Checklists & Cheat Sheets To Make Marketing Easier and More Effective

One of the surprise gifts for the New Year for marketers everywhere was Natasha Alex‘s post on Business 2 Community.

29 Checklists & Cheat Sheets to Make Marketers’ Lives Easier

Revenue Formula Nested Framework

It’s so great to know what tweaks, low hanging fruit and accepted standards are for various marketing tactics and activities.

The real benefit from comprehensive resource lists is that no matter where your business is, there’s a first step that’s right for you business. This makes it easy to take action and leverage that action into measurable results.

If one were to spend the rest of the year implementing the nuggets from this, it would be time well spent.

 

Tracking Web Users: Confusing Consumers For Profit?

Cartoon Man With Magnifying Glass Viewing Man Viewing ComputerThere’s a lot we take for granted in our web browsing. There’s all that tracking of where we go and what we do – even if we do nothing. And don’t get me started on privacy policies, terms and conditions and all the other ridiculously long scrolling admonitions we often agree to with a knee-jerk response to end the tedium and get on with what we came for.

Nate Cordozo has an excellent story about this on Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s site. If a business model wouldn’t work if users had to opt in, it deserves to fail. Maybe if we flipped the funnel so to speak, we’d get a far better web user experience. If every site had a default “NO Tracking” setting, we’d start to reassert some autonomy of our virtual lives.

Then again, maybe that’s the point. The more we get used to ‘sharing’ everything in our virtual world, and I use that term loosely, then we’ll be used to submitting to all sorts of other practices, policies and laws designed to constrain what we as free humans can do .

When do you think the last time that “This call is being recorded for training and customer service” actually resulted in either? Why should we think web tracking will be any different?

‘Choice’ In The Subject Line Boosts Engagement

Man Overwhelmed by beverage choices @lauriesullivan, at Media Post shared some interesting data regarding engagement results from email and text message campaigns. Engagement where the recipient has a ‘choice’ in the matter, i.e., click to request a coupon versus just sending the coupon, had a significant impact on open rates and conversions.

Experian Marketing Services released its quarterly email benchmark report Q2 2015 focusing on engagement rates and duel subscriber rates, those who subscribe to email and some sort of alternative communication, like mobile text of push messages on their device.

“Customers who texted to get a coupon were more willing to complete a purchase than those receiving a push campaign, but both message types were successful in generating revenue.”

Analysts also looked at consumers who subscribe to both email, whether opened on a smartphone or desktop, and some other form of communication such as mobile text or push messages on their device.

In the analyses of SMS and MMS messaging programs from two brands it turns out dual subscribers were 3.9 times more likely to complete transactions than email-only customers. Transaction rates for mobile campaigns were 10-times higher than those for email campaigns

More than half of all email opens and 38% of clicks occur on mobile devices, but sometimes it takes two channels to make a campaign work. So, to better understand the value of mobile subscribers, Experian Marketing Services analyzed case studies from two brands with on-going SMS and MMS messaging programs. In both cases, analysts could attribute transactions to mobile campaign data by subscriber.

Consider this: signing up to receive emails, subscribers can open those emails on desktop, tablet, e-reader or mobile device. Mobile SMS and MMS require a separate opt-in. In the first analysis, “Brand A,” which sends emails and SMS messages announcing seasonal products, wanted to see if email subscribers who also provide their mobile phone numbers transact more in any one channel, compared with email-only subscribers.

Comparing both, Experian found significant increases in the percentage of mobile and email subscribers who had completed transactions. Dual subscribers (22.5%) were 3.9-times more likely to make a transaction, compared with email only subscribers (5.7%).

The second study with another brand analyzed SMS and MMS campaigns during eight months from another brand. It compared two types of mobile campaigns for Brand B, broadcast campaigns, in which the brand pushed SMS to the subscriber, such as a sale starts tomorrow, and pull campaigns, in which customers texted to get an offer such as “Save 25% off with in-store coupon- code XXX123.”

SMS push or broadcast campaigns made-up more than 95% of the volume, but pull messages added to stronger transaction results. It also compared transaction rates with Experian email benchmarks finding that mobile transaction rates were more than 10-times higher than the all industry average email transaction rate at 0.64% for all mobile campaigns compared to 0.06% for all industry email.

Customers who texted to get a coupon were more willing to complete a purchase than those receiving a push campaign, but both message types were successful in generating revenue. The overall revenue per message was $0.32, which is more than 3-times higher than the all industry revenue per email for this period at $0.09.

Building A Single Currency For Marketing Measurement

Metrics That Matter

Finally marketers are starting to drill down to the basic metrics for measuring effectiveness.

Anto Chittilappilly shares some useful ways of thinking about how to organize your business or marketing to deliver the results you’re after. Read the full article at Media Post.

This is what it looks like when mindset, media and message converge. It’s about time.

A Broad Brush Across Content Marketing In 2015

From Media Post

Content Marketing Block PuzzleAccording to KJ Wakefield & L Mangiaforte in a NewsCred blog, with companies globally spending an estimated $135 billion on content marketing in 2014, staying ahead of the curve is essential financially and strategically. To help visualize what content will look and act like in the near future, the authors collected the voices of marketing thought-leaders to tell us what they see for 2015.

There were a lot of digital marketing changes in 2014, as marketers focused on providing valuable content to their consumers, and making it accessible on every platform, including mobile, says the report. Digital marketing predictions for 2015 by “those in the know,” are severely summarized here.

  • Companies will make content a key component of culture. Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group calls this “developing an enterprise-wide culture of content.” Content creation shouldn’t just be a task for the marketing team, but external and internal communications to get input from all teams. User-generated content won’t only be relegated to the realm of social media.
  • “Soon, many of the top media sites in the world will be brand-owned,” says Doug Kessler of B2B agency Velocity. As the percentage of media sites owned by brands increases, so too will marketing budgets for content, leading to continuously higher quality
  • “… indy media that doesn’t take native ads will rise again.” Kessler predicts. Content sites that don’t accept native will eventually strike out, likely gaining enormous followings and alternative ad revenue for themselves in the process
  • Storytelling will topple other marketing silos, emerging as the ultimate audience-reaching tactic. NewsCred’s Head of Strategy Michael Brenner says, “… content, data and technology will emerge as the only way for brands to reach consumers through storytelling… “
  • Brands will need to tap into their human nature and tell funny, engaging, and emotional stories if they want to survive, notes Brenner. That’s good news for consumers and content marketers alike, there are fewer things worse than lifeless content.
  • Daniel Burstein, director of editorial content at MECLABS, says, “… in the same way that marketing automation, email marketing, analytics, software, etc. are all converging into one end-to-end marketing platform (usually in the cloud), companies and content creators will converge as well. More brands will become publishers, more publishers will become marketing agencies, and more marketing agencies will become brands….”
  • According to Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, community is going to be a big focus of marketing in 2015. “…companies are going to realize there is much more value in a community… everyone knows there’s Instagram, Facebook, etc… but not every company is building its own… ”
  • We’ll see clearer definitions and get a better understanding of social native ads, native display, and custom sponsorships. Tom Channick, head of communications at Sharethrough, says. As open web publishers continue to optimize their mobile websites and apps, these ads will become the primary monetization strategy by year’s end…”
  • Brands will stop creating stale blog posts and produce richer content experiences instead. According to Hanna Andrzejewska, marketing manager at GetResponse future content will: “…evoke emotions, express deeper empathy for each customer persona, and tell great stories with less emphasis on aggressive selling…”
  • Mobile-first thinking becomes a priority. According to Andrzejewska, mobile will take the lead. “Considering the fact that over 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices first and conversion rates are still in the single digit percentage ranges, there’s still massive potential for marketers to gain a deeper understanding of the mobile user’s behavior…”
  • In 2015, companies must fully integrate digital into their entire operation. Murray Newlands, founder of Influence People, says that to keep up: “Having a great digital strategy is no longer something that can happen in isolation. The whole company has to undergo a digital transformation…”
  • Brands that create content for mobile will be a hit among consumers. According to Steve Farnsworth, chief marketing officer at The Steveology Group, “… 2015 is when marketers start to grasp Flex-Media and its necessity to take advantage of ‘content in your pocket.’ That is, content that goes everywhere the user goes… “
  • “… Before creating an editorial calendar for your content marketing, analyze who is involved in the buying process of your product, says Farnsworth. What titles, pressures, and job responsibilities do the users, bosses, and influencers that buy your product have? Content marketers are discovering that digital assets designed specifically for those topics are rocket fuel for driving inbound sales leads… ”
  • Farnsworth also says that “… repurposing existing marketing and corporate communications is usually created by marketers from their point of view, and focuses on what they sell, not on what they know. This is content marketing poison. While repurposing content sounds good, more often it is like using rotted wood to build a boat…
  • Entrepreneur and investor John Rampton “… SEO as a title is dying and will be dead in 2015. It will evolve into something bigger and much more important that encompasses everything marketing and analytics… ”
  • Marketing Speaker and Coach Jay Baer says: “… 2015 will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways. The best source of content in most companies may be your employees and customers… ”
  • Melissa Breker, co-founder of Content Strategy Inc., says, “… we will see content as an experience. We need to think past silo-based content and use customer journeys to determine how content can create different experiences… across all content touch points… “

New Research Defines Buyer’s Journey to 3 Steps

Recognizing how buyers navigate through their purchase process gives sellers the insight to improve their process management for fun and profit.

  |  September 12, 2013   |

Buyers Journey Starts OnlineI’ve heard the term “buyer’s journey” more than ever over the past year and a half. Marketers have been talking about understanding the buyer’s journey for some time now, but I haven’t seen any hard data to define what exactly this term means. I decided to research the buyer’s journey concept to better understand how to leverage it in modern marketing. To understand the buyer’s journey concept, I surveyed 400 B2B buyers and compiled their answers to create the first definitive guide to the modern buyer’s journey.

Why I Surveyed Buyers Instead of CMOs

I’m tired of reading surveys from chief marketing officers (CMOs) when the average CMO only drives a 5 percent click-though rate on emails. That means most CMOs fail 95 percent of the time when trying to drive engagement in the buyer’s journey. So to understand the buyer’s journey, I knew I had to survey the real buyers – not CMOs – if I wanted to get to the bottom of things.

What I Found

When asking buyers, I wanted to really understand their habits and their process much better. From understanding habits and processes, we can then map our marketing to those two behaviors and increase our engagement. So my questioning started with understanding how they research. Understanding research is the key to understanding the buyer’s cycle, because every buyer’s cycle starts with research.

  • The buyer’s journey starts online. The buyer’s journey begins with research, and 76 percent of my respondents said that they start with Google. In contrast, 15 percent of people said that they ask their peer groups first, but they still engage with search at some point in their buyer’s journey. A stunning 99 percent of respondents agreed that their search terms change as their research deepens.
  • The buyer’s journey has three steps. The next question I asked was aimed toward respondents who said that they begin their search on Google: How many times after the initial search do you go back to Google and search again during your research process? Seventy-two percent of respondents returned to Google two to three times during their buyer’s journey. Putting the journey in that context allows us to then craft content appropriate to each stage in the buyer’s journey. This is key because 77 percent of respondents also said they want different content at each stage of their journey.
  • Buyers prefer shorter content. If buyer’s want different content at each stage, let’s talk about the type of content we should be creating. I also asked their preferred size of content. Seventy percent of respondents said they prefer content under five pages long.

If you take these three fundamental understandings of the buyer’s journey, you can easily increase your engagement rates with targeted content and emails and ultimately convert more prospects into leads for your company.

Three Ways to Use This Information

  1. Define the three stages of your marketing cycle. Break your marketing cycle into three stages of interest. Then craft your content to fit each stage. Research shows that you need three stages, and people want different content at each stage. Tailor your content to each stage for increased engagement.
  2. Keep your content short and stage-specific. Make sure your content is targeted to each stage, and under five pages in length. The majority of content out there is generalized and applicable to any or all stages in the buying cycle. If you find that this is the case for your content, try breaking it down into shorter, more easily digestible sections, then separate them out and tailor them to the appropriate stage. This gives you more run out of your efforts, and it gives your buyers a better experience – one that matches the way they want to consume.
  3. Match your SEO terms and SEM buys to your three stages. Ninety-nine percent of people are going to search for a different term at each stage. Understanding this basic truth, and knowing that most buyers like getting different content at each stage, will help you to better match your search marketing with the correct content and relevant calls-to-action.

You can watch me present this data here. Also, please leave me messages in the comments section below or ping me on Twitter @msweezey if you have any questions on this research or how to implement these ideas.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

This column was originally published on July 30, 2013.

Mapping The Protests In Turkey

by Allison McCartney3 weeks ago Filed Under: Data

In Istanbul, a small citizen sit-in quickly escalated into a nation-wide movement of anti-government demonstrations that has so far claimed the lives of two people and mobilized an estimated 250,000.

While video can offer a live glimpse of the action and social media can reveal the thoughts of the crowd, only a map can illustrate the massive geographical scope of the movement.

To date, about 90 protests have been reported in 67 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, many in territories hundreds of miles from Istanbul and Gezi Park.

Using a compilation of the latest news reports, we plotted the location of the largest protests, how many people participated and on what day the protests started.

#OccupyGezi: Turkish Protests in 2013

Social Media Metrics – Separating Vanity From Valuable

 

Thanks to Simply Zesty for an introduction to metrics to pay attention to, especially when getting started.

No matter what industry you’re in, data will always play a key part. Data provides certainly and cold, hard facts that can help businesses thrive. It’s no surprise that by their very nature, the Web and social media have sped up the progress of analytic tools, becoming faster and more accurate. It’s why the majority of social media sites offer up their own analytics tools and why there are many so many are looking for real stats to work from.

Yet sometimes having a lot of data at your fingertips can be a hindrance. Our analytics can be filled with so much data that it can be difficult to determine what data is useful. It can be dangerous to take one metric on its own at face value so a combination of different metrics can help paint a picture of how well your social media activity is going.

Type of Metrics

There are a number of different engagement types out there, but here are the ones you should keep in mind when you’re devising a strategy.

Engagement
Perhaps the most important metric you can find, knowing the type of engagement levels is paramount to success on social media. These are the conversations, the likes, the retweets, the mentions and shares that happen online around your brand and page.

Some sites provide an engagement figure for you to work from, but it’s usually better to look beyond that and analyse each post in particular. How many people commented? Did anyone share it? What was the quality of comments like? Has the post sparked a discussion? Delving into how people interact can provide greater results, as you’ll discover what topics resonate with your fans.

For most social media analytics, this figure is made up of likes, shares and comments and while it’s fine to take this figure at face value, but sometimes a deeper analysis is required.

Reach
Basically how many people are able to see your posts when you first publish something, making this the second most important metric for a business. More importantly, you’ll be able to see whether your audience is growing or not. Again, you shouldn’t use this figure at face value simply because reach only tells part of a story (for one, it doesn’t tell how many people actually engaged with your content), but using it in conjunction with engagement figures can tell you how much of your audience is actively engaging with your content.

Views/Time Spent
Mainly for visual mediums like slides, images and videos, views basically tells you how many people have watched or looked at your video. For the most part, YouTube relies upon this metric to say whether a video has become a success or not, but it’s introduced another new metric which shows you how many minutes were spent watching a particular video.

Referrals
Mainly for those using web tools like Google Analytics, referrals tells you where your traffic is coming from, be it from search engines, social media and third-party sites. The aim for any site is to ensure that more people stay on the site so looking at this figure alongside the amount of time spent on your site. If you’re using a particular site to drive traffic (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), this is a good way to see what content works and engages with users the most. It’s better to compare it with two different sites as you could have vastly different audiences for each.

Another area worth looking at is the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who enter the site and immediately leave). A high bounce rate is common for blogs and any content posted via social media as it means that people are only visiting your site for that particular link.

Sentiment analysis
A recently formed metric, this looks beyond the hard data and measures the overall mood of people on social media. This metric is imperfect at best as there hasn’t been a sophisticated enough algorithm to properly measure this. The best to currently measure this, provided you aren’t overwhelmed with mentions every day, is to take each tweet/comment individually and determine whether’s it’s positive, negative or neutral. Tools like Social Mention can calculate this for free, but it’s best not to rely on this method too much.

Share of Voice
Another metric that’s been around for a while, but has received a new lease of life through social media, Share of Voice refers to how many times your mentioned is mentioned in comparison to other brands who are in the same category. Calculating it is by dividing the number of conversations or mentions of your brand by total overall mentions. A number of tools like Radian6 offer features that can calculate this for you

Danger Of Vanity Over Real Metrics

While there are a lot of metrics to choose from, it’s important to know which ones are worth noting and which ones are just nice to look at. Some of the figures that are thrown about in social media tend to be vanity metrics – those that look nice or sound important, but provide little overall value.

A good example would be Facebook, pretty much everyone knows that using likes as a way of measuring success is shortsighted at best. Instead, you focus more on engagement metrics like “People Talking About This” and combine them with other metrics to get a better idea of how you’re progressing.

Social Media Metrics

Facebook
As mentioned earlier, don’t resort to likes as a way of measuring success. Instead what you should focus on is engagement figures like “People talking about this” and delve into insights. For each post that you publish on the site, you will also get figures for engaged users, the reach and the overall virality (those who created stories out of your post).

LinkedIn
While LinkedIn provides the usual impressions and engagement statistics, one features that you should keep an eye on as well is follower demographics, most specifically function. This shows you exactly what industries your audience is in, which gives you an idea as to what content will resonate with them. Region and industry can come in useful too, but since your audience will be looking for content that relates to their positions, it’s better to plot your updates this way.

YouTube
The number of views your video gets is still king, but you should also take into consideration the other metrics at your disposal. One that will be very useful in determining the success of your videos will be the “estimated minutes watched” section. Dividing this number by the number of views your video has received should give you an idea as to whether people are watching the full video or not.

Google Analytics
If you’re new to Google analysis or just want to simplify the experience, there are a few metrics you should focus on. The first should be traffic sources. This can be broken down into four main sections, search traffic (from Google. etc.), referral traffic (from social media, third-party sites), direct traffic and campaigns. If your traffic from search is high (more than 70%), you may want to address it as any changes to Google’s search algorithm will hurt you badly.

The second is visitor count which comes up when you first login to analytics. While this can be a vanity metric at the best of times, you should monitor it for any notable change in the number of people visiting your site. If a change occurred because you modified your site or tried a different social media strategy, then the results will begin to show themselves here.

The other factors to take into account is average time on page/site and bounce rate. The latter tells you what percentage of people who visit your site leave without viewing a second page on your site. If the bounce rate is high and the time spent on your site is low, you might want to reconsider the type of content you’re putting out there.

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Tools For Analyzing Financials

 | Inc.magazine

Nov 2, 2012

My Favorite Tool for Analyzing Financials

Must-haves: Why entrepreneur Jennifer Cattaui loves using BodeTree to analyze her company’s financials.

 Jennifer Cattaui , founder of Babesta New York City

Courtesy Subject

Jennifer Cattaui, founder of Babesta New York City

My husband and I own a company that sells children’s clothing, gear, and furniture online and in two brick-and-mortar stores in New York City. We were looking for a way to get a quick snapshot of our finances and help our store managers understand how the decisions we make affect the financial health of the company. In April, I read about BodeTree, a visual financial analysis tool, and we started using it right away.

After signing up for an account on the BodeTree site, we entered our QuickBooks credentials and filled out a brief questionnaire. Now, we can log on to our dashboard to check a variety of financial metrics, including cash balance, cash flow, and revenue. Each metric appears on a gauge.

If the needle is in the red zone, we know it’s an area of concern. If it’s in the green zone, we’re doing well. We can click on any metric to get more detailed reports. After looking at an inventory turnover report, for instance, we realized we had been sitting on certain pieces of furniture that weren’t selling. Now, we’re carrying fewer of those pieces and increasing turnover.

During our weekly conference call, we share the dashboard with our managers using Microsoft Lync, pointing out areas that need more focus. We pay $25 a month for BodeTree. It’s well worth it.

–As told to Issie Lapowsky

Healthy Is As Healthy Does

By Graham Mills Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Healthy Is As Healthy Does

It is possible to draw parallels between the green movement and what is happening in health today. Both are human problems that have grown to be global crises through our actions and inactions. Both have their advocates and their nay-sayers. Both ask all of us to take personal responsibility for doing everything we can to fix the problem. And, perhaps most importantly in this context, both have a huge impact on brands and how they are expected to behave. Today, people want the brands that they buy or associate with to demonstrate that they share the same standards and beliefs. And it is much more than a product story.

Subaru, a car brand cherished by outdoor types, created the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to achieve zero-landfill status. Rather than invent another greener car, it showed that its corporation stands for, and is prepared to invest in, protecting the environment. This is a great demonstration of what Jon Iwata, senior vice president, Marketing and Communications at IBM, calls “corporate character.” And understanding that how you act as a company creates brand relevance, which is much more valuable than simply buying awareness.

Proof of Character

People are looking for similar character from health brands. Some car manufacturers talk about passive and active safety. Passive safety covers the features that protect you if you get in an accident, while active safety is everything designed to stop you getting into an accident. Health brands could adopt this thinking to create experiences that encompass passive and active health — helping people when they are sick and helping them stay well.

A successful example of doing both is the “Get on Track” program. Novartis created it as part of the organization’s commitment to helping people with hypertension — regardless of which drug they are taking. When you have high blood pressure, your doctor tells you to change your diet, start exercising and take your medicine. And guess what? You get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Get on Track used the thinking behind economic nudge theory to change this. The program creates lots of tiny healthy nudges that add up to a real difference — not just for the patient, but also for Novartis’ character.

Being active means thinking different. In an effort to find the thousands of new bone marrow donors needed every year, every packet of “Help, I’ve Cut Myself” adhesive bandages now contains a swab and an envelope. Send a drop of blood to the bone marrow donor center, and it’ll tell you if you’re a match. A brand that is relevant when you have cut yourself is now a lifesaver.

Another brand embracing active health is EmblemHealth. The new “This is What Care Feels Like” campaign has created a healthy network for New York: Connecting green markets and restaurants in live street demos, sponsoring fruit carts, partnering with master chefs to create cooking competitions for teens, and airing television commercials that give out health advice and tips. Yes, helping people to stay healthy benefits a health insurance company. But it also benefits us and makes that brand relevant to everyone who cares about his or her health.

Renewable Marketing Energy

When we create work that is as relevant as this, we are creating more than an advertising campaign. We are creating brand experiences that people can believe in, get involved with and share. Get it right and, just like renewable energy, we are harnessing a momentum that will power brands forward further and faster than ever before.

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See what others are saying on the Marketing: Health blog.

Graham Mills is executive director of Digitas Health.