Predictive Analytics | Applying it to #Sales and #Marketing

Several weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a group of senior executives at one of the oldest business information companies in the United States, and the conversation shifted to lead generation:

“Results are horrendous, incredibly weak. Much of these leads are unusable. High percentages from Gmail, AOL, Hotmail… So many unknowns and, well, at least some decision makers, along with the rest of usual useless information.”

Anyone who works in today’s digital marketing space knows this is a common conversation that is hard to fix.

So, is bad #data the real issue for us or is it that we are chasing down the wrong path?

Think about it. We spend millions of dollars chasing individuals who download content, attend webinars or throw business cards into fishbowls at conferences and shows. We spend very little trying to figure out what is really going on inside a company of interest.

Things that sales and marketing agree on:

  • Purchasing is a team exercise
  • Figuring out what the consensus inside of buying teams is a tough job to figure out
  • There is a value to downloaded content as a proxy for team interest
  • An individual act tells us nothing about its organizations intent.

Is it time to devalue the downloaded white paper as our lead generation currency? (Sales people will love this one, Marketing, maybe not) 

More to the point, isn’t it time to evolve and begin the process of understanding the corporate body language through a variety of data points that are already available to us? Would it not be better to understand that the almighty download can and should be part of a larger canvas where a broader, more accurate picture emerges?

Even at it’s broadest level, #predictive #analytics can come in some simple forms.

6 examples of simple forms that apply basic predictive analytics:

  1. You can use any number of competitive search tools to understand what keywords and key phrases are collectively perceived as important when prospects begin their journey to find you
  2. And if you look historically backwards, you will be able to see what changed and potentially why
  3. You can also develop an understanding for funnel position (where companies are in the sales funnel by segmenting out keywords based on a natural progression of educating oneself.
  4. You can then use that analysis to make sure your own website is in tune editorially – are you mapping to what is important at that moment in time to companies that are consuming the content aligned with your objectives?
  5. You can find sites where these keywords exist ON PAGE in ways that align with your objectives. Page Indexing has grown up and become very sophisticated.
  6. Just this simple knitting together of these two components begin to give you an indication of trends and volume of content that is out there and that your prospects are consuming

Then do this:

  • Use IP identification and targeting to match who you see on your site and who is consuming the relevant content across the Web. This type of targeting will enable you to report back on which companies are most active in consuming specific keywords across contextually aligned sites.
  • This gives you a marriage of your data and external data that help you develop prioritization for sales, messaging across marketing, content development and most of all – IT GETS YOU OUT OF DEPENDING ON WHITE PAPER DOWNLOADS as your proxy for interest.
  • Once you add your crm and marketing automation data, revealing what companies you currently talk to are most engaged – you have a clear path to a strategy.

To review:

  • Analyze the competitive set to understand how everyone is deploying search and keywords
  • Utilize page indexing to understand where the content is
  • Use IP identification and targeting to tell you who and what and how many from where
  • Knit your own data in to complete the virtuous circle

The age of #Predictive #Automation is upon us. Take the initial steps needed to understand organizational #intent and funnel position, and your sales organization will stop complaining about those lousy leads you send them.

Pre-crime arrives in the UK: US Next?

You can now be ushered out of a shop, even if you haven’t done anything wrong yet.

Source: Pre-crime arrives in the UK: Better make sure your face stays off the crowdsourced watch list | Ars Technica UK

#Marketing #Automation’s Star Is Rising – Enterprise Apps Today

There is a trend towards greater unification of #sales and #marketing functions…

#Marketing #automation aligns sales and marketing teams and helps them provide personalized interactions to prospects and customers.

Source: Marketing Automation’s Star Is Rising – Enterprise Apps Today

Predictive Analytics | Applying it to #Sales and #Marketing

Several weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a group of senior executives at one of the oldest business information companies in the United States, and the conversation shifted to lead generation:

“Results are horrendous, incredibly weak. Much of these leads are unusable. High percentages from Gmail, AOL, Hotmail… So many unknowns and, well, at least some decision makers, along with the rest of usual useless information.”

Anyone who works in today’s digital marketing space knows this is a common conversation that is hard to fix.

So, is bad #data the real issue for us or is it that we are chasing down the wrong path?

Think about it. We spend millions of dollars chasing individuals who download content, attend webinars or throw business cards into fishbowls at conferences and shows. We spend very little trying to figure out what is really going on inside a company of interest.

Things that sales and marketing agree on:

  • Purchasing is a team exercise
  • Figuring out what the consensus inside of buying teams is a tough job to figure out
  • There is a value to downloaded content as a proxy for team interest
  • An individual act tells us nothing about its organizations intent.

Is it time to devalue the downloaded white paper as our lead generation currency? (Sales people will love this one, Marketing, maybe not) 

More to the point, isn’t it time to evolve and begin the process of understanding the corporate body language through a variety of data points that are already available to us? Would it not be better to understand that the almighty download can and should be part of a larger canvas where a broader, more accurate picture emerges?

Even at it’s broadest level, #predictive #analytics can come in some simple forms.

6 examples of simple forms that apply basic predictive analytics:

  1. You can use any number of competitive search tools to understand what keywords and key phrases are collectively perceived as important when prospects begin their journey to find you
  2. And if you look historically backwards, you will be able to see what changed and potentially why
  3. You can also develop an understanding for funnel position (where companies are in the sales funnel by segmenting out keywords based on a natural progression of educating oneself.
  4. You can then use that analysis to make sure your own website is in tune editorially – are you mapping to what is important at that moment in time to companies that are consuming the content aligned with your objectives?
  5. You can find sites where these keywords exist ON PAGE in ways that align with your objectives. Page Indexing has grown up and become very sophisticated.
  6. Just this simple knitting together of these two components begin to give you an indication of trends and volume of content that is out there and that your prospects are consuming

Then do this:

  • Use IP identification and targeting to match who you see on your site and who is consuming the relevant content across the Web. This type of targeting will enable you to report back on which companies are most active in consuming specific keywords across contextually aligned sites.
  • This gives you a marriage of your data and external data that help you develop prioritization for sales, messaging across marketing, content development and most of all – IT GETS YOU OUT OF DEPENDING ON WHITE PAPER DOWNLOADS as your proxy for interest.
  • Once you add your crm and marketing automation data, revealing what companies you currently talk to are most engaged – you have a clear path to a strategy.

To review:

  • Analyze the competitive set to understand how everyone is deploying search and keywords
  • Utilize page indexing to understand where the content is
  • Use IP identification and targeting to tell you who and what and how many from where
  • Knit your own data in to complete the virtuous circle

The age of #Predictive #Automation is upon us. Take the initial steps needed to understand organizational #intent and funnel position, and your sales organization will stop complaining about those lousy leads you send them.

Welcome to the Age of Predictive Analytics

Several weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a group of senior executives at one of the oldest business information companies in the United States, and the conversation shifted to lead generation:

“Results are horrendous, incredibly weak. Much of these leads are unusable. High percentages from Gmail, AOL, Hotmail… So many unknowns and, well, at least some decision makers, along with the rest of usual useless information.”

Anyone who works in today’s digital marketing space knows this is a common conversation that is hard to fix.

So, is bad #data the real issue for us or is it that we are chasing down the wrong path?

Think about it. We spend millions of dollars chasing individuals who download content, attend webinars or throw business cards into fishbowls at conferences and shows. We spend very little trying to figure out what is really going on inside a company of interest.

Things that sales and marketing agree on:

  • Purchasing is a team exercise
  • Figuring out what the consensus inside of buying teams is a tough job to figure out
  • There is a value to downloaded content as a proxy for team interest
  • An individual act tells us nothing about its organizations intent.

Is it time to devalue the downloaded white paper as our lead generation currency? (Sales people will love this one, Marketing, maybe not) 

More to the point, isn’t it time to evolve and begin the process of understanding the corporate body language through a variety of data points that are already available to us? Would it not be better to understand that the almighty download can and should be part of a larger canvas where a broader, more accurate picture emerges?

Even at it’s broadest level, #predictive #analytics can come in some simple forms.

6 examples of simple forms that apply basic predictive analytics:

  1. You can use any number of competitive search tools to understand what keywords and key phrases are collectively perceived as important when prospects begin their journey to find you
  2. And if you look historically backwards, you will be able to see what changed and potentially why
  3. You can also develop an understanding for funnel position (where companies are in the sales funnel by segmenting out keywords based on a natural progression of educating oneself.
  4. You can then use that analysis to make sure your own website is in tune editorially – are you mapping to what is important at that moment in time to companies that are consuming the content aligned with your objectives?
  5. You can find sites where these keywords exist ON PAGE in ways that align with your objectives. Page Indexing has grown up and become very sophisticated.
  6. Just this simple knitting together of these two components begin to give you an indication of trends and volume of content that is out there and that your prospects are consuming

Then do this:

  • Use IP identification and targeting to match who you see on your site and who is consuming the relevant content across the Web. This type of targeting will enable you to report back on which companies are most active in consuming specific keywords across contextually aligned sites.
  • This gives you a marriage of your data and external data that help you develop prioritization for sales, messaging across marketing, content development and most of all – IT GETS YOU OUT OF DEPENDING ON WHITE PAPER DOWNLOADS as your proxy for interest.
  • Once you add your crm and marketing automation data, revealing what companies you currently talk to are most engaged – you have a clear path to a strategy.

To review:

  • Analyze the competitive set to understand how everyone is deploying search and keywords
  • Utilize page indexing to understand where the content is
  • Use IP identification and targeting to tell you who and what and how many from where
  • Knit your own data in to complete the virtuous circle

The age of #Predictive #Automation is upon us. Take the initial steps needed to understand organizational #intent and funnel position, and your sales organization will stop complaining about those lousy leads you send them.

Applying Digital Marketing | Happy People | Stronger Brand

MANY years ago, marketers would invest in massive advertising campaigns with headlines like “When EF Hutton speaks, everyone listens” and convince customers that their broker was the best in the business.

TODAY, customers drive the conversation and ultimately the brand. As an example, a happy or angry customer can pulse into conversations over social media with rave reviews or complaints about your brand to millions of people who in turn can have the power to exponentially impact your brand in either a positive or negative direction.

At every stage of customer engagement there exist opportunities to create advocacy around your brand. Companies are just beginning to realize that there are relatively simple ways to utilize digital marketing tactics to improve the overall experience that people have with their brand.

5 simple ways to apply digital marketing to drive improved customer experience:

  1. SEO – Use search engine optimization to help companies find your Contact Us page.

  2. Retargeting – Serve engaged visitors with progressive profiling forms like surveys.

  3. Analytics – Use analytics to track, map and predict how customers contact you.

  4. Testing – Test landing pages to optimize your sales and marketing objectives.

  5. Mobile Apps – Encourage your customers to install your mobile apps.

Ultimately, efficiencies are what drive business decisions. From a cost perspective, digital marketing is the most efficient channel through which to drive new customer acquisition, improve customer retention and  and expand existing customer relationships. Applying these digital marketing principles throughout each stage of engagement will ultimately enhance your customers’ experience and transform your business into one that is more agile and able to react quickly to the changing needs of your customers and future market opportunities.

With the #digital #revolution in the rearview mirror now, for many organizations that were quick to adapt to change during the first decade of the new millennia, firms are now focused on their digital evolution.  So the good news is that there is time to catch up for those firms that were late to the show.

#Happy #marketing, happy #customers.

Direct Marketing | Benjamin Franklin and Lester Wunderman

Heavy Weights of Innovation and Direct Marketing

Direct marketing has been reinventing itself for over 250 years and dates back to when Benjamin Franklin invented the institution of mail order retailing in 1744.

Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to direct marketing is best summarized in a letter to the DM News from 2005 entitled “Don’t Discount Ben Franklin’s Contributions to Direct Marketing”

Trivia: Ben was also our first Postmaster General which is why his pic is on the wall of most post offices.

Direct marketing dates back to before the founding of our country and has been with us throughout our country’s history:

Stamp Act of 1765

Twenty years after Ben launched his mail order retail business, the British imposed the Stamp Act of 1765 on British Americans. The act was a direct tax that forced colonists to print on stamped paper produced in London. The Stamp Act led to the ultimate issue that would eventually hold enter stage up to 1776 was the matter of taxation without representation. Benjamin Franklin had raised this as far back as 1754 at the Albany Congress when he wrote, “That it is suppos’d an undoubted Right of Englishmen not to be taxed but by their own Consent given thro’ their Representatives. That the Colonies have no Representatives in Parliament.” The counter to this argument was the theory of [virtual representation.]- FUNNY:  NO, the British did not invent virtual communications. 

Business Information Reporting and Credit

Dun & Bradstreet traces its history back to 1841, with the formation of The Mercantile Agency in New York City by Lewis Tappan, later called R.G. Dun and Company.  The company was formed to create a network of correspondents (reporters) who would provide reliable, objective credit information. In 1933, Dun merged with competitor John M. Bradstreet to form today’s Dun & Bradstreet. The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) was invented in 1962.

D&B spun off the following well known brands –

  • ACNielsen (1996)
  • Cognizant Technology Solutions (1996)
  • Moody’s (1999)
  • AllBusiness.com (2012)

Dun & Bradstreet also owns the business research corporation Hoover’s.

Dun & Bradstreet acquired data management firm NetProspex on 1/8/2015

American Presidents 

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland & William Mc

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland & William McKinley were all correspondents (reporters) for D&B

 

 

Man’s Confidence in Man: a motion picture that recreates stories to show how credit is a part of everyday lives, from small scale purchases to business loans.

 

lester wunderman youngLester Wunderman, who most consider to be the inventor of direct marketing, in a historic speech at MIT in 1967, outlined his ideas and gave birth to a new industry. He tells the fascinating story of preparing and delivering the presentation in his book Being Direct. He made the case for a new direct marketing that is comprised of several broad-based characteristics (source: marketingawesomeness.wordpress.com by John Gregory Olson):

  • It is a strategy, not a tactic
  • It is where advertising and buying become a single affair
  • It eliminates intermediaries in distribution and communication channels
  • It creates dialogs between buyer and seller
  • It builds dialogs into enduring relationships
  • It is personal, relevant, interactive and measurable
  • In the decades that followed, he oversaw the advent of the direct marketing industry and put these principles into practice.

Wunderman’s vision is still aspirational for digital marketers. We have powerful new media to reach customers and prospects, but continue to work through the challenges to deliver on their expectations. His “Bill of Rights” points to many of those challenges:

  • Being transparent and authentic, and letting go of controlling the message
  • Capturing data that enables more relevant, valuable exchanges without invading privacy
  • Understanding the acceptable frequency of communications
  • Telling relevant brand stories that inform, not self-promote
  • Having conversations with consumers that establish respect and likeability
  • Building relationships through meaningful engagement, not wasted activities
  • Making it easy for consumers to interact and buy
  • Keeping communications succinct

Digital, web, mobile and social marketing are new when you think about the entire two hundred and fifty year history of direct. So this chapter is far from complete and the future keeps getting brighter for every marketer that’s involved in some area of direct marketing (CX, Big Data, whatever)

A fireside chat with Lester Wunderman and Google

I hope this post evokes feelings of nostalgia and heightens everyone’s confidence in our economy and future.

S2D

Direct Marketing | Benjamin Franklin and Lester Wunderman

Heavy Weights of Innovation and Direct Marketing

Direct marketing has been reinventing itself for over 250 years and dates back to when Benjamin Franklin invented the institution of mail order retailing in 1744.

Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to direct marketing is best summarized in a letter to the DM News from 2005 entitled “Don’t Discount Ben Franklin’s Contributions to Direct Marketing”

Trivia: Ben was also our first Postmaster General which is why his pic is on the wall of most post offices.

Direct marketing dates back to before the founding of our country and has been with us throughout our country’s history:

Stamp Act of 1765

Twenty years after Ben launched his mail order retail business, the British imposed the Stamp Act of 1765 on British Americans. The act was a direct tax that forced colonists to print on stamped paper produced in London. The Stamp Act led to the ultimate issue that would eventually hold enter stage up to 1776 was the matter of taxation without representation. Benjamin Franklin had raised this as far back as 1754 at the Albany Congress when he wrote, “That it is suppos’d an undoubted Right of Englishmen not to be taxed but by their own Consent given thro’ their Representatives. That the Colonies have no Representatives in Parliament.” The counter to this argument was the theory of [virtual representation.]- FUNNY:  NO, the British did not invent virtual communications. 

Business Information Reporting and Credit

Dun & Bradstreet traces its history back to 1841, with the formation of The Mercantile Agency in New York City by Lewis Tappan, later called R.G. Dun and Company.  The company was formed to create a network of correspondents (reporters) who would provide reliable, objective credit information. In 1933, Dun merged with competitor John M. Bradstreet to form today’s Dun & Bradstreet. The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) was invented in 1962.

D&B spun off the following well known brands –

  • ACNielsen (1996)
  • Cognizant Technology Solutions (1996)
  • Moody’s (1999)
  • AllBusiness.com (2012)

Dun & Bradstreet also owns the business research corporation Hoover’s.

Dun & Bradstreet acquired data management firm NetProspex on 1/8/2015

American Presidents 

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland & William Mc

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland & William McKinley were all correspondents (reporters) for D&B

 

 

Man’s Confidence in Man: a motion picture that recreates stories to show how credit is a part of everyday lives, from small scale purchases to business loans.

 

lester wunderman youngLester Wunderman, who most consider to be the inventor of direct marketing, in a historic speech at MIT in 1967, outlined his ideas and gave birth to a new industry. He tells the fascinating story of preparing and delivering the presentation in his book Being Direct. He made the case for a new direct marketing that is comprised of several broad-based characteristics (source: marketingawesomeness.wordpress.com by John Gregory Olson):

  • It is a strategy, not a tactic
  • It is where advertising and buying become a single affair
  • It eliminates intermediaries in distribution and communication channels
  • It creates dialogs between buyer and seller
  • It builds dialogs into enduring relationships
  • It is personal, relevant, interactive and measurable
  • In the decades that followed, he oversaw the advent of the direct marketing industry and put these principles into practice.

Wunderman’s vision is still aspirational for digital marketers. We have powerful new media to reach customers and prospects, but continue to work through the challenges to deliver on their expectations. His “Bill of Rights” points to many of those challenges:

  • Being transparent and authentic, and letting go of controlling the message
  • Capturing data that enables more relevant, valuable exchanges without invading privacy
  • Understanding the acceptable frequency of communications
  • Telling relevant brand stories that inform, not self-promote
  • Having conversations with consumers that establish respect and likeability
  • Building relationships through meaningful engagement, not wasted activities
  • Making it easy for consumers to interact and buy
  • Keeping communications succinct

Digital, web, mobile and social marketing are new when you think about the entire two hundred and fifty year history of direct. So this chapter is far from complete and the future keeps getting brighter for every marketer that’s involved in some area of direct marketing (CX, Big Data, whatever)

A fireside chat with Lester Wunderman and Google

I hope this post evokes feelings of nostalgia and heightens everyone’s confidence in our economy and future.

S2D

3 Trends Occupying Retail CMOs in 2015 – Harte Hanks Blog

3 Trends Occupying Retail CMOs in 2015 – Harte Hanks Blog.

Innovation | The Future | A Fresh Perspective

While researching trends in innovation, I read an article that ran in The Atlantic earlier this year entitled “Bill Gates: ‘The Idea That Innovation Is Slowing Down Is … Stupid.” The title of the article is what caught my attention, as many analysts have been projecting that the rate of innovation is slowing down, but it was Gates’ comments on government and education that got me to click through to watch his full conversation with Jim Bennet, Editor in Chief at The Atlantic.

Watch the full conversation between James Bennet and Bill Gates.

There’s no disputing Bill Gates’ contributions to humanity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the success he’s had in business, but thirty minutes into the interview, the gentle, kind, giving genius and sage, transformed into a benevolent dictator and I realized that this was an impossible topic for him to not have a biased opinion. So I clicked out and continued my search on this topic for other points of view.

My search would eventually lead me to Phillip Coggan’s review of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the 21st Century” in The Economist, in which Coggan, columnist of Buttonwood’s Notebook, links history and economic data that supports Piketty’s points of view on economic growth, innovation and economic inequality. Coggan ultimately suggests that we are following in the footsteps of the Roman Republic, not post eighteenth century Europe, and we are marching towards our fall.

So, has the rate of innovation slowed down? It’s highly likely that it has and that there’s a correlation between economic inequality and the rate of innovation.

Piketty writes –

“in a quasi-stagnant society, wealth accumulated in the past will inevitably acquire disproportionate importance. The return to a structurally high capital/income ratio in the twenty-first century, close to levels observed in the eighteenth century, can therefore be explained by a return to a slow-growth regime. Decreased growth – especially demographic growth – is thus responsible for capital’s comeback.”

The present economic inequalities compared to other periods over the past three centuries has us on a trajectory similar to that of late eighteenth century Europe where a small aristocracy controlled most of the wealth. Thomas Piketty insists that a “return of the slow growth regime…is responsible for capital’s comeback.” The Digital Revolution in the post Great Recession era is benefiting a very small portion of the population. If you are reading this post it is likely that you are part of this new tech-savvy elite and would not identify with the others that have been left behind. To this much larger group, that continues to expand upward into the upper middle class, average is over, and the level of economic equality from the past is never coming back.

Phillip Coggan reminds us of history and suggests that we are living in a plutocracy similar to years that preceded the fall of the Roman Republic. So maybe we should care more about economic inequality than we do about innovation, because if we don’t we might be doomed to repeat the past.

Empathy should become part of the innovation conversation, because it is ultimately the human sense that failed societies lacked.

Happy holidays!

Rick Vargas

Video: New Thoughts on Capital in the 21st Century – Thomas Piketty

Piketty explains the simple, brutal formula of economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth).