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tumblr llcw71K5md1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Nike Billboard in NYC

Yesterday you said tomorrow

tumblr lln5jqiRBI1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Kill Bill Billboard in NYC – Bloody Mess

tumblr lln5opCDu71qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Realhiphop.com.br Outdoor Advertising

tumblr llnx22X4Vw1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Sony PSP Transparant Billboard Advertising

tumblr lm60gmbhB81qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
McDonald’s free coffee promotion.

tumblr lmdzgyOBji1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Mondo Pasta Boat Advertising

tumblr lnguymJuNy1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
The first ever plant billboard. Coca-Cola and WWF have unveiled a new 60-by-60-foot billboard in the Philippines that’s covered in Fukien tea plants, which absorb air pollution.

tumblr ln8kcvEQIL1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Allstate Insurance: Marina Tower

tumblr ln2yfzDmT41qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Powerhouse Gym Outdoor Ad

tumblr ln2xmoqdLG1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Oltimer Restaurants – Special Poster for “Oldtimer”, a big Austrian chain for motorway rest stops

Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014

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Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014

digital marketing laptop Top Digital Marketing Trends in 20142013 will be known as the year organizations began embracing different tactics for digital marketing in a big way. It will also be known as the year of the biggest social media changes:Twitter’s IPO announcement, Google andFacebook’s algorithm updates, and the list goes on. This trend of disrupting the digital marketing arena will continue into 2014 and beyond. Here is a roundup of what we predict in 2014 for the digital marketing industry:

Content continues to be king

Social Media Today reported that 78% of CMO’s believe custom content is the future of marketing. Most marketers have embraced and accepted content as a major resource in their efforts. Along with this, there has been an influx of content discovery apps which support the growth trend: Flipboard, Pulse, and Fancy (to name a few). If you’re not dedicating budget towards content development, it may be time to consider doing so!

Growth of video marketing

It goes without saying that videos have the ability to convey a message that is ten times more powerful than text content. Kony 2012 was proof that great video content has the potential of becoming an overnight viral success. Also, with apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, videos are being created, viewed and shared on mobile devices. Facebook has also introduced and enhanced their mobile ads platform. Combined with the mobile potential, we predict that video marketing will grow even more in 2014.

Social media diversification

2013 has been the year of social media growth. We will continue to see this trend in the coming year. 93% of marketers already say they use social media for business, but in 2013 we also saw a surge in popularity of new networks like Pinterest, Vine and Instagram – and have become a part of everyday life. These networks are carving a unique niche for themselves, which means that businesses will continue to use different platforms to build their brands and connect with consumers.

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – Getting Started

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The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a fra...

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a framework for how to categorize metrics from the tactical to strategic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Mobile marketing research - Methods

English: Mobile marketing research – Methods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – Getting Started

The Do’s and Don’ts

This article on affiliate marketing for dummies is for people who join affiliate marketing without a clue on what to do or where to begin, but don’t worry this happens to the best of us. If you’re like me then the moment you stepped into the affiliate marketing world you were overwhelmed by all the resources, tools, and training that jumped at you, that’s if you had a good sponsor (we’ll talk about that in just a second).

You must ask yourself, what caught your attention most in the industry? Was it the income opportunity, working from home, not having a boss, or just a little bit of all three? Maybe you just want to be successful and start helping people who want change, people who deserve change. Either way I have a few tips for you newbies out there.

Research, Research, and More Research

Before you even think about joining you have to do some research on the program that interests you such as proof videos, article reviews, company history, the company compensation plan, etc. This is a good way to really find out if the company is a scam or not. Don’t be one of those people who see 8 positive reviews and 1 scam review and end up thinking it’s a scam, those people are looking for every reason not to join.

If you made up your final decision then try not to hesitate. I had this same problem with hesitating and it did me no good, why? Well you have to be 110% sure for every decision you make when it comes to choosing a company but don’t get me wrong I do not want to feel like I am forcing you because at the end of the day the decision is all yours. I’m only here to provide information and value to you.

Find a Good Sponsor

Before you join any company you have to make sure you’re signing under a good sponsor. I can speak from experience, I remember joining without knowing anything about affiliate marketing, I must have joined under the worst sponsor alive. Your sponsor needs to provide you the training and resources you need to get off on the right foot because if not then you’re going to kill time finding this all out on your own.

There are a lot of people who come to other sponsors asking for help because their own sponsors abandoned them. They may provide help but you have to understand that the good sponsors have their own team to help out first, but don’t expect for your sponsor to hold your hand through everything. You need to put in your own work because this is your business, a sponsor will only put you on the right foot and guide you whenever you’re lost but he will not make the money for you, you have to work and earn it yourself.

Investing

Don’t think you will make money just by joining a program, no, you need to invest in tools like that’ll help you move forward. This is critical for your business, you need to think like a marketer which means investing and learning effective marketing techniques. Have a ‘marketers eye’ go outside and look at all the advertising signs and how they put their words together. You can also get the companies number and maybe do your own advertising. Just an idea ;).

The wonderful thing about investing in a work from home business is that it’s super cheap, the only thing you need to be aware of are the monthly payments most companies ask for. To open up a fast food franchise can cost you over $1,000,000 at times, landscaping businesses can cost up to $500,000, online businesses can cost up to $5,000 depending on what program you choose, not bad right? It’s actually mind blowing. Network Marketing came first in the total globe sales as of 2012 ranking over the many industries like the music industry and gaming industry with over $165 Billion. This alone should motivate you and pump you up to become successful in this industry.

A Little Bit of Me

I, personally love everything about this industry it has taught me so much so far. It has really changed the way I think forever and I know it will do the same for you if you stay focused and positive. My goal here is to help everyone in need because that’s what attracts me most and it should be the same way with you. Don’t just do it for the money do it because you want to, do it because you have that burning desire and faith that you will succeed and watch these same emotions open many many doors for you.

I believe network marketing will be the future and I also believe the 97% fail percentage will drastically decrease within the next few years. Why do I know this because what goes up must come down and if the fail percentage rate is that high then the only way from here is down, especially with all the resources we have on the internet we just have to take advantage of them and use them to the fullest extent.

Ask yourself, where will you be 5 years from now. Do you think you will have the successful life of your dreams? Do you see your hands on the steering wheel of your dream car? Do you see your house up on the hill? You need to dream and dream big and take action everyday. Don’t waste a second because it may be life changing

If you just joined the affiliate marketing world then please don’t be overwhelmed, this takes time, consistency, and patience so stick with it and don’t you quit. If you’re not taking action or learning something everyday then you need to start. Start right this moment, and now that you have this knowledge share it with others who are interested, become a leader and build a team and I promise you the world is yours. Who knows, maybe you’ll make the next Affiliate Marketing for Dummies article :).

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English: A schematic illustrating the evolving...

English: A schematic illustrating the evolving relationship between the firm and its customers via the marketing orientation, which includes the introduction of a new marketing concept, customer enrichment marketing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LinkedinAnswers

LinkedinAnswers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An example of the use of a virtuous circle in ...

An example of the use of a virtuous circle in management. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

linkedin

linkedin (Photo credit: Inmobiliaria Lares, Cangas)

LinkedIn One Percent Most Viewed Profiles Email

LinkedIn One Percent Most Viewed Profiles Email (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

3 Digital Marketing Tips Every Brand Should Know for the New Year

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Recently, a publication from my home country of Canada wrote one of my favorite pieces about Kiip and what we’re helping redefine. The article explores three things every digital marketer should know, and I’d encourage everyone to read it. I wanted to reiterate and expand upon a few of the points for my LinkedIn audience and examine them through the lens of Kiip.

Without further adieu, here are the three things every digital marketer should know:

1. Build customer loyalty instantly on the first encounter

In the on-demand age we live in, patience wears thin quickly. For a sign of how fast we move, look no further than the fact that people ditch slow-loading videos after two seconds.

We aim to cater to that need for speed by providing rewards that are redeemable on the spot. There’s no waiting around, accumulating points or jumping through hoops – you earned the reward, so why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it when you want to? We call this conceptconsumable loyalty, the notion of creating the right match of a reward in a moment where your customer is the most receptive. It’s the most effective way to build appreciation in the very limited amount of time you have as a marketer to engage with your customer.

2. Target moments, not impressions

Impressions are an empty metric because they only indicate whether a customer has seen an ad – not whether they actually engaged with the ad, let alone enjoyed it.

We are on a mission to entice brands to focus on moments. Practically every app has some manifestation of these moments to varying degrees of intensity. These mobile moments are important because of the emotion that it embodies. When you are with a user when they are feeling something, the impact is the greatest. Moments can be positive, like leveling up in a game or finishing a to-do list, or even negative. Both ways create opportunities to create meaningful engagement. Moments in our eyes is the currency of hyper-engagement. It’s a metric that’s mathematically sound and capable of fitting in media models and at the same time subjective enough to describe the gap left between the CPC and CPM worlds. There is something to be said about the emotional state of a consumer and we’re measuring it in their responses, in real time.

One of my favorite campaigns we’ve ever done was with Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft), who wanted to own all the “sour” moments in our network by offering Sour Patch Kids rewards. The campaign turned all “sour” moments “sweet” by doing things like rewarding users even if they died in a game. People loved it, and so did the industry – it was named one of Mobile Marketer’s top 10 CPG mobile campaigns of the year.

3. Cater to consumer behavior instead of changing it

Don’t force your customers to alter their path – go where they’re already going. For example, after logging a daily run in a fitness-tracking app, which is more relevant – an invitation to download a random app or a reward for a free bottle of Gatorade; or even a free song download for the consumer’s next workout playlist? One tries to spur an unwanted action and the other taps into a stream of existing behavior.

To consumers, that highly interactive connection makes brand engagement a delight instead of a chore. It is very important to note that the delight can only be unexpected. Most mobile advertising typically ignores this very important distinction. When someone is working toward a predefined objective and knows how to earn a reward, the experience becomes a task for a reward. This is too Pavlovian and removes true delight.

The grander principle here isn’t various buzzwords like “value-exchange”, “gamification” or “beyond-the-banner”. It’s all really quite simple. We’re all humans and we enjoy the simple delights of life. Consumer brands offer products to enhance some aspect of our lives; why can’t they do the same through their first impressions with us? To the extent that this can happen through content, sponsorship, or experiences – this is how integrated marketing has helped change this landscape.

Remember simply to find existing consumer experiences and to find ways to add to it rather than to detract from it.

 

Stéphén Dǻrori


  • Laura James

    Laura James

    Senior Strategic Account Manager, Client Relations at CSG Systems, Inc.

    Great article! Very interesting concept. It’s true. People loves surprises, particularly ones that are relevant and can be immediately acted upon and “consumed”.

    1 day ago

  • Ankit Mohan

    Ankit Mohan

    Offshore Business Development Manager at The Monachie Project

    Very well written…And I believe it is really true, in this age of instant analyses of engagement, it has really become necessary to be with the consumer rather than go against and try to force something extraordinary. Some of the most successful campaigns in this digital age have been those that have been simple and in tune with consumer mood.

    1 day ago

    Maria C. and null
  • Roderick Hunnicutt

    Roderick Hunnicutt

    Socratic Investments, LLC

    You focus on your customer’s loyalty, what makes them come back for more? Good service? Quality products? Digital marketing can focus on customers trust on brands, so make sure that your brand is trustworthy and you can make sure of that by giving them the best experience through great customer service and quality products.

    1 day ago

  • Tenika B.

    Tenika B.

    Social media manager

    Very interesting article. Thank you for sharing this. Im particularly interested in a point you made in section #1 “creating the right match of a reward in a moment where your customer is most receptive” can you suggest how this might be actioned or give any examples of companies that already do this well?

    20 hours ago

  • Christian Poch

    Christian Poch

    Business Development Manager at Softonic

    Very interesting article!!! Let’s engage from second 1! 😉

    1 day ago

  • Donald Beasley

    Donald Beasley

    Independent Arts and Crafts Professional

    I’ve learned another new thing today.

    1 day ago

  • John Galavan

    John Galavan

    Sales Professional – Find me on Kindle!

    You do hit the one factor that must be managed- no attention span. This becomes crazy when building a brand but it must be addressed. You are on to something important Brian. How about the next post dealing with attention span and ways to break into this, move prospect along buying path, and closing. Or, using no attention span to build a brand.

    1 day ago

  • Cornelia Pauline

    Cornelia Pauline

    Entrepreneur/ Writer

    Great article! I especially found the part about the 2 second rule to be true. You have to engage your customers/users within the first few seconds and then build from there.

    1 day ago

  • Michael MacMillan

    Michael MacMillan 2nd

    CEO Vizualize Realtime Shopper Insights

    That is not just true about digital bricks & mortar centric brands have only 3 to 5 seconds typically as we’ll

    1 day ago

  • harry parks

    harry parks

    disigner

    wow

    1 day ago

  • Monika Tumaite

    Monika Tumaite

    International Business Management Student – The University of Sheffield/Copenhagen Business School

    All of the 3 points were very well put. Thanks Brian!

    1 day ago

  • Mary Rose DeMarco

    Mary Rose DeMarco

    Marketing & Accounts Manager at LiDestri Food, Beverage & Spirits

    Great article!! #mobilemoments

    1 day ago

  • Nora Shumpert

    Nora Shumpert

    Instructor at John Casablancas Modeling and Career Centers

    Love that information, thank you for it

    1 day ago

  • Delta Software Solutions

    Delta Software Solutions

    Traffic Surveys Solutions

    Well Authored!!! 🙂

    1 day ago

  • Marco Gabrielli

    Marco Gabrielli

    Head of Business Development at Scorpion Brand & Technology

    Simple 3 points, but each hits the nail on its head. Couldn’t agree more

    1 day ago

  • Samuel Sasmito

    Samuel Sasmito

    Marketing at PT. Saimen Citra Rasa

    “Cater to consumer behavior instead of changing it”

    1 day ago

  • Sachin Chawla

    Sachin Chawla 2nd

    Product Manager at Marketing & Sales Company

    Good article..

    1 day ago

  • Ravindra Chechani (Maheshwari), ITIL

    Ravindra Chechani (Maheshwari), ITIL

    Technical Leader at iNautix Tech. Ltd. (A BNY Mellon Company)

    Nice Article . Like the “Cater to consumer behavior instead of changing it”.

    1 day ago

  • Nora Kamsani

    Nora Kamsani

    Business Development Manager at Razzqee Services

    Well put together…Great tips

    1 day ago

  • Manolita Oligo

    Manolita Oligo 2nd

    live-in senior caregiver at White residence

    Servicing a customer is part of every purchase and interaction. So if we do it and experience it everyday in almost everything we do, why isn’t good customer service the norm? We all have stories about when we are treated exceptionally well or extremely poor. We tend to share these extraordinary stories with others. Warren Buffett said it best : It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll things differently.”

    23 hours ago

  • Sheema Ali

    Sheema Ali

    Digital Marketing Strategist

    The 3rd Rule should come first.. For the simple reason that to bring about a change, you should understand the current status… Behavioral changes happen over a period of time & there is NO 2 mins noodles recipe to it.. Its prudent to start at a common topic of interest & gradually drive the consumers….

    23 hours ago

  • Basuraj Harijan

    Basuraj Harijan

    student at ssims

    Very interesting article and Its new learning 4 d day.

    23 hours ago

  • Julio Espina

    Julio Espina

    Marketing & E-Commerce Department Head at Powerhouse Distributors Inc.

    Those are some top-notch observations. I couldn’t agree any better. Instead of forcing them to engage with you, why not pattern your efforts to compliment their behavior. And therefore appearing more genuine rather than obstructive.

    22 hours ago

  • Jerca Vertovsek Macek

    Jerca Vertovsek Macek

    Digital Marketing Manager

    Great article! Thank you for the tips!

    22 hours ago

  • Nora Guba

    Nora Guba

    Marketing Manager, Central and Eastern Europe at CMS Cameron McKenna

    Spot on! Time to start thinking INSIDE the new digital box(es)

    21 hours ago

  • Hanna Barishnikova

    Hanna Barishnikova

    KA Manager at ABA English

    Good one! Thanks for sharing!

    21 hours ago

  • Eduardo M. Rosas

    Eduardo M. Rosas 2nd

    Capital Markets Business Development Manager

    well design thoughts, excellent article

    18 hours ago

  • tariq bensghir

    tariq bensghir

    MARKETER

    Absolute Media Monster. Guaranteed CB Best Seller! Venus Factor Is The Highest Converting, Highest Epc Female Fat Loss Offer Ever. Kyle Leon’s Best Vsl By Far http://441d2rhmkl0m2x2gqa3ivjgkfa.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=VENUS FACTOR

    19 hours ago

  • Raj Kosaraju

    Raj Kosaraju

    CIO at Maxil Technology Solutions Inc

    Brian, I liked the article. I absolutely agree with the fact that highly interactive connection makes brand engagement a delight instead of a chore. It is very important to note that the delight can only be unexpected. Consumer brands offer products to enhance some aspect of our lives; why can’t they do the same through their first impressions with us? To the extent that this can happen through content, sponsorship, or experiences – this is how integrated marketing has helped change this landscape.

    15 hours ago

  • Karen Matheson

    Karen Matheson

    Active Schools Manager at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd

    Really enjoyed this article!

    15 hours ago

  • Brett Jacobson

    Brett Jacobson

    Business and Systems Integration Analyst at Accenture Federal Services

    Interesting article. Wish companies would pick up on these ideas at a faster pace than what they are going at. There are so many ways to draw consumers in with advertising and it seems like companies are really missing the ball.

    15 hours ago

  • Jon Flores

    Jon Flores

    Director, Business Development

    Companies that can grab a prospects attention instantly are worthy of serious analysis as, especially on LinkedIn, the act of following your company is just the first step. Posting ads or updates for key players in your follower pool is the next step and if you already have their ear its all about making sure the content is worth listening (or in this case reading).

    15 hours ago

  • Avinash Singh

    Avinash Singh 2nd

    Marketing Executive at MetaOption

    Great Article !!

    15 hours ago

  • Lee Latham

    Lee Latham

    Member Relations Manager for Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce

    “Target moments, not impressions” Turning sour to sweet as an example what a brilliant concept for m-commerce!

    15 hours ago

  • Maria Chufranova

    Maria Chufranova

    Magento, WordPress, SugarCRM, Drupal, Joomla, iOS, Android, SEO Accounts Manager

    Great article! Interesting thoughts. However I can’t agree with some of them. For example “There’s no waiting around, accumulating points or jumping through hoops – you earned the reward, so why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it when you want to?” I know why! Because people value things they work for. Give a consumer free coupon on the street and see how many such instant coupons will be used. But give a consumer app with point collecting system and make it a game, a mission. Customers will be coming to your store/company over and over again and enjoy seeing app interface changing, new statuses achieved and new benefits collected. I know it because I’m the one who gets exited when my gas tank is empty. Because it means I get new point on my card and more rewards – I’m on the mission)) And I know I’m not the only one… Just saying…

    14 hours ago

  • Jaime Shine

    Jaime Shine

    Writing Services • Marketing Services • Social Media Services • Content Creation

    Love your article, Brian, especially point #2. As marketers, we can become fixed on impressions or views, which really don’t mean much in the long run. I’ve read some insightful posts and articles which bring up this point in light of the recent Facebook fiasco of losing reach.

    11 hours ago

  • Christopher Munz

    Christopher Munz

    Experienced Digital Marketer – Bridging the data gap between Social, Mobile, and Offline Channels for over 10 years

    3 great tips that will help keep you grounded next year with your marketing efforts.

    10 hours ago

  • Michael LiCalsi

    Michael LiCalsi

    Executive VP Marketing / Public Speaker

    #3 is key. Thanks for sharing.

    9 hours ago

  • Mickey Wind

    Mickey Wind

    Marketing with results

    Very good article. For businesses that have reward points, there should be points awarded just for somebody signing up for the program. In signing up a person took as much time out of their lives as they do when they add something to their cart. They should be rewarded for that time and for adding themselves to your marketing campaigns.

    9 hours ago

  • Fred Horstman

    Fred Horstman

    Sole Proprietor at My own company

    Number 3 is what Samsung did. They focused on consumer’s behavior. Sony tried to change consumer behavior. Now Samsung is number one.

    6 hours ago

  • Michelle Pate

    Michelle Pate

    Marketing Consultant

    Very well written…And I believe it is really true, in this age of instant analyses of engagement, it has really become necessary to be with the consumer rather than go against and try to force something extraordinary. Some of the most successful campaigns in this digital age have been those that have been simple and in tune with consumer mood.

    4 hours ago

Why can’t we be friends? Five steps to better relations between CFOs and CMOs

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Marketing Digital

Marketing Digital (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Español: Marketing Small Business Finance Corp...

Español: Marketing Small Business Finance Corporation, Compañía netamente puertoriqueña que trabaja con SBA para el crecimiento de los pequeños negocios (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finance and Commerce - New Applications Levera...

Finance and Commerce – New Applications Leverage The Popularity Of Social Networks – 02/16/09 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

Übersicht der Marketing-Instrumente

Übersicht der Marketing-Instrumente (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Marketing Small Business Finance Corp...

English: Marketing Small Business Finance Corporation Logo Español: Logotipo de Marketing Small Business Finance Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a fra...

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a framework for how to categorize metrics from the tactical to strategic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Histograms help analyze metrics

Histograms help analyze metrics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Der Loyalitätskreislauf (Marketing, E-Marketing)

Der Loyalitätskreislauf (Marketing, E-Marketing) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why can’t we be friends? Five steps to better relations between CFOs and CMOs

The application of data analytics offers a useful approach to build more collaboration in support of stronger growth.

Marketing is in the midst of a performance revolution. The application of advanced analytics and plentiful data has allowed chief marketing officers (CMOs) to demonstrate the return on investment from marketing activities with a degree of precision that’s never been possible before. With companies spending as much as 10 percent of their annual budgets on marketing, depending on the industry—a whopping $1 trillion globally—this rapidly developing ability to put hard numbers against marketing performance is music to the ears of both CMOs and CFOs.

Podcast

Why can’t we be friends? Five steps to better relations between CFOs and CMOs

Article narration

To date, however, the reality of marketing analytics has fallen short of the promise. Just 36 percent of CMOs, for example, have successfully used analytics to demonstrate quantitatively the marketing return on investment, or MROI.1 This suggests that nearly two-thirds still rely on qualitative measures or none at all. In fact, a 2012 survey showed that 63 percent of projects do not use analytics to inform marketing decisions.2 And the lack of an analytical approach has contributed to a barrier between marketing and finance—often leading to difficult budgeting conversations. One financial-services CMO told us how CFOs typically perceive his function: “Marketing has a vague status. We’re going to give a certain amount of dollars to those guys. They’re going to make ads and do whatever it is they do. And let’s hope it generates demand.”

To reverse this perception, we believe that CMOs must become true collaborators with CFOs and adopt an MROI approach that’s driven by analytics. The good news is that the same mountains of data that can deliver an array of value-creating insights can also help CMOs demonstrate marketing return on investment at a level of detail that the CFO expects. In our work with clients in dozens of sectors over more than five years, we have found that the strongest CMO–CFO partnerships develop when both parties take five actions: open their books to scrutiny, focus on the metrics that matter, balance short-term and long-term value creation, consider savings as well as spending, and seek opportunities to collaborate.

The opportunity is enormous. In our experience, companies that adopt this marketing-analytics approach can unlock 10 to 20 percent of their marketing budget to either reinvest in marketing or return to the bottom line.

Create an ‘open book’ mind-set

Creating transparency into operations is the starting point for marketing to help CFOs understand where and how value is being gained or lost. CMOs often find it hard to say how much they actually spend—by product, market, or strategic intent, for example, or by activity—on IT, different parts of the purchase funnel, digital and social media, or nonadvertising activities such as sponsorships, promotions, and trade events. It can be challenging because different regions may allocate the same spending to different categories. A trade-fair expenditure might fall into short-term spending in one market, for instance, but long-term brand-building spending in another.

Bringing people and activities into line is essential but seldom easy. Marketing departments are often reluctant to look beyond their own fiefdoms; it’s also time-consuming to align spending categories accurately—and a major task to communicate the value of doing so. An automotive company, for example, held more than a dozen workshops in six months to explain why it mattered and to ensure that the global marketing function clearly understood the value of analytics. The company used this process to develop a common approach for answering the seemingly basic question of why it was spending marketing dollars. For example, was it trying to promote the brand or draw customers into the showroom? Drawing such distinctions makes it easier for any CMO to answer basic questions about where and how marketing dollars are spent—and makes budgeting discussions much more productive.

Focus on the metrics that matter

Ideally, the relationship between the CFO and the CMO needs to function more like a partnership, in which the two explore together the performance that drives shareholder returns. That means CMOs will need to focus on the metrics that are most aligned with corporate business goals, which CFOs can help identify. Typically, these will not be brand awareness, share of voice in the market, or the number of “likes” on Facebook— areas where many currently focus—unless those numbers can be tied to profit. CMOs must demonstrate and track marketing’s impact by focusing on those key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important for shareholder value such as return on investment, net present value, and operating margins.

Marketing KPIs that don’t directly address shareholder value and the company’s objectives don’t tell the CMO or the CFO where marketing efforts are having the most desired impact. This doesn’t portend an end to the creativity required to touch people’s emotions; it only means plumbing the same reservoirs of data that spark that creativity to better define when and where to target audiences with which messages— and to demonstrate the value in doing so.

In collaboration with the CFO, the CMO can develop a set of objectives that directly contribute to financial objectives and business goals. At the automotive company referred to earlier, for example, the CMO and CFO worked together with their teams to draw up a global set of financial and nonfinancial metrics for the short and long term. Financial metrics would typically include obvious numbers such as sales, return on investment, and cost per customer, while nonfinancial metrics included the number of people visiting dealers or long-term indicators of the health of the brand such as the number of customers considering the brand.

We’ve often found it helpful to create a chart to illustrate how business and financial goals at the top cascade down to marketing KPIs, then to tactics and strategies that can deliver on those KPIs, and finally to those metrics that measure the effectiveness of those strategies or tactics. In practice, marketing KPIs need to incorporate customer-acquisition and retention targets and costs. These metrics can easily be translated back into the company’s top-line or bottom-line performance, which resonates more with the CFO.

Given the complexity of marketing today, it can be difficult to develop metrics that prove categorically that an initiative is working. The metrics still matter in those cases, but what matters more is that the CMO and CFO agree on them.

Balance short-term and long-term value creation

One of marketing’s biggest challenges has always been managing the trade-off between short-term spending to boost sales and longer-term brand building. Econometric analysis can estimate the benefits of different combinations of marketing tactics—so-called marketing-mix modeling (MMM)—and to some extent is effective in helping allocate budget resources. Yet such activities drive only 20 to 40 percent of total sales, and so traditional MMM reflects a small portion of the total value of marketing investments, much of which can be attributed to the harder-to-measure power of the brand. The brand naturally takes much longer to develop, up to five years, but it has far greater staying power than a single piece of advertising.

Long-term brand performance is affected by many factors, which makes measuring the impact of investment challenging and the data harder to unearth. Calculating short-term effects separately from long-term benefits can help managers isolate which marketing activities truly build brand equity. With those calculations in hand, marketers can go to the CFO with the data to inform nuanced decisions about where to put dollars to boost short-term returns or build long-term equity.

Consider one food brand, for example. Marketing managers decided to connect with customers using Facebook advertising bolstered by contests, relevant sponsored blogs, photo-sharing incentives, and shopping-list applications. The approach delivered sales results similar to traditional marketing, including TV advertising and print promotions, at a fraction of the cost. Brand managers, therefore, considered massive cuts to their TV- and print-advertising budgets in favor of spending more on social-media channels. However, when they included long-term effects in their calculations, they realized that the contribution of TV advertising significantly out-paced online displays and social media at delivering the emotional connection needed to build brand equity.

Look at savings as well as spending

The concept of lean has driven tremendous productivity globally, largely by cutting waste and improving efficiency. While the concept’s origins are in manufacturing, it has long been applied in nonmanufacturing settings, including the finance function.3 Most marketing functions would also do well to embrace lean concepts—certainly they would find it worth taking a close look at procurement. Any savings could be invested elsewhere, and the effort would demonstrate responsible stewardship of company resources.

A data-driven approach to procurement isn’t a new concept, though marketers have been slow to embrace it. Something as simple as benchmarking marketing’s spending on external agencies could lead to astonishing cost savings and, once again, the CMO can go to the CFO with solid evidence on budgeting. At one consumer-packaged-goods company, for example, a series of strong brands had evolved in separate silos, each with its own marketing budget. On closer examination, marketing managers discovered the company was spending three times the industry benchmark on coupons, 50 percent more than the industry average on research, and overtesting TV commercials without improving them. It was also using more than four dozen market-research companies to conduct similar tasks. As a result of this insight, the company overhauled its spending on promotions, market research, and advertising, redirecting nearly 20 percent of its marketing budget to more growth-oriented tactics.

Seek opportunities to collaborate

As obvious as it may seem, one way to improve the CMO–CFO relationship is for both parties to recognize that they’re on the same team. CMOs should invite finance to participate in marketing’s planning process to build bridges but also to benefit from financial expertise. Spending time in the same room is a good start. Taking the time to speak with the CFO about the shape of the company and any shifting priorities will allow CMOs to be more attuned to the business and to move more quickly to make adjustments as necessary.

The experience at one global insurance company is illustrative. The company’s CMO found himself under pressure from the board to demonstrate the value of marketing activities—while at the same time, the company’s competitors were massively outspending it, solidifying their “top of mind” position with consumers. He recognized that he needed not only to justify the current marketing budget but also to ensure it was more effective to meet the challenge from competitors.

To build support for his effort, the CMO reached out to other parts of the business, including finance, explained that he wanted to adopt a more investment-oriented approach to marketing, and invited them to support the effort. They agreed on three goals for both the marketing and finance departments: to better clarify the role of marketing to the business, to better inform the analytics with their combined input on the assumptions, and to better understand the results coming out of the analysis. The CFO appointed a representative from finance to join the effort— and the CMO agreed, up front, to discontinue any activities that proved uneconomic.

In the end, the CMO was able to demonstrate quantitatively the impact of marketing on business goals and save his budget. Moreover, in the process of doing so, he developed a tool to show where his next marketing dollar should go and what he could expect in return. This allowed the CMO to follow an investment-oriented approach to marketing decisions, pursuing campaigns and other activities, and it provided the finance department with confidence that marketing was investing wisely.

An analytical approach to marketing may not mean the end of difficult budgeting conversations between the CMO and CFO. But the emergence of marketing-data analytics provides them a new common ground on which to compare notes and achieve a better understanding

28 Factors to Determine the Maturity of Your Inbound Marketing

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English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Diversification (marketing strategy)

Diversification (marketing strategy) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

28 Factors to Determine the Maturity of Your Inbound Marketing image ID 100171705 resized 600What if there were a maturity model for inbound marketers?

Seriously, I can’t be the only nerd that’s ever wondered this before.

The unofficial intro to maturity models is that they’re what happens when a whole bunch of really smart people get together and use dozens of years of academic experience and professional context to trend what often happens. More officially, accrediting body APMG writes that they’re used for organizations to assess their “methods and processes…according to a clear set of external benchmarks.”

When correctly compiled, these models contain helpful factors like questionnaires and benchmarks. They’re certified and verified by third parties. This blog post isn’t everything you need to determine the maturity of your inbound marketing strategy, but it’s a start. We’ve categorized some criteria that could define a company at each stage:

1. Immature Inbound Marketing

Blogging doesn’t mean your brand’s nailed the ins and outs of inbound marketing, even if you’re doing it on a regular basis. Neither does social media, maintaining an editorial calendar, or any other inbound marketing basics. There’s no shame in having a less mature inbound marketing program, but it is dangerous to close yourself off to concepts of improvement. Signs of a less mature inbound program could include:

  1. Occasional or Intermittent Collaboration Between Silos (Social, Content, and Email)

  2. Basic Lead Nurturing Segments

  3. Fewer than 10 Landing Pages and Content Offers

  4. Undefined and documented strategy

  5. Lack of advanced planning

  6. Inconsistent or Infrequent Metrics Analysis

2. Intermediate Inbound Marketing

Your business could probably do fine if you stagnate at an intermediate level of maturity, and let’s be totally honest – many companies have. In many cases, maturity models are shaped a lot like funnels, but it anecdotally seems that the inbound world’s got a pretty chunky middle. Signs of this stage often include (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Between 10-15 Landing Pages and Content Offers

  2. Documented strategy that’s typically up-to-date

  3. Multiple research-based buyer personas

  4. Lead Nurturing Workflows for Each Content Offer

  5. Inclusion of Visual Content and Targeted Content Curation

  6. Keyword Research and SEO Optimization

  7. Guest Blogging Outreach and Link-Building Strategies

  8. A/B Testing of Landing Pages, CTAs and Emails

3. Advanced Inbound Marketing

There’s really not too many examples of brands who’ve got the inbound marketing thing down so well that it’s hard to find anything wrong with their strategy. ModCloth’s definitely in this category, and so is HubSpot (of course)Betabrand and  AppSumo, are solidly mature, too. If you’re in this latter class, we’d love to hear from you, and about the changes you made to get your program up to par. Signs that you’re passing with flying colors might include the following:

  1. Responsive or mobile-optimized design

  2. Obsessive detail to user experience

  3. Use of 12 or more content marketing tactics

  4. Advanced lead nurturing tactics (accelerated and lost lead campaigns, among others)

  5. Interview-based buyer personas

  6. Ongoing SEO Optimization

  7. More than 15-20 landing pages and content offers

  8. Campaign-themed content and social media marketing

  9. Advanced efficiency measures, including content retargeting and repurposing

  10. Thought leadership among employees, including Google Authorship and Regular Columns

  11. Use of Smart (or Dynamic) Content

  12. Progressive Profiling

  13. Net Promoter Score Surveying

  14. Lead Scoring

Did I mention that the factors above are by no means an official inbound marketing maturity model? That being said, I think every business can benefit from ongoing and thorough evaluation of whether they’re taking full advantage of their marketing tools, and areas in which they could improve. It’s rare to find an organization which fits perfectly into a single stage of even official maturity models, and the inbound world is no exception – maybe your organization’s totally nailed persona-driven content marketing, but struggling with the lead nurturing side of things.

I welcome feedback on these thoughts, and would love to get input on other techniques and tactics organizations tend to adopt as they move toward a more mature inbound strategy.

What do you think are signs of an advanced and well-supported digital marketing program?

28 Factors to Determine the Maturity of Your Inbound Marketing image 29c14190 469d 4d36 8900 3dffef631d2e5

image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net 28 Factors to Determine the Maturity of Your Inbound Marketing image

Author:Jasmine Henry     Jasmine Henry on the Web Jasmine Henry on Facebook Jasmine Henry on Twitter Jasmine Henry RSS Feed

Jasmine is Content Manager at Inbound Marketing Agents, an innovative Hubspot partner offering full-agency services based in Nashville, TN. She writes about social media, business blogging, crowdsourcing and millennials…. View full profile

This article originally appeared on Inbound Marketing Blog and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

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The Anatomy of Tomorrow’s Inbound Marketing Strategy Today

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Components of Inbound Marketing

Components of Inbound Marketing (Photo credit: Gavin Llewellyn)

Diversification (marketing strategy)

Diversification (marketing strategy) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Anatomy of Tomorrow’s Inbound Marketing Strategy Today

There are many schools of thought and methodologies defining what inbound marketing should look like. Most of them position content marketing, social media marketing and SEO as the core of inbound marketing. From a 20,000-foot view, this has definite merit. However, with the right technology, enough content, well-developed personae and a good understanding of the brand, inbound marketing strategy can be much more stratified and robust.

The anatomy of a robust inbound marketing campaign has similarities to the human spine. The human spine has five ordered sections – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx – all of which are required to be in working order to live a pain-free, normal and productive life.

An inbound marketing strategy has five ordered sections, too – owned and earned media, landing pages, lead nurturing, sales interaction and retention. And all of them are required to widen the sales funnel, create acceleration through it and to optimize Marketing’s impact on revenue. If there’s a problem with any of the sections Marketing’s impact on revenue will not be optimized and the inbound campaign will be in poor health.

Inbound Marketing Funnel

Owned and Earned Media

This is the section that most marketers equate with inbound marketing – publish lots of owned and earned blog posts and articles frequently, organically distribute them through social media and watch Google drive traffic from its SERPs. This process produces lots of benefits, but without a strategy for the other sections it will be difficult to show real ROI.

Purpose: Generate traffic, educate prospects, grow brand, produce thought leadership, build community, produce outside advocates, reduce churn

Tip: Publish blog posts with frequency and consistency. According to Kuno Creative’s Content Marketing Manifesto, publishing five to ten posts per week led to a 633% increase in leads versus just two to three posts per week.

Landing Pages

This is a critical aspect of an inbound marketing campaign. Having lots of good free content is great, but morally bribing website visitors for their email and IP address using gated content is just as important. Once this information is captured, the visitor is no longer anonymous and their content consumption can be tracked and scored. It also allows for future email communication.

Purpose: Capture email and IP addresses

Tip: Analyze and value the inbound and outbound marketing channels that led to conversion with attribution modeling. Use this data to adjust tactics in the first section.

Tip: Deploy A/B or multivariate testing to optimize call to action click-through rates and landing page conversions.

Lead Nurturing

With email addresses captured and other attributes known (other form fields, website behavior, social media profiles, IP address, etc.) lead nurturing, segmentation and scoring can begin. Delivering the right content on the correct channel at the best time separates the wheat from the chaff and empowers the wheat to organically identify themselves as sales qualified leads over time. It also creates an efficient method for identifying and removing unqualified leads from the funnel.

Purpose: Generate more sales qualified leads faster (widens the sales funnel while creating acceleration through it).

Tip: If lead nurturing is a new or unrefined tactic access Eloqua’s Lead Nurturing Toolkit for tactical refinement.

Sales Interaction

Marketing should only deliver leads that are worthy of a sales person’s time. Analyzing and adjusting lead score criteria over time is critical to ensure this happens. However, just as critical is the open flow of communication and lead feedback between Marketing and Sales.

If the inbound marketing strategy is effective, Sales should find their prospects to be highly educated, qualified and ready to do business.

Purpose: Efficiently generate customers

Tip: Connect marketing automation tools with a CRM to help facilitate closed-loop marketing and open communication between Sales and Marketing.

Retention

A big portion of the retention initiative is accomplished by producing copious amounts of earned and owned media, building passionate communities in social media and being highly visible online. These are all activities that should already be deployed if the inbound marketing campaign is healthy.

In addition, Marketing can produce and deliver advanced content created specifically for current customers. This content can be in the form of surveys, guides, cheat sheets, training videos, process infographics, etc. However, this can all be for not if deliverables aren’t fulfilled and expectations aren’t met or exceeded.

Purpose: Reduce churn

Tip: Marketers should keep open communication with fulfillment and account management in order to feel the pulse of current customers. This can help identify possible future churn to target with content before it’s too late.

In high school, anatomy class was a place for students to giggle about the curriculum. However, understanding and implementing the entire inbound anatomy presented above is no laughing matter. In today’s ultra-competitive environment getting inbound right can mean the difference between business success and mediocrity. Getting it right tomorrow may mean the difference between business success and failure.