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Vtex and Brand Strategy

Recently, our team at Neolive Marketing had the pleasure of attending an important eCommerce event for companies, promoted by VTEX.
The purpose of the event was to present the structure that it offers to online stores and to show its platform in greater detail for the upper management and programmers of eCommerce companies.

VTEX has 2,300 online stores in 24 countries, and together handles more than 18 million orders and over $2 billion dollars in transactions annually.

VTEX website landing page

VTEX attracts countless companies already present in other countries, that are increasingly willing to tackle the American Market and its avid always connected consumers.
As we all know, shopping in the US is particular and diverges from what is seen and performed in other countries, which brings various challenges to new entrants.
A good Brand Strategy is essential for either new brands as it is for those well-established in other countries.

The US presents a projected online shopping estimate for 2018 of 220.6 million people, spending each, a total of US$2,012 dollars annually.
Purchases online, made through mobile devices exclusively reached US$ 23.7 billion in the third quarter of 2017 alone.

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Why E-Commerce Is Such a Good Idea

Technology is taking over our world. Think about it: almost everything we do now a days revolves around a tech device which is probably your phone, computer or tablet. Anything we need, is at the palm of our hands and in reality the world of internet is relatively new. Did you know that although e-commerce dates back to 1991, operations weren’t entirely reliable until the year 2000? Which means e-commerce has only been in our lives for the past 16 years and already the market has expanded tremendously and it will keep growing. Forbes is projecting that e-commerce sales in USA will reach $414 billion by the year 2018! Who wants a piece of that pie?

One of the most popular activities people do on the World Wide Web is shopping! (music to our ears as business people) and it’s for the simple reason that you can do it from wherever you are. If you have a phone, tablet or computer you can not only shop from anywhere in the world, you can check price differences with just a click and you can even send a “Wish List” to your family, friend or significant other if you are trying to persuade them to buy you a little something.

E-commerce has some great advantages for business people/entrepreneurs:

  • The web and its search engines provide a way to be found by customers without expensive ardvertising
  • Small online shops can reach global markets
  • Web technology also allows to track customer preferences and to deliver individual-tailored marketing

explaining the history and growth of e-commerce in the usa

The greatest thing about e-commerce from a business stand-point is the lower overhead cost since a brick-and-mortar does not have to built; everything is online! (Amazon started out of a garage; how’s that for inspiration?) Sometimes e-commerce business owners feel out of touch with their customers because there’s no in-person connection but thankfully, “pop-up” shops are on the rise and stores can build a customer relationship at local markets, parks, airports even malls.

Overall, e-commerce is an amazing opportunity for entrepreneurs as there is space for everyone but, keep in mind, just like any business, it needs a plan and marketing strategy. The key as an ecommerce business owner is to establish trust and credibility with leads and customers. From developing an attractive and easily navigable website to creating content that helps your customers.

Have you jumped into E-Commcerce yet? What has been your experience? 

Influencing your customers with affiliates or influencers?



Are you in doubt if you are going to use affiliate marketing or influencers for your brand?

Let us first explain what is each of these marketing strategies and then, according to your public and budget, you decide what is best for your company!

In affiliate marketing, a brand partners with affiliates (bloggers, instagrammers, companies, publishers) to promote the brand through offers, sales, deals, etc.

These affiliates are then paid a share of the revenue of the sales they helped generate. Because the amount paid to the affiliates is based on the revenue they helped generate, this type of marketing is very cost-effective.

On the other hand, influencer marketing is when someone that usually has a big and active audience, receives a flat rate fee to promote the brand.

Affiliate marketing is in general more focused in new customers and sales, while influencer marketing focus on the brand awareness.


Let’s think of an example to picture better what option would be better:

A company that manufactures protein bars and wants to promote its brand might contact affiliates and influencers.

The affiliates would share content (pictures, reviews, videos) on their social media about the bars and spread the word of a sale or a special offer. They would then tell their followers/connections that in order to get the offer, purchasers would have to mention a specific code when making the check out. With the sales generated with the code, the affiliate would receive a percentage, that would then vary in the gross sales they stimulated.

The influencers would promote the brand by using/eating the products the brand pays them to and sharing this content, using pictures and videos. As for the protein bars example, influencers from the brand would receive a certain flat fee in a monthly basis while the contract lasts. These influencers have to promote the brand/products regularly following what was settled in the contract between them and the company.

In order to choose what is better for your company you will have to take into consideration who are your customers – basically their demographics and psychographics (read here and here more about this) and with all information about them, see how you could better influence them to purchase your products.

Regardless of being an affiliate or an influencer, it is important to be aware that both should disclosure publicly that they are being compensated to promote the brand as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which enforces the U.S. Truth in Advertising Laws. And when it comes to the FTC, it is the brand that gets penalized with a fine, so be careful to have this explained in the contract between the company and the affiliates/influencers.

People in the Business – Lisa Hyman and Max Kabat


Do you need inspiration on how to define your target and build the right campaign to reach them?

This month’s Spotlight features two marketing professionals: Lisa Hyman and Max Kabat. They both work at GoodDog, a company from the LeadDog Marketing Group.

They worked on a campaign for Plum Organics, a company that produces organic baby food, snacks and mealtime solutions for toddlers and kids. Along with Something Massive, LeadDod developed “Parenting Unfiltered”, a campaign made to connect to parents by acknowledging their day-to-day struggles and the messy reality of parenthood.

The video wasn’t product-specific, but a lifestyle campaign, planned to catalyze conversation, inspire genuine engagement and position Plum as the brand that gets it.Toddler girl playing with daddy in the garden

LeadDog created a manifesto for the campaign and developed a two-year long marketing plan to make Plum stand out of the clutter of emerging organic brands. Key people to Plum’s campaign was Max Kabat – that on LinkedIn calls himself a GoodDog – and Lisa Hyman – partner and head of strategy.

Max Kabat and Lisa Hyman wanted to surpass the first goal of obtaining video views and start a conversation about the topic in social media, creating a connection between the brand and the parents/clients. After the publication of the Plum’s video, showcasing parents in unfiltered, real situations, Plum promoted it by partnering with influential parents across the web, that created and shared their own honest parenting unfiltered in a variety of platforms, such as Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, generating organic awareness of the campaign and adoption of the hashtag #ParentingUnfiltered.

We will leave you with inspirational quotes from Max and Lisa.

  • Marketing has an innate ability to influence people and effect change so we harness it to do good – Max Kabat from LinkedIn.
  • The best idea can come from anyone – you just have to be listening – Lisa Hyman from LinkedIn.

Plum’s campaign is a great example of targeting the right public, the niche group that will buy the product you offer. Studying the psychographics of your customers and target customers will tell you what would be the best means of targeting them, influencing them on creating brand awareness, reach them at the right place and right time in an attempt to satisfy their needs.

The Importance of Psychographics in the Marketing Industry

Defining the target market of any product or service is a task that marketers around the world take at heart. After all, many great ideas fail constantly when they are not delivered at the appropriate time to the appropriate customer base.

Historically, understanding the demographics of different sectors of the population and their core characteristics has proven to be an effective way to segment and evaluate target customers. It has also served

as a portal to develop effective marketing campaigns and position businesses in their end consumers’ mind. However, in a highly globalized world where competition is the norm and not the exception, demographics have fallen short to consider all aspects that guide the customers’ purchase decision and psychographics have gained greater importance in defining and narrowing these key elements.

Psychographics, which measure customers’ attitudes and interests rather than “objective” demographic criteria, has proven to be an effective approach to the modern market segmentation and according to these, marketers should have answers to a set of questions pertaining psychographics in order to effectively define a product or service customer base.

  • Customer Concerns: Is there a real problem or need that my product or service can satisfy?
  • Customer Lifestyle and Limitation: What are they genuinely interested on and is their something preventing them from fulfilling these interests?
  • Customer Likes: Where do they spend their free time and how does my product or service fit on their schedule?
  • Customer Values: Do they value quality or quantity? What is their real capacity to acquire this product or service?
  • Customer Motivations: Are the family or career oriented? Is my product or service fuelling their motivation?
  • Customer Emotions: Do they socialize with a larger or smaller groups of people? How my product or service attends to their personal needs?

The above are just a small group of questions for a good-practice psychographics evaluation. Demographics, although still current and important, are no longer the only considerations to create an effective marketing campaign, that reaches and fulfils a real need in the market by catering to a specific group wants and needs. Knowing and understanding these customers’ motivations will help you to effectively design your next ad, craft your next blog post and most importantly deliver all this at the right time.

The future of Marketing – Lifestyle

Happy fun dancing housewife housekeeping kitchen clean immaculate joyful pleasant lifestyleWhat’s the deal with Lifestyle Marketing? It’s a subject that is difficult to understand for some because it’s almost abstract. How can companies make money or increase their brand awareness with lifestyle marketing? WHAT IS LIFESTYLE MARKETING? 

Let’s start by defining content marketing aka lifestyle marketing. Lifestyle marketing is a way to engage consumers with your brand through values and interests in common. A brand has an identity and so does your consumer, therefore the purpose of lifestyle marketing is to be FRIENDS with your consumer. Once you touch a person/consumer on a personal level, they are hooked. If your consumer understands your brand and shares your brand’s values and interests, they are more likely to spend their money on you… and essentially, that’s what we want.

Call to Action is a super commom practice in Marketing as the end goal no matter in what industry you are in, is to increase sales… BUT, a research conducted to analyze the marketing strategies of competitor brands NIKE & ADIDAS found the following:

The findings? Nike used more lifestyle content than Adidas. Sixty percent of Nike’s posts featured lifestyle content and its traditional call-to-action posts received an average of 993 shares a post. In contrast, only 32 percent of Adidas’ posts featured lifestyle content, with its traditional posts receiving an average of 122 shares each.Two young friends sitting at outdoor cafe and smiling. Multiracial women hanging out at sidewalk restaurant.What does this tell us?

Of course, call to action is important but the new generation, the one that is starting to have buying power and will be the future of our economy, does not really care about seeing a million call to action buttons because they are more interested in learning about the soul of the brand. Do they believe in the same things? Are they environmentally friendly? Are they socially conscious? Do they treat their employees with integrity? THESE are the things that matter now, the things that will turn a group of friends into your best customers or your worst enemy by syndicating negative messages about your company/brand on social media.

Make sure to invest some time in defining your brand. What is the personality of your brand? How can you talk to your consumers as a friend?

For more tips on how to create a brand identity, read here.

People in the Business – Jasmine Maleknia

Jasmine Maleknia


Social media can help boost one’s company, everybody is well aware. But how to successfully draw attention from your company’s target consumers?
Finding inspiration in great success stories from other companies might help you.
Today we are going to present you Jasmine Maleknia, the social media manager behind the media campaigns at Airbnb, bringing the company to being the finalist at the 7th Annual Shorty Awards “Best Brand on Instagram”.
Jasmine was key to Airbnb doubling their audience in the second half of 2014, drive more than 15k click throughs in a platform that does not enable links and motivate the community to engage more (growing from 179 user generated photos in January 2014 to 6,429 uploads in December in the same year).
Jasmine worked on the strategy of showcasing the most unique places around the world in which other Airbnb costumers could imagine themselves in and striving to keep their community at the heart of their Instagram account – 75% of the photos utilized in the Instagram account is from its users.
With this strategy, Airbnb got a gold distinction at the same time Jasmine got an honorable mention for “Best Integrated Campaign”.
In 2014 the Airbnb team took the platform to the next level by making it bookable, through a link (the only one allowed in the platform) after receiving innumerous Instagram comments by people requesting about how they could book that same property featured on that platform.



Want to also take your business to a higher level? Inspire yourself on successful cases like this and professionals such as Jasmine.

We hope you liked reading this and would love hearing who else you would like being featured in this Spotlight – People in the Business! Leave us your comments below or check us out at @NeoliveMarketing


Learn How to Use Snapchat for Business

NeoLive Marketing shares tips on Snapchat to personalize your brand

Snapchat started as a communication tool for friends and family but has developed into one of the most sought after social media networks in the past year or so. What is it about Snapchat that influencers and brands are investing so much of their time with this app? Well, we have instagram, twitter and facebook which are amazing social networks that allow individuals and brands to showcase their lives, thoughts and dreams but Snapchat takes it a step further. Below, I will break down the top 3 reasons why Snapchat can be considered to be the future of your digital marketing strategy.

Snapchat allows you to:

  1. Portray your brand personality – Beautiful pictures are great but there is something about adding a voice to a brand that makes it much more easy to relate with. Make sure you choose a person you trust in your company to be the spokesperson of your Snapchat.
  2. Show your audience LIVE events – Consumers feel attached to the brand because they are getting an inside view of the company with behind-the-scenes content
  3. Give your audience private information – Provide special content exclusively to your snapchat audience. Snaps erase after 24 hours therefore, your audience will always be engaged to not miss any important details.

It’s not a difficult tool to use, you won’t have to worry about hashtags or creating  full-out company profile; just create an account and get recording. The only thing I ask when creating your account and communicating to your audience about your profile… make sure you write it out EXACTLY the way it shows on your ghost. See image below.

NeoLive Marketing shares tips on Snapchat to personalize your brand

If you are not on board with Snapchat yet, it’s time you get on with it! 

Thank you so much for reading and feel free to leave us comments or suggestions! Follow us on instagram for inside scoop at NeoLive!