The Top 17 Marketing Automation Articles Curated Today, Monday, 2/25/13

Here are The Marketing Automation Alert’s best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Monday, 2/25/13. 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


Oracle set to ramp up marketing software battle with – ARN

From, 7:48 AM

Oracle integration of Eloqua…


Oracle Social Engagement and Monitoring will classify and aggregate social data and feed it into Eloqua’s segmentation model, Kurian added. Sales and marketing teams will be able to collaborate using Oracle Social Network. Finally, Oracle’s core CRM (customer relationship management) software will provide lead management, sales automation and contact management as well as feed customer profile data into Eloqua for campaign targeting and other purposes.


Impact on SFDC…


To that end, it has long been speculated that will acquire a marketing automation vendor rather than continue to rely on partners such as Eloqua and Marketo, but that hasn’t happened so far. also made an investment in Infor, which has a marketing automation product called Epiphany.

“They have too many small investments that create a conflict of interest if they get into marketing,” said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. “So they have to create a place for marketing products to fit in the ecosystem without cannibalizing it. Hence the confusion.”

“In Oracle’s case, they bought one of the best cloud-based marketing platforms, and they will keep buying their way into innovation in the cloud,” Wang added.

Core CRM software “has been a failure at most companies,” Wang said. “It succeeded at managing sales folks and automation, it barely touched the customer, it sucked at building relationships. The shift away from CRM is about front office and supporting customer experiences. The emphasis is about engagement and building relationships. We’re now focusing on the more important aspects at which CRM failed.”


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

Article was based on webcast from 2/21.



Featured Marketing Automation Article #2


Using Design Principles to Increase Conversions – Unbounce

From unbounce.comToday, 8:02 AM

A how-to showing how fundamental conversion centered design principles can be used to increase conversions on your landing pages.



Part 1. Persuasive Design For Lead Gen Forms

Step 1: Using Encapsulation to Increase Conversions

Encapsulation refers to the use of a container to highlight what’s inside. Landing page tip: Use strong dynamic shapes to constrain your point of interest.

Step 2: Using Color & Contrast to Increase Conversions

Color can be used to create an emotional response from your visitors. Orange, for example, is known to generate positive feelings and as such is a great choice for the color of your CTA.  Landing page tip: Use a single color (with a variety of tones) for your entire landing page – except for the CTA. Make it jump off the page.

Step 3: Using Directional Cues to Increase Conversions

As directional cues, arrows are about as subtle as a punch in the face – which is why they work so well. With so little time on your page, guiding the user to the checkout is a smart move.

Arrows let you say, “ignore everything else and pay attention to this please.” Landing page tip: Call attention to your most important page elements by using strangely placed and angled arrows. Tie a sequence of arrows together to define a path for the visitor to follow, ending at your CTA.


Part 2. Persuasive Design for CTAs

Step 1: Using Whitespace to Increase Conversions. Landing page tip: Give your CTA some breathing room to make it stand out from the rest of your design.

Step 2: Using CTA Copy Design & Placement to Increase Conversions. The ideal technique here is to break up the copy into primary and secondary statements


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

Trust us when we say that the summary above does not serve the article justice. Strongly encourage you to click through to see the graphics associated with the design principals.



Value Proposition Optimization: 5 steps to discovering your value prop using an email campaign | MarketingExperiments

From www.marketingexperiments.comToday, 8:47 AM

Value proposition is at the heart of all your marketing efforts. Understanding the core motivations that appeal to your customers can increase the performance of your email marketing campaigns significantly.




Five steps for using your email marketing campaigns to discover your value proposition:

Step #1: Identify potential claims of value

Identifying potential claims of value is really all about brainstorming.

Step #2: Estimate the force of each claim

You can estimate the force of your claims by using elements of appeal and exclusivity to rank the potential claims you brainstormed for your product.

Austin explained how the elements are perceived by potential prospects.

Appeal – “I want this”

Exclusivity – “I can’t get this anywhere else”

 “You want to test claims that have high levels of both appeal and exclusivity,” Austin explained.

Step #3: Test within subject lines (Round 1)

Next, Austin showed the audience how ranked value proposition claims should be crafted into competing subject lines and tested using multivariate A/B testing.

Using subject lines in split tests gives marketers a quick way to begin discovering which of your value propositions have greater appeal with your customers. This is also where those large sample sizes come in handy for validating your test results.

Step #4: Test within body copy (Round 2)

Once you have isolated a few of the more appealing value propositions through testing, you can begin to further test the winning claims by infusing them into the body copy of your emails.

Some of the most optimal places Austin suggested for infusing value proposition claims into your emails are:

  • First sentence
  • Featured bullets
  • Bold phrases
  • Call-to-action
  • Post-script

 Step #5: Interpret and implement

Austin ended the session by explaining the importance interpretation and implmenetaion play in the analysis of metrics from your tests.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

This makes all the sense in the world. Testing value props through email marketing campaigns is a sensible approach to see what works! See the post for details.



Navigating the Social Labyrinth: Vine, Graph Search & Quora Untangled – Unbounce

From unbounce.comToday, 8:52 AM

Twitter’s Vine, Facebook’s Graph Search & Quora’s blogging platform are new to the social media landscape. Here are 30 posts to help you figure them out.


Twitter’s Vine: They Redefined Online Communication — Again

1. Vine: A New Way to Share Video

2. Twitter’s Vine App Raises Questions About Social Media Age Restrictions

3. Will Vine for Twitter Make Brands Rethink Video Creation?

4. 5 Ways Marketers Can Use Twitter’s Vine App to Drive Social Media ROI

5. 6 Ways Vine’s Six Seconds May Change Twitter

6. The Vine Effect: How Twitter’s App Is Impacting Social Video Startups

7. Twitter’s Vine Is Perfect for Fashion Week

8. 5 Unofficial Ways to Watch Twitter Vine Videos

9. How Writers & Readers Can Use Twitter’s Vine

10. How 15 Real Businesses Are Getting Creative with Vine for Marketing

11. Twitter Makes Video Marketing More Accessible with Mobile App, Vine


Facebook: Is Graph Search Stalker Gold?

12. Review: Facebook’s Graph Search Is Stalker Gold

13. A Primer on Facebook Graph Search

14. Facebook Graph Search Explained for Marketers

15. Review: Facebook’s Graph Search is Promising but Incomplete

16. Facebook Graph Search: What It Means for You

17.Do This Now, Before Facebook’s Graph Search Embarrasses You

18. You Can’t Hide from Facebook Graph Search

19.Actual Facebook Graph Searches

20. You Won’t See Facebook’s Graph Search on iPhone or Android Anytime Soon

21. A Glimpse Into Facebook’s Graph Search

22. 4 Reasons to Like Facebook Graph Search — And 2 Worries

23. Is Facebook Graph Search Sacrificing Quality for Quantity?

24. The Usefulness of Facebook Graph Search Will Vary from User to User


Quora’s New Blogging Platform: Your Ultimate Audience

25. Quora Launches Blogging Platform with Mobile Text Editor to Give Every Author a Built-In Audience

26. Answer This: Will Quora’s New Blog Platform Attract Brands?

27. Quora Introduces a Blogging Platform. Are You Swooning Yet, Marketers?

28. Q: Is Quora the Next Big Blogging Platform?

29. Quora’s New Blogs Take the Site Beyond Q&A, But Not to Profits

30. Content Marketing Tips: A Breakdown of Quora’s Audience Platform


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

THANK YOU UNBOUNCE! Tremendous compendium of Vine, Graph and Quora Blogging articles! If you need a primer on any or all, this is it! Click through for details!!



14 Ways To Make Google Love Your Site [Infographic] – Content Corssroads via Bit Rebels

From www.bitrebels.comToday, 7:19 AM

If you are looking to boost your relationship with Google, these 14 ways to make Google love you are perfect to address in order to gain more traffic.


Should IT Select Your Marketing Automation? – LeadLife

From leadlife.comToday, 7:17 AM

IT should be a support mechanism to help marketing reach their business objectives, not deter them by driving decisions that may not meet marketing’s needs.


Key excerpt…

Obviously, with SaaS-based software, the onus on IT naturally becomes significantly less. With SaaS offerings such as marketing automation, IT’s role needs to evolve into that of a service organization versus one that deploys and maintains software. IT should be included in the selection and alignment of processes, but not own the final decision. Marketers know what they need. And, in fact, based on the robustness and complexity of many back-end systems, SaaS-based software, especially for front office systems like marketing automation, actually provides a big sigh of relief for IT. So why is it that in some organizations marketers are taking a step back and still deferring to their IT brethren? If companies expect marketing and sales to drive revenue, then they need to let those departments decide what tools they need to do it and how to best accomplish their goals.

iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

We completely agree. And conversely: the marketer does not want to be in a situation to justify all aspects of the MAP, as inevitably the marketer will need to explain/instruct as a part of the process of justifying the recommendation. Own it, and incorporate IT as a part of the decision making process.



What’s next for the Marketing Automation industry? | CustomerThink

From www.customerthink.comToday, 7:32 AM

Key excerpt…


That brings me back to the issue of complexity for marketers. Most aren’t going to do all this work. SMBs will want an integrated solution that will include all the parts, which leads to vendors like Infusionsoft. Even larger companies will look for integrated suites, which is one good reason why Oracle acquired Eloqua.


What, then, is the future of the niche providers? I hate to say it, but the answer is most likely “go big or go home.” I’ll admit to a soft spot for start-ups and bootstrapped companies like Treehouse. And my hat is off to anyone that can keep growing profitably at 30% per year without massive outside funding.


But venture-backed software companies play a completely different game. Revenue growth is what matters above all else.


Marketo, for example, has raised $100M+ since it was founded in 2006. That money goes into product enhancements, sales and marketing, … and building a war chest to be the last vendor standing. The clock is ticking, however. Investors will want a return before long, which means either Marketo goes public or sells to large IT player to build out a marketing suite.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

This has everything to do with vendor viability. Market consolidation is occurring, first with the “A” in M&A. So as you go through the process of selecting a new vendor (or evaluating an existing vendor), you need to ask yourself if this company can make it as a standalone.



Why Content Marketing Matters [Infographic] – Boot Camp Digital

From infographicjournal.comToday, 7:22 AM

Did you know that at this point, over 88% of businesses are active on social media? By now, most companies have realized that social media is crucial to gaining brand awareness and driving new sales, leads, and customers in 2013.



Considering A Marketing Automation Solution? 5 Simple Tips for Implementation – DemandGen

From www.demandgenreport.comToday, 7:38 AM

Key summary…


Here are five simple tips to consider as you implement marketing automation.

1. Align Your Sales And Marketing

2. Pick A Trailblazer

Sales adoption is key to the success of a marketing automation roll out. Pick a high-performing sales rep who is also open to new ideas, and make sure he or she understands marketing automation from a sales perspective. Then let this sales rep be an evangelist for the platform and explain its value to the rest of their team, spreading the message about how it can save sales reps time, identify qualified leads, and allow for more targeted follow-up.
3. Define A Process

4. Go Beyond The Defaults

5. Focus On The Content

If marketing automation is the engine powering modern sales and marketing departments, then content is the fuel. One of the biggest challenges many marketers face in making automation work is finding or creating relevant content for landing pages, drip campaigns, and more across a long sales cycle.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

We’ve included the explanation behind points #2 and #5. #5 is obvious: content is the fuel to marketing automation. #2 is intriguing, and something to seriously consider. We don’t know if a trailblazer is the right word, rather, you’ll want to select the influencer amongst the sales team.



Social Bookmarking Sites Can Work Wonders | LeadFormix

From www.leadformix.comToday, 7:51 AM

LeadFormix shows you how social bookmarking sites can work wonders. We give you tips on how to use them well, what you can gain and what to measure.


Social Bookmarking Sites Can:

  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Improve SEO.
  • Speed up page indexing by search engines.
  • Increase the reach of your content.
  • Help you discover great content to curate.
  • Give you new ideas for your blog.


Top Social Bookmarking Sites to Be on

Delicious – 5.5 million unique visitors a month.

StumbleUpon – 15 million unique visitors a month.

Digg – 4.1 million unique visitors a month.

Reddit – 16 million unique visitors a month.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

We can attest to the benefits of using social bookmarking sites: you will absolutely incur great bumps in traffic. See the article for important tips.



Marketing data: exploration vs. confirmation – Chief Marketing Technologist

From chiefmartec.comToday, 8:20 AM

There is tremendous excitement around data-driven marketing.


The key excerpt…


Experiments are the bridge from exploration to confirmation.


Experiments can be explicit or implicit. To be explicit, one runs a controlled experiment, where the marketer executes a split test between two or more different alternatives, while trying to hold other variables constant — as best as possible in the complex and messy environment of real-world marketing. Controlled experiments are incredibly powerful for proving cause-and-effect relationships that impact customer behavior in a highly focused manner. They’re “explicit” because the marketer directly decides almost every aspect of how the experiment is being run.


An example of implicit marketing experimentation is personalization software that uses machine learning techniques to try many different possible ways of leveraging a certain set of data in a customer’s experience to affect their behavior. These experiments are “implicit” in the sense that that the marketer is not directly determining which hypotheses are being tested. (This tends to work best in situations where the hypotheses being tested by the software are low risk, more about discovering serendipity than fulfilling explicit customer intentions.)


Either way, the performance metrics resulting from those experiments provide confirmation of which hypotheses work. Experiments move you from uncertainty to certainty — at least as much certainty as can be determined by outcomes. The movement from exploration to confirmation builds marketing momentum.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

The article from Scott Brinker is close to impossible to summarize within this small space scoop, and we’d like to have you click through to understand what he means by exploration and confirmation so that the key excerpt above makes sense.



What comes after content marketing? Here are four ideas – BusinessGrow

From www.businessesgrow.comToday, 8:12 AM

If content is the new advertising, we may be in for trouble. Here are four ways out of the content marketing black hole.


Key idea…

Content that pays

I think we are on the cusp of seeing a merging between content marketing and the gamification trend.  Why not reward your most loyal readers with badges and award levels after completing certain tasks? A frequent flyer program for content.

Would you like to receive a Platinum Reward Level on {grow} after so many comments, shares or page views?  I am already seeing some sites that are creating Foursquare-style badges and leaderboards for participating in site activities.

As it becomes harder and harder to cut through the web’s information density, isn’t it logical that companies  would start paying you to view their information?


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

This is a very interesting notion. We’ve been researching gamification as it relates to B2B marketing, and this is a smart application/integrationg of gamification with content marketing.


_____________________________________________________________ Launches Social Ads Platform for Twitter with New Twitter Ads API – CRM Magazine

From www.destinationcrm.comToday, 8:30 AM

Brands and agencies can now manage Twitter advertising at scale alongside all of their existing social marketing programs with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


Summary… today launched a Social Ads Platform for Twitter using the new Twitter ads application programming interface. With it, marketers can now manage Twitter advertising at scale alongside all of their existing social marketing programs with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

With the new Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Ads Platform for Twitter, brands and agencies will be able to do the following:

  • Build and execute real time Twitter advertising campaigns;
  • Allow advertisers to more efficiently scale their campaigns on Twitter through innovative workflows; and
  • Improve ROI through creative, bid and targeting optimization.

iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

This is a fascinating move by SFDC, and portends future movements around digital marketing management from within your SFDC org. You’ll need to keep an eye on this…



The Problem with Gamification – CRM Magazine

From www.destinationcrm.comToday, 8:33 AM

Four reasons these apps fail and what you can learn from them.




Here are four reasons why poor implementations of gamification will fail:

1. Lack of planning and strategy. Gamification is only effective when it encourages specific behaviors to achieve specific goals. Too many business gamification implementations don’t identify success factors and therefore don’t incentivize the right behaviors.

2. Bad processes. Game mechanics can motivate people to operate in accordance with specific goals when those goals are well defined. But even if the goals are clear, they might not align with business objectives. Gamifying bad goals can be just as destructive as ignoring goals altogether.

3. Poor design. Poor game design was one of the major reasons Gartner predicted the demise of so many gamification apps before 2014. Expectations for games have never been higher.

4. Unrealistic expectations. Business gamification can be effective when it’s directed at a specific audience, supported with specific, effective goals, and built professionally to ensure engagement. But of course it has limitations. It’s important to remember that game mechanics are most effective for jump-starting behaviors, not sustaining them. That’s because at a certain point, the impact of any game mechanic will begin to fade. When done right, however, by the time the extrinsic motivator has worn thin, users will have recognized the value of the new behavior and continue it based on their own intrinsic motivation.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

Gamification is not a panacea, rather, a useful tactic that if deployed correctly could drive internal and external audiences.  However, above are four warnings.



5 Pro Tips for Successful Marketing Strategies with Tout | Wishpond

From corp.wishpond.comToday, 8:36 AM

Tout provides online social networking and microblogging service that enable over 12 million Touters (Tout users) to share 15-second messages on their videos.


You can update 15-second Tout videos and share your status in real time via, Facebook, Twitter, other various social media channels, SMS, and email. Tout’s reply feature enables users to immediately join a face-to-face conversation with other Touters and to get quick replies to their Touts.


What ROI can you achieve by using Tout?

  • Have a conversation with your audience through Tout`s reply feature.
  • Drive traffic to the other social media channels
  • Promote your company, product, or promotion
  • Create the behind the scenes Tout
  • Make a well-organized Tout video calendar


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

If you need more than Vine’s 6 seconds, here’s an alternative.



Customer Experience Matrix: HubSpot Reports 82% Revenue Growth

From customerexperiencematrix.blogspot.comToday, 8:38 AM



Compared with last year, the revenue growth rate is about the same (82% vs 85%), while the customer growth rate is sharply lower (42% vs. 55%).  That means revenue per customer grew by significantly, by 24%. This reflects HubSpot’s aggressive moves to serve larger companies and provide expanded features for traditional marketing automation such as more robust email and lead nurturing.  The revenue per customer suggest that things are going according to plan.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

We like HubSpot, and we believe that they will be one of the survivors of the forthcoming MA shakeout, either as a standalone or a part of a larger organization.



Mobile Marketers to Spend More, Despite ROI Concerns – MarketingCharts

From www.marketingcharts.comToday, 8:40 AM

Mobile marketing budgets ought to increase this year, per results from a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Acquent. 6 in 10 survey respondents – who were required to make or influence their company’s mobile marketing strategy and hiring decisions – said they expect their mobile marketing budgets to increase significantly (15%) or slightly (45%). But while their budgets will increase, their concerns about ROI look like they’re persisting.


iNeoMarketing‘s insight:

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