When Crisis Hits: Three Ways You Can Use PR To Your Advantage

Managing a crisis for a company is a daunting task, but it is essential for the survival and success of the business. A crisis can come in many forms, such as a product recall, a data breach, or a scandal involving a high-profile executive. In any case, it is crucial for a company to have a plan in place to quickly and effectively respond to the crisis and minimize damage to the company’s reputation.

The first step in managing a crisis is to have a crisis management plan in place. This plan should outline the steps that the company will take in the event of a crisis, including who will be responsible for handling the crisis, how information will be disseminated to the public, and how the company will communicate with stakeholders.

Once a crisis occurs, it is essential for the company to act quickly and decisively. The company should immediately assemble a crisis management team and activate the crisis management plan. The team should be led by a senior executive who has the authority to make decisions and take action.

The next step is to assess the situation and determine the facts. The company should gather information about the crisis, including the cause, the scope, and the potential impact on the company and its stakeholders. Based on this information, the company should develop a plan to address the crisis and mitigate any damage.

Once the plan is in place, the company should communicate with stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, and the media. The company should be transparent and provide accurate information about the crisis, including what the company is doing to address the situation and what steps it is taking to prevent similar crises in the future.

It is also important to have a public relations agency to help manage the crisis. A PR agency can help the company to craft a message that is effective and consistent, and can help the company to communicate with the media and the public. In addition, the PR agency can help the company to monitor the news and social media to gauge public perception and respond accordingly.

In conclusion, managing a crisis is a critical task for any company. Having a crisis management plan in place, acting quickly and decisively, assessing the situation, developing a plan, communicating with stakeholders and hiring a PR agency are all essential steps in managing a crisis. A well-managed crisis can minimize damage to the company’s reputation and help the company to emerge from the crisis stronger than ever.

E-commerce Trends For 2023

Introduction

E-commerce is a business model in which an organization sells products and services online. E-commerce has become more popular since the invention of the World Wide Web, as more people have access to computers and the Internet, making it easier for them to shop online than in-store shopping. The growth of e-commerce has been exponential over the last decade, with sales increasing from $1 trillion in 2006 to nearly $2 trillion by 2016.

These are the E-commerce trends for 2023

Voice Search optimization for Ecommerce

Voice search is already the most popular way to find information on the internet, and it’s also the fastest growing way to find information. In fact, voice search will be the new norm in e-commerce.

Voice search allows you to ask questions and get answers by simply talking into a microphone or dictating into your phone. The technology behind this is already very advanced: Siri and Alexa have been around for years now, but they still have limited functionality compared with Google Assistant or Facebook M (which was released just last year). These voice assistants can perform basic tasks like setting reminders or making calls, but they don’t let you shop directly from your device by asking questions about products or comparing prices between different stores—that requires additional software installed on each app before you can use them effectively (or at all). This means that even though people may want their phones replaced with something like an Echo Dot for convenience sake when using these devices as well as lower battery consumption over time due mostly because although most people only listen via speakers instead than headphones now days so why not just keep using those same speakers we already own right?

Augmented and virtual reality become mainstream for ecommerce

While the use of AR and VR in ecommerce has been a hot topic for years, it’s only recently that these technologies have become mainstream. That’s because their applications are broad and can be used for many different purposes. For example, you could use an augmented reality experience to show your customers how to wash their clothes or change their bedsheets before they go on holiday; or you could create a virtual reality experience that lets them imagine themselves as they’ve always wanted to be—or even better yet, as someone else.

These new technologies will also have an impact on how businesses operate in general: they’ll allow them to experiment with new products or services that may not have been financially viable previously due to cost considerations (e.g., creating an educational course solely through video conferencing). In addition, since many consumers now carry smartphones wherever they go (even places where Internet access isn’t available), businesses can also provide additional content via mobile devices like tablets rather than just computers/laptops required by traditional models

The integration of blockchain into the supply chain will continue

Blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that records transactions in an encrypted form. It’s used to track the movement of assets, financial instruments and other digital goods throughout the supply chain.

Blockchain has the potential to transform how goods are bought, sold and delivered into our homes. In fact, it could even be used by retailers as they develop new models for e-commerce such as subscription services or loyalty programs where customers can get access to exclusive content or rewards points on specific products based on their behavior within an app or website – all without having to physically check out at physical stores!

Consumers will demand more personalization in ecommerce

Personalization is key to the future of eCommerce. In 2023, it will be normal for consumers to expect personalized shopping experiences. This means that customers will not only want their own products and services, but also those specific to them—and not just in terms of physical items but also digital ones.

With personalization comes a shift from one-size-fits-all solutions towards individualized solutions that fit your needs perfectly based on what you like or dislike about certain products or services (or both). As such, traditional retailers will need new ways to engage with customers who want more customization than ever before because they know exactly what they want when it comes down right down into details like color schemes and font types!

Video Content

Video content is more engaging than text, which means that it’s more likely to be shared on social media. It’s also easier to digest, making it a great way to educate, inform and entertain your customers.

Video can be used to build trust with customers by showing them how you make your products or services or what they’ll experience when they order something from you. You can even use live video streams as an opportunity for collaboration between people in different locations who are working together on one project (for example: developers working with designers).

Online shopping experiences are becoming faster and more responsive to local needs

Online shopping experiences are becoming faster and more responsive to local needs.

  • More personalized: The future of e-commerce will be more personalized, so you’ll get the information you need when it’s relevant—not just from a generic list of product names or descriptions. For example, if you’re going on vacation in another state and want to buy some sunscreen while there, your online retailer might recommend things like “sunscreen that blocks UVA rays” instead of just listing all the brands available at their store as they do now.
  • More responsive: Ecommerce sites are also getting better at responding quickly when customers have questions or problems with their orders (or even something else entirely). This means not only seeing an immediate response after submitting a request through their website but also being able to talk directly with someone who can help resolve issues quickly and efficiently

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning

AI and machine learning will be used to personalize the shopping experience.

AI will be used to make recommendations, which can be based on past purchases or preferences.

It will also help with search, letting you find products by keywords or categories. For example, if you’re looking for a dress that’s lightweight but elegant, an AI-powered recommendation engine might suggest something like this: “I am looking for a dress similar in style to this one but longer than this one.”

AI can also help with chatbots—responding in real time when customers ask questions about product features and stores’ inventory levels (and even how much shipping costs).

Consumers will demand more personalization in ecommerce

E-commerce is becoming more personalized and customized. Consumers are demanding more personalization in ecommerce, and this trend will continue for years to come. In fact, it’s already happening! There are several examples of this trend in action:

  • You can now create an online store from scratch using a drag and drop interface or by uploading your own content (like photos).
  • You can purchase specific items that fit your style or lifestyle. For example: if you’re into cooking but don’t know what dishware would look good on your countertop then go ahead and add those products to your cart so that when someone else comes along who shares these same interests they can easily find something perfect for their kitchen!

Conclusion

We can expect to see a lot of these trends during the next 5 years. The key takeaway is that big data and AI are going to be more important than ever, but we have to be smart about how we use them. There’s no doubt that these technologies will make our lives easier—but only if we know when and where not to use them!

2023 Business Trends: 5 That Should Be On Your Radar



Business owners and executives who were hoping to ease into 2023 can thank the aftereffects of the global pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, economic challenges, as well as an ever-faster development of technologies for keeping them on their toes instead.

These lingering events from 2022 mean that there are 5 key trends that every business should prepare for in the new year as suggested by futurist Bernard Marr.

1. Accelerated digital transformation

In 2023, we see the continuation of innovations and developments in transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud computing, blockchain, and super-fast network protocols like 5G. What’s more, these transformational digital technologies do not exist in isolation from each other, and we will see the boundaries between them blurring. New solutions for augmented working, hybrid and remote working, business decision-making, and automation of manual, routine, and creative workloads combine these technologies in ways that enable them to enhance each other. This brings us closer than ever to the point where we are able to create “intelligent enterprises” where systems and processes support each other to complete menial and mundane tasks in the most efficient way possible.

To prepare for this, businesses must ensure they embed the right technology throughout their processes and in every area of operations. At this point, there is really very little excuse for being in business and not having an understanding of how AI and the other technologies mentioned above will impact your business and industry. More effective sales and marketing, better customer service, more efficient supply chains, products and services that are more aligned with customer needs, and streamlined manufacturing processes are all on the table, and in 2023, the barriers to accessing them will be lower than ever. Many of these technologies, such as AI and blockchain, are now available in ‘as-a-service’ models via the cloud, and new interfaces and apps give businesses access to them via no-code environments.

2. Inflation and supply chain security

The economic outlook for most of the world doesn’t look great in 2023. We are told by experts to expect ongoing inflation and subdued economic growth. Many industries are still plagued by supply chain issues that emerged during the global shutdowns caused by Covid-19 and have only got worse due to the war in Ukraine. To combat this and stay afloat, companies need to improve their resilience in any way that they can. This means reducing exposure to volatile market pricing of commodities, as well as building protective measures into supply chains to deal with shortages and rising logistical costs.

It is important that companies map out their entire supply chains and identify any exposure to supply and inflation risks. That way, they can explore ways to mitigate that risk, such as alternative suppliers and becoming more self-reliant. I have recently worked with a number of companies that decided to in-source parts of their manufacturing after they identified a risk of relying on Chinese manufacturing that is still plagued by a zero-Covid policy and subsequent shutdowns.

3. Sustainability

The world is increasingly waking up to the fact that the climate disaster will pose a much bigger challenge than anything we have experienced in recent decades and will dwarf the challenges faced by the Covid pandemic. That means investors and consumers prefer businesses with the right environmental and social credentials, and buying trends are increasingly being driven by conscious consumers – those among us who prioritise factors such as ecological impact and sustainability when choosing who to buy from or do business with.

In 2023, companies need to make sure that their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) processes are moved to the center of their strategy. This should start with measuring the impact any business is having on society and the environment and then move to increasing transparency, reporting, and accountability. Every business needs a plan with clear goals and timeframes of how to reduce any negative impacts, and then the plan needs to be underpinned by solid action plans. The assessment and plans should also go beyond the company walls and cover the entire supply chain and the ESG credentials of suppliers. For example, it is easy to forget the environmental impact of cloud service providers and the impact of data centers on the environment.

4. Immersive customer experience

In 2023, customers crave experience above all else. That doesn’t necessarily mean that price point and quality take a back seat, though. Both play a part, to some extent, in the way we experience the process of choosing, purchasing, and enjoying the goods and services we spend our money on.

The role that technology plays here, traditionally, has been to streamline processes and remove hassle from the life of the consumer. Think recommendation engines that help us choose what to buy or online customer service portals that deal with problems and after-sales support. These will still play a key role in 2023, but the game has evolved, with this year’s keywords being immersion and interactivity.

The metaverse – something of a catch-all term used by futurists to describe the “next level” of the internet, where we interact with brands and fellow consumers through immersive technology, including 3D environments and VR – is the stage where this will play out. Think of online shops where we can browse and “try on” virtual representations of clothes, jewellery, and accessories. We might use virtual dressing rooms to dress up avatars of ourselves – as pioneered already by the likes of Hugo Boss – or it could involve AR, as used by Walmart, to see how clothes will fit on our actual bodies. These trends will impact both online and offline retail.

The trend towards experience is so strong that brands like Adobe and Adweek are appointing chief experience officers (CXO) to ensure that it is made a foundational element of business strategy. As well as customer experience, businesses increasingly need to think about employee experience as competition for the most talented and skilled workers grows more intense.

5. The talent challenge

Over the past year, we have seen huge movements of talented people, referred to as the great resignation and quiet quitting, as workers reassessed the impact of work and what they want to get out of their lives. This has put pressure on employers to ensure they are providing attractive careers, the flexibility of hybrid work, and an enticing work environment and company culture. Offering people fulfilling work, ongoing opportunities to grow and learn, flexibility and diverse, value-oriented workplaces will all be essential in 2023.

On top of that, the accelerated digital transformation (trend one above) leads to more workplace automation that will augment pretty much every single job in the world. Humans will increasingly share their work with intelligent machines and smart robots, and that has huge implications for the skills and talent companies require in the future. This will mean reskilling and up-skilling huge sways of people in our businesses as well as recruiting new people that have the skills needed for the future.

On the one hand side, businesses must deal with the vast skills gap that exists in areas such as data science, AI, and other technology areas, ensuring they are creating the data and tech-savvy workforce needed to succeed in the future. And on the other side, as human jobs get augmented by technology, businesses must re-train staff with skills needed to work alongside smart machines and to grow their uniquely human skills that currently can’t be automated. In 2023, it will include skills such as creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, leadership, and applying “humane” qualities like caring and compassion.



HOW ARE BRANDS USING TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS

Is TikTok Right For My Business?

TikTok is a video-sharing app. Users can record videos that are up to 60 seconds in length and there are a variety of filters and effects to use, as well as A LOT of music that users can introduce into their video clips.

Brands are an important part of the TikTok experience. Whether they are starting trends, connecting communities, or bringing awareness to critical public service initiatives, brands are creating authentic audiences built on the foundation of sharing joy.

While Gen-Z is using the platform to show their creative side, brands are also beginning to experiment. With TikTok being such a young app, many marketers may be wondering, “Is this app even worth it for my brand?”. TikTok is quirky by nature, so brands need to be creative to truly engage their audience.

To participate in the self-serve paid advertising platform on TikTok, you will need to create some kind of video (or reach out to a TikTok marketing firm to see if they have resources for getting videos created).

If you are looking to promote to a younger crowd, then TikTok may be your platform. Nearly 25% of all of Australia’s Generation Alpha are on the platform. It’s also wildly popular with females, as 1 in 10 females in Australia now use the app (compared to 1 in 20 males). February saw 1.6 Million Aussies and Kiwis using TikTok but, because of quarantining and social distancing, that number had ballooned to nearly 2 million in just a matter of months!

TikTok’s current big brands are using the platform for brand awareness rather than generating traffic or leads. In doing so, they are effectively engaging younger audiences by showing off a lighter more relatable side of themselves using funny videos, trending challenges, and other strategies that are unique to the platform.

“TikTok is about real life. Real people.”

The Washington Post uses the platform to showcase the action inside the newsroom and build trust with TikTok’s young viewers.

Organic TikTok Marketing 

Video content is the central experience of TikTok. You can create clever videos based on your brand, product or service and watch relevant short videos related to your industry to get inspiration from what others are doing in this space. The video you produce can be uploaded or you can create it within the app itself.

Creating unique, entertaining, engaging, and thought-provoking content is the best way to organically market your company on TikTok. As you start posting more unique content with appropriate descriptions and hashtags, more viewers will see it. As more people like, share, and comment on your videos, you will start to gain traction with others’ For You pages. 

Organically promoting your brand on TikTok through third-party services or apps seems to be hit or miss. E.g. Telling your Facebook followers to go check out your new TikTok may not get the results that you were looking for.

You should take plenty of time to sit down and get a feel for the app. Learn what makes other videos so popular, and see how it translates over to your brand or your company’s products or services. Again, a content creation service is always a good option for those that need some help.

Paid TikTok Advertising

Paid Self-Serve Ads – TikTok has recently brought their self-serve advertising platform to the Australian and New Zealand markets. The layout is somewhat similar to other self-serve advertising platforms, such as Facebook ads. You can target specific types of people in specific areas. You can also make use of their re-marketing features that let you show video ads to people that have visited your website or blog, signed up to your email list, or even watched a specific YouTube video.

TikTok Influencers – As with any social media platform there are some wildly popular big-name users who have amassed huge followings. And although you personally might not be able to see why these users are so popular, their followers adore them and will jump on any product or service that these influencers recommend. Reaching out to influencers in relevant industries (e.g. find a popular TikTok cook and pay them to recommend or use your cutting boards) is a great way to pay for some seemingly organic promotion.

Create Your Brand On TikTok

Before you worry about which route you’re going to take, simply download the app and create a profile for your brand. Use relevant usernames and logos, and just sit back and scroll. If you see any videos that you feel are relevant to your industry or brand, give the video a like.

Should you use TikTok for marketing?

To answer this for you, the questions that you really need to ask first are:

  • Are your desired audience millennials?
  • Is your product or service geographically limited?
  • Is your budget limiting and inflexible?

If you answered “yes” then “no, no” – this social media app is perfect for you to advertise on! However, you still have to consider how you’ll optimise a campaign for your specific business. How will you reach your goal? What are the key characteristics of your audience?

TikTok is a fast growing advertising platform, so if they review their targeting options it would definitely be promising for many businesses to utilise as part of their marketing strategy.

Contact us today to see how he can help you use TikTok to leverage your brand and find new customers! In the meantime, check out these popular Australian TikTok accounts:

What is Headless Commerce?

Why should you care about headless commerce?

Headless commerce (or API-first commerce) is becoming a less obscure term to marketers, but it’s still murky for many – especially what it means for real brands and real customers. I could dive into the technicalities of what headless commerce is upfront, but I’ll instead start with a story.

Customers Want to Shop Anywhere, Anytime
In response to the example I mentioned, a marketer might say, “We need to make the jump from ad to individual product page more seamless to avoid cart abandonment.” But why do I need to leave Facebook or Instagram at all? Why can’t I see that jacket, choose my size and color and checkout then and there? Beyond that, why isn’t ANY brand content I see shoppable? With all these new experiences and technologies emerging, why am I stuck essentially with the same options to shop (either on a web storefront or in a brick and mortar) I’ve had for years?

Sooner than marketers want to admit, more customers than not will expect to shop directly in Instagram, or on their Alexa devices, on their smart refrigerators and whatever other new touchpoints emerge 10 years from now. It comes down to enabling commerce at any of these points of inflection, not just when a customer has wandered to your web storefront. You can’t do this if you’re struggling to adapt your backend each time a new channel emerges. You have to have a strategy that can handle new touchpoints as they come. And that’s what brings us to headless commerce.

Headless commerce vs. traditional commerce

Headless commerce isn’t as painful or violent as it might sound. A better analogy might be that headless commerce severs the marriage between your front and back ends. But in this divorce, each side comes out a winner since changes to one side can be made without disrupting the other. This saves time and allows you to deliver a better customer experience across your different customer segments.

Divorcing the front- and back-ends also opens up the possibility to use what’s best for converting customers on the website. The most common use case would be for pushing content to the front end through a brand’s existing content management system (CMS), instead of its commerce platform.

If your company has very few systems needing to plug into the front end, you may actually be better served by a full-suite commerce platform.

Beyond your storefront

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with your head. However, getting rid of it can present new opportunities. If you’ve ever felt constrained regarding your ability to build a network of customer touchpoints you can control with the same underlying tools, it might be time to go headless. Larger brands with an established CMS also find it’s a good fit for starting to sell direct to consumer.

The always-connected world we live in offers myriad other customer touchpoints that traditional ecommerce heads can’t reach—through voice-powered home speakers, smart appliances, or even mirrors. Future-proof your business by embedding content, products, and checkout capability wherever customers are.

Brands Must Rethink the Separation Between Marketing and Commerce
Adapting to these new touchpoints requires eliminating old barriers between marketing and commerce functions. We’ve all seen the beautiful marketing experiences brands create to entice customers and showcase their products. However, these offerings usually end up directing customers right back to bland traditional product pages. The marketing website and ecommerce site are often two separate entities entirely since traditional ecommerce engines can’t support the marketing content. You can create the sexiest, most innovative marketing experiences you want, but if your backend can’t integrate factors like product catalogs, shopping baskets, account info, and more, you’ll always be back at square one. Headless commerce solutions enable brands across verticals to transcend these old paradigms by solving for just that obstacle.

How Headless Commerce Solves the Problem


Leveraging API-oriented commerce, headless commerce architecture supports all functions – commerce, experience management, payment, content, personalization – can be decoupled services. That means you can deconstruct core commerce platform attributes (e.g., product catalog, shopping basket, account services, payment integration and order processing) for more flexibility.

That solves the problem of those old silos and limitations. Since headless commerce provides all commerce logic through the engine API, all information is available to any new channel on a consistent basis. Using an API-first strategy, brands can integrate data about each individual customer regardless of channel.

Whether you’re creating a landing page or microsite for a campaign, or even a blog, when you highlight a product or service, you don’t have to create a click trail for the visitor. It should no longer be an epic quest to find your e-commerce site and ‘add to bag’ button. You can meet that engaged shopper where they are, right on your latest blog post, Instagram or social ad.

Then you can allow customers to buy wherever they want to – which is to say, anywhere. Shoppable videos, social media ads, store kiosks, Alexa-enabled purchase capabilities, virtual and augmented reality…the list goes on. That’s not just the reality for consumers, either – B2B buyers have the same expectations, whether they’re reordering parts or configuring medical equipment.

Wherever a buyer interacts with your brand, an API-first approach connects each interaction to ensure consistent experiences regardless of touchpoint. Plus, on the marketing side, brands have more comprehensive, accurate and accessible data. All of these factors can radically change the customer experience in ways brands have barely conceived.

Is Headless Commerce a New Thing? (Or Just a New Name for Something Command C Has Always Done?

Yes and no. The concept isn’t really new, but the reliability and accessibility of these kinds of solutions is new. Headless commerce is about trading information between two disparate systems, likely using an API. There are already many examples of this kind of integration. For instance, subscribing to a newsletter often uses the email service provider’s API to send the user’s information to your mailing list. An ecommerce checkout uses your payment gateway’s API – think Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc. – to send your data to authorize payment. Headless commerce may sound new or trendy because “headless” sounds a lot catchier than the more technical alternatives for describing this integration of systems.

Build an empire, not a landing page.

Your company has an online presence whether you like it or not.

Whether or not you play an active role in building or maintaining an online presence for your brand, it exists. Someone, somewhere, has probably left a review of your products, services or staff. They might have just uploaded a picture with your logo in the background. Regardless, today everything is digitised, social and accessible – and if you’re not, your business is at a loss. Public discourse and perception is the difference between a positive or negative brand image. And your brand image is everything.

Companies with established sales and marketing processes all have one thing in common. A significant amount of their research and resources go towards developing brand guidelines for a seamless media strategy. These rules set visual and communicative standards that are consistent across platforms to streamline your message, tone, values and personality. They connect with your audience based on proven results and research into relevant demographics, psycho-graphics and trends. Ultimately, this asset acts as an essential blueprint for your company’s identity, laying the groundwork for a positive reputation and increased brand awareness.

When it comes to creating a dynamic digital space, you want to build an empire, not a landing page. Herein lies the difference between hosting a website and hosting a community. Simply attracting people to your page will not guarantee leads, conversions or sales. Nor will it create customer loyalty. For that, you need to demonstrate an interest in engaging with your audience and adapting your services or processes to their feedback. In other words, you need to establish a relationship with your viewers and create opportunities for them to identify with your company values. This, in turn, results in the organic growth of brand ambassadors that are willing to vouch for you.

Business accounts do this by adapting their online profiles to relevant social networking sites and by making themselves transparently accessible to the public. Adhering to tailor-made brand guidelines and a cultural understanding of social media etiquette, their marketing teams work across the board to be at the forefront of trends, industry updates and to be a source of information for their audiences.

Investing in your online presence is not an additional marketing expense but rather an essential tool for managing your brand’s reputation. Like public relations, it empowers members of your team to promote positive conversation around your services, minimise unwanted publicity and reinforce who you are in the digital landscape.

Our team is readily available to support you in digitizing your brand and curating creative brand guidelines. Get in touch today to find out how our services can solidify your brand identity and boost your online performance.

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