Tag Archives: marketing operations

Knowing your audience

Marketing is all about knowing your audience and what they want, or what you want to make them believe they want. Right? So getting knowledge about your targetmarket is crucial.

The company Mapbox is a big help in this. For instance, they use twitterdata  and map where people are using what kind of mobile device. So, when your targeting France, you know you have to use  Blackberry, and if your targeting The Netherlands use the Iphone.

Check out your audience

 

Why Big Data Isn’t a Panacea

As people increasingly use digital communication channels to access information, execute business transactions, and interact via social networks, the volume of data regarding these activities grows exponentially. This massive and growing volume of information is now being called big data, and few topics have received more attention in marketing and technology circles over the past couple of years. According to many pundits, big data can dramatically improve the quality of business decision-making generally and the quality and effectiveness of marketing in particular. It can enable companies to develop valuable insights about what current and prospective customers want, what competitors are doing, and how markets are changing.

The hype surrounding big data has been huge, and many prominent voices have been effusive in describing big data’s potential benefits. Recently, though, several articles and blog posts have attempted to provide a more balanced view of big data. The authors don’t dispute the importance of big data or the value of using data to support business and marketing decisions. However, they do identify some of the reasons that big data isn’t likely to be the “silver bullet” that the hype suggests.

Here are brief summaries of two of these recent commentaries.

The Big Data Fallacy And Why We Need To Collect Even Bigger Data (Dr. Michael Wu, Principal Scientist of Analytics at Lithium)—In this blog post, Dr. Wu begins by stating that data is only as valuable as the information and insights we can extract from it. He then argues that data and information are not synonymous and, more importantly, that more data doesn’t produce proportionately more information because of the redundancy that exists in nearly all data sets. Dr. Wu also argues that not all information will provide insights. He contends that a substantial amount of the information in most data sets is not interpretable and therefore cannot produce insights. And, of the information that is interpretable, some will be irrelevant noise that cannot support valuable insights.

Read More…

More Evidence that PIM Technology Drives Improved Performance

In three earlier posts (herehere, and here), I discussed the growing importance of effective product information management (PIM), and I described research by Heller Software AG and Stuttgart Media University that documented the major benefits that enterprises will obtain by implementing dedicated PIM software technologies. Some of those benefits include:

  • Lower data management/maintenance costs
  • Reduced catalog creation costs
  • Lower translation costs
  • Greater use of product catalogs
  • More multilingual marketing

Recently, the Aberdeen Group released research findings that further demonstrate the value of dedicated PIM software technology. The Aberdeen research focused on retailers that use an “omni-channel” go-to-market strategy. These firms need to provide a consistent customer experience across multiple interaction channels (bricks and mortar, web, mobile, etc.).

The table below includes some of the findings of the Aberdeen research. These findings show the year-over-year impact of product information management/master data management systems on several key performance indicators. Results are shown both for retailers that use PIM/MDM technologies and for those that do not.

Read More…

Across people, platforms, channels, screens, processes…

Big data, smart data, little data. Data is everywhere; it powers our daily lives. As consumer media consumption continues to shift digitally, marketers are faced with a new set of challenges in reaching their audiences with the right message, at the right time, and through the right channels. Marketers’ ability to collect and analyze data — big, small, social and otherwise — is needed to help create great customer experiences. This discussion will take a look at the ways marketing is adapting across people, platforms, processes, screens, and channels because of this surge of available data.

 

Do marketers need a plan B?

In the last decade thousands of papers and presentations, have been written to instruct marketing and IT practitioners in how to improve the way they execute marketing campaigns. “We believe that the body of conventional wisdom amassed over the years is missing the point”, say Eric Rotkow and Thomas Manders from Coffee + Dunn Inc in their whitepaper ‘Marketing is different’. “What’s more, we believe there is a better approach to building sustainable marketing operations, and it is not rocket science.”

The two start their paper with a bold statement. “From a marketing operations point of view marketers are no better of than they were a decade ago and their conventional thinking persists”, they state in the first paragraph of the first chapter.

There are three common views on marketing which don’t work:

Not traditional

Traditional approaches to marketing do not work the way marketing works. The approaches do not account for marketers’ natural iterative human relationships and their fundamental task to enrich and deploy their ideas as late in the process as possible. Managing global decision-making, reporting relationships, incentives, processes and technologies are wildly complex and making sweeping improvements is nearly impossible.

Technology

The technology available today is mature, does what it must do: supporting customer interactions and providing data to inform the next interaction. However, according tot Rotkow and Manders, a view on the full ecosystem of technologies that help marketers get the work done – think back office – and those that interact with customers- think front office – reveals there is a significant incongruence. Front-office tools are increasingly utilized to manage customer interactions across channels. While back-office solutions haven’t been fully executed by the softwarevendors who have instead responded with incomplete solutions which are serviceable but further isolate marketing, rather than connecting it to the enterprise.

Advisors

Advisor don’t know it all. The gaps left across agencies, consultants, and technology vendors, results in a disconnection between a marketer’s operational capabilities and the customers it is trying to influence. Who is designated to build marketing – people, process, and technology – to drive the capabilities needed to deliver the world-class programming? “No one, in our view”, Rotkow and Manders say.

Marketing is unique

That is because marketing is a different kind of cookie. Marketing is unique because:

  • Marketers must navigate unprecedented technological advances and a new regulatory standard (think of, for example, all the new channels coming up)
  • Marketers must navigate increasingly complex internal relationships
  • Marketing process is critical to success, though linear approaches don’t meet the challenge
  • Marketers depend on a network of resources to successfully collaborate

The depth and complexity of the issues discussed by Rotkow and Manders cannot be addressed in a simple checklist of action items to be owned by the CMO’s direct reports. The best path forward is not a new buzz, but rather that marketers may realize operational improvements by applying the marketing-specific design principles to tried-and-true business design frameworks. Sustainable improvements require a mix of methodical top-down study and design, and practical bottom-up initiatives.

In conclusion they state: “Marketers who wish to enjoy an advantage in the coming decade will adopt a view of their organization – an uncomfortable view perhaps – that is less about a hierarchical organizational design and more about collaborative human interactions set within a specific process context. They will use a smart mix of technologies to enable these collaborations made possible by even smarter information standards that allow open communication. To start, marketing and technology leaders should initiate a top down design of an optimum marketing function, while identifying high impact improvement opportunities from the bottom up. In time, the top down will meet the bottom up for an organization that has the capacity for dynamic operations.”

Advertising will be entertainment, marketing will be about content

Content Marketing and PR Thinking will dominate the future of marketing. At least that is what European students say when asked about the future of their industry. It’s one of the interesting results of a study by the MediaSchool Group.

A survey amongst 2000 students in the age of 20 to 25 years by the MediaSchool Group revealed that 70 percent of the students think that marketing will be a whole different kind of job than today. They think that marketing will be “dominated” by content marketing and “PR thinking.” An advertisers job will be mostly to “entertain” rather than “sell,” according to 7 in 10. Recent survey results indicate that American consumers already believe that should be the case.

The European students almost universally see the importance of social media as an integrated marketing channel: 90 percent feel that it’s a channel that should be used by all practitioners, rather than a stand-alone discipline. As a result, 85 percent believe that in the next 10 years, social media and digital agencies will be integrated with other marketing communications agencies or be full-service agencies themselves.

In an industry where entertaining is more important than selling, 81 percent either agreed or strongly agreed that content marketing – where brands become publishers and creators of their own content – would be an essential part of their job 10 years from now. Meanwhile, “PR Thinking,” where word-of-mouth creation and trust in brands are paramount, will be similarly important, according to the students, with 70 percent believing that will be the primary way in which agencies respond to briefs.

And in a nod to TV, an excellent medium for story-telling, 70 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed that TV advertising would be irrelevant in 10 years.

 

Personalize your marketing

For maximum impact and return, marketers must go beyond simple segment marketing or click reporting and create a personal dialogue with each visitor.

Behavioral digital analytics can fuel this personalization process by providing specific insights about each segment and individual. This can drive personalized product and content recommendations, as well as individually tailored retargeting for greater marketing ROI

CIO Technology Priorities for 2013

Recent research by Gartner, Inc. shows that the priorities of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for 2013 are shifting toward customer-oriented and other externally-focused technology initiatives. The Gartner report, Hunting and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda, was based on a worldwide survey of over 2,000 CIOs working in 36 industries in 41 countries.

Here are the top 10 CIO technology priorities for 2013 identified in the Gartner research:

  1. Analytics and business intelligence
  2. Mobile technologies
  3. Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)
  4. Collaboration technologies (workflow)
  5. Legacy modernization
  6. IT management
  7. CRM
  8. Virtualization
  9. Security
  10. ERP applications

Read More…

The Marketing Operations Manager

To get the most out of your marketing operations, you need three different managers, says Heidi Bullock from Marketo in her latetst blog.

The first is a Content Manager, the second a Nurturing Manager and last but not least a Marketing Operations Manager.

You will need someone who enjoys mechanics. Setting up integrations, key reports, segmentation, and flows in the system are just some of the activities a good marketing operations person will do.  This is one of the most critical roles to get right because they are essential to building the technological framework.  A good framework = total and complete awesomeness.  A bad framework = wasted time and added expense, which we all know equals bad things.  A good candidate for this is anyone on your team who enjoys technical details, has a good mind for process and how things work, and feels happy when in Excel.

So, do you recognize yourself in this picture?

We all need a growth hacker

Marketing automation company Ifbyphone recently published their 2013 State of Marketing Measurement Survey. “It’s one of the most exciting research studies we have conducted in this rapidly changing sector”, says Ifbyphone CEO Irv Shapiro. “I am fascinated by many of the results that reflect the innovation that is occurring in marketing measurement.”

So, what are the results?

A primary trend from the 2013 research is the level of support, and scrutiny, that marketers are receiving from their CEO’s around marketing measurement as a growth engine. Two thirds of CEO’s surveyed have significant influence in marketing decisions and half receive regular marketing measurements. In fact, one in ten CEO’s seek marketing measurements daily (9.2 percent) while one in five (19.7 percent) are receiving updates weekly.

How often marketing metrics are reported

 (graph by Ifbyphone ‘2013: State of Marketing Measurement Survey Report’)

What is being measured?

Marketing teams are being asked to measure a wider range of marketing metrics with a greater focus on revenue and tracking of customer interactions from both offline and online sources. Tracking new customer sources is the highest rated marketing metric utilized (by 49 percent of all respondents), with measuring increases in sales/revenue across marketing channels a very close second (48 percent).

Given the dominance of the sales-related metrics already being measured by the marketing team, it is not unreasonable to conclude that marketing measurement innovation, which enables marketers to better track and monetize engagements with customers and sales prospects, will be a high priority in coming years.

Use of marketing metrics

 (graph by Ifbyphone ‘2013: State of Marketing Measurement Survey Report’)

Marketing enjoys budget growth

Investment in an emerging generation of marketing measurement tools is needed to satisfy the CEO’s increasing demand for tracking data. In order to facilitate this, budget growth and additional marketing resources are being provided.

Possibly as a result of the increased focus from the CEO and the growing role marketing has as a growth engine, almost half of respondents (45 percent) reported an increase in their marketing budgets in the past year while only 12 percent are working with a tighter marketing budget.

Respondents were asked what their marketing personnel priorities would be for 2013/14 and a significant majority were focused on proactive and growth related strategies. Almost a third (32 percent) plan to add more full-time marketing resources, one in five respondents (19 percent) plan to invest in more contingent marketing workers, while one in 10 (10 percent) will hire a new marketing agency.

One in 10 respondents (10 percent) will also share resources with other departments, such as IT, reflecting the highly technical nature of twenty-first century marketing analytics. A much smaller percentage of respondents are planning to downsize their investment in marketing personnel in 2013/14.

The emergence of the Growth Hacker

In line with increasing marketing budgets, more marketing people are being hired. Growth hackers, marketers who combine marketing knowledge with a strong technical background to drive growth, are having an impact on improvements in marketing measurement. One quarter of respondents (25 percent) now have a Growth Hacker on their marketing team, the same percentage that have Product Managers.

Marketing teams with Growth Hackers are prioritizing investments in emerging marketing measurement technology, across both online and offline channels. Almost three quarters of marketing teams with a Growth Hacker engaged (72 percent) are experimenting with Voice-Based Marketing Automation (VBMA), 19 percent more than marketing teams generally. Meanwhile, 44 percent of marketing teams with Growth Hackers are using marketing automation software compared to only 26 percent of marketing teams generally.

Over a third of Growth Hacker-backed marketing teams (34 percent) are utilizing heat map tools compared with only 20 percent of the average marketing teams. Almost twice as many marketing teams with Growth Hackers (28 percent) are experimenting with emerging workflow automation tools, compared to 15 percent generally.

Across every category of marketing measurement technology, it is the Growth Hackers who are leading the charge in experimenting and innovating with emerging tools that will give them, their CEO, and their marketing colleagues the edge in tracking where the best results are being achieved for marketing investments.

See the complete survey at Ifbyphone.com