Wish we had more to offer today, but we really to pare down the massive amount of marketing articles and posts to only those that you’ll find useful and of value. And we’ll eliminate those posts that cover territory about which has been written ad nauseam. Regardless, it seems as if today was a data driven kind-of-day: posts on big data, analytics, attribution, etc. You’ll want to read another action-item list regarding Penguin 2.0, as well as a few tools to help keep your DB clean.
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Featured Marketing Automation Article
Perhaps what prevents many organizations from developing lead nurturing strategies is their inability to understand how their sales funnels work. Businesses just getting into the web-marketing game may overwhelm themselves with the breadth of website analytics and lead scoring technologies available today, but some of these programs have become essential for success on the ‘net.
Businesses that strengthen their attribution tactics also build smarter internet marketing campaigns. When brands understand how top-of-funnel marketing channels influence interaction throughout the sales cycle, they can better anticipate sales opportunities and make sure the most persuasive content types engage readers when they’re on the cusp of converting.
Even if management doesn’t give a crap about attribution and analytics, you have to: it’s the only way you can learn, iterate and improve. With the right analytics apps and support in place, your campaigns will be smarter and more effective over time.
Excerpted and condensed…
The fact is that there’s always been a hidden sales cycle to some degree. We sought advice from friends and family, we read magazines and reviews (OK, not technically hidden, since there were advertising platforms), and consulted with analysts, colleagues, and committees for large corporate purchases. Social media and search have accelerated, expanded, and democratized its impact however. It’s easier than ever to find multiple sources of information and expertise.
Aberdeen’s 2012 “B2B Social Media Marketing: Are we There Yet?“ report found that buyers communicating on social networks was the number one pressure driving adoption of social media marketing. Companies who thought they could manage the conversation by managing information may now find themselves at a loss.
However, unlike the old hidden sales cycle, the new hidden sales cycle can be discovered, monitored and engaged. This presents unique opportunities for brands to “be the disruption” or at least be part of the information flow.
This goes hand in hand with the notion that the campaign may be dead, and that the prospect has control over the sales cycle. What to do? Be there with valuable content, capture info, and drip away.
The following are some ways to clean up data:
- Conduct a data collection audit to understand the touch points from which data enters the organization. An organization may aggregate data from website forms, point of sale terminals, contests, social media, and many other channels. It’s important to ensure retention of only the relevant data from all these touch points.
- Address neglected data. Most organizations collect the maximum possible information they can, and simply leave it somewhere. In most cases, such information would have no relevance. This type of data has to be reviewed, and retained or discarded as required.
- Break down data silos. Many organizations have a problem with data silos, and spend good money to break them down. A study by Altimeter Group covering 142 companies with over 1,000 employees revealed an average company spends $272,000 on custom integration efforts to integrate disparate social systems. A good big data initiative would factor-in breaking down such silos, by incorporating execution tools via APIs or by integrating scripts along with the data collection efforts.
Not necessarily garbage in garbage out, but streamlining data operations so that the processing takes into account ALL good data throughout the organization.
For those time-strapped marketers, we offer you the list of database-cleaning resources:
- Fresh Address helps companies build, update, segment, and clean their email lists. If you have a large database full of customer or prospect email addresses, but have found that you’re continually seeing bad bounce rates from invalid email addresses, Fresh Address can update your email database and replace any bad addresses with the correct ones, while also maximizing email deliverability and avoiding ISP blacklisting.
- If you’re looking for a low-cost email verification service (as well as a company with a sense of humor), try using BriteVerify. They offer on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing so that you pay for exactly what you need.
- Hoovers offers a number of solutions for sales and marketing departments, a few of which are data cleansing and enrichment, list cleaning, and appending services.
- With Data.com, you can access millions of top-quality D&B company profiles and Data.com contacts to get clean and current email addresses, contact information, and more. Using a tool like Data.com, you can ensure that you not only start with a clean database, but you also keep it maintained over time.
Just a word of caution regarding Hoovers and Data.com: even their data may be severely outdated. We suggest you get with your account rep and secure a small number of contacts, and check those for validity. In one case, we found that 50% of the sample dated was outdated.
Moving onto Facebook specifically, it isn’t surprising that 92 percent were using Facebook as part of their social media efforts and that 49 percent considered Facebook to be their most important social media platform.
But what is surprising is the fact that only 37 percent of marketers think their Facebook advertising is effective. That is a pretty astonishing number. Is this a metric that shows Facebook marketing isn’t effective, or is it really to do with the fact marketers aren’t properly tracking those Facebook efforts into ROI?
We tend to think the latter: we’re finding that attribution and tracking is so damn lacking across the board.
So, what exactly will it mean to work on the Web and practice search engine optimization for your website or blog in a post-Penguin 2.0 world?
Authority Matters (More)
Google is going to be paying much closer attention to your credentials, so if your site is considered an authority in your specific niche, expect to see that pay off in the form of higher rankings on the search engine.
Changing the Way We Guest Blog
One of the biggest things that Google seems to be interested in targeting are sites that have a lot of outbound links pointing at just one website, as opposed to various links to many different authoritative websites. This will (or should) have a major effect on the way that content marketers and bloggers choose the websites that they write guest blog posts for.
The Advertorial Question
Google likely won’t be recognizing those who publish advertorials as true “authorities,” and they should not be expecting link credibility from the search engine if they publish them.
The Death of Content Spam
Google has finally tied a direct penalty to the much-maligned art of content spam. This obviously means that any sites that “feature” user-generated content spam will be hurt on the SERPs as a result.
Enough with the Over-Optimization
Sites that use their navigation, header and/or footer areas to include more keywords as a way to rank higher for those terms, or sites that add a superfluous amount of header and footer links for those keywords, will be working in vein now.
Keeping Ads in Check
In order to keep websites and domains from being landing pages for a bunch of ads, Google has started handing out penalties to sites that put too many advertisements above the fold.
An Increase in Clusters
Despite the fact that Google likes to have as much variety as possible on the first page of the SERPs, it looks like the search engine will be displaying more clusters of multiple pages from the same domain.
Crawlability is Key
Crawl errors that diminish the spiders’ ability to scan your website to determine its authority, and thus ranking position, will now have a greater impact on your overall SEO efforts. Crawl errors affect a site’s strength and authority, and that will become a bigger problem on the post-Penguin 2.0 Web.
Here’s our second scoop on action items you should take in response to Penguin 2.0. Please click through for greater detail on each step.
But it’s not so much the hype we’re interested in as the reality, which is that there are large variations in adoption of data-driven marketing techniques among marketers. Last month Gartner released a survey (highlights available) that showed marketers, on average, allocate 21% of their marketing budgets to marketing analytics. But averages can be deceiving: only about a quarter of the panel reported spending near the average; at the extremes we find 21% spend less than 10% while 15% spend over 40%. That’s a wide range. Similarly, when we asked what percent of the marketing analytics budget was allocated to digital marketing analytics, 24% said less than 10% while 17% said over 40%.
We suppose we’re not surprised by this, i.e., the gap between the spenders and the non-spenders. But the fact remains that data collection, analytics and the subsequent attribution are vitally important to the ever growing IT infrastructure beneath the feet of the B2B marketer.
Twitter explains the new feature:
Think of a Lead Generation Card as a landing page within a Tweet. This landing page is streamlined to let users effortlessly express interest, but its simplicity also makes lead generation more efficient for you. Best of all, you won’t need to change your existing lead generation workflow—you can feed lead data into your existing marketing automation or CRM system, such as Salesforce.com or other software.
We completely missed this! Twitter is absolutely correct: the Lead Generation Card is for all intents and purposes a Landing Page! Collecting email addresses for lead nurturing…Fantastic!!!
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Path, Vine, Viddy, and others have made it incredibly easy to distribute video. Primarily to our own networks and through peer-to-peer sharing, but with YouTube advertising, Facebook’s forthcoming video ads, and Twitter’s new adventures in segmentation and Cards APIs, we’re seeing a maturing of video distribution to audiences at scale. This is really important. For the first time the platforms have the ability to provide amazing levels of targeting, but at scale. Targeting at scale is truly disruptive and for the first time Facebook and YouTube can start to reasonably expect marketers to start shifting broadcast dollars into digital. As we all know, there are lots of broadcast dollars.
The biggest opportunities for marketers are around reaching the right people (targeting at scale) and about using video in these much more personal contexts to not only drive awareness but to drive peer-to-peer sharing and deeper brand engagement. Video, done right, is still the most compelling media we have and the emerging discipline of content marketing is predicated on the shift from using content to drive awareness and brand affinity to driving deeper engagement, advocacy, and loyalty.
The biggest challenges are around creating great video content at reasonable expense and then mastering the “converged media” landscape where owned, earned, and paid all work together to drive outcomes. There’s nothing new here for us seasoned (jaded) digital marketers. Video is yet another “native” ad type to be leveraged across customer touch points, online and off-. A content type we’re really excited about if we can get the good stuff.
This post is oriented to the B2C world, but the excerpt above is very applicable to the B2B marketer. The platform is there to present your offerings in video format: the question is how.
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