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The reach of the modern marketing department is growing every day, touching more buyers, through more touch points, and generating more leads than ever before.
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Except for those B2B marketers who exclusively practice Account-Based Marketing, marketing automation is a given. It’s needed as much as CRM (possibly more). So how much should you budget for marketing automation?
Of course the answer is: it depends. But it’s not a long-winded it depends. There are two overriding factors: the number of records in your database (the basis for most if not all MAS providers’ pricing), and your requirements.
Your requirements are most important: you cannot effectively select a vendor without a true set of your functional requirements. And before you define your requirements, you need to get your agreements in place with Sales. And no agreement can be completed without the definitions that comprise the agreement.
Let’s review that again: with Sales, come to an understanding of terms and definitions, then come to an agreement with Sales as to what is needed and when it is needed. With this information, as well as the number of records in your system, you can then start the process of pricing out various solutions.
Plan first, then execute? How novel.
Have a comment? Email it to email@example.com or comment below. I’ll publish it here.
Today’s curated articles collected for your quick review:
-- > CMOs — Send Your Marketers to Finance Classes - MarketBridge http://sco.lt/9J5GIT
-- > An 8-Step Plan for Migrating to a New Marketing Automation Program - HubSpot http://sco.lt/8KYZrF
-- > How to Create an Infographic That Boosts Social Shares and Leads | Social Media Examiner http://sco.lt/98Vykb
-- > Email Marketing: A canvas for visual storytelling - Sherpa http://sco.lt/8HQzQX
-- > 10 Design Mistakes to Avoid in an E-Commerce Website Design - Design Web Kit http://sco.lt/7TOMbZ
-- > The Real Problem with ‘Best Time to Send Email’ - TowerData http://sco.lt/8xmnRZ
-- > Twitter’s New Profile Design - Circle S http://sco.lt/9LYhaT
-- > How to Code HTML5 Video Background in Email | Litmus http://sco.lt/59CPZp
-- > 2 Mid-Funnel Lead Nurturing Mistakes - Marketo http://sco.lt/7KfTP7
-- > Marketing Budget Shifts From Traditional to Digital Might Be Slowing - MarketingCharts http://sco.lt/7jZm4H
-- > The 2014 Marketing Automation Performance Survey [infographic] - Brian Hansford http://sco.lt/9J9O1x
See ALL Top Curated Marketing Technology Articles here.
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When you move beyond the view that marketing exists solely to generate, nurture and qualify leads, you begin to realize that marketers (especially product marketers) need to do a lot of things to help their companies be successful, at least if you view revenue as a useful success metric. These include:
While data is a critical element to being successful in these tasks (think segmentation, win/loss analysis and market sizing) and technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of other areas (namely product launch and sales enablement), you can’t really automate them. That is the core of my beef with the marketing automation term.
I think Pragmatic Marketing would agree, and I think we all know that MA is a misnomer.
Top Enterprise PPC Campaign Management Platforms by Douglas Karr on Marketing Technology Blog
PPC campaign management platforms assist enterprises in managing complex paid search, paid social and paid digital display advertising campaigns. Key features of the platforms include automated bid management, bid optimization, conversion attribution, campaign optimization, creative optimization, and campaign performance analytics.
Adobe Media Optimizer
DoubleClick Digital Marketing
Read more: Top Enterprise PPC Campaign Management Platforms | Marketing Technology Blog http://www.marketingtechblog.com/enterprise-ppc-management-list/#ixzz2zlHEIcRU . If you're a heavy PPC advertiser focused solely on Google, then see the adjacent scoop (Google's new AdWords announcement) and save yourself a few bucks. If you're PPC efforts go across the board, and you don't have a management platform in place (you should), then click through for details on each.
The reality is you start out by losing money.
What happens if you’ve picked the wrong vendor? Or if marketing automation is not suitable for your organization? Then it’s a lot of time and money wasted … which impacts your revenue.
If your products/services are suitable for marketing automation, you spend the time picking the right tool and you invest the necessary time and resources up front, you can see significant returns
So what does go wrong and how do you avoid this to ensure you get the returns the industry is quoting?
First, every bit of software you deploy is a loss at the get-go. Second, and most importantly, KNOW YOUR REQUIREMENTS before you start evaluating vendors. What can you do, what can't you do.
B2B marketers are increasingly turning to web site personalization to provide content that is specifically geared towards individual buyers, largely segmented by industry, department, function or role. Some are even taking it to the next level and presenting company-specific content to visitors.
The success of web site personalization weighs heavily on predictive analytics based particularly on consumer behavior. Personalization providers can use web site data to understand what content is most successful via metrics such as individual page views, downloads and time visiting the page. Other important factors in identifying the consumer needs may include search keywords that led the user to the site, the source of the link, location, frequency of visits and type of device used.
After accumulating this data, algorithms tailor the web site experience to include real-time content and product recommendations to fit the profile of the visitor. The experience provided to potential buyers can make or break a company’s online presence, especially those who aren’t well established in their industry.
Marketers revere web site personalization for more than the capabilities it provides, whether it’s driving customer engagement or conversion rates; personalization efforts can be easily integrated into existing solutions.
Adobe has implemented the Demandbase platform into both Adobe Target and Adobe Analytics to assist in their personalization efforts. Adobe has been able to leverage Demandbase to perform reverse IP lookup, enabling the company to identify potential buyers via company data and demographic information, and deliver content based on this information.
Software provider Blackbaud has improved its web site personalization capabilities page with help from Get Smart Content. The content personalization solution was able to edit the four banners on the web site’s home page so they could be tailored to different buyer segments.
It's a part of the ever-growing holy grail of marketing: the complete personalized experience. I'm still waiting for the perfect web site personalization app.
Stats and tips from LinkedIn.
The buyer’s journey is an important framework for marketing strategy — but what does it look like? How are buyers getting from step one (“Do I have a need?”) to a justified decision?
Developing and reporting marketing ROI is not easy and most marketers do not like crunching numbers and analyzing data. Depending on the length of the sales cycle, amount of data to input and measure, and reporting capabilities of the marketing automation platform, it can take a couple of years to master the process. The good news is the problem can be fixed. Almost immediately, you can have your CFO and finance team present a “lunch and learn” session around key financial concepts and terminology.
In the short term, you may want to consider outsourcing the effort so that you can be reporting marketing ROI sooner than later. In the long term, you definitely want to send your marketers out to a few finance classes so that they can eventually prove—and optimize—marketing ROI and strategy. It is an investment that will definitely pay big dividends.
This post is a response to the (depressing) study I posted on 4/16. The author is correct: as marketers, we cannot allow financial newbies (or less than that) to delve into the data and create the RIGHT reports. The investment in the technology deserves it.
If you want that attention on your marketing message, you’ll have to do more than share a picture surrounded by text. Here are seven steps to creating your first infographic.
#1: Plan Your Story Around Your Objectives
#2: Gather Your Data
#3: Sketch Your Idea
#4: Find Your Inspiration: Whether you have an infographic design in mind or not, it’s a good idea to look at what’s already out there (even if it’s just to ensure your idea is different enough to capture attention).
#5: Build Your Infographic
#6: Create Your Infographic’s Social Preview
#7: Share Your Infographic
Seems like a simple task, but it's numbers 1 and 2 that will require some quiet time to accomplish. And sometimes #2 comes before #1.
Before you start designing and setting up your own E-Commerce website there are certain things you should always keep in mind for optimal performance. The following 10 points cover most mistakes that should be avoided during the website designing process.
I'm including this as a part of the Alert's update as B2B eCommerce has begun to play an important role in B2B marketing.
The first major difference you’ll see with the new profile design is the header and profile images. The header image is 1500 x 500 and the profile picture is 400 x 400.
In addition to profile design, users can now filter tweets on profiles. You can filter by all tweets, tweets with photos and videos or just tweets and replies. Tweet text also now will get larger as they gain popularity. So the more retweets, favorites and replies that a tweet gets, the larger the text will appear.
Finally, users can also now “pin” tweets to the top of their profiles, just like Facebook. There are also spaces now between tweets to help with readability, instead of all of the tweets being directly next to each other. There is also now a sticky header for each profile to allow you to filter the tweets even after you have scrolled further down the page.
If yours hasn't switched over yet, then sit tight. It's coming.
1. Don’t Let Your Data Go Bad
Has your database been languishing all winter long, pulverized by the polar vortex of decay and desolation? Tune it up by refreshing your customer information.
2. Don’t Get Too Fancy
So many marketers try to use all of features in their marketing automation platform, all at once — without stopping to think about the point of their technology. You invested in marketing automation so that you could have interesting, relevant conversations with the right people — not so that you could impress them with bells and whistles. So leave the complexity on the cutting room floor, especially when you’re first starting out. Keep it simple.
It's a common refrain that I frequently say as do others: when it comes to marketing automation, keep it simple.
It’s important to remember some things about hubdom that are in danger of getting rinsed in all the reverb:
Point 5 is important, because we’ve heard from many marketers across the digital maturity spectrum that they’re looking forward to “consolidating” the confusion of their multiple vendor relationships into a single system of record. The impulse is understandable, but it’s worth hitting pause a moment to ponder whether digital marketing isn’t sufficiently complex to command complex solutions.
This excerpt sells the article short: you'll want to click through to gain a much greater understanding of the single source vs. the web of different vendors. Answer? There are so many different functions to this thing called marketing that there's no way in hell anyone can be everything to everyone. See Scott Brinker's Digital Marketing Landscape. Or Gartner's Digital Marketing Transit Map. No way.
We selected the 100,000-contact band and 250,000-contact band because they are representative of what we see most commonly requested; however, your organization may require a lower or higher number of database contacts.
Among the vendors we covered, monthly costs for 100,000 contacts ranged from $1,750 to $5,395, or approximately $0.02 to $0.05 per contact. Monthly costs for 250,000 contacts ranged from $2,500 to $7,195, or $0.01 to $0.03 per contact. (See the graph for full pricing information.)
It depends on your requirements vis-a-vis the features offered from each MAS. You're definitely paying too much is there are features you don't need. I'm sure this will be covered in detail at the Sirius Summit 2014.
Two new features add powerful, enterprise-level AdWords management functionality previously available through outside platforms like Kenshoo and Marin. Two other features are unique to Google and will give management solutions a run for their money.
Jerry Dischler, Google's vice president of AdWords Product Management, announced four enterprise-class tools to improve workflow, reporting, and optimization in AdWords:
Google is making a big play at the enterprise-level AdWords management market and if these new tools are any indication, they plan on bringing as much in-house as possible.
Outstanding. And in light of this announcement, please see the next scoop.
Earlier this month, ClickZ reported that Twitter would be redesigning its profile pages. Low and behold, just two weeks later, here they are. While the redesign is technically still in its "rolling out" stages, those eager beavers who want to get the new look can do so now by visiting this link.
It's here. Get to it.
Learn the 7 principles of conversion centered design in this in-depth SlideShare.
Not one sour slide. Excellent material.
1) Take inventory.
Map out the workflows, lists, contact fields, and content such as landing pages, emails, blog posts and images that you have in your existing marketing automation program. “Just define what you have and what you need to bring over,” he says.
2) Do a clean-up.
As long as you’re in the middle of change, it’s a good opportunity to get rid of old offers and other assets you don’t need anymore. It's also a good time to comb through your contacts database and get rid of some email addresses, for example ones that have bounced or ones that have not opened one of your emails in a long time.
3) Figure out which assets need to be changed.
Identify any adjustments that you need to make in workflows that are being carried over.
4) Export your data.
5) Put the pieces back together.
Start with landing pages and emails. “We took landing pages we had from Eloqua and applied styling and template changes,” Freeman says. “We recreated them in HubSpot, but with a new look and feel.”
6) Perform a sync.
Sync your contacts with Salesforce.com, and start recreating workflows, lists, and forms.
“We tested a lot before going live, but we also spent three days after going live with HubSpot looking out for problems, and fixing problems and oversights,” Freeman says. “That’s inevitable. There are going to be little hiccups. But we worked them out and everything was golden after that.”
According to folks at HubSpot, you might want to run the old and new systems in tandem for some period of time.
8) Shut off the old system.
MAS to MAS. Interesting post from HubSpot, as market data is showing that companies are starting to migrate from one system to another. HubSpot clearly wants to layout a path.
The Dell team decided that utilizing a GIF in the email marketing campaign would be the best way to effectively tell the Ultrabook’s story, ultimately lifting revenue 109%.
“I think now more than ever with the deluge of emails in a customer’s inbox, trying to get them to click on something is so important,” David said. “People are very visual so it’s tremendously beneficial to give them something to look at instead of forcing them to read through a ton of text.”
Visual storytelling isn’t easy. It’s a delicate craft that requires a certain eye. But when it’s done right, it’s invaluable.
Visual in emails...visual everywhere. Do it right, and watch your conversions skyrocket.
In email marketing, there is no “best day/time” to send emails. Surprised? You shouldn't be.
Have you ever come across a blog post that declares with absolute certainty the best time of day or the best day of the week to send emails? Of course you have! They’re everywhere. The problem is almost all of these blogs get it wrong. There simply is no “best day/time” to send emails.
Here’s what you should focus on instead: the best day(s) and time(s) for your list. How do you know what those are? Testing, testing and more testing.
Perfect timing means reaching the customer when the customer is:
In other words, perfect timing is reaching the customer when the customer is ready to read what you’re sending. And the only way you’ll know that time is to know your own list.
I've been screaming this so often that I've lost hair on my head.
We used an HTML5 video background. That’s right: video background in an email. Click here to view the web version of the email.
The video background worked in the following clients:
As you can see, the HTML5 video degrades gracefully across all clients with the fallback image.
Due to an overwhelming response, we fast-tracked this blog post breaking down the methodology and process behind the email. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the implementation of this responsive email…
It truly is a step by step guide on the best practice behind embedding video into an email, and it's the best I've seen so far.