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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Thankful for Louis Prima, Customer Honesty, Personalization and More

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Family and health. Are there any more reasons to be thankful this time of year?

Um, yes.

OK, the first two are the most important. But I gotta say, I'm starting to be more and more thankful for other things. The ability to switch from rapper Pitbull's Pandora station to trumpeter Louis Prima's in seconds. The new Taco Bell breakfast menu (no shame here; it's delicious). And the San Francisco Giants giving my beloved Red Sox good players.

Techies are feeling thankful this time of year, too. So are digital marketers, as you'll see in another story published here today. We caught up with some tech managers and CEOs about what's making them thankful this year:

Pushing the CIO and CMO Closer Together

2014-26-November-Closer.jpgIn years past the chief marketing officers and chief information officers had their own discrete functions to perform within the company -- with the twain rarely having to meet.

Clearly that is not true any more as digital marketing becomes a larger and larger component of a company's overall marketing operations. Despite this trend, CIOs and CMOs have not moved to anything approaching true collaboration, according to the findings of a Forrester/Forbes Insights survey. While progress has been made in establishing foundational aspects of trust, organizational skills and process, it concludes, "bold leadership is needed to turn this initial work into client results."

Focus Your Content Marketing on the Digital Dialogue

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To stand out and be relevant in the digital world, you need content. Sounds simple, but the reality is very different. According to the Content Management Institute, marketers in businesses both small and large face challenges that range from producing sufficient quantities of engaging content, lack of integration across marketing, budget restraints, insufficient executive buy-in, limited measurement capabilities and skillset shortages.

6 Things We Learned About Facebook's First Intern

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First, the good stuff.

Mark Zuckerberg has no secrets beyond what the public already knows about him.

The movie, "The Social Network" was BS. 

Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker seem like a rockstar when he's really just a nerd.

And the jury's out whether Darian Shirazi, Facebook's first intern, was portrayed in the movie.

(Ah. The self-indulgent reporter Facebook stuff is out of the way.)  

We caught up with former Facebooker Shirazi, now 27, to talk about the marketing software industry.

His two-year run as intern and employee at Facebook behind him, Shirazi went on to invest in several technologies before launching three years ago what's now Radius, a San Francisco B2B real-time marketing intelligence platform company that's up to about 60 employees.

Here's what we learned about Shirazi and his company: 

Smarter Advertising Strategies for Facebook

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Facebook may be a source of daily amusement (or annoyance) for many, but it’s also a growing and evolving advertising platform for businesses.

Recent changes to the social media giant, including the decision to shut the like gate, are changing the way Facebook advertisers do business.

Experts say businesses who want to use Facebook effectively to attract customers are increasingly going to need some new strategies in their toolbox.

Marketing Automation: Not All Agree on Leading Vendors

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Everyone wants a piece of marketing automation, it seems. But not everyone agrees on which vendors lead the pack.

The latest marketing automation software rankings -- crowdsourced G2 Crowd's Grid report released this month -- proves the rankings companies don't exactly agree when determining leaders.

But they do concur on one thing -- Oracle-Eloqua and Marketo deserve to be leaders. They were the lone vendors that got leader love in each of the five marketing automation vendor rankings we profiled. Salesforce-Pardot was ever so close, being named a leader in four out of five, with the fifth determining Salesforce-Pardot was a runner-up.

Digital Community is Key to Your Brand

2014-25-November-GoPro-User.jpgDigital tools and social networks are making communities stronger and more important than ever for brands.

Whether it's your local burrito shop or GoPro, nurturing a community of active users can accelerate the brand development and spread the word over digital channels. Now, this might seem obvious, but is everybody doing it? Businesses that don't focus on building a digital community will have a hard time getting over the hump.

Chicken or Egg: Passive Marketing or Passive Consumers?

2014-25-November-Chickens.jpgWhen it comes to passive interactions between consumers and advertisers who’s to blame? Today’s consumers consistently show a willingness to engage and participate with brand campaigns, so long as they’re convenient and tailored to their tastes. Nevertheless, a majority of advertisers are still deploying marketing tactics that don’t compel this type of user behavior. And even fewer seem to be aware of the different nuances demanded by different devices. The proverbial one-size-fits-all approach simply conditions consumers to approach engagement with brands cautiously.

B2B Organizations Still Not Sold on Social Selling

Most B2B organizations do not embrace social as a legitimate sales channel. And even less are offering training on social selling to sales professionals.

Those are some of the findings of PeopleLinx's November survey of 254 B2B professionals on how they and their companies view social in the sales cycle. PeopleLinx offers a social selling platform.

Only 22 percent of organizations encourage sales professionals to use social as one of their channels, and only 11 percent of companies offer training on social selling.

"I think that tells the whole story," said Michael Idinopulos, chief marketing officer for Philadelphia-based PeopleLinx. "There is a real opportunity here. A lot of research says that sales reps that use social selling outperform their peers, but companies are not yet leading the charge with their employees."

Drones' Uncertain Legal Status May Be Ending for Companies

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Current Federal Aviation Administration policy allows recreational drone flights in the US but essentially bans it for commercial application. It does, however, give case-by-case approvals or waivers for certain commercial applications.

That permissiveness may be about to come to an end, much to business's chagrin, as the FAA plans to propose strict rules for commercial use of drones in the coming weeks. This is not an issue that consumers are likely to rally behind once the FAA does release its proposal -- a recent survey shows that most Americans are against allowing businesses to fly drones anywhere they please.

B2B Marketers: Think More Like Brand Marketers

2014-24-November-Think.jpgYou’d think there would’ve been more people like me at the Brand Innovators "mega-trends" in digital marketing conference. In fairness, the event was targeted at top digital marketers who work at leading consumer brands and agencies. So what was a B2B marketer like me doing there?

I wanted a glimpse into the future of B2B marketing.

Salesforce Social Studio Targets Organizational Silos

Salesforce unveiled its Social Studio marketing platform inside its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in May, which brought together $3.4 billion worth of acquisitions in a platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics.

The platform gets a boost this month as the San Francisco CRM giant released enhancements to its Social Studio that include the ability to deliver messages to customers across the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud from one platform.

Natalie Bokenham: Driving Digital Innovation

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Natalie Bokenham describes herself as a machine-gun thinker, talker and romper stomper. But that only scratches the surface.

Bokenham is a seasoned marketer, "excited to be in this industry at this transformative time." For the past year, she's been senior vice president and managing partner for digital at UM Worldwide, a global media agency. Before that, she was director of strategy at IPG Media Lab, a company that markets itself as a combination "think tank, real world proving ground and change enabler."

In her current role, Bokenham is responsible for digital expertise and innovation across agency disciplines, including data for insight and measurement, interactive storytelling and optimal digital integration across the media plan.

Her objective is to build strategic relationships with media partners to drive long-term growth for UM clients. In fact, she was instrumental in cementing UM’s partnership with Facebook, which offers advantages such as exclusive access to new products and data integration for UM clients.

Would You Pay to Not See Google Ads?

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Who would have thought it? Google will now let you pay to avoid seeing its ads. Through a new service called Contributor, launched last night, Internet users can opt-out of Google ads for a fee of $1 to $3 dollars a month.

Participants will see a thank you message instead of the ads on participating websites, including Mashable, ScienceDaily and The Onion.

Customer Service Isn't Personal if it Isn't Based on Trust

2014-21-November-Trust.jpgOnline business is fast paced and at times chaotic. Before making purchasing decisions, consumers draw from extensive touch points, such as previous experiences, recommendations from peers, personal research and brand marketing. While brands work hard to win customers over with complex marketing strategies and last-minute deals, the customer experience itself can often fade into the background. But businesses that take the time to personalize customer engagement and respond individually to support inquiries can encourage a customer’s trust throughout his or her relationship with the company, which establishes an invaluable connection between brand and consumer.

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