Category Archives: Customer Engagement

Social Media site that small businesses have probably are not using and reasons why they should!


Social Media site that small businesses have probably are not using and reasons why they should! 

We have all heard about the main social media sites but that is only portion of the sites that can help you build your social media presence.

That is because some of the lesser-known sites are not promoted like, Facebook. Twitter, LinkedIn attract  a wide range of users, that it’s easy businesses owners and  marketers alike to simply concentrate on these popular sites. Truth be told, there are hundreds of other, niche social networks on the web that, depending on your particular audience or your goals, can also be well worth you investing time and money in growing presence following there.

Niche social sites are a valuable tool for a business, especially if these sites are for spe

cifics; events, eco-issues etc. The great thing about niche social networks is that they take the step of targeting and segmentation out of the marketer’s job!And we all know how much more effective your marketing can be when segmentation is involved, right? Therefore, here are five niche social sites that enThralled love.

1) Quora – often a forgotten social network, but it’s also one of the most valuable. Quora provides answers to almost any question you can think of. From questions about marketing to questions about coding, Quora provides a great resource to both users looking for answers, and marketers seeking to position themselves as thought leaders.

How Can You Use This Site?

Ask questions about your industry to collect direct insights into what your audience is thinking.

Answer questions about your company, industry, or even competitors. This will help you position yourself and your company as a thought leader. (Note: Disclose what company you’re from for t

he sake of transparency — and credibility!)

When possible, provide links to resources such as blog articles that help to answer users’ questions.

Network and connect with other businesses owners / managers on the network to see what is or isn’t working for them.

2) Meetup – Attending and planning events is an important part of any business life. Meetup makes this responsibility easi

er for almost every industry. Whether you’re hosting or looking to attend an event then Meetup provides a centralised network with information on the events happening in your area. If you need or want to reach, a particular industry can immediately identify the right events and connect with attendees even before they attend.

Be st way to use Meetup!

Identify relevant industry events to attend.

Publicise your own events and attract more attendees by industry or geography.

3) Care2

The trend toward “going green” isn’t exactly breaking, but it has caused an uptick in many marketers making sure their marketing campaigns use environmentally friendly processes. The social network, Care2, popped up as people came together to discuss this eco-friendly type of lifestyle and educate others about it. And more and more, marketers need to use these practices in everything they do to cater to this growing audience. By participating in this social network, marketers can educate themselves about the ways they can implement eco-friendly tactics into their marketing strategies.

How to best use this site?

Research, research, research! Implementing green strategies into your marketing isn’t easy. Learn what others are doing.

Talk to people in this community, and see what they really care about. What topics matter most? Is your marketing aligned?

Does your company sell products/services that cater to eco-friendly users? Then you’re golden! Research what eco-friendly issues are prevalent among your audience to inform your content creation, marketing, and product decisions to the  audience.

By enThralled Agency – the leading Lead Generation Agency for Small Businesses.

http://www.enthralled.biz

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How Social Media can help a small business grow a proactive

email database

Introduce:

In today’s opt-in world getting the right data especially email can seem overbearing, frustrating and at time costly.  So what is a small business to do? We know the answer isn’t simply to stop email lead generation. That’s why it is so important to utilise and link your other sales and marketing activity to grow that opt-in, robust and pro-active database.

 

So here is how you can use social media in a number of ways to ensure your are capturing those all-important email addresses.

 

  1. Link to a Call to Action:

Instead of simply adding a general web page, try a dedicated ‘Call to Action’ page.  This tactic will get far more interaction than a simple homepage landing.

 

You could even try a dedicated micro-page dedicated to say Twitter. Try a offer or at least a common thread from the social media post / blog that the link come from.

 

It will show relevance and your audience will feel more secure in sharing their details with this type of relevance.

 

Try using proper links instead of short link codes; they seem so impersonal and non-trustworthy in the first instance. I appreciate this isn’t always the case but if you have a work related blog then say using enthralledagency/wordpress makes people feel more associated with you and therefore easy with you.

 

  1. Freebies!

 

Cloud: flood and other such tools give you the chance to give away something for a tweet! Okay, this might not seem much but if you can offer advice or thought leadership, these are certainly great ways to gain trust and build that database of followers / addresses.

 

For example: enThralled offer a free audit on lead generation to companies. Yes it takes time on our part but it also builds relationships and trust in you and your business and in today’s economic landscape, it is two very powerful allies to have!

 

So by using these tools to share a link they get free content and you get that all important first stage relationship.

 

  1. Sound bites and other tweet able content

Generating quotes is a really useful way of getting retweeted. So what are the secrets and tools? Well, firstly use your newsletter page or news feed page for quotes and simply add a ‘click to tweet’ action button. One of the secrets here is to make the quote relevant and timely and not all about you, think sanity not vanity.

 

By building in these simple but useful tips you will be able to get opted-in addresses.

 

 

About:

enThralled Agency has been helping small business with their Lead – Generation for many years, offering robust and pro-active solutions tailored to your needs.

 

Sales & Marketing Buffet – the new ways to build your business with a flat fee for all the sales and marketing you can use.

Local marketing and initiatives through social media.

Localised marketing for small businesses

Bristol has created it own currency and already there is a waiting list for local shops and retailers to join the scheme. The idea which came from Germany, seems a perfect antidote to big business and linked with other digital ideas, it gives the the local small business the opportunity to communicate with their local audience, build loyalty and drive their sales pipeline effectively.

This got me thinking, are localised marketing initiatives the future? In an earlier article, enThralled discussed Localised Marketing Services (LMS) and how they could drive that all important footfall to your business locally. So ideas like exchange currency and localised marketing solution seem perfectly aligned for the small business.

Many social media marketing strategies are based upon the amount of fans or followers as well as the engagement levels that these followers to your business generate to your business. A superb way of creating this all important engagement and how this engagement at the local level win drive greater interaction with your business and ultimately increase sales. So how can small businesses use local sales and marketing ideas to grow their bottom line?

1) Utilising LMS via social media and mobile devices, customers can and should be using the check-in’s features to promote and distinguish your business. As we said in the previous blog, customers should be encouraged to use this type of service though loyalty programs. Tie LMS check-in’s with the idea of a localised currency and suddenly you have a great cominbination that dovetails eachother perfectly. If for example your local butcher purchases his meat from a local farm and promotes this via his website and social media. That will build localised awareness. Then, you come along and buy your meat and check-in via your mobile device.

2) This localised approach, integrating the physical and digital economy which enable small businesses to participate across multi-channel marketing. So what ideas can a local retailer implement to drive greater interaction?

3) Offering a gift card / voucher each month to a fan / follower based locally would certainly builds awareness, create interaction and importantly engagement with your local fan base and keeps them coming back every month. Though, make it worthwhile, £20 may not be enough if your products or services are of a greater value. Think what would make a difference to one of your followers and give them this!

4) Competitions are also a perfect way to drive interaction and engagement, make it relevant to your business or local area.

5) Get involved and drive engagement through Poll’s. Ask your audience their local news and their daily life or habits locally. Remember, don’t be direct and make sure the polls that do not directly relate to your business and make them interesting enough to make people get involved. Local issues and daily activities are perfect examples of poll’s and this type of digital interactive usually draws high proportions of respondents.

6) Start a photo, video or blog contest. Ask your audience to submit content from the local area and even that shows them using your products or services. Then choose the best content and then feature and promote it. This will create brand advocates locally and position you in the all important ‘share of mind’ ladder. This type of content sharing is perfect for engagement with the your local fans and followers, it builds loyalty and a sense of participation too with your business.

7) Sponsorships are also a great way to driving awareness of your business. Try and find local bloggers or blogs dedicated to your local area and look at sponsorship. This isn’t about product placement or endorsement of your business. This is once again about winning share of mind locally and create that brand awareness

Ideas to drive awareness and growth to your business by using giveaways

So where to start? 

  1. Give them a reason for the read / click /follow. Your  updates should always includes a trackable links to a free giveaway on your site. Use keywords and ensure the gift is  relevant to your audience. It would be brilliant if you could solve an issue  that you know your audience maybe having.
1.1 Trackable link should go to a dedicated landing page describing the benefits of the free giveaway. People are giving you their email – that is valuable. You mustn’t ever dump them into your .com home page! Or I will shoot you. (joking)
2. Include an opt-in sign up form on your landing page and have a call to action – “Sign up now to get your free report” and please please include a “no, we won’t sell your email to evil doers” privacy assurance in close proximity to the signup box. Make it above the fold, not down on the bottom of the page requiring scrolling to see it.
3. Thank you audience. This thank you page should present once they hit the “Send me my report!” button on the first landing page, otherwise known by lazy marketers as the “submit” button. Restate the benefits of the offer and give the link for the report.
3.1 On the back end, have a thank you email automatically generate based on the email form the prospect filled out. Thank them and give them the link to the report that lives on your website (the same page that automatically popped up when they first entered their info.) Do not include the report as an attachment. Many email systems will block that. Besides, you want to drive them to your website.
4.Create a series of follow up emails related to the report. Day 1 after download, ask if they were able to download that report ok. Day 3, mention a trick within the report to draw them into reading it. Day 7 continue the discussion about the report, and then, weekly after that, keep contacting. Be helpful, share tips, do not sell, sell, sell. This is nurturing, not attacking, ok? Always be can-spam compliant, but most email autoresponder systems will do this automatically.
4.1 Develop other value packed offers to add to your weekly email, only one per email and not every email. Understand the sales cycle and decision process enough to know what they might need next in deciding to choose your company. Did you start with a strategy document? Try adding some practical how-to tips. Webinars and even physical meetup events can be offered to help them better prepare to purchase.
5. Live, breathe, and love your statistics and metrics because these will give you all the insight and information you need. Make sure to that you are constantly testing what works and what does not.  Learn which keywords and phrases work best to get an opt-in, click throughs, attendance at virtual events, and ultimately sales. This is a harder part maybe, but once you set it up, it’s not that bad. Turn your best intuitive marketing guesses into c-suite worthy results.
Summary:
Integrate physical and virtual techniques. Many B2B business cycles are 12-36 months, make sure you are utilising a CRM solution to track and monitor SPANCO throughout the sales pipeline…
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Localised Marketing Services and why they are making business sense

2012 – the year we all went local mad? 

Consumers and Companies Benefit From Location Based Services (LBS)

2012 is localised. I head that at a marketing innovations conference in March this year and my eye’s pick up. Having spent the majority of my working life helping small businesses communicate more effectively, I was intrigued. The key to this success is the integration of location based applications.

Today’s social media savvy consumer expects immediate response and thrives on instant gratification and conversation and this is exactly what location based services can done for businesses. 

% of business from across the pond that are realising the power that LMS’s can bring.

 

Businesses and marketer’s utilising location based apps (LBS), business can use their imagination and develop tactics to reward people for using those LBS’s and importantly for their patronage.  Example, why not reward people for “checking in” at a place of business or an event. A lot of businesses use loyalty and rightly so as part of their marketing strategy, so it makes perfect sense then to build ‘check-in’s’ into that loyalty program too. Proximity has always been  a key  factor for consumers; convenience, and loyalty. So uses localisation based marketing apps provide instant gratification to those walking through your door, sharing tips and experiences. It also means you can t offer discounts or free products / services to those customers who bother to ‘check in’. Thus creating brand advocates, who will perpetuate further conversation and importantly consumer content for future digital marketing activity. 

LBS audience is significant and growing

The recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that about 74% of smartphone users use location-based services to find out information about what’s around them. In addition, one in five (18%) are checking in to local businesses — from restaurants to movie theatres — with geo-social services such as Foursquare.We have all witnessed the Smartphone adoption revolution. Alone in the past year growth has risen from 35% in 2011 to 46% in 2012. The amount of consumers who “check in” has grown by 50% since last year.  A prime example would be the recent Subway partnered with a location-based texting service in the UK to provide discount vouchers that can be scanned using smartphones. This is an innovative approach combining bar code recognition with location-based texting allowing consumers to take advantage of the offer right from their phones providing a convenient, relevant solution for a targeted segment of consumers.

Check – In’s are the most effective way to gain credibility and acceptance locally.

How LBS Can Help Your Business

  1. Word of mouth—We have previously mentioned ‘brand advocates’ and their value in developing that digital sales pipeline. We have all known for decades about the importance of recommendations and great customer service and there is still no more powerful way to market your business than through the words of a satisfied customer. An eMarketer Study in March 2011 found that the primary factor that influences US consumers to try a local business is recommendation from a friend (52%). So encourage and reward these brand advocates..!
  2. Reviews attached to each location/business– So, what happens if consumers aren’t ‘checking in’ or giving feedback? Could this be a polite way of saying that your services / products aren’t that good? There is only one way to find out ask for their feedback. Once you have this information, you’ll be in a position to react and plan accordingly.
  3. Provides insight into consumer’s interests— You have sent hours and hard graft getting customers  in your door, but you can’t stop there. You must plan through continuous improvement keep them coming back. The majority of LBS app’s can and will provide analytics, so the key is to plan and evaluate.  You must be sure to establish SMART goals and objectives and then monitor the results weekly and monthly.
  4. Enhance Event marketing and promotion—LBS is a way to tout your events and promotions to consumers right in your area.
  5. Improves search engine results – geo-tagged media returns higher search results.

Businesses Can Make the Most of LBS through?

  • Listening – LBS apps provide  a platform not only for consumers to check-in, but also to share. Therefore, it becomes so it is important to monitor comments and understand exactly what is being said. The most dynamic change that digital marketing has brought to the marketing arena is that customer now own the power in the relationship. They will talk, seek, exchange information about your business with or without your permission or even awareness. So you must understand what customers are saying and sharing about your business. It is also vital you interact timely to comments, suggestions and importantly complaints. Take advantage of the conversation to improve, recognise and reward your customers and convert them to your brand advocate.

 

  • Attracting more local social savvy customers – Though what is important is the the need to tailor offers to existing sales and marketing strategies or initiatives. Though you must ensure that these LBS offers are easy to share. The ‘word of mouth’ aspect where consumers openly share their experiences with their social networks is what you are aiming for from the LBS and Social initiatives and tactics.

 

  • Act on Insights Gained through LBS – As we have previously stated, analytics will enable you to evaluate which product / service offerings are working. You will also be able to understand behaviour of walk in traffic or to identify peak sales times, track visitors, customer demographics, and whenever possible, direct traffic to your web site. All of which will be vital in the planning and evaluation stages of your digital sales pipeline.

 

  • Location Based Services: The truth is out there?
  1. On-location check-in like Foursquare: Foursquare is a location mapping and social networking service that allows users to let their friends know what they are up to by checking in to different venues. This is great for businesses as it helps them track consumers whereabouts as well as the things they are saying about each venue. There are other similar services like SCVNGR, Yelp to name a few.
  2. Social Coupons like Groupon or Living Social: Groupon is a marketing service that offers its subscribers daily discount coupons by email, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Typical Groupon deals focus on local restaurants, stores, services, events and regional products. Today, there are thirty-five million registered Groupon users worldwide. Usually these services make the offer contingent on a minimum number of users accepting the offer before it can be redeemed.
  3. Review-based apps – Check for UK based review solutions and LBS’s 
  4. Local Social Event News like Bizzy offer a different approach for sharing and finding local businesses, particularly restaurants and bars. Instead of a “check-in” as on apps like Foursquare, Bizzy has “check-outs.” The app is designed to encourage more reviews than other sites such as Yelp. Bizzy is designed to encourage more participation through quick reviews with buttons (“Love it,” “OK” or “No Thx”) that people can click instead of writing a review. In tech lingo that’s called “frictionless.” People can also upload a photo of a dish as a sort of review. Check-outs with photos get more comments and feedback which has encouraged more people.

Let’s start by stating that ‘Intention’ is a critical facet of the search marketing. What I mean by ‘intention’ is what the user mean’s by their search phase or term. If we can get that right it will begin the process of crafting ads and landing page content. So, to make sure we are getting the best ROI and your marketing is working effectively in PPC, you’ll  need to truly understand what the user intended to receive upon searching in order to best deliver our services and information.

Search professionals and agencies often talk about “mapping consumer intent to the search query” in order to better optimize campaign performance. While that sounds great in an elevator pitch or on a companies website but  how does this help your business grow and how can you ensure you are matching the user’s intention is married to your products and services?

  • Silo Your Keywords

When we think about the traditional method of organizing keywords, we often look to the website’s content architecture for guidance. We’ll also look at campaign performance objectives and begin to refine our categorisations based on the ability to maximize ROI out of the campaign. While both approaches are valid, and recommended, you should also look to break out keywords into “intention” silo’s.

There are three main intention silo’s:

  1. Research 

  2. Consideration

  3. Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

After you’ve developed your keyword list, assign each term to one of the three silo’s and then concentrate on stage two. .

  •  Assign Landing Pages

This step can become quite challenging, because often there is limited content available, and much of that content is dedicated to the “purchase intention.” The major issue is that business owners and marketer’s want so badly to capture the order that we end up missing the opportunities to provide real value at the research phase.

Importantly, the consideration phase. The key must is to avoid asking the consumer too much too soon. Make sure you are providing the user the content they crave, and nurture that relationship to gain the sale in the future. Remember shop today buy another.

 

  •   Tailor Your Ad Copy 

This one seems pretty intuitive, but must be stated. Tailor your ad copy to the consumer’s intention, and make sure your call to action maps to the assigned intention bucket.If you’re writing copy for the “consideration” silo , make sure you highlight your value propositions, and use words like “learn” and “research” rather than going straight to a “buy now” call to action.

Remember, it’s not always about the immediate sale. This is all about the sales pipeline…developing that relationship along and making sure that you get a repeat customer. 

  • Determine KPIs

Determining the KPIs for each intention silo is both the most difficult and the most rewarding step. It’s the most difficult, because many times, secondary KPIs and not readily available, are not the primary optimisation point, and most likely don’t carry an established value to the client or internal stakeholder. It’s also the most rewarding, because they provide the insights into the effectiveness of your dedication to providing a quality search experience across the full consumer lifecycle and your sales pipeline. 

Getting more for your budget with PPC marketing

Email copy that sells your business

Writing Email Marketing Copy That Sells

Writing your email marketing copy that make your audience react accordingly to your campaign strategy is one of the most difficult element in any successful email marketing campaign.

It is even worse if you’re trying to sell a product or service and imagine trying to write compelling copy asking for a donation? You want to make sure you hit all their triggers and emotions, so below are ideas you can think about and put to work when writing copy that sells in your campaigns.

Benefits not features: I can’t stress how important it is for you to answer your recipient’s question, “So what” I would teach this principle to each sales person that I trained over the years. Put yourself in your customers shoes and ask What’s it going to do for me?” ”

Too many businesses I have worked for have spent too much time and energy getting caught up in focusing on themselves rather than their recipients. Recipients should always be the focus of the copy and it should be all about those benefits. Product X has this feature, which means your life will be easier to manage because ?

Use Subheads – Getting the attention of your readers using subheads is always a great idea. It breaks up your thoughts and gets to the heart of what you’re selling or telling the recipient. Add this principle of copywriting to writing in small chunks.

You need to get to your point fast in small succinct paragraphs and if they want more detailed information give them the option of links off.

Use Bullets – Bullets break up points or benefits so that your readers can get your information quickly and easily.

Testimonial evidence. This has been the the real skip-change in digital marketing recently and it will only grow and grow. For over 100 years, Direct Marketers have understood that nothing sells your product better than your customers. But get REAL people and evidence, don’t make up great testimonials, people can tell. In fact go one stage further, make REAL people part of the campaign treatment, use their stories as the copy and content. It will sell, I guarantee it!

Finally and I wish that all emails finished this way, “Ask For The Order’
The majority of my time is spent working with Small and medium sized businesses getting them to think about their Calls TO ACTIONS throughout all of their marketing communications. Buy Now” link or your “Call 1-800..” copy. IYou should definitely display your call-to-action above the fold so that your recipients don’t have to scroll down to find your offer links.

Don’t be afraid to get in your recipient’s face either, be BOLD and STRONG if that’s what you told them you’d be sending them, they expect it and probably want it. Use expiration dates and bold colors, and make sure to link from everywhere you can in your email to get your recipients to act now!

Enthralled Consultancy is a specialist Sales & Marketing consultancy that specialise in Lead Generation programmes and communications for small and medium sized businesses in the United Kingdom.

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Are the 4P’s still relevant in today’s digital marketing mix

Are the 4 P’s still working today in digital marketing today?

I still remember my first week at Ten10 Communications in London, thinking I had arrived in the big, bright world of advertising and marketing and how I was bound to become one of those creative ad men who would create something truly unique or be overseeing wonderful commercials being shot in the sun.

I travel home each night eager to learn something new exciting and that first week it was the 4 P’s of marketing. Price, Product, Promotion, Placement.

My Account Manager give my their CIM workbook. Over the next twelve months it became my foundation stone all my campaign logic was based on those principles.

Nearly twenty years later though the question has to be asked? Do they still form the foundation of today’s marketing mix?

So let’s quickly review what they meant;

Product
What product is offered by British Telecom? It is certainly much more than the cables and telephone hand- sets which they provide. It is communication, reassurance when you call an elderly relative, happiness when you receive a call from somebody you love, excitement when you hear good news and sadness when you hear bad, and relief when he says he will come round at 10.00pm on Sunday night. Similarly a hotel is much more than a place to stay to sleep and eat. It may be a surrogate home when you are away on business, a haven of refuge when you are stranded, or a prison if you find yourself caught up in, say, the Gulf conflict. It may be a place to relax, to work, to entertain or be entertained, to confer or just to lie around in the sun. Deciding what business you are in, what your product is, is one of the key issues of marketing and to decide, you need information from your customers.

Promotion
Promotion is about telling people what you have to offer. It is not entirely separate from the product because what is said and how it is said influences how the product is seen. You sell ‘the sizzle not the sausages’, you certainly do not sell ‘carbonated water with vegetable extracts’, you sell Coke with all the images of sun, youth, vitality, and world-wide harmony.
Promotion includes advertising but also includes direct mail, public relations, printed brochures, presence at travel trade shows, and participation in joint marketing schemes. Promotion can be very expensive and it is often difficult to decide whether or not it is successful.

Price
Price is the one element in the marketing mix, which is what the 4 Ps are called, which provides revenue. The other three involve cost, which may explain why marketing is less popular than it might be. Price is often determined by the cost, with a margin being added to yield a profit or return on the investment. Marketing, however, would recommend using price strategically to help to achieve the goals of the business, varying the price according to the level of demand and the willingness of the market to pay the price. Marketing is about giving each product or business its ‘unique selling proposition’ so that it is different from all competitive products and can command a premium price.
Price is also an indicator of quality, particularly for the first time buyer, and while it remains so, subsequent purchases are much more concerned with judgement of value for money.

Placement
Place really means distribution. You can buy a packet of tissues almost anywhere but the places where you can buy tourism are relatively few. Nor is tourism very well packaged in the domestic market: It is much easier to buy an all-inclusive holiday abroad than to buy one in the UK.

Definition provided by Stuart Riley -Marketing Dept of Lancaster University.

So what as changed if anything?

Well for starter one of my hero’s, Philip Kotler started to talk about the 4C’s. Place has become Convenience to our end users. Customers are now truly king, with the ability to where and when they purchase. Retailing is now all about click and mortar, online is now driven by social media pages. Social media phenomenons like Groupon are changign the face of localised placement.

But there is still placement. You still need to place you product / service somewhere but it’s now dictated by the customer. They are choosing where and how to buy your products and you need to reactive positively to that interaction.

Price has become the in so ways the COST to the consumer. Traditionally it was the revenue making element of the 4 P’s. However, now you have to consider how that perceived cost would affect the purchasers decision making process. What is meant by this is, if they hadn’t brought your product what could they brought instead.

A brand new car for instance give the would be purchaser a great deal of alternative choices. Holiday / Luxury goods etc. So the Price / Cost has to be measured in line with the alternatives and opportunities that exist.

Promotion is Communication. If anything little as changed here, you still need to promote your product / service to your target audience. Though what is changing is how we do that and the rise of brand advocates in that communication process.

It’s no longer all about push communications but more importantly pull communications that our target audience generate themselves through their own activities and peer communications. I have been talking about ALL MEDIA CUSTOMER ENGINEERING for over ten years. Is there true consistency of brand / core differentials / messaging etc across all your brands touch points?

If the answer is no, then that where mis-communication takes place and create confusion because you are not controlling the messages.

Finally, Product became Needs and Wants for the customer. The mentality has changed, it’s no longer about ‘if you build it, they will come”. You have to understand what your target audience wants and desires.

So in summary, the 4 P’s are still there and form must strategic marketing but they’ve changed. The reason, we’ve changed and are continuing to change too.