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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Branding 101: Keep it Simple, Obvious, Intuitive and Emotional

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Lee Hunt is a brand strategist, trainer and industry thought leader. He's the founder of Lee Hunt LLC, a Woodstock, N.Y.-based consultancy focusing on brand strategy, on-air architecture, competitive analysis and personnel training for television networks and media companies. 

His success in launching and positioning channel brands, in addition to his pioneering work in audience management, have set many of industry standards.

He began his career on the client side in the 1980s, launching and branding Lifetime, VH1 and TNT. In the 1990’s he founded one of TV’s most successful creative services agencies, Lee Hunt Associates. In 1999, he sold LHA to the digital services company, Razorfish. In 2001 he launched the strategic consultancy, Lee Hunt LLC.

What's he know about branding and marketing? Plenty.

Feed the Marketing Automation Machine with Interactive Content

2014-26-June-Hungry-Gator.jpgMarketing automation is a powerful technology. But to extract the most value out of it, you need two things: 1. content that magnetically attracts your audience -- both initially and throughout your nurturing program -- and 2. data that reveals the specific interests and characteristics of each prospect.

Without that, marketing automation is a blender with nothing to blend.

Q2/Q3 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (25-Jun-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.)

Webinar: Agile Marketing -- Creating a New Generation of Enterprise Digital Experience
Join CMSWire, Zoetis and Forrester Research on July 9th at 10:30am PDT / 1:30pm EDT. Hear from Forrester guest speaker Anjali Yakkundi about the lastest digital experience trends.
 

> Reserve Your Seat Today

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Stop Screaming: Just Put Your Customers First

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Successful marketing is no longer about who can scream the loudest about their products. When this was the norm, the voice of the customer was drowned out by a cacophony of marketing mayhem. 

In the past two decades, things have changed. Marketing has evolved from product-focused to customer relationship management (CRM) focused. In other words, successful marketers today have shifted their focus from their products to the people who buy them.

In addition to closing the sale, marketers now realize that they need to find ways to continue the conversation. They need accurate feedback and preferences from their customers to better understand their needs, and it also needs to be done to scale as their customer base grows.

10 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

Email isn't what it used to be. A number of marketing experts place less emphases on email marketing campaigns these days, often tilting in favor of social media or content marketing.

But used correctly, email marketing can still be an important tool. What should you know? Here are 10 tips from Austin, Texas-based Study Breaks College Media. The company markets primarily to college students in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and South Carolina through print, digital and social media.

Keep Customers Coming Back with Improved CRM

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While every business wants to constantly capture new customers, the priority should be on pleasing your existing customer base.

Companies that fail to nurture and retain current customers ultimately fail as a brand.

Customer relationship management (CRM) programs, which are designed to help you achieve this, have proliferated and grown in the past two years. Good CRM programs help companies attract customers, learn their preferences and shape brand initiatives.

They’re designed to keep customers coming back, and with good reason -- it is five to 10 times more expensive to find new customers than keep old ones, and repeat customers spend nearly 70 percent more than new ones. Brand success means listening to your customers, earning their trust and continuously improving your relationship with them.

How To Cope With Anonymous Site Visitors

Digital channels are the best way to expand your customer base and reach new audiences in an instant. And we know that personalized marketing messages increase conversions via digital. But how do you personalize marketing content online for a prospect you know nothing about?

On average, 98 percent of visitors to a website are anonymous. These visitors don’t share contact information, and marketers don’t know anything about their demographics, preferences or interests.

That means 98 percent of your potential customer base is a mystery. What’s more, a brand’s website audience constantly changes as new campaigns are introduced, making it even more difficult for marketers to know exactly who is visiting a site at any time.

For marketers, anonymized site visitors make it infinitely harder to engage potential leads in a meaningful way and expand a customer base. Uncovering information about these audiences and anonymous leads, which can help marketers craft personalized marketing messages, is the holy grail.

Signs Along the Road to Digital Marketing

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Marketing is fast becoming digital.  But the market targeting now done with computers has been around at some level for a while now, and there may be some lessons for us in it.

In times past, you targeted your marketing and sales by placing your name (ads, posters, Burma Shave road signs … whatever) where you thought your prospective customers might show up -- fishing ads in the sports section, theater listings in the entertainment section, luxury car ads in coffee table magazines, and so on.

Sounds crude but it worked if you were careful, and it saved money by allowing you to place -- and pay for -- your message only where it was more likely to be effective.

PaperG's Victor Wong: Save Time, Cut Costs with Programmatic Creative

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Victor Wong wants to make “designing for ads an easier experience.” And as co-founder and CEO of PaperG, a San Francisco, Calif.-based advertising technology company, that's exactly what he is trying to do.

Wong founded PaperG in New York City about six years ago — before the term “programmatic” had even been coined to describe the space the company now occupies. The now 60-person team began with very little capital and fairly simple mission: to reduce “creative friction.”

Wait. What "creative friction"?

“We tried to help print advertisers and publishers transition to digital. We saw ourselves as part of the generation that was going to make paper into a digital medium. There was — and remains — huge creative friction when trying to transform content that is paper based into digital content or creative,” he said.

Over time, the company's focus has shifted. As more content has become digital, PaperG has tried to turn itself into the “Ikea” of the ad world. “We are trying to make high-end design accessible and affordable to everyone, to find out what works for some people and then apply it to everyone,” he said.

Content Marketing Fuels Pipeline Growth

Marketing automation has changed business as we know it. In the last decade, it has elevated the role of the CMO, helping marketing to be more productive and measurable through email and nurturing programs, scoring and reporting. Your marketing team more effectively manages all of your company’s contacts so they turn into customers more efficiently.

But how do you more efficiently engage new buyers? Turns out marketing automation has improved marketing, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of marketing optimization. There’s still a massive group of potential buyers who are not addressed by marketing automation alone -- those who have no idea your company or product exists.

Is AI the Missing Piece of Your Marketing Automation?

Are you still using autoresponse elements in your email marketing? It's time to stop, according to new research from  a provider of artificial intelligence-driven lead interaction management.

While Foster City, California-based AVA.ai (AVA stands for Automated Virtual Assistant) agrees autoresponders are good for select chores, such as letting buyers know their e-commerce order has been received, they are past due for retirement for more personalized responses. Not exactly surprising, since AVA.ai has just released a cloud-based, lead-interaction management software solution that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI).

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

3 Brand Asset Secrets from HBO's Game of Thrones

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The dragons are chained, The Hound is dying, Jon Snow is back in Castle Black and Tyrion Lannister is on a ship to parts unknown. If you watch the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, then you understand.

Last Sunday's season four finale was watched by 7.1 million viewers — and broke illegal download records.

With the next episode months away, we thought we'd give fans a Game of Thrones fix: three brand asset secrets from the fantasy drama TV series.

This Week: Working During the World Cup + Launching SharePoint

Marketing Automation Done Right
Marketing automation has shown that it can be a smart tool — when done right

My Analytics Beat Yours
IBM claims its customer experience analytics top Google's and Adobe's.

Working During the World Cup
We deliver five ways to keep your employees productive during a major sporting event.

Kick Start SharePoint Implementation 
If you wait too long to deliver something, users get impatient and the project loses momentum.

Why ECM is Alive and Well
To talk about enterprise content management as dead or dying is just plain silly.

Inside Box's Streem Play
Streem can help Box be the place where you store, access and sync all your content. 

Evaluating DAM Needs and Vendors
How to be an Informed Buyer
Learn More

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Transforming Connections in an Age of Digital Change

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The goal of marketing still revolves around accelerating new and repeat sales. But the means to that end has shifted over the past few years.

This fundamental shift can be tied, in part, to digital innovation. However, it’s not just about technology. It’s about the lifestyle shift and what could be considered a "workstyle" shift, which I define as a person’s expectations and preferences in how they work and engage with a company.

How can companies transform the ways they engage with customers and partners and connect to their existing marketing automation systems? Here are three significant points to consider.

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