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Buying Versus Building Technology: Which is right for you?

February 12th, 2016 No comments

“I think the most important thing is that companies are realistic about what their expectations are for a technology investment, and realistic about their own capabilities,” Preston Wily, President, Sewell Corp, said.


In this interview, Preston speaks about his MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 panel presentation, which was about “what we didn’t do right” when making an investment in their email marketing program.

Preston recommended that when making technology selections, marketers ask themselves:

  • Define what your goals are from the program
  • Make those goals crystal clear to your team
  • Ensure those goals are also clear to any potential providers

If a marketer does end up in a situation similar to the one Preston and his team were facing, having made the wrong choice in technology, he advised that “they should be realistic about the situation, where they’re at and what they did wrong.”

It’s never too late to change course, Preston added, and marketers can learn valuable lessons from mistakes like theirs.

“We learned so much from the failure. In the long-term, I think this will be a good thing for us. And we’re excited that we can share the experience with other people and help them avoid this,” he said.

At the end of the day, Preston added, when making any choice — technology-related or not — the relationship with your customer is key and “they need to trust you.”

View Preston’s full panel presentation, or see marketing stories like his at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, held February 22-24 in Las Vegas.

 

You can follow Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, on Twitter at @CourtneyEckerle.

 

You might also like

Email Summit 2015 Panel: How to justify investment in and get the most out of new email technology

Connect Direct Repurposes Old Email Newsletter Articles for Sales Lead Generation Campaign [From MarketingSherpa]

Email Marketing Chart: Mobile versus desktop conversions [From MarketingSherpa]

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Building Customer Experience by Looking at Event Marketing

February 9th, 2016 No comments

When creating a product for your customer, where do you begin?

A key element in creating a product is to focus highly on the customer experience. Start by asking how you want your customer to feel, think and what action do you want them to take after viewing your product.

The next question to ask yourself should be, how do we begin to organize and execute a valuable customer experience?

As we are currently in the process of preparing for MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, I want to apply to these questions what we have learned from creating a real-world experience for the marketers who attend our conference.

Starting off, we evolved the event this year from focusing solely on email because customers told us that marketers today no longer have the luxury of focusing on only one channel. After all, the customer doesn’t think of interactions with your company through only one channel. So we’re growing to help attendees create a cohesive experience with their brand across channels.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Aimee Thompson, Events Manager, MarketingSherpa. Aimee is the brains behind MarketingSherpa Summit in Vegas, in addition to creating the structure for marketing labs and media centers at external events, and even expanding to in-person training.

We first dived in on the development of such a large and ever-expanding event, breaking it down into three phases of planning, which will also apply to any product creation or launches you may have:

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

 

Read more…

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Online Advertising: Tips based on The Leading Hotels of the World’s campaigns

January 26th, 2016 No comments

Unlike many hotel brands that strive for a consistent look and feel, part of the value proposition of The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), a hospitality consortium with 425 hotels worldwide, is that each hotel is unique. From the fabled King David Hotel in Jerusalem to The Ritz Hotel in London (featured in the film “Notting Hill”), customers have a plethora of experiences to choose from.

With such a diverse offering, online advertising, content and customer journey challenges that face every brand loom especially large for LHW.

I sat down with Debbie Johnsen, Director of Interactive Marketing, The Leading Hotels of the World (and Adjunct Instructor at New York University teaching Integrated Marketing, Ecommerce Marketing and Web Analytics), to get some tips that might help you improve your marketing campaigns.

“It’s key to understand your target audience. And for us, being a luxury brand, we’re looking for people [with] higher income, higher propensity to travel, people who travel more frequently [and] are looking for unique experiences,” Debbie said.

We discussed paid search, travel-specific Meta Search Networks, A/B testing, attribution modeling, the customer journey, content and customer reviews in this conversation.

 

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Social Media Marketing: How the Boston Celtics’ social strategy adapts to evolving platforms

January 22nd, 2016 No comments

“Your strategy has to be evolving. As the platforms continue to evolve, you have to evolve,” Peter Stringer, Vice President of Digital Media, Boston Celtics, said at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015.

As new social media platforms emerge and others change their algorithms, digital marketers must be nimble in their strategies. However, even in the midst of new social platforms, you still have to focus on fans.

“You really can’t have a great strategy until you start using the platform and try to understand how your fans expect to use it. Realistically, if you’re using [it] in a way that doesn’t match up with the way people actually use this platform in the wild, it’s not going to work,” he said.

Watch the interview to learn how Peter and the Boston Celtics have evolved to meet the needs of fans on social media platforms.

 

How an impromptu change in the approach to Facebook video led to a major shift in strategy

Peter discussed the responsibility that is on marketers to figure out if changes in how platforms work mean a change in strategy is in order. He provided an example around Facebook video and the viral trend for taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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Email Marketing: Ideas and inspiration from 11 years of award-winning campaigns

January 12th, 2016 1 comment

The challenges of today scream at you. How can I increase sales? Get more people to subscribe to my opt-in list? Ensure my emails end up in the inbox? What is the next technology to keep up with?

Sometimes it’s helpful to take a look back to see the future more clearly. Getting a sense of where we have been as email marketers helps us to better understand where we’re going. To quote Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

To help you do that, and find inspiration and ideas for your current email campaigns, let’s take a look back through the archives of the MarketingSherpa Email Awards.

 

Idea #1: Email is not a one-way communication medium (from 2006)

When email marketers talk about engagement, we’re typically talking about metrics, analytics, data — numbers like clickthrough or read rate.

But don’t overlook human interaction as well. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center did more than ask people to click in its Wildlife Watch newsletter. For example, the 1,800-acre natural wildlife conservation center asked readers to name a new baby giraffe.

Wildlife Watch email

 

Because of this very human (and giraffe) form of engagement, traditional engagement metrics also performed well, with the newsletter getting average open rates of 35 to 40 percent and clickthrough rate of 16 to 20 percent of those received.

Learn more from the award-winning email marketers of 2006 — Winners included Blockbuster, Vanguard and Canadian Blood Services.

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How 4 Brands Effectively Responded to Customers

January 8th, 2016 No comments

When Cheerios came out with its gluten-free line, social media platforms erupted with Celiac and gluten-intolerant customers celebrating. Perhaps following in the wake of the Chex cereal flavors, Cheerios listened to consumer needs and created a product line to appeal to a very specific subset of customer.

Then the worst thing happened to a brand that had capitalized on being allergen-friendly — customers started getting sick.

It was determined that the way Cheerios was processing its gluten-free grains did not keep them from being cross-contaminated with wheat and oats, resulting in many gluten-free consumers becoming quite ill.

Cheerios GF Cereal

 

Although the brand made a huge mistake in how it was producing the product, this shouldn’t take away from the main effort: a brand listening and responding to consumers. And while Cheerios should have been far more careful, it is important to see a major brand adjusting its product model to try and respond to consumer wants, and then readjust once more when it made a mistake.

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2015 Year in Review: The most popular posts in content, mobile and visual marketing

January 5th, 2016 No comments

No proper New Year’s can be complete without first reflecting on the past year.

Where have we been? What have we accomplished?

By asking these questions, we can move forward with a clearer vision of the year to come, and what we hope to accomplish.

MarketingSherpa is here to help with that reflection with our best content (as determined by you) from this year. As we enter into a new year of marketing efforts, challenges and trends, let’s first take a moment to review the most popular posts of 2015.

 

1. Content Marketing 101: Tips on content strategy

As one of the most valuable marketing channels, content creation is a constant journey for marketers. This post, the most popular of the year, covers the important basics of content marketing for those who are new to the endeavor, and a review for veterans.

This post covers thought leadership and brand awareness in your content, as well as multiple resources at your disposal.

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Fuji Xerox Launches New B2B Product With a Fashion Show

December 29th, 2015 No comments

“I think the industry … Fuji Xerox is [in is] a very competitive one,” Steven Caunce, Corporate Affairs Manager, Fuji Xerox, said.

Aside from the competitive B2B space, “selling print devices to large organizations, it’s not a particularly sexy business to be in, so we’re always looking for different ways to try to engage and motivate our customers.”

A prime opportunity to engage customers in this manner is when launching a new product, he said. It’s especially important since the industry is so competitive.

To generate excitement for the Versant 2100 printer, the team at Fuji Xerox created a fashion show featuring a fictional designer, complete with direct mail “lookbooks.”

The creative event campaign Steven and his team came up with generated new sales, inspired the brand’s sales team and accounted for 34% of the Asia-Pacific sales total.

 

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Last Minute Tips to Engage Customers Through the Holidays

December 22nd, 2015 1 comment

Every year, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us.

Just like there will be a mad rush at the mall on December 24, there are probably some marketers out there who are trying to think of some last minute ways to connect with customers during such a congested season.

Social media and other content is the best way to get some last minute and creative engagement with your customers. In the spirit of giving, here are three tips that could spread some goodwill between customer and brand.

 

Tip #1. Every interaction is an opportunity …

… even if it’s a complaint. At this time of year, people are stressed, busy and more likely to complain about your service than compliment it.

Even if it is something silly, like the complaint Reese’s faced at the beginning of December with customers voicing concern that their Reese’s peanut butter cups didn’t look much like Christmas trees. The backlash was titled “tree shaming” and gained the hashtag #Reesesfail.

#ReesesFail

 

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3 Content Tips from StumbleUpon for Reaching Millennials

December 18th, 2015 No comments

When marketers talk about Millennials, the reigning opinion is that it’s a demographic of 24-year-olds, according to Anne Gherini, Head of Marketing, StumbleUpon.

Anne explains this fallacy in her interview with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015. She also goes in-depth about how marketers can effectively reach and resonate with these 18-34 year olds.

“40% of Millennials are parents. So when we talk about Millennials in general, we have to think about how vast this demographic really is. So testing becomes key,” she said.

 

With so much content out there to choose from, authenticity and trust is key, Anne said.

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