂 this is something that we help our customers with at MineWhat. Read this for more info.

Get your product placement and timing right

Trying to encourage any behaviour starts with understanding why and how it occurs. You might have noticed that your local store lines the section near the checkout with products like candy that require very little conscious thought to purchase. Identify products in your store that might fit that description and push them just before the checkout stage.

There’s quite an opportunity for upsells here. Customers aren’t always a 100% sure of their selection and pushing a product priced slightly higher can result in them choosing the latter.



Trigger an emotional reaction

Very often shoppers might buy merchandise for what might seem like irrational reasons. Each shopper assigns some perceived value to a purchase. Shoppers might buy things for reasons ranging from feeling good about themselves, societal acceptance to “he’s got it”. Understanding what kind of reaction your products are likely to generate will go a long way in helping with triggering a favorable reaction. That said, a few approaches to this don’t seem to go out of fashion very much. Here are a couple of them.

* The Social angle: Customers trust recommendations from people they know. An email campaign that targets friends of people who purchased a product is likely to do well. You can integrate this with some kind of incentive program to get people to opt in and share the info with their friends.

* The Celebrity angle: Associating a product to any celebrity seems to work most of the time. Of course how deep your pockets run is an important factor in deciding whether you can do this or not.

Provide immediate gratification

Most shoppers who buy impulsively are looking for immediate gratification and by definition that’s harder to achieve in the eCommerce format. Well, you can offer your shoppers same day delivery, but that will cost you quite a bit. It also comes with geographical limitation, that is unless you are Amazon, Walmart et al.

Take a positive approach to your messaging your delivery times. Talk about how soon they can experience the product instead of a “Delivered in 3 days” message. Another thing you can work on is to create some interim gratification to the shopper. Videos can give a shopper a good idea of what experiencing the product is going to be like. What would be even better is getting videos of the product from your user community.

5 pointers to run great World Cup campaigns for your online store

Okay, I understand that there’s a lot of campaigns and promotions going around, and it’s hard for someone to even get noticed, forget about standing out, but an organized approach can give you enough room to come up with new ideas and reduce the probability of failure.

We’ve already written about how to run marketing campaigns, and even have an infographic for it, but we thought of coming up with a few pointers specially meant for WC campaigns. Keep reading, let us know what you think and we hope this will help you to design awesome campaigns.

1) Design campaigns that talk to people

You have to be really innovative. We always say this, build a mechanism that pulls people. Your marketing efforts should not segregate customers, rather include them. Let them participate, be more interactive.

Adidas, the official sponsor of World Cup supplies, came up with a campaign asking people to upload their running pictures on their official page. Similarly, you can connect with your customers emotionally. Your campaigns can evolve with the changing trends, popular teams, winning teams, players, let your customers believe that you’re living the Cup with them.

2) Get the help from the stars

I certainly do not mean “luck” when I say stars, although if you can get it, I guess that wouldn’t hurt. Use influencers to captivate your customers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small business and cannot afford celebrity endorsements.
Be innovative! Clothes2order, a custom-made t-shirts store got tweets by the celebrities printed on the tees and tweeted the pictures to the celebs. When the celebs responded, the company gained enormous visibility and the best part, the investment was minimal!

Come up with ideas, try out new and exciting ways to get user attention, try using influencers who already have built big audience. Not to mention the obvious, all this will add credibility to your brand.

3) Analytics can help you with targeting and personalisation

You can use analytics to get the perfect blend of top selling, most engaging and related products. Your aim is to make your shoppers spend more time on your pages, and come across the stuff they would buy.

While we are on the subject :), let’s look at MineWhat. We let you see all the metrics related to products, for example, products that took the least time for conversions (impulsive purchases), or the products with highest number of views (highly engaging products). You can get these reports for categories, brands or individual SKUs, and make more precise decisions.

Another thing MineWhat helps you do is to find out the products, brands and categories that work best with each other to maximise cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Furthermore, monitoring the campaigns during their course and checking the competitors prices can help you to stay competitive.

4) Find a way to relate your products with WC spirit

Know your business, know your customer! You don’t always have to sell official merchandise. It doesn’t matter what your products are, you can always relate your products with the event in some way. Say, you can sell loungers and recliners people can use while watching the match, or promote healthy snacking during the matches.

I’d mention Clothes2order again for their WC campaign, here’s what they’re doing this time. Interesting, huh?

Invest in your campaign to get better results. Elitify, a premium products company came up with country inspired collections from top designers. This way they stayed true to their business with what they sell, and fulfilled the expectations of their customers with selling premium products.

5) Create conversations around your campaign

Its all about communication, just add a personal touch to it. The more you socialise, the more you become a part of people’s lives. World Cup unites people on various platforms, from all over the world. Being an eCommerce company, you have an advantage of reaching out to your prospective shoppers very easily.

Be active on social media or community websites, get involved in discussions, drive traffic to your website smartly, instead of just sticking your link around.

If you’re a marketer, you know what it takes to run a successful campaign. The key is to connect with your audience. Do you have any ideas to make this marketing season more interesting, share it with us, post a note below. We’d love to hear from you.

Most importantly, enjoy this World Cup season in high spirits!!!

3 things you can learn from Amazon to keep your customers engaged and buying

"We think of our customers as invited guests at a party and we are the hosts." That’s Jeff Bezos for you and sure enough that philosophy reflects in how engaged their customers are. Data from 2013’s Foresee Experience Index gives Amazon a customer satisfaction score of 88, the highest among all the other retailers in the Internet Retailer top 500. What strange mojo do they employ to ensure their customers stay loyal and engaged? Here’s some of what we found when we went digging through their website.

Include your customers

The Amazon home page regularly has messages to its shoppers, either about product launches or messages from the founder himself. They’ve been working up to a smartphone release for a while now and a few days back they included a “request invitation” link right on the top of the page. Now it’s quite likely that only a few customers will actually end up attending the event but everyone visiting their webpage would have felt included.

Here’s their current homepage, with a letter from Jeff Bezos to their customers on a product release. Another perfect example of the same kind of attitude.

Use reviews to build trust

Data from a Neilsen advertising survey indicates that only about 14% of people trust advertising while an overwhelming 78% of the people included in the survey trusted customer reviews, even when they were from total strangers. Amazon leverages this perfectly, here’s a snapshot of their review page.

There’s quite a few things going on in the page, each of which helps shoppers to find the info they need to get to a decision.

  • While reading pre-created reviews is usually informative, occasionally you run into something that only someone who’s using the product will know. Amazon lets you ask questions to existing
    users, so you are covered there as well.

  • Another thing on the page that’s really helpful is the juxtapositioning of the most favourable review with the most critical one. Any customer reading the reviews will have both sides of story.

The Little Things

Customer loyalty is a fickle thing, it very often comes down to the small things, transparency, integrity, ease of use etc.. The amazon webstore is littered with examples of these. Here are a few you can learn from.

  • Each product page on the store also lists any available alternate prices on the side so customers can choose which option suits them the best.

  • The product pages also have all the important social media links easily available so customers

  • Every time you log in, Amazon adds a link to the top of the page that looks like “John’s Amazon”. Clicking on the link takes you to page with products that you are likely to be interested in. This little element of personalization not just increases the possibility of conversion, it also helps in cultivating loyalty.

That’s all Folks!! We are writing about Amazon Prime next week. Is there any other topic you’d like us to cover? Just leave a note in the comments section below.

Running great marketing campaigns: A how to guide for online stores

Running a successful marketing campaign on an eCommerce store is a bit of an art. It’s a whole load of factors including themes, product choices, creative decisions and more coming together in perfect harmony to push you towards achieving your marketing goals. Have you ever had any of your marketing campaigns run like horses on steroids or go flat like a fizzless cola? Well we all have, here a quick checklist of sorts for running a great promotional campaign.

Campaign theming for marketing

Start with listing out all the possible theme options. The ideal theme for a marketing campaign should factor in the target personas, any current trends you want to capitalize on among others. Here’s a great example of a holiday themed marketing campaign page.

The theming on the above promotional campaign reflects the copy perfectly in recreating a feeling of wishes and is themed to capitalize on people’s interest in taking vacations. The presence of a celebrity does add a lot to any promotional campaign. Occasionally eCommerce stores rope in celebrities to run themed marketing campaigns, here’s what it might look like.

Of course how deep your pockets run is an important factor in deciding whether you can do this or not.

Choosing the right campaign medium can make or break any eCommerce marketing campaign, people on different platforms tend to behave differently and it is very important to account for this when choosing themes for a campaign.

Some other important factors to consider include the target location and from there location specific interests and the purchasing capability of the target audience. Once you’ve listed down your theme choices pick the right one for you based on your campaign timeline and affordability.

Picking the right products for your marketing campaign

Once you picked the right theme from among your choices, the next thing to do is to pick the right products, create a great product mix and ensure maximum conversion. The primary thing to keep in mind while picking products for your marketing campaigns is how they fit the demographic you’ve selected for your promotional campaigns. Say a baby trike bike is not very likely to appeal to a target demographic of mid teens.

There’s also a insight driven aspect to choosing the right product for any campaign, on MineWhat users can get insights on product-shopper interactions from specific locations, traffic sources, demographics and more so they can pick out the right products for their marketing campaigns.

It also helps to create a wide enough varied product mix so there’s enough options for shoppers to experiment with while still remaining within the theme of the marketing campaign. This will also help with creating enough cross sell and up-sell opportunities. Picking the right brands will let you co-market your campaign online(i.e) capitalize on any of the marketing efforts done already on those brands.

Creatives

Most marketing campaigns will require specific creative effort. Good product photography is going to be a big part of this and while we are on the topic, here’s a blog we wrote a little earlier on how to get started with product photography for your eCommerce store.

It is always a good idea to to create specific landing pages according to the traffic sources for each of your shoppers. Your shoppers interact with each of these traffic sources differently and for different purposes, its very important to factor in this in while creating landing pages. Say for example a landing page for facebook has to designed to engage prospective shoppers in a more fun way than something like google search.

Another important thing to include as part of the creative process and later as well is to optimize the campaign for social sharing. Pinterest is shaping up to be a very interesting place for eCommerce marketing with about 44% of all the eCommerce specific shares so say optimizing images for sharing product images on Pinterest will definitely go a long way.

Pick the right medium to tell people about your campaign

Data indicates that Pinterest had the major share of of eCommerce based shares at 44% in 2013 . Facebook was a respectable second with 37% of eCommerce specific shares and Twitter had only about 12% of shares. Again each of these mediums interact with people in different ways and fulfill different purposes. While a Google search for “Adidas shoes size 7” might indicate more of an intent to purchase, similar behavior on Facebook might be more hard to come by.

A/B testing is the name of the game here. Run small campaigns across each of these platforms to determine which one is the best for you. If you do have the budget to spend on a marketing campaign across all these platforms this activity would give you some information on deciding on how to distribute your marketing spend across all these platforms.

Email is another great medium to use for campaigns. Email open rates in 2013 were at around 22% for the eCommerce industry. There were some interesting developments on the email front last year, Gmail began displaying images in emails by default. This will help immensely in sending out great, visually engaging email campaigns.

Post landing actions

The medium specific pages you designed for your marketing campaigns will come in here again. Say a Shopper coming in from Facebook might not directly inclined to make a purchase right away, so giving them something fun might keep them engaged long enough for you to show off some of your products. Simply gamification will also help.

The same logic applies vice-versa too, a shopper coming to your site from a very specific long tail search on google might be more inclined to make a purchase right away. In cases like that it is best to ensure that there is no distractions for them. You can always create opportunities for cross or up sells once they are through with the purchase.
Find out more about converting your shoppers to buyers here with a free downloadable white paper.

Measuring and Refining your marketing campaign

When everything is said and done it is all about the bottomline on your marketing campaigns. While analysing click stream data will definitely be helpful it will take you only so far. MineWhat enables eCommerce stores to not just measure their campaign efficiency, they can also create their own insights on the products in the campaign alone to refine the campaign as it goes along.

Some other good tools to monitor campaigns include

How to NOT suck at trade shows

Around 36% of B2B marketers feel that trade shows give their companies the highest ROI in comparison with other channels that they use.

Trade shows can be great right? They can help you network, bring in customers, find investors and more but quite often the experience becomes an exercise in futility. The expenses: booths, displays, conveyance, accommodation etc…the ROI on these events sometimes doesn’t justify the effort. With a few trade shows going on right now including “shoporg13” and more coming up in the future, we hope you can use some of what we’ve learnt.

1)Find the right trade show

Start with finding the right trade show for you to attend, there’s quite a few of them all year round and ending up at a wrong event would be a giant waste of money and effort. Work backwards on this one, find out how many of your target customers are likely to attend any event and then take a decision on which one to go to. Some good eCommerce trade shows are the Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition and shop.org’s annual summit.

Once you know which event you are going to attend, you then need to take a decision on whether you want to go as an attendee or if you are going to set up a booth at the event. Setting up a booth is generally more expensive. Do remember that while going as an attendee will still give you ample opportunities to network, setting up a booth will give you much more in networking possibilities, attendee attention and more

2)Tell people you are going to be there

Getting some attention before the event is priceless. Start with finding out the people/companies that are likely to be at the event. Prepare a list of your targets among them and reach out to them on linkedin or elsewhere and try to set up plans to meet at the event, this will be especially useful if you plan on going as an attendee and want to network.

If you are setting up a booth at the trade show, generating some early interest will definitely help in increasing the number of footfalls to your booth. Trending hashtags on the event are a great way to drum up some interest. While doing that make sure you give a clear idea of what attendees can expect from you. Here’s what we would do.

image

3)Generate chatter, grab some eyeballs

In most trade shows you are going to competing with over a thousand other companies for some attention. We’ve found that having a fun, engaging product video running in a loop on a display is a great way to grab the attention of people in the vicinity.

Using give-aways can also help in creating interest. Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics talks about a great example of Omniture using themed give-aways to generate buzz at a conference.

Location can mean everything for a booth, of course the prime spots are going to be more expensive, be a little creative, study the floor plan and pick up spots that people have to take to get to lunch or the refreshments section.

4)Adapt and deliver your message

Start with some research(pre-event) into the needs of the brands/people likely to be there. Use this to create different versions of the message you’d like to convey. Do ensure that you are building up on your pre-event efforts to generate interest.

Once you’ve managed to get someone’s attention or you have people in your booth, ask them questions on problems they face, adapt your message and give them answers that will solve that.

5)Leave something behind

Most attendees at a trade show are likely to meet more companies/people than they can possibly remember, make it easier for them to do so, leave something behind.

Our visiting cards have a 4-word description of what we do on the back so anyone who takes one of them can easily find out what we do without having to do any research.

Leave a simple, visually appealing one-page document on your company with clear descriptions of the problem you solve.

So what do you folks think? How do you prepare for trade shows? Do let us know in the comments section below.

We’re Open For Business

MINEWHAT’s OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!!

And now we have a sudden urge to analyse our long, eventful and rewarding journey to get here. **Your initial team **can make or break you, we lucked out :). The MineWhat crew has taken on projects ranging from voice acting assignments, feature animation to managing multiple cluster servers and has come out with flying colors.

We started with the simple idea that ecommerce could be a bit more of a fun experience, then came the grind, the long hours and the meetings, oh MAN! the meetings, all so we could get our research done so we knew we were building something useful.

The market is an honest mentor and sure enough we had to pick up some lessons real quick. One of the most important lessons we’ve learnt is to evolve and differentiate. Given that the industry is constantly evolving we’ve been on our toes to stay on top of it all and create a unique, useful analytics tool that’s tailor-made for online stores with a good product-market fit.

To wrap this up here’s to the future, startups, technology and success!!! .

Marketing, Fishing and Startups

Let me start with yet another Marketing and Fishing analogy. Marketing is a lot like throwing a hook into a stream and hoping with every ounce of your soul that something takes. Of course you know which fish you are after, you know what bait is likely to be more appealing and more, but there’s only so much you can control. Marketing at a startup is even harder as you don’t often have the luxury of extensive research, pilot studies and so on. Here’s some of what we learned through it all.

Targeting

We always try to sell to our worst critic. That way we get to ensure a strong customer acquisition focus to everything we say or do. Start with the assumption that most people are looking for an excuse to leave or drop out and do the best you to ensure they don’t find one.

Build Castles In The Air

Well just a tiny bit of an amendment to that: Build all the castles you want, just ensure that you’ve atleast got the bricks you need. Getting an early start with the marketing efforts while the product is still in the works is usually a great advantage, especially if you need some hype to increase your visibility. Just don’t go overboard with it and market something you don’t intend to build

The Knowledge Curse

Marketing at its core about getting a message out to a target group of people, but it doesn’t stop there. Like every good marketer knows, the interesting bit is what happens to the message as it spreads on. A simple enough message might be perceived very differently by two people. At MineWhat, we regularly pull in outsiders to take a look at what we do and very what we think is amazing copy or a great idea usually elicits totally unexpected and often insightful observations that we would have never thought of.

Perfection Is A Myth

There’s always something else you can add or change, the trick lies in knowing when to stop. Something that has worked quite well for us is to give out previews to small groups of people and use their feedback to make the necessary corrections and then go live as opposed to going round and round with changes and even more changes.

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