Technology Trends To Ignite Your Lead Gen in 2022

Quarter four is upon us. The numbers don’t lie. A majority of industry experts reported that weak technology infrastructure was the main reason businesses struggled so hard to survive during the pandemic. How about you? Is your technology where it needs to be? Technology isn’t a trend that is going away. There will be a continued move next year away from sales-centric models and toward working with digital lead resources—website, social media, content marketing, e-mail marketing, and others.

As you begin your allocations for next year’s marketing budget – and your lead generation, to be specific – keep the following information in mind. I’ve outlined the trends we’ll see next year and highlight what they mean for you and your lead generation strategy and budget. 

Digital Channels for Sales and Service

As we continue to try to distance ourselves from the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects it has had on our traditional lead gen activities, such as travel, conferences, tradeshows, lunch meetings, and other offline marketing and sales events, we must admit that some of the changes weren’t so bad. Marketers were forced to turn to automation to drive leads while still providing the best customer experience. Inbound and outbound lead generation saw the continued use of artificial intelligence in sales operations. Increasingly, more and more marketers used digital and online channels like video conferencing and live chat offerings to achieve their lead and sales performance targets. Lead generation activities will still be performed through offline channels, but increased emphasis will be placed on digital channels. 

Value-Based Selling to Secure Customers

An increase in digital business strategies means an increase in data available for your use. 2022 will see a movement toward better use of data to shape a value-based selling approach. This trend has marketers responding to their data in real time as a way to slowly build to a sale, showing prospects over time the value of their product or service. 

Artificial Intelligence to Increase Value

AI is becoming more widely used across a broader platform now. That will continue in 2022 and well beyond. More and more companies are looking to AI to improve lead generation and sales because this technology helps gather valuable data on existing as well as potential customers. This data then helps marketers develop  more effective marketing strategies to increase sales. AI is also an effective way to influence future behavior based on prior transactions or interactions and helps identify hot leads that are more likely to convert.

Also on the rise is the use of chatbots. This is a relatively easy way to enhance communication with prospects and customers and to provide better overall service. Chatbots allow companies to be available 24/7 to answer common questions and respond to typical issues. Customers report they love this option.

Better Customer Experience to Build Customer Loyalty

Nothing makes you value a personalized experience more than a global pandemic. Companies will use 2022 to continue work to enhance and personalize their brand’s customer experience. 

Social Media to Generate Better Leads 

Using social media to generate leads is nothing new. Companies will use 2022 to look for ideas to develop better ways of using social media platforms that make sense for their brand. Content will become more personalized using the data available. Video content marketing will continue to dominate, with experts predicting it will account for 82% of total Internet traffic. E-mail marketing is another hot area for 2022. That is because it is highly effective at influencing prospects. Researchers found that interactive e-mails increase their click-to-open rate by 73% and videos boost it an amazing 300%.

Marketers looking to grow in 2022 will want to capitalize on these trends to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

The Producers Network is a digital media company specializing in franchise development marketing.  We’ve developed  first-party data, cookie-less advertising products and historical data analytics to deliver results.  Learn more at producerdigital.com

Clubhouse: How to Navigate and Stand Out Using the Newest Online Communications App


As I mentioned in my last blog, Clubhouse is the hot new app that is on everyone’s radar – especially now that it is no longer invite-only.  Clubhouse is a networking platform that enables users to start or join audio-only “rooms.” There are rooms for just about every topic, making Clubhouse a great hub for thought leadership, targeted networking, and industry insight.

As with any new platform, there is a bit of a learning curve. The Clubhouse app is pretty straightforward, but they are making changes to it pretty regularly. The app uses a lot of lingo, so here’s a quick guide to help you decipher all the new terms coming your way: 
 
Hallway – This is where you will be when you open the app. This is your hub where you can see rooms from your followers and the people you follow. If you want to load more rooms, scroll to the bottom of your screen and click on “🌍  Explore.”
 
Stage – Speakers are often on a stage, so that’s where you’ll find the speaker in this app. When you enter a room, the stage is at the top of your screen. It shows all of the moderators and speakers. 
 
Audience Members – If you are curious to see who all is in the room with you, look under the stage and you’ll see a list of muted listeners. Audience members can leave the room at any time without disrupting the talk. There is an icon to raise your hand to speak or you can send the moderator a text. 
 
Moderator – This is the person in charge of the talk. They will be indicated by a green and white asterisk on the list of people in the room. They control the Stage and who talks and when. 
 
PTR “Pull to Refresh” – The moderator will say “PTR” when they want the audience to refresh their screens by putting their finger at the top of their screen and swipe down. 
 
Ping – You can click on the “+” button right next to the Raise Your Hand button to invite a user into a room that you are in.
 
Once you are familiar with navigating the new app, it’s time to work on your brand and content on Clubhouse. As with all other platforms you use, you will need an engaging content strategy in order to gain organic traffic and build awareness. Here are some ideas to get you going:
 
1.     Follow clubs that your target market is interested in.
2.     Better yet, start a club and speak to your target market directly.
3.     Create an engaging and searchable bio that promotes your brand.
4.     Consider connecting your Instagram and Twitter accounts to Clubhouse so you can receive a direct
message in Clubhouse – and encourage those on Clubhouse to follow you on your social media.
 
That’s a quick run through of Clubhouse to get you going on this exciting, new platform. As I mentioned, Clubhouse is still growing and changing, so the best way to learn all of the newest ins and outs is to download the app, jump on, and start exploring.  

What You Need to Know About Apple’s New Privacy Policies and the Impact On Your Digital Advertising

We all know that apps collect our data. We also know that just about no one reads the existing and very long privacy policies that are full of legal jargon to see exactly what is being done with our data. So late last year, as part of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple set out to rectify that. They introduced a new requirement for all software developers that publish apps through its App Store that they must include privacy labels. These look a lot like nutrition packages that are printed on the side of food packaging. The new labels indicate in an easy-to-read format exactly how data is going to used. 

  • Privacy Label — already released, it requires every app to give users an easy-to-view summary of the developer’s privacy practices that includes how an app uses their data — including whether the data is used to track them, linked to them, or not linked to them.
  • App Tracking Transparency — set to be released this spring, it requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.

The new privacy labels began appearing in the App Store in December 2020. At top-of-mind for advertisers is whether or not the new privacy labels will influence users’ choices and how this will influence their digital advertising strategy, potentially limiting campaign measurement and attribution on Facebook. Will the new requirements stop users from downloading the app? We don’t know yet. 

When a user opts-out of data tracking, that means apps cannot gather data to share with  data brokers.  What this trickle-down effect means for digital advertisers is that there is less robust data to back targeted advertising. And, data brokers are just the beginning. There is a vast network of apps, social media companies, websites, etc., that rely on capturing vast amounts of user information across different platforms. According to Apple, the average app has six trackers, which in most cases allow third-party data collection and link data from many different sources.  

Facebook’s Response

While the scope of these changes and their affects are far reaching, entangling the entire mobile-app ecosystem, many advertisers are looking for alternatives – as they rely on Facebook to run and personalize ads on their own platforms and other third-party apps.

Most recently, Facebook responded to the Apple changes saying it would shutter conversion-lift studies, instead providing “alternative options to help you effectively test and optimize your ads in response to the limitations resulting from Apple’s updates.” These studies were used test and control groups to measure returns on ad campaigns. They also helped advertisers gauge a user’s propensity to buy after seeing ads on the platform. Without targeted ads and lift tests going away, small businesses won’t be able to reach their customers as well as before. Some are predicting a regression in the industry and a return to older measurement techniques like geo matched-market testing. I have seen rumors online that Facebook is running a beta test for such a tool.

Looking Forward

As with all change, not every outcome is necessarily bad. These privacy changes could lead advertisers to engage in different approaches like media-mix modeling and insight garnered from a variety of sources. Facebook’s look-a-like program is an excellent targeting strategy.  Building a database and using e-mail is a tried-and-true retargeting method of reaching customers and prospects.

If you need assistance navigating through these changes, let’s talk.

10 Top Digital Marketing Best Practices

SocialMediaMarketing

How would you like to gain access to the top 10 techniques used by leading brands to drive quality web traffic, increase website conversion, and fill your pipeline with quality prospects? I thought you would. That’s why I put together an e-book that highlights what’s new in marketing and gives tips you can put to work now to start seeing results right away.

This e-book is a beneficial, quick overview that will assist you in your efforts to master the new world of marketing and deliver results.

Click here to request your free copy of 10 DIGITAL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES.

What are you doing that’s effectively driving web traffic and creating quality leads? Share your tips with us!

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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.

 

 

How 5G Improves Your Marketing Efforts

Mobile World Congress 2018 is taking place in Barcelona, and there have already been exciting announcements from participants. The one that caught my attention is 5G, the latest generation in wireless connectivity.

Research conducted by Pew Research Center showed that one in every 10 adults in America use the Internet via a smart phone only. They don’t have or use a home high-speed Internet connection. 5G to the rescue!

5G is simply the fifth generation in wireless connectivity technology. It was designed to meet the needs of a growing number of mobile Internet users. 5G provides better speed, enhanced data management, greater responsiveness, and connectivity to smart devices.

What 5G Means for Marketers

Consumers use their smart devices to seek information and content. The faster mobile Internet speed brought by 5G means a significantly decreased load time, which will lead to even more mobile usage. This continued increase in smart device usage means Google and other search engines will have to address mobile search patterns and how to improve upon them and to deliver an enhanced mobile-specific experience.

The connectivity of our smart devices and the growing usage inspired 5G. Look for even greater connectivity in smart devices and more voice-activated options. 5G will influence how consumers interact with their smart devices and how we communicate with them. It seems we are heading toward the ability for brands to communicate with consumers directly through their appliances. It’s an exciting new world!

9 Social Media Trends to Watch for 2018

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

I came across this infographic by film editing simplifiers Filmora that lists nine trends we marketers should keep an eye on in 2018. A few that got my attention:

  • Video, especially livestreaming, is watched three times longer than regular videos.
  • 30% of our chat conversation will be with chatbots in 2018.
  • Increased brand participation in “dark social” or platforms not publicly visible, like the messaging apps WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat.

To see all nine trends to watch for in 2018, here’s the infographic.

The Producers Helped Capriotti’s Win Top Honors at FLDC


The 2017 Franchise Leadership Development Conference was held October 11-13 in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, Franchise Update Media works with a team of highly respected researchers to personally evaluate various participating franchise sales organizations and awards franchise winners in several categories at this well-attended event.

Walking away with the Star Award for Best Social Media Presence is Capriotti’s!

“I want to thank everyone on the Producers team for their hard work over the past year.  You are great partners and do such an amazing job each week promoting our brand on social media platforms and creating effective content. We could not have won this award without your team.” Bruce Evans, Capriottis – VP of Franchise Development

Congratulations, Capriotti’s!

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Streamline Your E-Mail Creation and Approval Process

 

email-buttonE-mail marketing is a very effective way to both drive and nurture leads. However, it can be difficult to generate ideas, offers, and content…and to obtain the necessary approvals.

Here are five ways you can streamline your e-mail creation and approval process.

  1. Designate a Gatekeeper

One person should be in charge of your e-mail marketing. This person is the one who will be in charge of making sure everyone responsible is getting their work done on time and that e-mails are being sent when and to whom they are supposed to.

Create an e-mail calendar that includes the e-mail topic, the call to action (CTA), and who in your organization is going to provide copy, data, photos, etc. for the e-mail. This ensures there are no surprises and everyone is working from the same page.

It’s also a good idea to designate one person in each business area as the e-mail contact. This person is responsible for reporting any e-mail worthy news from their department to the e-mail gatekeeper. One of the biggest obstacles with creating e-mails is having the content. This is a good tool to create a flow of content ideas.

  1. Work Smarter

It’s a good idea to come up with two or three reusable e-mail templates. This way you’re not recreating the wheel each time. You can rotate the order of the templates you use so prospects don’t see the same template back-to-back. Then, all you have to do is drop in new copy, new images, and a new CTA and you’re done!

  1. Establish Guidelines

It’s helpful to have some guidelines established before you begin. For instance, decide the contact name and information you will be using for each type of e-mail campaign you send and where it will be placed in the e-mail. Will all e-mails (regardless of who they are from) use the same logo and direct prospects to the same website?

Also, make sure each e-mail adheres to your brand guidelines and make sure everyone involved has a copy of your brand guidelines to refer to. You’ll also want to address what makes a good subject line as well as words to avoid in your subject line so you can increase your open rate.

  1. Develop a Need-to-Know Mentality

Of course, in a perfect world, everyone’s opinion would count and everyone would get equal time to weigh in with an opinion on each e-mail you send. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a fast-paced, results-driven marketing world. As such, it’s best if you streamline your e-mail marketing approval process to the bare bones. Whose eyes absolutely, positively have to see the e-mail before it is sent?

  1. Meet to Discuss Progress

Figure out what works best for your organization, but a brief meeting to discuss new content ideas, what’s working, and what isn’t is essential. (Make sure you have someone from Sales present so you know how the e-mails are working for them.)

If you implement these five strategies, you’ll get your e-mail creation and approval process in check and start seeing the payoff of this effective marketing tool.