7 easy ways to multiply your conversions

Ask marketers what their goals are, and one of the first things they will say is to deliver a more personalized experience to their customers. This isn’t a goal aimed solely at increasing conversions; it’s also about meeting customers’ growing expectations. To put this into context, five years ago, people were awed when Amazon could […]

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Ask marketers what their goals are, and one of the first things they will say is to deliver a more personalized experience to their customers. This isn’t a goal aimed solely at increasing conversions; it’s also about meeting customers’ growing expectations.

To put this into context, five years ago, people were awed when Amazon could recommend a product they’d love. Today, users expect that Netflix will recommend to them another binge-worthy series based on their tastes.

So how does a marketer meet this high demand for personalized communications? The answer is in understanding the power of dynamic content and how it makes static content marketing obsolete.

In this free guide, Sharpspring outlines seven simple ways marketers can use dynamic content to connect with audiences in a more organic and personalized way.

Grab your copy to find out:

  • How top brands like Netflix and Amazon use dynamic content.
  • The marketing automation features that enable you to deliver personalized experiences.
  • Ways to personalize your emails, landing pages, forms, pop-ups and more using dynamic content.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “7 Easy Ways to Multiply Your Conversions.”

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Compare the top marketing automation tools and platforms

The latest edition of MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software in your business. It addresses the following questions: What factors are driving B2B marketing automation platform use? What capabilities do B2B marketing automation platforms provide? […]

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The latest edition of MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software in your business.

It addresses the following questions:

  • What factors are driving B2B marketing automation platform use?
  • What capabilities do B2B marketing automation platforms provide?
  • Does my company need a marketing automation platform?
  • Who are the leading players in B2B marketing automation?
  • How do I evaluate which platform is best for my business?

Also included in the report are profiles of 15 leading B2B marketing automation platforms vendors, pricing information, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

If you are a marketer looking to adopt a marketing automation software platform, this report will help you through the decision-making process. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy.

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8 best practices for implementing multi-touch attribution

Savvy marketers realize the benefits of omnichannel marketing. These brands use sophisticated tactics to engage their best customers and prospects wherever they are — online, on their phones or watching video or TV. With digital, we’ve gained the ability to target consumers with relevant content at just the right time and place. Now, how do […]

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Savvy marketers realize the benefits of omnichannel marketing. These brands use sophisticated tactics to engage their best customers and prospects wherever they are — online, on their phones or watching video or TV.

With digital, we’ve gained the ability to target consumers with relevant content at just the right time and place. Now, how do we track, measure and optimize this activity? Until recently, most marketers used last-touch attribution, which assigns full credit for a conversion to the final touch point in the customer journey.

But new tactics call for new measurement. Brands with more complex customer journeys have found last-touch models lacking and have begun to shift toward more holistic, cross-channel models such as multi-touch attribution. Multi-touch attribution shows you the impact of each addressable touch point on a conversion and helps you plan and optimize at a granular level.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “8 Best Practices for Implementing Multi-Touch Attribution” from Visual IQ to learn how to execute a successful attribution strategy.

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Google announces Google Marketing Platform Partners program

The program includes more than 500 companies certified to provide resources or training on using Google Marketing Platform products.

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Image: Google

Following on Tuesday’s announcement that Google is grouping its advertising into three new brands — Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager — the company is consolidating and updating its marketing partner program as well.

Google Marketing Platform combines the DoubleClick advertising products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite into one solution for enterprise advertisers.

The new Google Marketing Platform Partners combines the Google Analytics Certified Partners and DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partners and includes resources across all of the products on the platform. “Whether you’re looking to build skills in-house or partner with a service provider, the program helps ensure the needed skills and resources are readily available,” writes Chip Hall, managing director for media platforms at Google, in the announcement.

There are three partner designations:

  • Certified Individuals: Those who complete certifications for individual products in the Google Marketing Platform.
  • Certified Companies: Firms that have certified individuals on staff to provide consulting, training, implementation, operations and technical support and come with “stellar” customer references.
  • Sales Partners: These firms sell Google Marketing Platform technology on Google’s behalf. They work more closely with Google in providing services and consulting than Certified Companies.

There are more than 500 companies currently in the Google Marketing Platform Partners program. There are resources listed for analytics, Display & Video 360, Campaign Manager, Creative, Search Ads 360, Attribution, Data Studio, Optimize and Tag Manager.

[This article originally appeared on MarTech Today.]

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It’s time for the brand promise to evolve. Again.

Contributor John Nardone explains how being an empathetic marketer can help you with everything from managing data to conceiving of dynamite creative.

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With GDPR recently coming into effect, advertisers are once again fretting over their use of consumer data. In Europe, the fretting is beneath a regulatory cloud, with financial consequences for the misuse of EU consumer data.

Here in the US, we are not facing legislation, but GDPR, Cambridge Analytica and congressional hearings have nonetheless refocused us on the question of fair and appropriate use of consumer data.

It is a fundamental conundrum that’s faced marketers for years: how to manage the fine line of personalization vs. privacy. When does appropriate use of data flip over to inappropriate? When does personalization cross the line into “creepy?”

The answer to the privacy vs. personalization challenge shouldn’t be difficult for responsible and thoughtful marketers. If they want to know whether their use of data is appropriate, marketers just need to put themselves in the shoes of their consumers.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Good marketers should always be empathetic and attentive to the needs of their consumers, but in a data-enabled environment, they should aspire to go a step farther. They should strive to deliver some value in return for using that consumer’s data and for her attention.

In other words: It can’t be about the needs of your brand (i.e., more sales!). The message you deliver to the consumer, and the way in which you deliver it, must serve the consumer’s agenda, not your own. If marketers can adhere to this very basic premise and allow attentiveness and empathy to guide their strategies and communications, concerns about inadvertently crossing into the realm of data creepiness will be largely assuaged.

While the above concept might sound obvious (albeit rarely put into practice), it’s only in recent years that the dynamic messaging capabilities needed to deliver on this premise have become available.

As industry columns like this one are quick to remind readers, we know more about the individuals seeing our ads than ever before. Now, it’s time for our brand promises to be expressed in ways that reflect that knowledge.

A singular brand promise, tailored to the individual

The brand promise has evolved significantly over the past 70 years. Pre-1950s, most brand promises were straightforward. They stated what the product did. Detergent makes your clothes cleaner. Deodorant makes your armpits drier. Car wax protects your car’s finish. Simple, sure. But certainly not personal.

In the ensuing decades, the brand promise evolved. It took on meaning relative to the consumer. Advertisers shifted away from product features to focus on end benefits. Yes, deodorant keeps you drier, but why? So you can be more confident. That’s what really matters to consumers.

But over the past decade of digital and programmatic innovation, distribution has come to outweigh the message. As marketers, we became infatuated with the precision with which we could reach consumers — to the point that we forgot to pay attention to the messages and the creative with which we were reaching them.

Thankfully, we’re headed for a correction in that ever-swinging pendulum, one that brings empathy and humanization of the consumer to the forefront in ways that were not possible in decades past.

In today’s world of personalization, the empathetic marketer has the opportunity to evolve the brand promise yet again by translating it to the individual. And that’s where some serious creative magic can happen.

How awesome creative can be

In the world of the personalized brand promise, deodorant doesn’t just make you dry. It doesn’t just make you confident. It makes a 46-year-old father of two more confident when he meets the parents of his daughter’s new boyfriend. It makes the 27-year-old account manager more confident when she gives her first company-wide presentation. If context matters, then the context of the individual matters the most.

In the hands of an attentive and empathic marketer, data can enable a new, more personally relevant expression of the brand promise. Not only can we speak to a product’s end benefit, but we can speak to that end benefit as it applies to an individual at a given moment in time.

The creative possibilities enabled by the personalized brand promise are limitless. But to get it right, we must first embrace empathy as our key guiding principle in connecting with consumers in the moment.

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Blockchain powered Killi wants users to ‘own their identity,’ make money from brands

App wants to bring full transparency and consumer control to data collection on behalf of brands.

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It’s an idea that has been around for years: Consumers should control and explicitly sell their data for compensation. It’s implied in many data-collection systems today (e.g., “give us your email for 10 percent off”); however Killi is the first to set up a blockchain-based infrastructure to do this as an explicit solution for the market as a whole.

Others will soon follow. For example, another company called Occi is working on a similar blockchain-based loyalty solution for retailers.

Killi is the brainchild of Neil Sweeney, who founded a company called Freckle IoT. Originally a beacon company, Freckle evolved into an online-to-offline attribution provider that works with major brands. Killi is a consumer app available for iOS and Android.

One way to see Killi is as a next-generation data broker that puts consumers at the center of data collection. After they download the app, users are asked to enable persistent location. The setup process itself is a kind of consumer education about data collection.

In the near future, users will also be able to answer brand surveys for compensation. Surveys can be targeted by country, region, gender and age.

In the interest of full transparency, Killi users will be able to see the brands that have purchased their data and for how much. Right now, pricing is based on “market rates.” In the future, Sweeney says, it will become more dynamic.

Consumers are compensated via PayPal or Amazon after they reach a $5 threshold. Killi makes money by taking “a small transaction fee to write the contracts, pay for transactions on the blockchain and staff the team.” That transaction fee is 15 percent of what the brand pays for the consumer data. The user receives the remaining 85 percent.

Sweeney explains, “This isn’t about making $3 on your identity, it’s about regaining control.” He adds, “Consumers don’t understand the data ecosystem,” which is largely true. As mentioned, Killi’s signup flow and aggressive messaging go some distance to explaining all that:

Your personal data is accessed and sold thousands of times per day — making billions of dollars for giant corporations and zero for you.

This means YOU are their product. It’s time to take back control of your identity and redistribute its value back to its rightful owner — you.

Users are free to delete their data at any time.

One of the obvious challenges here is building a “two-sided marketplace.” And that will equally be true for any company that attempts something similar (e.g., Occi). Sweeney told me, however, that his existing company Freckle already has cultivated one side of that market. The company has been working with numerous retailers and CPG companies that he said were eager for a transparent, privacy-compliant solution like this.

Indeed, one of Killi’s objectives is to eliminate any ambiguity around consent. The company says it entirely eliminates third-party data from the equation and provides a “ first-party user base that is 100 percent verifiable, opted-in and GDPR compliant.”

While users may be prompted to confirm data or take surveys, most of the data collection happens in the background, so the consumer’s role is largely passive once signup is completed. In addition to blockchain, the major difference between Killi and seemingly similar survey or shopping apps is that Killi users all understand they’re trading their location information and data for compensation from brands — and they can see that clearly.

The data collected by Killi can later be exported by the brand to any DSP or DMP of choice:

The data collected through Killi is not purely user-generated, but verified via the standard Google and iOS app store process including location verification, mobile ID, mobile number and email address verification as well as Facebook account verification and drivers license barcode scanning. Once consumers’ data is purchased by a brand or agency, those marketers are able to export it at no cost into their internal first-party data management systems.

This is a fascinating convergence of two things happening in the market: the emergence of blockchain as a solution to various market problems and growth of user privacy concerns and related regulations.

Killi will have a consumer marketing challenge, of course. Like any app, it will need to be adopted at scale to make the system work. However, Sweeney says that in addition to conventional app marketing techniques, he believes the “take back control” message and mission of the app will inherently resonate with consumers.

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Why your marketing performance problem is really a measurement challenge

Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers. The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service. But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, […]

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Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service.

But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, at many companies, the individual players aren’t using the same playbook. They choose a lower-value target, or the wrong one altogether, launch campaigns without insight and watch growth and ROI sputter.

Getting on the right track for growth is easier said than done. If you’re not seeing the number of leads, conversions, sales or other key metrics you’re looking for, finding out what’s not working and knowing how to fix it is tough.

The issue may not be your marketing tactics at all. It might actually be how you’re measuring performance. Without accurate measurement that de-duplicates results across customers and gives each touch point the proper credit toward a desired outcome, you really don’t know what’s working and what’s not.

This makes it almost impossible to invest in the channels that are driving results and avoid wasting spend on those that aren’t.

Digital marketing is complex

This is a common problem for today’s marketer. For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV, yellow pages and outdoor ads to reach consumers. But the digital revolution has proved disruptive to traditional marketing approaches. TV, radio, print and outdoor now work alongside digital marketing —  search, organic and paid search, email, social and video.

An explosion of digital channels, platforms and tools have made marketing more complex than ever. There are more touch points as consumers take control of the funnel, interacting with brands across multiple devices, niche media outlets and streaming TV.

Being able to reach and engage your best customer as they move along a tangled digital path requires sophisticated understanding of tools and tactics and clear strategy and vision. But the strategies and technologies that marketers have relied on for years to target, analyze and optimize their marketing and advertising campaigns have not evolved fast enough to keep pace with these demands.

Click on the image above to get the free ebook.

Marketing teams don’t share goals

Another challenge to growth is that it’s common for marketing teams to operate in silos. Most marketing organizations are split between marketing (direct mail, website, mobile, email, SEO, social, PR, events) and media (display, paid social, SEM, affiliate, print, radio, TV).

This split is compounded by multiple layers up and down the org chart: CMO, VPs, and directors, each with a team of managers and specialists under them, executing tactics and managing spend for each channel. Every organization also has multiple agency and vendor relationships.

That’s a lot of people in the pool. This complex structure often leads to individuals or teams working toward independent key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives, leading to fragmented, ineffective optimization — by channel instead of across channels.

Aligning your organization toward common goals is challenging, especially when the goals change. Organizational silos and the complexities of the digital era have created measurement challenges that make it more difficult to maximize marketing effectiveness.

You may be hurting rather than helping performance

When goals, metrics and incentives align, teams can work together to boost performance and enhance the consumer experience along the entire funnel. But when they don’t, channel managers may unknowingly be working at odds.

Assuming that every part of the organization is doing all they can to feed the funnel and drive results is no longer enough. If your organization sets individual goals and incentives by silo, you may be hurting rather than helping performance.

That’s because each silo has its own metrics. Your Paid Search Manager is optimizing keyword performance while your Email Marketing Manager is tracking opens and click-through rate. How can you be sure they’re looking at the right numbers to achieve company goals?

Aligning metrics to a common goal is key

To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions or eyeballs or to measure the effectiveness of your marketing using last-touch metrics. You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touch point in every consumer journey, regardless of where those touch points occur.

No matter which goal you’re focused on, you have to make sure your metrics align so that you’re tracking the right indicators. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Marketing teams and management need to align on objectives and the KPIs that track progress toward achieving them.

Multi-touch attribution: New measurement for all channels

Many brands are reluctant to use advanced attribution methods that accurately assign fractional credit to marketing and media touch points, yet they’re spending millions of dollars annually measuring performance using last-click metrics they know are flawed.

To be effective, marketing organizations and their agency partners must rely on a data source that offers a holistic picture of performance and makes it possible for everyone to work toward shared goals. At the same time, each team member has different needs for actionable marketing intelligence at a different cadence.

Multi-touch attribution is an approach that makes sure all members of the organization are working together. Multi-touch attribution integrates disparate marketing performance data to establish a single source of truth.

By collecting, consolidating and normalizing performance data into common measures and taxonomy, this methodology supplies the insights your team needs on a consistent, holistic basis. Some multi-touch attribution solutions even integrate third-party behavioral and demographic audience data to provide tactical performance insights by audience segment.

Five attribution use cases

Here are five ways multi-touch attribution helps make sure your team is looking at the right numbers.

CMO: Budget allocation

It’s budget-planning time. The CMO of a large retailer needs to justify current marketing spend to other C-suite leaders and decide how to allocate budget and coordinate messages and experiences across online and offline channels.

Because they use multi-touch attribution, s/he knows VPs of marketing and media can report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience. The CMO uses that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

VP: Cross-channel interaction

It’s the end of Q2. Last quarter, the brand launched a new multichannel campaign to drive sales of a new product, but the campaign fell short of its performance goals. The VP needs to know how to best allocate spend in order to increase sales by 20 percent in Q3.

Since a business rival is launching a competing product, she knows the marketing messages need to resonate with target customers and compel them to take action. She asks the managers of paid search, display, email and their e-commerce site to use multi-touch attribution to report on cross-channel interactions before deciding how to best allocate her quarterly budget to reach Q3 targets.

Channel manager: Email

It’s Monday, and there are campaigns rolling out on Tuesday and Thursday to different audience segments. The email channel manager needs to boost click-through rates to meet the weekly KPI.

Using multi-touch attribution, he checks the response to last week’s campaigns and sets up A/B tests for the emails going out this week, tweaking creatives for each audience segment to see which raises CTR. He then optimizes the email by segment and pushes those out to generate a higher return.

Channel manager: SEM

At the agency, the SEM channel manager sees via multi-touch attribution that the effectiveness of her Tier 1 campaign has suddenly dropped off because a new competitor has started aggressively bidding on the same keywords with an enticing offer that’s stealing click share.

She directs the SEM specialist to increase max bids by 10 percent and asks for an update on impact to performance in 24 hours. In the meantime, she asks the media analyst to report on which ads in the rotation are driving conversions at the highest rate for that campaign so she can direct her SEM specialist to pause the weaker performing ads.

Media analyst: Dimension analysis

At the agency, the media analyst pulls the numbers gathered via multi-touch attribution from yesterday’s mobile app, digital video, display and paid search ads. He compares creatives, ad sizes, offers, devices, geography and publishers to see which ones are performing well. He notices that last night’s new creative is working well across publishers, but only in the bigger size. He alerts the media buyer to boost ad size across channels.

Getting the marketing performance you deserve

Digital innovation has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers. As a result, many brands today think they have a performance problem. The truth is that they actually have a measurement problem. If they can solve the root of the issue — poor measurement — they’ll get better results.

Multi-touch attribution allows brands in all industries to tackle the daunting task of properly measuring and optimizing the results of their marketing efforts. This makes it a whole lot easier for your organization to work together toward shared goals and grow.

To learn more about how you can be a better marketer in the digital era, download the Nielsen Visual IQ e-book: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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Enable attribution across all channels, platforms and devices

It’s no secret that legacy attribution solutions are limited. As consumer digital journeys become increasingly cross-platform and cross-channel, these attribution providers have largely failed to evolve and adapt. This white paper from Branch Metrics covers: An overview of web and app attribution as they have developed. The challenges faced by today’s web and app attribution. […]

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It’s no secret that legacy attribution solutions are limited. As consumer digital journeys become increasingly cross-platform and cross-channel, these attribution providers have largely failed to evolve and adapt.

This white paper from Branch Metrics covers:

  • An overview of web and app attribution as they have developed.
  • The challenges faced by today’s web and app attribution.
  • The shortcomings of fingerprinting and cookie-based attribution methods.
  • The benefits of industry-leading people-based attribution and its benefits.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Ultimate Guide to Web and App User Attribution.”

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Google to stop media buyers from using DoubleClick IDs, keeping measurement & attribution within its ‘walled garden’

Marketers say that this move is part of a larger trend by companies like Google to control measurement and attribution metrics.

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Google has told media buyers who use its data transfer service that they will no longer be able to use a DoubleClick ID, multiple sources reported in the past week. Marketers use the IDs to pull cross-platform measurement data from Google’s DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM).

Google has told its partners that beginning May 25, DoubleClick will no longer populate the encrypted UserID field that stores the DoubleClick cookie ID and mobile device IDs in DCM and DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) logs for impressions, clicks and site activities associated with users in the EU.

May 25 is also the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a sweeping set of rules that govern data privacy for members of the European Union.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Facebook unveils new analytics features, including a tool to track the omnichannel journey

The social media company made this announcement — and many others — at F8, its developer conference in San Jose.

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Facebook introduced new analytics features — including a tool to track customer journeys through multiple channels — on Tuesday at its F8 developer conference.

Journeys is the most notable addition to Facebook’s currents analytics tools. It provides omnichannel data and reporting, so marketers can see what users are doing right before they take an action that results in a conversion.

Journeys report, for illustration purposes only

The company took special care to note that this data is anonymously aggregated and not tied to any specific individuals’ identities. From the blog post announcing the features:

… as we work to build the future of analytics, we take our responsibility to keep people’s information safe seriously. We carefully built this product to protect people’s privacy. That’s why the insights we report are aggregated and anonymous; and don’t contain individually identifiable information, like emails and phone numbers. As Facebook Analytics evolves, we’ll make sure it’s in ways that work well for both people and businesses.

Facebook continues to reel from increased scrutiny and criticism in the wake of allegations that it provided users’ personal information to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which was then used to influence voters in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Funnel vision

Facebook’s new analytics can auto-detect sales funnels using machine learning algorithms across channels, which enables marketers to “identify friction in your marketing and product experience, and uncover opportunities to optimize for conversions faster.” The enhancements will also provide insights gleaned from both auto-detected and user-created funnels.

The company is also adding to the automated insights it introduced last year to help marketers discover unusual patterns and correlations faster.

“It’s a new way to access some pretty interesting insights for your business,” the company said in its blog post. “If you know a particular action — certain types of website engagement means users are more likely to download your mobile app, for example — you can optimize your user’s experience to encourage more of that behavior.”

Facebook has also launched a Facebook Analytics mobile app, pictured below.

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