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Marketing Automation News & Analysis

Marketo's Real Time Personalization Buy - 10 months Later

It's been about 10 months since B2B marketing automation provider Marketo bought Insightera's real time personalization platform for $19.5 million.

Personalization is still all the rage, and some think it will be for quite some time.

Are digital marketers ready to take the personalization plunge? A Marketo official told CMSWire the number of converts to the former Insightera brand is surpassing financial expectations. And all was well in the numbers for Q2 for Marketo in general.

But is a real time personalization platform in general an automatic, no-brainer dive for digital marketers? Not quite, according to Lori Wizdo, marketing automation analyst for Forrester Research.

Oracle Seeds BlueKai into its Cloud #OOW14

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Oracle's multibillion-dollar buying spree of marketing technology companies bore new fruit today as it announced the integration of its BlueKai data management platform with Eloqua's marketing automation tools.

The move allows the use of anonymized data from Eloqua with the analytical tools in BlueKai. That, in turn, allows marketers using the Oracle Marketing Cloud to identify additional characteristics about the people who respond to particular campaigns. 

Act-On Marries Marketing Automation, Web Phone Calls

digital marketing, Act-On Software Marries Marketing Automation with Web Phone Calls

People still make phone calls?

Act-On Software believes so. And the marketing automation provider is teaming up with a company whose platform tracks calls from websites and provides call analytics.

Act-On and Ifbyphone partner today in a merger where marketing automation meets call tracking. The companies announced the news today at the SMX East conference in New York. The merger enables Act-On's digital marketing customers, officials from each company say, to leverage Ifbyphone’s data to track calls from website visitors.

No More Messaging in the Dark: Get Sales + Marketing on the Same Page

2014-26-September-Flashlight-Reading.jpgGiven the rise of marketing automation software over the past five years, today's B2B sales funnel is half illuminated and half in the dark. Sales and marketing teams have near-perfect visibility into how leads interact in the top half of the funnel and the insights needed to improve the marketing process, yet they remain blind to how content is supporting sales reps in the bottom half.

Wrapping Up Hubspot's #INBOUND14

HubSpot's INBOUND 2014 conference wrapped up yesterday in Boston, ending a week of events punctuated by higher-than-anticipated attendance and the company’s announcement that it would be launching a new sales platform. It includes a free CRM and what the company calls a “sales acceleration product” called Sidekick.

Customer Journeys Trump the Traditional Sales Cycle

2014-15-September-Rock-Paper-Scissors.jpgWhile pointless debate continues in organizations as to who “owns” the customer experience (the customer, of course!), the responsibility for nurturing and shepherding the continuous customer experience belongs to all teams that impact customers. At the core, much of the work should be accomplished by strong, continuously evolving collaborations between marketing and sales. Unfortunately in many companies there are still ridiculous and harmful walls between sales and marketing -- and a lot of political nonsense, mainly tied to the "blame game" when forecasts aren’t met and deals aren’t closed.

In reality marketing and sales have intertwined roles for engendering positive outcomes from customer journeys, whether they realize it or not.

Customer-Centric Content Journeys: Your Duct Tape Is Showing

2014-10-September-Quick-Fix.jpgGetting the right content to the right person at the right time was first evangelized by the programmatic ad buying platforms. It was a vision that stemmed directly from a doe-eyed interpretation of their capabilities.

Now content marketers have latched on to the same philosophy, without fully appreciating an important distinction: Content marketing, unlike ad buying, generally assumes an active and intelligent customer who wants to educate him or herself (not simply a target for the right sales reminder at the right time).

Gleanster Names Leaders in 4 Key Software Categories

customer experience, Gleanster Research's Leaders in Four Key Software Categories

It's not the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It's not the Forrester Wave.

And that's exactly what Ian Michiels likes about it. Michiels' firm, Gleanster Research, has produced four software industry ranking reports. 

Gleanster calls each of them a FLASH, and the latest come in the areas of marketing automation, business intelligence, social engagement and web content management.

"What I like about our FLASH approach is it offers a different perspective than Forrester or Gartner," said Michiels, CEO and principal of the Pleasanton, Calif.-based research firm. "It's not about market presence or vision, which have value. And it's not biased by analyst opinion or relationships with Gleanster."

Digital Marketing's Easy, Until You Try It

2014-28-August-Rubiks-Cube.jpgDoes this sound familiar?

"Marketing is no longer an art; it has become a big data analytics engineering discipline where every marketing dollar can be optimized for maximum impact. All you need to do is give away a free version of your product and crank up the ______ <select one: ‘digital,’ ‘content,’ ‘social,’ or ‘automated’> marketing engine and you are good to go. Display ads to free users or offer a premium paid version of your product and you too will soon be able to sell your company to ______ <select one: ‘Google,’ ‘IBM,’ ‘Microsoft,’ or other company> and retire. Hire Millenials to feed this amazing new automated marketing. These folks totally ‘get’ the social stuff because they already spend all their waking moments on _______ <select one: ‘Facebook,’ ‘WhatsApp,’ ‘Instagram,’ ‘SnapChat’>.”

Unless you're completely off the grid you have surely seen some variation of this theme. Sounds great … if only it were this easy.

Is It the Right Time for HubSpot's $100M IPO?

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Digital marketing technology is all the rage in the CRM space and HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah must believe Wall St. knows that.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider filed for an IPO late today hoping to raise as much as $100 million. It will trade as HUBS on the New York Stock Exchange.

The IPO market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors is lukewarm at the moment. But investors like General Catalyst, which owns 27.1 percent of the company, and Matrix Partners, which owns 17.1 percent, must think that now is the time.

Marketing Automation: 3 Trends to Watch

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As of December 2013, 58 percent of all top performing companies were using marketing automation according to a Forrester report. That number has only increased since then. Why? Because automation’s benefits are impossible to ignore in the current marketing landscape.

Sophisticated, plugged-in customers require marketers to look at them as more than a catch-all audience. Regardless of what they’re buying, they want brands to provide truly unique journeys for them. And if you don’t deliver, then you’ll be tuned out, cast aside with the rest of the generic content they’re bombarded with.

What CMOs Have - and What They Want

2014-18-August-Megaphone Man.jpgAn study of chief marketing officers today revealed some interesting contrasts between their optimism and their realities.

The 8th annual "State of Marketing" report from the CMO Council, a 7,000-member group stretched across 110 countries, showed senior marketers are gaining status within their companies, but still want closer ties to their fellow "chiefs."

It also found that while they're optimistic about their ability to meet the shifting demands of their employers, most of them are behind their targets for the current year.

LeadSift Promises Smarter Ad Targeting through Twitter

Twitter has yet to reach its full potential when it comes to ad targeting. The social networking site has long been playing catchup to Facebook, which launched its email-based targeting service in 2012. Twitter didn’t announce its “tailored audiences” service until this past January.

With Facebook, advertisers can also target people by the “interests” the site asks new users to fill in when creating an account. Twitter’s answer to this was to let advertisers push their marketing messages to users based on who the user follows.

For example, if a user follows several football players, coaches and commentators, they may receive a targeted ad from a company selling sports drinks. More recently, Twitter announced the ability for advertisers to target consumers based on keywords found within a user’s tweets.

AdStage Invites Clients to Build Their Own Algorithms

2014-13-August-equations.jpgIn a market where the best known advertising platforms focus on high-end customers, a growing San Francisco startup is aiming for the masses.

AdStage today introduced a simple tool that allows its 1,000 beta customers to build their own algorithms for placing ads across the four networks it currently serves: Google AdWords, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook and Bing Ads.

The company's 11 engineers tried to find the right algorithm themselves, but quickly discovered that normalizing the code for such diverse networks tended to make the result less efficient. So AdStage designed a relatively simple interface called Automated Rules that lets its clients design the algorithm that suits their needs.

Yep, Facebook Generates a Lot of Hate

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Let's face it, social media networks are annoying ... but we can't live without them.

Especially Facebook. The controversy around the social media giant's re-launch of Facebook Messenger has once again stirred up a nest of privacy concerns.

Like all social networks, Facebook has benefits and warts. The benefit is that it is sublimely designed, it works very well, its got a gigantic user base (including most of your friends) and its got a world-class team constantly refining and tweaking it.

The downside is that Facebook is an immensely commercial operation and it doesn't seem to care too much about your privacy. This is not Craigslist. Let's face it: Facebook is chronicling every subtle activity in your life in a gigantic database so it can cash in on your life. 

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