3 Amazing Alternatives to the Traditional Christmas Celebration

Christmas tree

Christmas is a time of age-old traditions. According to WhyChristmas.com, good ole St. Nick has been sneaking down chimneys and leaving gifts in stockings since the 4th century, and many of our Christmas rituals (Mistletoe, Christmas Trees, etc.) can be traced back just as far. For well over 1500 years Christmas has always been about being home, surrounded by family, exchanging gifts and showing thanks for all of the amazing people and blessings in our lives.

It’s cool to think that we have continued these storied celebrations and traditions for so long, but at some point, it is natural to start wondering if there may be a different way to do things. Each year parents run around from store to store, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on gifts for their loved ones and wondering if they will even like it or not.

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Opportunity Max’s Favorite Thanksgiving Day Recipes You Will Love

With the crisp autumn weather, brightly colored leaves, and exciting weekend football games, November is a month stuffed full of activities. Although the turkey on the table might not be the happiest about being stuffed, at Opportunity Max, our favorite part about November is the time spent relaxing and enjoying great food and company on the Thanksgiving holiday.

With our friends and families gathered together and an amazing assortment of mouthwatering thanksgiving dishes, how could we not love this holiday? The food always sticks out as one of the best parts about Thanksgiving, and therefore, we wanted to share our personal favorite Thanksgiving Day recipes with you!

From delightful desserts to delicious dips, you might find a new recipe to serve and impress your guests this Thanksgiving.

Chris’s Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad

Chris is one of the many talented Marketing Analysts we have on the Opportunity Max team, and although this recipe from paleomg.com is a little bit labor intensive, Chris says it is totally worth the time! For a unique fall-oriented side dish, bring this Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad to your Thanksgiving Day celebration and your guests will be sure to love it.

Chris's Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad

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Benefits of Traditional Media Marketing

Traditional advertising is dying (and that’s just fine).” “6 Reasons Traditional Advertising Is Dead.” “Yep. Advertising Is Dead, so What Now?” All over the internet you can find articles similar to these, ready to pronounce traditional media marketing dead while also professing the importance of savvy digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization and paid search campaigns.

Marketing pathways

Granted, these sources may be a bit biased (most go on to offer their digital marketing services as an alternative), but could there actually be some substance behind their claims? Could it be true that traditional advertising is no longer valuable at all? The short answer is: of course not.

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Our Spookiest Halloween Memories and Costumes

The bogeyman is back in town for his favorite holiday: Halloween! October has arrived and is bringing scary costumes, free candy, and haunted houses that are so terrifying they’ll make you cry. Whether you decide to opt for the yzma costume or want to go as a character from The Simpsons, be sure to commit to it, as Halloween only comes once a year. To get you into the spooky holiday spirit, below is a list of the five most popular Halloween costumes for 2016. Also, some of the Opportunity Max team members will share their favorite Halloween memories. Continue reading if you dare!

carved-pumpkin

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Google Will Punish Websites That Utilize Popup Ads

Is there anything more frustrating than clicking a link on Google, Twitter or Facebook and being forced to close popup after popup just to view the small tidbit of information you were looking for? Most of the time, especially when it comes to mobile browsing, people are looking for small pieces of information (directions, hours, pricing, or an answer to a question), and they want answers quickly.

Sure, it only takes a second or two to find and click the “close” button, but in the highly competitive world of mobile Google search rankings, those few seconds could be enough to send users away from your site. Google has recognized the intrusiveness of popup ads and will be punishing mobile sites that utilize them by lowering their SERP ranking.

From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog: “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

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Why Would Websites Ever Use Popup Ads In the First Place?

People get so frustrated and annoyed with popups that some are even willing to spend a fair amount of time and effor
t to install popup blockers, so why are websites still utilizing popup ads? Well according to Shopify.com, “They are annoying and rude and… they work. Really, really well.”

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The Evolved Consumer Path to Purchase

In today’s highly digitized world, things are done a little bit differently than Dad is used to. We’ve all heard it before: “Kids today are only friends with their phones,” and “When I was your age we talked to each other face toface.” Or the classic, “When we needed new shoes we went down to the corner store, bought a pair from the local shoe salesman, and gave him a nice firm handshake. That’s how business is supposed to be done.”

There’s no denying the nostalgic appeal of the “simpler time.” There is also no denying that our current society could use a little more old-fashioned, person-to-person interaction, but the fact of the matter is that times have changed and so have the ways that consumers behave.

Modern consumers don’t go down to the corner store and buy the first pair of shoes they see; they don’t leave their house until they already know exactly what it is they want and where to get it for the lowest price–if they even leave their house at all. The internet has opened up the door to a whole new method of consumerism. Shopping has become a casual activity done on the phone while the TV begs for equal attention, and making a purchase is now sealed with a click instead of a handshake.

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This hasn’t made physical stores obsolete; consumers still value the process of trying on the dress they’ve been looking at, test driving the car they’re interested in, and asking questions of the salesperson. But the sales process has changed dramatically, and understanding this change while also taking advantage of it is the key to a successful business in today’s society.

Phil Frost of PracticalEcommerce.com had this to say about the changes we’ve seen: “For more than a century, the conventional wisdom in marketing was that customer buying decisions followed a linear, top-down progression known as the funnel…Today, however, the marketing funnel is nearly obsolete. The new customer path to purchase is much more winding and sophisticated, and smart companies have begun to adapt to the new approach.”

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So if the traditional marketing funnel (i.e. Awareness + Interest + Desire = Action) is dead, then how do companies reach consumers and compel them to buy their products? The answer isn’t so straightforward.

Brand Awareness is No Longer Enough

Awareness will always be the first step. Getting your name out there and running advertisements that make your brand appeal to consumers will get the ball rolling, but it isn’t always enough. In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever before and product options are abundantly accessible, remarketing your brand is one of the most essential actions a business can take to gain customers. Even then, once people are aware of your product and have the desire to buy your product, they may still move into an exploratory phase.

According to AdWeek.com, “Eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase…. On average, a consumer will visit three stores before making their purchase.” Consumers look for similar products on various websites, searching out better prices and sales. They then explore those websites’ inventories, undoubtedly become interested in other products, and the cycle of research continues. Chances are, however, the first time a customer visits your website, they won’t make a purchase. Instead, they will browse around before heading back to the mindlessness that is Facebook or Twitter.

Recapturing their interest is huge here, so make sure you’re tracking website clicks to your website and maintaining remarketing lists to remind users of the product that initially grabbed their intention. Most likely, after browsing the web for a few hours or days, they will be more willing to buy. Tracking your best-performing ads, offering sales on featured products, and improving on original product offers will do wonders for your business.

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Stephen Frost of Forbes.com suggests that rather than thinking of a consumer’s path to purchase as the traditional “marketing funnel,” we should consider a company’s engagement with individual customers as a “customer life cycle.” This is perfectly aligned with the digital marketing landscape and consumer behavior. Even after making a purchase, your customers must continue to feel engaged–offering new ads, products, and sales will do this, while also building customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Convenience will take you far in the digital market place, but building brand loyalty–similar to what companies like BMW, Starbucks, Nike, and Apple have done–takes consistent customer engagement throughout a consumer’s life cycle, from the initial ad-click to well beyond their first purchase.

 

Sources:

Forbes.com

AdWeek.com

PracticalEcommerce.com

Pokémon Go and Your Business

All the kids are doing it! If you haven’t downloaded Pokémon Go yourself, then you must have at least heard of it. Even if you have been boycotting social media for the last few weeks, you can’t escape the droves of kids, teens and fully grown adults on their phones walking the streets in search of the most powerful Pokémon.

If you somehow are not familiar with the newest fad taking over popular culture in 2016, then let us explain. On July 6th Nintendo released an augmented reality game called Pokémon Go that allows users to use their phone to search for and find virtual Pokémon in the real world. Their stock skyrocketed as, according to the Wall Street Journal, the business earned a reported $9.3 billion in the first week alone.

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The Evolving Marketing Space

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Social Media & Viral Videos Driving Leads

In the 50’s revolutionary Rock music was denounced as noise, in the 80’s the bright and flashy fashion trends that have forever changed American clothing design was criticized as gaudy, and in the 2000’s the social media movement is often the target of much resistance and disdain.

But just like Rock music and progressive fashion trends, social media is here to stay and it is simply better business to hop on the bandwagon than get left behind.

Step up your Social Media Game

Social media is THE preferred medium that young people use to connect with the world. While companies spend a small fortune funding television advertisements and bidding on coveted time slots, the youth of America is staring at their phones during commercial breaks.

Social Media

What they like are funny and heartwarming videos that play automatically as they scroll through Facebook. They spend countless hours checking their friends’ pictures on Instagram, sending videos to the masses through Snapchat, and sharing meme’s to assorted

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