Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lessons From Pet-Care Firm's Content Marketing

We help many pet care and animal welfare clients with direct marketing, and we'll be expanding our knowledge of market needs at the upcoming Animal Care Expo, March 29-April 1 in New Orleans. So we thought it especially timely to highlight a recent Direct Marketing News article about the content marketing success story of PetRelocation, a pet moving and travel service. After trying generic keyword and pay-per-click campaigns, PetRelocation decided to set up a content forum, using tools from Oracle Marketing Cloud, to address pet owner concerns, explains the DM News story. Great for customer relations, but it did a lot more. The marketing team culled popular answers from the forum to post directly on the website, for a boost to organic search results. The increase in online traffic and leads actually allowed the company to eliminate its pay-per-click ad spending. The content forum also gathered valuable testimonials that spurred lead-to-conversion. With the majority of annual revenue tied to online marketing, primarily content marketing, PetRelocation's success story should intrigue pet care marketers and B2C marketers in general. To read about it, go to http://www.dmnews.com/petrelocation-uses-content-marketing-to-drive-sales/article/404010/

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Optimistic on Economy, CMOs See Budget Growth

If you're a marketer optimistic about the economy and planning to boost spending this year, you're like the CMOs of top U.S. companies. The CMO Survey found that chief marketing officers at Fortune 1000 and Forbes Top 200 companies are more optimistic about economic prospects so far this year than they've been since the start of recession in 2008, per a recent MarketingProfs report. The surveyed CMOs also expect marketing budgets to grow by 8.7% on average in 2015, the biggest increase since 2012. The digital marketing spend is expected to lead budget growth, forecast to rise by 14.7% this year, compared with an expected 1.1% drop in traditional advertising spend. Mobile marketing continues its charge, with mobile forecast to triple its share of marketing budgets from the current 3.2% to 9% in the next three years. Meanwhile, social media hovers at an average 10% of marketing budgets, even though the majority of surveyed marketers admit that they can't quantify results and have poor integration of social with overall marketing strategy. For details, see http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/27218/how-cmos-feel-about-the-year-ahead

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tuesday, Thursday Still Top Days for E-mail Sends

Wondering when to blast off that next e-mail promotion? Most e-mail marketers pick a Tuesday. Tuesday was the most popular day for sending e-mails in 2014 (17.4% of all weekly e-mails), with Thursday a close second (17.1%), according to a Who's Mailing What! review of e-mails received. Both days actually dipped slightly in popularity last year compared with 2013, when they also led e-mail blasts, but that might be attributed in part to the mid-term elections, which spiked weekend fundraising e-mails. A recent eMarketing & Commerce (eM+C) article detailed the findings of WMW! on e-mail delivery popularity by day and category. No matter the day of the week, the leading e-mail senders are Consumer Catalogs, Retail Traffic Builders and Special Interest Magazines per the WMW! categories. If you want to dodge the Tuesday and Thursday crowd, you can e-mail Wednesday, the third most popular day at 16.7% of 2014 weekly e-mails, or send your message on Monday, fourth place at 15.9% of e-mail. For more detail by day and category, go to http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/more-emails-arrive-tuesdays-thursdays/1

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Using Direct Mail to Rev E-Commerce Results

E-commerce marketers who are smart about planting direct mail in their marketing mix can reap healthier results, points out a recent post by Ernan Roman Direct Marketing on CustomerThink.com. Mail has a unique ability to enhance the B2B and B2C customer experience with a physical "shareability" that digital channels lack, for example. The article draws attention to the History Channel's arty photo postcard promotion of its History Asia programming as an example. The channel estimates the mail campaign generated $1.2 million in PR value via professional interest, social media and requests for the actual art pieces featured in the postcards. Catalogs are another example of physical mail's ability to enhance customer engagement. That's why a major national retailer like Anthropologie uses catalogs as their principal form of advertising "to inspire and engage"(and drive sales). Indeed, direct mail can directly guide the e-commerce customer's purchase journey. For example, online men's retailer Bonobos added print catalogs after a series of successful tests, and now 20% of first-time customers place orders after receiving a catalog and spend 1.5 times as much as other new buyers. Plus, direct mail can be used to lengthen and strengthen online brand engagement, the Ernan Roman article notes, citing the example of Homebase, an online UK home and gardening retailer frustrated by the sales limits of its short spring gardening rush. By targeting high-value gardening customers with a well-timed 500,000-piece mail campaign, Homebase hoped to get customers to shop earlier and spend more. The mailing succeeded in getting customers to visit the site 33% more often and spend 20% more. For more details, read http://customerthink.com/myth-busted-how-direct-mail-can-actually-enrich-the-digital-customer-journey/

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Add Digital Power to Direct Mail to Rev Results

If your direct mail is plodding along its traditional response path, it may be time to give it a digital technology boost. A recent Direct Marketing News magazine article cited five tech trends for energizing mail strategy: triggered digital content, delivery-triggered campaigns, retargeting, enhanced personalization, and marketing automation/CRM. Trigger digital content with a scan, swipe or tap of a mobile device by enhancing physical mail with QR codes or other mobile bar codes, augmented reality (AR) video, and even near-field communication chips (NFC). Delivery triggering uses delivery tracking based on conventional or USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode data to automatically launch relevant multi-channel contacts, via mobile text, e-mail or app inbox, and can make use of location, time-of-day and other context-sensitive delivery data for extra impact. Retargeting will boost long-term mail results by going beyond immediate response and conversion to track pURL, QR, site visits, searches and other unique digital actions of non-buyers so that they can be modeled and retargeted for sales. Enhanced personalization means more than printed data fills today; pURLs or unique bar codes in the mail piece can lead to customized, personalized online content. A custom AR app can even be promoted digitally after the mail is sent. Finally, marketing automation and CRM systems can be leveraged to individualize messaging and sync channels around a direct mail campaign, including insight from social media analytics. For more detail, read http://www.dmnews.com/direct-mail-goes-digital/article/400201/

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Are You Optimizing LinkedIn's B2B Lead Power?

If you're a business-to-business marketer frustrated with results from LinkedIn, you're not alone. Using social media to generate qualified leads and measurable ROI is a challenge. So take a look at a recent online article for Advertising Age magazine by Sebastian Jespersen, president and CEO of Vertic Inc., a digital ad agency. Jespersen offers four tips for B2B marketers on how to optimize LinkedIn promotional investment, taking a cue from the lead-gen success of client firms like Microsoft, GE and Siemens. Tip No. 1: Measure the right part of the funnel. Understand that LinkedIn pours in fewer leads at the top but can have higher conversion rates than other channels at the bottom. Therefore, measure cost per lead or cost per conversion rather than cost per click or impression. Tip No. 2: To get conversion, create the right post-click experience. Don't send qualified traffic to a generic web page; build multiple customized pieces of content on-site and direct users to relevant messages. Tip No. 3 is a no-brainer: Use the data LinkedIn provides to target! Tip No. 4: Retarget. Successful LinkedIn campaigns get a 20% conversion rate, but that doesn't mean throwing away the other 80% of leads. Tap user behavior to retarget qualified responders on other relevant sites and get a second chance at conversion. For the complete article, go to http://adage.com/article/btob/b-b-marketers-improve-leads-linkedin/297386/

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Use Campaign Data to Budget for Success

Overwhelmed by the pace and volume of "big data," marketing campaign analysis can become a shortsighted focus on lead metrics and quick reaction. We'd like to thank Bonnie Crater, president and CEO of Full Circle CRM, for her emarketingandcommerce.com article reminding marketers that campaign data is also key to long-term ROI--via improved marketing budgets and campaign development. Here are five tips on using campaign data to budget for future success: Start by using prior-year data on lead generation, close rates, average deal dollars, and ROI to provide a roadmap to current-year marketing budget targets. Second, gauge marketing performance and adjust forecasts according to industry benchmarks of realistic lead generation and campaign close rates. Third, in deciding budget allocations, don't measure campaign ROI just by first and last touchpoints; look at the detail of multi-touch, multi-channel, multi-campaign marketing to accurately credit each campaign with revenue generated. Fourth, weight the different elements affecting campaign touches (such as campaign types, user roles, when the touch occurred in the sales cycle) to better allocate spending to maximize campaign ROI. Finally, while digging into campaign data, take note of process problems, such as lead hand-off gaps and sales bottlenecks, and take action to improve efficiency of marketing and sales spending. For detail from the complete article, go to http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/5-tips-using-campaign-data-build-your-next-marketing-budget/1