The Top 24(!!!) Marketing Automation Articles Curated Today, Thursday, 1/24/13

iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

We know: it’s a large amount.  But it’s a treasure trove of marketing automation-related content today: some really great stuff in this summary.  Here are The Marketing Automation Alert’s best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Thursday, 1/24/13. 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:


Content Marketing: Targeted persona strategy lifts sales leads 124%

From MarketingSherpa  – Today, 8:56 AM

Buyer persona definition can sometimes be nebulous, but this article provides you with a great framework for Buyer Persona definition. In this article, see how one B2B firm tailored content to segments of its audience, and increased leads 124% after launch.  Results:


Skytap launched a content marketing strategy in May 2012 to generate and convert more leads. The team saw great year-over-year results:

  • 210% increase in North American site traffic
  • 55% increase in organic search traffic
  • 97% increase in leads from online marketing
  • 124% increase in leads from all channels (online as well as offline events and programs)
  • 73% increase in opportunities from online marketing



How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line [Infographic]

From unbounce.comToday, 8:48 AM

A MUST REVIEW!  Yet again, Unbounce delivers very useful information to the B2B Marketer. Review this infographic carefully before sending your next campaign, and review all your triggered emails and nurture emails in your MAP as well…



The 2 Most Important Things for Email Marketers in 2013

From www.clickz.comToday, 8:40 AM

We love the simplicity of this article, but especially the second point, that we should consider ourselves mobile marketers who happen to be leveraging the email channel.  Highpoints follow:


Clear Business Goals Drive a Successful Email Program

As digital marketing evolves from niche channels with small budgets and low expectations to a fundamental part of most businesses, the ability to tie your email program to your overall business goals is of paramount importance. I tell my clients and internal team to just imagine being in the elevator with the brand CEO and when she asks why are we doing email and what is it doing for our business, you need to have the answer – a good one. Remember, CEOs don’t care about opens and clicks.


Being a Mobile Marketer Who Happens to Be Leveraging the Email Channel

Email marketers are mobile marketers whether you like it or not (go ahead and add it to your LinkedIn profile right now). I often hear that our audience isn’t reading on smartphones. Knotice says the number of emails opened on a mobile device (smartphone and/or tablet) during the first half of 2012 overall rose to 36 percent. My agency finds the number around 50 percent for some of our clients. Either way, it is increasing for everyone. If you are in the dark on your audience and their mobile readership, make that goal number one.


Changing your mindset would be goal number two. Ensuring that mobile doesn’t just sit in the back of your head but greatly impacts all of your email markets should begin to be the reality in 2013.



How to Produce, Reuse and Curate Enough B2B Content

From contentmarketinginstitute.comToday, 8:31 AM

It’s the three fundamentals to supplementing your B2B content marketing efforts, as challenging as it is.  Summary of the article:


1) Reuse content at the beginning and the end of the sales funnel

While most personas need different types of content in the middle of the sales funnel, you may be able to reuse content that you have created for prospects who are early-stage and late-stage in the sales cycle. Here are some ideas on how to map your content so you can figure out what content you need to create.

2) Curate content

Marketers have been curating content for years, but there are better ways to go about this. Here is what you need to know about content curation:

3) Produce evergreen content

More isn’t always the answer. Instead of continually pumping out original content, publish content that can be used for months, if not years. This is especially important when you are creating content for lead nurturing programs that can last for 18 months or longer. To learn more, read Put Cost Effectiveness in Content Marketing, in which Ardath Albee not only shows how you can use evergreen content, but she also explains why it makes content marketing a less expensive alternative to other forms of marketing.



Solving the Analytical Problem of Marketing Attribution

From www.clickz.comToday, 8:28 AM

If you strongly interested in deploying a solution around marketing attribution, you’ll want to read this article, and as a companion piece, go to the CRISP-DM description (linked below).  Here’s a summary:


To address analytical problems I’m quite a big fan of the CRISP-DM process. Although originally designed specifically for data-mining projects, I think it encourages good discipline and business process around any analytical problem. I thought it would be interesting to apply it to the marketing attribution problem. The process is made up of six stages:

  • Business understanding
  • Data understanding
  • Data preparation
  • Modelling
  • Evaluation
  • Deployment



Marketers Report Positive Budget Sentiment to Start the Year

From www.marketingcharts.comToday, 8:25 AM

Overall, we’re seeing a positive sentiment, from budgeting to results. B2B Marketers may very well be in the beginning of our Golden Years


Marketers around the world report a positive outlook regarding their budgets this month, finds Warc in its latest Global Marketing Index (GMI). The budget component of the index improved to a reading of 50.4 this month, its highest level since April 2012 (53.7) and its first positive score since May (50.3). (A score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment, while a score below 50 indicates a generally declining environment.)


The overall budget reading was buoyed primarily by sentiment in the Americas, with a solid score of 53.9, up from 50.2 in December 2012. In the Asia-Pacific region, the budget score edged up slightly to 48.1, but remained in negative territory. And in Europe, the score remained firmly negative, at 46.2 (from 44.8).



Big data: teams not technology

From econsultancy.comToday, 8:22 AM

Our Big Data POV is this: no single or integrated technology will provide the answers you need without you asking the question as to what you need. Human intervention, cranium push-ups, teamwork.  This article captures this POV, and here’s a extract that captures the essence:


Yes, Big Data has always challenged our hardware and software stacks. (That’s the definition of Big Data.) The complexities of modern cloud architectures and software stacks such as Hadoop certainly need a lot of skills to pull everything together. That drives a degree of specialisation within the team.


But the real challenge of Big Data has always been in integrating multiple perspectives. You need to generate meaningful business hypotheses about what might be going on. You need to map those hypotheses onto the underlying algorithms and statistical concepts in a way that makes sense. (It’s easy to create bizarre conclusions if you don’t respect the limitations of the data and the algorithms).


You need to meld together data from a host of different sources. And yes, you need to understand the technology well enough to make it all happen.

Integrating such a diverse range of skills is tough. Pushing everyone into silos just makes this integration a lot harder. Yet that’s just how most companies have chosen to organise themselves.


Before these companies gain the full benefits of Big Data, they’re going to have to think about how they get people to work together. Many organisations talk about cross-functional teams, but they rarely support them well.



6 Basic Social Media Results You Need to Track

From www.newincite.comJanuary 23, 9:00 PM

A very practical and useful article that helps all of us when we’re trying to track social media results. Basic yet sensible…


You can use a spreadsheet, with the following metrics in columns and a row for each week of the year. Over time, you’ll be able to see (and show) the increase (or decrease) in each metric.

1. mozRank

mozRank is on a scale of 1 to 10 and is SEOmoz’s 10-point measure of link authority and popularity. It’s similar to the old Google Page Rank and is logarithmic, so bear that in mind, too. (According to HubSpot that means it’s ten times as hard to move from a 3 to a 4 as it is to move from a 2 to a 3.)

2. Twitter

Track # of followers, # of people you follow, # of tweets. If you can, track # of retweets or RT’s. will give you the number of lifetime retweets and your retweet ranking as a percentile of all people on Twitter.

3. Facebook

Track # of fans (number of people who Like your page) and reach. Get the reach data from your weekly Facebook Page statistics email update. Reach is defined as the number of total people who have seen any content from your page in a designated time period.

4. LinkedIn

Track the # of followers on your company page as well as weekly page views, clicks and unique visitors, all stats on your LinkedIn Company Page Insights.

5. YouTube

Track # of subscribers as well as views.

6. Slideshare

Track #of subscribers and # of views.



New developments in B2B marketing list acquisition

From www.biznology.comJanuary 23, 8:57 PM

Perhaps it’s time to take another look at list sources. You’ll want to click through to review a brief case study…


The B2B list industry has changed considerably in the last decade, with the proliferation of social networks.  But the big new development today is the trend away from static name/address lists, to dynamic sourcing of prospect names complete with valuable indicators of buying readiness culled from their actual behavior online.  Companies such as InsideView and Leadspace are developing solutions in this area.


Leadspace, created by a team of former Israeli intelligence officers, is a leader in targeted, real-time prospecting data for business marketers.   Their process begins with constructing an ideal buyer persona by analyzing the client’s best customers, which can be executed by uploading a few hundred records of name, company name and email address.  Then, Leadspace scours the Internet, social networks and scores of contact databases for look-alikes and immediately delivers prospect names, fresh contact information and additional data about their professional activities.



Digital strategy or digital tragedy

From blogs.gartner.comJanuary 23, 8:54 PM

The author captures the essence with digital strategy: for the uninitiated, it can fail real fast.  He offers a sensible approach, one that reminds us of putting ”one foot in front of the other, and soon you are walking out the door…”


Instead of a digital strategy that starts with digital technology go small.  Start with identifying a clear business outcome, goal or problem that exists in the enterprise, with customers, suppliers or associates.  What needs to be tangibly different? What persistent need exists?  What do customers or associated really want to do? Finding a business goal or outcome starts the definition in an actionable and practical way that leads to customer value and company revenue.


Working from the business goal, issue or objective forward not only creates clear criteria for business value and focus; but also embraces the accretive nature of digital technology solutions.  This is not so much a digital strategy as an approach that roots digital technology into the business.  It is an approach that allows digital capabilities to build on one another, creating an expanding set of digital abilities.  The initial digital solution becomes part of a platform for other digital solutions that expand digital value potential, shown in the figure below, rather than a convergent strategy approach that narrows down the possible and probable to get to something profitable.



Making Marketing Metrics Work for You

From www.slideshare.netJanuary 23, 8:47 PM

This webinar will walk you through a few basic examples of how you can realistically apply marketing metrics to your daily campaign efforts.



What Successful Marketers Do Differently

From blogs.gartner.comJanuary 23, 8:46 PM

The article focuses on buyer personas, and a summary of the major point can be found in the last paragraph…


This is the promise for digital marketing in areas like social marketing and creating destinations for customers to explore, engage and walk through the need/want, information search and evaluation stage of a buying process. It provides engagement options that enable prospects and customers to define and express their own personas and how they want to relate to companies. Marketers should start to market to the persona, rather than the focusing on the actual person because it will be their best evidence of how to sell to them.



How B2B Marketers are Leveraging Live Chat to Increase Sales

From www.marketingpower.comJanuary 23, 8:44 PM

The article provides a 3 page roadmap on what you need to know to effectively install Chat as a part of your digital property interaction…



Marketers Are From Mars [INFOGRAPHIC]

From www.pardot.comJanuary 23, 8:42 PM



Google Dominates 90 Percent of B2B Space

From www.websitemagazine.comJanuary 23, 8:32 PM

The article is based on the Optify report (see the adjacent scoop to download the FREE article).  Here’s what’s significant: forget all other search engines until you’ve mastered Google…


The first takeaway is that organic search serves as the number one driver of traffic to B2B websites, followed by direct traffic (40 percent) and referrals (11.50 percent). The report also finds that despite the increased adoption of social media by B2B in 2012, itʼs still only a fraction (1.90 percent) of total traffic to B2B websites. It is important to note, however, that the report also found that Google is responsible for nearly all of organic search, making it the single most important referring source of traffic.


“In the B2B space, 90 plus percent is coming from Google,” said Wheeler. “When you are looking at where you are going to spend your money, that’s imperative to know. Second, we are now seeing more than 40 percent of all organic visits from Google coming back as ‘not provided.’



[Infographic] 2012 B2B Marketing Trends

From www.optify.netJanuary 23, 8:30 PM

Goes hand-in-hand with Optify’s FREE report (see the adjacent scoop).



FREE: 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report from Optify

From www.optify.netJanuary 23, 8:26 PM

Free report…


Optify analyzed over 62 million visits and more than 350,000 leads from 600+ small and medium-sized B2B websites to give you insight on what’s working and what’s not in the world of B2B web marketing.


Get the 2012 Web Marketing Benchmark Report and learn key findings including:

  • Which sources drive the most traffic to B2B sites
  • The most efficient lead generation sources
  • The best-performing social media channel
  • Important trends in SEO and paid search



It’s Time to Cut Back on Social Media

From blogs.hbr.orgJanuary 23, 8:23 PM

You can’t do everything.  Social media falls within this: you just can’t master all social media platforms, and the fact is that some are more valuable to you than others.  Article summary…


That doesn’t mean doing less overall or abandoning new media. But it does speak to a desire to prune and focus on the platforms that have the most impact. It’s hard to say no to the crush of social media demands.  In fact, we’re now reaching a point where having a scattered focus could truly be deleterious to your goals, because you’re only able to half-engage or create mediocre content.


It’s become increasingly clear that with the proliferation of new platforms, no person or company can become the master of them all. Nor should they. The harder decision is figuring out which ones you should prioritize — or jettison. Establishing ROI has always been the holy grail of social media. We may still have a ways to go before we can quantify its objective, dollars-and-cents impact (if you read about something on Facebook, and then saw a tweet, and then went to the mall to buy it, does it count?). But even anecdotally, you probably have some good operating theories.



Email’s Conversion Rate Outperforms Other B2B Web Traffic Sources

From www.marketingcharts.comJanuary 23, 7:57 PM

Great data for the B2B marketer. We hope you’re bookmarking these important data points.  If not, then use the Filter function on our page or the search function on our blog...


Of the various drivers of B2B website traffic, email has by far the highest conversion rate, finds Optify in its “2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.” The study, which examined more than 62 million visits, 215 million pageviews and 350,000 leads from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites during 2012, found email’s conversion rate to be 81% higher than the average (2.89% vs. 1.6%) and 42% higher than the next-best performer, referrals (2.04%).



Marketing Automation Amazingness

From www.slideshare.netJanuary 23, 7:51 PM

A bit of Marketo self-promotion in this deck, but of value as it drives home the point that marketing automation is no longer a luxury but a necessity amongst B2B marketers. If you don’t have marketing automation installed, someone’s going to eat your lunch:


Marketo has created the Marketing Nation where people share best practices and ideas that help you quickly maximize opportunities within a powerful marketing automation ecosystem. It’s the best way to be sure that you are reaping the full benefits of marketing automation by having access to this powerful network of ideas, experts, and integrated solutions all in one place. The end result is faster time to value and a simplified world where you are surrounded by other great marketers along the way.



5 Ways to Decimate Your Website’s Bounce Rate

From www.business2community.comJanuary 23, 7:46 PM

We all want site visitors to create a click-stream, but our collective bounce rates indicate otherwise.  Here’s a nice primer on reducing bounce rates, and a summary follows:


As defined by Google Analytics, it’s the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only visiting one page.  What is a good target? Avinash Kausik, Google’s digital marketing evangelist, says a healthy bounce rate looks like something between 40 and 60%. Here are some of the sharpest ways you can keep people on your website for more than a few seconds:

1. Remove Immediate Pop-Ups

2. Crank Up Your Contrast

Just because you’ve got the sharpest vision on the block doesn’t mean your website visitors are as fortunate. VisFire marketing reports that increasing contrast between text and background is the single easiest and most effective way to reduce your bounce rate. Mashable reports that over 53 million Americans aged 45 or older have some sort of visual impairment. With the rise of mobile technology, sharper contrast also makes your content more accessible for a wide array of screen resolutions.

3. Avoid Confusing Visitors

Your prospects have too much on their to-do lists to figure out confusing navigation. While the average length of a website visit is typically less than one minute, the first 10 seconds are critical to their decision to stay or go. No one should have to hunt for insight on your product, services, or mission. Make your purpose evident and navigation as easy as possible.

4. Kill Distractions

When it comes to loading your website, every second counts. Kissmetrics research has found that as a general rule of thumb, 4 seconds is the maximum length of time your prospects are willing to wait around; after 4 seconds your abandonment rate will exceed 25%.  Besides, it looks so unprofessional that page speed is a variable that Google is now using in its ranking algorithm.

5. Make Your Purpose Clear

They care about what you can do for them, and that needs to be clear to them. Your homepage design needs to begin and end by communicating value and purpose to your visitors, and your navigation needs to be simple enough they’re able to absorb all your invaluable information in seconds.



Facebook Graph Search: Still Searching for the Impact?

From blogs.gartner.comJanuary 23, 7:40 PM

And as a companion piece to the adjacent Forrester scoop, again we’re too early for marketers especially B2B Marketers…


Advertising: No question, organizations will want to take a fresh look at Facebook advertising options in the coming year. With such limited rollout, it’s unlikely that near-term 2013 ad plans will change, but as ad opportunities shift, and as increased ad targeting options are revealed, organizations will  need to re-assess their decisions whether or not to invest (or how to invest) in Facebook advertising. The story is certain to unfold further from here, but for now, it makes sense to put a note out to your agency, or whoever does your ad buying, that you’re interested in accounting for why Facebook ads are (or not) being used as part of your future campaigns.



Testing Facebook Graph Search: First Thoughts

From blogs.forrester.comJanuary 23, 7:38 PM

It’s still too early to assess the potential advantages for the marketer: no tools available.  And very uncertain if there is an advantage for the B2B marketer. Bottom line for the marketer:


There was no component specifically for marketers in the first beta product; however, if implemented well, this is an opportunity for Facebook to offer more targeted ads to marketers oriented around purchase intent in the same manner that has served Google AdWords well for years.



FREE: Content Marketing Survey Report 2013

From www.businessbolts.comJanuary 23, 7:34 PM

FREE report…summary of what you’ll receive:


In this free 25-page report, we attempt to find out more about the use of content marketing strategies. Both content creation and distribution are examined. Inside this free report, you’ll discover:

  • What type of content (articles, video, images, reports, podcasts) marketers are focusing on now and where they plan to head in the future.
  • The top 10 questions marketers have on content marketing.
  • Tools and services content marketers wish existed.
  • How much time and money marketers are spending on their content creation efforts.
  • The top benefits of creating and distributing content.
  • Revenue breakdowns so you can uncover trends of top earners.


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