Three Primary Challenges Facing Marketing Executives Today

Platespinning-homepageToday’s marketing executives live in a very dynamic business environment and face new and complex challenges.  Among these challenges, there are three that I believe are most prevalent. The primary challenges facing sales and marketing executives today are digital integration, meeting marketing ROI objectives, and customer experience.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved with each challenge.

Challenge #1: Digital Integration

The reason digital integration is such a challenge is because marketing operations leaders are often not up to speed on the technology needed to fully bring their organizations into an optimized digital environment. Digital transformation is a necessity for B2B marketing operations and requires multiple marketing technologies.

Challenge #2: Meeting Business ROI

There is often a critical gap in business accountability when it comes to marketing operations. However, with increasing availability of financial metrics accountability, the position of the marketing executive has now become more and more relevant in the boardroom. We’ve moved from marketing being viewed as a nicety line item on the budget to a powerful and far more respected driver and supporter of the company’s revenue growth strategy. Marketing is now considered a must-have for overall business success.

Challenge #3: Customer Experience

Marketers’ new battleground is customer experience. Businesses are now required to pay attention to the experience they are delivering to their customers and would-be customers. The reason? Good customer experience pays in a major, major way. Nothing matches the success of a good customer relationship, and today’s technology gives customers ownership over their experiences. So, smart businesses are responding by becoming far more customer-centric. This means their marketing operations are driven by corporate strategy and operationalized by people, data and technology. This combination delivers a customer-centric approach that delivers real business results.

To be a successful marketing executive, these three primary challenges must be faced head on. This will enable you to transform your marketing operations into a strategic one that is primed to meet today’s challenges with forward-thinking, effective solutions.

 

 

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7 Ways to Make Your Prospecting E-Mails More Powerful

Prospecting e-mails are a great way to start and nurture a sales relationship with potential customers. How we say what we say matters. And sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. This infographic presents seven really powerful questions that provide the perfect last punch to your sales e-mail. Take a look and considering using them in your upcoming campaigns.

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Would you like to learn more about lead generation and how I can help you grow your business in 2018? Contact me at dstein@producersdigital.com to set up a time to talk. And visit www.producersdigital.com.

 

How the Use of Emojis Can Improve Social Engagement

The beauty of emojis is that they enable us to communicate in ways we just can’t do with words. They also allow us to make an emotional connection, no matter how fleeting. This is why marketers are increasingly implement strategic (and restrained!) use of emojis in their communications to prospects.

And studies show they are making a smart move. In a recent study by All Academic Research, participants who were sent messages with emojis scored higher on memory than those who were sent messages without emojis. This indicates emojis are an effective marketing tool. The study also went on to report that the use of emojis works to portray businesses as friendlier.

In case you weren’t sold on the use of emojis in your marketing, check out these facts:

  • Emojis in a tweet can increase engagement by 4 percent
  • Emojis in a Facebook post can increase the number of likes by 57 percent
  • Emojis in a Facebook post can increase the number of comments and shares by 33 percent

There’s no reason you shouldn’t be using emojis to increase engagement. Here’s where it can get tricky. There are literally thousands of emojis to choose from, so choose wisely and use them judiciously. According to a study by HubSpot that looked at 19,617,281 HubSpot published posts across all social platforms, here are the top 10 emojis most likely to increase click-throughs:

At first glance, this is an odd selection, right? I’m sure you noticed that none of these emojis are faces, which really surprised me. This could mean it’s productive to use less popular emojis in your marketing strategy, for the novelty factor, which may be what helps drive engagement. So, pick unusual emojis that are relative to your content and use them sparingly.

 

Understanding Google’s Search Engine Results Page and Why It Matters

Marketers understand that in order to have a strong online presence, a website has to rank high on Google (or any other search engine) or prospects will likely have a hard time finding it. This is where Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) comes in. The SERP is the page of options that comes up when you do a search. Each SERP is unique depending on the keywords and search engine used. It contains two types of content: organic and paid results. It also includes featured snippets, images, videos, and location-specific results.

This is Google’s way of trying to make users’ search experiences easier and more relevant. The SERP enables users to see on-page content without having to click into an organic result. This is great for users, but it can be problematic for marketers looking to capture attention in organic search results.

Marketers need to stay current with SERP features to learn how to rank higher. Search engines are increasingly more sophisticated. A few years ago if you searched the word “pizza” you would get a listing of pizza restaurant websites, a directory listing, review sites, and maybe some blog posts. Today that same search provides so much more. You’ll see an ad, a map with the closest pizza location to you, a Wikipedia page with pizza nutritional information, etc. This makes it harder for even the #1 ranked pizza place to be visible. There are ways around this.

Rich Snippets Enable You to Share More Info Before A Click

Rich snippets allow you to include images, reviews, descriptions, pricing, etc. that will come up in the search so users are more enticed to click.

Paid Search Results Put Your Site At The Top Of The Page

These are the ads and sponsored posts that you see at the very top of the SERP. Google differentiates paid searches from organic using visual cues that include providing a “sponsored” or “ad” label or by boxing off the paid search results.

Organic Search Lists Your Site Below Paid Search Results

In an organic search your site will appear in the order Google ranks it based on your SEO. It will be listed below the paid search results. Ensuring your site has engaging, relevant, keyword-rich content will help boost SEO to keep your ranking high and your site visible in organic search.

Here’s a visual for what each of these options looks like on Google.

Facebook is Removing Third-Party Targeting: What This Means for Marketers

You are likely aware that Facebook, under heightened scrutiny and mounting regulatory pressure, has announced it will be removing access to data provided by third-party data brokers for its advertising system. This includes all third-party targeting capabilities – both private and public. Currently in Facebook under the Partner Categories by Request option, advertisers can request access to private data from vendors like Oracle and Experian or access public data categories that include behavioral targeting parameters – like purchasing behavior and household income. Facebook does not disclose the source(s) it uses for this data.

Nearly half of Facebook’s 1,200 targeting criteria come from third-party data sources, all of which will be impacted by this change. Facebook is making this move as a result of its Cambridge Analytica data breech crisis. Facebook is also doing it to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will go into effect May 25, 2018.

In an unprecedented move, this broad-reaching GDPR provides governmental guidance regarding how European Union (EU) member states handle users’ personal information. But this doesn’t just affect EU companies. GDPR will apply to all companies that process personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where they reside. That means it applies to US companies that process data of EU citizens, whether they live in the States or not.

The GDPR requires companies to provide the highest levels of privacy protection or suffer dire financial consequences. Violators may face a fine up to four percent of their company’s global revenue. This will affect how third-party data is used throughout the digital advertising world regardless of location.

Facebook released the following 2018 timeline for its GDPR compliance and its impact on advertisers:

May 10: After this date, you will no longer be able to create or edit campaign using Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France; however, they will be allowed to continue running until May 24.

 May 25: Facebook will no longer deliver to Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France, and these targeting options will no longer be available for use on the platform. You will notified to update any targeting containing impacted Partner Categories before this date.

June 30: Last day for creating new or editing existing campaigns using non-EU Partner Categories; they will be allowed to run until September 30.

October 1: All other Partner Categories will no longer be available as targeting options and Facebook will stop delivering against these audiences. You will be notified to update your targeting by this date.

Many marketers who use third-party Facebook data to reach their prospects are likely shaken by this news. But keep in mind that while US advertisers have had access to third-party data, that hasn’t been true everywhere – like in Canada, for example. Canada hasn’t had access, yet advertisers have still had the ability to scale and deliver successful Facebook campaigns.

It’s very difficult to predict what comes next. It’s possible that advertisers will buy audiences directly from data brokers and layer it into their own data before importing it as a Custom Audience in Facebook. Or Facebook may find alternative ways to incorporate third-party data. Facebook could also bring these data fields in-house and begin to re-release them to advertisers. Read my blog for updates.

 

 

Why You Should Use HTML for Your Marketing E-Mails

There was once a time when there was a valid concern regarding the deliverability of HTML e-mails, but that is no longer the case. So if you aren’t using HTML for your marketing e-mails, you should. Here’s why.

1. HTML Drives More Leads

With HTML you can build in interactive hyperlinks and calls to action that take your content to the next level, generating more leads and sales conversions than plain text ever could.

  1. HTML Is Responsive

Another advantage of using HTML is the fact you can offer an unsubscribe option. This gives your prospects the opportunity to opt out of future e-mails from you, so your list is comprised of only the best, most qualified leads who want to hear from you.

HTML also gives you the huge advantage of gathering analytics, seeing who engaged and how. This enables you to track and measure audience engagement and refines your e-mail marketing strategy based on what you find out.

  1. HTML Design Isn’t Busy

Often marketers worry HTML e-mails will be too busy. Not true. You can make HTML e-mails just as clean as plain text e-mail but with all of the added benefits HTML offers. In fact, HTML provides the perfect balance between effectively branding your company and controlling the content message, ensuring the content is the focus of the e-mail.

  1. Even HTML Design Must Follow Best Practices

When using HTML, you still have to follow best practices. Keep your design clean, your copy short, and your call to action prominent. Take advantage of analytics and test subject lines and offers to see what works best to get your prospects’ attention. Remember though to only test one thing at a time or you won’t know what impacted the results you see. Most importantly, always, always use a good e-mail list!

HTML is really the only way to go when it comes to sending your marketing e-mails, so don’t be afraid to use it. You won’t regret it!