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Our sales team is very new to Sales Insight, so I did a training with them last week to show them some of the features and how they can use it to interact with their prospects better. I figured this is probably something a lot of us have to do at some point, so I am attaching my powerpoint that anyone can adapt to use for their own sales teams. Warning: it has many gifs and memes. Our sales team is very young, so I knew this would keep their attention also, my gif game is strong. Some of this is specific to our instance - for example, I created a marketing suspend campaign to allow them to suspend a prospect from marketing for 30 days if they are actively working a deal or about to do a demo - but it can probably be adapted for anyone.
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By: Russell Banzon If your company is anything like some that I’ve seen around Silicon Valley, your sales reps see their quotas increase quarter after quarter. With lofty goals, every sales rep needs to utilize all the tools he has at his disposal to close the deal. While social media sometimes gets a bad rep among professionals due to the endless posts about difficult math problems and memes, when done well, social media can be one of the most effective and underutilized channels for sales teams. In this blog, I’ll cover five strategies to use LinkedIn to drive significant revenue for your company: 1. Add Prospective Customers and Share Their Content with Your Network This may be obvious, but a reminder never hurts: you should always connect with your leads! Having access to the content that they like and share is paramount to having a strong conversation with them. This is especially important to do if your lead is publishing original content on LinkedIn. Why? Because re-promoting their content by sharing it shows your support. Personally, I absolutely love when one of our vendors shares my content. It shows me that the rep is actually interested in having a relationship with me and that I’m not just closed won business. Remember though, when you invite your prospect, always send them a tailored request to connect. Selling is way better received when it feels like a 1-to-1 relationship, rather than a blanket message to all people. As social selling magnate Nancy Nardin would say, “Social is personal!” Here’s a basic example: From the short message above, you can tell that whoever the requestor is (me, in this case), really dove into the person’s profile and even pointed out that the person had something to gain by connecting—content they might be interested in! Once you begin connecting with prospects, their activity will show up on your feed. You’ll be able to find even more prospects because of this. When your connection, say a sales ops professional, likes another sales ops professional’s content, you’ll find yourself with another lead opportunity. 2. Warm Introductions Even more powerful than a custom invitation to connect is a warm introduction. As you access people’s profiles, on the top right hand side, LinkedIn will automatically find people who you and your prospect have in common. They even tell you what your connection and your prospect have in common! Let’s look at another example: In this example, I would be the sales rep and Elaine would be the prospect I’m looking to reach. Once I see that Sharon is a joint connection, I could reach out to Sharon and ask her if she would be comfortable with giving me a warm introduction to connect with Elaine since they went to the same college. After this introduction, I can steer the ship—but this makes reaching Elaine much easier than coming in cold. 3. Find the Right Leads with Sales Navigator If you haven’t heard of LinkedIn Sales Navigator yet, you may want to check it out. There are numerous benefits to going premium on LinkedIn, from account filters that show you your target leads at your target companies to the social selling index that measures your social selling effectiveness (which I’ll cover towards the end of this blog). So how do you get started? First, build out your account lists in Sales Navigator. Following accounts in Sales Navigator will provide you with up-to-date information on what is happening within that company. It gives you updates on what the company is sharing so that you know what your prospects truly care about and what their company is focusing on. Then, you can act on key events, such as funding announcements, to engage in meaningful conversation with your prospects. Being able to kick start a conversation with “Congratulations on the recent funding round” is much stronger than “Hey, I’m Russell.“ Oh yeah, and did I mention you can build lead lists in your target accounts? If you already have your target persona, such as those built to segment and target audiences within your marketing automation platform, take advantage of all the filters the LinkedIn premium account offers to create targeted lists. This comes in handy when you need to, for example, find all the VPs of Sales in your region within your account tier, but don’t have a complete list of company names. You can go even deeper with profile filters such as keywords, seniority level, and industry. If you already have a target account list, you should do some account specific profile searching by using the “current company” filter. 4. Build Your Account Contact List with “Export to CRM” One of the most painful things as a sales rep or business development rep is manually updating your CRM with new leads, which is equally important for your marketing automation platform since often the two platforms integrate seamlessly with the right solutions. Many times you’ll want to do prospecting in LinkedIn, but your CRM is your single source of truth (“If it’s not in the CRM, it never happened” type scenario.) Save additional time by adding in the “Export to CRM” Chrome extension to your browser. This allows you to easily create a contact in your CRM using someone’s LinkedIn profile. This is especially helpful for the marketing team, who’s always on the lookout for new names to add to the database. Once they’re in the database, the marketing team can then support the sales team by plugging that contact into different, relevant, campaigns. Keep in mind that these contacts may not have opted-in to receiving email communications from you, so you may need to target them in other ways. 5. Measure Your Success with the Social Selling Index (SSI) This last tip makes social selling even more fun. LinkedIn provides a way for you to be graded on how well you use the platform to do social selling. There are four criterion that go into this rating. The social selling index (SSI)“measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.” These factors impact your social selling index: The amount of content you share The number of connections you have with your target audience How often you click on insights on your feed How much you interact with others If you’re someone who manages social selling, sales enablement , or social media at a company, you can easily get people excited about their SSI score with a sales performance incentive fund (SPIF) and giveaways. Doing a major team-wide competition of who can raise their SSI score to the highest in a specific month can not only help your sales team sell better, but also help you get more brand exposure. These social selling strategies are a win-win situation, helping you connect with more prospects and develop more meaningful relationships with them. Pretty soon, it won’t be considered “social selling,” it will simply be a part of “ selling .” What other tips do you have to boost sales through LinkedIn or other social platforms? Share them in the comments below!
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By: Aleece Germano Posted: June 21, 2016 | Marketing Metrics As a digital marketer, you might be asking yourself this question: “Where’s my (social) ROI?” Your boss is asking you for it. You see ads following you on the web trying to help you calculate it. Your peers tell you it’s impossible: “You want to attribute revenue dollars to social? Good luck with that.” So what’s a data-driven marketer to do? When it comes to attributing ROI to a top-of-funnel social media strategy, the challenge is often in having access to enough data points to correctly understand its impact on revenue. While a sale may not result directly from a social engagement, social may have served as the initial entry point (discovery) or a point of reference (consideration) multiple times along the buyer’s journey. In this case, attribution requires analysis across multiple touchpoints, using multi-touch (MT) attribution, rather than only looking at first-touch (FT) attribution or last-touch (LT) attribution. Let’s start by looking at an example: Marketing is creating approved content for the sales team to distribute across social networks in order to start and nurture conversations as part of their social selling strategy. On some teams, sales uses Twitter to search for buzzwords and chat with potential leads. How can you track a conversation on Twitter all the way through to a closed-won deal? Before we get started, let’s take a look as some assumptions I’ve made about your marketing and sales technology: Your sales team is using a customer relationship management (CRM) system and your marketing team is using a complete marketing automation platform. Your sales or marketing team is using a social relationship platform (SRP) such as Hootsuite, Synthesio, or Sprinklr for social publishing and/or listening on social networks. Now, let’s explore how to measure the ROI of B2B social campaigns with multi-touch attribution: 1. Connect Your CRM and SRP to Your Marketing Automation Platform First, you need to integrate your solutions so that data can flow in and out properly. Some marketing automation solutions may offer a native integration with your CRM that syncs the data on a regular schedule. Or you might build your own connector via open APIs and/or middleware partners. Check to see what integrations may be available for the SRP you are using. If you’re using Marketo, you’ll need to configure an easy, out-of-the box integration with your CRM and SRP. (Details in our LaunchPoint ecosystem.) Now, when your sales team publishes content via the SRP and it ignites a conversation on social, they can send that data into your marketing automation system. Here’s a peek at what that looks like using the Hootsuite integration for Marketo (of course, your exact solutions may differ): 2. Identify a Match or Create a New Lead Next, a complete marketing automation solution can check to see if there’s a match in the database. If not, as you can see below, it will identify whether that person is a new lead. Awesome! You just created a lead from social. 3. Measure Your ROI Now, as you run campaigns with your marketing automation platform, your lead may convert, and her email address and other form data will be appended to her record in your database. From here on, your marketing automation system will track every interaction along the funnel to a closed-won opportunity. In the meantime, you will want to track the program costs simultaneously as part of campaign creation. Time to run some reports. A solid marketing automation platform will allow you to measure multi-touch attribution, so that you can understand which programs are most influential in moving people forward in the sales cycle over time. In Marketo, you can run the Program Analyzer to see which channel drove the highest ROI. From a first-touch perspective, you can see that social as an acquisition channel brought in 1,367 new names (leads) and produced an ROI of 108%. That’s not bad, but what if you look at this from a multi-touch perspective? From a multi-touch perspective, you can see a different story emerge which helps you understand how social impacts middle-of-the funnel activity, as reps continue to nurture and engage leads on social. Here we see the true ROI as 142%–a higher ROI for a much lower cost than other marketing programs. Now that you’ve proven your social ROI, you can confidently ask for more investment. Let’s take an even closer look at social so that we can understand the ROI of paid vs. organic. By drilling into the Social Media channel (below), we can view our ROI at a more granular level—in this case, organic posts and conversations on Twitter drove an ROI of 106%. Before you celebrate your victory and go on to optimize your social campaigns, here’s a quick recap of how you can consistently measure your social programs: Use multi-touch (MT) attribution to understand the revenue impact of your top-of-funnel strategy. Connect your CRM to a complete marketing automation platform, and connect your marketing automation platform to your SRP. Track your program/campaign costs in your marketing automation platform. Use multi-channel analytics in your marketing automation platform to compare the ROI of one marketing channel or program over another. Budgeting is easy when you have marketing ROI data at your fingertips! Marketers can show the revenue impact of their efforts on social, and across other channels. Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll cover a new attribution use case to solve. What are your marketing attribution challenges? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Hi Community, I recently worked on a template to prove my social media ROI to my boss ! And I want to share it with you here because I need some feedback on this job For french readers here is the complete article which explains the purpose, and the template : [Template] Le ROI social media enfin démontré à ton boss | LinkedIn (I will translate it soon) If you need more information, you can ask me at : marineboussat@gmail.com Or add me on Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/marineboussat/ Thanks !
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By: Ellen Gomes Posted: March 4, 2016 | Content Marketing Last October, Facebook quietly launched Instant Articles for iPhone, “a beautiful new way to read articles in the News Feed that is faster and more interactive than ever before,” according to the company. This product is aimed at being a game-changer for the publishing industry by offering a solution to what Facebook and publishers identified as a problem of slow loading times and whether publishers could bring their own advertising to the table or would have to use Facebook’s ad network. Initially, it was rolled out to a select group of premium publishers—think along the lines of National Geographic, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. Now, after about 10 months since its launch, Facebook announced it will open Instant Articles to all publishers on April 12 at their F8 conference—raising the question for content marketers everywhere, “Is this for me?” This blog will take a look at whether Instant Articles applies to brands and content marketers, and what this change might mean for them. Let’s dive in: Are We Invited? Brands today know and benefit from the power of social media. On Facebook alone, the user base has expanded to 1.04 billion daily active users and 934 million mobile daily active users as of December 2015, allowing companies to connect with their audience at scale. And with 63% of Facebook users getting their news through their social networks, according to Pew Research Center, content marketers everywhere are looking into how they can participate in the new Instant Articles feature. This begs the question, “Is it even open to us?” And that can be a complex answer depending on where you look. Officially, on the Instant Articles site, Facebook discloses that this product will open for all publishers. But how are they defining publishers? A magazine, journal or newspaper? That wouldn’t be great news for brands. What about as anyone who creates and publishes content? Now that would be awesome. Brands are ready to sign up—like yesterday. And whether they’ll be eligible or not is a question everyone is asking. In fact, Contently contacted Facebook for clarification on who qualifies as a publisher and received the following answer: “In April, Instant Articles will be open to any publishers that wish to join, but it is primarily designed for news publishers. While other types of publishers will have the option to create Instant Articles, in many cases there are other formats on Facebook that will better serve their needs.” This makes it sound like a yes—brands will indeed be able to publish Instant Articles, with the disclaimer that there may be more suitable formats available. So how do you determine if this is right for you? A New Way to Content in Unknown Territory Facebook Instant Articles presents a new opportunity to deliver content—whether you’re a publisher or brand—especially via mobile (a channel that has experienced almost nonstop growth since its inception). Because people face such an onslaught of messages—from their inbox, to social media, to offline communications—content that captures the interest of your audience and offers true value is now, arguably, the only way to capture their attention on any channel. Content marketing is now a familiar marketing activity that most marketers practice, and Instant Articles offers an immediate way to deliver content to an interested audience with faster load times—reportedly as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web—and without the need to navigate to a new channel. As a content marketer, the idea of a new platform for you to deliver your content to an interested audience can be both exhilarating and terrifying. There are so many places and platforms to disseminate your content today, but the promise of hosting your content on a platform that gets about one billion visitors a day is enticing, to say the least. But it’s OK to feel wary of an unknown platform and process, especially if you’ve developed a seamless way to publish and measure the impact of your content on other channels and programs. I’d encourage you to not let that stop you, as Facebook’s Instant Articles allows you to customize the typeface, color, and layout of your content to keep it on brand and use your existing analytics platforms to measure its success. It even allows you to serve adson your content, opening up a new advertisement channel. So if you have your content measurement down already—from early stage metrics like downloads and shares to late stage metrics like first-touch and multi-touch pipeline and ROI—you may still be able to apply these practices to the new platform to understand its impact, not to mention to optimize your results. Prepare Yourself, Instant Is Coming The Instant Article product itself is defined by its ability to instantly load with rich images, interactive content, and auto-play video. Today, this content is demarcated to users by a small lightening bolt icon in the corner of the article. Image: Courtesy of The Atlantic With this new product and its instant content feature, marketers face two challenges: Whether or not to be an early adopter How to adapt their content to fit the cadence and quality needed to succeed in this new environment There is definitely an advantage to being an early adopter of these products. Often, you gain more attention from your audience because the functionality is new and novel, and that’s worth something. Additionally, you usually have an opportunity to deliver feedback and learn with the product. But this can all come down to a matter of comfort and resources. Do you have the bandwidth to learn (probably a pretty intuitive) new platform and then add that step to your content publishing process? The second challenge of adapting your content to the platform is one that may affect lean or small teams the most. It will be interesting to see if brands, that have other objectives for their content (like demand generation), will have to adjust their content strategies to incorporate Instant Articles as a “new” type of content or if it will simply be an extension of what they are already doing and have planned to in their editorial calendar. Because this product is centered around delivering a high-quality experience to the user—with fast load times and interactive visuals—its success may force content marketers to redirect some of their attention toward tailoring content and interactive experiences for this platform, where they didn’t have to before. A Demand Generation Machine Finally, Digiday recently reported that Facebook is allowing some publishers test newsletter sign-up messages with their Instant Articles—trial publishers include The New York Times and The Washington Post. This is an interesting move for publishers whose biggest caveats when it came to publishing on a separate platform were ad revenue and audience ownership. With the possibility of reaching your audience on email through newsletter sign-ups, Facebook may solve both. For brands and the marketers alike, this could make a huge impact. If and when Facebook opens this feature up to brands, it will act as an extension to their customer acquisition activities for any brand, from consumer to B2B. It will be interesting to see how Facebook users respond to these new marketing opportunities—whether they will interpret articles from brands as marketing or as an improved experience. And for marketers, especially content marketers, as the digital landscape continues to change, the best advice is: Stay tuned and get ready! It seems that the downside to publishing on Instant Articles is almost negligible when contrasted against the benefits. What do you think about Instant Articles? If it opens up for brands, will you be on board?
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FYI: New Virtual User Group on Community:  Real Time Personalization Virtual User Group ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By: Ellen Gomes Posted: March 9, 2016 | Targeting and Personalization Would you send the same email to your entire database? You could, but with a database made up of multiple segments and different types of customers (some very new to your product or service and some long-standing customers), sending the same communication to all of these folks would not be effective. Marketers now know and understand that effective email marketing is targeted and personal. Unfortunately, this vital learning is not applied equally across channels and programs, especially on websites. Every day, marketers are ignoring their own best practices and offering the exact same experience to every website visitor, every time they arrive—regardless of their behavior or attributes. Magnify that by thousands, sometimes millions, of visits, and marketers are missing a huge opportunity to truly connect with their audience as individuals—which makes a real impact on their revenue. And that’s where web personalization comes in. What Is Web Personalization? Web personalization helps marketers make their websites as personal and targeted as their other communications and activities. Specifically, the term web personalization refers to creating a dynamically personalized, highly relevant website experience for your website visitor (anonymous or known), based on their behavior, location, profile, and other attributes. Done right, web personalization means understanding and meeting your visitors’ interests, tailoring your website to fit their profiles, and ultimately providing them with a relevant experience—whether that’s a message, visual, content, or offer. Today it’s a mission-critical marketing activity that creates a more meaningful experience for your visitors and also generates better business results. Personalization is not just a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s a necessity in today’s market where your visitors are not only self-directing their customer journey (the majority of their research is done before you ever know them), but they are overwhelmed with messages on a daily basis. In order to break through and get your visitors to engage, you must offer them a relevant and personal experience. In fact, according to recent report by VB Insight, 87% of companies see a lift in key metrics (such as conversion rates, engagement rates, and lead generation or average order value) when they employ personalization. The Benefits of Web Personalization At the highest level, web personalization helps marketers address their website visitors in a personal and relevant way online—while also helping marketers reach their goals faster. But to break it down further, web personalization helps marketers in seven key ways: Build brand preference: You can use web personalization to strengthen how a visitor feels about you online and offline. For instance, you can use what you know about an individual (gathered from their interaction with your website) to tailor the messages you send on other channels and create content that resonates with them—making your marketing more personal and effective across the board. Understand visitors: Web personalization helps marketers understand the personas, demographics, and behavioral and firmographic data that represents your target audience and is most likely to result in conversion. Convert visitors: While many of your marketing efforts bring visitors to your site, the majority of those visitors—a whopping 98%—are anonymous when they arrive and remain so after they leave. Web personalization helps marketers track demographic and behavioral data, and unmask, engage, and convert prospective customers as they arrive on your site. Nurture and engage: While you are probably familiar with email nurturing, web personalization allows you to nurture customers on the web by continuing the conversation with them through targeted, relevant offers, content, and calls-to-action. Using web personalization, your website becomes another one of your cross-channel tools to accelerate customers through their unique buyer journey. Cross-sell and upsell: Understanding your customer segments and the types of offers, messages, and content that motivate them is a huge advantage that web personalization offers. If you have customers that have already purchased from you, you can sell them more by recognizing them as existing customers and segmenting them to receive offers on complementary products based on their past purchases. Optimize your campaigns: As you run web personalization, you can collect valuable information from your visitors about who they are and what offers, messages, and content resonate with them. These learnings can disseminate across your programs and cross-channel campaigns, making them more effective—both in terms of engagement with visitors and overall cost. Increase revenue: When you better understand your online visitors, buyers, prospects, and decision-makers—in other words, when you nurture and educate them based on who they are and what they do, and then present the most appropriate offer—you are improving your ability to drive revenue. Learn more about these benefits and how to create a comprehensive web personalization strategy by paging through The Definitive Guide to Web Personalization. This comprehensive 100+ page guide covers everything from how to develop a web personalization strategy, to sourcing the content for creating a personalized website, to testing and optimization and more. The Definitive Guide to Web Personalization is your guide to creating a strategic and dynamic personalized web experience. Download it today!
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By: Divya Dutt Posted: May 3, 2016 | Social Media In the last year or so, advertising on social channels has changed tremendously. Lately, major networks have changed their algorithms to give their users a better experience—one with less promotional content and more relevant content that they want to see. Because of these changes, as a marketer, you need to supplement your organic posts with paid promotion to get your posts seen by your audience. In fact, eMarketer reports that by 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion worldwide. As marketers are increasingly spending more on social platforms, it’s more important than ever to have the right strategy in place, track all of your paid social campaigns , and gain insights into what’s working and what’s not. Only then can you understand the return on ad spend (ROAS) from your campaigns. In this blog, I’ll be walking you through how to put together a paid social campaign from start to finish for optimum results. Here are five steps to amplify your paid social campaigns: 1. Define Your Goals It’s important to understand your goals for each paid social campaign upfront because your strategy and key performance metrics will vary depending on the goals you’re aiming to achieve. Your goals will help you map out the most relevant offers and content for your objectives—whether that’s brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, customer acquisition, retention, advocacy, or a combination of these. For instance, if your goal is to acquire more leads, you will probably want to share whitepapers or other gated content that people will need to fill out a form for so you can collect lead information. But if your goal is brand awareness, you might want to share ungated content such as an infographic or a fun video. 2. Identify Your Audience Just as you would with any marketing campaign, you need to know who you are trying to reach with each of your paid social ads. You may already have buyer personas for your company’s target audiences that you can pull from (in some organizations this may come from the product marketing team). Once you understand this, you will need to decide who your exact audience for your social campaigns will be. There are a lot of great ways to target specific audiences on various social platforms, but if you don’t know who you’re targeting, you won’t be able to take advantage of the targeting options. 3. Pick the Right Channel and Content The audiences on each social media network are different, and while some overlap across channels, their expectations of the type of content they’ll see on each channel is also different. So, you not only need to understand the networks your audiences are on and how to reach them there but also engage them with the right content. For example, ads about industry-focused events will probably do well on LinkedIn if they are targeted to a specific industry, but may not perform as well on Facebook. 4. Select Targeting Options Once you have determined which social media channels you will advertise on, it’s time to get familiar with the targeting options on each of those channels. Social networks are getting more sophisticated with their targeting options, and you can target based on different fields: interests, skills, titles, company names, and even lists from your marketing automation platform —for example, people in your database with certain characteristics. LinkedIn, for example, lets you target people based on their titles, skill sets, company, and even degree, while Facebook allows you to target people based on their demographics, behaviors, and interest levels in certain topics or products. LinkedIn’s Targeting Options: Facebook’s Targeting Options: Aside from targeting specific groups, you can also exclude certain audiences that you don’t want to serve specific content or ads. These people might not be the right fit for your ads, so excluding them will help you make the most of your marketing dollars by only putting your ads in front of the right audience. You can exclude people based on their emails address, interests, actions they have taken, and more. This comes in handy when you don’t want to advertise a product or service to a customer who’s already purchased it or to your competitors. 5. Create and Measure Your Campaigns A good campaign structure will help you measure and report on different initiatives that are going on. You can build separate campaigns around all the products and services you want to measure and report separately, which will help you identify the audience that is most likely to respond to a certain product and serve relevant content or ads that resonate with them the most. This is a lot harder to accomplish if you have everyone grouped together in the same campaign. However, in some cases, it might be wise to start with a broader audience. For example, if you’re launching a new product or service and are not sure who will be most responsive or if you have a niche audience, you might not want to get too specific so you can achieve a broader reach. Then, you can track the campaign data to identify which audiences responded the most. There are a few different ways to track the performance of your social campaigns. If you are using a marketing automation platform , then you can create campaigns that track not only form fills, but pipeline and revenue generated per campaign as well. Another way to measure your campaign performance is to set up unique URLs for each campaign. Depending on how granular you want to get, you can track your activity at a campaign level or within the campaign at a product or asset level. For instance, if you want to track how many people filled out a form to attend your company event, you can create a unique URL or marketing automation campaign to track visits to that event. However, if you were running three different paid ads to promote the event, you would probably want to know which one drove the most registration. Ultimately, your goal is to find out which event and ad drove pipeline and revenue. This knowledge will help you shift your budget away from lower performing events, assets, and paid ads towards the ones that are showing return on investment. Are you putting paid promotion behind your social media campaigns? I’d love to hear about your tips and tricks in the comments below!
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By: Mike Stocker Posted: July 29, 2016 | Digital Marketing Facebook’s recent announcement of their new Offline Conversions API generated a lot of buzz and excitement among marketers and for good reason. The new API provides stores and retailers with a way to see how many people made offline purchases after seeing a Facebook campaign—connecting offline conversions to digital campaigns. They can then use these offline activities to optimize their ad campaigns and ad spend. As a Facebook marketing partner, Marketo was excited to be a part of their launch announcement. Even more exciting is that our integration enables an expansion of this offline conversion concept to a much broader set of use cases that apply to all marketers, B2B marketers included. Before I get into the details of how you can use the new Offline Conversions API with Marketo, let’s start with some basics. What is an offline conversion event? In this case, an “offline” conversion event happens when a contact in your database performs a desired action on a channel not measured by Facebook. When Facebook made their announcement, most business publications (Forbes, AdWeek, etc.) focused on the retail use case. While that is certainly a huge use case for an offline conversion event, I’d argue there are a lot more potential “offline” conversion events that impact marketers. In fact, offline conversion events can give marketers a complete omni-channel view of all the sales and conversions attributable to Facebook, regardless of location, channel, or campaign. Here are a few examples of offline conversion events that come to mind: MQL (marketing qualified lead) SQL (sales qualified lead) Event attendance Target account Onsite sales consultation Automotive test drive Sports game attendance Demo given Content downloaded Score threshold met Call occurred Call duration Postal mail/package received More specifically, here are four unique ways to use offline conversion events to improve your marketing campaigns: 1. Increase MQLs Let’s say that you’re a B2B marketer on the demand generation team for a SaaS company. If your team buys Facebook Lead Ads to drive top-of-funnel growth, you shouldn’t just optimize your campaign based on form submissions. Instead, tie it to a metric that’s measured internally: the number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads) it drives. All leads are scored within Marketo based on pre-defined criteria to determine if they are ready to be passed to the sales team, and they are considered MQLs only if they meet the right qualifications. This is an important metric to track, since MQLs that are further qualified by sales become SQLS (sales qualified leads), which can ultimately translate into new opportunities and revenue. In the image below, an example revenue model, you can see how leads come in at the top-of-the-funnel as names, then progress further into the funnel as they continue to engage with your company. By optimizing your Facebook campaign for MQLs and not form submissions, you can increase the number of conversions that drive more qualified leads down the funnel. 2. Optimize Your Scoring Model For B2B marketers, and even some consumer marketers, it’s likely that you have (or would) set up a scoring model within Marketo to qualify incoming leads or contacts. Scoring models attach values to various online and offline engagement events between your brand and the buyer. With the integration of Facebook’s Offline Conversions API and Marketo, you can optimize your scoring model so that when a lead has reached a specific lead score as the result of a combination of different interactions, it’s defined as a conversion event. This way, a lead doesn’t need to, for example, download content or attend an event for it to be considered a conversion. The example below shows how a revenue cycle might be modeled within your marketing automation platform, governed by how each buyer interacts with your brand—their behavior across channels, their engagement with your campaigns, their lead score, and even data changes in your CRM system. By tracking when a lead hits a specific score that signals a conversion event, you can optimize your campaigns to tailor your ads to them appropriately. For example, for existing customers who have a score much higher than a MQL, you’re still able to identify scoring thresholds that signals they’re ready for cross-sell. 3. Boost In-Home Appointments If your company sells products that require in-home consultations, such as window treatments, you may want to optimize your Facebook Ads towards the number of in-home appointments it generates, rather than the number of online appointment requests. It’s likely that there’s a discrepancy between the number of online appointments booked and the physical appointments completed, but previously, this type of data was hard to track and made it hard to follow up on. Now, because of this integration, your sales consultant can log physical in-home appointments into Marketo and that data will be sent as an offline conversion event to Facebook. Then, your paid media team can re-evaluate their campaigns to understand how to optimize their ad spend to drive more completed in-home appointments. 4. Track Follow-Throughs For a digital marketer at a car dealership, one of your initiatives probably include increasing the number of visits to your show room and test drives by prospective customers. Previously, you might’ve used Facebook Ads to encourage prospective customers to fill out their info in forms online, but it was tough to tie those initial interest requests to actual test drives. Now, with Facebook’s Offline Conversion tied to Marketo, you can capture how Facebook Ads results in in-person interest and test drives—connecting your Facebook ad spend directly to a test drive of a car so you can better optimize to ultimately improve sales. As you can see, Facebook’s new Offline Conversion API can be used for a whole variety of broader use cases for ALL marketers, not just retail and physical purchases. In conjunction with Marketo, you can drive alignment between your paid media campaigns and other campaigns to improve results and ROI and offer a better customer experience. Have you set up Facebook Lead Ads within Marketo yet? I’d love to hear your use cases in the comments below!
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Inga and Jason are leaders of the New York and Silicon Valley Marketo User Groups for a hip-hop themed look at how you can use Marketo to grow your expertise, influence and ultimately your career. We’ll put the East Coast-West Coast rap feud to bed and share three tangible ways you can immediately step up your game. You'll learn: How to quickly deepen your Marketo experience - “(I) Get Around” (2Pac) How to easily get plugged into the Marketo Community - “Get Involved” (Q-Tip) How to simply understand your worth in the market and maximize it “Get Money” (Biggie) You can find the video recording here  The Essentials of Account-Based Marketing
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By: Nick Westergaard Posted: August 1, 2016 | Digital Marketing Digital marketing isn’t going anywhere. However, new technologies bring about constant shifts, making it hard to keep up without the right strategy. Recently, I hosted a webinar with Marketo on how to create a smarter digital marketing strategy that allows you to optimize your campaigns, even with a tight budget or resource constraints. In this blog, I’ll answer the top seven questions that I received from our attendees: 1. What does it mean to be scrappy? Scrappy means a lot of things to different people, but to me, scrappy comes down to doing more with less. It’s an alternative to checklist marketing, which consists of just checking things off a list instead of doing what makes the most sense. Scrappy marketing means: Putting brains before budget Being both efficient and effective Seeing ideas everywhere When I was talking to the team at Schwinn Bicycles about the scrappy concept, marketing manager Samantha Hersil said, “You know what, we could all use a few people and a few dollars more.” That’s the bottom line. No one has unlimited resources these days. As marketing continues to change, we have to come up with smarter systems for getting the work done. 2. How do the scrappy strategies apply to B2B marketers with longer sales cycle? For all marketers, strategy is a critical first step. But the longer the sales cycle, the more you have to do with less to continue to keep your buyers engaged over time. Marketers with longer sales cycle, which include B2B marketers and consumer marketers selling considered purchase products, need to focus their scrappy strategy on what they’re trying to do, who they’re trying to reach, and when they’re trying to reach them. Strategy first. Always. 3. For a company that markets to both businesses and consumers, how do you differentiate between multiple audiences? Once again, differentiate with strategy. Sketch out a scrappy strategy that answers the following questions for each audience: Why are we doing this? What are we doing? When does this happen? Where does this happen? Who does this involve? How do we get it done? You may find areas of overlap, but you also might find areas where you can focus your efforts even further. 4. How do you recommend looking at other brands in your industry to see what’s working best? Seeing ideas everywhere is one of the key concepts in the scrappy mindset that I outline in my book. In this day and age, we rely a little too heavily on case studies. We wait to see what a company like ours, with a CEO the same height as ours, is doing. Instead, we need to get better at looking at other marketers in other industries. What’s working for them? Could you drop that into your industry? 5. Using people power requires a change in the work culture. How do you go about getting management’s buy-in to change the culture? Too often, we spend too much time talking about people problems and not people power. People are one of your biggest assets, and c ulture is one of the single most important factors in marketing success. To change your work culture, you have to start with buy-in from the top and work your way through management and finally to individual team members. It’s important to remind management and HR that talent isn’t about finding “unicorns.” Especially for social media, engagement and people skills are sometimes more important than technical skills, which can easily be taught. Getting buy-in isn’t easy, but the impact can be potent. Back to strategy—make sure you start this process by sharing your strategy both up and down your org chart. Your people can only help you if they know what it is you’re trying to do. 6. For a lean team or smaller company, what should be the top priorities to get started in digital marketing? Think about business objectives that you can ground in your strategy with (e.g. branding, community building, public relations, market research, customer services, leads and sales). I know I sound like a broken record here, but a small team has to focus on strategy. You can’t afford to do anything that you don’t have the resources for. Who are you trying to reach? What action do you want them to take? Work on answering these simple questions and you’ll be on your way to creating scrappy marketing. 7. What are your best social media tips, specifically for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? For all social media platforms, remember that whether you’re marketing to consumers or businesses, they are still people. They can still be reached with emotional appeals. Take advantage of the visual platforms of Instagram and Pinterest. For consumer marketers, they are valuable platforms for them to connect with their audience on. However, these sites are just as critical for B2B marketers, who may struggle with trying to market rather technical subjects. Images and videos allow your audience to easily digest your content. Facebook is the 800-lb gorilla in the social media marketing conversation. Both B2B and consumer marketers need a robust plan for all aspects of this platform—both organic and increasingly paid, due to Facebook’s constantly changing algorithms. We have to look for ways to focus what we’re doing and simplify our marketing for the long haul. Were these tips helpful? Check out the on-demand webinar Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small if you’re interested in learning more. And if you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
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Author: Koustubha Deshpande These are exciting times in the mobile app industry. Marketers have never had such an abundance of data and insights available to them–mountains of information to help support strategy and deliver success. But, in spite of this, one of the most common mistakes mobile app marketers make is that they treat their users as numbers or installs, rather than people. Increasingly, we’re hearing marketing experts talk about the importance of having a 360-degree view of your user base. What does this mean, and why is it important? What is a 360-degree view? Of course, the term takes its name from the number of degrees in a circle, and, in essence, refers to utilizing a broad, complete, and “all-around” view. It’s a panoramic view as opposed to the traditional narrow approach of sampling select data, such as downloads and uninstalls. In mobile marketing terms, a 360-degree view is all about understanding the people using your app. How do they use it? When are they most active? Why do they use it or, in other words, what value are they looking for from your app? How often do they use it? And, when users delete your app, what is the trigger? By gaining a nuanced view of your user base, you can effectively tailor your efforts throughout every stage of your relationship with them for maximum success in user acquisition, engagement, and retention. This helps you stay away from guesswork and pursue the tactics that work best for your specific user base. To channel the spirit of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for a moment, a 360-degree view can help you manage each phase of your app’s performance–the past, the present, and the future: Past: Understand historical trends By better understanding the journey your users undertook when they first found your app, you can establish which techniques really work and adjust your user acquisition strategy accordingly. For example, if a high number of users found out about your app via social media, you could allocate more funds to run paid campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, scaling back on other tactics that don’t quite work as well. Equally, if you can ascertain what keywords those top-of-funnel app users are searching for and what visuals capture their attention, you can optimize your App Store presence by incorporating high-performing keywords and switching out your creatives. Try out different icons, preview modes, videos, and screenshots of your app. Understanding your users’ pain points, motivations, and their unique journey gives you power to replicate the stuff that works and, ultimately, acquire new, highly-engaged users. Present: Build a relationship first Once users have downloaded your app, don’t market to them immediately. Build your cohorts to understand how they really use it. For instance, for an e-commerce app, are they comparing products found via the direct catalog or search feature? Profile your users and their usage patterns. Once you understand your users’ habits and usage patterns, you can incentivize them to share your app, rate it, or upgrade their membership. Some apps have a free version with limited capabilities and a paid version with the full set. These types of questions are the nuts and bolts of your app’s engagement metrics, but, without scratching the surface first, you’ll always be relying on guesswork. You need to first understand your users and their behaviors, thenmarket to them. Future: Predict and personalize Crucially, taking an interest in the behavioral patterns of users who churn gives you the power to intervene beforehand and stop other users from doing the same. Take a look at metrics like the drop-off rate from app install to sign-up, time spent in the mobile application, push notification opt-in rate, and the number of new vs returning users per day. If users are churning on the second or third day after you send an onboarding push notification, you may need to revise your messaging or delivery time, or fine-tune your targeting. Whether it’s through push notifications or personalized emails, you can reach out andengage these users as soon as you identify when they’re at risk of leaving. Take it full circle As in any industry, the better you understand your customers, the better you can anticipate and respond to their needs. A 360-degree view of your mobile app users gives you the best possible chance of delivering what they want, when they want it and, ultimately, will drive your app to be as profitable and successful as it can be. What other tips do you have for incorporating a 360-degree view of your mobile app users? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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Posted: Monday, February 8, 2016 Author: Daniel Kushner Social media marketing, for B2B companies, often means one thing: generating new leads. But what do you do with these leads? At some point, you’ll want them to visit your website and other web properties, where they can be exposed to more of your content, become a captive audience, and enter your sales funnel. The trick is, your social marketing should ensure this happens. Just because you’re finding prospects on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter doesn’t mean they’ll seriously consider your products and services unless they’re directed to do so. With a shrewd social media management strategy, you can create an experience for your followers that naturally funnels them towards what you have to offer, ultimately increasing your web traffic. Web traffic is a key metric factoring into social ROI—in fact, Shareaholic reports that social media drives nearly a third of all traffic to websites—and all signs indicate it’s an increasing trend. Thus, social traffic is something that B2B marketers need to get right. Here are 3 ways you can increase web traffic via your social marketing efforts: 1. Make your web properties social media-ready Chances are you already have a web presence. And if you do, you have some copy throughout your site that was created to introduce prospects to your products and pre-sell them on the benefits. You’ve also probably created a fair amount of material for your company blog. But none of these things should exist in a vacuum. Even with careful SEO optimization, you still need to build awareness of your presence on the web, and social media is often the perfect means to that end. A plethora of potential buyers interact every day on social channels, and the companies that are engaging them are drawing them to their websites. So, why not you? This can include your company, as well. But first, your web presence must be social media-ready. Here are some ways to make that happen: Use social sharing buttons on your blog content. These buttons allow your readers to share your content with a simple click to their social network of choice. The result? Your prospect’s network will see your content and might be curious enough to click through. Include calls-to-action for your blog readers to share your content. Blog readers can very easily skip over the social sharing buttons, so it’s up to you to make it clear that sharing should happen. Some plugins, for example, encourage your readers to “Tweet this,” to share your content and increase your visibility on Twitter. Also consider plugins that incorporate pop-ups or fly-overs encouraging shares. Allow blog comments—and be responsive. Some company blogs still make the mistake of not allowing comments. While it can be a little bit of a hassle to deal with spammers, you want to invite prospects to respond to your content as part of an evolving relationship. Once your readers are engaged and they notice you responding back in turn, they are much more likely to become loyal followers and share your posts with their peers and colleagues on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other outlets. Link naturally to your social profiles and/or discussion groups in your content. If you happen to have ongoing, natural discussions with customers and prospects via social channels, there will be opportunities to subtly build some buzz about it in your blog posts. When and where appropriate, mention that you have private discussion groups on the likes of LinkedIn or Google+, or link to a high-performing social post. Share social links everywhere. Social links aren’t just for your blog posts. Let your customers and prospects know, in every piece of content they encounter, that you have a social presence. You can do so with links next to videos, in email newsletters, in infographics, and other pieces of content. Remember, the more engaged social followers you have, the more roads you’re building back to your content. Determine from the start that all your web properties will connect with your social presence, with full integration across outlets. Not only do prospects want and expectthis, but it leverages whatever traction you have on social and places it within an ecosystem that funnels prospects toward your website. 2. Gear your social posts towards increasing web traffic Once you have infused your website with your social profiles, it’s time to take the next step: look at your social posts themselves, and making sure they’re primed to bring your followers to your site. Of course, you want to achieve a balance between active participation and the “hosting” of your brand’s presence on each network, while steadily drawing your followers into your sales funnel via your website. Nonetheless, here are some tips for making sure your social posts are pushing traffic your way: In native social posts, direct social traffic towards gated content. Your in-depth material, whether it’s ebooks, white papers, or informative research reports, is what will get your followers to invest more in your brand and think of you as an industry leader. And how can they get to this content? Via a social post that takes them to your landing pages. Review your social media calendar and make it a point to incorporate posts specifically targeting gated content. You might even take the bold step of creating content that can onlybe accessed via social—look at your customer profiles and best-performing social outlets for engagement and conversion rates, and consider whether it’s worth it. Use keywords. The use of keywords and phrases in your social content can help interested prospects find you when they use the search functions of those networks (not to mention the peripheral SEO benefits), which can lead to increases in social traffic. On Facebook, you can search for specific industry-relevant phrases to see which ones are the most popular, revealing both which keywords you might want to use in your content and prospective customers to connect with. For Twitter, sites like hashtags.org let you qualify hashtags by popularity, so you know exactly which relevant hashtags are getting the most traction. Use advertising. Social media ads are an immediate way to get traffic to your website. If you’re looking to jumpstart social traffic from a particular outlet, create an image-based post that catches your prospects’ attention with a relevant headline. 3. Optimize your website and social strategy based on your results After implementing the above, you now have a website that’s connected in every way to your social profiles—your leads can’t miss it if they tried. And, you have some results on social media posts that are specifically engineered to drive leads to your site. Now, it’s time to optimize on both fronts. First, you’ll want to revisit your website to make sure it’s doing its job in converting prospects into interested, qualified leads and then customers. Using your website analytics, consider your highest-performing blog posts and highest traffic webpages for indications on which content comes out on top, and focus future writing efforts on creating more of the same type of content. In addition, it’s always smart to conduct A/B testing on your web copy, specific elements of your landing pages, and other aspects of your site to make sure every detail is as efficient as a conversion-driver should be. When it comes to evaluating social media ROI, there are three (among many) useful metrics to take note of: Social traffic: Plain and simple, your social traffic numbers tell you which social posts are driving the most traffic to your website, and how much. Click-through rate: This tells you which posts garner the most clicks. Are some underperforming, contrary to expectations? It might be worth tweaking your headline text, adding an engaging image, or changing some other element to pique your followers’ interest. Conversions: Every good marketer knows how much a lead is worth to them. By tracking conversions from social, marketers can determine how many leads, and how much money, social media is generating for them. A highly effective social media analytics tool (especially one that “talks” to your marketing automation platform) is your perfect companion in assessing the impact of your social media initiatives on web traffic. Increasing social traffic = proof of social media promise Increase the amount of qualified, targeted web traffic, and you’ll score brownie points for an effective digital marketing initiative. But if you can demonstrate that the traffic is coming in from social, you can equip yourself with solid evidence that social media marketing is worthwhile. Leads will convert to customers, and company sales will rise. And with enough marketing “elbow grease,” social traffic can become a self-sustaining driver of growth for your brand.
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By: Frank Passantino Posted: February 22, 2016 | Mobile Marketing Ad Tech (paid media) has been around for quite some time—with advertising on social networks and popular ad platforms like Google AdWords—but it has historically been seen, and treated, as its own category. A big shift that we’ve seen over the last year or so is that Ad Tech and MarTech are gravitating closer and closer together as a response to the demand from the market for connecting these two technologies. Looking at the combination of these two technologies and the continued migration towards a more mobile world, we start seeing opportunities for new types of paid media that help marketers create seamless, end-to-end experiences for their target audiences. This blog post will examine a new type of ad that blends the elements of Mobile Ad Tech and MarTech. The More Modern Ad Let’s take a look at a new solution—Facebook Lead Ads. A Facebook Lead Ad is a new type of ad unit that Facebook announced in mid September last year that’s designed specifically for the mobile channel. This ad unit allows a marketer to specify a set of questions via a form to capture a person’s information inside of the Facebook mobile app without the person ever having to leave the app. Imagine scrolling through your Facebook news feed on your mobile device and coming across a newsletter subscription ad that interests you: You tap on the subscribe button because you’re interested in receiving the personalized newsletter. Next, you’re presented with a form (inside your Facebook app on your mobile device) that the marketing team has built to capture data on the your interests and communication frequency preferences. The examples below show what this flow looks like. Now, you’re able to choose the content you are interested in hearing about—in this case, it’s Web Personalization—and how frequently you want to hear from the advertiser (once every two weeks). That’s it, with a few quick taps you can submit your details and the company is now able to effectively deliver personalized content to you based on the terms you specified. Mobile Ad Tech + MarTech = Better Mobile Marketing As you can see with the example above, Facebook Lead Ads allow marketers to seamlessly capture information about a person with just a few taps on their mobile device. When someone engages with a Facebook Lead Ad, they are presented with a form that is pre-populated with information they have already shared with Facebook, such as email address (work or personal as specified by the marketer building the form), phone number, mailing address, etc. This makes the form submission process quick and easy. No more re-directing people to a mobile version of a form on a mobile version of a landing page that requires multiple taps and manual data entry. Instead, the person filling out the form has a seamless experience with the brand with minimal interruption. The best part? Your marketing automation platform can continue the seamless experience once someone has submitted a form. The answers to custom questions, like frequency of communication or specific interests, can be transferred into your marketing automation platform’s database and then used to inform your marketing programs for instantaneous responses and continuous engagement. This shifts the focus from outbound marketing and webpage sign-up forms to mobile inbound inquires, email subscriptions, sign-ups, registrations, and so on. Now, marketers can trigger a sequence of events based on an in-app form fill out. Take the example above. The marketer may want to trigger an immediate email response based on the prospect’s interest. Using the example above, let’s assume Marketo has already set up a nurture track for Web Personalization. Upon subscribing to Web Personalization content via the Facebook Lead Ad form, Marketo can then add the people who submitted the form to the relevant nurture track in order to continuously deliver specific content the person has requested and engage them based on the frequency that they specified. Together MarTech and Mobile Ad Tech improves a marketer’s ability to offer a more relevant experience to their audience. How are you using Mobile Ad Tech in conjunction with your marketing automation? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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By: Jamie Lewis If you’re not tracking your website analytics, it’s time to step it up. Contrary to more traditional marketing channels, your website and web analytics are direct, specific, and measurable. So what exactly is website analytics? A good definition I often use is “The qualitative and quantitative analysis of your website and your competitors’ websites for the continuous optimization of business outcomes for all channels, both online and offline”. Essentially, you don’t need to use good ol’ faith any longer. Now you can use data to measure the things that drive revenue for your business. The benefits of robust website analytics include an increase in accountability within your organization, finding the best solutions faster, and delivering better business outcomes through enlightened decision making. Answer the Right Questions Let’s get started now. To begin, you need to start by tracking the most basic elements of activity on your site. 75% of the data you need is gathered just by placing a JavaScript code into the footer of your website. Simply place the code provided by a free service like Google Analytics or Yahoo Web Analytics or let a tag manager tool do this for you. Keep in mind this is just the start. Website analytics tools typically only help you answer the “What”: What are the top 10 pages visited? What are the top 10 products sold? What are the most popular downloads? While that’s a great start, to drive real improvement in revenue performance, you must be able to answer “Why”: Why did they go to those 10 pages? Should those have been the top 10 pages? Which ones should have been and why weren’t they? These questions are crucial to your business and a must-have for every digital marketer out there. To discover the “Why” of your website’s performance, implement these 5 processes: 1. Web Activity Analysis As we mentioned above, this will tell you what is happening on your website and can be provided to you quite easily through tools such as Google Analytics and Yahoo Web Analytics. The simple act of adding a tag to your website will give you access to a near limitless amount of visitor data. With it, you can better understand things such as what pages are working, what your visitors like and don’t like, where they come from, what time of day they visit, what pages or ads sent them to your site, and on and on and on. This will allow you to form hypotheses and draw conclusions that can shape your testing and web strategy—it’s wonderful! 2. Conversion Analysis Now that we understand what happened we also need to know how much and for whom. This is where we tie the web activity to online and offline conversions. We can continue to get all of our online conversion data from Google Analytics Yahoo Web Analytics, but offline data can be a little more of a challenge. A complete marketing automation solution can solve this problem by integrating with different CRMs and rolling the offline conversion data back into your marketing database. However you accomplish this, tie your digital marketing efforts to both the online and offline revenue data. 3. Customer Preference Analysis You should hear the voice of your customers loud and clear when performing your analysis. In fact, every web marketer should be able to answer three key questions about their visitors. “Why are you here?”, “Did you get what you came for?”, “If not, why?” The answers will provide insights about your customers and your website. You may find out that they are coming to you for things you never dreamed of. Only after you understand their reasons will you be able to better serve them and drive more revenue for your business. Answering these questions is typically accomplished by providing a survey for a small percentage visitors in two formats: Site-level surveys: for measuring session experience. These are done upon entrance or exit and are usually a pop-up. Site-level surveys are very good at understanding macro issues—big things that might be wrong such as experience, navigation elements, and overall effectiveness of site. Page-level surveys: for measuring micro issues. These are usually part of specific pages and are typically opened with a “plus” sign. In page-level surveys, you gain information about micro conversions, transactional efficiency, and overall experience with individual pages on your website. 4. Experimentation and Testing This is a key step to understanding your website in terms of what is working and what is not. Only through experimentation and testing can you determine how to improve and optimize your website. Typical types of testing are A/B testing and multivariate testing. A/B testing swaps one page out for another to see which one works better and multivariate testing swaps out one or more components of a page to do the same. This will give your customers a say in how your website will work going forward because the results will be based precisely on their behavior. 5. Competitive Intelligence Understanding how your competitors are faring in the marketplace will provide bountiful insights for your business because it will provide context to measure your own performance. For example, do you know who their customers are, their demographics, and their lead sources? Do you know how many visitors they are getting, the duration of stay and bounce rate? The ability to understanding your competitors’ performance on the web versus your own is vital to your success in the internet economy. Right now you are probably saying to yourself, “But my competitors won’t give me their data!” You’re right, they won’t, but www.compete.com will. Go check it out—most of this data is available for free. By tracking these 5 simple metrics, you can execute a true website analysis and provide tangible value to your company, and I’m talking dollars here people. Have you already uncovered meaningful insights with the metrics above? I’d love to hear what you found in the comments below!
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Great infographic provided by our partner LookBook HQ Nick Edouard​
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Marketing and the Internet of Things, closer than you think For many years, we kept being promised that “the year of mobile” was upon us. When it failed to materialize, it was easy to become jaded and write off much of the discussion of that coming wave of innovation as hype. But somewhat suddenly, we now look around, with everyone reaching for their phones every other minute — or checking them on their Inspector Gadget watches — having integrated them into their soaring digital expectations of daily life, and we realize, “Whoa, it’s a mobile world.” Businesses who figured out how to leverage that ahead of the rest — Uber is the poster child example — gained a tremendous advantage. Keep that in mind as you read this Q&A with Andy Hobsbawm , the CMO of EVRYTHNG , one of the leading companies powering the emerging ecosystem of the Internet of Things. Surely, at least some of you rolled your eyes thinking, “Et tu, Scotte?” You’ve been hearing the drumbeat of the Internet of Things for long enough without seeing it materialize that you’re inclined to write off all articles like this as hype. My humble advice: don’t be so quick to dismiss this. The acceleration of technology adoption is real — revisit The Second Machine Age — and widespread distribution of the Internet of Things is probably much closer than you might think. Once it hits its tipping point, what we accept as everyday reality is likely to change very quickly. Now is a good time to start to learn about what’s possible, even today, and the challenges and opportunities that we’re going to face as marketers. Andy has a vested interest in this, of course. But in conversations with him, I find he does a wonderful job of explaining the technology and the scenarios by which it is able to impact marketing. More importantly, he has a wealth of real-world examples to share to demonstrate those effects. While we haven’t unveiled the MarTech Europe agenda yet — stay tuned for that next week — I am excited to say that Andy will be one of our speakers, helping to bring more of these examples to life for us. 1. Tell us a little about your background and how you came to EVRYTHNG. My background hasn’t involved a formal career path. I ended up following the things I’m most curious, fascinated, and passionate about and seeing where that led me. This explains a singular lack of cohesiveness in the story so far – or perhaps, as Steve Jobs pointed out in his epic Stanford commencement address, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” In any event, I’ve run entrepreneurial sales businesses while back-packing in Australia, written songs and played guitar in a spectacularly unsuccessful London rock ’n’ roll band, helped start the first international web agency Online Magic — later Agency.com, which went public in 1999 — co-founded an environmental non-profit Do The Green Thing, and most recently my IoT software company EVRYTHNG (with a bunch of other stuff in-between). The inspiration for EVRYTHNG was meeting a friend Niall Murphy, now fellow Founder and CEO, in a coffee shop several years ago. After co-founding European Wi-Fi network The Cloud, Niall had been wrestling with the idea of every object having an addressable, real-time presence on the Web. Why couldn’t the physical world be online and referenceable, searchable, mashable just like other forms of digital information? We both felt strongly that the Web will inevitably include billions of objects sharing dynamic information about themselves in real-time. And it seemed clear that some kind of transactional economy would emerge around this exchange of object information and that there needed to be a new kind of software infrastructure to manage the digital identity of physical things and make it easy for apps to access this data flow and provide new kinds of services and experiences. At the time it didn’t seem possible to realise this vision, but fast-forward a couple of years and mobile and web 2.0 technologies had become sufficiently widespread and cost-effective to make this scale of information exchange and dynamic service creation possible. And object connectivity tech like NFC, Wi-Fi chips, RFID and printable sensor tags had started to pass key tipping points in terms of cost. EVRYTHNG was incorporated in 2011. By 2012 all co-founders were assembled — which includes Dom Guinard, CTO and Vlad Triffa, EVP R&D, recruited from ETH and MIT — initial funding was raised and the early team was operational. EVRYTHNG is based in London and New York, with offices in San Francisco, Seoul and Minsk. 2. How real is the Internet of Things (IoT) for marketing today? A recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey reported that senior marketers globally believe IoT will make the biggest impact on marketing in the next five years, ahead of other related technology trends like big data, real-time mobile personalized transactions, and customer experience. Meanwhile, CTOs and CIOs are working on IoT strategies from the perspective of technology infrastructure and platforms to support the enterprise. And the range of products that can become part of the IoT is exploding based on the falling costs of connectivity technologies like printed electronics on smart packaging. Smart home devices with native, embedded connectivity are only the tip of the iceberg. Over three trillion consumer products are made and sold each year (some calculations put this as high as ten trillion). Of these, the most obvious IoT candidates like consumer electronics devices, home appliances, and cars represent 0.2% in volume. The wider IoT opportunity for marketers is the “Internet of Everything,” which includes everyday non-electronic ‘dumb’ household products that can also be given real-time, social web intelligence via smart packaging, smart software and smartphones. By our calculations, close to a trillion products shipped annually will be digitally-capable in some form by the end of this decade. By our calculations, close to a trillion products shipped annually will be digitally-capable in some form — from image recognition or RFID to printed sensor tags and embedded chips — by the end of this decade. 3. Can you give a couple of examples of great IoT-enabled marketing? Maybe one for B2C, one for B2B? We believe that there are three main consumer use cases for smart products powered by an IoT platform like EVRYTHNG. Firstly: Products-As-Media . Once activated, products become a data-driven, owned media platform to launch digital experiences and content, and acquire ongoing 1:2:1 consumer relationships. Diageo use EVRYTHNG’s IoT platform to let consumers interact with bottles using smart tags and smartphones. For example, letting consumers personalize a gift by adding a unique video gift message to their bottle, or rewarding consumers with loyalty points for interacting with products in “on-trade” bar locations. Additionally, tracking these items in the supply chain to make logistics and product operations smarter. Secondly: Products-as-a-Service . Physical goods that are packaged and delivered with a digital layer of personalized services can adapt themselves to user preferences and get better over time as they learn and new digital upgrades are made. Like Tesla cars that can upgrade performance and fix product defects while you sleep. Smart products are easier to differentiate and charge premium prices for, harder to switch from, and create new revenue opportunities from subscription or usage-based services. Smart products are easier to differentiate and charge premium prices for , harder to switch from, and create new revenue opportunities from subscription or usage-based services. Our customer Gooee, which puts chips and sensors into bulbs to disrupt the industry by selling “lighting-as-a-service.” Running on the EVRYTHNG IoT platform, these connected bulbs lower electricity and maintenance costs, but also contain motion sensors to track retail footfall analytics or trigger security alerts, plus CO2 sensors for smoke detection. So a lighting company is now also in the business of security services, fire alarms, inventory management, and energy efficiency. Another example is Diageo Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Adding a printed sensor tag from EVRYTHNG partner Thinfilm, powered by our IoT smart products platform, lets Diageo know if the bottle has been opened or not. The ability of the printed electronics label to send a different signal based on a “sealed” or “broken” state, in combination with real-time cloud data analytics and alerts, tackles the issue of counterfeiters re-filling bottles with poor quality alcohol. It also means that when consumers tap the tags with NFC-enabled smartphones, the bottles can switch messaging from pre-purchase incentives to post-purchase cocktail recipes. Thirdly: Ecosystem-Connected Products . Products can unlock additional user and business value by making more connections with partner products, apps, and data services in the digital ecosystem. For example, your premium Spotify account can now stream playlists in your Uber rides, the new Jawbone fitness tracker offers contactless NFC terminal payment in combination with Amex, and Visa partnered with BMW and Pizza Hut to enable in-car voice-activated ordering and payments. An example for EVRYTHNG would be how iHome’s smart products use our IoT platform APIs, based on open web standards, to integrate with other clouds so their products plug in to third-party service like Homekit and SmartThings or Wink and Nest. 4. What are some of the other things that are possible, that you expect we’ll see over the next year? We are moving into the Third Age of Marketing: Product Voice. The industrial media age of Brand Voice gave way to a social media-powered age of Consumer Voice, and now the product itself is having a say. Products are dynamic, web-connected intelligent objects and can play an active, functional part in how they are made, sold and used. The industrial media age of Brand Voice gave way to a social media-powered age of Consumer Voice, and now the product itself is having a say . We are fascinated about how shipping and operating physical products with real-time marketing experiences and digital services creates new business value and transforms consumer relationships and product operations for brands. And we haven’t scratched the surface of what’s possible with manufacturer brands using an IoT smart products platform like EVRYTHNG to connect their products to the web and manage a combination of hardware, software, and real-time data to transform the product journey from factory floor to high street to living room and recycling back into component materials. We expect to see a greater use of streaming analytics and complex event processing software, as well as machine learning systems, in combination with IoT data streams. For example, triggering alerts of a poor user experience so brands can offer customer service prompts. If, say, a consumer who presses a button five times in a row on a new device, it’s a fair bet they’re having difficulty getting their new product to work. To avoid poor negative reviews on social media or expensive product returns, the brand could send a “how-to” video link or the offer of real-time chat support to the user’s smartphone. For example, triggering alerts of a poor user experience so brands can offer customer service prompts. Devices will be increasingly valued not just for their stand-alone functionality, but for how well they work within the digital ecosystem. Considering that simply switching on the washing machine will lead to communication with the appliance app, the home hub network, the clothes and washing powder that go in it, as well as other smart home digital service experiences, it becomes clear that silo operations don’t make sense for businesses or consumers. Success will depend on the ability to connect with an interdependent network of devices, apps, and services, which means that data is no longer to be collected and coveted, but shared. We also think that native apps will overload consumers and fade away as web apps provide users with everything they need in one place — their browser — transforming products into interfaces that are used to access one simple, unified platform — the Web. Finally, we expect more product engagement data to be combined with first-party data to offer more effective and joined up segmentation and re-targeting in the real-time advertising markets. So traditional and digital media use data-driven decisions to drive consumers to engage with products, and those product interactions are in turn fed back into the calculations about what messages to serve the next time. It clearly makes sense for, say, a shampoo manufacturer to understand that a consumer has digitally engaged with a sample in the last week, and make smarter decisions about where they are in the purchase journey when re-targeting them with an offer to convert to purchase. 5. What does EVRYTHNG do to facilitate all this? To explain what EVRYTHNG does, lets recap why its Internet of Things platform-as-a-service is needed in the first place. Consumer product manufacturers need to digitize their products at scale and connect them to the Web to get value from the Internet of Things. The kinds of things companies want to do include: Let customers digitally connect to products for a better user experience (e.g. your garage door alerts you if you left it open so you can close it remotely, or a designer bag you’re thinking of buying confirms that it’s the genuine article and not a fake). Make supply chain operations more efficient with real-time product tracking intelligence (e.g. know if parts of a shipment go missing, or products end up in the wrong place, or are being counterfeited, etc.). Acquire customer and product information they wouldn’t otherwise have had — e.g. who is using their products and where they are, what they are engaging with, and how content drives interaction and sales. EVRYTHNG exists to help manufacturers of consumer products do exactly these kinds of things with its IoT smart products platform. Manufacturers can connect their products to the EVRYTHNG cloud and access data management and analytics services to make them smart, interactive, programmable, and trackable. Our specific role in all this is to manage the digital identities of these products as active data entities on the Web — what we call “Active Digital Identities” — with associated real-time data to drive applications for end consumers and business users (e.g. supply chain tracking). The EVRYTHNG platform allows brands to digitize their physical goods using a range of connectivity technologies — from image recognition, QR codes, BLE, NFC, and RFID to printed electronics and sensor tags to embedded chips — and manages the real-time IoT data to run applications in real-time on the Web that unlock business and customer value. EVRYTHNG operates as a B2B cloud platform-as-a-service, so brands own all the data and control their digital consumer and supply chain stakeholder relationships directly. 6. What capabilities — not just technical, but organizational — do companies need to implement successful IoT-enabled marketing programs? People expect brands to play a useful, relevant, and meaningful role in their lives, and the media they consume is increasingly mobile, social, and powered by real-time data. However, marketers default to delivering advertising messages in a regular sequence of campaigns, instead of “on-demand” personalized services and experiences. Marketers default to delivering advertising messages in a regular sequence of campaigns, instead of “on-demand” personalized services and experiences . The more broadly IoT technology is used, the greater value it delivers. As an enterprise platform, for example, EVRYTHNG’s smart products software powers “always-on” content and digital experiences, and transactional services like e-commerce or supply-chain tracking to prevent piracy. Real-time purchasing and behavioral data create opportunities for cross/upsell and efficiencies in inventory and supply chain management. Marketers need to see IoT as an innovation and growth opportunity and not another ad tech campaign tool. Marketers need to see IoT as an innovation and growth opportunity and not another ad tech campaign tool . Additionally, we believe that the Internet of Things sits at the intersection of a convergence between the worlds of enterprise technology systems and marketing. The CMO has increasing responsibility for leveraging enterprise platforms to generate and capture demand and build brands, while CIO/CTOs are charged with implementing real-time technology systems that connect with customers and business partners to go-to-market more effectively. By activating products as data-driven interactive media and operating them as real-time digital information services, EVRYTHNG’s IoT platform enables a suite of applications across the enterprise — from consumer engagement, to supply chain operations, to connected product services — where these two domains meet. We believe that the Internet of Things sits at the intersection of a convergence between the worlds of enterprise technology systems and marketing . 7. How should marketers address privacy concerns associated with these new capabilities? You can’t really talk about data privacy without also raising the issue of security, since one protects the other. A lack of consumer trust in IoT security and privacy was recently cited in the FTC’s “Privacy & Security in a Connected World” report as the biggest blocker to widespread adoption. As FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez noted: “The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers.” A separate report by Business Insider in the UK came to the same conclusion: data security and privacy concerns are the biggest barrier to IoT becoming mainstream quickly. As EVRYTHNG’s CTO Dominique Guinard points out, “Private data, inevitably, will be exchanged, exposed and leveraged — there’s no going back from where the Web, social-media networks, and smartphones have already taken us.” The point is to make sure that these exchanges now happen inside certain frameworks. There’s no going back from where the Web, social-media networks, and smartphones have already taken us. The point is to make sure that these exchanges now happen inside certain frameworks . The question is partly about technology and partly about consumer perceptions and social norms: do people think it’s worth trading personal information for personalization? Technically, the IoT can respect consumers’ privacy and protect their data, but consumers may decide that the exchange of personal information is justified by the value of personalized services they get from their products in return. Manufacturer brands also need to decide where to draw the line and strike a balance between IoT data management and privacy. BMW deciding not to share any of the real-time data they collect from their vehicles with third parties is a good example. Yes, we want our connected cars to understand where we want to go and use information about environmental conditions and our personal preferences to get us there more intelligently, but we don’t want this digital data trail used by anyone else without our consent. From a technology point of view, the Internet of Things creates a multifaceted mesh of network connections, devices, data systems, and individual users — and this data is also transported or stored in different places. So it’s vital that multi-level security and privacy controls and policies are built into the core architecture of any IoT system managing this data flow. In other words, each part of the system should only access, manage, or share data that it’s allowed to. The EVRYTHNG IoT platform, for instance, regulates every step and exchange in this process. Each product layer in the ecosystem uses encrypted keys (or passwords) to identify itself, and fine-grained, customizable policies define the data that each specific component can access or influence. This lets a customer of ours, like iHome, program customizable granular rules into their smart products defining precisely who can do what in every part of the connected system. So if your neighbour comes over to borrow some milk, she won’t be able to discover your smart products on her smartphone, as she doesn’t have the required permissions or secure keys. Thank you, Andy. I’m looking forward to hearing your presentation at MarTech Europe in October!
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By: Jamie Lewis Did you know that there are over 300 million active Twitter users? That’s a HUGE market for your business. So it goes without saying that I am a (vocal) advocate of all companies (B2B and consumer-geared alike) using Twitter as a marketing channel. I myself have had some pretty compelling results with Twitter. For example, I recently tweeted a link to a faux movie trailer that was used to advertise a product that was retweeted 198 times (impressive, I know), netting me dozens of new followers (which I immediately think: potential leads?). With the median Twitter account having about 100 followers, this particular piece of content had the potential of being retweeted nearly 20,000 times! Over time, I have learned through careful, and not so careful, trial & error how to be relevant to my particular audience, and I am achieving better results because of it. Cultivating a strong presence on Twitter has many benefits: you support your organization’s marketing efforts, you can use it to sell socially, you can build your personal brand, or any combination of these things. With all these benefits, I have wondered, why do some of my fellow marketing and sales professionals still struggle to gain traction on such a promising channel? Based on my first-hand observations, marketers and sales-people don’t treat their personal brand enough like a real brand. Here are four common mistakes they make when using Twitter and how to correct them: 1. They don’t pick a specific target audience This often overlooked task is actually pretty easy—just pick one or more of the top target audiences from your other channels and start from there. If you fail to properly identify your audience, your messages will not resonate with the majority of people who see it. The right message may be very different for a business audience and a consumer audience, executives and practitioners, and so on. Selecting an audience is important, because once you have identified a target audience you can address what exactly they’re looking for. Some audiences will be interested in product discounts, others in entertainment, and others in exclusive content. Having a clear idea of the audience and their wants and needs is crucial for capturing their attention. 2. They don’t create a compelling account In order to harness the true power of Twitter, you need to have the right people listening to your messages. This means that you have to be strategic about creating a highly networked account—one where you are following the right people and the right people are following you. With that in mind, I recommend you start by simply searching on Twitter for people to follow for 5-10 minutes a day, every day. Set yourself up for success by finding interesting content and contacts. Pinpoint people your target audience would be interested in, such as industry thought leaders, cultural icons, contemporary movers & shakers, and brands themselves. Next, start listening to those people by reading and engaging in their conversations for at least a few minutes per day. Begin by sharing some witty comments or valuable links and see what happens! Here you’ll learn what type of content is captivating to your core audience. It’s important to remember that Twitter is a social network, but often marketers and salespeople forget to be social on it—so, make sure you participateand listen. 3. They don’t create a logical posting plan A posting plan should be based on your overall Twitter strategy with the goal of engaging your target audience. First, you need to have business outcomes in mind for why you are using the channel to begin with. It could be for personal branding, lead generation, or customer service, to name a few. Make sure you know what the goal is! Then, determine when the target audience is listening and schedule posts accordingly. This is very important, because, according to Quora, retweets peak between the hours of 2pm to 5pm EST. If the target audience is listening during the afternoon, then why post first thing in the morning? Lastly, you should aim to create a detailed editorial calendar for your Twitter messages. This will allow you to create a series of related messages that work together in a coherent, branded pattern which makes sense to your audience. You might think “That’s just for brands”, but really an editorial calendar is for anyone who wants to be successful; often brands are. One more tip—when you post, ask for a retweet. Be explicit and actually spell out this request: “Please Retweet.” According to Fastcompany.com, you are 23x more likely to get a retweet when you do! 4. They aren’t using promoted tweets Promoted tweets are ordinary tweets that get a boost by an advertiser who wants to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers. Anyone can be an advertiser and most platforms (including Twitter) offer tutorials on how to get started. It is important to use promoted tweets regularly to ensure that messages are seen by the largest audience possible, especially your most important messages. While a regular tweet is only seen by a fraction of the target audience, promoted tweets stay at the top of the Twitter feed for an extended period of time, guaranteeing that more of your target audience (follower and non-follower) see them when they log in. This is vital for growing a Twitter account and finding new followers. Promoted tweets are also great for testing your content types, time of day, and target audience, because the advertising platform gives you data on the success of your tweets. Lastly, explore the different ad options. Once you’re familiar with the Twitter advertising platform, try out other products like promoted Twitter Cards. These types of posts allow you to embed graphics into the tweet for an eye-catching effect. So, by correcting these four mistakes, you can harness Twitter to grow your audience, reinforce your personal brand, and support your organization’s marketing efforts. And remember, always observe the activities that brands do to be successful on social media and apply them to yourself—you’ll be surprised by how often they translate. Happy tweeting! Do you have any other tips for mastering Twitter as a marketing channel? Let us know in the comments below! Jamie Lewis s a Senior Solution Consultant at Marketo and has been in the CRM and marketing automation space for over 15 years. He works closely with marketing agencies and MSPs who leverage Marketo to provide state of the art marketing services to their clients. His focus is consulting on engagement marketing strategies and best practices, in particular regarding top of funnel lead generation using social platforms.
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By: Ashika Balani Posted: July 25, 2016 | Mobile Marketing With rapidly evolving digital marketing and the proliferation of devices, marketers are faced with the challenge of staying ahead, or simply keeping up, when it comes to capturing and keeping their audience’s attention. How can they do it? Take a page from Hollywood, which understands that they need to be on top of the latest trends in order to create compelling content that captivates their audience. Looking at the pictures below from popular films and television shows over the past decades, what do they all have in common? You go it—the use of a mobile device. Over the decades, the telephone has evolved from car phone to cellphone to smartphone, and as consumers adapt to these changes, marketers should too. In fact, in the U.S. alone, 75% of citizens over the age of 13 have a smartphone, and there are more mobile devices in the world (7.8 billion) than people (7.1 billion), due largely in part to our voracious appetite for “new.” That’s a huge audience you’re missing out on if you don’t have a mobile marketing strategy in place. Mobile phones have progressed from being used as a way to communicate with our friends and families and coordinate destinations, to a comprehensive tool for messaging, emailing, web browsing, time management, and everything in between. They’ve changed the way we live and communicate, not to mention they have reinvented our language (emojis, anyone?). Mobile devices are now the key entry point to the digital world and it’s up to marketers to understand how to stay ahead of the game to keep their buyers engaged. As you’re building, or improving, your mobile marketing strategy, here are three things to keep in mind: 1. Think About the Big Picture As you’re planning your mobile marketing strategy, consider how it fits in with your initiatives on other channels and how each channel will inform the other. Identifying this information will inform how you should adapt your message to each channel and individual. Mobile devices give you access to billions of users on their most personal device, and with that comes billions of different data points from their interactions. Because of this, it’s critical to integrate mobile interactions within a unified, single view that spans the channels where your audience engages. Even mobile-only companies, like Uber, can benefit from a multi-channel strategy. For example, Uber uses app engagement to inform their email communications, sending disengaged users new offers to reactive them. For your own strategy, consider how a buyer’s actions on your website or email can be used to trigger a relevant response on their mobile device, and vice versa. After all, as modern marketers, we’re increasingly the stewards of the customer journey and therefore responsible for meeting users’ expectations of a personalized and seamless experience—wherever they are. 2. Acquire the Right Users It’s expensive to acquire new users in a highly competitive mobile atmosphere—the number of new users has gone up more than 84% over the last year, according to research from Fiksu. So, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure your acquisition efforts are not wasted on users who will not remain loyal or engaged. To avoid wasting your effort, dollars, and resources, conduct research upfront to build a solid profile of the right user. Understand what makes your current users loyal and profile their unique demographics and interests. This insight allows you to more quickly and effectively target the right people—those likely engage with your app and stay loyal over time—bringing in higher levels of engagement, lower cost per install, stronger reviews and referrals, and new user growth. Once you’ve identified the right audience, leverage your different channels to drive acquisition. You can run an install campaign to your existing marketable email database to drive awareness of your mobile app among contacts that haven’t downloaded it yet. You can even offer exclusive information or a particular motivation to download. Another option is to detect users coming to your website from mobile devices and encourage them to download your app. For example, while Bank of America’s website is mobile optimized, a CTA appears to download the app, with the incentive to be able to connect directly to a customer service rep by downloading and using it. 3. Focus on Long-Term Growth A growth mindset goes beyond a narrow focus on acquisition. A solid mobile marketing strategy engages users from the second they’re aware of your brand to long after they’ve converted into users or customers. For example, in the case of mobile app marketing, this would entail the key mobile customer lifecycle stages of acquisition, engagement, retention, and reactivation (for those who stray). By understanding where a user is in the mobile app lifecycle, it provides you with the opportunity to automate and trigger relevant activities to encourage lasting user engagement. You can do this by tapping into mobile signals and insights to deliver relevant responses, which include: Timing: Deliver messages at the moment a user interacts with your brand, whether that’s in a mobile browser or your app or on your mobile site Behavior: Present content and messaging based on a user’s actions or inactions on a device Proximity and location: Leverage technologies like GPS, iBeacon, and geo-fencing to deliver relevant messages or offers Stage/sequence: Track specific actions to deliver messages that are meant to accelerate conversion or drive a specific behavior Even if mobile is not the primary way your brand interacts with your buyers, it’s a key component within a holistic customer journey, one that each of your buyers will go through. An effective mobile marketing strategy boils down to understanding how it fits into your overall marketing strategy, understanding who your target audience is, and engaging them long after acquiring them. Ready to take your mobile marketing to the next level? Download our ebook on Best Practices for Mobile Marketing: How to Acquire, Engage, and Retain Users.
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By: Nick Westergaard Posted: July 19, 2016 | Content Marketing Content is king! Content rules! No one is going to tell you in this day and age that you need to create less content. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 80% of marketers across all sectors (B2B, consumer, nonprofit) are using content in some form. Of those same marketers, 74% have plans to produce even morecontent in the year ahead. And yet, 57% of marketers report that creating content consistently is a top challenge. As very few organizations claim content creation as a core competency, many are wondering how they should go about developing all of these new ebooks, newsletters, blog posts, videos, and images required to engage today’s buyer. Content creation can get real complex, real fast. In my new book Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small, I outline several frameworks, strategies, tactics, and hacks for helping today’s frustrated marketers do more with less. Let’s take a look at four content creation hacks that should be in every marketer’s toolbox, including yours: Hack #1: Relentlessly Repurpose Content In Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman encourage brands to be a “content chop-shop” by always looking for ways to get multiple uses out of a particular piece of content. You should strive to relentlessly repurpose all of the content you create. You can start small by combining smaller pieces like photos, cheatsheets, and blog posts into something larger like an ebook or whitepaper. You can also take a larger piece of content apart and create blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media updates. The possibilities are endless, so get creative! Pew Research Center does this by sharing individual data points on Instagram, which point to a longer article about the research, which then invites you to download the entire report. As expensive as formal research is, it makes sense to repurpose it as much as possible. This also provides an opportunity for you to reach your audience across multiple channels and get your team involved. For example, you can make re-imagining your content an internal challenge by encouraging others to offer ideas on additional forms of content you can create. Hack #2: Utilize Historical Content If your business has been around for a while, chances are there are old photos laying around in some closet or storage facility, or stored digitally. One of the scrappiest things you can do is to digitize this old-school content so that you can give it new life online. Whether it’s #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram or populating Facebook’s timeline feature, these content classics can be a tremendous asset. For examples, check out what Herman Miller is doing on Pinterest with their history board “107 Years and Counting.” Even your old marketing collateral and advertisements offer some nice history. Southwest Airlines has a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to their old photos and ads. Hack #3: Curate Content Beyond finding ways to repurpose as much of your brand’s internal content as possible, there are other sources you can leverage outside of your organization through content curation. With budgets spread thin, curation is a viable part of the mix for many. Some examples include a blog post or email newsletter that rounds up the best articles on a particular subject important to your buyers or industry. There are several tools that can help you streamline the task of finding good content. Some are free or low-cost—like Feedly, Scoop.it, Newsle—and some are geared more toward the mid-market or enterprise level with more functionality and features, such as Curata and TrapIt. One word of caution: Avoid thinking of curation as simply a low-cost alternative to content creation. Bothshould be viewed as complementary approaches to the same overall strategy—providing your community with useful content. Hack #4: Encourage User-Generated Content The final external source for content is from your own community. User-generated content is valuable in more ways than one. First, it’s content you don’t have to create that you can turnaround and share again, which brings me to my second point. User-generated content is powerful as it demonstrates in a very public and authentic way that your audience is engaged. A common misconception is that user-generated content just “appears.” Like all things involving others, it starts with a request from you. Remember, no one (your buyers and community included) will know what to do unless you ask them. More often than not your community will participate if you ask them. For instance, after seeing their fans share photos showing their love and happiness around their product, Ben & Jerry’s put out a call for fans to share their best euphoric photos by using the hashtag #CaptureEuphoria, with favorites featured in print and digital ads for the brand. As you work to do more with less when it comes to your content marketing, these four scrappy content marketing hacks—relentlessly repurposing content, utilizing historical content, content curation, and user-generated-content—deliver big results. Looking to get scrappy with your other marketing initiatives? Register for my upcoming webinar Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small to learn how to create a scrappy marketing strategy to win in today’s complex digital world.
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Written by  , one of Marketo's Champions. I often get asked where I do my research on various marketing automation and digital marketing topics. When I first started writing this post, I wanted to break out the top 5 blogs—then I gave up. It’s like picking players for the baseball Hall of Fame with only 1 pick. The fact is there are a ton of great resources you can lean on for digital marketing and technology content. In the end, I broke out some of the blogs based on what I consider to be the core part of digital marketing technology–that’s marketing automation and its effect on driving leads through the funnel. Content is the fuel that fills that marketing automation engine so you’ll find several content blogs on the list. And yes, there are a couple miscellaneous blogs included because the content is so good. What’s not included: There are some great general marketing, SEO and social blogs but they are not included in this list. And yes, I’m probably missing a bunch—I apologize in advance. If there are sites you find useful, please note them in the comments. A special thanks goes out to our content manager Alyssa Reeves who helped pull together this nearly 2,000-word post. The Blog Categories I did however break up the blogs into categories. Top Overall – Expert Blogs. These blogs may fall across several categories but they rise to the top in the content they provide. Marketing Automation/Technology Vendor Blogs. There are hundreds of vendor digital technology blogs out there. I focused on marketing automation blogs as I view these platforms as the engine that everything else feeds into. Professional Services and Agency Blogs. Like the vendors, these blogs put out some great best practice content. Blogs with a Marketo Twist. I am a little biased to Marketo so blogs that highlight Marketo get a little extra attention. Top Overall – Expert Blogs These blogs rise to the top for blogs to check out. There is some overlap with the agencies but the way I broke it out…if I think of the leader before the agency, the site falls into this bucket. Otherwise, the site drops into the Services category. In alphabetical order….. 1) BeachHead Marketo Champion Steve Moody and his team give tips on everything marketing automation with a Marketo focus. @ AskBeachhead Visit Site 2) Brian Solis Blog Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist. Not sure I have ever seen those three words together. Brian’s blog focuses on digital marketing’s effect on transforming business. Brian’s blog is consistently ranked in the Top 10 of the Ad Age Power 150, and ranks among the top 1% of all blogs tracked by Technorat @briansolis Visit Site 3) B2B Marketing Insider Michael Brenner is the Head of Strategy for the leading content marketing platform, NewsCred. He created his blog to focus on emerging business and marketing strategy topics such as content marketing, lead generation, search marketing, digital media, and social media. B2B Marketing Insider is dedicated to sharing the ideas, topics and marketing strategies that drive real results. @ BrennerMichael Visit Site 4) Chief Martec Scott Brinker runs this blog on everything marketing technology including Marketing Automation. If you have seen that crazy Marketing Tech Landscape Supergraphicwith 1,876 vendors, that’s Scott’s baby. @chiefmartec Visit Site 5) Content Marketing Institute Content is what fuels the marketing automation engine and CMI covers everything related to content. Over 100K subscribers. @CMIContent Visit Site 6) Convince and Convert Jay Baer is a marketing visionary who has worked with more than 700 brands. His blog is one of the top content marketing sites on the web. @ jaybaer Visit Site 7) Duct Tape Marketing Content is what fuels the funnel and John Jantsch gives useful advice on how to create content that drives brand. @ducttape Visit Site 😎 Etumos Ed Unthank loves his whiteboard and puts it to great use bringing some key marketing automation concepts to life. Posts about once a month and the posts tend to be on the technical Marketo side. @ EtumosLLC Visit Site 9) Fill the Funnel Miles Austin spent 30 years in B2B Sales and Leadership roles. In addition to helping business with their demand gen needs, he now writes blog posts on email marketing for Fill the Funnel. Miles posts about Sales & Marketing tools and ways that they can be applied in your business. He also has a steady following of 11K. @milesaustin Visit Site 10) The Funnelholic Craig Rosenberg is the co-founder and Chief Analyst of TOPO. His blog was created so he can have fun talking about all things revenue. The Funnelholic focuses on sales, marketing and everything in between. @ funnelholic Visit Site 11) Heinz Marketing Matt Heinz is all over the place speaking on the importance of digital marketing. His blog covers everything from marketing automation to best practices in sales. @HeinzMarketing Visit Site 12) KissMetrics Although this site is not marketing automation at all, I had to drop it somewhere because their blog is just so good. They have great articles on analytics. @ KISSmetrics Visit Site 13) Marketing Land Marketing Land is a general digital marketing site that covers a wide variety of topics. It also has a great marketing technology section. @Marketingland Visit Site 14) Marketing Profs One of the biggest marketing blogs/portals on the web run by Ann Handley and team. Not marketing automation focused but it’s a must read for content marketers. 600K+ members. @MarketingProfs Visit Site 15) Marketing Rockstar Guides Don’t expect fancy graphics but Marketing Rockstar Guides gets my vote for the top Marketo-focused tips and tricks blog out there. Targeted at the Marketo practitioner. It is run by Marketo Champion, Josh Hill, and you get a 844+ page guide for signing up for blog updates–try reading that on the beach. @ jdavidhill Visit Site 16) Marketing Tech Blog This blog was founded by Douglas Karr and has over 75K subscribers.  It covers mainly marketing in new media but has a section focused on marketing automation. @douglaskarr Visit Site 17) Money Ball Marketer Channeling your inner Brad Pitt, Moneyball Marketer is Zak Pines’s blog on data-driven demand generation and marketing best practices. Great blog to check out once a month as it updates once or twice monthly. @MoneyballMktr Visit Site 18) Relevance Chad Pollitt cofounded this site and grew it to 50K subscribers in six months (Read amazing story here). The blog brings in industry experts to share expertise on content marketing and promotion. @relevance Visit Site 19) RevEngineInsider You are reading this post so you already know marketing technology is important to us. We cover everything digital that is related to moving leads through the funnel. At a deeper level, we also cover top tips for organizations leveraging Marketo. Primary contributor is Marketo Champion Jeff Coveney. @RevEngineMarket Visit Site 20) The Sales Blog Digital blog with a Sales focus. Anthony Iannarinno is a publishing machine and gives great Sales process tips EVERY day. I keep waiting for him to miss a day but he’s the Cal Ripken Jr. of Sales blog writing. Technology is not a big focus of Anthony’s but his Sales process stuff is vital to overall marketing automation and funnel success. @iannarino Visit Site 21) The Sales Benchmark Index Blog Here’s another site that doesn’t quite fit into “digital marketing technology.” However SBI’s content on Sales and Marketing methodologies and best practices is central to any company trying to develop a marketing funnel. Updates daily. SBI delivers some great  podcasts too such as this one: Case Study: Aligning the Marketing Strategy to the Skills of the Marketing Staff @ MakingTheNumber Visit Site 22) The Sales Lion Blog Mark Sheridan runs this inbound marketing blog with a Hubspot focus. Great podcasts also. In six years, Mark went from pool seller to content marketing king. That’s a career path you wouldn’t expect.Read more on Mark’s pool story success. @ TheSalesLion Visit Site 23) Sirius Decisions Sirius Decisions is where all the smart people go to try to get smarter about optimizing the revenue funnel. You sometimes need a MIT degree to completely get all the concepts but their forward thinking enables you to plan for the future. Jay Famico is the go-to guy for technology and services so make sure to follow his posts. @JayFamico @ siriusdecisions Visit Site 24) SmartInsights Blog This blog (and membership site) offers tons of actionable digital marketing advice. There are plenty of planning templates, ebooks and online training courses. Some are no cost, others have a fee. There is a no-cost weekly newsletter I’d recommend signing up for. 80K+ members. Co-founded by Dr. Dave Chaffey, Dan Bosomworth and Stu Miller. @SmartInsights Visit Site 25) Topo Blog Topo Blog is UK-based and covers a mixture of sales, marketing and technology data and research. @ scottalbro Visit Site 26) Top Rank Marketing Lee Odden’s blog is another extremely strong content marketing focused blog. I almost didn’t include it because the site is heavy on the social flavor and light on digital technology. The content stuff is just too good to leave off. Attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and has over 50,000 subscribers. @toprank @ leeodden Visit Site
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