Marketing is a concept that remains relevant across all industries. As the world continues to change and grow, marketing does too, and companies must adapt with it. Krishen Iyer is the CEO of Managed Benefits Services, which he founded in 2016. He originally named the company Quick Link Marketing but changed its name to focus on providing marketing services to the dental and health insurance industries. Over the years, Iyer learned how to build effective marketing campaigns through research and hard work. He recently built upon five crucial marketing issues discussed in an article featured on Marketing Week. This piece provided insights on some of the changing trends in the industry; Iyer provided some additional insights in to the report.
Managed Benefits Services caters to the health and dental inurance companies and providers. With a unique edge in an unconventional market, he add his predicitions and words of advice to Marketing Week’s recent article.
Marketing Directors Should Work on Their Skills
Marketing directors in most industries understand the basic concepts of advertising and marketing. Especially when it comes to print and classical techniques of the 1990s and 2000s. They may also understand the basics of building digital strategies. In comparison with other team members, they often lack other practical digital skills. In this era, digital literacy and a strong understanding of online media are vital. According to a recent survey, marketing directors scored less than 30 percent when they were asked about their PPC knowledge. In comparison, executives scored nearly 35 percent on the same topic, and managers scored a little higher than 30 percent. Department heads scored almost 40 percent. On the topic of e-commerce, department heads and managers scored more than 40 percent, and executives scored more than 35 percent. However, marketing directors scored just over 25 percent. When it came to analytical skills, marketing directors and executives scored less than 35 percent. Managers scored 35 percent, and department heads scored more than 40 percent.
Although this data may change depending on the company and industry of the marketing directors being scored, this is still viable data. With an evolving world, it is crucial that marketing directors consider the importance of digital literacy.
Krishen Iyer often reminds companies that marketing is evolving every year. As marketing evolves, major changes take place. For example, Google drastically changes its search algorithms all the time. Search engine algorithms still continue to change today. Social media marketing and other newer beneficial forms of communication are growing. Companies must ensure that their marketing directors keep up with all changes as they happen. Continuing education is a must for all companies’ marketing departments. A strong digital engagement strategy is essential for any company to become a leader. Iyer provided some important tips to help companies keep their marketers informed about the latest changes. These are a few of his helpful suggestions:
- Analyze the skills gap first to determine what must be done based on what the company has available.
- Find training options. Are there any online courses or lecturers available for hire? There is strength in companies that are always learning new skills.
- If it’s applicable, collaborate with the HR department to implement an improved training program for marketers. Consider looking at the budget available for culture growth.
Location-based Marketing Is Tied To Mixed Views
A survey showed that about 25 percent of smartphone users did not want to share location data with companies. In addition, an early 50 percent of the participants said that it made them uncomfortable to know that their mobile phones stored their location data. Although the survey respondents seemed uneasy about location-based communications, more than 40 percent admitted that they found them useful. However, this statistic was tied to stores that the people had already used. If the customers did not have a business relationship with the company, less than 25 percent said that they felt the same way. Nearly 60 percent of respondents felt that big brands could do more to support local places. More than 60 percent of the two separate adult groups had high expectations of big companies in terms of local support.
Krishen Iyer encourages companies to consider location-based marketing in many instances. For some companies, it can be a valuable asset if they implement it correctly. However, there have been several incidents that have made consumers wary of location-based marketing. Some big companies got in trouble for tracking shoppers without their consent. One of the most important things in every person’s life is privacy. If a company respects its customers and their privacy, it then has an easier time building trust. A trust-based relationship is essential for location-based marketing to work optimally. One of the easiest ways for a company to develop that crucial trust is to be transparent about its location-based marketing practices.
- Explain what information is collected upon asking for a location and how it is used in the terms of service.
- Provide all information and explanations in simple terms.
One major financial company offered people a cash reward in the form of a modest account deposit when they agreed to use its location-based features. According to a survey from Microsoft, 99 percent of consumers said that they would use a company’s location-based marketing features if it offered them a cash bonus. Nearly 90 percent of the participants said that they would use the features for location-based discounts, and about 65 percent said that they would use the features for a reward of extra loyalty points. Krishen Iyer encourages businesses to recognize the critical aspects of trust and rewards if they want to succeed.
Privacy Is An Ever-growing Concern
This point often correlates with In one survey about digital security, more than 75 percent of the respondents who were between the ages of 16 and 34 did not think that digital protection regulations were thorough enough. They also said that they supported more extensive regulations. Although many people feel strongly about the issue of digital security, a large percentage of consumers do not take it as seriously as they should in practice.
Only about 10 percent of the respondents in the same survey said that they carefully considered cookies or other permissions for websites before they accepted them. This shows how easy it is for companies to access online content regardless of strong opinions. Although only two percent of the participants said that they did not accept cookies, more than 70 percent said that they felt annoyed about the cookie prompts but often accepted them anyway. Only about 65 percent of the participants understood cookies, and more than 80 percent were familiar with regulations about digital privacy. When asked if they knew that their information was shared with other parties for promotional purposes, 45 percent of the respondents said that they knew about the sharing practices.
Since trust is important to establish with customers and potential customers, Krishen Iyer encourages companies to apply the same ideas about location-based marketing to digital security. They must be transparent with consumers about what information is shared if it is shared. People must know why its shared. Consumers should be informed about the actions that a company takes to meet regulations about digital privacy. If a company has any special provisions that go above and beyond those of competitors, it helps to highlight those advantages. Since most people today have been involved in at least one major security breach, they are worried about their information being misused. Although statistics show that practices of consumers do not align with their opinions, companies should still demonstrate strong ethics by making digital privacy a top concern.
Consumers Care About Brand Value
In the past, a company’s products were the most important aspects of the business to consumers. Today, more people are concerned about brand value too. According to a survey, about 25 percent of respondents said that values, reputation and actions of a company were just as important to them as product quality. The individuals who participated in the survey were people who made employment, purchase and investment decisions based on those aspects of companies. About 98 percent of the participants said that reputation was the most important factor. Nearly the same amount said that they preferred companies that made the well-being of employees a top priority. Almost 95 percent of the participants said that leadership opinions were important.
Today, social issues are a critical topic for businesses all over the world. More than 90 percent of the survey participants wanted companies to show their support for social issues, and about 85 percent said that they would still do business with a socially strong company even if they did not agree with its stance on a subject. One thing that was especially interesting about the group was that 90 percent of the people said that they would try a company’s product for the first time if they saw the entity take a stand for a social issue. If a company failed to take a stand but a competitor took a stand, more than 80 percent said that they would give their business to the competitor. The same amount of people also said that they would pay more for the company’s products if necessary, and nearly 75 percent said that they would gladly use their social media accounts to share the competitor’s information.
In news headlines in the United States and around the world, several companies that took a stand for a certain issue or for multiple issues gained a lot of publicity. The publicity led admirers of corporate responsibility to make more purchases. It also led people with similar views to make more purchases from those companies. If a company demonstrates that a social issue is important to it, more people are likely to trust it. While companies that remain neutral or simply do their good deeds through charitable donations may not make too many waves, more people today are concerned about social responsibility and feel that companies should put society’s needs first and profits second. Although this would have been an ineffective marketing strategy in the past, there are ways to incorporate today’s beliefs and values into strategies to appeal to more consumers.
In order to maintain a positive reputation and a strong relationship with customers, companies and professionals should consider what their values are. Is it a strong company culture that emphasizes team work for it’s employees? Is it providing excellent customer service by answering customer questions immediately? What ever it may be, it’s crucial to be aware of how a one’s company is perceived by consumers and employees. Some companies take time off to give back to their community by holding company volunteer days. Krishen Iyer also places importance on social responsibility and giving back. He likes to help his community, and he encourages colleagues and others to get involved as well. Krishen and his family are involved in several charitable causes and help with community service tasks. These are some tips for companies that want to boost their social responsibility efforts:
- Include information about your company’s mission, culture and values on the corporate website.
- Use social media platforms to discuss recent efforts to improve issues.
- Set goals that include social issues, make actionable plans to achieve them and provide blog or social media updates about the company’s actions.
Today, consumers want to see a new type of company that places importance on all individuals and their experiences. Companies can take several steps to show that they care about the welfare of their customers. The business budget does not have to be extensive for this. For example, a company with a limited budget can publish a list of resources for customers who live in an area that is recovering from a natural disaster. The company can also offer a little financial relief to customers in those areas. This shows that the company understands the financial impact of disasters, and such gestures may mean a lot to struggling customers. A company can extend a payment deadline, waive an interest charge, offer an account credit or do something similar. Some companies host donation drives and collect supplies to distribute to victims. Also, they may go help with cleanup efforts after a natural disaster. From education to building, there are many other possibilities aside from disaster relief. Krishen Iyer encourages marketing directors to remain vigilant for opportunities to demonstrate social responsibility and to extend caring gestures to customers.
Mobile Purchases Experience Ups And Downs
The summer months usually bring the highest number of sales through mobile phones and tablets. Although smartphone and tablet growth statistics are not high right now, they could increase again in the future. There have been alternating periods of increases and decreases. However, companies should stay current with mobile purchasing trends in relation to computer-based purchases. Multi-channel mobile retail is growing slowly. One of the most important things for modern marketers to remember is to know the difference between mobile data usage and mobile sales. Statistics about mobile data usage can mislead some marketers. When Krishen Iyer helps his clients develop marketing strategies, he considers how much mobile data usage is connected to actual conversions. This helps them avoid the trap of spending too much on the wrong outlet.
One insight report that shared mobile statistics pointed out the same warning. Many people use their mobile phones to check their email and to interact on social media. They watch YouTube videos and read news stories as well. Also, a large number of people use mobile data at work and while they are away from home. Many people who make purchases use their computers and their home connections since they often feel more secure at home. For companies to encourage mobile sales, they must give customers a reason to use mobile platforms. Again, the concept of building trust is essential, and the company must give incentives or discounts for using its mobile purchasing platform. One of the long-term goals associated with encouraging mobile sales is to make people more comfortable with them. If they are more comfortable with them and the platforms are easy to use, they are more inclined to make purchases. Recent quarterly data about electronic devices and conversion rates showed computers in the lead at more than four percent. At around three percent, tablets followed. Smartphones averaged a little more than one percent.
Since people use their phones to check email and social media, this also highlights the importance of maintaining a strong social media marketing strategy. Companies must not forget about retaining existing customers as well through these outlets. Krishen Iyer encourages companies to work with an experienced marketing professional if they do not have a marketing director. For marketing directors, it is essential to analyze sales patterns, traffic and customer preferences before developing strategies. Companies should also optimize their websites for all devices.
Krishen Iyer Helps Entrepreneurs Market Smarter
Since effective marketing is one of the keys to more revenue, Krishen Iyer strives to serve his customers at Managed Benefits Services. He founded Managed Benefits Services in 2016, and provides consulting and lead generation services for health and dental insurance companies and professionals.
Iyer used to own a business called IHS Insurance, and he spent years growing the company into a success story. During his time in college at San Diego State, he wanted to do something extraordinary and innovative. He later founded Name My Premium Insurance. NMP was an Inc 5000 contender in 2015, and led to garnered success. Iyer also branched out into real estate and started Iyer Real Estate. Managed Benefits Services is his latest success.