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Keyword: ‘data’

Lead Generation: 23% of marketers consider key pain point an important form field

November 16th, 2012 No comments

In the 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, we asked 1,915 marketers which lead gen form fields were most important to them. Here’s what they had to say …

Q: Please select the most important fields you need to collect from your leads on lead generation forms.

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Interestingly enough, most of the discussion about this chart surrounded one of the lesser-used form fields – key pain point.

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Inbound Marketing: Content is everything in search and social

November 13th, 2012 4 comments

This week’s MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway features Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing by Rob Garner, VP of Strategy, iCrossing (a Hearst company).

This book is based on six years of columns for MediaPost Search Insider and Social Insider, along with Rob’s speaking engagements, blog posts and experience as a marketing practitioner. The depth of this experience and knowledge really shows in the detailed, actionable information Rob provides readers.

I had the chance to hear Rob speak on this material at a recent Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association meeting, and later got the opportunity to pick his brain a little on search, social and content marketing.

Here is the result of that conversation …

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Email Marketing Research: What information will help you do your job better?

November 8th, 2012 No comments

At MarketingSherpa, our benchmark reports provide marketing executives and practitioners with extensive reference guides for strategic decision-making and tactical planning. The survey for our Marketing Analytics Benchmark Report is currently open (feel free to share you insights — respondents receive a free copy of the special report, Evaluating Website Optimization), and we’re currently working on the survey for our next benchmark report on email marketing.

 

What questions would you like asked in the Email Marketing Benchmark Survey?

Here’s where you come in. What email marketing information would help you do your job better?

Please use the comments section of this blog post to share your feedback, and we’ll take your insights into consideration as we shape a survey that we hope yields valuable data to help you do your job better.

Here’s a little more background to help as you consider this request. Marketers tell us they use these benchmark reports to:

  • Prepare budgets
  • Make informed business decisions
  • Develop marketing plan forecasts
  • Support proposals with data and charts

To help you see the result of these survey questions, here are a few charts from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

 

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Marketing Career: Crafting an internal performance whitepaper

November 2nd, 2012 No comments

An email recently came across my inbox with an interesting attachment, and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with the MarketingSherpa blog audience, because it’s a positive example for something I’ve seen many marketers struggle with – internal marketing.

In fact, when we asked 1,646 marketers their most pressing challenges in MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Executive Guide to Marketing Personnel, here’s what they had to say …

 

Chart: What challenges undermine your marketing department’s potential?

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As you can see, roughly three-quarters or marketers said, “either a lack of funding or resources inhibit our growth and development.” So how can you get the resources and budget you need?

Back to that email I was telling you about. It was from Karen Doolittle, Director, Marketing Research, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Karen said, “While not a member of your organization, I quite often visit your website and attempt to glean information on the current state of affairs of email marketing.”

From the first line alone, I could tell that Karen is, what I like to call, a high-information marketer. The type of marketer that constantly looks for ways to improve her department’s performance. So I’m including her email attachment here, because I think all the other high-information marketers who read the MarketingSherpa blog can learn from it. She called it an …

 

Email Performance Whitepaper 

As you can see from the above link, what Karen did was quite simple, yet also pretty profound. I’m going to use an old quote that I love from Todd Lebo, Senior Director of Content and Business Development, MECLABS, to explain why, “Business leaders will never storm into the IT department and say, ‘I was taking a shower this morning, and had a great idea for some new PHP code.’ But they will come into the marketing department and say, ‘I was taking a shower this morning and thought of a great idea for an email send or a headline or a print ad.’”

What Karen’s piece says to business leaders is, “Hey, trust us over here; we know what we’re doing. And if you give us the funding and resources we need, we can keep doing it and keep improving.” But it uses data to prove that point, without having to make any claims at all.

Karen was kind enough to hop on the phone with me recently, go over the background of her internal whitepaper, and provide some tips to help you replicate this idea in your own organization. Below are selected edits from our conversation.

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Lead Generation: 39% say offline lead gen has somewhat decreased

November 1st, 2012 2 comments

We surveyed 1,915 marketers for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, and asked them about the importance of offline lead generation tactics. Here is what the data revealed …

Q: How do you feel the importance of OFFLINE lead generation has changed over the last three to five years?

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Infographic: Email open rates by time of day

October 26th, 2012 11 comments

MarketingSherpa has been covering email marketing for a long time. And, while we’re always interested in the latest tactics, marketers still must never overlook the basics.

For example, email timing. Searching through the MarketingSherpa Article Archive, I found this blog post from 2003, which refers to a case study where time of day helped a marketer garner open rates higher than 70%.

 

When is the best time to send an email?

This topic is definitely the “Email Marketing 101” question about which any marketer breaking into major email campaigns still wants information.

To take a more quantitative dive into the question of timing email, GetResponse Email Marketing decided to go into its substantial dataset for some research.

This involved analyzing 21 million messages sent from U.S. email accounts during the first quarter of 2012 to determine the top result for the following metrics:

  • Open time
  • Click-through time
  • Recipients’ top engagement time  Read more…

Social Media Marketing: How I found the Facebook topic that was 371% more effective

October 25th, 2012 9 comments

I was a fat kid. Fat kids like cake. Once upon a time, when I was eight years old, I cleaned the entire house to surprise my mother. She rewarded me with a gigantic slice of cake. From that point, I scrubbed the entire floor, organized the pantry and washed the dishes in pursuit of that glorious reward — fresh cake.

The point is, if you do something right, and you recognize the relationship between your actions and the reward, it makes sense to put forth maximum effort to reproduce the action that resulted in being rewarded. The problem with social media efforts is that success usually goes largely unnoticed by businesses.

 

Find your hidden cake

I recently conducted a social media audit for a Research Partner. While working through massive amounts of data provided via Facebook Insight reports, I noticed something interesting. When filtering the most frequently syndicated content to reveal the five most viral posts ever produced by that partner, a pattern emerged. Three out of the top five posts were on the same topic, in the same format.

There’s more. The top five most syndicated posts averaged 22,424 stories created per post by users, whereas the bottom half of the top 10 averaged only 6,042 stories created per post by users.

So, not only were the top five posts more effective at causing syndication from users, but they were 371% more effective.

Since no fat kid would knowingly forgo cake, it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that no business would knowingly do less effective social posting if they knew they could be doing something more effective. (After all, cash is better than cake.) That means the company must be unaware of its achievement.

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Marketing Research: Only 25% of marketers can show value to the organization

October 23rd, 2012 No comments

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Julie Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Research and Thought Leadership at ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association), and Laura Patterson, President of VisionEdge Marketing. Both were involved in recent marketing research, 2012 ITSMA/VEM Marketing Performance Management Survey: The Path to Better Marketing Results.

The survey was conducted during the summer of 2012 via email and social media invitation through Twitter and LinkedIn, and included 405 completed surveys.

Here is a chart outlining details of the respondents:

 

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All respondents were analyzed by company type, company size and by a self-grading system (grade results included, and note that “D” was the lowest possible grade):

  • A – Marketing demonstrates contribution to the business: 25%
  • B – Marketing makes a difference, but contribution is not measured (these marketers were considered “middle of the pack”): 33%
  • C and D – Marketing may have an impact, but not known if impact is material (these marketers were considered “laggards”): 33% for “C” and 9% for “D”

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Here are the key takeaways from the research:

  • Marketing’s satisfaction with its ability to measure, analyze and improve performance is shockingly low
  • Marketers are caught in a downward spiral as they report past performance to continually prove the value of marketing
  • A few exceptional marketers have cracked the code; they excel across the board in data, metrics, processes, tools, analytical skills and reporting
  • These grade “A” marketers can clearly demonstrate their value and contribution to the business
  • The number of “A” marketers has remained relatively constant over time, but we see a decline in the number of “B” marketers

Because the heart of this research was marketing performance management, the self-described grades listed above were created by the key question: What grade would the C-suite give your marketing organization for its ability to demonstrate its value and impact on the business?

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Informal Study: Professional image content generates 121% more Facebook shares

October 19th, 2012 1 comment

All content is not created equal. For instance, according to a Nielsen report, men spend more than 247 million minutes per month viewing video via social media. Yet, women spend just 228 million minutes, despite the fact that more than 4,000 more women log on to social videos per day. Men just watch longer. If you want to engage men, videos are a superior form of content.

The still photograph remains king of the proverbial hill in terms of generating engagement with fans on social platforms. A 2012 study by ROI research found that 44% of users are likely to engage with brands if they post pictures, against 40% for regular status updates, and just 37% for video. Given that startling piece of information, a reasonable person might be led to ask the question:

 

Are all photographs created equal?

Do grainy, low-quality photographs thrown into a Facebook stream, more or less as afterthoughts, have the same impact as high-resolution, high-quality photography? Does it matter if the content is only photographic, or do graphical images also generate higher engagement numbers? Let’s look at one industry that is quite popular among the coveted 18-24 demographic on Facebook: entertainment (the companies shall remain nameless).

We begin by dividing the image content of several popular pages into two broad categories. First, there is the professional category. Images in this category tend to be high-resolution, feature-striking photography, be character based and contain only those graphics absolutely necessary to convey essential data. For example, look at the following image:

 

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Inbound Marketing: 5 tips for cultivating user generated content

October 11th, 2012 1 comment

Despite the fact that we have never met them, and usually have no clue as to their qualifications, consumers put increasingly greater stock in the word of their fellow consumer.

“[User generated content] is just something that has evolved, but in many ways we have always had it,” said Kaci Bower, author of the MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Handbook citing mass reviews and word of mouth.

“Now, with the advent of social media, it is just exploding. Now consumers and brands actually have a place to share their opinions, thoughts and ideas,” said Bower. “It actually provides a platform for user-generated content to not only be created, but also shared quite easily.”

The puzzle is in learning how to harness its power.

Social media provides a more intimate cyber setting than any other format, and because of that fosters feedback that is more conversational and for better or worse, people don’t hold back. It gives marketers insight into what their consumers are really concerned about, or happy with.

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