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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Too Many B2Bs Fail to Track, Measure Social Media

Many B2Bs still have a lot to learn when it comes to social media smarts, according to a new report.

While most B2Bs know they should be engaging with their customers on social media, they're often not using available tools to harvest critical data and put it to use.

Rather, they treat social as a check box, said Jacques Begin, a research analyst in the technology practice at SiriusDecisions, a B2B research and advisory firm. The firm produced the report, SiriusView: Social Media Intelligence 2015 and Infographic.

“In some cases, marketers are mandated with creating a Facebook page. And once they're finished they check the ‘social box.’ Very little thought is given on how to effectively maximize a social presence afterwards in terms of intelligence, customer interactions and demand creation,” he said.

Microsoft Ups Its Customer Experience Play

Microsoft is flexing its customer experience muscles. Last night it announced the spring release of Parature will come with more than 30 new “high priority” customer capabilities. They're designed to help businesses streamline and improve their customer experience strategies.

The release follows the acquisition of Parature by Microsoft last February for a reported $100 million. The purchase price is a relative pittance in comparison to many current tech deals — especially since the value it will bring to Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) portfolio is incalculable.

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (08-Jan-15)

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.)

You're Invited: Total Economic Impact of a Workflow Automation Solution

Join CMSWire and Nintex on January 13th for a one-hour webinar to explore a Forrester study on effective workflow automation results.

> Register Now

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2014 Action Item: Did Marketers Master Blogging?

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We've all seen company blogs dash out of the starting gate like an Olympian sprinter.

Then it's a slow jog. A walk. A crawl.

And, finally, a death. It stops entirely, and your latest blog post is from the days of the Bush Administration.

Blogging -- and blogging consistently -- is critical for businesses, Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications and a Forbes and Harvard Business Review contributor, told us last year. It was an imperative for 2014, Clark said.

So how did businesses and marketers do? We caught up Clark to find out. (Check out yesterday's "2014 action item" catch-up with Carla Johnson on agile marketing).

Marketers Beware: Terrifying Pitfalls of the Viral Meme

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Viral content has gone viral.

Several people, including many of my Facebook friends, have referenced or forwarded the King of Clickbait article by Andrew Marantz in the New Yorker. It's taking off like wild fire. Yes, it's gone viral.

Readers here may have noticed I'm obsessed with clickbait and have written about how it is denigrating the value of media and advertising. But people love the story. They read about these young viral geniuses working in their underwear making millions of dollars, and they think, "I want in!"

Be careful. There's a lot of hype, but mostly the people making money off this are the viral hype artists, not the marketers or even the readers. One problem is the disconnect between viral content and real audience engagement. Viral content is low engagement content. The other big problem is whether or not viral content even aligns with your marketing goals. Chances are, if you are a B2B marketer or industry executive, viral content does not apply to you.

The Year B2B Marketing Stops Playing Second Fiddle to Sales

2015-07-January-Honkytonk.jpgAs a career-long B2B marketer, I notice and appreciate the way consumer brands speak to (or attempt to) speak to me. It’s easy as B2B marketers to get caught up in our own world, our own language, our internal nuances and what we “feel” will resonate with audiences. And often, the pressure to sell more or drive leads takes precedence over doing our research and really nailing the message.

Which is why, with every company I join, the first place I start is the story. Who are we talking to? Are we speaking their language? What do they really care about? And what challenges are we going to help them overcome? The bottom line: you’re never going to pass the class if you don’t first do your homework. So as we embark on another year, here a few reminders of B2B marketing strategies you can’t afford to leave on the table.

Got a Good Story to Tell? You Should - If You're a Marketer

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For some, marketing about products is so five minutes ago.

Today is the day of the story for marketers. Tell good stories and people will listen. When people listen, credibility rises. When credibility rises, you may have a customer.

Storytelling's hot -- Entrepreneur Magazine deemed 2014 the year of the story.

David Aaker is a strong believer of the storytelling concept for marketers. Aaker, vice chairman of Prophet, author and branding expert, told CMSWire that marketers must realize not everyone's going to be initially attracted to a brand. 

"People sometimes are just not interested in what you're offering," Aaker said during a phone interview with CMSWire. "So you find out what they are interested in, and you get involved with that."

2014 Action Item: Did B2B Marketers Become More Agile?

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It was just a year ago that B2B marketers had a clean slate, the whole year in front of them.

Now it's over. 2014's gone. No second chances.

We caught up this time last year with industry insiders about some absolute must-dos for 2014. Starting today, we catch up with some of them again to see, well, if B2B marketers DID the must-dos.

We begin with Carla Johnson, president of Type A Communications out of Parker, Colo. Johnson's message last year to B2B marketers was to become agile.

"Why, how and what marketers need to perform in our roles has never changed so much or at such a significant rate as it is now," Johnson told CMSWire last year.

Just How Much Must the CMO and CIO Work Together?

Forrester Research says a strengthened relationship between the CMO and CIO will be paramount for companies' success in 2015.

Shocked? Neither are we. This executive relationship -- and how it must be tightened, glued, bonded and sealed -- has been bandied about before. 

Marketing and information technology leaders reached by CMSWire agree the CIO-CMO is an important relationship in the executive scheme of things.

But just how important depends, they say.

"While there is no doubt that the CIO-CMO relationship is key to success in the digital age, the same applies to relationships across the C-suite," said Ian Cox, a London-based author who was a finalist for the British Computer Society’s CIO of the Year award in 2011 and was also ranked among the top 100 UK CIOs for 2012 by CIO Magazine.

3 Focuses for Mobile in the Year Ahead

2015-05-January-Mesmerized.jpgDigital marketers: 2015 is here, and it’s time to play catch up. For the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to keep pace with the latest innovations, strategizing and re-strategizing to implement the next great personalization feature or web design technique. But that period of innovation has ended and, moving into 2015, we find ourselves in a new period of digital transformation. By fully implementing these innovations in the coming year, marketers can help companies transition into fully digital-first business.

Where should we start? Mobile.

The Scoop on Pinterest Analytics and Engaging Pinterest Followers

It's easy for people to spend time on popular social media platforms — and, increasingly, the platform of choice is Pinterest.

The growing use of the image sharing social media platform has created a high quality of influence on retail and branding. And that means it's essential for marketers to learn the basics of Pinterest Analytics.

Examining repins and researching follower interest with Pinterest Analytics can make Pinterest engagement more meaningful, help you increase online activity and enhance the digital experience for your customers.

CMSWire's Top 25: The Hits of 2014

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Another year has come and gone — and with it, an amazingly diverse selection of stories from CMSWire staff writers and contributors. Over the past 12 months, our team has worked hard to inform, entertain, inspire, provoke debate and encourage discussion about a wide range of B2B topics.

Before we make the usual predictions about how much more we expect to accomplish in 2015 (which we do) or how we expect CMSWire to become an even better source of information for everything related to digital experience, marketing, social business, big data and more (which it will), we'd like to step back and collectively say the most important thing possible.

Thank you.

Thank you for reading our content, posing thought-provoking questions and participating in our webinars and Tweet Jams. We appreciate your support, your informed discussion and all the many ways that you, our readers, have helped make CMSWire a go-to source for industry information.

And now, a selection of some of the stories and authors you enjoyed the most in the past 12 months.

A Look Back: Innovation or Hype in Digital Marketing?

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Digital marketing is hot. Has been for years now, and 2014 was no different.

But by hot, what do we mean?

Hot as in products are killing it for organizations -- churning out ROI like it's going out of style? Hot as in innovation is at an all-time high, with different products and features hitting the market daily? Hot as in having a digital platform is a MUST for any marketer?

Some of this is happening, we're sure. But in 2014, it seemed like digital marketing was hot simply because, well, people were talking about it.

We really didn't see a leader. A clear visionary. An innovative concept that no one had that just flipped the industry upside down, much like when a Harvard dropout wanted to connect college kids online more than 10 years ago.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Digital Marketing

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For digital marketing, 2013 was the year of acquisitions — and 2014 was the year of putting those acquisitions into action. IBM and Silverpop. Insightera and Marketo. Oracle and Responsys.

Integration with acquisitions take time, and we didn't see a clear winner in 2014. Will we in 2015?

Shining the Light On Dark Social

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You do it. We all do. You see an interesting story and share the URL with a friend. Or maybe you just copy a couple of sentences and paste that into an email.

You're just being social. But for the publisher, that's known as dark social because it results in traffic that comes from unknown sources.

Luis Aguilar has been on the trail of dark social for about three years now as a product manager for Po.st, an offshoot of  programmatic advertising agency Radium One. Po.st offers tools that help publishers track that traffic.

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