Here are The Marketing Automation Alert's best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Monday, 4/1/13. Receive a daily summary of The Marketing Automation Alert directly to your inbox. Subscribe here (your privacy is protected). If you find this valuable, please share by using the links below:
I’m fairly new to mindmapping and came across a fantastic mindmap shared on Maps for That which shows the principles of Mindmapping.
What I appreciate most about mindmapping is that I can quickly organize my thoughts in a hierarchical manner down to a finite level of detail. This mindmap walks through why folks use mindmaps and how they’re beneficial to both left and right side brains, how to start designing your mindmap and how to utilize all the tools to differentiate each of the branches, topics, subtopics and actions. Mindjet even allows you to hyperlink the branches, add tasks, as well as share and collaborate with team members.
Many mindmapping tools out there, but this one provides a bit of guidance to the mindmapper.
The best way to welcome your C-levels to the automation driver’s seat is by showing them that it can cost your company much more not to engage your customers with a top-notch program. Here are four of the best approaches I’ve seen marketing professionals use with executive management when making a compelling case for behavioral marketing automation.
1) Determine objectives. Mention risks. Then, unveil opportunities. In an open-ended discussion, talk numbers. If you don’t know already, tally your company forecasts — calculate what revenues and fresh leads you’re shooting for. Acknowledge that there’s an adoption curve, but emphasize that these are tools that give full control (and at full throttle) over sales campaigns, providing rich, measurable and actionable outcomes. Summarize potential gains: larger revenues, higher growth, productivity boosts and less administrative overhead.
2) Bring in a closer.
Ask automation vendors for compelling customer examples. They should be able to give you examples with hard-hitting success metrics, such as a 272 percent conversion increase in one of their email campaigns.
3) Numbers are a negotiator’s friend. Customer testimonials will get your execs to lean in and listen, but nothing persuades CEOs, CFOs and CTOs like numbers, particularly those that boast a booming bottom line. Hear the boom: Plug your numbers into the Silverpop ROI calculator to see how our automation programs, for example, can spur company success.
4) Open a road map, and then open the throttle. A behavioral marketing program is an end-to-end process that aligns with your company’s overall business strategies and goals. Put some data points on the whiteboard map: stick pins for time to implementation, to ROI, and to any potential staffing needs.
Should you be gearing up to make the case for marketing automation (or any marketing technology for that matter), here's a smart, simple approach for your pitch. Of course, vendors and partners will do whatever it takes to assist you.
It disappoints me when customer experience professionals at B2B companies won't even consider CX practices from business-to-consumer companies. Sure, B2B firms can learn a lot from other B2B firms: Cisco has an amazing voice of the customer program, Boeing does great work conducting field studies of their customers, and Adobe has a notable CX governance practice. But unless B2B customer experience practitioners want to run the CX race with one foot in a bucket, they should also learn strategy from Holiday Inn and Burberry, customer understanding from Vanguard and Virgin Mobile Australia, and design practices from Fidelity and the Spanish bank BBVA - the list of relevant B2C case studies goes on and on.
There are two reasons why B2B companies should take this advice to heart. First, no industry has anything close to a monopoly on best practices. So unless companies cast a wide net, they're cutting themselves off from lessons that could give them an edge over their navel-gazing competitors. Second, every customer that B2B companies serve is not only a business person but a consumer, one who has his or her expectations set by daily interactions with Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, and Zappos. And those B2B customers no longer lower their expectations when they go to work - especially because work now gets interspersed with their personal lives.
It goes beyond the CX: there are many B2C marketing practices that are ignored by B2B marketers. It may be as a result of technology driving the business, or lack of knowledge, or internal barriers. Regardless, there is much to be garnered from B2C marketers besides CX.
If you are still making plain old static wireframes, it's time to start adding life to them: a clearer understanding of your project's flow will save you time and money later.
For the last 12 years, my company has used "interactive wireframes" as part of our design process. These have traditionally been simple HTML pages that contain graphic versions of the mockups, and use image-mapped hotspots to let the users click around. Sometimes we'll create full HTML versions instead of use images if the interactivity is easier shown in HTML. While this is a time-consuming task, interactive wireframes give our clients a much better sense of what the finished application, site, or process will feel like.
Recently, an iOS app called POP (short for Prototyping on Paper) was released that is the perfect tool to help us (and you) make this interactive wireframing task that much easier. The tool is simple: snap photos of your wireframes and link them to each other using rectangular hotspots. You can then walk through your prototype and click around as if it were a real application.
This app is super cool to use! We're always wireframing (as you probably are as well), but to have the wireframe interactive? Superb! Much better than using .ppt with links to different slides.
From contentmarketinginstitute.com - Today, 7:27 AM
Starting to reevaluate your software platforms? Whether you’re considering a suite or specialized vendors, these questions could help you make the right decision for your brand.
1. Is it easy to use?
2. Does it identify silos while allowing them to work together?
3. Is data at the heart of the software?
4. Does it integrate easily with other software?
5. Is editorial workflow management a priority for the vendor?
6. Is there room for offline marketing?
7. Is it listening for your brand?
8. Can you use it to manage advertising?
9. Does it make device optimization a no-brainer?
10. How difficult is collaboration?
11. What kind of reputation does the company/software have?
12. How have other companies used the software?
13. What costs are involved?
There's a ton of stuff out there, and you need to separate the tools from the crapola. CMI (and they should know) provides an excellent RFQ-like series of questions that can help you narrow down your choices and identify the right vendor. You'll need to click through for the details, as the aforementioned list of questions is not quite intuitive.
Gamification platform provider Badgeville yesterday launched a toolkit for the Salesforce.com cloud platform for building enterprise apps.
Badgeville for the Salesforce Platform empowers business leaders to drive higher user engagement across cloud-based applications built on the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution.
The announcement follows the launch of Badgeville's AppExchange solution, which enables businesses to increase engagement within their CRM applications.
This is interesting. We've been tracking gamification as it relates to B2B marketing, and here's Badgeville integrating with Salesforce. We haven't checked out the degree of integration, but it tells you how gamification can increase engagement.
The battle for the US search market tends to be viewed in the context of how Yahoo-Bing is faring against Google, but on a global basis, Baidu’s influence cannot be ignored. The search engine – which dominates the Chinese market to the tune of roughly 80% share – accounted for one quarter of all global search ad clicks in Q1, according to a new report from Covario. That compares to 7.2% share for Yahoo-Bing (and a solid 62% for Google).
Gerry Moran explains how to create a Google Plus profile that will will help your search ranking, authorship authentication and overall social branding. Use this blueprint infographic to get started today!
I found that those companies (about 1 in 3) that do have a power user spending over 1 hour per day are continuously improving their automation of the system, running more than 6x the number of multi-touch programs on average than their more time-burdened colleagues in other organizations. While this group does create multi-touch campaigns immediately after deployment, competing priorities seem to have them plateau after about 6 months.
You need a team of superstars to make your marketing automation rock. Read this blog to find out who you should be hiring.
Make sure you have an individual who can create a steady stream of great content. With marketing automation software, it becomes easier to scale programs (e.g. different job functions at different verticals), so you will need someone who can create effective content for the programs and re-purpose it. This could be a product marketer, an evangelist, someone from marketing communications manager, or a new hire such as a brand journalist. Ideally, this person will have some writing in his or her background.
Marketing Operations Manager
You will need someone who enjoys mechanics. Setting up integrations, key reports, segmentation, and flows in the system are just some of the activities a good marketing operations person will do. This is one of the most critical roles to get right because they are essential to building the technological framework. A good framework = total and complete awesomeness. A bad framework = wasted time and added expense, which we all know equals bad things. A good candidate for this is anyone on your team who enjoys technical details, has a good mind for process and how things work, and feels happy when in Excel.
This role makes sure you are squeezing the juice from the orange. They will work with your content manager and make sure their programs have the right content mapped to the buying cycle. It is also a very critical role because when done well, since nurtured leads can produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. It is ideal to have someone in this role who understands your buyer and user personas, and also is very good at thinking through the right workflows. I have seen strong marketing programs people succeed in this role.
NBA takes notice of social media and digital signage integration Digital Signage Today Phizzle Inc., a technology provider of advanced mobile and digital marketing solutions, recently released its Broadcaster iX Social to allow for the integration...
Annmarie Hanlon's insight:
Digital signage is across London and what other cities?
I think too many marketers look at social influence as if it's some kind of new phenomena. I don't believe it is. In the early days of television, we used the newscaster or the actor to pitch items to the audience.
LinkedIn Company Pages: Here's how a number of larger brands are creatively using their LinkedIn company pages, and some of them are doing cool things.
1) Here’s how to develop a campaign on your LinkedIn company page.
Create a campaign that poses an interesting question to a group of influential bloggers in your industry who can respond via their own blog post. Not only can you highlight each of these contributors on your own company blog, you can also create a series of shareable and engaging status updates for your page!
2) Here’s how to create leads with your LinkedIn company page.
Regardless of what products and services your company sells, create marketing offers such as free demos, a free consultation or free ebooks or special reports, and share information on these to generate leads from your LinkedIn company page.
3) Here’s how to cross-promote your other social channels on your LinkedIn company page.
You are allowed to have up to 3 rotating banner images under the Products/Services tab. Within each banner, you can embed a link so the viewer can click through to an outside web page or to another social media profile. Develop banner images and embed links for your company page’s Products/Services tab to cross-promote your other social media communities.
4) How to engage your audience on your LinkedIn company page.
Make sure to create a banner image to insert at the top of your LinkedIn company page to make it more visually appealing. Next, consider creating a series of contests or sweepstakes promotions that are relevant to your company and can be shared as status updates. This is a great way to generate buzz and build followers for your page.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.