Tag Archive for social media

Marketo Summit 2014: Focused on Insights, Engagement, Personalization and Content

marketo-marketing-nation-summit-tile-featured

Last week, I attended Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit 2014 annual conference along with 6,000 other marketers from around the world. The two-day event was superbly orchestrated to manage the massive crowds and I felt there was a good flow between events each day. There were several breakout sessions and panels that adequately addressed the numerous shifts in today’s marketing environment. From what I know to be true from a personal experience, and from what I learned at the conference, I walked away with three big trends impacting marketing:

1) We have access to better intelligence around target audiences and prospects and the ability to serve up customized content to improve the customer experience.

2) There’s more alignment and tighter interactions between functional groups including sales, marketing, web, HR and digital teams resulting in better outcomes.

3) Content marketing and customer engagement are now high priorities within marketing and support almost every activity (this is where social media plays a large role).

To help accelerate these marketing trends, there were some new Marketo features announced at the conference:

  • Real-time Personalization – A result of the Insightera acquisition last year, this bolt-on offering provides marketers the ability to serve dynamically-generated, multi-channel, personalized communications. The big value prop is that all of it can be done in real-time without IT or a dedicated CMS platform.
  • Marketo SEO Module – Integrated into the Marketo platform, this very intuitive product will help marketers understand how their webpages are faring based on strategic keywords and offers recommendations for better search engine placement. I’m excited because it will be complimentary for enterprise level users.
  • Marketo Marketing Calendar – This new offering got a lot of oohs and aahs at the unveiling proving what a nightmare it is for marketing teams to stay up-to-date on events and activities. The demo showed how changes could be made in the calendar that impact campaign settings within the Marketo platform.
Hillary Clinton and Beth Comstock, Keynote Speakers at #MKTGNATION14

Hillary Clinton and Beth Comstock, Keynote Speakers at #MKTGNATION14

Being a social media strategist, I chose breakout sessions that covered how social can be woven into an automated marketing program. I’m fairly new to the Marketo platform but from what I heard from presenters, it seems like an area still in its infancy even though some brands had good success. I’m quite certain that by next year’s conference, there will be much more to talk about and showcase.

The keynote speeches were by far my favorite part of the conference. Seeing Hillary Clinton share her candid thoughts on Internet freedom, the democratization of social media and the emerging age of enterprise innovation was worth the price of admission. Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, was also quite motivating as she spoke about how her company has managed to stay relevant after 122 years of business – mostly by being innovative. Both sessions definitely made me feel energized and eager to get back to work knowing that a “marketing nation” can, in fact, help change the world for the better.

 

Executing a Social Media Exit Strategy

Photo courtesy of xomiele

It’s a fact of life. Everything comes to an end sooner or later. The same goes for social media campaigns and accounts. The trick is knowing when to pull the plug and move on to something bigger and better.

One of the biggest reasons to hit the delete button is to avoid a social media time suck that drains budget resources and doesn’t provide a healthy return on your investment. You also may find that the property has exceeded its shelf life and you’re not generating optimal levels of traffic and engagement anymore. Whatever the reason, you’re now faced with the decision of what to do.

Obviously, you’ll need to consider the platform carefully. Whether it’s a blog, community, microsite or social networking account, each will have its own factors to consider. But once you put an end to that social media fossil, chances are you’ll find more time and energy to focus on something new. The guilt and baggage from those dated social media accounts will free you to do more. So here are a few things to consider.


Dead Blogs and Communities Serve Up SEO Benefits

If you decide that it doesn’t make sense to sustain your blog, don’t delete it without careful consideration. Blogs, and online communities for that matter, are fantastic repositories of knowledge and opinion for readers seeking out specific content. Depending upon the subject matter, they could yield a wealth of information for many, many years. More than likely, your posts and the reader comments are attracting a fair amount of visitors on a regular basis. You may find that much of the content is still valuable and people are coming across it through their online searches and via your SEO efforts. Check your analytics to determine the level of traffic that’s still coming to the blog, as well as where your visitors are coming from (referral traffic) and the search terms they’re using to find your blog or community. This data could certainly help you shape future marketing strategies or even help you plan your next blog. Make sure you draft and publish a final post explaining the reason for the termination of the blog or online community and thank your readers/contributors for their participation. Don’t forget to include a link they can click to find your organization online, join an affiliate community or a recommended group on a social network like Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

Expired Campaign Microsites Leverage Inbound Links

Your company may have built an online destination with a very specific purpose in mind. These microsites are usually tied to a creative campaign to drive visibility around a product or service, promote an event, or may even have been used to hold a contest or sweepstakes of some kind. Even though the product has been discontinued, the event has passed or the contest has ended, you may still be attracting visitors from inbound links. Again, it’s about taking advantage of that web traffic (and your brand equity) so don’t cut off that funnel of interested visitors wanting to know more about your organization. Go ahead and tear down the site (make sure you archive your digital assets) but hang onto the domain URL (those are super inexpensive and worth the cost if it means generating an additional stream of traffic). Use a website redirect to your new campaign site, social media page or official web property to connect them with content that’s current. Of course, if you’re not generating traffic than it won’t make sense to keep the domain name.  Hit the delete button on the whole thing.

 

Unattended Social Media Accounts Aren’t Exactly Social

It’s disappointing to come across a business account on a social network that’s been abandoned or doesn’t respond to comments or customer inquiries. Of course, there could be several reasons for this such as budget cuts, inexperienced community managers or a poor social media strategy (brand conversation monitoring is required for all social media programs). Unlike blogs and online communities, social networks operate on a real-time basis. They are meant to provide ongoing dialogue and can become stale and out-of-date rather quickly. If that’s the case, an exit strategy is probably needed.

I wouldn’t recommend deleting brand name accounts on social networks. I’m talking about branded vanity URLs such as pinterest.com/KLMConsulting. While it’s common for businesses to quickly jump onto social networks to secure their brand names (before cyber squatters beat them), the accounts shouldn’t resemble a ghost town with tumble weeds either. If you’re not ready to activate the account, try to make it hidden (Facebook allows you to do that with pages and groups). If you can’t do that, why not post an initial message stating the obvious – “Thanks for visiting our page, we’ll be launching shortly so come back soon!” If it’s a mature page and you’ll only be gone temporarily, then state that in the last post you publish or in the profile. At the very least this sets the tone and shows your commitment to transparent communications. It also tells the visitor that there is some strategy being developed behind closed doors.

Research from Burson-Marsteller cited that the average number of social media accounts is 33 per company. If you have secondary pages that aren’t performing or you simply can’t sustain or maintain the dialogue, then you may want to consider deleting those. Frankly, they could be doing you more harm than good. Most likely, these will be social media accounts that aren’t imperative to your business and do not contain your brand name in the vanity URL. If that’s the case, you’ll want to send a message to your fans or subscribers letting them know the end is near. Just do so with caution since social media accounts cannot be undeleted.

 

Insights from IBM’s Global Marketing Study

Image taken from the IBM 2011 CMO Study

I recently had a chance to review IBM’s 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer Study and was surprised by some of the findings. Based on interviews with over 1,700 chief marketing officers around the world, the study reveals that CMOs are struggling to overcome numerous challenges.  Titled, “From Stretched to Strengthened,” it identifies the top marketing trends impacting business from a global perspective.

What I found interesting was that both B2B and consumer brands are equally challenged. There’s wasn’t anything that separated the two business categories in terms of approach. There were also several references to ROI and how CMOs are in a similar position that CFOs were in 10 years ago. This really speaks to the growing analytical side of online monitoring and measurement. While being accountable though, CMOs are much more focused on building and strengthening relationships with customers than in previous years.

I have to give IBM a lot of credit for the way they delivered the survey results. The report was repackaged in so many digital formats that I don’t think they missed a social media channel. I’ve pasted links to various sites at the end of this post.

Here are the top marketing trends impacting businesses around the world:

  1. Explosion of data – Here’s a shocking statistic: 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone. This presents a major problem in terms of analyzing all of the data and then determining how to use it in to develop better products and improve customer relations.
  2. Social media – The second area of worry is social media, which is primarily responsible for the exponential increase in data overload. CMOs are faced with the complexity of managing and participating in the social media landscape. They also understand that customers see this as a requirement for connecting and communicating with them.
  3. Mobile devices – The third largest issue is the proliferation of mobile devices.  With mobile commerce set to reach $31 billion by 2016, CMOs will need to uncover opportunities that contribute to the bottom line.
  4. Shifting demographics – Coming in fourth place is the shifting of consumer markets with new needs and consumption habits. Mass markets no longer exist and CMOs will need to adapt to those changes in order to succeed.

You can access the IBM 2011 Global CMO Study in multiple formats:

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