Maybe it’s that I am now settling into and decorating a permanent home after years traveling as a digital nomad, but I’ve been consuming a lot of HGTV….for those that aren’t familiar, they have a great show called Home Makeover where they totally refinish and update a home into a completely new existence, while maintaining the same foundation. Why am I telling you about my newfound fascination with interior design? Simply this: because we recently did a whole new “makeover” to the Jungle Scout Web App! Same strong foundation, same benefits and value, just with a glossy new look and some very cool feature upgrades. And additionally we have even solidified the foundation with some more accurate sales estimates, but more on that later…. This new design is focused on creating a more intuitive flow for users, and simplifying the user experience to help drive a faster and more efficient experience finding and validating product ideas. The Web App Redesign: The Background We launched the Web App in August of 2015, with the mission of helping people find and validate profitable products to sell on Amazon. Nothing has changed in our mission. But we have continued with our laser-focus on … Read More
The personal data economy has been increasing for years. Now with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline around the corner, data collection and enterprise responsibility will finally merge.
This is obviously great news for consumers, but what about marketers? Is GDPR a burden or a blessing?
On the surface, GDPR is a lot to take in. Nearly three out of every four marketers don’t fully understand the GDPR privacy laws they’ll be tasked to operate within, while one in four organizations say they’re still in initial planning stages.
But for marketers, GDPR doesn’t have to be intimidating. Being GDPR-compliant essentially means building trust and improving customer engagement—and hasn’t that always been the goal?
Let’s take a closer look at GDPR and the role marketing automation platforms will play in GDPR compliance.
The Effect of GDPR on Marketing Automation
Marketing automation platforms have long been a valuable tool to help teams track leads and subscribers via various profile segments, measure ROI, and give marketers a complete view of the customer lifecycle.
These platforms are even more crucial in a world governed by GDPR. Without automation infrastructure in place, companies can end up with disorganized data that leads to costly fines. A marketing automation platform can help you track and verify that data is managed in a GDPR-compliant way.
However, no one said building a solid data foundation to become GDPR-compliant would be easy. Expect the following challenges and changes from GDPR:
- Current consumer data and email lists may no longer be valid, depending on how they were obtained
- Less consumer data will be collected than historical norms
- Trying to get existing databases to fully opt-in will be difficult
- Consumer consent needs to be properly documented, including when and how it was collected
- Consumers must be able to opt-out at any time
- Specific types of consent must be matched with concrete goals
- Department-wide security standards and best practices must be implemented for accessing and using automation platforms containing customer data
Under GDPR, gaining consumer consent doesn’t mean marketers have free reign to process or control all data they can acquire about a data subject. For example, if an auto insurance provider obtains a consumer’s personal details (such as name, age, address, driving history, and their vehicle make/model), that doesn’t mean the company can collect the subject’s health information, income level, or ethnicity.
In some cases, marketing teams should get in the habit of storing pseudonymous data, or data that cannot be attributed to a specific data subject without additional, separate data points. Setting up systems like this requires thinking critically about how and where you store data (and saying goodbye to the days of data dumps!).
Three Ways Marketing Automation Helps Achieve GDPR Compliance
GDPR compliance marketing offers the opportunity for marketers to learn more about their customers and handle their data responsibly.
There are plenty of ways a marketing automation platform can help, but there are three key points to keep in mind:
- Setting prospect and customer permission levels
- Allowing customers to manage their email preferences and information shared with them
- Separating need-to-know info from nice-to-know info
1. Set Prospect and Customer Permission Levels
A hallmark feature of GDPR is giving prospects and customers the right to change their mind about consent at any time, and not in a black-and-white way. Prospects and customers can choose to give full consent, or they can say they only want their name stored. Whether they provide full or limited consent, they can decide to revoke this consent at any time. The amount of data shared is up to the customer’s discretion, and marketers have to make these data-sharing options explicitly clear.
An easy way to do this is to use unambiguous language (in a UX-friendly way) regarding what customers choose to share. Want to track a customer’s location? A message needs to pop up asking if that’s OK. Want to send a customer special offers and coupons through email and text? Include language like “Would you like to receive special offers and coupons via email or text?” with an unchecked box next to it, and make sure the box is not required to submit the form.
Keeping track of different levels of information might seem daunting, and it would be without marketing automation software. Within your automation platform, be sure to create separate permission lists and update them regularly based on customer withdrawal or updated permissions.
2. Manage Customers’ Email Preferences
With the right strategy, GDPR and email marketing go together quite well. (After all, when has buying email lists and mass spamming ever helped a company win customers?)
Consider a customer who really enjoys a monthly newsletter with curated stories from around the web but absolutely hates the barrage of ‘updated feature’ announcements. This customer can indicate they don’t want to receive feature updates via email, but they still want the monthly newsletter. Instead of continuing to be frustrated by irrelevant emails (and eventually unsubscribing from everything), the customer is much happier and is encouraged to keep engaging with the relevant content.
Allowing customers to manage their email preferences is a win-win situation. Customers get information that is more relevant and interesting to them, and marketers get a more satisfied, engaged, and receptive audience. Putting the power back in customers’ hands can help email marketers improve open rates, deliver more precise messaging, and refine customer segments.
By using your marketing automation platform to create an email preference or subscription center, you can help customers choose the information they receive in a simple, user-friendly way.
3. Collect Only GDPR-Compliant Data
As marketers, sometimes we’re guilty of collecting too much data. It’s tempting to find as much out about a prospect as possible, hoping every collected detail will increase the chances of a conversion or long-term retention.
But unfortunately, the opposite is usually true. Databases become unwieldy and automated features don’t work as well as they could with a sharper data set. For example, think about the auto insurance example above: insurance agencies may want to know the income levels of their prospects and customers, but is it necessary to providing them with insurance coverage? In the case of GDPR compliance, can you prove why that data is necessary to provide the service? Maintaining a healthy and compliant database can yield the added benefits of faster and easier searching and performance and better analytics.
Marketing teams need to be prepared to prove why they need every piece of data they collect. When your customer data is centralized in a marketing automation platform, you can easily analyze this data for GDPR compliance. Within your platform, review the information you collect, match it with a business case, and make a final decision about whether or not it meets GDPR standards.
Taking Steps Toward GDPR Compliance
GDPR can be overwhelming at face value, but at its core, it’s a huge opportunity for marketers. It strengthens consumer data protections and provides a unifying set of guidelines for companies and marketers to follow.
Want to continue learning about GDPR and how marketers can prepare? Check out our comprehensive guide to GDPR for marketers.
In this episode of the Genius Series, I’ll explain why market research, product branding, and product development is important, then show you some cool tips, tricks, strategies and hacks to make your product stand out from all the other products selling on Amazon. Additionally, we’ll cover market research, product photography, and product design. You may remember from the last episode that there are four main marketing phases for selling a product. This is important to remember, because there are many out there who think that marketing a product starts after the product has launched. That could not be any further from the truth. Marketing starts during the product research phase with market research and product branding. What you should know about product branding. Before we dive into the practices (and hacks!) that this episode will outline, I want to answer a few important questions regarding product branding and product branding strategies first. What is product branding? Product branding is the process of creating a name or design for your product that helps it differentiate from other products in your market. Thus, a good product branding strategy can help you dominate your competition and can lead to greater profits. What … Read More
When you meet someone for the first time, you tend to get a feeling as to whether or not they are your type of person. Subconsciously, you collect a lot of information about them and process it in nanoseconds. You analyze their sense of style, body language, cleanliness, hairstyle, language, tone of voice, and overall personality and decide if you have any commonalities.
In general, if there are enough commonalities, you’ll like them, and you’ll be more open to an actual conversation. If that conversation is about a topic you both share a passionate interest in, you’ll likely hit it off with them. As humans, we’re subconsciously judgemental and dismissive. We’re not consciously aware of these decisions, nor do we change how we make them based on whom or what we’re analyzing. We dismiss the majority of brands we see immediately because we analyze brands in the same swift subconscious way we do people. Arguably, even quicker given the market noise and the fact that we’re not bothered about hurting anyone’s feelings in the process.
These nanosecond judgments and dismissals are based, among other things, on a brand’s appearance, language, imagery, color, tone, and message. You may have some commonalities with your audience but their hyper-dismissive default means you’re getting ignored unless you work very hard not to be.
In this blog, I’ll explain what a brand can do to avoid being cut from consideration before you even have a chance to relate.
What Can Your Brand Do?
First, start with visual appeal. Your identity needs backup (and maybe even a makeover). Your brand needs visual representation to form a look and feel that resonates with your audience. If your visual identity consists of a logo and a couple of stock images, you’re getting dismissed. Period.
Your brand identity, just like your individual identity, has many subtle nuances that shape its look and feel. Your logo, image style, typography, color palette, and graphic elements individually have their own characteristics. Working together as a system, however, they can create a look and feel as individual as any person.
Even if your marketing strategy is highly specific in it’s targeting, your identity needs to appeal to who your audience is, and as importantly, who they aspire to be. If potential customers glance your way and see themselves in your brand, you have just succeeded where the 3,000 brands that came before you on any given day have failed.
Competing for Brand Airtime
Once you have succeeded in grabbing some brief attention, you’re in a race against the clock. Whether your visual impact has won someone’s attention on your website, your social media account or your brochure, your collateral needs to instantly connect.
This is where nine out of 10 brands become another dismissed statistic. You only have a matter of seconds to resonate and most use this time to talk about themselves, which is the equivalent of a “so… what do you think of my guns?” pick-up line. If you have a someone’s attention, you have bypassed their subconscious filter, but they’re not interested in you yet. They’re interested only in commonalities, and you must be laser-focused on highlighting that you have some.
Their Problem=Your Solution
The commonality that your brand needs to highlight in those few seconds of attention is ALWAYS the problem they have that you can solve. When your audience hears a reference to the problem that they have, there’s instantly a sense of commonality, and their immediate thought is “That’s me, I recognize that problem because it’s my problem.”
In appealing to who they are visually and understanding them through their problem, your commonalities become obvious. Their fleeting attention becomes focused attention, and you have put your brand front and center for consideration.
Step Aside and Let Your Competition Scream
Market noise is loudest in the center. This is where all brands start out, shouting as loud as they possibly can, all looking and sounding like a version of each other. The further you push back from that center and distance yourself from the screaming pack, the less likely you are to be instantly dismissed.
The presentation and communication of your current brand will determine how close or far you are from the middle. Regardless, you should do everything you can to put as much distance between it and your brand. Do you need a re-brand? Maybe, maybe not. If you already have an identity that has a look and feel and your communication is tuned in to who your audience is, then making a few simple adjustments can give you some more breathing space from the pack.
Here are some tips to stand out from the crowd:
- Understand who your audience is, but also who they aspire to be, and tune your solution story accordingly.
- Trade in your stock images for shots that appeal to that aspiration and paint a picture of achievement. Keep in mind that this needs to be related to your solution, a picture of life after an aspiration-fulfilling purchase.
- Identify the pain points that your audience has in relation to the problem you solve.
- Ask some simple questions around these pain points that will get to the core of your customer’s problems. The goal here is to extract the frustration and emotion they carry that is associated with the problem.
- Show understanding and empathy around those pain points. If you solve the problem, then you’ve seen these pain point before.
Conclusion? Keep it Simple
Now, if you’re thinking “Come on, it’s not that simple,” I can understand. Branding and the strategies that go with it can be intricate depending on the business, but at the core, branding is about simplification. As complex as we are as people, we’re still primitive. If we have a problem, we want to solve it. When we feel understood, we open up. Our filters for brands have kicked into overdrive, largely to protect our sanity. Brands that appeal to the primitive nature of their audience and understand their subconscious filters stand apart. With a clear point of view, you can help your audience instinctively know, “That’s my kind of brand.”
What brands are “your kind of brand?” How might you implement these tips with your own brand? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
The post Consider My Brand: How to Shine Through the Noise appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
While every PPC account is different, all accounts have weekly fluctuations in the time required to keep the account on track. We have all experienced this. One week, you are working overtime to launch a major initiative and optimize campaigns, but the next week your account is running flawlessly with little effort leaving you with a ton of downtime. Making effective use of the times when your account needs less of your time will make you invaluable account manager.
Where should you focus when you have some unexpected downtime? Below I’ve listed a few opportunities that have helped improve my long-term effectiveness as an Account Manager.
Automate What You Can
Everyone knows there is a massive upside to automating mindless tasks, like reports. Despite the obvious time-saving benefits, many Account Managers have not adopted automation tools that will make their lives easier. A situation often arises where an Account Manager will put off automating a report because they don’t have time to set it up ‘this week.’
While this logic seems counterintuitive, it makes sense that an Account Manager doesn’t want to add more work or complexity to a week where time is a scarce resource. It is for this reason that you should tackle this type of project on a week where you have more downtime. If a report or task is successfully automated, more time will be available every week. You will have more time each week to focus on exceeding goals, brainstorming new strategies, and exploring expansion opportunities rather than doing repetitive tasks.
Sometimes we get so focused on what is happening on a day-to-day basis within an account that we forget to take a step back and question if the overall direction of our daily work makes sense. It’s nearly impossible to be creative when your account performance is struggling and requires all of your available time and attention. This reality makes it extremely important make effective use of downtime.
Account downtime provides a great opportunity to get a fresh perspective on the direction of your account. Taking a step back allows you to evaluate goals and determine if they make sense from a PPC and business perspective. Setting realistic and productive goals will allow you to make clear, incremental steps toward success, while clearly demonstrating the value of PPC efforts to all stakeholders.
Test New Initiatives
In an ideal world, digital marketers should continually be testing new initiatives to gain knowledge and find new opportunities. The insights we gain from testing provide direction for future strategy. Unfortunately, the PPC world is not ideal and testing occasionally gets pushed to the back burner when more immediate action needs to be taken.
Using downtime to set up a new test will provide more levers to pull when making future optimizations. Testing initiatives can range from new ad copy to new a new ad platform, or anywhere in between. Regardless of what you are testing, clients or managers will be happy that you are continually moving the account forward.
De-Stress and Enjoy Your Time
It’s fair to say that almost everyone in the industry has stressed over their accounts at some point. Whether its dealing with clients or the seemingly infinite number of small details, we have something that pushes our stress button.
Be sure to leverage downtime to break away from the ever-present stressors that live in the PPC realm. De-stressing will positively impact your communication, creativity, and focus. There are many ways to go about this process. Finding a de-stressing technique that compliments your work habits will help make de-stressing part of your regular routine.
Taking advantage of downtime to pursue productive initiatives keeps clients happy while putting the account manager in a position of strength when the account activity inevitably ramps up. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should provide some simple ideas to stay on task when your account give you downtime.
It’s 2018. And as my CEO has said, this is the year to stand for something. As a woman who knows more about SEO, whiskey, and coding than housekeeping, I stand fearlessly alongside those who are focused on making the world a more equal and less gender-defined place.
When I think about the strong and powerful people who have paved the way for me, I am determined to ensure that those who come after me in the workforce have an equal work environment.
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I take March as a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and also as a month where I plan how I can improve the world around me. When I started my first job nearly 20 years ago, I adhered to a dress code that required I wear a skirt and pantyhose to work every day. Just 55 years before that, my grandmother got her college degree in home economics as it was one of the few majors available for women. The progress we’ve achieved is tremendous—but this is by no means a time to pat ourselves on the back and become complacent. Quite the contrary. As my colleague Alexandra Nation said in a blog post last week, there are still many opportunities to make the workplace a more equal and inclusive place, and I’m motivated to do my part.
To further my reflection and improvement plans, this month I’ve been talking with prominent people in the tech space about what we can do together to create a better path for those who come after us.
As Amy Chang said, “I’m grateful to be surrounded by strong women, and I’m passionate about empowering women to pursue careers in tech. Together we can change the face of technology.”
In this blog, I’ll cover how we can best work together to create an equal work environment as well as advice from several influential industry experts.
Stop Gender Pay Gap
“I’ve been in the B2B space for 20 years—I think before anyone even came up with the acronym B2B. The time for the “good old boys” club is over. First and foremost, to create equality in the workplace, we must ensure equal pay. There should never be a scenario where a woman who is filling the same role as a man is not getting paid equally. It pisses me off that we’re sitting here in the year 2018 and we’re still having that conversation.”—Carlos Hidalgo, Founder and CEO of VisumCx
Gender does not determine skill level. Full stop. It’s time to be open and honest about compensation and to have zero tolerance for gender pay gap.
Can’t Find Diverse Candidates? Look Harder
“I regularly have event planners tell me they can’t find women speakers. This is pure laziness. The reason we have events is for experts to share their expertise, experience, and outcomes with the intention of driving revenue for business. It’s ridiculous to consider an event successful when it avoids half of the customer point of view—women. Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. And we know that what influences B2C buying also impacts B2B decisions. If you want to be better at customer centricity, then bring the voice of your biggest customer to the stage.”—Carla Johnson, Author and Chief Experience Officer of Type A Communications
If you can’t find a female speaker for a panel or find any women to interview for a particular role, you’re not looking hard enough or might be looking in the wrong places. It’s also vital to examine the language you’re using in your job postings. Unconscious bias is a real thing—and could be keeping your team in an unbalanced state. Recognition of bias within your organization is the first step toward equality. It’s okay to not be perfect right away.
This Isn’t a Women’s Issue
“Men in technology have a responsibility to encourage women to seek tech leadership roles, and to actively drive the normalization of women being successful in tech rather than focusing on how ‘special’ it is. When women being successful in tech roles becomes business as usual, we’ll create a positive feedback loop that encourages more women to seek success in technical positions.”—Jim Ruberto, VP of Technology at Intelligent Demand
“I believe that not only do women need to champion and mentor other women but also that men (who currently control spending and decision-making) need to inspire other men to hire, mentor, and ultimately promote qualified female candidates.”—Nancy Shenker, Founder and CEO of sheBoom
In the immortal words of The Doors, ‘the time to hesitate is through.’ We have a duty to each other to make a seat at the table for everyone, regardless of gender. If we only have women championing diversity and change, we will fail.
It Starts at the Top
“In terms of inclusiveness, especially if you’re an organization leader, you need to not only check your own behaviors regularly to ensure you’re getting different perspectives but also be a leader in terms of mentoring. Find opportunities for even those who may not be quite as outgoing that might seek their own. Make it really clear that the culture of your team and your organization has zero tolerance for anything that doesn’t encourage diversity. By being a leader and actively encouraging engagement, involvement, different perspectives, different slants, being respectful and incorporating those, I think that sets the tone for the rest of the organization.”— Jim D’Arcangelo, SVP at UpCity
“If we don’t get more young girls interested in tech, we will continue to be underrepresented. With the fourth industrial revolution, of a truly digital transformation, the world has moved from analog to digital. Soon, every company will be a technology company. My whole model is see it, be it. If you can see it, you can be it. Amy Chang was a mentor of mine and it is now my duty to inspire others as she did for me.”—Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Advisor at Marketo
“Both men and women in tech need to acknowledge that the industry currently has a problem and step-up to train, encourage, and inspire women to take on more leadership roles in the industry. I always loved technology but didn’t see it as a career path. I was introduced to the SaaS world by Jim D’Arcangelo who engaged me to develop top-of-funnel content for a site targeted to entrepreneurial women. I learned the lexicon of MarTech from him and realized that you don’t need to code to play a significant role in the space.”—Nancy Shenker, Founder and CEO of sheBoom
Who mentored you? Who are you mentoring now? What can and will you do to make a better space for those who come after you? Sure, “the struggle is real,” but the point of fighting for change is progressing beyond the status quo. I can tell you that the undergrad and graduate students I mentor are hungry, smart, and motivated as we were at that age, if not more so. They deserve mentorship, leaders, and role models just as you and I did. And if you didn’t have a solid pipeline of mentors available to you early in your career, it’s time to be the kind of mentor you wished you had.
What are you doing to make the workplace a more diverse and equal place? Let’s keep the discussion going in the comments.
The post How to Create an Equal Work Environment appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
It is not uncommon in PPC, especially with lead generation accounts, to track multiple types of conversions. Within one account, you can track phone calls, lead form fills, content downloads, newsletter sign-ups etc. And, while you can attribute different values to your lead types to accurately measure performance, how do you strategically integrate optimizations that promote one over another? Enter the challenge…
I have a client who sources candidates for open job positions. Typically, a lead gets pushed through to a recruiter who then converts the lead to an application at which point, the individual can be placed in an open job position. Given a strain on resources they were experiencing, they wanted to know if they could use PPC to increase the number of application conversions to lessen the number of leads a recruiter had to convert. We had always tracked applications as a separate conversion type, but we had never implemented a strategy around application growth. So, I got to noodling…
My strategy for how to tackle this challenge divided into several prongs:
- Select and target audiences more likely to be ready to fill out an application
- Create hyper-relevant ads with a sense of urgency
- Direct ads straight to an application URL
- Use a strong, undeniable CTA: “Fill Out Your Application Today!”
- Ensure this conversion type is reflected in sitelinks
I notified my client of a handful of expectations after making this shift, especially since there was no additional budget available at the time of launch:
- Overall conversion volume is expected to decline given that we are sourcing for lower funnel conversions
- CPL will likely rise as the application conversion action historically had a CPL 3X the lead CPL
Audience selection involved Remarketing to several audiences including those who had previously filled out a lead, a hyper targeted, interest-based display campaign, and stronger CTAs on Brand Campaigns. I made sure to label the new ads so that conversion rate comparisons would be readily available. I also made sure that the CTA button on my responsive ads in the display campaign was relevant. You can change this easily in adwords but the option is a bit illusive. When creating your responsive ad click “More Options.” From here, there’s a menu that drops down to offer CTA button options. These default to “automated” if you do not select an option.
We ran this test for a few months and saw tremendous success. Once the strategy was in place, we zeroed in on the campaigns that were promoting the most application volume and adjusted budgets to favor these campaigns. The best part was that we were able to keep lead volume and lead CPL relatively steady while continuing to increase application volume.
- It took me a total of two seconds after outlining this strategy to recognize that I should be applying this mentality to all campaigns in every account I manage. Being aware and purposeful about the intent and structure of our ads can aid us all in being better marketers.
- When steering away from your standard course of lead generation remember to project possibilities. Setting expectations with your client about how performance is expected to be impacted ahead of time due to pivoting strategies will save you a lot of explanation down the road.
- PPC can have problem-solving capabilities that can assist your clients in other parts of their business. In this case, by getting more applications in the funnel, we alleviated a strained part of our client’s workflow and their team was extremely grateful.
Preemptively offering a strategy for driving higher-impact lead acquisition would be well-received by any client. Dive into your accounts and see if there is a way to promote higher quality conversion types. Be intentional, set expectations, and explore PPC capabilities outside of your standard operating procedure.