Here are The Marketing Automation Alert’s best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Thursday, 3/21/13. 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
Few understand the what, why, and how of predictive analytics. Here’s a short, ordered reading list designed to get you up to speed super fast:
- The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t by Nate Silver.
- Predictive Analytics: The Power To Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel.
- Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff Of of Trial-and-Error For Business, Politics, and Society by Jim Manzi.
- Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques by Ian H. Witten, Eibe Frank, and Mark Hall.
- The Forrester Wave: Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions, Q1 2013 (Forrester client access only).
Thank you Forrester! Click through for a quick summary of each read. NOTE: we believe Predictive Analytics to be the next step post-marketing automation, as the data collective through your MAP is a goldmine. As a B2B marketer, you need to get a good backgrounder on Predictive.
Tips, tricks and best practices from 11 thought leadership that will help marketers make it rain with marketing automation.
#1: You can’t automate a process that doesn’t exist—always map your lead flow
#2: Deliver targeted, relevant content when it counts–understand your prospects’ buying cycle
#3: Hang out with Joe the sales guy, Sandra the marketer, Bob the analyst–create buyer personas
#4: Don’t shove datasheets in your prospect’s face–craft the right message, at the right time
#5: Always use the deliverability circle–understand email reputation
#6: Eliminate the need for extra work in the long run–label, label, label
#7: Design your forms to appear short—always capture leads effectively
#8: Data should drive lead scoring conversations and decisions–keep it simple and objective
#9: Hand leads to sales on a silver platter–align marketing and sales using CRM
#10: Validate that a prospect’s digital behaviors are what they appear to be–add a human touch
#11: Nurture is a framework for your content, not a story with a fixed plot–build a non-linear nurture
Excellent collection of advice from marketing automation users.
Data is hot. “Big data” is the buzzword du jour. Marketers are told to harness data, clean that data and use it to perform analytics to help improve future marketing efforts. The questions for many marketers might be how to get it, what to do with it and most importantly, how can that data actually help?
Blue Coat, a network security and optimization firm, developed a data-driven strategy beginning with its lead capture tactics and continuing throughout the entire Marketing-Sales pipeline. Read on to find out how Blue Coat executed this successful strategy.
We wouldn’t call this Big Data, however, it is a GREAT case study on data analysis, and use of the analysis to improve marketing operations. Many lessons to be learned!
“There are plenty of whitepapers and decks on the merits of the amazing powers of marketing automation. But this complex product is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
- What are your short-term goals from marketing automation?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Do you want detailed metrics and reports on your campaigns, channels and the marketing program?
- Do you want to use one single solution to handle diverse activities such as email and website analytics instead of multiple tools and solutions?
- Do you wish to heighten sales and marketing integration?
- Who will be your users? While demand generation managers, sales and inside sales will be your primary users, even your senior management may want to look at the dashboard. Your SEO and social media folks could use some of the functions.
- Is your website conversion ready? Do you have significant amount of website traffic?
- Do you have lists for your campaigns?
- Do you have plenty of content assets to run lead nurturing campaigns?
- Have sales & marketing agreed on what makes a lead and a qualified lead?
- What is marketing’s service level agreement with sales?
- What processes do you want to automate with this platform?
- What efficiencies will you derive from automating these processes?
This post gets to the crux of the matter with regards to if and why you may need marketing automation. Answer these questions correctly, and you’ll find yourself in a much better situation around MA evaluation and selection.
With the popularity of AdWords, advertisers can struggle to find other channels that are manageable and effective. These SES New York sessions will show you how to break out of this mold and dive into hot new PPC options – or improve your ROI.
Recommended SES NY Sessions…
1. Social Media Ads on Twitter and Facebook
On Day 1, head to Maximizing Twitter and Facebook Ads for Lead Gen, Engagement & ROI to learn how social PPC can generate a positive ROI from speakers Tal Baron of DataXu and Jennifer Wong of HasOffers.
2. Yahoo Bing Network Ads
Want to know how Bing can help grow your business? Ask Speakers Jason Dailey and Brian Utter of Microsoft. On Day 1 they will present Bing Ads: The Next Evolution in Search Advertising.
3. Retargeting Ads
Retargeting is a very effective form of paid ads. Speakers Adam Berke of AdRoll and Kimm Lincoln of Nebo Agency will share a healthy list of dos and don’ts for executing remarketing campaigns in Follow, Reach, Convert: Smart Retargeting/Remarketing on Day 3.
If you’re heading out to SES NY, the author has kindly recommended a few Paid Search sessions. Wish we were there for the retargeting session.
“Jaw-dropping social campaigns are no accident; they’re the result of an intentional, strategic framework that’s both scalable and accountable.”
Summarized and condensed…
Attaining that “wow factor” isn’t mutually exclusive with delivering measurable business results, but it requires tackling the following five steps:
- The framework. Specifically, you need to spend as much time as you can clearly defining your overall marketing objectives…Nothing derails a marketing machine faster than a campaign that – however awesome it looks on paper – takes away from the overall focus of your company.
- The concept. The concepts are…a direct result of intense problem solving: What are my objectives (from step one), and what’s the most creative and effective way to achieve them?
- The experience. Every concept must pass the human test. I cannot emphasize this enough. Every social campaign you create must absolutely resonate on a basic, human level.
- The measurement. Get to know your analytics tool really well. Make sure all your digital properties are tagged appropriately. Create unique campaign IDs that allow you to measure the engagement on every single tweet, post, and update. Walk through the entire user journey yourself – and then dive back into your analytics – to confirm every action is captured, from first click to conversion.
- The content. I’ve intentionally left content to the very end. The reason: just as the creative concepts are the result of clearly defined marketing objectives, so content is a direct result of a clearly defined concept and user experience.
The essence of what needs to be done to deliver on a successful social media effort for the B2B marketer. Please click through for details beyond the summary.
Metrics & ROI – Social media is full of numbers, but most of the time we don’t use them in any actionable way… because social metrics are often too complicated. But here are some …
We’ll start by asking three key questions, and then we’ll do some basic calculations to measure our success in each area:
- Are my efforts bringing traffic to my website?
- Metric 1: Monthly Referral Traffic
- Metric 2: Month-Over-Month Traffic Growth
- Is my social reach growing?
- Metric 1: Potential Audience Reach
- Metric 2: Email List Conversion
- Are people enjoying my content?
- Metric 1: Total Engagement Score
- Metric 2: User Feedback Wall
Great post for logical, simple metrics to social analysis. The post provides a rationale for each, as well as the formula. Easy, easy, easy!
Late last week, the Facebook team wrote a blog post that let users “under the hood” to show them how Graph Search goes about indexing and ranking search query results on the social network.
Of all of the information released in the blog post (and there is a lot), perhaps the most important and useful of it all is that Facebook is not only going to use Graph Search to find data, but also to build upon it and include new features that will quantify important elements of a search query to provide the most relevant information based on factors unique to a particular query. This includes the distance between a searcher and a place, how close a searcher is from user results in terms of friend connections and the amount of overlap a query may have with an entity name, among others. In other words, naming things right and having many friends are both great ways to improve your Facebook page’s performance when it comes to graph search results.
If you care about social media optimization at all, use this information as a digital blueprint for a successful Facebook presence in Graph Search results.
This post is based on a Facebook blog post that provides greater detail to Graph. You may want to click through to the article and the FB post for details.
Lead scoring isn’t really a numbers game. Sure, there are points assigned to a lead based on multiple criteria, but lead scores are used to determine sales-readiness by quantifying activity that’s driven by quality information.
Here are three primary types of criteria that should be established in order to properly qualify leads and how each influences the actual scoring:
Scoring based on engagement seems pretty simple on the surface. Criteria that fall under this category usually includes interactions like number of pageviews, website visits, social media mentions and emails opened or clicked.
Behavior-based scoring involves looking at the historical trends for leads who moved to sales qualified, opportunity or customer stages in the lifecycle and finding patterns in their paths. The benefit of scoring on these interactions, rather than just engagement, is that it weeds out the tire-kickers and is less likely to allow someone’s score to be disproportionate to his actual interest.
Scoring based on persona is the most valuable type of scoring you can do. Beyond a lead’s actions, the information a lead provides about him/herself can make a marketing automation system do much of the time-consuming qualifying before a lead even hits a salesperson’s queue.
Foundational information behind marketing automation lead scoring. We have found that a vast majority of models are engagement based. Regardless, any post that includes a photo of a Washington Nationals scorecard is worthy of scooping.
Digital marketing budgets averaged 2.5% of company revenue in 2012, growing 9% in 2013 — and that’s still too low. At a time when 2012 marketing operating budgets were over 10% of revenue, spending only 25% on digital marketing implies some companies aren’t taking the shift seriously enough.
Let’s look at just 3 areas of digital marketing spending.
- Digital/on-line advertising makes up the largest part of the digital marketing budget, but is a small percent of total advertising.
- Corporate website also makes up a large part of the digital marketing budget…It used to be enough to update websites a few times a year, but now has become a continuous process and one you simply can’t underfund.
- Digital commerce experience is the top priority for increased digital marketing spending in 2013…Not fully mature yet, but all organizations should be exploring and piloting.
Gartner offers free research that was used for this post: “Key Findings from U.S. Digital Marketing Spending Survey, 2013”. We previously scooped this, but wanted to make sure you had access.
[We] present to you our 2013 Digital Influence Report, which replaces our historical State of the Blogosphere and expands the concept of all things social. We hope you’ll benefit from the valuable insights culled from surveys that included over 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers and 150 top brand marketers.
A definite B2C slant, but useful just to skim topline trends that may be applicable to B2B.
Content marketing gurus often focus on glamorous B2C examples, says Catherine Toole of Sticky Content. But what are the tricks to producing high-quality B2B content marketing?
Well, if everyone’s a publisher now, then perhaps we’d better start acting like one. With a bit of imagination and some old-school editorial skills, you can embed a process that will support your content development, no matter how seemingly unsexy the subject matter, or how reluctant your internal stakeholders:
- Know what you know and stick with it
- Seek out subject matter experts
- Establish an editorial calendar
- Make it manageable
- Rule with a rod of iron
- Have ideas. Lots of them
We’re all publishers, and the author is right: we need to act like publishers. So what are the basics for the B2B publisher? Click through for greater discussion around each of the aforementioned bullet points.
Video sells. Sure, production can cost more than a simple article — but the ROI potential is definitely there.
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