How to Avoid the “Not Secure” Warning with Google Chrome Browser Changes

Earlier this year we all saw the first of a series of planned changes to how Google’s Chrome browser will display HTTP web pages without TLS/SSL encryption. To move towards a safer web, Chrome began displaying a “not secure” warning in the address bar of websites that collect passwords or credit card information. Now, the second step of Chrome’s changes is upon us. And this one is expected to have a much broader effect.

In late October, Google released version 62 of Chrome browser with two significant updates. First, Chrome began labeling all non-HTTPS pages in incognito mode as “not secure;” and, most importantly, Chrome also began adding the “not secure” warning in the address bar when visitors start typing any information on HTTP pages.

Here’s what this now looks like:

HTTP Google Warning

According to Google, “Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the “not secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites.”  Not surprisingly, this change has been getting a lot more attention, and site owners have been rapidly adding certificates for TLS/SSL to secure their pages from HTTP to HTTPS.

In addition to this, we know that a third step is coming—we just don’t know when. At some point, Google has said that Chrome browser will add the “not secure” warning for any requests to HTTP pages. That’s huge! Google is making it clear that a safer web is one where unencrypted web connections are discouraged. That means we’re moving towards a future where HTTPS page encryption is going to be a standard requirement for web pages.

In this blog, I’ll share some web security fundamentals and give you some ideas on how you can plan to avoid the “not secure” warning coming with Chrome browser changes.

Let’s Start With the Basics

Before we dive right into what you need to do, let’s start with some basics. I’m going to keep it at a pretty high level in this post, but there’s a ton of information online—even some Web Security Fundamentals from Google.

What is TLS/SSL?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor Secure Socket Layer (SSL) are security protocols that encrypt the exchange of data between web servers and clients. This data encryption is vital to help prevent malicious parties from sniffing or eavesdropping into data as it traverses the web—which is especially important when it’s personal data, like passwords, credit card numbers, or other personally identifiable information that is shared. To secure those communications while in transit, companies purchase and apply TLS/SSL certificates, enforcing that requests to the site are made via HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) instead of HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol); essentially encrypting the data exchange and providing authentication to ensure that communication is happening only between the intended parties.

Why is it important?

With unsecured sites, i.e., those serving up HTTP pages, it’s possible for hackers or other parties to see the information shared between you and the site you’re visiting.  While this may seem farfetched or like the plot of an episode of Mr. Robot, it does happen! That’s why Chrome is making moves to encourage HTTPS—a move that will likely make HTTPS the new de facto web standard—for data security, increased search ranking (yes, page security is a ranking factor), and ultimately better conversion rates.

What Should I Be Doing to Secure My Pages?

If you believe as I do that HTTPS is going to be the new standard, then I bet you’re thinking about what you actually need to do to ensure your corporate web pages and your Marketo landing pages are secured. The three steps below are meant to get you started on the right path.

STEP 1: Check if your Corporate Domain is Secure

While the title of this step sounds like you need to have mad technical skills—you really don’t. All you need to do is to type your corporate website URL into any browser. For me, it’s opening up Chrome and typing, You’re looking to see if the address bar says HTTP: or HTTPS: and/or if using Chrome, you’re looking for the green lock and word “secure” when your page loads. If you see HTTPS, your corporate site is secure. It’s that easy.

If your corporate site is not secured, you may want to do a quick audit of your pages. You’ll want to note the address of any page that has a form or collects information. With the recent update to Chrome 62, it’s those HTTP pages that collect data that will display the “not secure” warning in the address bar. This list will also give you a starting point for the discussion you’ll need to have with your IT and web teams in the next step.

STEP 2: Meet with your IT and Web Team

It’s now time to enlist your experts. Schedule a time to meet with whoever is responsible for your corporate website. You’ll want to be sure they know of the changes to Chrome browser, and you’ll want to know of any plans that may already be in place to secure your corporate pages. The good news is that they may already be aware of the changes to Chrome. In mid-August, Google emailed notifications via Google Search Console to site owners who have HTTP pages with data entry. This notification explained that these pages will be marked as “not secure” in Chrome 62, and it even provided a list of affected page URLs (SearchEngine Land did a nice write up on this communication if you want to learn more). If your webmaster received this message, that would likely make a much smoother conversation with them.

On the other hand, if your IT or web team is unaware of the recent Chrome browser changes and the impact on collecting data from your pages on your site, below is a list of links that should help brief them before you meet.

To have a productive meeting with your IT or web team, here are some topics we recommend that you cover:  

  • What is your company’s policy for securing web pages?
  • Who is your point of contact for web projects like creating, updating, securing pages?
  • Does your company have any projects or initiatives already in progress to secure pages?
  • Who’s responsible for purchasing TLS/SSL certificates to secure pages?
  • How are certificate renewals handled?
  • Are there any steps that marketing needs to take when creating new pages on your corporate site?
  • When adding new technologies to your technology stack, is there an audit to determine if pages/content/data needs to be hosted or served securely.
  • What other platforms might serve your forms, landing pages, images, or content?

Be sure to really dig into that last item on the list. While your corporate website serves pages from your servers that your IT/web teams can secure, many third-party platforms may also serve your pages from their servers. In fact, this is so important that it deserves to be its own step, leading us to Step 3.

STEP 3: Consider 3rd Party Platforms That Serve Your Pages

So far, you’ve checked your corporate website to see if it’s serving up secure pages, and you’ve met up with your IT/web teams to be sure they know that the recent changes to Chrome may require avoiding “not secure” warnings. Now, it’s time to consider all the 3rd party platforms you’ve got integrated with your technology stack that might host or serve pages, content, or assets. You may need to work with those vendors to secure the pages they serve. Third party vendors could include your marketing automation tool, email service provider, or content management system.

While the changes to Chrome will affect all landing pages across the web, when it comes to your Marketo landing pages, you have two options. The first is to do nothing. Your landing pages and forms will continue to be served over HTTP and will work as before. The only difference will be the “not secure” notification that Chrome will add in the browser’s address bar when a visitor enters data on your page.  The second option is to add Secured Domains for Landing Pages to your Marketo subscription. This will create a secure landing pages server on our side to serve your landing page requests via HTTPS.

Marketo Secured Domains for Landing Pages

Marketo’s Secured Domains for Landing Pages secures any and all landing page domains defined in your instance to serve via HTTPS. Here’s a brief overview of the process:

On the Marketo side, we’ll install a new server endpoint and install the necessary security certificate(s) to create a secured landing page server for your instance. This will allow us to serve page requests for all your landing page URLs over HTTPS. In the past, our secured services required you to provide a TLS/SSL certificate and private key to Marketo, but we now we manage this process for you—as well as certificate renewals—making it easier than ever to secure your pages.

On your side, you’ll need to review and update any hardcoded links on your landing pages and unapproved/reapprove your landing pages before the cutover from HTTP to HTTPS. Once you’re ready, we’ll coordinate a time for the cutover, and enable your instance for secured landing pages. From that point forward, your pages will be served via HTTPS.

Moving your pages to HTTPS—whether it’s your corporate pages, your Marketo landing pages or other pages serving your content—helps to ensure that you’re providing critical security and data integrity to help protect your visitors’ personal information.

Want to learn more about Secured Domains for Landing Pages? Please see our Marketing Nation Community post on Secured Domains for Landing Pages, or contact your Marketo customer success representative.

How are your IT or web teams addressing the Chrome browser changes? Let us know if you have tips to share for adapting to these changes!

The post How to Avoid the “Not Secure” Warning with Google Chrome Browser Changes appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.



DIY Lifestyle Product Photography For Ecommerce Sellers

As an ecommerce entrepreneur, whether you sell on Amazon or any other platform, something you will definitely need is good product photography. There are two main types of photography: studio lit product photography, and lifestyle product photography. The problem for small businesses is that the costs to hire a professional can soon add up. Now, of course the best option would be to pay a pro to take some kick-ass photos of your products. But sometimes this isn’t financially viable, there isn’t enough time, or maybe you just need a few extra images to highlight a product update, or to split test which images bring in the most sales. I previously wrote a post about taking your own product photography on a white background using nothing but a smartphone and a few household items. Sellers got in touch and said this was useful, but what comes at the highest cost is usually the lifestyle photography. These are the images showing a product in use with a model, in a specific location, or using some props. Since I have been appearing on the Million Dollar Case Study: Europe, and launching my own product, I have been thinking it was time to … Read More

The post DIY Lifestyle Product Photography For Ecommerce Sellers appeared first on Jungle Scout: Amazon Product Research Made Easy.


5 Factors to Consider When Segmenting Your Customers

Everyone knows all the usual suspects for customer segmentation. Easily collectible demographics data such as age, gender, and location, are easy wins for companies looking to personalize their marketing materials. In the next few years, the tools that we use for segmentation will give companies an even more significant understanding of each customer on an individual level. Machine learning and automation are increasingly being used to improve data analysis. These tools will quickly become the norm for any digital business. Still, there are some common misconceptions about the best practices for segmentation.

In this blog, I’ll show you five factors to consider before you begin your segmenting your customers. 

Customer Behavior is Just as Important as Customer Details

Effective segmentation digs deeply. It involves an analysis of customer behavior, not just quickly available data like customer details. What actions are customers taking once they hit your website? Do their actions resemble those of other customers? Does there seem to be a trend? Not many brands dive into segmentation as customer actions as thoroughly as they should. For example, many companies sort customers based on who abandons their cart on ecommerce sites. In these cases, companies might offer a discount or reach out to ask if they had any questions about the product.

But what if you segmented that group even further? Further segments could include those for customers who never entered their credit card information, customers whose credit card has been denied, or customers who failed to enter a single detail after adding a product to their cart. By tracking and sorting customers based on their behavior on your site, you can better inform your marketing materials and customize your messages for each customer type. You can then design your landing pages to target specific customer types. Landing page builders like Unbounce are helpful tools for this since they let you design your landing pages and other marketing materials according to your segmentation of customers.

Automation and Machine Learning are Inherent Parts of Effective Segmentation

A big reason so few brands haven’t used segmentation to its full potential is that sorting through all that data can be tedious. It can take days to sift through data by hand and properly adequately categorize each person to ensure your assessments are accurate. And accuracy is important here: you wouldn’t want to send out customer emails only to find that you have miscalculated or missed a data point.

Automation and machine learning have re-shaped digital marketing and segmentation in particular. An excellent engagement platform can provide hyper-targeting that examines the customer journey and then automatically optimizes your marketing materials for specific customer types, helping you interact with customers on a more personal level. These tools will become the standard for all brands doing serious business online, simply because of the added value they provide.

Micro-Segmentation Builds Trust

Customers love brands that understand them. That’s why it’s so important to speak to their pain points in every piece of marketing that you create. Customers want to know that companies understand their needs, pains, and desires. They also want to be assured that the product you offer will solve their relevant problems.

Micro-segmentation is about sorting your customers into more specific categories. In typical segmentation, you might have customer segments based on who lives in Denver, who has a job title of Vice President, or who is above the age of 50. An example of a micro-segment would be a segment that includes all three—50+-year-old VPs who live in Denver.

According to an Infosys survey, 78% of customers stated that they’re more likely to buy from a company that sends them more targeted offers. Building that initial trust is incredibly important—customers who have been buying from a company for 30 or more months spend 67% more per order than they did on their first purchase. Micro-segmentation helps you win that trust by allowing you to speak to customers’ most significant concerns.

Segmentation Research Should Inform Product Development

At its core, segmentation begins with learning more about your customers. After all, the more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your marketing to their unique problems, preferences, and desires.

Segmentation data should go beyond marketing; it should also be used to inform product development. Startups often pivot to find a market that needs solutions, and proper segmentation can help them pinpoint the best market. While no established business is going to do a full-fledged pivot in the same way that a startup would, many could benefit from more customer data involvement in product development.

Since detailed customer data is one of the most powerful tools available to companies, companies should design a product based on data-informed facts, rather than on their own assumptions.

Customer Needs are Not Static

A big mistake that brands make during the segmentation process is to stop their analysis as soon as they place customers in their respective segments. These customers will forever remain in that segment—even if additional data is collected in the future.

The problem here is that customer needs and preferences change over time. Today’s customers might be in a completely different place in life than they had been a year prior. Continuously working to correctly categorize customer types will help you more accurately target customers in your marketing and sales strategy.

Personalization is the Future

In-depth segmentation of your audience gives you more opportunities for personalization. It allows you to gain a detailed analysis of each customer so that you can tailor your sales and marketing efforts accordingly. While segmentation itself isn’t a new concept in digital marketing, the tools that we have available are making micro-segmentation increasingly feasible for companies of all sizes.

Segmentation can make or break your business. As more companies move toward the possibility and potential of an audience segment of one, it is paramount to create segmentation that can scale. How have you utilized segmentation to improve your customer’s experience? What tips will you implement from the advice given in this blog? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments.

The post 5 Factors to Consider When Segmenting Your Customers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Projecting Future Trends In Your PPC Account

Projecting an account’s trajectory is a vital skill for every account team. You can’t escape it. It comes up when performance is great and it comes up when performance is poor.


Despite the demand for these skills and insights, it can be one of the scarier tasks. The uncertainty of accounting for everything makes it easy to doubt any method.


While there is no perfect method, we don’t have to completely guess either. If you, at least partially, surrender to the uncertainty you’ll realize how you can utilize certain methods to make better decisions and steer your account in the right direction.


This is a big topic! While there is not nearly enough space to go into full depth for each point you should be able to come away from this article with a few pointers, ideas, and at least knowing where to look when you need it.


Forecasting the immediate impact


Data Tables


Data tables are a great way to examine the effect of changing metrics and the impact on goals. Data tables are an Excel feature that take a formula and build the results for multiple inputs. This saves you the hassle of updating a formula for every combination of inputs.


For example, you could take for formula for ROAS, profit, or total value. All of these are made up of a variety of inputs from CTR, impression volume, conversion rates, AOV, and so on. Data tables save you time by taking a defined formula and letting you choose a range of inputs. You can choose one or two inputs per table.


Here is an example for a one-way table with click through rate.


One-way data table for CTR


Here is an example of a two-way table with ROAS by different average order values and conversion rates.


Two-way data table for AOV and CVR



PPCHero: How to Use Data Tables for Better Projections


Excel Solver/Optimization Methods


Solver is the tool to use when you know the metric you’d like to maximize or minimize, such as conversions, and have a set of constraints, such as budgets.



By defining a few formulas, such as total conversion volume by budget, you can set up a list on constraints. These could include spend by platform, spend by market, total available impressions, or max CPCs. Your formula will depend on your needs.


Excel Solver Set Up Menu


The tool will take those limits and attempt to find a solution to the formula that satisfy each requirement. The most common use case is budget. You would ask a question such as “What would performance look like if I could maximize by budget at $50,000/month?”



Whitepaper – How to Use Excel Solver To Power Your 2017 Budgets

How to Get More Out Of Excel Solver


Forecasting Long Term Impact


Basic Projection


Basic projections can be as easy as applying the average of the last x days to the next 30 days to get an estimate of next month’s performance.


By taking a slice of past performance, you can estimate future performance. This slice will vary depending on accounts. Seven day is a good standard. If you go shorter than a week you may end up over projecting, especially if weekends are particularly slow in your account.


If you’d like to forecast further than the next month, you could try examining a moving average over time. Rather than using a static number, you’d estimate then your metric of choice, such as conversion rate, increases by 2% on average very month. You would then take a basic projection and apply this weighting to it over each period.


This does take some guessing and rough estimates though as you can’t expect something like conversion rate to increase every period and you’ll hit some maximum sooner rather than later.


Easily Project the Future Performance of Your PPC Account

Five Steps to Master FaceBook Projections Not Predictions




Regression can be challenging in PPC due to the general noise in the data. Nonetheless is can work well if you set the problem up correctly.


Imagine a scatter plot of your data. Regression places the best fit line among the data to minimize the distance from each point to the line . You choose an output variable and an input variable. This could be revenue and spend or conversion and spend. Running the regression would place a line with a minimal the distance between the points on the graph.


If you just want to view the relation, you can plot a regression line on an Excel plot through the graph settings. Here is an example of from a set of app install campaigns.


App Install Regression Example


Regression itself is a large topic. If you’d like to dig deeper, Emma Franks has a great tutorial on running regression analysis for PPC in Excel.



Using Excel Regressions to Better Understand KPIs



Projecting Seasonality


Holt-Winters, or exponential smoothing, is an accessible method for adjusting projections for seasonality. This method is more involved than the basic projections but accounts for the regular ebb and flow of performance. For illustrative purposes, performance can be decomposed into the trend, which way performance is moving, seasonality, the regular cycle of performance, and noise.
Mae.timeseries decomposition.frwiki


For example, we can see the ebbs and flows of performance for an education account. Using this method, we can project forward and take those into account as we check out a potential future.



Example Forecast Using Holt-Winters


If you have experience with Python or R, or if you are just feeling adventurous, you can also check out Facebooks Prophet library. This approaches the same problem but via a different method and requires some coding. You can find and example below.



Finding Seasonality In Your PPC Accounts

Forecasting Made Skeezy: Projecting Method Demand Using Exponential Smoothing

Summertime Sadness – How to Adjust for Seasonality in PPC

How Accurately Can Prophet Predict Website Traffic?



Wrapping Up


We’ve covered quite a few approaches today, each worthy of multiple posts. If one of them interests you, you are only a few google searches away.


The Advertising Principles That Guide Facebook’s Decisions

Facebook can be a very powerful tool for people, companies, and advertisers. It allows us to connect with one another instantaneously across the entire globe. As advertisers, Facebook’s targeting features allows us to target users not possible just 10 years ago. From geographic targeting to age, behavioral, interests, lookalikes, retargeting, and even life events we have a plethora of ways to get our brand in front of potential customers. However, with all these options one must ask the question. At what point do we need to be asking if Facebook is being responsible enough with all the data it keeps on its users?


Facebook has made news recently for its advertising platform, and not in a good way. We have seen the company come under fire for allowing Russian influence over the presidential election by advertisements being bought by the foreign entity in an effort to sway people’s opinions. Fake news sites were being created, fake news stories were being written, and those stories were then being advertised to select people with certain political opinions in an effort to sway their opinion. All of this was slipping past Facebook’s review process and may very well have influenced the election to some degree.


Despite all the flak they have been receiving in the media, Facebook is adamant that they can rise to the expectations. They have a firm belief that their system is a great tool for connecting businesses with their customers. They further stated that even with the powerful tool they have created they absolutely do not sell personal information like names, emails, and phone numbers.


In an effort to be more transparent with the digital community Facebook, and more specifically Rob Goldman the VP of Ad Products, wanted to highlight to the public what their advertising principles are. Below are what Facebook has said are the principles that guide them:


  • We build for people first.
  • We don’t sell your data.
  • You can control the ads you see.
  • Advertising should be transparent.
  • Advertising should be safe and civil; it should not divide or discriminate.
  • Advertising should empower businesses big and small.
  • We’re always improving our advertising.


These principles weren’t created in response to the media backlash Facebook has been receiving. They have been a part of the social network site for some time. So while they made an effort to bring these principles to light for the general public to be aware of, it will be interesting to see if they can abide by these principles more closely in the future. As we all know the digital space is an ever-changing place. One week something is viral and the next its forgotten. The same goes for advertising. One month a certain targeting method is effective and then two months later we must adjust. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for large advertising platforms like Facebook to get it right 100% of the time. Yet as advertisers we must educate ourselves on the tools we are using. It is important to point out flaws in our tools so we can work to make them more effective, efficient, and ethical.


Smart Ways to Get More Marketing Budget and Better Tools

It is safe to say we know what is on every marketers holiday wish list – more budget.  The problem is, marketing is usually the first line item in an overall budget when overall performance is down or the marketers aren’t able to show the right numbers to get their wish granted.


In this new live webinar, Kristin Vick from Hanapin Marketing and Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics discuss how marketers can ensure they have the budget they need to be effective with online advertising and get the right tools to make that argument.



In the webinar you will learn:


  • What you can learn from competitive intelligence tools
  • How to use competitive data to build your own models
  • How to project value of increased marketing budgets
  • How to make a compelling argument for bigger budgets



Three Tips to Create Sales Personalization at Scale

As a sales development representative, I am rejected on daily basis. Some leads are kinder than others and let me down easy. Others are short and direct in their response. Now, I get it, we have all experienced the unannounced sales call, interrupting our daily routing to sell us products we neither want nor need, thus making it easier to empathize with the frustration asserted by the voice on the other side of the phone line.

But when it comes to turning a few of those “no’s” into a “tell me more,” there are a few tricks that I have learned that other sales representatives can adopt to turn their luck around.

In this blog, I’ll give you three tips to create sales personalization at scale to help you move from rejected to connected.

Make the Sale Personal

As sales representatives in today’s day and age, we are fortunate enough to have a wealth of information at our disposal thanks to the internet. From individual prospect information to company/industry updates, there is almost no limit to the amount of personalization ammunition we can use at our disposal. But when it comes to delivering this level of individualized communication scale, via either telephone or email, we must be strategic.

Most organizations use sales enablement tools to equip their sales team to deliver mass and quick communication. But, before pressing send on those pre-constructed, vanilla emails, use this opportunity to add a little spice to the mix. Quickly adding a dash of personalization to your email can go a long way to increase their response rate. Looking for ways to personalize? Think industry specific news, noting their expressed interest in your product, or even a commonality about their professional career make-up.

By adding even a tiny bit of personalization to a specific campaign can drastically increase your outreach efforts and show that you have actually taken the time to learn about your prospect, and have earned the time to speak with them. Don’t jeopardize hurting your brand by sending mass, insincere, sales campaigns that not only waste your time but annoy your prospects, pushing them farther away.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is key when you convince a prospect to buy or even consider buying your product. When it comes to selling the pleasure of your product, versus selling to pain, John Barrows clearly defines our problem as “the main reason most of us are stuck in the world of selling pain is because, unfortunately, most of us get stuck selling to people below the ‘power line,’ or non-decision-makers.” Selling to pain can have its benefits, by focusing on the time-consuming, menial processes that are eliminated by the implementation of the product. Showing empathy for daily frustrations and offering tangible solutions creates a level of desire for the product.

Yet, when it comes to selling to those who are outside of your product’s daily sphere of interaction, that is where you sell the hopes and dreams of grander marketing opportunities. Especially when you are looking to convince a company to invest a significate amount of capital in your product, showing them tangible and meaningful impact your product can have on their growth and long-term success, outside of feature/functionality, is going to be the ultimate decision maker.

Strike When the Iron is Hot

Staying top of mind is key for sales representatives to be successful in their space. With so many companies competing for an individual’s attention at any given moment, waiting too long to connect with an interested individual could mean losing their attention altogether. Now, I am not so much referencing the leads that are hot, reaching out to you to buy your product. That is a given fast-mover. I am more so suggesting the leads that are engaging with your brand, yet need a little nurturing, and a little push, to get them qualified to be a sales-ready lead. By being able to understand how a prospect is engaging with your brand in real time, you can leverage their attention to push that conversation and meet them half-way through their solution search. A timely interaction could just make the difference between, now and never.

When it comes to sales, there is no magic formula or secret sauce that makes a prospect reply to your outreach. Even a poetic and personalized email cadence can still land in the deleted folder, and a prospect who regularly visits your website could declare themselves uninterested in a purchasing conversation. Certain tricks work for some representatives, while others are left with negative returns. That is why the real secret to sales is that if at first, you don’t succeed, try again—but maybe this time with a different subject line.

With these three tips, you’ll move from rejected to connected in no time. Tell me about your tips and tricks to stay top of mind as a sales development representative. I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

The post Three Tips to Create Sales Personalization at Scale appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.