By Laura Patterson
Research published in AdAge at the end of 2016 helped decode today's five CMO priorities. Two of those priorities fell squarely into the domain of marketing performance management (MPM). The first priority was measurement. However, the study revealed that not just any kind of measurement will do: To be effective, you need to be able to measure Marketing's impact. The second priority was the need to do a better job of justifying Marketing investments.
AdAge was not alone in shining a light on those CMO priorities. The trend toward more compelling measurements of value were reflected in a Chief Marketer article that identified six trends for 2017, three of which included some type of measurement: cross-channel measurement, more sophisticated marketing measurement, and real-time attribution.
And a Forbes article predicted that 2017 is the year Agile Marketing will be taken more seriously. Why? Because "agile marketing results in a measurable improvement in marketing performance."
In another instance, Steven Wastie, CMO of Origami Logic, wrote that "2017 will the year of data and measurement.... Marketers will be under more pressure than ever before to prove accountability."
Perhaps you see the pattern emerging: For today's marketers, the challenge really isn't measurement; there is an abundance of metrics. The challenge is measuring Marketing's value and performance.
Notice we won't suggest that common three-letter term "ROI" as a way to demonstrate value. Although ROI is important, ultimately the goals of Marketing measurement should be to facilitate decisions and determine Marketing's contribution to the business. To that end, you need a way to measure the value Marketing creates.
Are You Sure Your Marketing Metrics Measure Up?
The number of data sources that businesses will rely on will grow 83% between 2015 and 2020, a Salesforce study forecasts. We will be able to measure even more than what we measure today. But, although it may seem counterintuitive, that isn't necessarily a good thing. With so much information, it is easy to find yourself sucked into a metrics vortex.
To avoid that fate, we need to be smarter about the performance metrics we select.
Most marketers still take a channel approach to their metrics. An Allocadia study found that the over 90% of the 200 CMOs and top marketers who participated in its research primarily track and report on output-based metrics (e.g., visits and inquiries). Although those are useful measurements, even the best performing channel will result in failure if you aren't moving the needle for the business.
Marketing budgets tend to reflect such a channel-centric approach, with marketing investments allocated by activities such as PR, email, events, etc. That approach to metrics and budgets is dangerous because channel-centric metrics simply perpetuate the myth that marketing activity equals value.
On the other hand, companies—whether startups or established firms—typically set annual revenue and profit targets. They then define outcomes that, when achieved, they believe will produce the targets. Outcomes clarify priorities. An example of a business outcome: "Increase the rate of adoption of a new product by X% among Y customers resulting in contributing X% toward revenue and Z more market share."
Achieving business outcomes requires various parts of the organization to work in concert. Let's continue using the above outcome example: Attaining the specified product adoption rate would likely require effort by R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, and Marketing. Ideally, the operational plan for each of those organizations would include performance targets associated with that outcome. For Marketing to complete that performance target, it may focus on product adoption rate: how many customers will adopt the product, which ones, at what cost, and in what time frame, and their contribution to the organization's market share.
Marketers making headway on measuring their value to the business take such an outcome-based approach to their metrics. Operating in this fashion allows Marketers to effectively tether their measurement data to key business outcomes. When done well, the links between activities and outcomes form a metrics chain, enabling Marketing to measure value and impact.
How to Translate Outcome-based Metrics Into a Measure of Marketing's Value
Value reflects worth. Though it certainly takes activity to produce the outcomes, Marketing activity in and of itself isn't valuable: You need a way to translate Marketing's work into a measure of business value.
Businesses hold in high regard all forms of value that determine the health and wellbeing of the firm: Employee value, customer value, supplier value, channel partner value, alliance partner value, managerial value, and societal value are all examples of value that determine an organization's economic value.
Considering that Marketing's purpose is finding, keeping, and growing the value of customer, the work of Marketing—i.e., marketing activity—should focus on creating customer value. Therefore, every marketing metric must in some way positively affect customer value. Achieving that objective requires knowing the following:
Using outcome-based metrics is vital to helping Marketing prove its value. These metrics are the first step in transforming the perception of Marketing from a cost center to a value center.
Why is this shift critical? Since cost centers are always under pressure to maximize efficiencies and reduce costs, they are always facing the relentless challenge of doing more with less. When Marketing is treated as a cost center, the Marketing leadership is constantly in the budget hot seat, with their sole focus on keeping their costs in line or below budget.
Of course, Marketing should stay within budget, but is that the primary conversation you really want to have? Wouldn't a conversation about how and why Marketing is moving the needle for the business be far more productive? Of course it would be. So make sure that you can have that discussion.
When your metrics link Marketing to business outcomes, you shift the conversation to what truly matters.
Are you in marketing? Do you care about our planet? If yes, then I imagine that you thought about Green Marketing. I’ve seen a lot of companies jump on the green bandwagon. Being green can be a competitive advantage over your competitors in the marketplace.
What is green marketing?
There isn’t a gold standard here, there are various definitions and it is sometimes called eco-marketing or environmental marketing. The core to green marketing is that the product you are marketing and the way that you are marketing is environmentally safe.
Some ways to describe green can include non-toxic, safe, biodegradable, carbon neutral, recycled, sustainable, re-used, etc etc. It is hard to quantify, but it is definitely a worthy cause. Here are 3 tips.
1. Define your green
The most important part is to be authentic. If you care about making things better, define better. Doing better has a value of its own.
2. Communicate how green makes things better
Green is good, share in your marketing how what you are doing and why it makes your product or services better.
3. Practice what you preach
This third one might seem unnecessary, but after you define your green and share what you are planning, do it with integrity. Avoid Greenwashing at all costs. Greenwashing is marketing that is designed to trick customers into believing, a brand, product or company is eco-friendly.
In a 2010 study, TerraChoice investigated the claims of 4,744 “green” products carried in stores across the U.S. and Canada, finding that more
than 95% of these products were guilty of at least one of what they call ‘The Seven Sins of Greenwashing’:
1. Hidden Trade-Off: Labeling a product as environmentally and focusing on the use of recycled content while hiding the use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing.
2. No Proof: You need to back up the hype with facts on the product and or website.
3. Vagueness: What does all-natural mean? What does safe mean? Give details.
4. Irrelevance: Somethings might be technically true, but completely irrelevant. An example of this is touting that a product is CFC-Free is great but they are illegal so no one uses them.
5. Lesser of Two Evils: One example of this would be saying organic cigarettes are better than X product. Organic cigarettes are still cigarettes.
6. Fibbing: Advertising something that just isn’t true. There are a lot of green badges, such as organic or energy star that is on products that haven’t been certified.
7. Worshiping False Labels: Implying that a product has an endorsement or certification that doesn’t actually exist, often through the use of fake certification labels.
As the TerraChoice study shows, greenwashing is rampant, which makes it difficult to know who to trust. I encourage you to be honest and transparent. Green is important. Take care of our planet. ~:-)
By Jeremiah Owyang
A picture can tell a thousand words, and a video essentially consists of many pictures strung together. How many words is a video worth? It is enough to make video the most popular expression through which we share and view things online. We watch 6 billionhours of video per month on YouTube, upload an additional 300 hours per minute, and that does not even touch on the growing popularity of more video-orientated social media websites like Snapchat.
But if you are interested in content marketing, you probably already know that video is important, and may be familiar with some tips on how to produce a marketing video that has a better chance of going viral. But the internet is constantly evolving, and that means that content marketers have to think about how video marketing will evolve going forward.
Here are some things to note about the importance of videos and trends to spot going forward.
Educating Is Better Than EntertainingContent marketers often dream of creating viral videos that spread across the internet in a flash by being humorous or creating some bizarre internet meme. But what makes videos so much better than pictures or words is that videos can pack in much more information in a short amount of time. Instead of trying to create a funny video, businesses are leaning on videos as a means to educate their customers.
Of course, using videos for educational purposes is not a new concept. McDonald’s used a two-minute video back in 2014 to educate customers about how its chicken nuggets are made and attack rumors about the health quality of its food. But the greater sophistication of internet marketing in its own right has spurred greater consumer distrust of funny videos promoted by businesses.
We live in an age where people do not easily trust others, especially corporations. This means that corporations need to be seen as giving something to the people to gain trust. Information in a video can accomplish that and is free.
Corporations should look to create videos that help and educate customers as opposed to zany videos that look more like a stereotypical advertisement. This shows that the corporation cares about the consumer and keeps it in the consumer’s mind.
The Importance of Social MediaAny self-respecting business should have a social media account, even though the specific social media website may vary from business to business. But while a business may have a social media account, it may still view YouTube or other video-sharing sites as the primary place to upload videos.
It may be time to start viewing those other social media websites as the primary place to put videos up instead, as they can boast certain advantages compared to YouTube. Twitter users can retweet a video and thus get it out to consumers who may not have noticed it otherwise. Facebook is sitting on a mountain of data that increases the chances of hitting the right consumers. Snapchat hits the teenage demographic, which is a key target for many businesses.
Most importantly of all, by branching out to other social media websites, your business can hit a wider field than you could by just staying on YouTube. You should look to push your business’s footprint on social media websites in general, and video is a key avenue to accomplish that.
The Rise of Vertical VideosEver since the television was invented, we have been accustomed to watching things with a horizontal frame. But one ongoing debate in the marketing world is whether marketers should embrace the growing popularity of vertical videos.
The lack of excitement toward vertical videos is understandable. Since they first popped up on websites like Instagram, vertical videos have been mocked as low-budget videos that are difficult to watch, as two black sidebars take up most of the screen. But while vertical videos may be awkward to watch on a computer, they are better to watch on mobile. And the tech story of the past few years has been how mobile devices are supplanting computers.
This format change will affect how businesses create videos. The narrower vertical format means that businesses cannot place as many people or things within a frame and have to pay more attention to the top and bottom of the frame. And because the vertical format is more popular on mobile and Snapchat, it promotes a more in-your-face style.
All of this means that a business needs to know when to use vertical and horizontal formats, and adjust its video production department accordingly. Longer, educational videos like the kind mentioned above should stay in a horizontal format. But shorter videos that are more like ads could move to a mobile format to attract mobile users, and businesses should consider emphasizing one format depending on their marketing strategies.
By Laura Donovan
Marketing and advertising have changed dramatically in the past several years. While some Boomers and Generation X folks still like to read a paper, or watch TV the Millennials are changing the way everything is done.
Millennials have been born and raised on media with information at their fingertips. The only generation to have computers and digital information from their first day on Earth. They also account for nearly one quarter of the US population and have an annual buying power of more than $200 billion.
It is expected that in 2017 their combined spending will outnumber all other demographics.
Attracting and converting this group is not easy, the old methods do not apply. So how can you engage this group and get them interested in what you have to offer? Here are 4 tips to take into consideration.
Omnichannel marketing provides consumers the ability to engage with a business in any format, in a physical store/office, an online website, a mobile app, a catalog or through Social Media.
Millennials are not easily manipulated. They look to their friends for recommendations and referrals. They are seeking out their own information and they place more value in the opinions of their peers than a direct message from a business.
Additionally, you can bombard them with ads and updates and emails, but they will eventually return to a business because of a good experience they had in the past or find your business because of your reputation with other consumers.
With the diverse range of consumers, it is becoming increasingly necessary to change your marketing and advertising tactics based on each demographic. If your services/products span several demographics you have your work cut out for you.
However, it is more important than ever to reach your customers and potential customers where they are and how they want to be reached if you want to grow your business (let alone stay in business!)
And just remember, Millennials are people too!
By Kristi A. Dosh
At the most basic level, your business needs two marketing strategies: One that increases your credibility and one that generates qualified leads. But it’s easier said than done, right?
In fact, it’s easier than you might think–whether you’re running a startup or working for yourself. As a publicist, my daily efforts center around landing my clients opportunities that achieve both goals simultaneously. The best part? Most of these opportunities are free.
Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs conflate these two strategies, mistake one type of activity for another, or overdo it on one side of the divide and neglect the other. Here’s how to tell credibility building from lead generation, and what it takes to strike the right balance.
CREDIBILITY BUILDERSFirst, everyone who’s selling something–whether it’s an app, a physical product, or their own consulting services–needs to build their market credibility. Lots of potential clients I speak to want to be on television, but most have outsize expectations for what a three-minute segment on a local news channel will do for their business.
“I did it to have content I could share on social media, not because I thought it would increase my followers,” Brooke Rash, cofounder of the online entrepreneur community The Social Circle, said of an appearance she made on morning television in Cincinnati last year.
As an entrepreneur who specializes in helping business owners crack social media, you might think that Rash appearing on TV during “National Social Media Day” would have boosted her website traffic or generated new leads. It did neither–but Rash wasn’t fazed. She understood that the appearance was a credibility builder. She could post about it on social media, add it to her website, and even share a link in her email newsletter, knowing that the media exposure would subtly improve how her audience perceived her expertise.
Esther Kiss, a fellow publicist, says she uses TV appearances similarly. “These clips help build trust with new prospects because of the credibility that comes with being associated with brands like NBC, CBS, or ABC,” says Kiss.
The same goes for contributing as a writer to a well-known publication (like this one). Before I started my publicity firm, I was a corporate attorney who steadily worked to position myself as an expert on the sports industry by writing for Forbes and becoming an analyst for a regional sports network. There’s no doubt in my mind that the exposure and credibility I gained that way were instrumental in ESPN hiring me away from my law practice in 2011 to become a sports business analyst full-time.
LEAD GENERATORSGuest blogging for a well-known outlet can also be a lead generator—not just a credibility builder—but it’s a long-term play.
I’m currently on my second stint with Forbes, and having written for the outlet for over three and a half years, I’ve been approached with book offers, paid speaking engagements, and lucrative consulting gigs. I would caution, however, that one guest blog isn’t going to have that same impact—it’s a long-term strategy that requires consistency. For example, this is my fifth piece for Fast Company, and I’ve seen no noticeable increase in leads or traffic to my website as a result. (Hint: that’s not my goal, either.)
But inevitably, when I ask potential clients about their publicity goals, they think the quick fixes are an appearance on a national television show or a feature in a major magazine. But while those things can build your credibility, they’re much less likely to be lead generators.
So, what type of publicity does generate leads?
First and foremost, you should look into being interviewed on podcasts in your niche. According to Edison Research, an estimated 98 million people listen to podcasts, and they over-index as affluent and tech-savvy. Plus, “since most podcasts are geared toward niche audiences, for experts with niche offers, doing podcast interviews can be very lucrative,” Kiss says.
Kiss and I both advise our clients to have a lead magnet and sales funnel in place in order to convert listeners into leads and, eventually, into clients or customers. At its most basic level, this means offering some kind of free content (a checklist, an ebook, video training, etc.) in exchange for an email address. Then you need a plan in place to follow up with those leads.
“The lead magnet should be answering questions or providing a solution for something that’s related to the topic the guest shares their expertise around, so it’s perceived as a logical next step,” Kiss says. “That way, you have permission to further communicate with them, provide value, build even more trust, and ultimately generate sales.”
Kiss was able to add $1.8 million to her client Ryan Levesque’s business during the launch of his 2015 best-seller, Ask, and she says it largely came as a result of podcast interviews. On each one, Levesque offered a free copy of the book to the first 50 listeners to claim the offer, only requiring them to pay for shipping.
Orders were tracked with a unique coupon code for each show, and then those purchasers were retargeted with Facebook ads where they were offered paid products and services. Nearly $2 million later, giving away his book for free to podcast listeners turned out to be a pretty good plan for generating quality leads.
This two-part marketing strategy isn’t rocket science, and many startup founders, solopreneurs, and business owners already grasp it in principle. But it can be easy to conflate the two sides of this coin, or mistake one type of marketing activity for the other, then scratch your head when your business just isn’t scaling. By balancing credibility building with lead generation right from the get-go, you can not only avoid this pitfall but start to raise your profile–and at a lower cost than you’d even budgeted.
By Rose Leadem
Emoji aren't just good at expressing your feelings while texting friends. It turns out, they're great for marketing your business.
A recent study by mobile marketing platform Leanplum and app analytics company App Annie revealed the effectiveness of emoji in mobile marketing campaigns. Analyzing more than 2.6 billion push notifications, the study found that push notifications with emojis had 85 percent greater open rates than those without.
The companies also found it's a good idea to target Android users -- the system's push notifications with emoji were opened 135 percent more than push notifications lacking those colorful little images. When it comes to iOS, there were only 50 percent more opens with emoji push notifications compared to those without.
Using emoji in mobile marketing will not only engage users, but also leads to higher usage, loyalty and conversions, the study says. Through A/B testing, it found that there was a 9 percent increase in users clicking a push notification’s call to action. And to ensure people weren’t downloading an app and abandoning it, the study also discovered that people retained an app for at least 48 hours when they initially downloaded it following a push notification featuring emoji.
Emoji push notifications even have higher open rates than push notifications with simple images, according to the study. Don’t know where to start? The companies pulled together the top 25 emoji that have the highest posh notification open rates.
Check out Leanplum’s infographic below to learn more.