We’ve consolidated industry analysis into a single scoop, and it is today’s featured article. Really is fascinating stuff impacting all B2B marketers if not now then shortly, e.g., Forrester asks if this consolidation stifles innovation (BTW: never does, and in fact improves innovation: ping me if you want to know how). In addition, we’ve included a few free offers for your review, some insight into organizing and personalizing your LinkedIn content, and a few how to’s including how to become an online authority (hint: easier than you would think).
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Featured Marketing Automation Article
Salesforce.com Acquisition of ExactTarget: Excerpts from the Industry
Excerpts from industry analysts and journalists...
- Raises the specter of further market consolidation by large players. By making a bold move into not just automation, but digital media, Salesforce will raise pressure on Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and other traditional enterprise application providers to make similar moves, raising the valuations of Responsys, Neolane, and Silverpop. Salesforce can now monetize both seat licenses and media CPMs, and clearly wants to create a billion dollar business line in the marketing cloud.
- As a large, established vendor, Salesforce will make it easier for marketing departments to convince their IT and procurement peers of adopting ET. If Salesforce chooses to suppress digital media CPM rates, existing ET customers benefit, but Salesforce would make it difficult for (now much) smaller vendors, like Responsys and Silverpop, to compete.
Salesforce.com Acquires ExactTarget - Gartner
- Why ExactTarget? With a marquis customer list, and the ability to support robust email marketing programs, they offer Salesforce.com and their customers the capabilities needed to build out the marketing cloud. In fact, when existing Salesforce.com customers were seeking support for complex email requirements, the folks in San Francisco would point customers east to the folks in Indianapolis…often enough that integration via the Salesforce.com APIs already exists.
- I doubt Salesforce will suddenly stop integrating with other marketing automation vendors. Small, independent marketing automation firms already had a tough time selling against big competitors, so this only makes their lives marginally harder. The smart ones (and that's most of them) already have a strategy in place to differentiate themselves from the big industry leaders.
- I've long argued that CRM and marketing automation should be part of the same system. Like a broken clock, the time has come when I'm right. Marketing automation sits between email and CRM, in the sense that it uses both heavily. So Salesforce has effectively surrounded the marketing automation vendors with its purchase, even ignoring Pardot. This means that Salesforce will be in the room with a solution when email and CRM users discuss expanding into marketing automation. In many cases, clients will extend their Salesforce deployment without considering anyone else..
- If Salesforce.com does wish to push deep into lead management, it will need to either invest heavily in its own development or acquire a company, which will bring another hefty price tag. Last month, Marketo, a marketing automation leader, had a successful initial public offering. It opened at $13 per share. Today it is trading in the $22 range with a market capitalization of about $812 million. Eloqua, the other leader in the category, sold to Oracle late last year for $871 million. [TechCrunch blew it with this analysis, not realizing that Pardot came with ET!]
- This move is precisely (I would have said "exactly" but that sounded redundant) what salesforce needed to do. They now have an excellent email marketing suite, a strong upper-end-of-the-small-and-through-the-middle-of-the-mid-market marketing automation suite (via the Exact Target acquisition of Pardot last year) and, as an added bonus, the social comms tool Co-Tweet, which was one of the underutilized gems owned by Exact Target. They are also acquiring a substantial customer base that is reasonably ripe for salesforce's other offerings.
- By combining ExactTarget's digital marketing capabilities with Salesforce.com's sales, service and social marketing capabilities, Salesforce said it will create "a world-class marketing platform across email, social, mobile and the Web." Salesforce marketing capabilities were previously limited to social channels, powered by capabilities gained through the acquisitions of Radian6 and Buddy Media. In contrast, rivals including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS and Teradata, among others, have much broader, multi-channel marketing capabilities, most on the strength of acquisitions over the last three years.
- For the CMO with SFDC and MA: You can maintain your MA without concern, regardless of vendor. You may, however, want to seriously consider the soon to be native ET/Pardot advantages, as that will reduce your operating costs to maintain separate systems.
- For the CMO with SFDC but without MA: Your IT challenges will be resolved. CIO concerns will be overcome as SFDC acts as a Trojan Horse for your MA.
- For the SMB marketplace: Your life just got a bit easier. Salesforce meets the needs of all sizes of businesses, and this bundled solution will improve your time-to-marketing efforts.
- For Oracle/Eloqua: This is going to be difficult. Oracle wants to improve its CRM business, and the Eloqua acquisition to round out its offering makes sense. However, Salesforce want to improve its marketing capabilities, not necessarily its CRM business, so that it can fully assist the Marketing function. Big difference. Salesforce just cut Oracle off at the pass.
Nichole Kelly, in partnership with NetBase, release a new eBook in the Social Savvy series which shows marketers how to measure social media ROI.
Everyone’s doing social media marketing, but does anyone know if it’s worth the investment? The people we marketers report to—the ones who sign off on budget requests—and we ourselves want to know how we can measure the return on our investment in terms of business metrics like leads and sales.
The new eBook, called Calculating ROI to Make the Business Case for Social Media Marketing, describes a methodology for measuring social ROI, explains where social media fits into the traditional sales funnel familiar to business decision-makers, and offers advice on aligning social goals and metrics. You can get a free copy here.
And it's FREE!
If it's digital marketing and it's FREE, then it's for me!
Our newest white paper, “Using Psychology to Increase Conversions,” was written to educate marketers on these psychological principles and give them a powerful new dynamic in their marketing strategy. By leveraging the power of human instinct, you can be more effective at grabbing consumers’ attention, holding their interest, and facilitating action.
Let’s take a look at what’s covered:
- Social Proof: When making decisions, we often look at the behavior of others as an example.
- Loss Aversion: The desire to avoid loss is a strong motivator for many.
- Anchoring: In decision making, we often judge our options by the first piece of information we have.
- Foot-in-the-Door: Agreeing to a small task will make it harder to say no to a large task later.
- Authority: We are more persuaded by people and companies that we perceive to have authority.
With the psychological principles, you will be able to tweak your conversion points to be more persuasive and convert a higher number of leads. Keep in mind that these principles are meant to guide the design and approach of your conversion points, not to manipulate your customers. Use the tips and suggestions in this white paper responsibly and honestly.
We admire the insight using psychology principles to improve marketing tactics, and this paper adds to the wealth of knowledge in this area. To see more content, search our filter for psychology or the tag conversions.
How do you start your personalization plan on the right foot?
1. Find out who they are: Extensive research helps reveal what makes your audience members tick. Your buyer personas make that data actionable.
2. Listen to what they have to say: Listening to discussions on social media is today’s most powerful research tool for content creation. On LinkedIn, active “groups” are gold mines of information about each of your segments.
3. Create segment-specific content: Use your buyer personas to create a content plan for each segment. This part of the process takes a look at what each audience segment is talking about — and what they aren’t talking about but might find interesting.
4. Form a distribution plan: With your segments in hand, reevaluate your distribution channels. Are you approaching them with your audience segments in mind?
Below are three ways LinkedIn works with brands to promote content marketing:
1. Leveraging brand pages and native ads
2. Taking part in the conversation: Not everyone considers the conversations they have in LinkedIn groups to be “content marketing.” But that’s exactly what it is — providing helpful content directly to an audience member without imposing a sales message.
3. Creating personalized social experiences: LinkedIn APIs have uncovered a world of uses for creating personalized social experiences. Just ask PwC Netherlands: The global consulting firm worked with LinkedIn to create a successful professional relationship game based on a user’s LinkedIn network. CMI says: LinkedIn imposes few limitations on content marketers. Extending personalization beyond the walls of the professional network is a realistic goal that you can make happen with LinkedIn APIs.
We got excited when we saw the article title, but very little of the post concerned itself with personalization. And when personalization was mentioned, it came with APIs (pain). So if you have a nice dev team as a part of your marketing department, great. If not, then either start a business around custom program for LinkedIn APIs or just stick with the basics.
Since there are thousands of ways that people can begin searching for content or a type of product or service online, creating your own extensive and useful list can be quite the chore. No worries, though, because there are plenty of great keyword research tools on the Web that you can use RIGHT NOW that won’t cost a cent.
That’s right – all of the online keyword research tools in the big list that follows are totally free. See www.websitemagazine.com for the complete list.
Doesn't make sense to reproduce the complete list when it is one click away. A very comprehensive list to send to your SEA admin or your agency.
Q: Please indicate the LEVEL OF EFFECTIVENESS (in terms of achieving objectives) of using social media platforms in your inbound marketing efforts.
The only surprising part of this chart is the SlideShare info. We have reservations about that metric, but in agreement on the others.
This posts gives advice on ensuring your website is cleverly integrated with social media technology and platforms. Handy for all marketers!
I’m often asked by clients to work with their web designers/developers to ensure their new website is going to be built and presented in a way that ensures social media tech plays a part in the user’s experience. Usually I’m asked to do this after jumping up and down a lot and ramming home the importance of thinking social when it comes to websites! It’s very important that social is taken into consideration at a very early stage of any web build or revamp. Read on for some tips on making your site more social media friendly.
- Create a social media widget
- Create a content hub
- Sharing is caring: There are a lot of off-the-shelf options out there, but I would recommend ‘hard-coding’ share buttons, this tends to allow you to mould them to fit better with your site design. Tech blog, The Next Web does this very well.
We primarily scooped this for the The Next Web example. Good info nevertheless.
following the success of facebook's retargeting exchange, twitter plans to build its own version of fbx to let brands retarget visitors with ads on twitter.
The micro-blogging platform is planning to erect an exchange similar to FBX that would let brands retarget people who visit their sites with ads on Twitter, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
It's unclear how far along Twitter is in building the exchange, though Facebook managed to create FBX from scratch in a month. In keeping with the company's measured approach to advertising, Twitter is performing its due diligence. Since at least late last year, the company has met with several FBX partners who are well-versed in locating on Facebook people who had previously visited a brand’s site and retargeting them with non-standard display ads on the social network, in hopes of luring them back to the brand site. It works by by pinging a partner when a cookied user visits Facebook so that the partner can bid to target ads to that user on the social network. The talks are early but ongoing, and Twitter has not briefed potential partners on a planned launch date.
You'll want to keep an eye on this as well as Twitter's Lead Generation Cards.
The SEO world is abuzz following the release of Penguin 2.0, though there have been several updates to the algorithm since it launched in April 2012.
Invest in quality content
Everything you create – both on and offsite - should have quality at its core. Invest in blogs, news, features, white papers, infographics, videos; but only if they are relevant and likely to have a real benefit to your customer base.
Invest in onsite content
Google rewards websites that publish content on their own websites. It is a key metric, and growing in importance, brands and businesses that fail to invest in developing onsite content strategies are not going to succeed online.
Use Google+ Authorship markup to gain even more authority in Google
Why use Google+?
- It immediately indexes your new content in Google.
- Create authority and respect in Google’s eyes – Google loves Google products.
- Generate more inbound links.
- Generate more social likes and shares.
- Build up your authorship and expertise in an emerging area for SEO.
- Add additional SEO power to your guest posts and blogger outreach.
- Cultivate business leads and be seen as a thought leader.
Amplify your content to create authority
It’s not about masses of poor quality inbound links – it’s about relevant, high value content and inbound links from relevant and quality sites and authors that share a story, is useful to your customer base and shareable. Social shares are very important for search success, but also in building your authority in Google’s eyes.
Increase traffic to your website
Excellent advice, and we place this post amongst the top pieces on how to manage the impact from Penguin 2.0.
Well, this is no easy feat but kudos to Backlinko and SingleGrain for putting together this infographic aimed at dissecting Google's ranking algorithm.