Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Is Marketing Automation Right for Your Business?

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Marketing automation sounds nice, and any kind of automation can make life easier when used properly. However, as with most technologically fueled tasks, it may not always live up to the hype. Maintenance, oversight, and glitches may throw a marketing team off balance, creating more work in the long run.

Whether you’re looking at streamlining social media or making many processes automated, we’ve got the details you need to make an informed decision for your business.

Defining Marketing Automation

Marketing automation isn’t one solution, but a collection of solutions that help marketers create a faster, more efficient workflow to reach a larger audience. Email marketing platforms exist under that umbrella, but marketing automation includes a vaster landscape.

Other types of platforms that fall under the term include: CRM systems, CMS systems, and the ideas and tactics behind the use of those platforms. Everything from the way you structure your emails to what you post on social media nests under the term “marketing automation.”

The Concept Behind Marketing Automation

Ideally, a marketing team already has the strategies and tactics for a marketing campaign in place, and the automation software serves as a facilitator for sending out content in an organized and measured way. However, it often becomes a tool for spamming consumers instead of providing value.

Some companies get in the habit or on a schedule of sending out content without thinking about the meaning and value behind the activities they share. For marketing automation to work, the marketing team’s focus must remain on providing value to the consumer – i.e., showing him or her what makes this content so special and relevant personally.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

When used appropriately, marketing automation makes the lives of marketers easier with simple workflows that keep pushing a company towards its marketing goals. Marketing automation:

  • Enriches the marketing department. Marketers can only do so many hands-on activities in a given period of time. With marketing automation, they can take advantage of the slow times while reducing their workloads during busy times. The right software can make a team of three marketers seem like a team of ten.
  • Allows companies to reach a wider market. Many automated solutions allow marketers to do more with less. They can create the text for a campaign, and then spread it out across the website, social media, email, and other marketing channels from one centralized platform.
  • Facilitates success measurement. When marketers produce campaign content in a piecemeal fashion, some of the measurement process may take added effort or fall to the wayside completely. Marketing automation solutions may allow anyone on the team to login to an account and keep track of how well a campaign fares daily.
  • Saves money. Any time a solution helps marketers do more with less, the company saves time and money. In fact, marketing automation earns money over time.

The Drawbacks of Marketing Automation

Before you ask where to sign up, you may also consider these drawbacks that can hinder marketing goals in the long run. Marketing automation can also:

  • Encourage laziness. Readers can sniff out canned messages a mile away, and they don’t appreciate them. Unless it’s an immediate response to an opt-in or some other routine correspondence, personalization works best. Automation is so easy to preset that many marketers can pawn off activities to the software without thinking about their true goals first.
  • Start out rough. Rollouts of new technology don’t always go as planned. Data migration, training, and software integration take time to do properly. Without the right rollout, the in-house users may never fully embrace the technology, turning this newfound asset into a waste of time and money.
  • Get confusing quickly. Marketers need to fully understand how to use the system before starting. Without a clear understanding, a company could send out the wrong messages or fail to send the right ones out at all. Too many marketing campaigns can also present problems; consumers may see it as spam. Marketers may accidentally leave some campaigns unfinished or put too much content into others.
  • Require lots of updates. Without quality data, marketing automation doesn’t do much good. Companies need proper opt-in and opt-out channels in place as well as managed campaigns to facilitate the introduction of quality customer information. The wrong data could lead to the wrong campaign focus.

Should Your Company Invest?

Most experts would probably agree that automation offers one more step into the future of marketing. When approached with the right understanding, it can make the practice much more effective. However, you may want to start slow and with something not as vital to workflow processes. Get used to the technology and how it can work for you before trying to add another automated technology. Develop company policies with each new integration to prevent some of the drawbacks.

NGData Gives Enterprise Marketers a Customer Data Platform of Their Own

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

If you read my recent post on Customer Data Platforms Revisited very, very closely, you might have noticed it listed a category of data vendors who “store unified profiles and expose to other systems”, which is pretty much the core definition of a Customer Data Platform. You would also have noticed that category had only two members, Aginity and NGData. I reviewed Agnity back in November 2013 and when I spoke with them more recently, found they were still doing pretty much the same thing and growing nicely. But, until today, I’ve never discussed NGData. (more…)

Instagram Ads and What it Means for Brands

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

A few weeks ago, Instagram announced that users would soon start seeing ads in their feeds. This announcement was met with some concern that the platform that’s known for organic content would be flooded with irrelevant, spam-like ads from brands. Instagram is hoping to keep the same natural look but give brands a way to expand their reach and engage with potential customers. It is important for both users and marketers to understand what they can expect from Instagram ads, how they will be targeted and what it means for brands.

NitroMojo and Marketing Advocate Specialize in Marketing Automation for Channel Partners

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

As I noted in a post last year, there is a universe of specialized marketing automation systems for companies that sell through channel partners. These products address several interrelated challenges: distributing leads to partners without losing track of performance; distributing partner-customized versions of company-created content; and helping partners run their own marketing campaigns. Here are two more vendors with related offerings:

Neolane Interaction Tightly Integrates Real-Time and Outbound Marketing Campaigns

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As I mentioned last week, there haven’t been many new B2C marketing automation products in recent years. But this doesn’t mean the industry has been stagnant. New developments have come from established vendors who are steadily expanding their products.

IBM Interact Adds Interactions to Enterprise Marketing Management

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

My continuing tour of real time interaction managers landed with the good folks at IBM two weeks ago, where I caught up with what’s now IBM Interact. The product was originally launched more than a decade ago by Unica as Affinium Interact.*

PubMatic Adds Shiny Ads to it’s Enterprise Marketplace

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

PubMatic, the Redwood City based company whose platform helps publishers automate the process of evaluating and selling their ad inventory, yesterday announced plans to integrate Shiny Ads automated self-service ad platform to their enterprise app marketplace, PubLink. The placement of Shiny Ads platform in PubLink will give top publishers a fast, easy to implement solution for making premium ad inventory available directly within the platform. Shiny Ads has previously had successful implementations with companies such as IGN Entertainment and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).

Adding Social Media Marketing Power To Your Enterprise

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

In life we expect outgoing people to be better at tasks like networking or sales. We use terms like “extrovert” and “Type-A personality” to describe what many of us believe to be true about many of the people we work with … that seemingly natural parts of their personality make them ideal candidates to do certain types of jobs. Chances are as you have built your own small business, a part of any success you have had has come from your own natural abilities and skills. (more…)

Marketing Your Brand By Becoming Your Media

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create. When blueprinting social architecture and the engineering that connects people to other people strategically, enthusiasm and support typically derail when examining the resources and the commitment required to rhythmically produce, distribute, and support content.

Indeed, we are programming the social web around our brand hub and as such, we’re required to capture attention and also hold it through the introduction of engaging dialogue, interaction, and the introduction of relevant information packaged and published as social objects.


Measuring The Impact Of Real-Time Search Results

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I just read an interesting post over at Search Engine Land by Greg Sterling. He gives some information about a study recently done that measured the impact of real-time search results in Google. (For the uninitiated, “real-time search” is the ability of Google and other search engines to return content in the search results that might be mere minutes old, such as newly-minted blog entries, Facebook status updates, and tweets, rather than returning only the traditional Web pages and other content that might have been published far earlier than the search being performed.)