We're always hearing about how email is dead. 'XXX is dead, long live YYY' is as much a mantra as 'XXX is king'. Most of these sudden rushes to absolutism are wrong, and usually see an embarrassing climbdown. There are declining trends, there are ascending trends. Imagining that just because something new turned up, everyone turns the old off like a tap, is deeply flawed thinking. Rarely does this happen, and when it does, it's not usually good news.
Anyway - email is still by FAR the most likely avenue to get a direct and relevant response from a business to business target than anything else. Yes, it's inefficient. Yes, it's annoying. But it's a bit like Churchill's quote on democracy being 'the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' People still use it because it's more useful than useless, and anything new has to be ten times better to stop people using it.
So email people. BUT:
Do it with good humour, lightness of touch and understanding.
Do it swiftly and easily, don't load them down
Do it in a way that makes them want to read more
Do it naturally so they think you're really writing to them, now
And do it when they're actually going to be looking at their screens.
This study shows clear evidence that all your instincts to avoid sending on Mondays or Wednesday morning, were dead right. If you had those instincts, heed them. If you didn't, get them.
MediaPost Communications Marin Software believes you can. And its solution seems to be able to adapt much more fluidly to changes and idiosyncratic variables than many other automation programmes. However, there are elements that - absent the evolution of true AI with a sense of humour, irony and art - I can't see any automation programme lifting out of the hands of humans. Strategy, and true creativity, are going to be solely residing on our shoulders for some time to come.
NASA, USAID, Nike and the U.S. State Department don't sound like teammates, but they're all equal participants in an international accelerator focusing on sustainable programs and social good.
The world is becoming more focused on sustainability as it becomes increasingly obvious, even to die-hards or fantasists, that we only have one planet and it might be a nice idea not to incinerate it, render it uninhabitable, or kill everything that lives on the surface.
To that end, you see some unlikely bedfellows working together. What unites NASA, Nike and USAID? A stress on absolute precision and perfection of product - and totaly understanding of the needs of their users.
The US federal government begins a partial shutdown, the first in 17 years, after the two houses of Congress fail to agree a new budget.
When a government can't agree on how to pay for anything, including itself, you know you have a problem that goes deeper than even the biggest pile of cash. You have a problem about everything - the entire critical trifecta of
Who are we?
What do we want?
Where do we go from here?
Is fundamentally undermined.
The word fundamentally seems appropriate here. US politics has always been a series of fundamentalist positions given weight and deemed mainstream by the power of the economy and the military and political weight that gives the nation. In a time of greater scarcity and pressure, and greater fear, the surface tension that holds the culture together - largely fuelled by the manifest destiny of a nation that feels it has a right to success in any circumstances - threatens to tear. Instead of a world where every political and economic view in the US could largely have what it wanted, we now have a real issue of 'we can't spend more on this' - which creates the biggest row since FDR about how you spend cash, and more importantly, what it means to be a society.
How they resolve this issue will determine for a while how US progress goes, how they continue to fight out of recession, and the balance between the divergent political philosophies within what is - let's not forget, despite other shoutier countries and emergent economies - by far the biggest and most powerful player in the world.
I curate many “how to” articles each day, week, month. And everyone has advice on how to do this, do that, etc. And I look to deliver only those curated articles that offer value to the B2B marketer.
But that doesn’t mean its gospel.
The content is just advice, feedback, guidance. That’s all. It’s not a roadmap of to do’s and tasks, only a litany of ideas and concepts that may have validity…or may not. Much of it is proven, but proven by the user or author. And there lies the rub: it may not be useful to you (and it could prove to be counterproductive).
The content providers behind these curated posts are not geniuses when it comes to your business: that’s your role. So take the advice where applicable…and TEST it. Test, test, test. Some will work, some will not. But it’s on you, not the author.
See today's Top Curated Marketing Technology Articles here.
Technology is just that - a tool. That being said, much of the history of the advance of mankind is the history of advancing tools being met with appropriate, measured and therefore successful use of those tools by our species. So it makes sense to keep taking a look at the changes in the industry's kit, as long as you don't just use it to use it. Here's a quick view of some of the more sensible and reasonable, measured reviews of marketing technology this month.
Whatever we might like to think in our obsession with social, with automation of marketing campaigns - etc, etc - most campaigning and the vast majority of communications, in B2B anyway, occurs through email.
It's a nasty little truth. Lots of people would prefer it went away. But it's still true.
given this, it's still extremely important to understand how to write subject lines in emails. Whatever brilliance might be in the email itself won't matter in the slightest if nobody opens the things up.
In light of this, it's interesting to see HubSpot's take on how to craft subject lines. Some very good guidance here on when you can and can't say things like 'Free', how to navigate spam filters, etc.
Elon Musk and Richard Branson discussed business for an hour in a Google+ hangout Thursday, offering advice and answering questions from entrepreneurs from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Columbia and Jamaica.
We all want to know how the business of the future will work - and how this will affect the things we do every day. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are two of the key visionaries in how technology and business propositions can come together to make life better for people, and this Google + hangout puts them together. Must see.
Nextdoor, the social network designed specifically for neighborhoods, announced a $60 million funding round on Tuesday The financing comes from just two sources — venture capitalists John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins and Lee Fixel of Tiger Global...
We - and other agencies of course - have been observing for some time that traditional marketing, in a time when buyers are not just more important but completely in control of their own sales cycle - is dying.
Now, you have the customer journey, the customer story - call it what you want. What's becoming harder and harder to put into practice is the campaign. It's too limited and inflexible. We have to have a longer idea and a bigger commitment, to be with the buyer before the traditional sales conversation happens.
In a time of rich data, more channels than you can count and highly connected relationships, you need that single and unified story to compel your buyers, continually, to engage with your brand. Don't campaign, stop, campaign, stop. It's astonishing that this is still the go-to for most businesses.
Or is it? The fact is that it takes major organisations a huge amount of time to do things. And culturally, anything to do with marketing engagement is still regarded as a separate element of the business - and in many corporates, a non-core element at that. Of course, buyer and market engagement should be both (a) core to everyone and (b) distributed throughout every activity. But this is part of the internal cultural change that is just one (and perhaps the first) lesson that major businesses need to learn.
Does this invalidate traditional activities such as sales enablement? No, of course not: it connects them to wider and deeper activities in order to help sales conversations happen closer to the decision than they do right now. Enablement is just part of the equation: we must understand that all the rules have changed and that we need to build different structures, processes and metrics to judge our marketing activities by.
Funny and absolutely true examination of why PR needs to be thoughtful and considered. Rushing to get news of everything you do, at every level, out into the world just clogs the minds of the audience.
We all know creative marketing copy and great deals are big factors in successful online lead gen, but understanding the latest design trends and how to use them to present your message cannot be overlooked. Using a stale design aesthetic in a marketing email, advertisement, or on your website can make even the best company look bad and can reduce buyer confidence in your product or service. Since design is largely based on personal preference, there is no right or wrong approach, but it is wise to at least be up to date on what’s popular so that potential customers see you as a current and innovative solution to their needs.
The way you design might be based on personal preference, but the way patterns attract attention and provoke action are universal. The structures of design you put in place are not frippery, not just looks; they are your way of plugging into your audience's brain, grabbing hold and compelling the buyer to buy.
If we ask the right questions, we can change the world.
What does it mean to have too many ideas? It sounds like a nonsense - how can you? It's not so much the number as their unfiltered nature that can destroy you. Yay! Everyone's creative! Let's all have 23,000 ideas a day! They're all equally valid! We're CREATIVE!
It's just not true. While I don't subscribe to the feeling that 'if it isn't bought, it's not creative' - many ideas are passed over by clients or the business that may not fit the bill now, but may later, and there are infinite ways to think and create - if you're not focused on what you can make real, then you're not really being creative. The boundaries, not just the freedom, support and enable creativity - if nothing else because challenge is the spur to new ideas.
When you're constructing your business, your culture, your content, your creative departments, you must let it all breathe and be free. But you must also stress that it's application and execution that makes the idea come alive. Otherwise it's just noise, and there's enough of that, surely, in the world today?
A proper filtration process, what we used to call 'editorial guidance', is necessary. If you want unfiltered ideas - go work in expressive dance.
How companies benefit from a strong mail marketing campaign Minuteman Press (blog) There are many ways to get the attention of customers and communicate what a business offers to them, especially in today's day and age, but what some businesses...
Let's not forget, when all's said and done, that sometimes the best way to get people's attention is simply to ask them for it. That, and the fact that a lot of people don't really trust social tools for formal use, is the reason why mail campaigns are still the main way of getting attention. It's vital not to exclude them from the campaign.
B2B is a nuanced space. So, yes, there are many places where great marketing + automation can lead to an environment where a salesperson is far less necessary in certain phases of the buying proces...
A very interesting series of insights on why the truth about marketing automation - and other data-focused tools and evolutions of the game - can get missed in all the rush.
The fact is that despite the relative success and penetration of data tools and data-driven programmes such as MA, in absolute terms they are only just showing an effect, and in fact many buyers don't even go near social tools at all.
Does that mean that buying is still rational, that you shouldn't be aware, intimately, of 'digital body language' etc? No - absolutely not. These are always worth pursuing and modelling, and even if you're not using MA effectively, the discipline of creating personas (or pen portraits, profiles, etc) of your audience and targets - and creating the journey that they will respond to, and linking the right messages and materials to this at the right stages - is still essential. It's called Marketing.
And it's still emotional. However rational any stakeholder thinks they are, and however many rational gates you might need to navigate before they buy you, the final buy is still heavily influenced by gut reaction and by emotion.
So don't bin MA programmes. Don't ignore data. But don't be blinded into thinking it's a simple clunk, click, press go approach. That will waste your money, miss the whole point of automation, and lead nowhere.
The ability of humans to create art, think rationally or invent new tools has long interested scientists, and a new study reveals how the brain achieves these imaginative feats.
Does the discovery of the locus of intelligent creativity in the brain undercut the idea that creativity is ineffable and 'special' or energise us - because creativity can be analysed rationally, even if the product of it cannot?
Demand generation vs lead generation: you can't have one without the other, but they are not one in the same.
What is demand generation? What is lead generation? Why are they different, as well as the same thing. Your answer to these questions reveals your attitudes not just to marketing but to the nature of the economic and social world we're living in.
china's corporate investors are delving into entertainment, luxury and travel, and sending a new message: companies have big bucks, and they want your brands.
Chinese businesses are buying up US brands like there's no tomorrow (side note: there may not be). However, the issue is clear. One of the US (and the western economies') greatest leads is in its understanding of how to build and export brands. Painting this as a partnership is positive, but maybe a little simplistic. Not only does constant purchase of western brands by other economies threaten balance, but it might invalidate the brand process as a whole. The purpose of brand, after all, is to differentiate.