27 July 2021
Direct mail marketing and print advertising can be powerful additions to a comprehensive marketing strategy. Don’t believe it? According to Smallbizgenius, people who receive a piece of direct mail spend 28% more than those who don’t. At St. Gregory, we’ve been helping businesses launch direct mail advertising campaigns and print advertising endeavors for over 30 years. One area where we’ve seen many businesses flounder is with measuring the return on investment of these campaigns. And if you aren’t effectively measuring, you aren’t getting across the finish line! Below we’ll share two ways we’ve successfully helped businesses measure the impact of their direct mail and print advertising campaigns as well as pro tips to help you avoid common pitfalls. Call Tracking with Direct Mail Marketing and Print Advertising Is your business the type that lends itself to phone calls, such as customers calling to make an appointment or reservation? If so, call tracking is an excellent way to measure the effectiveness of your direct mail piece, print advertising campaign or magazine ad. The concept of call tracking is simple enough; you use a separate, dedicated phone number in the ad and calls to that number are counted. These calls may even be recorded so that information can be gathered about the callers themselves, such as gender and FAQs, and “conversions” can be counted. (Conversions might be the number of callers that actually make an appointment or reservation after speaking with your business.) Pro tip: Call tracking is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, but it isn’t just a marketing tool. Listening to calls is also a fantastic way to collect customer feedback and monitor employee-customer interactions with the aim of improving your business’ overall customer experience. For more information on improving the customer experience (and why it matters) read Customer Experience: Getting the Customer is Only the First Step. In theory, call tracking sounds great, but how do you implement it? You could do it manually. Get a separate phone number, have your employees count the number of calls and take notes about the outcome of each call. But let’s be real—that sounds like a huge hassle, right? Luckily, there are much more automated call tracking solutions available. For example, one that we’ve used here at St. Gregory is CallRail. CallRail allows you to get multiple phone numbers, so if you were doing a direct mail advertising campaign and a magazine ad you could have two separate tracking numbers. The service also records calls so you can listen to them later and integrates with Google Analytics so that you can compare call data with other conversions and compare your various traffic sources. Pro tip: Call tracking isn’t just for mail and print advertising. You can use call tracking phone numbers in any form of advertising from social media campaigns to television commercials. In fact, CallRail integrates with Facebook and other platforms to make the process as painless as possible. For more information on successfully implementing call tracking in any of your marketing and media campaigns, call St. Gregory today. Landing Pages and UTMs with Direct Mail Marketing and Print Advertising If you plan on using your direct mail or print advertising campaign to drive website traffic, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about the URL that will be in the ad. There are two solid options to consider. Append UTM parameters to an existing page. The easiest tracking option is to simply add UTM parameters to an existing URL. UTM parameters, also known as URL parameters, campaign parameters, and campaign tracking parameters, are pieces of code you add to the end of a URL. This code passes information back to Google Analytics so that you can better categorize and measure the results of your campaigns. Pro tip: If you’re unfamiliar with UTM parameters and how powerful they can be for most marketing campaigns, dive in with Intro to UTM Parameters. Not only are UTM parameters free to use, they’re also fast and easy to deploy. The only issue with UTMs is that they can make a URL very long. A long URL is unsightly, may be difficult to fit on a direct mail or print advertising piece, and may be asking too much of your perspective customers. In other words, no one wants to try to type in a URL that is 50 plus characters long. And even if your customers are willing to do so, the longer the URL is the more likely it is they will make a typo and end up on a 404 “page not found” error page, which is beyond frustrating! The solution is to drop your URL, complete with UTMs, into a link shortener tool, such as Bitly, TinyURL, or Rebrandly. A link shortener simply takes a long URL and cuts it down. It does not strip off your UTM parameters or interfere with tracking. Use a dedicated landing page. What if you have a special offer or price you want to make available only to the people that receive your direct mail piece? Or for some reason can’t (or don’t want to) use UTMs? For example, if you’re using a web tracking service other than Google Analytics, UTMs might not be an option. In that case, you could create a separate landing page on your website specifically for your direct mail marketing or print advertising campaign. Whether you are creating a brand new page with unique copy or simply duplicating an existing page in order to measure direct mail or print campaign traffic, there are a few things you’ll want to do: Make the page is an “orphan” page. When a page is an orphan, that means that no other page on the site links to it. You do not want anyone to be able to get to the page unless they have the URL, which will only be in your direct mail or print advertising piece. Tell Google (and other search engines) not to index the page. Again, you want to ensure that no-one can get to the page unless they have the URL; the purpose of this is to try to keep your data as pure as possible. By telling Google not to index the page, you’re preventing your direct mail or print ad landing page from showing up in organic search results. Test your data tracking service, whether this is Google Analytics or some other application. Make sure you are able to collect visitor data. Ensure the page has a URL that is easy to type. Keep the URL as foolproof as possible. Pro tip: If you are duplicating an existing page, avoid duplicate content issues on your site by adding a canonical tag to the original page. Read more about canonicalization here. By using the methods in this post, you’ll be able to get a much better understanding of just how effective your direct mail and print ad campaigns are. At St. Gregory, we have talented team members that can help you design a new webpage, write effective sales copy, and implement a solid UTM strategy to get the most accurate tracking possible for your direct mail or print advertising campaign all while driving sales or leads. If you’re ready to see how well your campaigns, direct mail or otherwise, are really performing, let’s talk!
07 April 2021
The best marketing strategy in the world can only have temporary results if it doesn’t account for the entire customer experience. Sure, our first job is to get people in the door, on the lot or to the website, but that’s just the beginning of the journey. I was lucky to learn this at my first and only job before I started my professional career. I was working at a high-end butcher shop in downtown Cincinnati where the clientele had expectations for their rack of lamb just as high as my current clients do for their multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns. How does a teenager become a butcher at such a place and what did I learn from my time working there? For the first question, ask my dad. For the second, I think it’s safe to say that I learned as much working as a butcher as I did in college. Scary, right? The most important lesson I learned there is that the customer experience is just as important as the product. This is easy to overlook while organizations focus on product and process, but it can be the most important part of your business plan. Marketing’s job isn’t over when the customer comes through the door. In some ways it’s just beginning. Think about it. One of the first lessons at the butcher shop was wrapping orders. At the time I didn’t understand why my father made such a big deal about it. Finally, he explained that the package that goes out the door is a big part of the customer experience. The way it feels in our guest’s hands, the way it looks that afternoon in the refrigerator. The appearance, the aroma, the reveal when he first unwraps his roast or chops to start cooking. All those moments are an opportunity to reinforce his decision to choose us. The challenge is to own as many of those moments as possible. Why is that customer in the market in the first place? It’s a butcher shop, so the simple answer is for food. But probably not because they’re hungry. Usually, our customers were preparing a meal to be shared with others, and likely somebody they wanted to impress. That changes the equation. It means they need more than just quality product. They want and expect our expertise beyond which cut is particularly good that day. We’d make suggestions for preparation and serving, selecting side dishes and other ideas for making their meal a success. We understood that we were playing a role in that special meal and it could very well be one of the most important occasions in our customer’s week … or career or relationship. And the customer experience isn’t complete until the dishes are cleared from the table. How you create an unforgettable customer experience will be specific to your business, products or services, and target audience. However, there are some things that all businesses can do to improve their customer experience. These may seem basic, but in our experience, they’re often overlooked. Ready? Here are our top two tips for creating an unforgettable customer experience. Plus, how St. Gregory can help you implement them. Customer Experience Tip 1: Be Convenient There are many different ways that customers might communicate with your business, including: Phone calls Face-to-face interactions Text messages Online chats Social media messages Website forms Emails Old fashioned snail mail How your customers (and potential customers) prefer to communicate with you about your products or services will depend on a lot of factors such as the urgency of their need and audience demographics like age. Do not force your customers to conform to your preferred methods of communication! Instead, take steps to identify which channels your customers prefer and make yourself available. When it comes to customer experience tip one, St. Gregory can help you identify those preferred communication channels by mining any existing website and marketing data, such as that from Google Analytics, and conducting consumer research. Pro tip: Keep in mind that some people may prefer no communication. Part of being convenient is making it easy for people to find the information they need without having to reach out to you and wait for a response. This can be achieved through website copy, blog posts, an online knowledge base, or chatbots. St. Gregory has experienced copywriters that can help craft search engine optimized and user-friendly copy that conveys necessary information. In addition, our web designers can help you make smart user experience decisions that will make your website more accessible to current and perspective customers. Customer Experience Tip 2: Learn and Grow Guess who knows what your customers really want … that’s right, your customers. In order to create that unforgettable customer experience, you have to listen to current, perspective, and yes, former customers. How you solicit this feedback may vary. Here are a few possible options: Customer experience surveys that are sent out after a product is purchased or after a service is provided. Polls sent out to social media audiences or email lists. Polls conducted at community events or community gathering places. Online reviews. Ask your customers and audiences for their opinion and feedback. Analyze the information you receive for opportunities. Then, and this is the most important part, use that knowledge to improve the customer experience! Feedback is useless if you don’t actually learn from it. At St. Gregory, our public relations specialists can help you design reputation management and community engagement plans that includes soliciting customer feedback and reviews. Bonus, not only will online reviews help you improve your customer experience, they can also help you make more sales. A study by the Spiegel Research Center showed that the “likelihood of a product getting purchased increases 270% when it gets five reviews.” Yes, 270%. That is not a typo. And notice that it’s just five reviews; the study did not specify positive versus negative reviews. While you do not want a bevy of bad reviews, a few will not sink your ship, so to speak. In fact, one or two bad reviews mixed in with a bunch of stellar reviews can actually make your business seem more credible. Speaking of negative reviews…. It can be hard to receive critical feedback, especially in a public setting such as Google or Facebook. However, remember, every complaint is an opportunity to provide an unforgettable customer experience. How you act in the face of negativity can be far more telling than how you act when everything is going perfectly. When you do receive a negative review, before responding, read our tips on how to handle negative reviews. St. Gregory is a full-service marketing agency. That means we can help with all of your marketing and customer experience needs including digital and traditional marketing, public relations and community engagement, reputation management, and creative needs like graphic design, video production, and content marketing. We’d love to talk to you about how to take your customer experience to a buzz-worthy level. For a free consultation on how we might be an asset to your business, contact us today.
22 October 2020
01 September 2020
Author: Alex Webb
Help. The clicks my vendor is showing don’t match what I’m seeing in Google Analytics! Unfortunately, this is a very common problem. In fact, we’d say it’s the norm! Usually, the number of clicks the vendor is reporting is significantly higher than what you’re seeing in Google Analytics, which can be quite distressing. However, there are a myriad of potential causes behind this discrepancy and unfortunately, more than one factor may be at work here. Here are some reasons that the number of clicks in a vendor report won’t match what you see in Google Analytics. Common Reasons Vendors Don’t Match Google Analytics Clicks Are Not the Same As Users If you’re running display or pre-roll video ads, the vendor is mostly delivering those ads over an ad server or ad exchange and is most likely tracking clicks, which are calculated based on server logs. On the other hand, Google is tracking “users.” A user is not necessarily the same thing as a click. A user is a unique person that has come to your website. To put it more accurately, it is a unique device and/or browser. Let’s dig a little deeper. Scenario 1: John is surfing the web using Mozilla Firefox on his laptop. He clicks your display ad three times. Your vendor would count this as three clicks, but Google Analytics would only count this as one user. That’s because the first time John clicked your ad and Google Analytics fired, he was “cookied.” A code snippet was appended to him so that Google could recognize him. Now, any time John visits your website on his laptop in Mozilla, he’ll just be counted as one user unless he clears his cache or the cookie expires. Scenario 2: John is surfing the web using his iPhone and a Safari browser. He clicks your ad two times. Then, later that night, John is on his laptop in a Chrome browser and clicks your ad once. Your vendor would count this as three clicks, but Google Analytics would count this as two users. Once on the iPhone in Safari (even though he clicked the ad twice) and once on the laptop in Chrome. Unless John changes his device and/or browser or clears his cache he’ll keep being counted as one user in Google Analytics… but your vendor will count a new click each time he clicks on your ad. Now, there are instances where Google can track users across devices—and Cross Device Reporting within Google Analytics can give you additional insight into that. And of course, Google is getting smarter all the time at being able to track people from a myriad of sources, but the general principles outlined in this section still hold true. Conflating clicks with users is the quintessential apples/oranges issue in third-party reporting. Google Analytics Is Not Firing In order for Google Analytics to count a user, the Google Analytics tag must fire, which happens as the webpage loads. This means if a visitor clicks your ad and then quickly hits the back button your vendor will most likely report a click while Google Analytics will show nothing. In addition, if the visitor prevents the page from fully loading by quickly moving to another page or by pressing the browser’s “stop” button, Google Analytics may not fire. Again, your vendor would report a click because the person did click your ad but Google Analytics would show nothing because it never fired. Google Analytics Is Not Set Up Properly If Google Analytics is not set up properly, it may not accurately count users or document where they came from. This could be something as simple as Google Analytics not being installed on your landing page or something more complicated, like a cross-domain tracking issue. Traffic Is Being Sent To The Wrong Page This sounds silly, but if you’re seeing large discrepancies, always ask the vendor to verify the URL they are sending traffic to. We’ve seen cases where clients have accidentally provided invalid URLs or URLs to a different website and therefore traffic was going to an unintended location. Tip: Avoid URLs that redirect as this can cause reporting problems within Google Analytics and exacerbate the discrepancy. Traffic Being Counted As “Direct” A lot of display ad traffic happens on mobile devices, specifically in apps. This can be problematic because when a user clicks an ad in an app, their browser may open. (In other words, the website doesn’t always open within the app.) Sometimes, Google Analytics gets confused about where this user came from and just dumps them in the “direct” traffic bucket. In other words, Google Analytics thinks, “hey, this person just opened up their browser and went directly to this website.” It isn’t able to see that they really came from an app, specifically an ad within an app. This recently happened to us. A longstanding vendor reported 17,833 clicks for a given campaign. During that same time, Google Analytics was only attributing 5,734 users to that vendor. That’s a discrepancy of 67.8%—far larger than what we normally see from this vendor. Closer examination showed that this client had a HUGE number of direct visitors for the campaign period. The number of direct users was approximately 9x higher than what it normally is. After accounting for all of the previously mentioned reasons for a discrepancy and talking to the vendor, we determined that Google Analytics had been counting in-app clicks as “direct” traffic. This had not happened in previous campaigns. We told the vendor to stop serving our ads in apps and we’ve since seen a much smaller discrepancy between the vendor’s report and Google Analytics, as well as normal levels of direct traffic. There’s Fraudulent Activity If you’ve ruled everything else out, it’s sad to say, but there could be fraudulent activity going on. There are two possibilities: There were invalid clicks on your ad. Most ad servers have safeguards in place to filter out invalid clicks (like those by a bot). Typically, your vendor will deduct these invalid clicks from the total in your report. However, Google Analytics reports all users. This is an instance where the number of Google Analytics users may be higher than the numbers reported by your vendor. Your vendor has inflated the number of clicks. This could be some kind of glitch with their reporting system OR an intentional action to make the campaign appear to have performed better than it did. It’s sad that this one has to be on the list … but there are less than reputable vendors out there. So, Why Use Vendors At All? If a vendor’s report isn’t going to match up with Google Analytics, why use them at all? Great question. At St. Gregory, we’re always striving to provide the best possible results for our clients. If we can do something in-house better and cheaper than any vendor, then we will (and we frequently do!)—but if a vendor has access to some audience or technology that we don’t, we’re going to talk to them. We don’t want to limit our clients out of fear. That’s why we have stringent measures in place for evaluating campaign results and making sure vendors are really performing, regardless of what they report. How Can I Make Vendor Reports Match Google Analytics? Sadly you can’t. Seriously, we’ve never seen a third-party vendor report match up perfectly with Google Analytics—and that’s okay. They don’t have to match up … as long as the vendor is still providing value. Here are some steps you can take when working with third-party vendors to make sure you get the best results: #1 – Know that the numbers aren’t going to match going in. You’re going to have a discrepancy. Be prepared for it. Prepare stakeholders for it. #2 – Use UTM parameters on the URL you give the vendor. When you’re setting up a campaign with a vendor, you’ll provide them the URL (or URLs) you want to drive traffic to. Append UTM parameters to this URL so that you can more accurately track the traffic they’re driving to your site. When you send the URL to the vendor, point out the UTM parameters. Tell them not to alter your URL in any way! (Otherwise, they might strip the parameters off of your URL.) UTM parameters allow you to control exactly how the traffic shows up in Google Analytics, which makes tying users back to a particular vendor a lot easier! #3 – Check your landing page. Hit your landing page before the campaign launches and make sure Google Analytics is firing properly. You can use Real Time reporting (within Google Analytics) to find yourself on the page. #4 – Check your site speed. So … when you checked that landing page, how fast did it load? Did you know that on mobile devices, people expect a website to load and be functional in three seconds or less? If your webpage is a bit laggy, try picking a faster page (or taking steps to speed that page up). If you can’t do that, just understand that you might be a victim of people clicking your ad but then clicking the back button before the page can fully load. #5 – Consider telling the vendor to not show your ad in apps. After the large discrepancy we saw, we’ve become more cautious about in-app clicks. In fact, at the moment, we’ve told our vendor to not show our display ads in apps at all. We’ll probably retest this in a month or two. Update: In September 2020, Apple rolled out iOS 14 which included a lot of additions that are meant to protect user privacy. Unfortunately, these additions can cause tracking issues for advertisers. It’s too early to spell out exactly what all these issues may look like and how to avoid or overcome them, but be aware that iOS 14 may cause problems for you! If you’re seeing wonky numbers and your site gets a high volume of iPhone traffic, consider testing a campaign with iOS 14 users excluded, which is a capability most vendors possess. #6 – Evaluate the vendor on what you can document. Your vendor’s report says you got 1,000 clicks? So what. What does Google Analytics say? We take the number of impressions the vendor served with the number of users (or sessions) and conversions from Google Analytics to figure out how the campaign performed. If the cost per user (or session), CTR, cost per conversion and conversion rate are in line with what we would expect from that type of campaign, then we’re good. It doesn’t matter how many clicks the vendor reported. If the numbers are below what we’d expect to see, there are more questions to ask both of the vendor and of ourselves—for example, was there something wrong with the creative? (But that’s a different story!) Need help deep diving into your Google Analytics or vendor reporting? Our number nerds would love to help you out. Our entire digital marketing department is Google Analytics–certified and (better yet) passionate about data analysis. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
28 May 2020
If events or sponsorships were part of your marketing strategy at the beginning of the year, chances are your plans are changing rapidly. The industries we work in at St. Gregory involve a number of event and seasonal sponsorships. Due to circumstances neither our clients nor their partners could have controlled, not all of those plans will be working out this year. If you’re experience is similar, you’re likely working out adjustments and revisions already. There will be pain. Whether that pain is going to last depends to a great degree on how you approached the sponsorship from the beginning and what you and the partner expect from the relationship. Are you just casually dating the other brand or looking for a serious commitment? A common offer from sponsorship partners is to roll over your investment to the following year. That may come with some added value thrown in or an option on the Platinum Level package at the Gold rate. Or whatever. So, should you bite? Extending sponsorship agreements to make up for cancelled events or a shortened sports season is one option, but it only makes sense if the sponsorship still fits with next year’s strategy. And that’s the key. Sponsorships are most effective when there is real alignment between the two brands in the partnership. In the best partnerships, fans or participants are attracted by some attribute that your brand shares, whether that’s adventure, competition, compassion or a love of kittens. When that alignment is there, your sponsorship partner can deliver value far greater than attendance figures and camera time. Those are relationships that increase in value over time, meaning that despite the pain you’re experiencing now, the longer-term investment just may be worth it.
26 February 2020
Your business-to-business campaign clearly explains the advantages of your product. Your sales team has demonstrated the ease of operation, heuristic design and how it fits into your customer’s process. You’ve checked every box the decision maker needs to make an informed, rational, solid business decision. Still … nothing. Why does it take so long to make what you know is the obvious choice? Sometimes as marketers we lose sight of who’s making the purchase decision … and how. Our target customer may be an owner, operations manager, a manufacturing VP, a design engineer or some other business decision-maker. These are professionals who can be counted on to evaluate benefits, lifetime cost and ROI, and they surely use these metrics to explain their choices in the board room. But your customers are not just rational economic actors: They’re human beings. And people can’t help but make decisions with their emotions first. In addition to your customers’ business needs, how will going with your offering affect her or him personally? There are some questions that never get asked out loud. Sure, maybe it does everything you say, but am I going to have to fight with shipping to take advantage of all those features? Is my family going to forget what I look like while we’re switching over? Of course, it can be adjusted quickly and easily, but am I going to be taking calls from the production floor all weekend? All the research in the world is no substitute for understanding your audience as real-live people. There’s a good chance your decision makers are worried about more than their business. They’re worried about their jobs. And their lives. If your marketing can answer the questions that never get asked out loud, you can win their hearts. Their minds will follow.
06 January 2020
There’s no denying that we live in a review culture now. Social media started it, and online retailers made it the norm. Often overlooked, this element of word-of-mouth marketing has become one of the most powerful drivers of sales, particularly in the “decision” phase of the buyer’s journey.
04 December 2019
Author: Steve Bleh
Any plan for identifying, targeting and attracting customers to your brand almost always involves some sort of analysis of the customer journey. It’s the path from the Zero Moment of Truth, through something like a Sales Funnel, and leading ultimately to the Last Three Feet. Then we’re done, right? Everybody high-five and start filling out the awards submissions. The reality is that last moment of truth is not where the marketer’s job ends—it’s just where it starts over. With some notable exceptions—burial plots come immediately to mind—most of the brands and clients we serve are hoping for something more than a one-off transaction. So, what can we do to keep those customers coming back for more? First, be certain that the earliest customer experience is not only more than they expect, but clearly what they expect. Advertising messages that confuse your audience or imply a different kind of experience will leave guests confused, disappointed or worse. That means that a clear definition of who the product or service is for has to be baked into your strategy. This requires an analysis that goes beyond demographics or psychographics and gets to what customer need that initial purchase meets. It’s fair to say that the MegaMart and the art gallery have very different customer profiles, but patrons of the arts still, on occasion, need batteries or shoelaces. Second, anticipate that there still will be customers who walk away confused, disappointed or worse. Whether it’s because of an operations issue or a disconnect in your messaging doesn’t matter—it’s still marketing’s problem to address. There once was a saying that a satisfied customer tells two people, but a dissatisfied one tells 12. That’s still mostly true, but through social media that unhappy customer could reach 12 dozen or 12,000 in a matter of hours. Have a plan for responding to these situations that in a way that reinforces your accurate brand story and reinforces your commitment to meeting and exceeding expectations. Third—and this where the journey starts over at the beginning—your marketing plan needs to remind all those happy (or at least satisfied) customers about the best parts of their experience invite them back. Many mass-market retailers and food service establishments solicit comments at the cash register or create rewarded surveys. For high-value purchases or those that are less frequent, consider a personal contact to ask about the experience—good or bad—and even to ask for referrals. With so many options for any service or product in the market, brands need to make sure that every step the customer takes with you is on the right path. The first transaction is just the beginning of the relationship. And the beginning of a new journey.
23 October 2019
The hand that rocks the cradle, they say … Our mothers’ opinions become ours from a young age and when we’re old enough to have our own opinions, we often still trust that mother knows best. Or, at least she sets the starting point. So, where do today’s Millennial moms go when they need an expert opinion in these hyper-connected days? Where they’ve always gone: Other moms. For millennial moms, using social media as a way to reach out to other moms is second nature. What’s different is that instead of having just a close-knit group of mom friends in the family or the neighborhood, there are now thousands of online groups moms can join based on geography, age, special needs, interests … you name it. Every day, these groups are filled with posts by members, seeking and offering up recommendations on the best service providers, baby products, family-friendly entertainment, travel destinations and more. Millennial moms are particularly likely to trust recommendations of other parents on social media. One survey cited in Forbes showed them significantly more inclined to online referrals than even their Gen X older siblings. And these Millennial Moms control a lot of spending power, with mothers making the purchase decisions in four out of every five dollars spent on household products and services. So, as marketers, how can we make sure these uber-consumers know (and share) the advantages of what we’re offering? We need to be part of their communities, both online and in real life. That means building relationships that foster dialogue, not shouting slogans. That means listening more than you speak. We start by identifying the influencers in the market and reaching out personally to offer them something of value in their own lives. This can be a sample for trial, an experience that they can share with their own network, or even an offer they can share with their online followers and offline communities. It’s important that these interactions are conversations, not monologues. Aside from the opportunity to tell the community about your latest offering or enhancement, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about your customer and their lives. Join their communities by participating in online conversations. Your company and your brand have access to experiences from other consumers and other families that members will find useful. And when it comes to your own product, there can be no better source for how it’s best used or enjoyed. Influencers have a responsibility to their audience. The community gives them a platform. In return, members of that community rely on them to test products, try services and to share information they can use to simplify their own lives. Companies and brands that become trusted members of the community – that contribute more than just self-promotion – are gaining an advantage in earning the business of this Millennial generation. And the next one.