What Makes Someone a Fan?

Recently, the New York Times published an interview titled, “What Makes Someone a Fan?” The article argues that sports fandom extends past ticket sales and finds its roots in emotions, identities, and tradition. My co-author (and daughter) Reiko and I have been analyzing what we call Fanocracy for five years now, and while we agree with much of the NYT article, we believe the power of fans goes way beyond sports.


Why Your Sponsored Product Ads are “Ineligible”

Having trouble advertising your products because Amazon is marking them as “not eligible”?

If you’ve ever dabbled in PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, you’ll know that your ads may sometimes get disapproved by Google/Bing due to some policy violation. Amazon has a similar set of guidelines for Sponsored Product Ads. Should you not abide by these guidelines, your ads are at risk of being labeled as ineligible.

There are several reasons why this might be happening. In this post, I’ll go through those and talk about how to fix them so you can increase your reach and revenue as soon as possible.

Screenshot showing an Amazon alert that your offer is not eligible for advertisingScreenshot showing an Amazon alert that your offer is not eligible for advertising

Why Should You Care?

If you’re not eligible for advertising, your competitors probably are; they’ll get more of an edge within the market, and it could be a struggle to compete against them in the future. Whenever your ads aren’t running, you’re missing out on the potential sales and revenue boosts that could have come from your sponsored product ads.

You’ve invested a lot into getting your products set up for success, and when your products aren’t eligible for advertising, you are losing sales velocity.

Why Are Your Products Ineligible?

The Amazon Seller Central interface isn’t the most helpful for telling you how to solve problems. If you’ve ever received these error messages, you might have been left scratching your head while trying to get your ads to work:

  • “Your offer is not eligible for advertising.”
  • “This product does not meet the category condition requirement for advertising.”
  • “Your ad is not eligible for impressions because your listing is not in the Buy Box.”
  • Your ad is not eligible for impressions because it is missing an image.”

There are five primary reasons for your sponsored products are listed as ineligible. Here’s how to resolve them.

1. You’re Not Winning the Buy Box

You can’t advertise if your products aren’t winning the Buy Box.

The Amazon Buy Box is the box on the right-hand side of a product detail page where customers can begin their purchase process by adding items to their cart. Amazon is unique in that multiple sellers can sell the same product on their platform. They may compete for the Buy Box so long as they can ship to the customer’s address.

Screenshot of a product on Amazon showing up in the Buy BoxScreenshot of a product on Amazon showing up in the Buy Box

Keep an eye on your products, and position them to win the Buy Box as frequently as possible.

How do you win the Buy Box? There’s not a formula for winning the Buy Box every time. However, there are a few best practices to follow.

There are four major areas to focus on when considering the Buy Box:

  1. Price. Amazon wants to provide the most competitive rates for customers and therefore values the best offer.
  2. Fulfillment. Providing customers with Prime or free shipping increases competitiveness and thus, their likelihood of purchasing your product.
  3. Customer Service. Providing excellent customer service can generate reviews that assist in increasing your visibility and conversion rate. Make sure to sell high-quality products and respond quickly to customer complaints and questions.
  4. Availability. As we discussed above, you can’t win the Buy Box if you have nothing to sell. Manage your inventory well, and Amazon will reward you with more visibility.

The Buy Box itself gets a lot of attention throughout Amazon’s seller community, due to its critical importance to driving sales. If you aren’t in the Buy Box, addressing that should be your top concern.

2. Your Products are Out of Stock

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? You can’t advertise if you have nothing to sell. Regularly check to make sure you are keeping up-to-date with your product inventory at all times.

Amazon has full visibility into your product inventory and is often managing the fulfillment for their sellers. This situation is a benefit in this case. There is no chance you’ll be advertising for products that aren’t available and in stock.

Keeping your inventory well-stocked and avoiding outages will ensure that there aren’t any gaps in your advertising. Additionally, keeping your products in stock is a ranking factor that the Amazon algorithm weighs when determining where to rank your product and if it will win the Buy Box.

3. Your Product Categories are Ineligible

Your products must fall under particular categories to advertise on Amazon within the US. Make sure your product categories are on Amazon’s list. Also, double-check that your products are categorized correctly in the backend of Seller Central. Items such as adult products and used or refurbished products are not eligible for advertising.

4. You’re Not in the Brand Registry

You will also need to be in Amazon’s Brand Registry to be eligible to advertise. The Amazon Brand Registry is a program that helps manufacturers and brand owners keep control over their brands within Amazon. Users must first meet a few eligibility requirements before getting their enrollment accepted listed on Amazon’s Brand Registry page.

Here are a few benefits to enrolling for Amazon’s Brand Registry, if you haven’t already:

  1. Ensure accurate brand registration on product listings with your brand name.
  2. Access to Amazon search tools.
  3. Protection from other product listings misrepresenting your brand name or trademarked terms in their titles in the future.
  4. Access to an Amazon store. Read this article from our Director of Agency Development, Katie McKenna on whether an Amazon store is right for your brand.

5. You Lack Shipping Capabilities

Lastly, you must be able to ship across the US or the country that you are selling in. Sounds simple. If you are targeting customers in a specific country, you must be able to ship to them.

Final Thoughts

Advertising on Amazon can be relatively easy to manage compared to other PPC platforms like Google Ads. That said, Amazon tends to be much pickier. They have full control over the sales process and high visibility into what you are selling. That, combined with their high position of leverage, makes sellers at their mercy. Understand the rules and try your best to follow them. That is the best way to ensure your products will get the most visibility.

The post Why Your Sponsored Product Ads are “Ineligible” appeared first on Portent.


A ratchet with leverage

That’s something worth building.

Electricity is a ratchet with leverage. Once communities have access to a little electricity, a solar lantern, say, they quickly discover that they want/need more electricity. The productivity increases create more income which gives them more money to buy more electricity. The leverage that this productivity and income give them (combined with the actual power at their disposal) creates a one-way route toward the future.

The same thinking applies to a personal career.

The first speech you’ll give will be difficult. The tenth one will be easier. Each speech, well-delivered, creates more demand for more speeches. Each speech given gives you more leverage to give better speeches. Better speeches create more demand…

This is the opposite of shoplifting. Shoplifting isn’t a ratchet. The system actually pushes back harder and harder the more you do it. And it has no leverage.

Some businesses work at scale because they’re ratchets (they cause motion in one direction) and they’re able to reinvest from that ratchet to create more leverage. Amazon is certainly the most shining example of this simple process.

But it can also work for the local university. A little learning creates demand for more learning. Useful degrees as a label for effort offer leverage to those that receive them, and the demand for more learning and more leverage gives the university resources to expand and do it even more.

When in doubt, look for the ratchet and look for leverage.

PS A new episode of my podcast Akimbo is out this week. I think it’s an episode worth checking out.


5 Best Influencer Marketing Platforms to Grow your Brand Awareness

By working with a person who has developed a strong reputation and has a blast of followers on social media, influencer marketing is a viable method to get the word out about a brand and help private companies focus on a particular audience. Influencer marketing platforms give an immediate method to organisations to work with influencers, assisting brands to manufacture active campaigns. Such platforms help influencers to hire social media marketers to adapt their social media accounts by helping organisations arrive at their objective clients and construct engagement and brand awareness.

What is an influencer marketing?


Influencer marketing is the procedure encouraged by an online influencer to associate a brand and its intended audience, with the point of getting consumer interest, prodding positive purchasing behaviour and continuing healthy client engagement. Influence marketing speaks to the advanced development of the traditional techniques for big-name underwriting and testimonial publicising. To keep up and develop their community of followers, online influencers start significant conversions and show expertise, empathy, and authenticity with their audience.

Organisations can utilise influencer marketing to accomplish different results: drive sales, contact new audiences, or present another brand or product to a particular consumer segment. Influencer marketing is among the best strategies for driving brand awareness, with the demonstrated ability to infuse pipelines with a sound number of new leads.

Best Influencer Marketing Platforms


For followers who have confidence in the judgment, authenticity, and domain expertise of their preferred influencers, each word expressed and move made by the influencer produces the correct sort of discussions. When an influencer advocates for a particular activity or supports a product, for instance, a significant number of their audience listens and reacts emphatically. Contrasted with traditional ads, an underwriting by an influencer is considered increasingly reliable and valid by the audience.

For organisations, partnering with the right influencer for all intents and purposes means accessing a friendly market and gaining mindshare among the influencer’s audience. In any case, influencer marketing achievement is rarely programmed. A confound between your brand, influencer, and their audience can reverse discharge and adversely impact all partners in the campaign.

Only one out of every odd marketing strategy works for each sort of audience either. That is the reason you need a well-planned strategy for hire social media marketer in influencer marketing to effectively convey the business results you are going for. Start by defining clear objectives and building up the methods (i.e., KPIs) by which you can evaluate/measure whether your campaign has accomplished those objectives sufficiently.

  • CreatorIQ

CreatorIQ is a software platform that engages organisations in influencer marketing by empowering them to find driving influencers, micro-influencers and famous people. The platform likewise enables organisations to track and monitor critical measurements identified with marketing influencer campaigns.
  • FameBit

With the FameBit influencer advertising platform, independent companies can get recommendations from intrigued influencers and track the measurements of their campaigns from one simple and advantageous place. Clients basically set their budget, and the platform makes it simple to work with driving influencers over every single social media platform at a budget that is directly for their marketing campaign.
  • NeoReach

NeoReach gives private companies help in making compelling influencer marketing campaigns with amazing bits of knowledge. You can channel through a great many influencers’ bits of knowledge to locate the best influencers to work with your brand. Organisations can utilise the NeoReach dashboard to manage influencer communication, contracts and deals, and feedback on how campaigns are performing.
  • Grapevine

Grapevine is an influencer advertising platform that consolidates influencer analytics and discovery with campaign procedure and execution to help brands make the most from this productive sort of marketing.
  • Heepsy

With Heepsy, you can have instant access to influencers around the world, which can be looked for by category and location. You can check influencers’ measurements, collaborations, cost, and more on this secure to-utilise platform.
  • Mavrck

Mavrck depicts itself as an all in one influencer marketing platform, which offers clients work process automation, promotion referral, start to finish the relationship and incorporated influencer measurement. The platform additionally gives reliability advertising programs.
  • Scrunch

Through information-driven audience insights and a fantastic innovation platform, Scrunch enables organisations to arrive at their target audience, engage with potential clients and make the most out of influencer promoting campaigns. On Scrunch, you can look through influencers active on a scope of social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Conclusion

With customary promoting on a downtrend, the business interest for influencer marketing shoots up like a rocket. Brands are happy to pay a huge number of dollars to hyper-popular influencers, some of whom have turned out to be ultra-rich just by filming themselves while opening packages, modelling clothes, wearing a watch, or tasting wine. Brands wouldn’t mind because influencer marketing done right delivers the results organisations would die for.
Author Bio: 

Paul is a Hiring Director at Alliance International – an IT Recruitment Agency. He specialises in helping with international recruiting, staffing, HR services, and Careers advice service for overseas and international businesses.


We don’t call portraits people

But in fact, just about everything is a portrait.

It’s our temporary understanding of the world as it is, not an actual experience of it.

We see things through our filters, match them to our expectations and live out our story of what we expect and why. We build a narrative around every interaction we have, and that narrative is rarely as accurate as we’d like to admit.

It gets easier to work our way through a situation if we preface our retelling with, “the way I experienced what she said…”

HT to Paul.


Should You Use More Than One Analytics Platform?

Most folks have Google Analytics (GA) installed on their websites these days. It’s easy to set up, user-friendly, and free!

But as businesses grow (and run into some of the data sampling limitations of GA), it’s natural to start questioning some things:

  • Is the data in GA trustworthy?
  • Is GA’s channel attribution accurate?
  • Am I missing events that occur on my website/app?
  • Are my GA traffic numbers inflated by spam?

That’s when you start exploring alternatives to Google Analytics, and there are plenty out there. But the aim shouldn’t be to switch platforms, rather corroborate data between them.

So the short answer to “Should I Use More Than One Analytics Platform?” is: Yes, absolutely.

The long answer is more nuanced. Analytics platforms all have their pros and cons: accuracy, integrations, usability, etc. And when it comes down to it, you should also be comparing any output from your analytics tool to your server log files.

This post will attempt to help you navigate the crowded analytics platform space and try some new platforms alongside GA.

Matomo

Matomo, formerly known as Piwik, has been around for a good long while. It’s one of the original Open Source analytics platforms, going back to 2007 (almost as long as Google Analytics, which started in 2005).

Screenshot of Matomo dashboardScreenshot of Matomo dashboard

PROS: Users of Google Analytics won’t be very lost in the platform as many of its features mimic GA, from their segment builder to custom campaign tagging (pk_campaign vs. utm_campaign). It’s also free and unlimited, provided you can install it on your own server. Recently, Matomo has expanded to include a tag manager, similar to Google Tag Manager.

CONS: Unlike GA’s Secondary Dimension feature, which makes it easy to combine source and content combinations, Matomo reports are pretty well limited to one or the other, unless you build a grip of segments and swap them out often. Speaking of segments, you can only apply one segment at a time to any given report (where you can compare up to four at a time in GA).

Screenshot showing the segment selection limitations in MatomoScreenshot showing the segment selection limitations in Matomo

Quantcast Measure

Quantcast Measure is another free analytics tool that has a load of audience and demographic reporting features.

Screenshot of Quantcast siteScreenshot of Quantcast site

PROS: It has native support in Google Tag Manager. So all you need to do to install it is to copy your account number and paste it into GTM and publish it. Quantcast used to be a competitive analysis tool back in the day, so it excels at demographic, psychographic, and in-market interested around your site visitors, as well as benchmarking by industry.

CONS: Quantcast’s power is in its network of sites on the internet that have Measure installed. In exchange for all the information you get out of it, you’re giving competitors and other curious parties a direct window into your site’s performance.

Amplitude

Amplitude is an up-and-coming event-based analytics tool capable of measuring websites, apps (iOS and Android), and games (with a specific Unity integration).

Screenshot of Amplitude dashboardScreenshot of Amplitude dashboard

PROS: Their free package is robust and supports unlimited users, data retention, and up to 10 million hits per month. This is more than ample for any small to mid-sized startup. They also have a slick integration with Slack to share visualizations quickly among pertinent teams.

Screenshot showing Amplitude's Slack integration optionScreenshot showing Amplitude's Slack integration option

On top of that, they have a cool feature that goes beyond GA’s annotation functionality allowing you to label and set date ranges for a product release or version and see how it affects the performance of your site or app.

Screenshot of how you can set up a product or new version release to track its performance in AmplitudeScreenshot of how you can set up a product or new version release to track its performance in Amplitude

CONS: Setting up and deploying Amplitude through a tag manager was easy for me as somebody who is fairly technical. But since everything is dependent on events (including basic stats like website pageviews or app screen views), installing just their base JavaScript is fairly useless on its own. Marketers trying to get started with the tool may not understand that, as GA populates almost all reports right out of the box with no additional code configuration needed.

Here’s a look at how many tags I had to configure in GTM to get a basic understanding of how my website was working. That doesn’t include making sure the timing of the scripts was correct and that the base script was available before any events fired off.

Screenshot showing the large number of GTM tags needed to integrate with AmplitudeScreenshot showing the large number of GTM tags needed to integrate with Amplitude

Another hurdle to analyzing data in the tool is that there are no default dashboards that auto-populate with your events under the lens of common segments (e.g., geo, device). Charts need to be configured one-by-one and then placed into dashboards.

Heap

Heap is another growing player in the space that recently raised another $55M in VC funding.

Screenshot of Heap dashboardScreenshot of Heap dashboard

PROS: One reason it’s been rising in popularity is its ability to name and report on events retroactively. The workflow for this process is amazing too! You can open up a visual of the website and highlight items you want event tracking on and label them in seconds.

Screenshot number one showing how easy it is to name and report on events retroactively from a visual of your websiteScreenshot number one showing how easy it is to name and report on events retroactively from a visual of your website

Screenshot number two showing how easy it is to name and report on events retroactively from a visual of your websiteScreenshot number two showing how easy it is to name and report on events retroactively from a visual of your website

Another benefit to Heap is that it’s uniquely set up to identify users, which is very useful for integrating data from CRMs and other information you might have outside of the web and app analytics world.

CONS: Just obtaining a trial from Heap was a pretty byzantine process. If your company ever had one in the past and you forgot about it, be prepared to have a lengthy back and forth email chain with their support. Beyond that, their “Free” and “Startup” plans are so limited (in terms of sessions and data retention) that it forces you into Enterprise before you really understand the potential power of the tool, let alone whether your business is ready for the burden of that level of cost.

Screenshot showing the session and data retention limitations of their Startup and Enterprise plansScreenshot showing the session and data retention limitations of their Startup and Enterprise plans

The More, the Merrier

While you should be careful not to bog down your page load speed with too many unnecessary JavaScripts, having additional analytics tools installed alongside GA will help gut-check your pageview and session counts and give you different ways to analyze the performance of your audiences. Plus, you might enjoy some of the features that GA’s competitors are bringing to the table: their ability to ingest Personally Identifiable Information, easier event tracking configuration, and much more!

The post Should You Use More Than One Analytics Platform? appeared first on Portent.


4 Questions with Umberto Eco, Author and Professor Emeritus, University of Bologna

[image via Bologna Inside] Things need to happen step by step, respecting a learning process — excessive greed can undermine a person’s goals permanently. As a professor and author, he pushed our minds to the limit. A former student said, “He argued that intuition was simply speedy logic, and Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes were the masters of this semiotic.”# I wasn’t so lucky to have him as professor, but I share the sentiment on what it feels like wanting to learn to understand. Umberto Eco (1932-2016) was a semiologist, philosopher, mass media expert and narrator. He was a teacher…


You might have a marketing problem

Democracy is a marketing problem.

Health is a marketing problem.

Climate change is a marketing problem.

Growing your organization, spreading the word, doing work you’re proud of–these aren’t engineering problems or economics problems. They’re marketing problems.

That’s because humans make choices. If we live in a culture where people are free to choose, we’ve offered control over our future to others.

When humans make choices–that’s marketing. Marketing is the difficult work of telling a story that resonates, of bringing a consistent set of promises to people who want to hear them.

If you want to change things, it helps to understand how humans make choices. And if you’ve got a change in mind, I hope you’ll spend the time and effort it takes to get better at bringing your story to the people who need to hear it.

I’m thrilled that we’re launching the eighth edition of The Marketing Seminar today. My bestselling book This is Marketing (more than 250,000 copies sold worldwide in less than a year) is based on this workshop. Every time we run the seminar, it gets better and our participants find what they’re looking for. If you want to join the 8,000 people who have found a path forward, today’s the best day. Look for the purple circle to find a discount.

Marketing isn’t about shortcuts, hustle or deception. Marketing is the art (and the science) of serving the people you seek to serve, to do better work by finding and satisfying needs. Marketing is the practice of making things better by making better things.

Click here to find out more.


On knowing what you’re doing

It’s pretty easy to know what you’re doing when you’re doing something that you’ve done before.

Follow the path.

It’s a lot more difficult when the task ahead is not quite the same as what you’ve done before. When wayfinding is required.

That’s a different skill. That’s the skill of finding the common threads, seeing the analogies and leaping over the crevices. Knowing how to do something you haven’t quite done before.

Which sort of knowing is more scarce?

Which is more valuable?


The rip saw

Supposedly, going against the grain is really difficult.

It turns out, though, that it’s far more dangerous to cut with a rip saw, a blade that goes along the grain. It often leads to a botched project. When you’re cutting across the grain, you know exactly what to expect and won’t get surprised by a patch of resistance you didn’t expect.

The same thing goes for sailing. It’s way easier to sail diagonally across the wind than it is to run with it.

The story we tell ourselves about cutting across expectations is probably more difficult than the actual work.