All posts by Annabel Youens

Annabel Youens

About Annabel Youens

I'm a co-founder and CMO at AE. I believe that truly successful internet businesses have to connect people. {wave} When I'm not online I'm exploring beautiful Vancouver Island. Things I love: everything scifi, literary fiction, coffee, Google Music, my workhorse sewing machine and board games.

AE was recently featured in Music Ally’s Sandbox, a monthly report for music marketers. We shared what we are doing here at AE and why AE is the perfect tool for music marketing.

This September’s issue was all about what to do when your music marketing campaign takes off. The report showcased how AE’s fan insight technology can impact music marketing for the better.

While we can’t give you the full article, you can get a free subscription trial here, and we have included some of our favourite quotes below!

Capture And Campaign

“Acquire, Attribute and Automate are the three A’s that are driving modern music marketing….Enter The Appreciation Engine (AE). This allows marketers to capture fan information from streaming and social platforms and then view insights down to the individual level.”

-Music Ally’s Sandbox Report

musically's sandbox report appreciation engine is the tool for music marketing

Get The Engine Running

“Inside AE’s dashboard, you’re able to view what’s been going on across your fanbase at an artist level, a global level and an individual fan level, so teams for a specific artist or across a wider catalogue can all work together within the same place.”

-Music Ally’s Sandbox Report

musically's sandbox september issue music marketing for the digital era where ae is the tool for music marketing

Enterprise to Indie

“AE is currently available to any labels and management companies that would like to start working with it and, although its features are currently geared for very large labels, it is prioritizing its updates over the coming years to be every bit as accessible to smaller labels…”

-Music Ally’s Sandbox Report

musically logo for music marketing

Sandbox by Music Ally is a subscription-based online publication that releases a fresh report every month. Their in-depth articles share recent digital marketing trends, useful tools and services, the industry’s most successful campaigns and interviews with industry leaders.

We were thrilled to be featured as a tool for music marketers and we hope you get a chance to read the full report! You can learn more about Sandbox and get a free trial subscription here.

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What a real example of AE in action? See how we helped Kesha reach 3.5 million fans here!

A lot of people use the terms “influencer” and “advocate” as synonyms. In some ways it makes sense because at first glance they both promote products on social media channels. But each group possesses very different characteristics and plays specific roles in social web society.

Influencers vs advocates: a scale weighing a loudspeaker and a head.

Their Definitions

Influencers are:

  • people who are active on social media and have the capacity to affect another person’s behavior simply based on what they post
  • often celebrities, politicians, or other individuals with a sizeable and loyal audience

Advocates are:

  • individuals who publicly support a product or service based on its incredible quality
  • people who vocalize their support for a product over social media and hope their admiration inspires others to buy

At AE, we believe the most important difference between influencers and advocates is:

  • influencers agree to promote a product in exchange for free goods or services
  • advocates promote a product because they genuinely like it and are impressed with its quality

Basically, advocates develop a long-term loyalty to the product they promote, while influencers create a very temporary and short-term connection to the product.

Their Motivations

An advocate’s motivation is:

  • to help his/her friends find high-quality products
  • advocates are selfless and want to help others in their community

On the other hand, influencers’ motivation is:

  • to increase the size of their own audience
  • unlike advocates, influencers are selfish- influencers are only concerned with how promoting a product will help them in the long run (they’re only in it for the freebies and the free press!)

This is backed up by Forrester Research, which states that only 18% of consumers trust influencers and their opinions, while Nielsen says that an astounding 92% of consumers trust brand advocates.

When trying to classify a customer, look for passion behind their posts that promote a product. Advocates always have a genuine passion and admiration for what they promote, where this passion is often missing from influencer posts.

Influencers and Advocates in the Real World

Two Facebook users are talking about Nike, but they speak very differently.

Influencer Post: “Check out Nike’s new sneaker! It’s fashionable, form-fitting, and definitely my new favorite shoe.”

Advocate Post: “Just bought Nike’s new sneaker. These shoes are the most durable pair I own! Went on a 5 mile hike and the sneakers didn’t have a mark on them. The soles are excellent at gripping dirt too. A must-have for all hikers and runners!”

Marketers Need To Know These Distinctions

Understanding these two groups is a vital distinction for marketing teams so that they know which customers they should connect with and focus on. So use this ammo to develop genuine and meaningful relationships with your brand advocates.

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To learn more smart marketing tips check out our blog post:

SMART MARKETING: 6 WAYS BRANDS CAN BETTER CONNECT WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS IN 2018

GDPR. GDPR. GDPR.

Anyone else still recovering from the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) inbox flood?

If you’re based in North America, you’ve probably also wondered to yourself if you’re even affected by GDPR. (Spoiler: you are!)

While centered on the European Union (EU), the GDPR will have a global impact.
While centered on the European Union (EU), the GDPR has a global impact.

The GDPR’s Global Impact

While centered on the European Union (EU), the GDPR has a global impact. Here’s why.

Even if you’re based in the US, Canada, or Mexico, if you handle any data from EU customers (there are 28 countries in the EU), you’ll be affected.

There are certain caveats to these rules:

  1. If the EU visitor/customer is not in the EU when you collect their data, the GDPR does not apply.
  2. Your visitor or customer does not need to purchase from your site for the GDPR to apply to your business.
  3. If you’re hosting a generic survey without directly targeting EU consumers, but a prospect from Britain fills it out, they are not covered under GDPR. However, if your study even mentions the EU, then the law kicks in.

But what about California?

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is another hot ticket item that could bring GDPR-like privacy rules to California– the heart of tech.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 could bring GDPR-like privacy rules to California.
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 could bring GDPR-like privacy rules to California.

This could spell out a major change for businesses that collect and sell customer data. Customers will have to ask how their data is being used, and request to be removed (opt out). The GDPR focuses more on opt-in requirements, making the California regulations much more friendly to data collectors.

Customers who choose to opt out, cannot be punished or charged higher fees for services. And here’s the clincher: it allows public prosecutors and citizens to sue for data breaches or for the sale of personal data after someone has opted out. There’s no requirement that specific harm be proven before damages can be awarded.

Citizens can sue for data breaches and there’s no requirement that specific harm must be proven before damages can be awarded under California’s proposed Consumer Privacy Act.

This will make effective tracking and following through on opt-outs a top priority for companies that collect data in California.

What does this all mean for marketers in North America?

In a time where people are being asked for their data on a daily basis, and that data is being traded with other businesses, it’s about time customers gained some power. Historically, customers have had their data traded and sold without their knowledge, and with the rise in cybersecurity leaks, it’s well past time every internet user had rights.

As a marketer, it means you need to be prepared for a new age of data collection and transparency.

With these regulations moving from a possibility to a reality, we need to become proactive. Even if California’s privacy act does not pass, it’s inevitable that marketers will see a shift in data collection regulations.

Marketing strategies must shift from a cold transactional approach, to a warm, transparent and relationship-focused strategy.  

So, How Do You Build Trust as a Marketer?

It starts with upfront communication before you ask for any customer data.

When you collect data from customers, you need to clearly tell them how you plan on using that data. The context will matter when working within regulations like GDPR, because your stated context for collecting/using data is the only way you are legally allowed to use this data.

You can earn big points with consumers for providing the transparency they deserve.

From there, you need to give them explicit details on how you will use their data, and if you want to send them different information, you need to get permission.

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Additional Resources

  • IDC Five Steps to GDPR
      • This white paper is basically a more in-depth version of the five-step guide above, so if you want more details, here’s the next stop.

This post is part of our series: Find Out Fast If Your Business is GDPR Ready. Our goal is to help businesses make sense of privacy and data. AE is your Babel Fish for Legalese 🐠

Why should you use Double Opt-In?

Double opt-in is an important way to get your customer to explicitly agree to joining your newsletter. If you’re focusing on being GDPR compliant, you’ll need to get your customers to say yes not once, but twice. Yep, they really want your newsletter and that is a great thing for you.

What is Double Opt-In?

The process of double opt-in

“Double opt-in” is when a user:

  1. Signs up to receive your emails
  2. Receives a confirmation email from you
  3. Clicks a link to verify their email and reaffirm that they wish to receive your e-newsletter.

Double opt-in is great because it ensures that everyone receiving your emails is actually interested in reading them!

How to Set Up Double-Opt-In

You can set up double opt-in using any email newsletter provider. We really like MailChimp. Here’s what they have to say about double opt-in and how to set it up using their service.

If you’d rather explore other options, here’s a list of some more providers you can try out: