What marketers say their top challenges are, and the opportunities that come along with them.
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There are lots of reasons why B2B software and technology companies struggle to get their message heard. The root cause is ineffective positioning, and it raises its ugly head in many ways. Here ar...
No unique, relevant benefits. Too many benefits. Inconsistent delivery - failure to repeat so that it really clicks with the audience.
Are good refresher for your messaging strategy. What you need to say in order to cut through the clutter and help your audience get a clear understanding of the value you offer.
te arJust like Twitter or Facebook were when they first came out, Snapchat still seems foreign and ne...
"In a recent Adweek article about Taco Bell’s dominance of Snapchat, a spokesman says they have a 80% open rate on the snaps they send, which is unheard of for any other marketing method, from email to Twitter."
Open rates don't matter. Open rates don't pay the rent. They don't pay my salary. They don't pay your salary.
Open rates, as a meaningful metric, is like "Throws out direct mail in trash basket under desk". Meaningless.
Here's the important part...
"Taco Bell is successful on Snapchat because they talk in the language of the main audience that is using the app– millennials and teens who make up the 16-35 age bracket."
Why? Because it's all about the right audience and the right channel...so if you're audience is using a channel, test it. Test it to see if it helps you achieve your objectives.
But if your audience isn't using the channel, feel free to put that channel on the back burner and focus on channels that reach your audience.
“There’s so much pressure to leap to the future that many overlook the interim steps that are easy to get to and would deliver a lot of value,” Schmults said. “Targeting by recently viewed—that’s a simple form of personalization. And geotargeting is one data point you can look at to think about what would be relevant to some people. Maybe send a message to folks within 10 miles of a store. It isn’t taking 110 data points and looking for patterns. It’s taking one data point and applying it. It’s a spectrum.”
Nice article from Chief Marketer that touches on the importance of data - regardless of size - as well as the importance of taking the proper action based on a single data point or the patterns that emerge from hundreds of data points.
Come on - share your recent data success story. How have you used data to drive improved performance?
It's critical that you get to know your customers. Here are seven ways you can stalk your customer without getting slapped with a restraining order.
Some good ideas like survey your customers but the article does fail to mention "get out from your cube and go mingle with the customer".
I'm working with a firm right now and we're creating some audience panels (potential and current customers) that we will meet with regularly in order to get their input for content/events and to discuss their perceived opportunities, threats, unmet needs and wants, etc.
I see the value of participating in social media and data/analytics but nothing beats sitting down with 10 customers or suppliers or potential customers (or a mix) and listening to what they are facing, what they are preparing for and how they view the industry/market.
Market research can seem expensive - but it's so much better than spending significantly more on new product development and launch and creating a failure. For the clients I work with, that means spending high 5 or low 6 figures on new product development and launch or they can invest 10% of that - or less - on some upfront research that will help identify/confirm new opportunities.
How much does your business invest in market research, competitive intelligence and even analytics in order to identify opportunities and/or threats so you can work more effectively?
Thanks to the success of Google Analytics, there are dozens of ways to collect historical data from your website and connecting social networks. And yet, your optimization strategy is probably missing one very important step: predictive analytics. Learn how predictive analytics can make you a better marketer.
I've been working with several organizations on creating these forecast models - it takes time and effort but once you work through it, the results are well worth the effort. This article gives you 15 really great reasons why you need to invest in forecast models.
Smart businesses know that social media is a power to be reckoned with: social media channels create a direct line of communication between your company and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest buzz around your products or services. Not to mention, they can help you to generate revenue, while building your brand presence. Let that marinate for a second."
Useful tools but please remember that you should be investing in any of the social networks/channels if a large enough segment of your audience uses the network/channel and if they use it for gathering information, evaluating options, etc.
If they aren't there, why should you invest your limited resources?
And if they are there but aren't using the network/channel in their own buying/decision making process, why should you invest your limited resources? (Maybe branding...if your goal is to increase awareness and help the audience understand what makes you unique (perception and expectations) but please have a research study to measure before/after.)
What do you think? Any of these tools something you can't imagine living without?
Every day, marketers around the world use hundreds of acronyms, compound words and, yes, buzzwords to describe what we do.
My top 3 are "Growth Hacking", "Storytelling" and "Pivot".
Growth hacking is something that a self professed growth hacker does but cannot explain in a way that allows anyone else to clearly understand. And when asked "Yeah, well how does that differ from marketing?", the growth hacker become more frustrated and incapable of providing a response that clearly explains the difference. The conversation usually ends with the growth hacker screaming "Because I say so!" and leaving the room.
Storytelling is something that a writer will present as new, innovative and earth-shaking...until someone introduces the writer to the works of Ogilvy. Then there is silence and, usually, tears because the writer realizes they aren't as good as Ogilvy.
Pivot is a wonderful word used by today's entrepreneurs when they realize their business idea really was shit. It's usually used in this sentence "We better hurry up and pivot before the VC stop by and ask for their money back. I don't want to live with my parent's again!"
Marketing Strategy - Marketing automation is only as good as the person using it. Failing to properly implement and use it just sets you up for frustration in the short term—and failure in ...
Seven great points addressed in the article. My favorite is #7 -
Running on autopilot
Despite the name, marketing automation doesn't mean you can go on autopilot. Just like your leads must be nurtured, you marketing automation programs also need to be nurtured.
# 4 was a close second for me - especially when they started off with "Stop selling, and start nurturing… most of the time." I've seen too many lean too heavily on nurturing and they've done everything possible not to sell and seem too pushy. Listen. You have to ask for the sale. That's why you're in business - to sell, not nurture. And if they aren't ready to buy...move on to those that are.
It's like when I worked retail during college. Greet everyone. Make them feel welcomed and safe. Introduce yourself. Ask how you can help them today and if they push you away, go greet the others that walked in. Eventually you will find one that is looking to buy and you can walk them through the final steps to ownership.
Then go back and check in with the others again. Chat with them. Get to know them. Offer some suggestions based on what you learn.
What do you think? Sell or nurture? What's the line?
Marketing Strategy - US-based digital marketers consider email the most effective digital tactic for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion, according to a recent study from Gigaom and Extole.
Though many marketers plan to increase their spend on social media marketing, most (52%) agree with the following statement: "It is difficult to prove ROI for social media marketing."
How can you know if your content is adequately supporting your marketing and business goals? In this seventh post of our Back to Basics series, we outline a simple plan you can use for tracking and...
A very good article to use as a starting off point for internal discussions concerning your content marketing strategy.
That said, I would suggest that the table shown with examples for KPIs has a row for Brand Awareness that doesn't work for me. Just because traffic is up and downloads are up and social chatter is up doesn't mean Brand Awareness is up or positive, which is rather important.
Personally, I would still use brand awareness research and ask questions about the role of content in the scheme of things. Yes I am aware. My perception is that your firm is about X. I developed that awareness and perception by reading your content or friends and family or colleagues or other things.
I also struggle with the KPIs for retention. It's good that your customers use your content but what impact does it have on retention versus product quality, perceived value of product/price, experience etc.
What do you think? How might you use content marketing to improve retention - and how do you prove it worked?
Learn how to scale social media marketing success by creating a culture for social business - tips from Connie Bensen at MNSearch Summit 2014.
Put the customer at the center of your content.
Train and empower your staff.
Focus on results
When you look at that list, you should be thinking "No shit" but for many, you're thinking "Yeah, we need to do that".
What do your audience segments want to hear at each stage of their buying process, via what media channels? What 's the best way to deliver/present that information?
Train, empower, oversee, evaluate, train some more. And make sure everyone understands that there is a time requirement for being social...because micro-managing managers are going to push back about "my staff is doing your job". This is everyone's job and it is a priority.
Clarify roles so people know what they should and shouldn't be doing...pretty simple thing to avoid chaos.
Focus on results - specifically relevant results. Move beyond "Likes" and "Retweets". The company's goals are to increase revenue so how are you making that happen. The company's goals are to decrease expenses so how are you making that happen?
What do you think? Helpful ideas?
Social media marketing doesn't influence consumers to buy in IRL. Influence results from "in-real-life" experiences, with consumers liking brands on social media as a result, finds Gallup in research announced on June 23. Social media has "no influence at all" on their purchasing decisions, 62 percent of respondents to the "2014 State of the American Consumer" tell Gallup. At the same time, many of those consumers say they seek advice from friends and family before making a purchase and 94 percent of respondents say they use social media to connect with friends and family.
So what is this telling us? What's the take away? Could it be that "social" isn't all that "social"?
Or is it, as the author writes ""Social media entail just a fragment of a consumer's experience with a company. Customers are much more likely to be active listeners and participants in a brand's social media community when they have already made an emotional connection with that brand through other experiences."
Keep it real. Keep it personal. Keep it at the human level - because automating a relationship...hiding behind the technology is just another wall between you and your audience.
Doing SEO, SEM or social media marketing isn’t “growth hacking.” It’s just marketing. Problem is some marketers & start-ups don’t get that. — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 4, 2014 The phrase “growth hacking” upsets me more than I should let it. Why? Because it takes me back to 2007, when I was about to graduate […]
This article has been around a while...and the focus of the article is on yet another new term for old/existing things...another new term to make someone without proper experience seem unique and valuable to the buyer (business owner) that really doesn't know what they are buying. ("We need leads so our sales guy can sell more - let's get a marketer!", said the owner. "You don't need someone buying ads, you need a growth hacker," said the unemployed online marketer.)
You know where your audience is. You know what your audience needs. You offer them a unique, valuable solution. And you extend that offer by taking it to them - by going to where they are with the information and offer they need in order to take the next step and eventually buy from you.
Growth hacking? Marketing? Tomato?
Again, time wasted on terms - let's just focus on how to be more effective at attracting, converting, retaining, referring...
An audience-first approach drives Copyblogger, and that's just one of the reasons why it's killing its Facebook page. Find out what led to the decision.
"It’s not our job to tell our audience where we live. It’s to grow communities where they live."
This is a fascinating read - make the time and enjoy it. They knew what they wanted to accomplish. They had a plan to test. They measured results and analyzed them. They used that insight to drive a decision.
What are you doing to determine if the platform is worth the time, effort, energy...and could you kill your presence on the platform if your data and guts tell you it's the right thing to do?
“Marketing has a marketing problem. Marketing has to stop taking orders and start representing the voice of the customer in the organization.”
Amen. Marketers need to stop focusing on the channels and the technology and start focusing on the customer because the customer will tells us about the product, the price, the distribution as well as the messaging and communication channels.
Even for the savviest marketers, finding the right balance of analytics and gut instincts can prove to be difficult.
This delicate balancing act, Greitzer says, often comes into play when marketers are trying to evaluate unknowns or new aspects of a potential campaign. “It can be tough. A channel, say for example mobile, may not necessarily be mature enough for the metrics to tell a really concise, complete story,” he explains.
That's one reason why we test...data tells us X, gut tells us Y...
This morning’s opening keynote speaker, Andrew Davis, revealed how outdated, misrepresentative, and just dead wrong the sales funnel is in today’s search landscape. Yes, I’m talking about the same funnel we base our sales and marketing strategies on. Yes, this one:
For me, the sales funnel has always been more of a guide then a "set in stone" process...people will enter the process at various places and they will move forward, step back, remove themselves from the funnel, come back in...you get the point.
They will also change their reasons and criteria for purchasing. Today, high quality/value is key but tomorrow it's all about low price...and next week, it's concern over failing to act/purchase (I need it now...been putting this off for months.) followed by "God I do love it in red!"
Basically the funnel helps us visual what would be a logical process for people that aren't all that logical...a point raised by the author of the article.
The post mentions 'moments of inspiration where you focus on what appeals to the emotional side of the brains - fear, pleasure, pain, survival. And those are things you should be testing in your messaging and creative presentation...but it really doesn't replace the funnel.
So, is the funnel dead? I don't think so. It's a tool. It's a starting point for discussion. It's imperfect but it helps.
What do you think?
Visual content is exploding on social media, with sites like Pinterest and Vine leading the charge.
Even Twitter, which started as a place to post short and simple messages, now has images for a more visual experience. Indeed, the future of digital media is upon us — and it’s rich with visual content.
According to an infographic from Oracle, there are five tweets per second that include a Vine link. The acquisitions of Tumblr and Vizify point to an increased interest in interactive media and infographics, with Yahoo investing in visual media.
Via Lauren Moss, massimo facchinetti, malek
You know how much I loathe infographics...but this one was easy to read and made sense. I would suggest that "All social networks should be considered" but unless you have unlimited resources, you might want to test and prioritize and invest where the greatest return is generated. (Sorry, I work with firms much smaller than Oracle, about $38 billion, so they tend to have fewer resources.) ;)
CX responsibility needs to be shared across the organization, with marketing as evangelists.
A very good article that reminds us all that marketing cannot own customer experience because customer experience is delivered/impacted by everyone across the organization. (And I am a firm believer that with 'ownership' comes 'authority' so unless marketing has the authority over your AP department and how they work with clients that owe money OR the service department or IT or...marketing cannot 'own' customer experience.)
Making sure that the organization is aware of their impact on the customer experience is an important task for marketing - they need to communicate with the internal audience.
Taking an organizational approach gives you more opportunities to connect with target customers than adopting a narrower mindset
I have long been a believer in the organizational approach to content marketing - and this articles provides a thorough, thoughtful overview that can help you successfully implement it. Bottom line is, as the author points out, you get a much more valuable result when you can bring in a broad array of talent to develop really relevant, insightful content.
What has your experience been? Are you still creating content within the marketing department or have you reached out across the organization>
Don't be paralyzed by too much data! Here's how to understand when your KPIs are too excessive (and what to do to fix your reporting).
What's the objective and how will you know it's been achieved?
That's it. If the objective is to generate sales by $400,000 in 3 months starting January 1st and ending March 30th, 20xx - that's your KPI.
And you will know it's achieved when you run the campaign report that shows the sales generated by the campaign. (Directly - meaning they saw the campaign and ordered directly from it - and, if you so choose, indirectly - meaning they saw the campaign, responded to it without buying immediately and then eventually made a purchase within the January-March time frame stated in the objective.
If you're allowing yourself to be paralyzed, step back and take a deep breath. Break the campaign/project down to its base and you'll be fine.
How have you overcome or avoided analysis paralysis?
This article will take you through the steps of a cohesive marketing campaign for SaaS businesses. Rather than a typical walk through, I’ll be offering advanced techniques for maximizing the conversion potential of each step.
First, I think this is a very well thought out and presented article.
Second, I am concerned when the focus is on online versus the customer across all channels. I know that's not the purpose of the article - the purpose is online only. But reality is a little messier, if you will. The customer calls you. The customer stops by your store. The customer might actually prefer to receive information at certain stages of their buying process by mail.
More and more often, I find myself reminding my clients about the other ways the buyer might re-act.
If I am a digital marketer, the author lays out a pretty nice path to limit yourself to but if I am a marketer, I have to consider other channels. Can I use direct mail in the nurturing process as well as outbound telemarketing - especially if we're talking B2B.
How is your marketing department addressing the customer experience so that your digital/social/email/content marketers are in line with your direct mail, print, call center, broadcast marketers?
The company claims its new Signal Tag can quintuple the number of A/B vendor tests marketers can do each year.
This might be worth checking out - do you have any experience with Signal Tag? Please share...
"Survey Monkey, which served as a beta user of Signal Tag in a test of two retargeting vendors, reported a 33% reduction in customer acquisition cost as a result of its findings. “Signal gave us an advanced tool for obtaining granular insights into customer behavior, helping us to reduce customer acquisition costs and strategically increase the ROI on our targeting campaigns,” says Gallant Chen, director of online marketing at SurveyMonkey."
When it comes to targeting millennials, marketers may need to rethink their content marketing strategy.
Could it be that most content is nothing more than self-promotional push marketing rather than educational, engaging, personally relevant to the reader....and on and on and on.
Put the pen down.... step away from your cubical...and go out into the world and interact with your audience. Live amongst them. Get to know them. Ask them questions and listen. Learn. Hell even feed them.
Then write about their needs, wants, expectations, perceptions. Help them become more informed so they can make a decision based on insight. (And if you're offering isn't the best for their needs and wants, tell your boss it's not the content marketing that sucks - it's the product or the price or the distribution.)
You risk being flagged as spam, if you don’t practice good email list hygiene. Here’s how to keep your email marketing list clean.
Thought I would go a little "tactical and practical" with this one - especially since my Inbox is filled with emails from companies I have never heard of before as well as the daily pounding from some businesses that I subscribed to long ago and really need to unsubscribe from ASAP.
How do you define 'inactive'? What do you do to re-engage? Do you have a process in place for identifying "firstname.lastname@example.org" and correcting it to "@gmail.com"? Are you emailing role accounts like "email@example.com"?
What hygiene techniques are you using? What's worked the best?