Archive | December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! The Christmas tree has been decorated and the turkey is in the oven. We’ll be closed over the holidays, so it’s time for some caroling at MarketingGovernance HQ.

… But not in the usual way, of course.

BMW, for example, tucked an a-capella group into their new M135i xDrive and asked them to sing ‘Jingle Bells’. While racing driver Martin Tomczyk was behind the wheel. You can just make out the song between the shrieks of terror from the singers:

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Marketing Automation by the Numbers

‘The future is bright for the marketing automation industry,’ according to this infographic by Carlos Hidalgo. Marketing Automation is increasingly being recognized as a solution to marketing challenges. Both large and smaller enterprises can benefit from the insights, control, time saved, and cost reductions achieved by Marketing Automation.

While adoption rates are still modest, but judging by the number of vendors out there, there may be a breakthrough soon.

Click the image for a larger view.
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RPM According to Marketo

‘With Marketo, you can define and automate every step of your traditional marketing programs.’

This Revenue Performance Management solution by software vendor Marketo focuses on the integration of Marketing and Sales. The program allows marketers to see in which stage of the marketing funnel leads are, and where action is needed. It includes an extensive email automation function and a detailed history of actions by potential leads.

Finally Marketo includes an analytics page, which ‘makes it easy to measure ROI and predict the impact each program will have on revenue’. The program also includes a feature to create custom reports, to zoom in on certain results.

All in all, it’s a program with a lot of possibilities.
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Insight into Insights

If there was an ‘Insight’ Facebook page, it would have millions of Likes. Why have some marketers latched onto this concept tighter than a terrier with a new toy? This article explains what an insight is, why insights are essential to developing a competitive advantage, and a best practice for finding valuable customer and market insights.

What is an Insight?
Kieron Monahan of Arnold Worldwide offered one of the best definitions for insight that I’ve ever heard:

a surprising truth that makes you think again.

Insights are more than an observation; they are a discovery gleaned from the data and facts we collect. Insights serve a variety of purposes from sparking the innovation of new products to driving the delivery of a better customer experience.  Read More…

Streamlining the Marketing Materials Supply Chain

Improving the productivity of the marketing materials supply chain may not be near the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2013. With most marketers facing strong pressures to drive increased revenues and maximize the economic return produced by every marketing activity, I can understand why they devote most of their attention to developing more effective marketing programs, creating compelling content, and generating more new sales, rather than to ‘mundane’ issues like the production and distribution of marketing consumables.

In reality, however, the marketing materials supply chain is a large, and largely untapped, source of cost savings and revenue-enhancing improvements. In most companies, the supply chain for marketing materials is fragmented and filled with manual, inefficient processes that result in excessive costs and a lack of both responsiveness and reliability. If not completely broken, many supply chains are dysfunctional and in serious need of improvement.

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Event: Marketing Operations Executive Summit

From March 18 to 20, MarcomCentral will host the Marketing Operations Executive Summit in Del Mar, California. It’s the only event dedicated 100% to Marketing Operations, according to the host.  The three-day event will include forums, a discussion panel, and keynote speakers from participating companies Forrester, Sirius Decision, Eloqua, and Adobe. In the past few years, Marketing Operations has become increasingly recognized as a hot topic across enterprise organizations and a key component in nearly all growth strategies.

From the program:

The executive summit will include sessions from the industry thought leaders and partners including Forrester, Sirius Decisions, Eloqua, MarcomCentral, SalesForce, Adobe, and a variety of forward thinking executive marketers.  Read More…

Quick Fix Guide to Content Marketing

Content Marketing is an effective way of promotion, as we discovered last week. But Content Marketing is an umbrella term for lots of different activities: whitepapers, blogging, presentations, social networking, video, etcetera. Anything to get information across to potential clients. The Content Marketing Institute describes it as follows:

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

But how to decide which strategies are most effective? This infographic (which is also a form of Content Marketing!) shows the pros and cons of different online strategies. When to use video, when to use whitepapers? Useful stuff.

Click the image for a larger view.


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Website Localization According To Dakwak

‘Companies can spend months, even years, trying to get their website to speak the language of the Web a little better. At Dakwak, we turn that idea upside down and got the Web to speak your language.’

Website localization company Dakwak offers a kind of instant search engine translation service. This allows companies to show up in search results when a consumer types in a keyword in their own language, even when their website is not offered in that language. When the consumer follows the link, they are sent to the landing page that has been translated by Dakwak.

People are more willing to buy from websites in their own language, reasons Dakwak. And from an SEO perspective it’s an interesting service. But a quick test shows that Dakwak can still learn quite a few things from Google Translate. You can do a free trial here, to see if you would buy from a website that sounds like it’s just off the boat.

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Organizational Politics Get In The Way Of BPM

Organizational politics are emerging as a challenge, and through 2016 they will prevent at least one-third of business process management (BPM) efforts progressing from one-off projects to enterprisewide adoption, according to Gartner, Inc. The prediction is based on a Gartner survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011 among 157 BPM professionals.

Elise Olding, research director at Gartner, said:

BPM is frequently successful when applied to one-off projects at a departmental level with significant benefits. However, when it comes to scaling this success up to cross-departmental programs that require collaboration and shared metrics, or that institutionalize BPM throughout the organization, efforts often stall.

For any BPM initiative to progress beyond simple process improvement projects of limited scope, efforts must be made to understand the organization’s politics, and disciplined efforts undertaken to address them.

Olding:

It’s up to the business process champion, sponsor or business process director to talk to stakeholders in order to understand and document their thoughts and positions, and so determine the best way of adapting the program.

Although organizational politics look set to hamper some BPM efforts, Gartner predicts that gamification — the broad trend of applying game mechanics to non-game environments to motivate people and change behavior — will stimulate BPM adoption during the next few years. By 2015, 25% of all redesigned processes will include one or more gamified engagement practices, Gartner predicts.

Although business processes are not games, they can benefit from a focus on more engaging process designs that deliver immediate feedback and encourage continuous improvement. For example, organizations can achieve better results from their process redesign efforts by increasing participant satisfaction with new processes, connecting participants to common goals, and providing immediate feedback on progress.

Gartner also predicts that, by 2016, 20% of ‘shadow business processes’ will be supported by BPM cloud platforms. Shadow business processes are hidden, informal work practices, often supported under the IT radar by secret spreadsheets, emails, phone calls and face-to-face collaboration.

Michele Cantara, research vice president at Gartner, said:

BPM cloud platforms are a better and more cost-effective way to automate hidden processes than secret spreadsheets or uncoordinated email threads. A BPM cloud platform — BPM platform as a service (BPM PaaS) — can track process steps, provide insight into work item status and help manage the collaborative interactions involved in unstructured processes.

In particular, high-productivity BPM PaaS will provide shadow process owners with a more attractive and productive user experience, which will encourage them to share their shadow processes.

During the next four years, process-related skills, particularly those related to tackling organizational challenges, will become an imperative for organizations as they move from individual projects to enterprisewide process transformation programs.

Olding concludes:

Politics will be a challenge that some will not overcome, but the good news is that many of this year’s predictions point to a path that leads to BPM success.

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Don’t Pave Cow Paths

As most readers probably know, ADAM Software sells technology that supports several critical marketing functions, including digital asset management, product information management, marketing collateral localization, and catalog publishing. It shouldn’t be surprising, therefore, that many of the posts I write for this blog discuss the vital role that technology now plays in marketing. Today, technology touches almost every aspect of marketing, and it has become an essential enabler of effective and efficient marketing operations.

It’s important to remember, however, that enterprises need more than technology to optimize marketing operations. Technology is never a ‘silver bullet’ that magically solves all problems. Unfortunately, many companies use technology to automate unnecessary, poorly-designed, or otherwise ineffective business processes. When companies use technology to automate bad processes, they are, in effect, paving cow paths. Read More…