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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Connecting: Content is the Secret of Marketing Success

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Stephanie Frasco loves few things more than social media. But content is one of them. “Content Is King," she stated enthusiastically. "It's everything … The key to attracting the right customers, the best tool for building relationships with prospects, the most powerful way to convert prospects into sales, the No. 1 way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, online and off.

"Yup."

Frasco, a social media marketing consultant, is vice president at Los Angeles based Convert With Content. In the past 7 years, she has worked with clients worldwide to help them maximize their efforts from social networking and blogging. 

Through a rather tongue-in-cheek blog called Socially Stephanie, she offers advice like this to B2B businesses:

I want you to absolutely think about blogging within LinkedIn's new publishing platform. Yes, this is hot off the presses. LinkedIn's publishing platform is now open to the public. The possibility of getting in front of LinkedIn's 200 million plus users is exhilarating, but you have to do it right. Create unique content for LinkedIn. Look at it as a guest blogging platform and not a syndication network. Duplicate content doesn't bode well with the Google gods. I know that I'll be spending investing some good ol' blogging sweat equity there, and you should too."

CMO Survey: Marketing Analytics are a Waste of Money

This won't help the marketing executive at the C-Suite table: Only about a third of organizational projects include marketing analytics. And there has been no significant gains for how marketing analytics contribute to a company's overall performance.

Those are two of the findings from this month's CMO Survey, the bi-annual report by Duke University, the American Marketing Association (AMA) and McKinsey & Company.

"There is a longstanding tendency for managers to not use marketing information in their decisions," said Christine Moorman, T. Austin Finch senior professor of Business Administration at Duke University and the founder and director of The CMO Survey. "We see that this holds for marketing analytics as well. Only 32.5 percent of marketing analytics that are either requested or available are used by managers to make decisions. This means that companies are spending more but not getting the full benefit of these investments."

Does Gmail's 'Unsubscribe' Link Spell More Trouble for Marketers?

Google rolled out a new feature last week that made it easier for Gmail users to unsubscribe from marketing email lists. Going forward, emails identified as “marketing” in nature will contain a prominent unsubscribe link in the header. When a user clicks the link, Gmail will notify the sender to remove the user from the mailing list without any further action required from the user.

Is this one more step in Gmail's campaign to torture marketers?

The Key to Attracting IT Buyers? Show, Don't Tell

customer experience, In Marketing to IT Buyers, It's a Show-Don't-Tell World

As a former IT buyer and current consultant for companies using Salesforce and other cloud deployments, Geraldine Gray knows what those in the market for IT products want.

They want to be showed not only what works -- but specifically where it has worked.

"Our customers love to see real life scenarios of product application through third party or user prerecorded webinars," said Gray, principal at Houston-based Endiem

And herein lies the message to the marketer. Show, don't tell. Show how your product has worked well for customers. Get out your rock stars, and turn up the amplifiers.

CMSWire talked with Gray about IT buyer habits after IDG Connect released its report, "Connecting Conversations to Content." This is the second of a three-part series examining ways to connect IT buyers with the right marketing messages. Yesterday, Erin Bolton told us it's important to use social media.

Adobe Expects New Integration to Improve Mobile Experiences

adobe experience managerDPS

How can you drive consistency across rich-content mobile apps and websites? Adobe thinks the answer lies in integrating its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) and Experience Manager, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud. The goal is to create a "unified design and publishing process."

Adobe announced the integration today.

In a conversation with CMSWire, Adobe's James Lockman, a senior solutions consultant, and Loni Kao Stark, director of product and industry marketing, described the integration as a way for publishers and brands to create, deliver and measure experiences for customers across content-rich apps like digital magazines and the web — using one set of assets. "We need to bring them together to create a seamless web experience," Lockman said.

It's Easier than Ever for Your Customers to Ignore You

empowered consumer

Hey marketers: we're living through an age of unprecedented consumer power. If you don't adapt to that fact, you may not be in business long.

That's the simple message from Incite Marketing and Communications' recent white paper, "Peacekeeper, Navigator, Student: The Marketer to 2015."

The report was written by Nick Johnson, founder and CEO of Incite, and was put together after hours of conversations with senior brand executives from companies such as L'Oréal, MetLife, Wells Fargo and Sears/Kmart in addition to conversations from 1,000 other marketing executives from companies worldwide.

Your Customers Aren't Mindless Clicking Machines

Your Customers Aren't Mindless Clicking MachinesDatability -- the theme of CeBIT 2014 tradeshow taking place March 10-14 in Hanover, Germany -- is something of a mixed bag. On one hand, we have IBM Watson evaluating medical data in order to enable physicians to provide better treatment to patients. On the other, we have communications companies utilizing big data to simply continue blanket advertising by other means.

Use Social Media to Court IT Buyers

International ICT Expo

If you're not courting IT buyers in social media or online communities, then "you're missing out," said Erin Bolton, director of digital solutions for  MarketStar, a marketing consultancy in Ogden, Utah.

"It's imperative that technology vendors have a social media presence to engage and influence the IT buyer," Bolton told CMSWire. "This presence is critical to reaching buyers at every stage of the evaluation cycle."

CMSWire caught up with Bolton after the release of the IDG Connect report, "Connecting Conversations to Content," that called for those courting IT buyers to dive into social media. Today's catch-up with Bolton starts a three-part CMSWire series.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Digital Marketing, Social Business Conferences & Events (26-Feb-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

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Brandworkz Adds BI Dashboard to DAM

Digital marketing is driven by data, and every component in marketing is increasingly enhanced by data analysis. This week, London-based Brandworkz improved its digital asset management (DAM) system with a self-service data analytics dashboard called Smarter.DAM that can be used to monitor marketing activities and campaigns as well as digital assets.

The offering, part of a partnership with Differentia Consulting, uses performance data from the cloud-based DAM platform and issues an audit trail and analytics through a single view of assets, marketing activities and campaigns.

A Primer on CMO, CIO Collaboration

A Primer on CMO, CIO CollaborationThe lines between the CIO and CMO are blurring as the two roles become increasingly intertwined, led by marketing’s move to focus more around technology and great digital experiences. From quickly creating websites for different campaigns to managing customer analytics and back-end data, today’s marketers have a required skillset that often overlaps with that of the CIO, who has traditionally managed and maintained a company’s IT infrastructure. For that reason, CMOs are becoming integral decision makers when it comes to buying and operating a company’s technology assets.

Musings from Social Media Week #SMW14

crimson hexegon

I am not an objective writer about Social Media Week. I attended the first two years of this six-year-old worldwide event in New York City when it was free, largely grassroots and spread throughout the city. 

The last two or three years, SMW has become inevitably more corporate, expensive, polished and streamlined, though many of the events are still free and available on a first come, first serve basis.

That being said, however, I wanted to share some thoughts. For instance, one of my favorite tools to chart conversations around social media is Crimson Hexagon, which quickly helped me create a “topic wave” of the major topics and when they peaked at the event. Most of the buzz around #SMWNYC happened last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18 and 19.

Oracle Bites On BlueKai in #Martech M&A Feast

omar tawakol.jpg

Oracle Corp. appears to have an insatiable need for acquisitions, with a focus on anything involving marketing technology (now known in the Twittersphere as "#martech"). Its latest deal is BlueKai, an acquisition announced this morning. Although terms of the deal were not released, it is estimated in the $350 million to $400 million range.

The buy will help Oracle to personalize marketing programs and the customer experience. Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai, said his company's products "convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies.”

BlueKai claims to maintain a database of 700 million consumer profiles and has more than 300 customers across multiple industries. The company boasts that its Data Management Platform (DMP) keeps the customer and audience data in the cloud to target marketing campaigns and deliver better results. 

In short, BlueKai is one of the largest providers of data that help provide those super-targeted ads you see in your browser that might seem a little creepy because they happen to coincide with what you've been searching for lately.

With Mobile Reigning Supreme, Will Advertisers Keep Pace?

The Super Bowl has come and gone, but the advertising lives on as brands seek to squeeze as much as possible out of their expensive creative masterpieces. But if advertisers want to truly validate their media buys beyond simply “entertaining the masses” they need to activate the 50 percent of smartphone owners that use their devices while watching TV on a daily basis. Our review of how well Super Bowl advertisers actively engaged with the audience shows there is a lot of work to be done.

M&A Watch: Marin Software a Possible Target if Ad Tech Consolidates

Based on its valuation and growth profile, Marin Software — a provider of a cloud-based digital advertising management platform — could be an attractive buyout target for a larger player in the online marketing space.

At the recent market cap of $373 million, Marin’s forward revenue multiple of 3.9 times the 2014 consensus estimate of $95.8 million (within the company’s guidance range of $95 million to $96.6 million) is reasonable given expected growth of nearly 24 percent.

Marin is a so-called busted IPO because the shares trade below the March 2013 offering price of $14. In fact, Marin shares have been on a downward trek ever since the first trading session: they opened at $18.95 and hit a post-IPO high of $19.95 on the same day. While the stock has recovered a bit from the November low of $8.50, it’s still 18 percent short of the IPO price.

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