Marketo’s CMO on the new future of digital marketing

marketo_cmo_illoMarketo CMO Sanjay Dholakia puts the current — and future — state of marketing into perspective.

The scene: A smoke-filled room clamors with anger, frustration and optimism as men in earth-tone suits and skinny wool ties debate — from art to copy to product placement — the best ways to sell dishwasher fluid. At long last, they agree, clink their glasses of brandy and set a plan in motion for six months down the road.

That’s marketing in a nutshell, right? A closed-door, one-size-fits-all operation that moves at the speed of molasses.

Well, let’s just say that picture is a little outdated. And not just because of the outfits.

Today, technology plays a massive role in marketing strategy and execution: Automation has turned guesswork into a precise science and months of planning into nanoseconds. Companies like Marketo are leading the way in marketing automation technology, pushing boundaries and helping CMOs everywhere embrace the future.

Of course, this is pretty complex stuff. So we had a chat with Marketo CMO, Sanjay Dholakia, to put the current state of marketing — and the future — into perspective.

Source: Marketo’s CMO on the new future of digital marketing

2016 Marketing Requires High Quality Data

Do Your 2016 Marketing Resolutions Include Achieving High Quality Data?

58% of marketers cite personalizing the customer experience as the most important objective of a data-driven marketing strategy, yet 57% say that improving data quality is the most challenging obstacle to data-driven marketing success. Data quality issues have challenged organizations for years, but it has now become a huge issue and responsibility that is impacting every area of marketing.

Source: 2016 Marketing Requires High Quality Data

Facebook Stats that Every Social Marketer Should Know

With over 1.23 billion active users (including 71% of online adults in the United States), a 94% increase in shared content since 2012, and enough spending money to buy several small countries, it’s clear that Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon. Smart marketers are already using Facebook’s impressive reach to their own advantage, but the network is still relatively new and constantly evolving. It’s hard enough to keep up with Facebook’s changing algorithms – how can marketers be sure they’re using Facebook strategically, not just “marketing at random”?

In addition to arming yourself with a rock solid social media tactical plan (click the link for a comprehensive sample plan, including high-level objectives and granular action items), marketers need to approach their Facebook strategy with the most up-to-date insights and stats.

How can you be sure you’re using Facebook strategically? Check out stats from TrackMaven’s new report, The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook.

Source: Facebook Stats that Every Social Marketer Should Know

How to Personalize Content on the Web – Marketo

Learn how web personalization tools help you put relevant content in front of each website visitor to maximize your time and money spent on content.

Source: How to Personalize Content on the Web – Marketo

When to Buy Data

The quality of a company’s data will have a direct impact on the performance of its people, process and technology. Maintaining the quality, timeliness, and completeness of a company’s data will often require working with external data suppliers.

The decision to buy data should only happen after a data assessment, gap analysis and cost benefit analysis have been completed…

The Data Assessment – is an iterative process that aligns to company’s data strategy and go to market plan, and involves:

  • Identifying all data sources
  • Reviewing the data collection procedures
  • Interviewing those responsible for data and analysis
  • Analyzing sample data for quality
  • Setting segmentation based on personas
  • Documenting business process

 

Data assessments provide qualitative and quantitative insights into data’s…

  • Reliability – Data provides stable and consistent collection processes and analysis
    methods.
  • Validity – Data should clearly and adequately represent the intended result.
  • Timeliness – Data should be available at a useful frequency, should be current, and should be
    timely enough to influence management decision making.
  • Precision – Data have a sufficient level of detail to permit management decision making.

 

Gap Analysis – A gap analysis will identify missing, incomplete or inaccurate data through the data assessment process. Below are examples where data may need to be acquired:GapAnalysis

  • Information missing pertains to specific individuals (i.e. email addresses, phone numbers,etc.)
  • Behavioral information like purchasing patterns, memberships and affiliations, technologies used, etc.
  • Credit score and risk rating
  • Online search history unavailable (cookies, device information, etc.)

 

cost_benefit_analysisCost Benefit Analysis – Justifies the decision to buy data using the findings from the gap analysis and data assessment. It is a comparison of the costs of all options against their total anticipated benefits.

DataQualityWhen to buy data | Cleanse, Enrich, Acquire?

Quality data continues to be a challenge for companies today, and buying data does not guarantee its quality. When using purchasing data from a new supplier start small, inspect the data, and test performance.

Work with major data vendors that are known suppliers of quality consumer and business information. Major suppliers like D&B, InfoGroup, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Acxiom, and TeraData are able to provide consumer or business level intelligence that includes their interests, spending patterns, financial information, demographics, firmographic information, and so on.

 

Managing User Adoption from the Innovators to Laggards

Words like change, transformation, and automation will always generate a wide range of reactions throughout the rank and file of an organization, and our reaction to these words are good indicators as to which group we belong to on the adoption curve.

Innovators and early adopters tend to be motivated by change and late stage adopters and laggards tend to resist it.  Paradoxically, both groups have roles of equal importance in the user adoption process.

Knowing where users and people belong on the adoption curve and organizing them into user groups will enable a phased approach to managing the user adoption process. This approach to user adoption is preferred and will provide a more seamless diffusion of your innovation throughout each stage of the user adoption process. Furthermore, this will ensure that by the time it reaches the laggard group, the bugs will have already been worked out.

Successful innovations will reach a tipping point – which is the point that it is widely accepted and adopted by laggards. However, by the time that happens, count on the next innovation already being in play, and have a plan in place to repeat the cycle of innovation again.

imgres-1

Documenting business processes, conducting frequent business process reviews, building and running knowledge management and collaboration portals, establishing a talent management program, and investing in the professional development of your people will have a direct impact to continued success of any future business transformation initiatives in the future.

As companies transform, it is important to retain a high level of diversity across the organization. Take into account the tacit knowledge that could be lost when choosing to acquire new talent.

Make the language of change pervasive throughout your organization and create a business culture that is comfortable with change and ready to adapt to it.

On a personal level, be prepared for change, because change will happen. Invest time in your own professional development. Always be learning and be willing to step out of the comfort zone.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading the following two books:

“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett Rogers

Follow my blog at Social2Direct.com

User Adoption | User Experience | The Emergence of the UX Designer

User Adoption | User Experience | The Emergence of the UX Designer

I have written several articles on user adoption and its correlation to the harmonization of business process and communication. In a recent post on LinkedIn, I called out three factors for success in a company’s marketing automation program – User Adoption, Innovation, Continuous TransformationThese three areas at their highest level involve collaboration among design, implementation and end user teams. The focus of this post is around user experience (UX) design.

customer experienceIt’s all about the customer experience (CX).

UX design has emerged as an important area of focus for organizations involved in technology and business process management projects. The emergence of UX design is also converging across disciplines spanning technology, marketing, sales, operations, finance, and so on. What is consistent across all areas of UX design is the need for simplicity in driving a successful user experience.

There is a misconception today that business process management (BPM) applications are complex, when in fact they are not. Furthermore, companies like Pegasystems have been investing and building business process management applications for years that have simplified UX design.

logo

As an example, Pega Marketing enables customized, rapid design and implementation of fully integrated CRM environments that make the elusive magic of BPM happen. Predictive analytics is built in through their Customer Decision Hub.

Why should you care about UX design principles and BPM?

Because UX principles that are simplified and executed properly provides clear project insight that’s timely, saves money on resource requirements, and accelerates delivery timelines across technology engagements.

Google as a use case:

googlelogo_color_116x41dpGoogle’s homepage has perhaps the lowest barriers to entry of any digital environment. Google is simply a search field and a button. Their simple user interface (UI) shields users from the complexity that we all know is Google.

Now think about all the products and services that they have been brought to market since they have come to existence:  Google +, Youtube, Gmail, etc. and the complex things that those products do, and you will realize that they have managed to keep their UI simple. What’s more impressive is that Google has managed to simplify our experience products while building, acquiring, adding, changing and bringing new products to market. The Google story is rare in the UI world, however, their story is a use case for all of us to follow.

Today, predictive analytics has become a necessity for businesses working with big data. The need for BPM tools and UX designers with specific areas of domain expertise is growing at a rapid rate. People are the ultimate enabler of technology transformation, especially in today’s customer centric world.

People, process, data and technology (new and legacy systems) will command much of the C-level focus in years to come.

Simple UX design is a necessity if you want your application(s) to be simple and easy to use by your customers. For any technology or business process to become effective, companies must ensure that their UX design teams possess both domain and technology expertise.

Success equals adoption by both the customer and the people running the technologies around them.

Be customer-centric. The rest will follow…

NOTE:  I highly recommend signing up on Pegasystems portal. Once you have signed up, you will be able to follow their new innovations and gain insight into the world of BPM, UX design, and best practices by domain and industry.

 

User Adoption | User Experience | The Emergence of the UX Designer

User Adoption | User Experience | The Emergence of the UX Designer

I have written several articles on user adoption and its correlation to the harmonization of business process and communication. In a recent post on LinkedIn, I called out three factors for success in a company’s marketing automation program – User Adoption, Innovation, Continuous TransformationThese three areas at their highest level involve collaboration among design, implementation and end user teams. The focus of this post is around user experience (UX) design.

customer experienceIt’s all about the customer experience (CX).

UX design has emerged as an important area of focus for organizations involved in technology and business process management projects. The emergence of UX design is also converging across disciplines spanning technology, marketing, sales, operations, finance, and so on. What is consistent across all areas of UX design is the need for simplicity in driving a successful user experience.

There is a misconception today that business process management (BPM) applications are complex, when in fact they are not. Furthermore, companies like Pegasystems have been investing and building business process management applications for years that have simplified UX design.

logo

As an example, Pega Marketing enables customized, rapid design and implementation of fully integrated CRM environments that make the elusive magic of BPM happen. Predictive analytics is built in through their Customer Decision Hub.

Why should you care about UX design principles and BPM?

Because UX principles that are simplified and executed properly provides clear project insight that’s timely, saves money on resource requirements, and accelerates delivery timelines across technology engagements.

Google as a use case:

googlelogo_color_116x41dpGoogle’s homepage has perhaps the lowest barriers to entry of any digital environment. Google is simply a search field and a button. Their simple user interface (UI) shields users from the complexity that we all know is Google.

Now think about all the products and services that they have been brought to market since they have come to existence:  Google +, Youtube, Gmail, etc. and the complex things that those products do, and you will realize that they have managed to keep their UI simple. What’s more impressive is that Google has managed to simplify our experience products while building, acquiring, adding, changing and bringing new products to market. The Google story is rare in the UI world, however, their story is a use case for all of us to follow.

Today, predictive analytics has become a necessity for businesses working with big data. The need for BPM tools and UX designers with specific areas of domain expertise is growing at a rapid rate. People are the ultimate enabler of technology transformation, especially in today’s customer centric world.

People, process, data and technology (new and legacy systems) will command much of the C-level focus in years to come.

Simple UX design is a necessity if you want your application(s) to be simple and easy to use by your customers. For any technology or business process to become effective, companies must ensure that their UX design teams possess both domain and technology expertise.

Success equals adoption by both the customer and the people running the technologies around them.

Be customer-centric. The rest will follow…

NOTE:  I highly recommend signing up on Pegasystems portal. Once you have signed up, you will be able to follow their new innovations and gain insight into the world of BPM, UX design, and best practices by domain and industry.

 

Content Marketing | 3 Rules

Today, a company’s success depends greatly on on its ability to effectively manage its brand awareness, market conditioning, and demand generation programs.

Technology enables companies to automate how, when and what is communicated to its market today. However, content must still be curated by people and in today’s digital market place it is imperative that content follow three basic rules…

1. Be Customer Centric

Buyers consume content to address a challenge or pain, and they are evaluating their options. If your content is difficult to find or doesn’t provide answers to their needs, they will ultimately arrive at another content provider that very well might be your competitor.

The trend emerging with B2B buyers is a decreasing level of engagement with sales people during their awareness phase. Engagement with Sales these days happens during the down selection process and as they narrow down their options to just a few providers.

Today, more than ever before, a company’s success requires that its content be relevant, timely and personalized so that a high level of value is maintained throughout the customer engagement process.

Perception is managed through effective content management.

2. Build and Maintain Alignment on Personas

Create buyer personas. Set up panels comprised of external buyers and internal content curators.  Align both groups against your buyer personas will help align your company to your buyer types, and will help improve how content is synthesized for your company’s target audience. Your personas should drive everything how you communicate with your buyers’ journeys as they make decisions to choose you or your competitor.

3. Communicate Intimately | Personalization

Avoid speaking in your company’s or industry’s language. Use real words and when and wherever possible apply personalization that addresses the specific pain or need of your customer.

Follow me at http://social2direct.com

Video: How Massive Enterprise Companies Buy & Sell In 2016

At Sales Stack Conference 2015, we sat down with industry insiders from massive enterprise companies to discuss the secrets of how they buy and sell.

Source: Video: How Massive Enterprise Companies Buy & Sell In 2016