Social Data Made Simple: Getting Started with a Strategy

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Last week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Social Data Made Simple: Getting Started with a Strategy. This webinar featured Ira Haberman (@irahaberman) Director of Storytelling at BrainRider, Ned Kumar (@nedkumar) Digital Strategist for FedEx and Sean Williams (@Colorado2NYC) Consumer Promotions Social Media at JetBlue Airlines. We discussed how to get started with a strategy around social data.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Know your audience – with social data there are so many sources that one could get lost trying to pull it all together – start with the end in mind in regards to what audience you are trying to reach. Let that be your guide post for any decisions on data.
  2. Sentiment is better on a group than on a single post – Sean talked about how JetBlue tracks sentiment on a group of travelers (ex. travelers to the Northeast in a snow storm versus one tweet from a single traveler)
  3. Most important part of a data strategy – is to commit to having a strategy for your data. According to the panel that is most often overlooked.

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Cultivating Creative Thinking for Customer Engagement; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

Interview with Gregg Thaler from RingLead

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Here is a recent interview with my new friend, Gregg Thaler, is a self-professed data quality junkie and the Chief Revenue Officer of RingLead. We discussed some best practices in data. I hope you enjoy!

PD:     How often is poor data the downfall of a marketing campaign?

GT:     Well, if I said every time, that would be a bit of hyperbole, but only a bit. Typically what I find with lists – especially trade show lists – is that they are the Typhoid Mary of duplicate creation in your database. Very often if you think about trade shows, who attends your booth? Many times it’s your customers or existing prospects. And booth staff will scan them indiscriminately. If you import that list without taking preventative measures, then it creates a duplicates horror show.

So, there’s another category of bad lists and those are the lists that are purchased from vendors. And there’s a very fundamental reason why lists purchased from data vendors have data quality challenges. The challenge with contact data is that it ages like fish and not like fine wine. It gets worse as it gets older, not better. Data is foundational. CRM and marketing automation are merely vessels, it is the data they contain that is the true treasure. It’s the single most critical element when it comes to determining revenue success of failure. Everything else you do further down the order of operations, its’ outcome depends completely on the input. What do you get from an automated process when you put garbage in? Garbage out.

 

PD:     What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you see B2B marketers making when it comes to data?

GT:     Well, the mistake that I’m going to describe isn’t really limited to marketers. If you want to really truly recognize the strategic benefits of having optimized data, you have to have a mindset to prevent errors at the source. There’s a simple reason for that. Generally speaking, whatever the cost is in the enterprise to get the data right at the point of creation it’s going to cost you ten times that later to fix it. But then, of course, if you do nothing, the damage caused by inferior data could be much worse, 100x worse is possible.

So often marketers come to us, and their hair is on fire they’ve got to dedupe their database right now. Yes, they’re right. You do have to remediate the situation since almost every single contact database is riddled with duplicate and non-standard data. Often, however, I hear brilliant marketers say something incredibly dumb, they’ll say “…we’ll worry about the prevention later.” Are you kidding me?

 

PD:     Who ultimately owns the data? It is really sales who owns it, or is it really marketing?

GT:     That’s a terrific question. Where should data governance reside? Who is the data steward? Traditionally it has been IT. Increasingly we are seeing the data steward role reside in marketing and sales which is where I rightly believe it should belong. Now, what we see in the market, most often the actual people who perform these data janitor-like tasks, are usually in marketing operations, followed very closely by their colleagues in sales ops. Really the best practice is, I believe that organizations should have a data quality center of excellence typically reporting into sales and marketing operations. Even if the COE is one person.

 

PD:     Let’s talk about the best way to boost productivity in marketing.

GT:     This has, of late, become a favorite topic of mine. I think it’s something that’s very under-focused on as it relates to peak performance not just for marketers, but throughout the organization. What I’m talking about is first the batch normalization of an org’s data and then the automated enforcement of data standards with technology.

I spoke to two very well-known technology companies. I asked them “how many technologies do you have in your marketing stack?” One responded 35 and another said 22. When you think about the performance efficiencies of all of those applications operating on, what for most people, is a completely non-standard set of data. That contributes to very poor application performance which would then translate into poor performance across the entire marketing stack. It’s a silent killer of revenue and application performance. People probably aren’t aware of how well those applications could perform on a standardized data set. They’ve never seen one. In the benchmarking we’ve done, we’ve seen eye-popping performance gains of up to 600% in duplicate detection in a standardized vs. non-standardized data set. Compound that kind of application performance improvement across the 35 apps that modify that data set and the gains in application performance can be off the charts.

I am completely convinced that data standardization is the single most impactful action, a unique foundation-level enabler that marketers and sales professionals can take to optimize their data for revenue performance and their applications for speed, accuracy and efficient operation.

How to Market and Sell to the Modern Buyer

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of How to Market and Sell to the Modern Buyer. This webinar was sponsored by Act-on Software and featured Amber Armstrong (@ambarmstrong) Program Director of Commerce, Social and Mobile Amplification at IBM, Jeff Soriano (@sorianojeff) Senior Director of Demand Generation at Offerpop and Rachel Rosin (@rosin_rachel) Marketing Programs Manager at Act-On Software. We discussed the changes marketing departments need to make or address in order to keep up with today’s buying habits.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Customer is driving not the marketer – Rachel laid out a 4 step content marketing plan (LINK) that really gets to the heart of the modern marketing department they include: creating buyer personas, developing a persona matrix, mapping the buyer journey and mapping your content to the buyer journey.
  2. Break with Brand Boredom – Amber discussed new ways to tell your story that are more engaging – more like a conversation than a brand talking. A great example was startup competition for millennials and entreprenuers which you can learn more about here: www.ibm.com/newwaytostartup
  3. Be Relevant – Jeff talked about the challenges associated with marketing the modern buyer and how to move your “suspects to prospects” with relevant content.

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Social Data Made Simple: Getting Started with a Strategy; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

4 Stages of a Thought Leadership Maturity Model

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Here is a great piece on the maturity of a company’s Thought Leadership program by ITSMA.

Last year I was asked by ITSMA to collaborate on this piece with them. They also tapped into companies like Deloitte, E&Y, IBM, Coginzant, SAP and more.

What came out is quite interesting for any company looking to take their thought leadership program to the next level. Here are a few points I pulled out to highlight for you that can help you make the case internally:

  • 79% of would-be buyers say thought leadership is important to critical to determining which providers they want to learn more about
  • 75% of would-be buyers say thought leadership helps them determine which buyers to put on their short list
  • Traditional format for thought leadership has been the white paper but in this era of digital and social that isn’t enough
  • To reap the benefits of a thought leadership program you must have SME’s that are recognized outside of your company
  • Interaction with SME’s in social media improves the ability to communicate key thought leadership ideas

Click here for a full copy of the report on the 4 Stages of a Thought Leadership Maturity Model

Enjoy!

Interview with Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights

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This week I had the pleasure of reading a new report from Smart Insights on the State of Digital Marketing 2015 and decided to dig in a bit further with an interview. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dave or Smart Insights – Dave Chaffey is CEO of Smart Insights, a publisher of planning templates and articles focusing on Digital Strategy with channels on B2B Marketing and Marketing automation. The following is an excerpt from our discussion, I hope you enjoy it.

1) What do you think the biggest change to Digital Marketing for B2B firms will be in the next year?

I think content personalization is the biggest opportunity into 2016 for B2B Marketers. Most B2B service marketers know the value of tailored landing pages to drive traffic and capture leads for niche B2B buyer personas. Let’s face it, these options have been around for fifteen years – your question takes me back to a workshop I did for Siebel systems around then, before they became part of Oracle. We were looking at optimizing targeted landing pages through Siebel for different search behaviors even then before some of today’s well-known marketing automation services like HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce were even established. These types of services and many others have made scalable lead generation affordable for businesses, but I often feel the potential for lead scoring and lead nurture through personalization isn’t being exploited as much as it could.

At SmartInsights.com, for example, our home page and member benefits pages are tailored by role based on their registration – so a marketing manager gets a different message and different content than say an agency manager. We setup our personalization rules in WordPress, but for marketers who don’t role their own there are many plugins and services to support greater B2B personalization, for example BrightInfo, Evergage and Marketizator to name three players. Again this approach isn’t new technically innovative, but it is underexploited. It is getting more sophisticated with automated content recommendations based on profile and content consumption – for example Idio can be used by larger businesses for this.

2) What do you see as the biggest mistakes being made in Digital Marketing by B2B firms?

The most common mistake I see is getting the balance of Content Marketing activities wrong. We all know content marketing is at the heart of digital marketing, yet often content marketing strategies don’t invest sufficient in the right range of content across the buying cycle and by content I am referring to our Content Marketing Matrix which helps businesses review the best types. The CMM also helps you think about the right balance of what Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner called nuclear and primary fuel. You need to invest in that emotion-inducing or shareable content that cuts through otherwise others who have made that investment will win across the channels whether that is SEO, Social media or Email marketing.

Then there’s content distribution… putting the investment into marketing the content you have invested in. Here there must be the right balance between paid, owned and earned media. Paid media, remarketing or retargeting through AdWords, LinkedIn or Facebook helps remind prospects about your services so it’s a mistake to miss this – it gives probably the best paid digital media ROI available. With Earned media it’s about putting the time into influencer outreach – it’s a popular buzz word, but few do this as well in my experience.

3) What one Digital Marketing tactic should a B2B Marketer adopt in the next year?

Simple – Retargeting using paid media as mentioned in my previous answer – if you’re not doing already it’s a great opportunity. If you are, there are new options available all the time, like the recent launch of the LinkedIn ‘Lead Accelerator’. You can review the options on our Content Distribution matrix.

4) What one Digital Marketing tactic should a B2B Marketer stop in the next year?

That’s tricky Paul, because we believe that any tactic can be optimized and most techniques can be made to work. If you’re not getting ROI from digital media that has to stop! But I’ll give you a simple marketing automation technique that any B2B marketer can apply – stop sending out welcome sequences that aren’t targeted, i.e. one-size fits all welcome emails. Since you collect the profile information of a prospect when they subscribe it’s a ‘no-brainer’ to target by role or vertical or need – whatever will give you the biggest uplift and different points in the lead nurturing.

Talking of Marketing Automation, we have a new survey on the opinions on Marketing Automation of B2B marketers in 2015 just launched. We’d love it if your readers can share their experiences and of course they’ll get the research report when it’s completed.

Integrating Listening Into Your Platform for ROI

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Way Beyond Listening: Integrating Listening Into Your Platform for ROI. This webinar was sponsored by Synthesio and featured Brian Melinat (@brianmelinat) Director of Marketing Analytics within Dell, Kristine Vick (@kristinevick) Principal in the Digital and Content team at SAS, and Ben Lapidus (@benlapidus) Senior Sales Engineer at Synthesio. We discussed nine ways companies have found to connect social media to revenue and ROI.

Here are nine ways to connect Social Media to Revenue and ultimately ROI

  1. Map your social activities to all 4 stages of a customer journey: Awareness, Acquisition, Activation and Retention
  2. Connect social media to all marketing campaigns to gauge response
  3. Connect social media to SEO activities to increase SEO
  4. Plot your social media sentiment against your NPS scores
  5. Provide delightful customer support
  6. Listen for Lead Gen opportunities
  7. Use social for new product ideas
  8. Use social media to vet pricing of new products
  9. Use social media for M&A ideas in your product lines

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below. Our next webinar is titled To LinkIn or Not to LinkIn: Getting Ahead of Your Competitors with Innovative Strategies; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

 

Connecting Your Enterprise: Collaboration at Scale

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Last week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Connecting Your Enterprise: Collaboration at Scale. This webinar was sponsored by Tracx and featured Nolan Carleton (@ParsleyCarleton) Lead Consultant Program Execution at AT&T, DeShelia Spann (@DeSheliaSpann) Digital Marketing Strategist at Eaton and Danielle Gerson (@tracx) solutions engineer at Tracx. We discussed how to setup an environment that cultivates growth and scale in social media.

Here are three of the key takeaways:

  1. Start Silo Busting – Most enterprises start out in a segmented environment where by multiple departments are roles are isolated from one another and using their own social media point solutions and environments. Getting those silos to come down using one software solution is the first step to greater collaboration and scale in social.
  2. Engage your Employees – An obvious place to help scale your efforts once a unified social media platform is in place is leveraging your employee advocates to help get the word out.
  3. Watch out for Disjointed Workflow – Nothing hurts your ability to scale like disjointed workflow such as groups publishing in a vacuum or keeping their own datasets separated from the rest of the organization.

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below. Our next webinar is titled Way Beyond Listening: Integrating Listening Into Your Platform for ROI; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

 

The State of Digital Marketing 2015

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With mid-year coming up and summertime upon us, many marketers are taking stock of the first half of the year and re-checking their Digital Marketing plans to finish out 2015 strong.

So I’d like to offer you some statistics I found eye-opening from a recent report published by Smart Insights:

  • One half (50%) of businesses surveyed do not have a defined digital plan or strategy, although they are active in digital marketing.
  • Nearly 60% of peoples’ time is now devoted to digital marketing activities, showing the importance of skills development in this area.

The point-counterpoint is just so stark I couldn’t help but write about this.

For any CMO, developing the skills of their team should always be a top issue. You can’t have a high performing team with spotty skills especially in the area of digital marketing. Whether that’s as simple as; how to write an effective tweet, to how to write for the web, or how to write a pay-per-click advertising the common denominator is content and writing.

Summertime is a great time to do a bunch of Lunch and Learns across your team why not consider a series of weekly lunch and learns to get the skill level across your entire team up! Here’s an infographic with more great stats – hope you enjoy!

Social Customer Service Is the New Heart of Marketing

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Social Customer Service is the New Heart of Marketing . This webinar was sponsored by Lithium and featured Dave Evans (@evansdave), the VP of Social Strategy at Lithium, Erna Alfred Liousas (@ErnaLiousas), an analyst serving B2C Marketing Professionals at Forrester Research, and Brien Hall (@BrienHall), Social Media Manager for Guest Services at AMC Theatres. We discussed why social media is becoming the primary channel for customer care.

Here are three of the key takeaways:

  1. Become customer obsessed! – Forrester research predicts we are in the Age of the Customer and that in order to become customer obsessed you need to master 4 business imperatives: embracing the shift to mobile, turning big data into big insights, transforming your customer experience, and accelerating your digital transformation.
  2. A majority of tweets to a brand go unanswered! – Its simple shocking since its proven that customer are more likely to buy when you respond that still companies don’t get it.
  3. Social media to become the primary channel in 5 years for customer care  – We spent some time discussing the impacts on the call center, first call resolution and do we need to create separate channels just for customer care in social media.

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below. Our next webinar is titled Is the Death of Social Greatly Exaggerated?; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

12 Secrets of the Human Brain to Use in Marketing

Knowing how the human mind processes information and images—and putting that knowledge to use—can help you become a more engaging and effective marketer.

Here’s a look at some fascinating facts about the human mind, from a marketing perspective.

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