Archive for Trends

An Inside Look at Personalization

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Susan :: setting up the exhibition :: 01nov Here’s a sneak peek for the upcoming Future of Marketing 60-in-60—exploring technology and personalization. You’ll hear from video personalization pioneer Mat Harris, the CEO of an innovative new company called BizGreet.

In under 5 minutes, Mat reveals what’s under the hood in today’s most advanced personalization engines. And he gives examples of how you can capitalize on this emerging trend to maximize your own marketing spend. Continue Reading

Content Marketing 101 with Ann Handley

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We all know that “Content is King,” right? Coming up with material that your audience finds interesting and compelling is supposed to be the new marketing… so how come your content doesn’t always get your business great results?

What would be really helpful is a straightforward guide—a “do this, don’t do that,” for content marketing.

Fortunately, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs and co-author of the new book Content Rules, has done exactly that. In her 60-second piece, Ann shares the cardinal rule for creating great content for your audience.

 

This year businesses have really embraced that notion that they are publishers—that they need to create stuff that’ll really help your clients. The problem of course is that it’s really tough to do it successfully, right? How to do content well is what businesses, I think, are going to be looking at this year. They’re going to be looking at questions like, “What does it mean to create content that’s remarkable? How can they do it consistently? How can you be heard above the noise? Why doesn’t your blog have any comments?” It’s really tough work.

A way to think about what makes for compelling content is to think about the fact that good content shares or solves; it doesn’t shill. In other words it doesn’t hawk your wares or push out sales messages. It creates value by positioning you as a remarkable and valuable source of vendor-agnostic information. In 2011, solve or share; don’t shill.

What are some ways your company can use content to solve a problem that your customers have?

The New Horizon of Social Commerce

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With all the buzz about social media, real-time media, and consumer-generated media, business leaders often wonder, “so how do we make any money with this?”

Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing has been paying close attention to this question, and shares his thoughts on the exciting new world of social commerce.

 

Consider these stats: Google sites handle over 88 billion queries a month, but did you know Twitter is approaching 20 billion? Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year, and Hitwise is reporting that Facebook tops Google in weekly web traffic. Social media is hot, but is by no means mutually exclusive of search. Search has expanded beyond Google, and marketers must now consider other search channels such as internal Facebook search and mobile search as channels where customers are looking.

There’s one area in particular that I think marketers should pay attention to in the coming year, and that’s social commerce. Companies like Alvenda are empowering commerce on Facebook with brands like Brooks Brothers, Delta Airlines, and Best Buy. It’s still early days for social commerce, but if companies can make it part of the social experience, I think it will serve as a true channel for social media ROI.

What are some ways you’ve seen social commerce used effectively?

Why Mobile is the Future

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You already know you should be marketing through mobile channels, but do you know why? Maybe you already are reaching customers and prospects via mobile, but could your mobile marketing be more effective?

Chuck Martin, Director of the Center for Media Research and author of The Third Screen, shares why this medium is so important for marketers to embrace in the years ahead, and who is already ahead of the game.

 

I want to talk to you about mobile today. Mobile is a game-changer. If you think about the first screen, which was TV, there are a couple billion of those in the world right now. There are a little more than a billion PCs. There are five billion cellphones around the world right now. That’s 73 percent of the world population. 94 percent of the U.S. population has a cellphone, and we’re moving to a time when more than half of those will be smartphones.

Mobile is up-close and personal. It basically changes the link between supply, demand, time, and distance, which could never be done before. When you look at what marketers need to do, marketers can tell where customers are located today by phone. They can provide maximum value, whether by deals or unique services, based on the optimum mindset of the consumer. This could never be done before. This is an under-the-radar revolution that’s going on right now. Not everybody sees it. Companies like Pepsi, Kraft, Starbucks, The Weather Channel, great companies are doing great things in mobile. It’s time for everybody to get in.

What are some experiences you’ve had with successful mobile marketing, either as a consumer or as a marketer?

Real Relationships, Real Marketing

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Imagine if you knew each of your company’s prospects or customers as well as you knew your friends in college—you knew what they cared about, what they wanted in life, and every interaction strengthened your connection. In other words, it was a real relationship.

Now imagine that anyone in your company could hold that relationship with your customer or prospect and respond appropriately to it. That’s the world that Paul McNulty, CMO of Unica envisions as the future of marketing, and here’s his advice on how you can get there:

 

If I had one tip, I’d say that marketers of the world should engage in true interactive marketing. By interactive marketing I’m not referring to websites or online marketing. I’m referring to engaging each customer and prospect in a relevant cross-channel dialogue that builds upon their past and current behavior. When I’m talking about channels, I’m referring to traditional outbound channels, like direct mail and email, as well as inbound channels, like websites, call centers, and social media.

To do this you need to break down the data and execution silos in your company, and embrace technology that allows you to interact seamlessly with your customers and prospects across all channels in real-time. Through interactive marketing you can more effectively communicate with and expand relationships with your customers, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

What are some of the ways you’ve seen companies build relationships with customers across different channels?

What’s Your Mood Lighting?

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How can your marketing message stand out in a crowded marketplace? How do you get people to listen to what you have to say?

You don’t.

Porter Gale, VP of Marketing at Virgin America, shares the secrets of how Virgin has excelled in the ultra-competitive field of commercial airlines without “pushing their message,” but by focusing their marketing efforts far earlier in the sales process.

 

The one thing I want you to remember as you move forward in marketing your product or brand is the importance of innovation. For us as an airline that reinvented the category, we tried to use the central part of innovation at the core of our DNA. We looked at the product. We look at the guest experience. We looked at all of our marketing channels and made sure that we pushed beyond the traditional landscape and changed the game. For us it’s plugs at the seats; it’s Wi-Fi in all of our planes; it’s food on demand; it’s mood lighting; it’s things that guests actually didn’t even realize they needed. We do feel that this is one of the key things that has made us successful.

It’s also important to think about innovation in terms of all of your social media channels and looking at what’s happening with iPads and technology shifts. People want to be engaged. They want to be connected, and that’s what we think is one of the keys to success.

Porter Gale, VP of Marketing, Virgin America

So what’s your “mood lighting”? What can your product deliver that people didn’t even know they needed?

Tony Hsieh on True Marketing

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We all know that if you create a great product and market it well, your company will thrive. Right? Wrong. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, shares why what’s best for your company—in everything from marketing and customer service, to product design and distribution—doesn’t emerge from a great idea, but from happy employees.

 

One of the most important things to realize about marketing over the next few years is that a company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is just a lagging indicator of the culture, and at Zappos our whole belief is that if we get the culture right, then most of the other stuff — like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand or business — will just happen naturally on its own.

Our true marketing is from the word-of-mouth of our customers, and we focus on making customers happy by making employees happy. Really the way we make employees happy is by having company culture be the number-one priority of the company.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of the book Delivering Happiness.

What are the best ways you’ve seen companies create a positive culture?

Your Company’s Best Marketing Channel Isn’t a Marketing Channel

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Josh Bernoff

Marketing used to be far simpler: purchase ads in the right markets using the right media, and you’re more or less set. But times have changed. After carefully sifting through data for decades now, Josh Bernoff has some advice for how marketers can harness the most powerful marketing channel ever: people talking to people.

 

The future of marketing is treating your own customers as a marketing channel. People don’t realize it, but people make 500 billion impressions on one another about products and services every year in social channels.

What this means is that once you turn someone into a customer, you’re not done. In fact, they are a great opportunity to get the right messages out about your company. To succeed with that think “IDEA.” “I” is identify the mass influencers in your market. “D”, develop groundswell customer service. “E”, empower them with mobile information. And “A”, amplify fan activity. Take these four steps, and you’re on your way to a new way of marketing, marketing where you think of your own customers as a marketing channel.

Josh Bernoff, Senior Vice President at Forrester Research, and the coauthor of Groundswell and Empowered.

What are some ways you can put the I.D.E.A. process into action for your company? As a consumer, how have you ‘sold’ your favorite company’s products?

How to Serve Customers Before They Ask

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Chris Brogan is an interesting fellow: a prolific content creator and entrepreneur who spends more time listening than he does speaking. And he’s managed to turn that habit into a string of successful businesses, both online and off. In today’s Future of Marketing post, Chris shares some of the ways he listens to the marketplace to serve customers’ needs that they might not even be aware of themselves.

 

I’m Chris Brogan from New Marketing Labs. In my mind the future of marketing involves using more listening tools. If you Google the phrase “grow bigger ears,” you’ll find one way that I talk about doing that. The other is to take that listening and incorporate it into both your lead development, your awareness, your sales, and your customer service. Basically do more to understand your customers in a 360-degree way. Stop paying lip service to that, but instead build your CRM solution so they know not only what your customer has purchased, but that your customers have a certain kind of relationship with you and have contacted you about this or that, and so that you understand what they’re talking about when they’re not talking to you as well.

To me, with these listening tools, you’ve come towards a better opportunity to further understand your customer and to serve them in a way that they might not be coming forth and explaining to you, or that they don’t even really know except through your own observation of the information.

What are some ways you incorporate listening into your business processes? What are some new ways you’d like to try?

Why Meaning-Making is the New Marketing

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Michael Margolis, passionate brand storyteller and Future of Marketing speaker, reminds us that people don’t buy your product, they buy something much more. Continue Reading