#Marketers beware: Privacy Please: How the GDPR Can Elevate Marketing

The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be daunting, but it can have a positive impact on marketing. Here’s why.
— Read on insights.newscred.com/gdpr/

The rise of the chief marketing technologist | IBM THINK Marketing

marketingtechnologist

Source: The rise of the chief marketing technologist – IBM THINK Marketing

This article was written by Marco Antonio Cavallo from CIO and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Whenever we hear the word “digitalization,” we must understand that it is the sound of inevitability and irreversibility. The digital economy isn’t on the horizon anymore, it′s here and it is here to stay. It’s no longer a secret that the digital economy is changing the world at an unprecedented rate. Companies that are looking to succeed in this fast emerging new economy must transform themselves by reinventing their business models, strategies, processes, and practices, and that impacts on the roles of all of its employees, as well as bringing departments to work together, once everyone is more and more dependent of technology to function.

It’s no surprise that marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions across all businesses. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer (CMO) would be spending more on technology than its CIO, and that is becoming more credible every day, as many CMOs have adopted technology in their everyday activities, showing that technology became the core of marketing nowadays. Every year, CMOs are globally directing their budgets to the usage of technology or software in many different marketing areas.

IDC Research has released a few predictions on how marketing will strategically use technology to accelerate client acquisition, brand awareness, to gather and analyze market and customer information and even to optimize its operational efficiency in order to generate more revenue for companies and be more accurate when directing resources, mainly by enhancing customer experience.

1. In 2017, CMOs will spend more on content marketing assets than on product marketing assets: For decades, the product launch has reigned as the kingpin content event. With a “bill of materials” stretching through multiple Excel pages, product marketing assets suck up a major portion of the marketing budget – and much of that content is wasted. The days of product content dominance are numbered. Product content will remain important, but it will take its place behind the content marketing assets matched to decision-journey stages.

  1. By 2020, 50 percent of companies will use cognitive computing to automate marketing and sales interactions with customers: A few leads go right to sales. But the majority need further qualification and extended nurturing. Companies will increasingly turn to smart systems that automatically assess and respond to buyers at the point of need. IBM recently added Watson to its marketing cloud offerings. The question is not when cognitive marketing will become mainstream – but rather, will anyone notice?
  2. In 2017, 20 percent of large enterprise CMOs will consolidate their marketing technology infrastructure: Marketing has been absorbing marketing technology a bite at a time for more than a decade. Many organizations now manage dozens (if not hundreds) of point solutions. Just as marketing environments are hitting the wall of this operational complexity, marketing tech vendors are building solid integrated platforms – able to be tailored through a partner eco-system. A fortuitous convergence of supply and demand.
  3. By 2018, predictive analytics will be a standard tool for marketers, but only a third will get optimal benefit: Early adopters of predictive analytics for buyer behavior report amazing results. The benefits come from the ability to discover hidden segments that have a high propensity to buy. Marketers can also better serve these segments with behavioral targeting. However, the majority of marketers face big challenges to achieving the benefits. Chief inhibitors? Lack of statistical skills, stubborn organizational silos that won’t integrate data, and a culture that resists truth when it goes against tradition.
  4. By 2018, 50 percent of CMOs will make significant structural changes to their “intelligence” operations and organizations: “Intelligence” as a capability is growing in importance in modern marketing organizations. Intelligence includes market intelligence (MI), business intelligence (BI), competitive intelligence (CI), and social intelligence (SI). In the past, these four functions were spread around the enterprise. Now, IDC sees more companies consolidating into a larger, single, intelligence group – often combining with intelligence functions from other areas like sales. The elimination of silos in this important area is a positive sign.

With that perspective, it is clear that technology has turned a black art into hard science. Marketing now must be well versed in customer data, analytics, mobile, social and marketing automation tools, and that requires new type of executive. The Chief Marketing Technologist is emerging at the center of this transformation as a part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher professional. Its mission is very clear: align marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers. About half are charged with helping craft new digital business models as well.

The best CMTs are able to set a technology vision for marketing in the digital age. They champion greater experimentation and more agile management of that function’s capabilities, as well as act as transformation agents, working within the function and across the company to create competitive advantage and collaboration. It is not difficult to enlist some of the main reasons why this new executive has emerged:

  • Software became the chief means of engaging prospects and customers: A marketing team’s choice of software and how to configure and operate it, along with how creatively the team applies it, materially affects how the firm perceives and influences its audience and how the audience sees the firm.
  • Digital marketing and e-commerce skills: once those two methodologies increasingly augment or replace traditional touch points, the importance of mastering those capabilities grows. Digital marketing budgets are expanding annually at double-digit rates, and CEOs say that digital marketing is now the most important technology-powered investment their firms can make.
  • The rise in digital budgets: it is not merely a migration of spending from traditional to digital media. A growing portion of marketing’s budget is now allocated to technology itself. A recent Gartner study found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. In addition, 61% are increasing capital expenditures on technology, and 65% are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings.
  • Efficiently manage all this technology: there are now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide, with offerings ranging from major platforms for CRM, content management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions for social media management, content marketing, and customer-facing apps. Relationships with agencies and service providers now include technical interfaces for the exchange and integration of code and data. And bespoke software projects to develop unique customer experiences and new sources of advantage are proliferating under marketing’s umbrella.

The reason why this is a growing role within companies is very simple. In this new digital economy environment, the CMO and the CIO must collaborate closely, although this executive-level cooperation isn’t just enough. A supporting organizational structure is also needed and vital for this collaboration to work properly. A company can’t simply split marketing technology down the middle and declare that the CMO gets the marketing half and the CIO gets the technology half. Such division might look good on paper, but it leaves yawning knowledge gaps in practice.

Marketing might not understand how to fully leverage what IT can offer, and IT might not understand how to accurately translate marketing requirements into technical capabilities. Instead, marketing technology must be managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa. The right structure will help marketing become proficient with the array of software it must use to attract, acquire, and retain customers. It will help marketing leadership recognize how new technologies can open up new opportunities and allow marketing to deftly handle the technical facets of agency and service provider relationships in both contract negotiations and day-to-day operations.

The chief marketing technologist role itself is already an acknowledgement of just how important the marketing group is to driving revenue within the organization and, when properly resourced, how today’s marketing information systems are driving the current and future growth of the business. Only by bringing the CIO and the CMO together can the CEO have a complete picture of what insights must be acted upon quickly in order to establish or maintain the top market position. In a nutshell, the power comes from the intersection between marketing and IT.

Today, companies can no longer afford separate silos between marketing and IT. The rapid collapse of these silos means that one person must be able to converse seamlessly between both groups. While many CMOs are getting their arms around the technology side of their business, the natural evolution of this role is for the CIO to improve its marketing skills in order to grow into the Chief Marketing Technologist role. The faster we embrace these trends, the bigger the impact we will have on our bottom line. This is the imminent future of the industry, and it’s the reason chief marketing technologists will be in high demand within 2017 and in the years to come.

Data Driven V. Predictive Marketing: BEWARE JETSON’S MARKETING!

The Big Willowby: Charlie Tarzian

My son came to me one day in early December and said:  ‘Hey, Dad, let’s get Mom one of those robotic vacuum cleaners.  You know, the ones you switch on and they vacuum your whole floor!’  He could not contain his enthusiasm – this was going to be great – no one would have to vacuum our floors ever again!!!

So we went to Amazon (of course) and two days later our round disc of a maid showed up via FEDEX.

Come Christmas Day, the robot fully charged, off we went to the kitchen to marvel at what was certain to be a life changing event.  We turned it on and put it down on the floor and the vacuum swung into action.  It crossed the floor, sensed it was coming to a wall, made a pivot, chugged in another direction…and got stuck on the slight incline by the fireplace…then stuck again on the floor mat by the stove…then got caught between a chair and a table and went into a break dance that would make R2D2 jealous.

I bring this up because a colleague sent me this little snippet from the website of a Predictive Marketing vendor:

“Predictive Marketing doesn’t need to be a services heavy engagement to get you up and running. With CompanyX (name of company withheld) and our push button integration, we can integrate with your existing systems and build your predictive model in under a day. – See more at: http://www.companyx.com/what-we-offer/#sthash.vBzkU18n.dpuf

There you have it: Jetson’s Marketing – just push our one little button and off you go:  great leads, great meetings, great website experiences – in fact all your marketing/sales problems solved in ‘under a day’.  All that is left to do is fire your staff, except for that one person in charge of pushing the button when you run out of leads, meetings and website visitors.

Look, I know what I don’t know, but I can tell you this: whatever you’re thinking the new generation of transformative marketing is – one thing it isn’t is automated bliss.  It takes a fair sized village to make things happen.  And herein lies the huge disconnect between data driven marketers and the shiny new object called Predictive Marketing.  Data driven marketers know that data can and should be utilized across the marketing/sales continuum – but it is more about data orchestration than anything else.  Therefore, one button, add water and stir does not take into consideration any of the cause and effect across all the communications and transactive channels that marketers rely on.

Marketing is services heavy (sorry, Company X) because at the nexus of MarTech, AdTech and Sales Enablement sits quite a bit of cause and effect.  And unless you aspire and build towards using predictive data to positively impact all channels aligning as one – then what you are predicting is a very small sliver of what could be.  In other words, if the connectivity and synapsis among outward facing channels are not orchestrated and optimized using predictive data and you are not feeling good that all channels are working in sync – then how can you predict a scaled outcome?  The predictions you are making will reflect a small percentage of the whole – and so instead of widening your funnel and increasing your opportunities along every step in a buying journey, you are narrowing that funnel based on a flawed assumption that you are predicting against a full boat of reliable data.

On the other hand, Data Driven Marketing  sets up to be based on solving for the cause and effect of what is less than optimized (can anyone say, broken?)  It attempts to determine (not predict) what works and doesn’t and then – as a village – cohesively knits together a response to results that can be repeatable but certainly is not a just add water, one button pushed result.

So – are we starting to see a difference:  Predictive Marketing – a push button approach to a complicated set of executional events and response, or, Data Driven Marketing – a human driven (sorry robots!) approach to the cause and effect of humans communicating to other humans about things that may or may not be important to the recipient (we always hope for the former)?

What do you think?  We would love to know.  Have any stories to share – we would love to hear from you.

by: Charlie Tarzian, Founder, The Big Willow

How Big Data Will Shape Industry in 2016 | Datafloq

how-big-data-will-shape-the-it-industry-in-2016Accurately predicting how Internet trends and future technology will play out is no easy task. This year alone there has been an increase in cyber threats and hacks, new software from Windows and the introduction of smart watches, and of course, a spike in big data. As technology advances, so does its growth for possibilities.

Below are six sure-fire predictions made by analysts for 2016:

1. A Huge Decline in Legacy Vendors

As indicated by a report released by the IDC, almost a third (30 percent) of IT vendors will cease to exist by 2020. As it appears now, many legacy vendors, especially larger ones, will either have to shut down completely, downgrade or partner with another company due to sluggish growth and lost earnings.

Good examples of this trend can be seen with Dell which is rumored to buy out EMC, and HP splitting its operations in half. In a nutshell, legacy vendors as a whole are missing the mark when it comes to delivering practical solutions in the tech industry—a red flag that many vendors will eventually end up being archived in exchange for private equity.

2. Appearance of More Wearables

Within the next two years, wearable health and fitness tracking devices will take the critical role workforce by storm. By 2018, it is estimated two million people will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a safety measure. This includes firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, remote field workers, airline pilots, industrial workers, professional athletes, and even political leaders.

This expected boom in wearable tech calls for IT professionals that are adept in device discovery. Network and device discovery at this level usually calls for a more formal network device discovery platform, and IT professionals that understand how to implement it.

3. Big Data Gets Bigger

In 2016, big data will have an even greater impact on how many industries function. Diverse industries are seeing the benefit of analyzing large amounts of data from healthcare to language translation. Understandably, more and more companies are adopting big data services and customizations; they’re catching on that utilizing insights based on algorithms is a much more practical strategy to successful marketing and business expansion as opposed to trial and error. By the year 2018, analytics will be embedded in every application to enhance functionality or convenience.

4. Cloud Providers Will Diminish

In reaction to the big data explosion, many big cloud providers will be vying for the chance to host big data storage. Google, Microsoft, and AWS all provide machine learning services as well as access to a range of massive data groups that can be used for analytics. Major public cloud providers will gain momentum and strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft grabbing a large percentage of the business cloud services market.

Unfortunately, smaller cloud service providers just won’t be able to invest in hosting machine learning services; this will likely be the catalyst for such companies to bail out of the market altogether. The volume of options for cloud management software and general infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud services will significantly decline at the end of 2016.

5. More Business Content Generated by Machines

Technologies possessing the ability to proactively assemble and send information through automated composition engines will take a more active role. Business content such as legal documents, market reports, shareholder reports, press releases, articles and white papers will be generated more frequently by machines.

This shift in operations will increase by 20 percent in 2018, this includes machine learning in the IT sector as a whole. The initial companies predicted to expedite and implement smart machine technologies effectively will be startups and other fresh-out-the box companies.

6. Increase of Artificial Intelligence Implementation

According to esteemed analyst Daryl Plummer, the artificial intelligence (AI) trend is the result of enterprises and consumers willingly embracing the advancement of machine-driven technologies. Since the capability of applying smart technology for specific tasks dramatically improves the time, cost and energy generally contributed to recruiting, hiring, training and expansion demands associated with human labor, it’s little wonder, then, that artificial intelligence will play a larger role in a company’s infrastructure in 2016.

Source: Datafloq – How Big Data Will Shape the IT Industry in 2016

Article Author:

Xander SchofieldFollow Xander SchofieldLinkedIn Xander Schofield

How Big Data Will Shape the IT Industry in 2016 | Datafloq

how-big-data-will-shape-the-it-industry-in-2016Accurately predicting how Internet trends and future technology will play out is no easy task. This year alone there has been an increase in cyber threats and hacks, new software from Windows and the introduction of smart watches, and of course, a spike in big data. As technology advances, so does its growth for possibilities.

Below are six sure-fire predictions made by analysts for 2016:

1. A Huge Decline in Legacy Vendors

As indicated by a report released by the IDC, almost a third (30 percent) of IT vendors will cease to exist by 2020. As it appears now, many legacy vendors, especially larger ones, will either have to shut down completely, downgrade or partner with another company due to sluggish growth and lost earnings.

Good examples of this trend can be seen with Dell which is rumored to buy out EMC, and HP splitting its operations in half. In a nutshell, legacy vendors as a whole are missing the mark when it comes to delivering practical solutions in the tech industry—a red flag that many vendors will eventually end up being archived in exchange for private equity.

2. Appearance of More Wearables

Within the next two years, wearable health and fitness tracking devices will take the critical role workforce by storm. By 2018, it is estimated two million people will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a safety measure. This includes firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, remote field workers, airline pilots, industrial workers, professional athletes, and even political leaders.

This expected boom in wearable tech calls for IT professionals that are adept in device discovery. Network and device discovery at this level usually calls for a more formal network device discovery platform, and IT professionals that understand how to implement it.

3. Big Data Gets Bigger

In 2016, big data will have an even greater impact on how many industries function. Diverse industries are seeing the benefit of analyzing large amounts of data from healthcare to language translation. Understandably, more and more companies are adopting big data services and customizations; they’re catching on that utilizing insights based on algorithms is a much more practical strategy to successful marketing and business expansion as opposed to trial and error. By the year 2018, analytics will be embedded in every application to enhance functionality or convenience.

4. Cloud Providers Will Diminish

In reaction to the big data explosion, many big cloud providers will be vying for the chance to host big data storage. Google, Microsoft, and AWS all provide machine learning services as well as access to a range of massive data groups that can be used for analytics. Major public cloud providers will gain momentum and strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft grabbing a large percentage of the business cloud services market.

Unfortunately, smaller cloud service providers just won’t be able to invest in hosting machine learning services; this will likely be the catalyst for such companies to bail out of the market altogether. The volume of options for cloud management software and general infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud services will significantly decline at the end of 2016.

5. More Business Content Generated by Machines

Technologies possessing the ability to proactively assemble and send information through automated composition engines will take a more active role. Business content such as legal documents, market reports, shareholder reports, press releases, articles and white papers will be generated more frequently by machines.

This shift in operations will increase by 20 percent in 2018, this includes machine learning in the IT sector as a whole. The initial companies predicted to expedite and implement smart machine technologies effectively will be startups and other fresh-out-the box companies.

6. Increase of Artificial Intelligence Implementation

According to esteemed analyst Daryl Plummer, the artificial intelligence (AI) trend is the result of enterprises and consumers willingly embracing the advancement of machine-driven technologies. Since the capability of applying smart technology for specific tasks dramatically improves the time, cost and energy generally contributed to recruiting, hiring, training and expansion demands associated with human labor, it’s little wonder, then, that artificial intelligence will play a larger role in a company’s infrastructure in 2016.

Source: Datafloq – How Big Data Will Shape the IT Industry in 2016

Article Author:

Xander SchofieldFollow Xander SchofieldLinkedIn Xander Schofield

Europe’s Top Digital-Privacy Watchdog Zeros In on U.S. Tech Giants – The New York Times

NY TimesPARIS — The latest standoff between Europe and American tech companies runs through a quiet street just north of the Louvre Museum, past chic cafes and part of the French national library, to the ornate office of Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin.

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From here, Ms. Falque-Pierrotin has emerged as one of the most important watchdogs for how companies like Facebook and Google handle the billions of digital bits of personal data — like names, dates and contacts — routinely collected on Europeans. Since 2011, she has been France’s top privacy regulator, and for the last two years, she has led a group of European data-protection officials. In those posts, Ms. Falque-Pierrotin has regularly agitated companies to better safeguard people’s data.

Her role will come into even sharper focus in the coming weeks. Ms. Falque-Pierrotin, empowered by Europe’s highest court, will be at the heart of efforts to police how digital data is transferred outside of the European Union, a central aspect of many European and American businesses. That role will be amplified even further if, as is now widely expected, American and European negotiators fail to reach a new data-transferring deal by Feb.

Read more: Europe’s Top Digital-Privacy Watchdog Zeros In on U.S. Tech Giants – The New York Times

The Best BPM Platforms for Digital Business

In the last quarter of 2015, Forrester Research identified Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM as leading the field of suppliers of business process management platforms for today’s digital business.

This post focuses on the value that Pegasystems delivers to today that is transforming how their clients engage with their customers throughout each stage of engagement.

photoSource: Pega.com The complexity of today’s business makes it hard to truly know a person across marketing, sales and service. There are too many customers, too many permutations of what they need and too many obstacles. Your customer base has grown, and so has your need for more sophisticated technology that not only understands prospect and customer demands but also helps accomplish your business objectives. Initially, your systems did what you needed: track customers and help you market and sell to them. But as your enterprise acquires companies and systems, technology becomes a barrier to how you engage with customers — across departments, time zones and geographies. Complexity has also brought inflexibility, making it hard for systems to adapt to changing needs, changing markets and changing regulations. It also makes it difficult to train employees because they’re battling systems, not servicing customers..Click here to read more.

The 8 white boarding videos that follow will help you visualize the unique value that Pega is delivering value today to their clients customer engagement management initiatives around the customer experience…

Build for Change: Directly Capture Objectives (DCO)

With Pega 7, you capture the policies and procedures that define your business – including rules, data models, UIs, integrations, reports, and organizational structures – in the model. Pega 7 automates the code generation. As the requirements change, a change in the model equates to an immediate system change.

Build for Change: Situational Layer Cake

Situational Layer Cake™ (SLC) architecture enables organizations to differentiate, specialize, and reuse their business applications. Pilot projects can grow into enterprise transformation programs overnight. Instant reuse dramatically accelerates the time to value for organizations seeking to be more agile in response to changing market and regulatory demands.

Build for Change: Case Lifecycle Management™

When a business person starts explaining their needs for an enterprise, they don’t generally dive into process details. And they certainly don’t describe “transactions.” They think in terms of the case and its stages. Rather than drawing an end-to-end process, Pega 7 provides tools for business people to define the major steps of how work gets done – essentially building the skeleton on which you hang the more detailed process. You establish a business view of the data before debating the details.

Build for Change: Mashup

Traditional service or API-based architectures result in hard-coding the UX logic into each channel independently. Process changes must therefore be made in multiple places, making it impossible to deliver a consistent customer experience. By embedding the Pega UX directly into the mobile or web channels, all of the intelligence and capability of Pega 7’s Case Management is brought directly to the customer touchpoint.

Build For Change: Omni-Channel UX

Pega’s Omni-Channel UX delivers an optimized and consistent user experience in every channel. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build For Change: Event Strategy Manager

Pega’s Event Strategy Manager gives you the tools you need to turn streams of customer data into valuable business decisions and actions. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build for Change: Pega Live Data

Pega Live Data allows users to quickly and easily define the data required to build the apps they need, and then access that data in their running application – all without having to worry about how and where the data is actually stored and accessed.

Build for Change: Next Best Action

The real value from Big Data and analytics comes when every customer conversation delivers exactly the right message, the right offer, and the right level of service to both give the customer a great experience and maximize the customer’s value to the organization. With Pega’s Next Best Action, business experts develop decision strategies that combine predictive analytics,
adaptive analytics, traditional business rules.

 

The Forrester Wave™: BPM Platforms For Digital Business, Q4 2015

Key Takeaways: Pegasystems, IBM, and Appian lead the pack

Forrester’s research uncovered a market in which Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM continue to lead the pack. Software AG, Oracle, Newgen Software, OpenText, Bizagi, K2, and DST Systems offer competitive options. Red Hat and TIBCO Software lag behind. The BPM Platforms Market Is Growing As EA Pros Accelerate Digital Transformation The BPM platforms market is growing because more EA professionals see BPM as a way to address emerging challenges for customer experience and digital business. This market growth is, in large part, because EA pros increasingly trust BPM platform providers to act as strategic partners, helping them transform how they use technology to win, serve, and retain customers in the digital age. Differentiators Include Rapid Development, UX Design, And Case Management As legacy BPM technology becomes outdated and less effective, improved delivery speed and process flexibility will dictate which providers will lead the pack. Vendors that can provide fast ramp-up, flexible mobile experiences, and dynamic case management position themselves successfully to deliver speed and business agility to their customers.

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Mobile online checkout and AI to be front of mind in 2016: Deloitte | ZDNet

mobileMobile online checkout and cognitive technologies are set to boom in 2016, according to the latest predictions made by Deloitte.In the Technology, Media & Telecommunications 2016 report, Deloitte believes the number of individuals who use a third-party touch-based payment service to make a purchase on their devices — which covers both smartphones and tablets — will increase by 150 percent to reach 50 million regular users.

Source: Mobile online checkout and AI to be front of mind in 2016: Deloitte | ZDNet

Email Pre-Flight Checklist: What To Do Before You Send – Automational Blog

Source: blog.automational.com

email-marketing-automation-blogIt’s unfortunate when you send an email to a marketing list only to realize that you’ve misspelled a critical word or left off an important part of your message. It’s worse when your opens and click-throughs don’t live up to your expectations, and you don’t know why until someone informs you the email you sent them arrived with broken formatting, or wasn’t readable on their smartphone.

To help remedy this, we’ve created a short list of things to double-check before you send the email to your list.

PROOFREAD

It’s easy to skimp on proofing since Microsoft Word and iOS Pages have so many tools to help out. One example of why electronic checks aren’t enough: “two bee or not too bee” is a sentence that is comprised entirely of words that are spelled correctly, but clearly convey the wrong message. Until spellcheckers have a better grasp of context, be sure to check your email for spelling and grammar errors before you send. These errors can damage your organization’s professional reputation and distract your recipients from your message.

USE A CLEAR “FROM” NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS

Generic senders such as “info@company.com” or “Sales” often get ignored. Make sure that the values you use for your “From” name and email clearly indicate who you are in order to avoid confusing your recipients. If they don’t recognize who the email is from, they aren’t going to open or read your message. The “From” identity should be someone that the reader knows (their account manager), recognizes (the CEO or other notable person), or would be expecting an email from (Customer Support or Automational Newsletter).

HAVE BACKUP VALUES FOR DYNAMIC CONTENT

Include a default value if you incorporate dynamic text into your emails. If a recipient’s first name is blank, for example, and you’re using a first name personalization, you want to ensure that this field is filled with something like “Loyal Customer” rather than nothing at all, which would cause them to receive an email that started with, “Dear .”

When you add dynamic text to your template, it will look something like this: ${Recipient.contact.firstname[0]!””}. Including a default value with your dynamic text (just in case that data isn’t filled out for a recipient on your list) looks something like this: ${Recipient.contact.firstname[0]!”Customer”}.

TEST YOUR LINKS

Make sure all of your links work prior to sending your email. Broken links will prevent your recipients from accessing your content and may make them less likely to try again in future emails.

CHECK YOUR TEMPLATE ON MOBILE DEVICES

You already know that a huge percentage of emails are read on mobile devices, but do you know how your template will respond to the variety of devices and browsers with which it could be opened? Most marketing automation tools will allow you to preview your message on different sized screens and make sure everything appears as intended.

INCLUDE A TEXT VERSION OF YOUR HTML EMAIL TEMPLATE

The text version provides additional support for your template so anyone who doesn’t receive HTML emails (whether by choice or because their email client doesn’t support it) can still read your email. Including a text version will also decrease your spam score.

CHECK YOUR SUBJECT LINE

Your subject line is the first part of your email that your recipient will see, so it is vital that it grabs their attention and gives them a good idea of the purpose of your email. Sending out emails with an irrelevant subject line or with a subject line containing typos or grammatical errors can decrease your email open rate and harm your credibility. Include keywords that will resonate with or appeal to your audience, while avoiding key spam trigger words or phrases such as “free,” “earn money,” or “meet singles.”

KEEP IT SHORT

Regardless of the purpose of your email, remember that your email is just one of dozens (maybe even hundreds!) of emails that landed in your recipient’s inbox today. Consider this a “back to the basics” best practice: keep it as short as you can without losing the core message.

Break the content into sections for better readability. Ideally, your recipient would read every word of your email, but in truth, many readers will probably skim the message. As you’re writing, make it your goal that the reader should be able to determine the key elements of your message and the action you’d like them to take with only a 10-second scan through your email.

CREATE RESULTS WITH A CLEAR AND COMPELLING CALL-TO-ACTION

What are you hoping to achieve with this email? Generate registrations to an upcoming event? Drive downloads of your latest eBook? Include a very clear call-to-action that instructs the reader to do just that (“Register Here” or “Get the eBook”). Limit the number of links and options within the email to encourage the customer to act on your primary offer.

BUILD BRAND CONSISTENCY: TONE, VOICE, AND IMAGERY

The customer should be able to recognize your company identity immediately when they open and read the email. Always include your company name and logo to reinforce your brand. The tone of the content should match your company as well. An email from a pet sitter could be fun and playful, but imagine getting an email from a funeral home with the same tone.

Whether conversational or more conservative, make sure your tone is consistent across communication channels, speak to your audience in a simple, straightforward manner, and keep pushy sales lingo to a minimum.

BECOME A CONTENT CRITIC

Before your email is marked as spam, double-check your content for potentially problematic words and phrases. Words like “discount,” “pharmacy,” and even “spam,” as well as large numbers, dollar signs, or excessive exclamation points, can make your message seem less credible.

Providing relevant content, writing an appropriate subject line, and using professional language and punctuation will help boost the legitimacy of your communications.

| CRM & Marketing Automation Tips

Download a one pager of this list via: Email Pre-flight Checklist

 

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