Here are The Marketing Automation Alert’s best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Thursday, 4/25/13. Receive a daily summary of The Marketing Automation Alert directly to your inbox. Subscribe here (your privacy is protected). If you find this valuable, please share by using the links below:
Featured Marketing Automation Article #1
For the third year in a row, marketers are increasing their inbound spending nearly 50%. What have these marketers discovered? Why have they interrupted their traditional methods to adopt inbound marketing?
Download HubSpot’s 5th Annual State of Inbound Marketing Report for
answers to these questions, and more. This report is the most comprehensive review of the inbound industry available, with data analysis from over 3,300 participants from 128 different countries, including CEOs, agencies, and marketers.
We need to delve into this report, and hope you do the same…
Featured Marketing Automation Article #2
In Mastering the Art of Marketing Automation, you’ll learn strategic and practical advice to launch a new marketing automation program, or improve the one you already have. Insights include:
- 10 steps to kick off your marketing automation efforts
- High-level tactics to optimize existing efforts
- An explanation of each data metric you’ll need to report your results
- Tips to implement sophisticated drip campaigns and dynamic content strategies
- Capture more leads and score them accordingly
Free for you.
Though more than nine out of ten marketers agree that personalisation is critical to their success, almost half of companies lack the necessary technology to properly implement website personalisation.
A similar number of respondents (46%) pointed to legacy technology, while 44% cited lack of budget. In contrast, among respondents from marketing agencies lack of knowledge (54%) and inability to translate data into action (51%) took the first two spots.
Lack of budget and lack of staff are the third and fourth most cited barriers for both companies and agencies surveyed, highlighting the importance of prioritising resources that are often scarce.
We guarantee you that it is more than 50% who lack the necessary technology to properly implement web site personalization…or any digital property personalization. The technology has yet to cross the chasm.
Companies want to measure ideal customer profiles and lead behavior.
New solutions are emerging to help companies harness the power of social identity data to add context and color to customer account records in order to improve lead generation efforts by marketing, and ultimately, shape follow-up actions made by salespeople.
“Social media gives you a whole new dimension on leads,” says Amnon Mishor, cofounder and vice president of products of Leadspace, makers of a SaaS B2B social lead targeting solution. “You can understand the true story about who this person is, what [his] role is in an organization, and what [he's] interested in.”
Similarly, at company scale, sales and marketing can begin to evaluate the interests of employees at an organization, the products and technologies that are already implemented, and whether or not there are pre-existing social media connections to the company.
This post points to the beauty of SFDC’s new Social.com. So with this in place, how can we configure out MAP to react accordingly?
Types of Triggers
Here are three categories of events that your analytics shouldn’t miss.
- Product-driven triggers include maintenance contract expirations, the availability of product upgrades, transactional buying signals (e.g., a company that purchases one product is likely to require a related product), and product end-of-life or replacements. Those are typically the easiest triggers to track, because they are bound up in the product’s lifecycle. Tracking this type of trigger requires maintaining installed-base records of customers for long periods while keeping the data as clean and current as possible.
- Organic triggers relate to the normal changes that happen in the lifecycle of a business. An expanding business will signal new needs for a vendor’s products by way of real estate acquisition, revenue growth into new geographies, or a high rate of revenue growth overall. Merger and acquisition activity may drive consolidation to a single supplier. Understanding the customer’s year-end and industry-specific seasonality will help a vendor anticipate seasonal selling opportunities. Executive leadership changes can also drive new purchasing strategies.
When companies assign a salesperson to an account, they are essentially making that person responsible for identifying the organic triggers in the account and positioning the right products to the right person at the right time. Advances in marketing analytics mean people, processes, and tools are now available to extend the number of accounts a company can monitor.
- “Black Swan” triggers are unpredictable events outside a company’s control and alter its business in unexpected ways. Hurricane Sandy drove up demand for hotels and bottled water in the short-term, and construction materials long after the storm to repair the estimated $66 billion in damaged property. Because of the ash cloud from the 2011 Icelandic volcano eruption, and the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, companies worldwide re-examined their business continuity plans and invested in telecommuting and virtual conferencing.
There is one client of ours in particular who is adept at keeping fingers on the pulse of external environmental factors that impact sales and marketing trends: they are constantly rolling out new product offerings based on regulatory changes. What’s particularly interesting about this post is the notion of folding external analysis into marketing analytics, where assigning external factor analysis to the marketing analyst. Makes perfect sense.
Formalizing a testing and optimization program and really taking command of data analytics can be a powerful marketing asset. Four years in the making, this case study on SAP’s Test Lab is so extensive, we broke it down into two parts.
This week covers the founding of the program, the overarching strategy behind the Test Lab and aspects of its operational process. Next week, we’ll dig deeper into some of the challenges the team at SAP faced with the Test Lab, and how this initiative led to “definitive insights” for SAP’s marketing.
Here are the two key metrics on this marketing effort.
“We track the overall ROI of the SAP Test Lab quite closely, and on average, the tests result in a 27% lift in incremental sales leads from digital. Test Lab findings have also resulted in a digital marketing budget savings of 20% because we are able to avoid less effective online tactics. Continual ROI like that is what allows the ‘test culture’ to continually grow across all of SAP marketing,” Burns explained.
This is a must read. It is a post that reports on SAP’s very thoughtful approach to analytics, testing and optimization, and we are certain we can all learn from their example. One wonderful takeaway is that anyone can do this regardless of budget.
Advanced analytics offer great potential for b-to-b marketers, but I suggest you watch for three things when considering them.
Advanced analytics offer great potential for b-to-b marketers, but I suggest you watch for three things when considering them:
- Analytics don’t replace understanding. Don’t expect the machines and data scientists to come back with immaculately produced findings. Work to understand the what, how and why of the conclusions being drawn. Favor healthy skepticism vs. complete deference to smart people and complex technology. Blind acceptance based on a lack of understanding can only lead to poor decisionmaking.
- GIGO still applies. Analytics are not immune from the old principle of garbage in, garbage out. Be sure to understand the process used to create the data, as well as how the data is being used. Another thing to keep in mind: Just because data quality is sufficient for one use case doesn’t mean it can support all analytical purposes.
- Keep it actionable. Watch for conclusions that are too high-level to be sensibly acted upon. Marketing-mix analysis findings like “White papers perform better” tend to isolate single elements of the buying process. Look for conclusions that appropriately address context. A more useful finding might be “White papers tend to have the greatest impact on technology executives when used during the education phase of the buying process.”
The right phrase was used in this post: healthy skepticism. Challenge all aspects of the results (without destroying the confidence of the analyst), and refrain from decisions based solely on the data. Analysis + insight + experience.
Excerpted case example…
The data set was for 327 people, but for each person there were 11,213 measurements of substances in the blood. We found that 14 of these substances mattered in identifying Alzheimer’s patients. If you somehow knew in advance that there were 14, how would you find which 14 out of the 11,213? It happens that there are 5.6 times 10 to the 45th possible subsets of 14 in 11,213. If 1,000 computers tested 1 billion sets of 14 variables every second, it would take 1.8 times 10 to the 26th years to find the right one. In this case, 42 megabytes clearly is Big Data.
The reason to collect and use Big Data is to produce insights that are new and valuable, not just confirming what we already know. If we’ve done a good job collecting the facts, we’ve solved one part of the problem. Next we need to identify the right questions to ask. Here’s where data integration, domain experts, insightful visualizations, and customized dashboards are indispensable.
Right out of the realm of “be careful for what you wish for.” We’ve included the case example from the post to give you an idea as to how the potential possibilities can dramatically increase with each and every variable. Big Data does not happen without staff with Big Math Brains. Incorporate Big Data, and hire Big Marketing Scientists.
Excerpted from press release…
Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced a powerful new predictive publishing capability for Adobe® Social, which predicts social engagement on individual pieces of content and automatically suggests ideal timing to improve how that content will perform. The initial version offers Facebook integration, and additional social platforms will be added later this year. Adobe Social, a key element of Adobe Marketing Cloud, enables marketers to scale social marketing across their organizations, listen and respond to customer conversations, and connect the dots between social interactions and business results.
The new predictive publishing feature in Adobe Social helps social teams deliver content that will best resonate with their audience. The tool makes engagement predictions and timing recommendations using advanced sentiment analysis and predictive text mining algorithms based on historic data around engagement, post time, and sentiment. And because the solution learns as it goes, it continually refines recommendations and gets smarter with each action.
It’s these types of predictive tools that jolt us a bit and say “yeah, that’s exactly what we need.” You know LinkedIn can’t be far behind, so the B2B marketer needs to keep an eye out for that announcement. Note: could you consider this prescriptive analytics?
In order for people to convert on your landing page, they have to arrive at your page first. Here’s how to create landing pages that convert & rank well.
This post will show you how to develop a landing page that gets conversions, while ranking well at the same time. The result of a finely tuned landing page and improved search rankings is straight up awesome — more conversions than you ever thought was possible.
1. Use Collapsing Divs
There is a way to add more great content to a web page, yet still create a clean path to your conversion element. Adding content gives you an SEO edge, yet you’re still capable of driving conversions without too much text real estate blocking the way. The secret sauce is collapsing divs.
2. Make People Want to Link to Your Page
Top-ranked sites are those that are eminently linkable. If you get tons of links to your site, rankings will launch sky high. It’s not essential to launch an entire link building campaign although that might not be a bad idea. The key instead is to turn your landing page into a valuable resource — a “linkable asset.”
3. Integrate Social Media
Closely related to the point above is the social value of your site. Just as your site is to be a linkable asset, it should also be shareable.
Great guidance, and something we should all jump on immediately. You need to read the details, so please click through (especially the sample code for the collapsing divs).
To stay nimble, marketing automation firm Silverpop just secured a fresh $25 million in funding. Escalate Capital Partners and Silicon Valley Ban led this most recent financing round. Showing its ability to adapt, Nussey said Silverpop increased new business by 40% from 2011 to 2012. That amounted to 380 new customers, last year — one-third of which came to Silverpop for its marketing automation offerings, according to Nussey.
Speaking to Silverpop’s future, a person close to the funding said: “Interestingly, the fund is venture debt, which … is often a bridge to an IPO, acquisition, etc. … Silverpop also opted for venture debt to avoid diluting equity.”
OK: change is coming. The big hint is the venture debt to avoid management diluting its ownership and options. The question is…IPO or acquisition (and if latter, who?).
Launch of Social.com app weds social listening and CRM contact data.
Salesforce.com today launched Social.com, a social advertising application designed to streamline the social marketing process alongside sister Marketing Cloud applications Salesforce Radian6 and Salesforce Buddy Media.
In February, the cloud computing company revealed Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Ads Platform for Twitter, enabling brands and ad agencies to scale real-time social campaigns using the new Twitter ads API. With the launch of Social.com, users can further optimize Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns by tapping into unified social listening and customer contact data.
If you’re a SFDC user, this looks like it’s a must to tie in social with your Leads and Contacts. Smart, smart, smart to bring this under one roof as Social.com.
In this week’s chart, we learn about the types of challenges faced by marketers when using marketing analytics.
Q: What were your organization’s most frustrating challenges with marketing analytics in 2012?
As more tools come to market, watch factors #3 and #5 rise to the top.
According to a recent survey by executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International, 48% of senior business executives say the marketing department does not receive enough budget support.
When asked which marketing strategy to allocate budget to in order to be successful, 53% of senior executives said exploring new channels through a “test and learn” approach; 33% said increasing internal resources; and 14% said outsourcing to specialized agencies.
Grain of salt alert. Regardless, 53% want to explore new channels via test and learn. Testing, analytics, testing, etc.
The latest report on paid search trends has been released, this one from Kenshoo. As with previous reports from RKG, The Search Agency, and IgnitionOne, the Kenshoo study notes that mobile devices are playing a strong role in the search advertising market. Separately, though, the report illustrates that on a global basis, paid search click volume (+21%) and click-through rates (+62%) each saw strong growth, with spending up 15%.
Spending up a quarter of the CTR growth rate while CPC is down (as are impressions). We’re all getting much better at this whole Paid Search thingy.
Social media has become an important part of marketing campaigns for businesses. Business owners are now more aware of how social media can help them grow. Read
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