The Million Dollar Case Study: Europe – Session #3: Supplier Outreach & Product Selection

By the end of this session it really felt like things were gearing up. Don’t worry I am going to cover all of the details in this recap. But before we get to that, make sure you have caught up with the first two sessions, and if you missed it, last week I made a personal vlog whilst I was busy working on my Session #2 homework: view here! In this weeks session it was time for me to recap my advanced product research where I revealed my top two product ideas. This was narrowed down from 43, to 5 and then the final 2 product ideas. We also announced which product that I am going to launch so if you do nothing else, make sure you check out the rest of this post to find out! From there, and with Greg’s expert guidance, we covered a lot of insightful stuff in this session, including: An introduction to sourcing in China and working with Chinese manufacturers How to use Alibaba Sending your initial supplier outreach to get more accurate cost estimations for your top products Carrying out deeper profitability calculations for your top ideas (including factoring in VAT) Utilizing all … Read More

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3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media

When it comes to high growth areas, social media marketing fits the definition in terms of both the percentage of your budget it consumes and in the ROI it generates. But the path isn’t smooth or simple.

All too often, marketing teams are drawn to paid or organic social media strategies based on past successes or failures rather than as part of a comprehensive social strategy. The control of each channel might even rest with separate departments, which sets you on a potentially dangerous path where the messaging isn’t coordinated. Many companies fail to properly integrate their social media marketing strategies.

As investment bankers are often fond of saying, past performance is no guarantee of future success. While a single channel strategy might have worked for you in the past, modern social strategies experience greater social media amplification and ROI benefits because they utilize multiple channels and communication styles. The key to success in your social media marketing is to strike a balance between paid and organic social media efforts.

In this blog, you’ll find three actionable items to help you integrate your paid and organic social strategies successfully.

Know the Purpose Each Channel has for Your Marketing Efforts

Paid social has incredibly powerful targeting options, and it is an amazing tool to have in your lead generation toolbox. However, paid social media alone does not let you maximize the ROI that you can generate from your social media efforts.

On the other hand, organic social media can be an equally powerful tool for reaching your audience and building a community. While not as straightforward as paid social media, organic conversations can lead to deeper engagement and social media amplification with clients and influencers that money can’t buy.

Paid and organic social media both have advantages and drawbacks. Achieving the greatest benefit while minimizing disadvantages requires you to integrate both approaches into a larger, comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

Align Your Messaging

While paid and organic social have different purposes and different advantages, they are still both aspects of social media marketing, and they share the same end goal of growing your business. It is entirely possible that potential clients will encounter both your paid and organic messaging in their customer journey.

Look at social media from the customer’s perspective: While your message may come in the form of an advertisement or in a conversation, your audience is likely to come across varying communications across multiple channels. Your messages should be consistent enough to reflect that they come from a single company.

If your messages conflict, you might undermine your own marketing efforts on one or multiple social media channels. Even if there is no conflict across platforms, failure to align paid and organic social media efforts will waste time, opportunity, and marketing dollars.

Make Your Messages Complement Each Other

Aligning your paid and organic social media efforts is the first step to garnering the maximum advantage from your online efforts. However, the work does not stop there.

Knowing that paid and organic media have their own advantages, you should craft a marketing strategy and messaging for the two methods so that they complement each other. This does not need to be complex—it can be as simple as ma the ching tone and then having complementary messages on paid and organic posts.

This can pay additional dividends, as successful organic posts can be cheaper to promote on social media channels like Facebook because they have been proven to have a higher engagement rate. This makes it easier and more cost effective to achieve the social media amplification you desire.

While paid and organic social media are fundamentally different tools, your prospects should experience each of them as a smooth step in your overall social media marketing funnel.

Integrating your organic and paid social media strategies can help you generate increased social media amplification, fill your marketing funnel, and increase your ROI. Don’t do one or the other. They are both needed for success. I’d love to hear about how you’re integrating organic and paid social media strategies in your own business. Tell me about it in the comments!

The post 3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Why Manual Bidding Will Slowly Ride Into The Sunset

Throughout the evolution of AdWords, we have seen so many rollouts and changes to how we manage our campaigns and strategy.  Removal of close variant controls, the removal and then re-introduction of device bidding, ETA’s, the dread of changing to the new UI. Despite all of this, one thing has always remained a constant: Control of our bids and the choice to use automation if we needed it.


However, things are starting to change. When you look at the expansion of the definition of “PPC”, it is starting to take more and more things under its umbrella, i.e Social, Programmatic, Video, etc. PPC is now evolved to a paid media strategy rather than a pay per click tactic. Every day, we are talking more about each tactic’s piece of the puzzle in the ultimate end goals and how they contribute.


Evolution of the Industry


This shift in focus has forced us to think more strategically and is forcing us to spend less time on the nitty gritty of the manual bid changes and more on audience and targeting adjustments to meet our end goals. When you look at the majority of the landscape outside of search, many platforms like Facebook & Programmatic are focusing on the adoption of Machine Learning into their bidding approach and against their audience matching.


Data Driven Decisions


The shift is beginning to push more and more into our day to day in AdWords. The emergence of Data Driven Attribution and ultimately the eventual release of Attribution 360 and its ability to feed this data into Automated bidding strategies puts the idea of manual on the back burner slightly, forcing us to adjust strategy and targeting rather than adjusting bids or competitiveness.




Google’s announcement earlier this week states that they will be sunsetting the App Install Campaigns in favor of Universal App Campaigns. Similar to the default settings in Facebook, UAC’s will be automatically created across multiple Google Networks including Search, Display and Youtube etc, and use a CPI model. The majority of the management will be controlled by machine learning and automation.


Maximized Conversion Bidding


“Maximize Conversions” now seems to be the default setting when building out a campaign. I actually only noticed this yesterday as I was building out a new campaign and about to write this post. As you build campaigns be aware and change this up as needed.


AdWords maximize conversions automated bidding




The ideal dream for us as marketers is for us to eventually have a consolidated single sign on for all our strategies and management in one place. While there are tools out there that help with that, there is no perfect solution. Google, however, does seem to be making a move in that direction. The recent updates to the DoubleClick Bid Manager UI, (Google’s Programmatic Solution) points to the idea of uniformity across its ad stack. Does this mean the integration of Programmatic as standard into the GDN ecosystem, or the potential ridding of DoubleClick for Search and the using of Attribution 360 for cross channel analysis? That all remains to be seen. But when compared side by side, it seems that Google is bringing continuity to keep UX consistent.


DoubleClick Bid Manager UI



Wrapping Up


Ultimately, this is just my opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the evidence is pointing us in this direction of the future being machine learning and automation and forcing the industry to focus on the Audience Strategy more and more.


Let me know your experiences and whether your agree or disagree with me on Twitter @BryanGaynor12.


My Summer with Hanapin Marketing

My experience with Hanapin gave me high standards for future employers and taught me why your colleagues are the most important part of your job.


This summer I was a Client Services Intern at Hanapin Marketing for 10 weeks. Although it was my first experience as an intern, it set the bar high for future internship programs. Going into my first internship, I was nervous of being thrown into tasks without proper training or being a glorified coffee-runner/copy-maker. However, I never encountered any of these scenarios at Hanapin. Luckily, I stumbled upon the advertisement when I did, because it brought me to the best internship in Indiana. Here are a few of the highlights from my time at Hanapin:


Day 1 at Hanapin


From the welcoming committee and coffee at Crumble to the swag bag and handwritten greeting cards, I felt important as an intern from my first day at Hanapin Marketing. As soon as I walked in the door, many members of the team approached me and started conversations as if I had been working there for years. I quickly learned that this was the office culture at Hanapin. Everyone at my internship was friendly and offered something unique to the office dynamic. The conversations I had with my colleagues the first day did so much to make me feel like a part of the team, not just another lowly intern. There is a reason why Hanapin has received best employer in Indiana for two years running and I quickly saw that as soon as the first day at my internship.


My Supervisor


My supervisor Kristine made me feel valued in many ways at Hanapin. First, she reminded me everyday during meetings that the work I was doing was valuable and would be utilized for years to come. Second, Kristine included me in every Monday Morning Meeting (MMM). During these meetings, she talked about my projects and how important they were to the entire Hanapin Team. This weekly reminder fostered a sense of pride in the work that I was doing at Hanapin. Third, Kristine allowed me to give the update during a few of the MMM’s towards the end of my internship. This was extremely nerve wrecking, but helped me to step outside of my box. Fourth, she encouraged me to participate in exercises during the training sessions, which helped me grow and develop as a professional person. Kristine was not only a good supervisor, but also a great life-coach and friend.


REDBOP with GA and Google


Remote week was one of my favorite weeks at my internship. Not only did I get access to my supervisor in-person for the entire week, but I also got to sit in on all of the trainings sessions with the Hanapin team. To my delight, one of the sessions was a sponsored training session with our Google partners. The speaker’s name was GA and he brought so much enthusiasm and wit into the training session. He taught us so much about being good sales people and improving our communication skills. Not only did I get valuable takeaways from the session, but I also got the chance to bond with the rest of the Hanapin team outside of the office.


Presentation Day


On the day of my presentation I felt everything coming full circle. Everything I learned during those 10 weeks would be put on display for my supervisor and the Director of Services. During my presentation, I surprised myself with all of the knowledge that I had obtained throughout a ten-week period. It was easy to talk about the onboarding process, accountability during the first 90 days and the different types of clients. It turns out that all of the shadowing, training sessions and department overviews were extremely helpful in order to present my project thoroughly and accurately. Hanapin’s internship program truly gave me the resources and confidence to present my final project to the best of my ability.


Closing Thoughts


The Hanapin team, the office culture and my supervisor are just a few of the things I will miss the most about my time at Hanapin. I doubt I will be able to replicate the awesomeness of this internship anywhere else. However, in the future, I will strive to find employers who will treat me with as well as Hanapin. Moreover, I hope I will find a supervisor with as much candor, enthusiasm and experience as Kristine. Kristine really made my time at Hanapin special and I can’t thank her enough! Finally, I hope that all interns get the chance to experience an internship program as fantastic as Hanapin’s.


What Personalized Search Results Mean for SEO

Google first introduced personalized search results in 2005 for signed in users with Google accounts. In 2009, personalized search was expanded to all users. However, new research on consumer sentiment on Google shows that 43.5% of respondents do not realize that their search results are personalized.

In this blog, I’ll cover the key factors you need to succeed with personalized SEO results as well as the best way to optimize.

Personalization Factors

In reality, it has been almost ten years since all search results were the same for everyone. There are a number of factors that influence a user’s search engine results page (SERP).

  • Country: Location is a major factor. Users from different countries will see different results for the same search terms. One example often given here is that if a user searches for “football” in the U.K., they will be shown results that relate to what the United States refers to as soccer and the English Premier League. If a person in the United States searches for “football”, they will be presented with results that relate to American Football and the NFL.
  • Locality: Google goes much deeper than simply country level. Results are tailored to the user’s location right down to local city level. Most people will be familiar with searches like “best pizza near me” making it somewhat surprising that our recent research showed nearly half of respondents were unaware that Google personalizes their search results.
  • Web History: The goal of Google’s personalized search results is to provide users with the most relevant and useful information possible. By factoring previous searches and viewing history into account, Google can present users with results from their preferred sites which they are most likely to visit.
  • Device: People who use Google to search on their mobile device will see different results than the same search on desktop. Google uses a different algorithm for mobile ranking with increased focus on user location.

Keyword Tracking

One way personalization has changed SEO is that it makes keyword rank tracking more difficult. Personalized search results mean that tracking where your site ranks for keyword search terms is not always crystal clear. Depending on the personalizing factors we have outlined above, users will see different results for the same search terms. That means you can never really get a 100% accurate representation of your keyword ranking.

Rank tracking your non-personalized search can help you establish a baseline, and this data can help you see how changes on your site have impacted your ranking. However, it is not advisable to spend too much time obsessing over keyword rankings. Your site traffic is a much more important data point than your keyword rankings.

How to Optimize for Personalized Search Results

The fact that 43.5% of respondents to our survey didn’t realize their search results were personalized leads us to believe that many businesses are not optimizing their sites for personalized searches. There are some steps companies can take to give them the best chance of ranking today.

  • Think Local: Make Google’s location settings work in your favor. Take care as you compose your meta descriptions and title tags. If you get onto page one of Google, you have one chance to impress so make it count by using your allotted characters wisely. If you want to dominate the local market, it is a best practice to put the name of your locality into your meta descriptions and/or title tags. You should also make sure that the most up to date and accurate business details are added to all online directories like Yelp and, most importantly, Google My Business (GMB). Claiming your GMB page is easy, but the business owner must claim it. Simply log on and verify your business. Remember to make sure your details are added to all online directories and not just the major players like GMB and Yelp. Bing Places for Business and others are low hanging fruit that can really help your site’s performance in local search rankings.
  • Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: It is estimated that up to 80% of searches are long-tail keywords. The reason that SMBs should focus on long-tail keywords is that competition is lower so they are easier to rank for and user intent is much more targeted. By working out the long-tail keywords that can drive conversions and revenue, you can start to see real ROI from your SEO efforts.
  • Mobile Optimize: It goes without saying that you need to optimize your site for mobile visitors in 2017 and learn to thrive in Google’s mobile search index. Having a low click through rate can harm your ranking. If you manage to get onto page one, you don’t want to undo all your good work with a site that does not meet user expectation on mobile.

How have you used personalization to appeal to your target audience? What do you plan on adding to your SEO to improve your personalization? Tell me about it in the comments!

The post What Personalized Search Results Mean for SEO appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Comparing AdWords & Real Estate: Understanding CPC Inflation

There are many surprising similarities between AdWords auctions and real estate markets. What can one ancient industry teach us about one that is so new to us? By comparing the two we’ll try and understand more about CPC inflation, effective investment strategies and where the industry could be heading.


Real estate ninja

AdWords auctions are like real estate auctions in many ways. A savvy AdWords practitioner will always begin with keyword & market research. Understanding CPC’s and suggested minimum bids is crucial. Real estate is the same, talking to agents and researching historical values is essential for speculating and setting reserves. Bidding in both markets occur rapidly in real time.


There are some differences though. In AdWords, competitor bids are not openly revealed, (but they can be revealed through bid adjustments). Also, in a real estate auction, money is the only variable, while in AdWords both bids and ‘Quality Score’ play into the auction. Even so, bids are responsible for the final outcome and are controlled by the advertiser. In a real estate auction the goal of the seller is to drive up prices. So too the goal of an AdWords auction is to give the highest bidder the best result.


Listed it yesterday, sold it today

The inevitable outcome is that over time CPC’s will inflate. Although Google reports that CPC’s are decreasing, what advertisers are seeing in the wild is different. Search Engine Land explains that Google is presenting aggregated data. This includes data from YouTube. Most advertisers actually report increasing CPC’s. AdGooroo reports 40% increases between 2012 and 2014. Other advertisers see it as high as 50%. A more conservative assumption puts it at 12%. Most 3rd party advertisers I’ve come across using the platform report that CPCs are rising. This inflation rate appears to be higher than a natural inflation rate which is usually around 2 to 3%.


As an example, the data below shows changes in CPC’s for 3 industries in Australia.  This data has been provided by Google for the AU market.  The graph shows % changes from 2014 to 2015.  Although computers and electronics saw a decrease -3%, overall, these 3 industries together had a 6% increase in CPC’s year on Year.  The second graph shows changes in Australian house prices over the years.  During the same period we see changes between 5% to 8% in house price growth.


Percent change in average CPC


These are boom years within the Australian housing markets and yet they are still experiencing similar growth rates to AdWords CPC’s.


Why is AdWords CPC growth so high?

Are CPC’s overvalued?

Victoria Olsina proposes that AdWords exhibits similar features to economies with historical inflation. She notes 3 issues:

  1. Increased demand from competitors
  2. Increased money supply – in the form of Google handing out free credit ($75 and $100 coupons). This would devalue the money that people are using.
  3. Driving up CPC’s with increased default bids.

Points 1 & 3 are valid, but point 2 is not a significant factor.


Point 3 is the most interesting. As a real estate market gains momentum, we see more sales going to auction. Auctions are preferred by sellers because they have all the ingredients to maximise the sale price and the seller can always fall back on their reserve. This system lets Google recommend their own reserve prices (minimum bids). You won’t get many impressions and clicks to your ads if you bid below the recommended bid.


It’s more concerning that Google is the key instigator in many of these auctions. They often advertise their own products which causes advertisers to indirectly drive up bids. A recent article on the Wall Street Journal reveals details on how Google’s own ads on the platform are driving up competitor bids even further. Google claims their ads don’t affect competitor bids but it’s seen that when competitor’s loose auction’s they are motivated to increase bids to regain advertising positions. Marketers told the WSJ “Advertising slots on many pages are limited, so Google’s ads can prompt others to increase their bids to compete with the remaining slots.”


The AdWords Auction environment is designed to promote competition and increased bids between competitors. Furthermore, Google is acting within the auction, advertising their own products which drives prices even higher!


Are we heading for a CPC Bubble?


Today in many parts of the world we have a situation where real estate prices are astronomical. Where I live in Sydney the market has been declared the second most unaffordable in the world.  It is largely an effect of supply and demand. When demand outweighs supply, real estate becomes overvalued and we get into bubble territory.


We’re moving towards this with AdWords as well. Supply is decreasing. In February 2016 Google made a substantial change, removing all right hand side ads. This means that above the fold on the SERP, there are now 4 ads instead of the previous 11 (8 on the side, 3 in the main section). It also means that a maximum of only 7 ads are displayed on page 1, down from around 14 ads. Another recent change by Google is the roll-out of ‘Expanded Text Ads’ (ETA’s). ETA’s have more text characters within them then Standard Text Ads. ETA’s are now the norm in AdWords. This will mean that bigger ads will further decrease the number of ads displayed above the fold on the SERP.



While supply decreases and demand increases, there will only be one outcome. Since Google controls the supply the only factor that can influence CPC’s is to change demand. In a real estate market, other factors like rising interest rates from lenders can turn real estate assets into liabilities when repayments become un-serviceable. Owners are forced to sell (demand decreases) which leads to more supply. The same can happen in the CPC space. Once CPC’s reach a point where they are overvalued, the return per click will be un-serviceable and lenders (shareholders) will be less willing to provide capital. Advertisers will leave AdWords, supply increases and CPC’s come down.


Theoretically this should happen faster in an online auction platform, since there are no physical assets & agents to deal with. In AdWords, it happens at the click of a button. But it will depend on how quickly advertisers can determine they are ROI negative and whether they have alternate sources/platforms to turn to for their advertising.


But maybe it’s not a bubble and there is real long term value in rising CPC’s.


Historical figures show that property appreciates over the long term. Although Interest rates may rise and turn your property into a liability in the short term, there will be a significant capital gain in the long term. Thus, it can still valuable to hold onto.


Many AdWords and Social Media advertisers realise this and implement short & long term strategies. This can include investing in the long term for brand and short term for ROI. This means that even if ROI is negative, CPC’s may continue to rise and advertisers may continue to invest. This could create an even greater bubble effect.


Effective investment strategies & what else can you do to survive?


I won the auction before I even placed a bid

Robert Kuyosaki, a well-known real estate Guru proposes the exact opposite. His mantra states that “an asset is something that puts money in your pocket“. He proposes that even someone’s own home is a liability since it only takes money out of their pocket. Kuyosaki believes in only investing for positive cash flow in the short term. Kuyosaki searches for investments that have an immediate positive yield, these are often in undervalued suburbs near higher value areas. These assets are then built up over time to invest in higher value areas. This strategy translated to AdWords results in cutting out many of the head terms we are bidding on day-to-day that are likely to have too high CPC’s. Research is required to find longer tail, lower cost keywords that I would consider cash flow positive terms. This is like buying undervalued properties that generate lower revenue but are cash flow positive. This could also entail searching out profitable areas, times of day or other variables where CPC’s are lower.


Another key investment strategy in real estate and in finance is diversification. Putting all your eggs in one basket increases risk. For advertisers investing only in AdWords it’s important to realise that there is more supply out there. Think of other platforms like Bing & Facebook. Although they may be smaller platforms, by diversifying and adapting strategies to different neighbourhoods (audiences) value can be found.


What will Google do?


I’m sure that Google is acutely aware that if CPC’s rise to high, advertisers will begin to flee. They must be wondering where that point is. But as with all bubbles, it is impossible to know for sure. AdWords is Google’s main revenue driver and Google has its investors to answer to and rising returns look good. My prediction is that Google will begin to increase ad supply, but it will be at the expense of organic placements. This will allow Google to increase supply without effecting its bottom line. This year we will begin to see more and more posts with titles like this one: Is Google AdWords pushing SEO to page 2.


How to be a Superstar: Tips to Succeed in a New Role

Whether you’re an intern or a new hire, it’s important to make a name for yourself in your new organization. I had the privilege of interning at Marketo this summer, and it was an incredible experience. I’m heading into my Junior year at NYU, majoring in Business. I’m starting to narrow down exactly where in the business world I want to work. My experience working for a Demand Generation team has been terrific, and I’ve learned a lot about how to succeed in the business world. In this blog, I’ll outline a few key tips that I’ve found can help you succeed in a new role.

Find a Mentor

Right off the bat, I found a mentor who was able to guide me through Marketo during those first few awkward, and somewhat scary, days at a new organization. She gave me a run-down of the marketing department and how things function within the company. Through her guidance, I set-up meetings with all of the marketing team managers to get a better understanding of their role and their experiences in the field of marketing. I highly recommend doing this at the beginning of an internship or new job. It’s a great way to meet the people you’ll be working with, and it helps you to get an understanding of how everything works. For me, it was great to see potential aspects of marketing that I would want to be involved with in a potential future career.

Take on a Variety of Projects

After getting a better understanding of how marketing works at Marketo, I was open to any and all projects given to me. I think the best thing to do when you’re just starting out is to take on a variety of projects. It not only expedites the learning process, it allows you to showcase your talents and strengths to a wide variety of people and makes you a reliable and multi-faceted employee. And perhaps most importantly, it helps to build trust; your team knows they can trust you with any type of project. This increases your credibility and allows you to work on projects that aren’t mundane or boring. I did just this, and before I knew it, I started owning certain tasks and started completing high-impact projects that were for the head of my department.

Meet with your Managers

Since Marketo is a big company and my managers were busy, it seemed tough to schedule any time to meet with them. It’s very important to not ignore this problem; make sure to have weekly or bi-weekly 1:1 meetings with your managers. If you reach out and ask to schedule these, they won’t say no. They want to see you take the initiative. 1:1 meetings are useful to go over expectations, new projects, and review the work you’ve already completed. It’s also an opportunity to get to know your managers a bit better.

Go for Coffee

When it comes to getting to know your colleagues better, don’t be afraid to reach out and schedule coffee or lunch. I found that everyone was incredibly receptive to meeting with me for coffee or lunch. It allows you to get to know others on a more personal level and gives others a chance to see the real you, as cliché as that may sound. You never know when you’ll need help from your colleagues or work with them on a project, so it’s a good idea to get to know them before that happens. You truly get what you put into it, and that can be applied to relationships and the overall experience in your new role.

Work Hard but Enjoy the Experience

I followed this motto religiously during my time at Marketo, and it paid dividends. My team really valued my work and time and came to see that I was committed to the company and the internship. It was sad for them to see me go and sad for me to leave. But I end my internship knowing that I’ve learned more than any year-long college classes could have taught me, and I know that I have made contacts who can help me in future pursuits.

I’d love to hear what you’ve done to be a rock star at your new job or internship in the comments below!

The post How to be a Superstar: Tips to Succeed in a New Role appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


3 Easy Landing Page Updates To Improve Quality Score

If you are immersed in the world of PPC, then quality score is surely a term that you’ve heard time and time again. Many advertisers know that quality score is important and that it needs to be addressed, but many don’t know exactly where to start. What’s in our control and what’s out of our control? What changes can we make that can have an impact on quality score? In today’s post, I am going to talk about some changes that we can make to our landing pages that can yield a positive impact on quality score.


Before we proceed, let’s first review Google’s definition of quality score. As per Google, “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” Although we don’t know exact specifics on how Quality Score is calculated, we can infer from this definition that landing page definitely has some impact on it. So why not strive to make your landing pages the best they can be? Don’t forget – it’s the first thing users see after they click on our ads; the equivalent of someone walking through the doors of a store after we’ve invested marketing dollars to bring them there.


A great first step is to check the current status of your quality score with regard to landing page. As you might know, AdWords has a set of columns that we can add to the interface where this can be viewed.


AdWords Quality Score columns


Once the columns are added, you can get a close view of how you measure up on Quality Score and where improvement opportunities exist.


Quality score rating


From the screenshot above, we can see that there is quite a bit of opportunity to make improvements that might raise the Quality Score. Since this post is focusing on landing pages, we will highlight different areas you can look at to optimize your landing pages for Quality Score. With that said, there are many advertisers who have limitations on changes that they can make to their landing pages, but you might still be able to find some tweaks that will improve both user experience and performance; thus aiding in garnering a better Quality Score.


Keep It Relevant


When designing your landing pages or selecting one of your landing pages to use in conjunction with an ad, think about the specific ad copy that the user just read before clicking on your ad. Is the landing page relevant to what the perceived user intent was? Do you feel that it is the best place to send users who viewed that ad? If not, then you might want to make some changes to your landing page to increase the relevance to the user. Make sure that there is a clear connection to what the user is looking for and where you send them. Sending users to a highly-relevant page is something that can improve performance and possibly increase your Quality Score.


Check Your Load Time


Have you ever visited a site that seemed to take an eternity to load? We all know what happens to users when they encounter this issue; they bail and find another site to visit. That’s why it’s important to keep our finger on the pulse of the load time of our landing pages. Remember that AdWords regularly reviews landing pages when determining Quality Score and a slow load time is definitely not going to help matters.


Need a place where you can figure out your site speed and what needs to be done to fix it? I find Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to be helpful, as they deliver insights on both your desktop and mobile experiences and guide you on how to improve performance.


Page speed recommendations


Ease of Navigation


I would put this right up there with relevance, as it really determines how effective our landing pages are. Once we’ve paid to bring users to our landing page, we want to make sure that they can easily navigate their way around the site and find what they are looking for. Once again, ask yourself if you are providing your users with an experience that is going to enable them to get what they want. If users land on a page that isn’t easy to navigate, they are likely to abandon and go someplace else for their information.


Final Thoughts


Though there is no exact formula for achieving a high Quality Score, there are some broad guidelines we can follow to help us along the way. Always keeping the user experience at the top of mind, landing pages should be relevant, quick to load and easy to navigate. Putting those three things together should result in an increase in quality score and should also result in an increase in account performance.


How Inside Sales Enablement Can Help Increase Revenues

Are you tired of the ups and downs of sales? You likely want to be able to forecast future revenues predictably, but sometimes have a hard time getting a handle on what’s driving success and failure.

No doubt, it’s frustrating.

Sales leaders’ lack of clarity around what drives sales performance is partially due to a large number of variables, both in their business and in the market, that affect conversion rates. How do you gain more control of them?

That’s what sales enablement is all about.

By providing the training, coaching, processes, content, and tools sales people need to do their jobs, sales enablement makes it easier for them to close more deals. It also makes it simpler to foresee sales results. Sales enablement takes away all the constraints to success, creating a predictable process, and empowering reps to do what they do best—sell. So whether you have a team dedicated to sales enablement or it’s a tight partnership between sales and marketing, you stand to gain by enabling your sales team.

Here are five essential building blocks of inside sales enablement that can put your team on track to make or exceed their quotas.

1. Training—Knowledge Transfer

Sales training is foundational for providing reps with the skills and confidence they need to do their jobs. Your reps must have a solid understanding of the market, your customer, and product knowledge as well as knowledge of sales best practices.

Fortunately, because inside sales people are generally centrally located, you don’t have to fly them in from all corners of the country or globe to attend the training function. That means you can set up a training program that delivers information in bite-sized chunks. To maximize your impact, serve lessons one at a time and reinforce as necessary, making it easier for your salespeople to digest what they learn.

Today, online learning-management systems provide course builders that simplify e-learning program set up and enable you to present information that’s visually appealing. Such solutions make it easier to scale your inside sales team as necessary while also ensuring that everyone receives the same training.

2. Coaching—Knowledge Enhancement

Just providing an inside salesperson with the knowledge they need to do their job is not enough to help them to maximize their performance. Yes, practice will help, but to accelerate their learning curve, they need tips and tricks from an expert.

When you coach, you provide ongoing feedback to your reps individually. For example, perhaps you’ve listened to some of the calls and have some advice based on what you’ve heard. Alternatively, you might just stop by and ask what challenges a rep is facing and how you can help.

The best way to coach is to deliver it frequently, once or more a week, but just a small dose at a time. For instance, you might chat with a salesperson for five minutes to offer a suggestion on how they could have overcome an objection on a call they just completed. Because the information is relevant to an experience that’s fresh in their mind, the information is more likely to stick with the rep.

Another learning opportunity is to have reps listen to their own calls. When they’re not actively involved in the call, they can reflect and determine what they could have done better. The bonus is that it doesn’t take up any of the manager’s time.

3. A Proven Sales Process

Sales should not be a hit-or-miss activity. Take the time to design, use, and optimize a marketing and sales process that gives your reps the opportunity for peak performance. A sales process provides a map from the first contact with a prospect to when you close the sale. It should lay out how you’re going to generate leads, qualify them, convince them how you can help, overcome objections, and close the sale.

When you first develop a process, it likely won’t be the ideal one; however, you have to start somewhere.

The magic for perfecting your sales process is to use marketing automation and a customer relationship management solution to track, measure, and optimize your process so it delivers the best results.

4. Use Tools

Technology is a powerful enabler for inside sales, which can help you maximize your team’s results. Here are some tools, or solutions you may want to consider:

  • Marketing Automation to orchestrate, track, and optimize campaigns that support sales
  • Market Intelligence Software, which provides information on markets and companies, helping reps to connect with the right people
  • Business Directories that give details on businesses by size, industry, and geographic segments.
  • Virtual Conferencing to connect and communicate with prospects around the globe and share product demonstrations
  • Automatic Dialing to sequence calls, ensure frequent follow-ups and relieve reps from the busy work of dialing
  • Customer Relationship Management to manage customer data and record reps’ interactions with them
  • Online Learning Management to, as mentioned previously, provide a customized and scalable e-learning solution

All of these tools empower reps to spend more of their time engaging with prospects and moving them through the buying cycle, more professionally and more quickly.

5. Content that Answers Buying Questions

Your salespeople should not have to do all the communicating themselves. In many cases, it’s more efficient and effective to have content at their fingertips that answers the questions buyers ask as they move through the buying cycle. This content includes information that helps prospects to solve a problem and to build a business case internally.

Formats for content that reps can send to customers include ebooks, white papers, case studies, blog posts, videos, webinars, data sheets, infographics and more.

Also, salespeople should have access to information that they can use in their conversations and direct communications. These can comprise of:

  • Talking points for structuring phone conversations
  • Statistics that add credibility
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • At-a-glance competitor comparisons
  • Guidelines on how to overcome objections
  • Customizable sales email templates for personal outreach

As you can see, there are many aspects to enabling an inside sales team to produce sales predictably day after day. Don’t expect to be able to conquer them all at once. Start by developing your priorities which should include a formal training program, coaching guidelines, and sales process that you can shape over time. Then empower your reps with tools that make them smarter, and more efficient and effective. Finally, give them the content they need to answer buyers’ questions and reinforce your message.

I’d love to hear about how you’re enabling your sales team. Be sure to comment below!

The post How Inside Sales Enablement Can Help Increase Revenues appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Ads in Mobile Apps: Not Just For Other Mobile Apps

A week ago I was researching ad placement ideas for a client trying desperately to deliver something deliciously new and creative. I am admittedly, not much of an “app” person, but as I kept stumbling upon apps related to my client’s industry, I got wide-eyed at the thought of deliberately placing an ad in a related app. Typically in my display efforts, I purposely avoid in-app placements, but testing a targeted and deliberate approach could yield some interesting results for your campaigns. The beauty in all of this is that in mobile apps, don’t have to just be for other apps, although that is an option. Why not show workout enthusiasts using exercise apps ads for workout apparel and gear? Like many display options, this is a higher funnel effort, but it’s easy to establish in your accounts and is worth testing.


Here’s a peek at what ads in apps appear as:


Mobile app ads Interstitial mobile ads


To get started, create a New “Display Network Only” Campaign.


On the following screen you must click “no marketing objective” and choose the “ads in mobile apps” from the list.


Display Network only - Ads in mobile apps


When setting up your campaign, consider getting extra clever with your targeting by selecting the most relevant operating systems and devices. To determine what these are, take a journey to your analytics page. Under the “Audiences” menu, Drop down the “Mobile” menu and select “Devices”


GA - Audiences - Mobile - Devices


From here, you can see what kind of devices you customers are using and select intelligently:


Mobile device info found in Google Analytics


This particular client has users that are heavy on Apple and Samsung Products, so I will select Android and iOS for my operating systems as well as all of the relevant device models:


Selecting operating systems


Selecting mobile device models


There are two ways to target for mobile app placements: Categories and Specific apps:


Mobile app placement targeting


With any placement, selecting only specific mobile apps could limit your targeting or have a high-price tag. Here are the available app categories you can consider when establishing your adgroups, they are the same as categories that appear in each store:

  • You can target ALL Apps if you’re feeling brazen and reckless
  • Apps from the Apple App Store Categories
    • Book
    • Business
    • Catalogs
    • Education
    • Entertainment
    • Finance
    • Food & Drink
    • Games (broken out by game type)
    • Health and Fitness
    • Lifestyle
    • Magazines & Newspapers (broken out by interest categories)
    • Medical
    • Music
    • Navigation
    • News
    • Photo & Video
    • Productivity
    • Reference
    • Shopping
    • Social networking
    • Sports
    • Stickers (broken out by category)
    • Travel
    • Utilities
    • Weather
  • Google Play
    • Art & Design
    • Auto & Vehicles
    • Beauty
    • Books & Reference
    • Business
    • Comics
    • Communication
    • Dating
    • Education
    • Entertainment
    • Events
    • Family (broken out by types)
    • Finance
    • Food & Drink
    • Games (broken out by game type)
    • Health and Fitness
    • House & Home
    • Libraries Demo
    • Maps & Navigation
    • Medical
    • Musical & Audio
    • News & Magazines
    • Parenting
    • Personalization
    • Photography
    • Productivity
    • Shopping
    • Social
    • Sports
    • Tools
    • Travel & Local
    • Video Players and Editors
    • Weather
  • Windows Phone Apps

Let’s say I’m trying to reach those Workout Buffs. I’ll select the most valuable categories and Google will estimate my weekly impressions:


Selecting categories and getting weekly impression estimates


Unsurprisingly, this is an extremely broad audience. You can narrow your targeting further by:

  • defining demographics
  • applying a remarketing list (including customer match)
  • even layering in the amount of time that’s passed since a person received a new mobile device:


New mobile device targeting


The ad formats available for in app messaging include:

  • text ads
  • image ads
  • app/digital content ads


Use text or image ads to drive click traffic to your website and app/digital content ads to drive app downloads.


As a quick reminder, below are the standard sizes for mobile ads:

  • Mobile phone: 320 x 50, 300 x 250, 336 x 280 Interstitial
  • Tablet: 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 468 x 60, 336 x 280 Interstitial


This is another opportunity in Display advertising to explore tailoring ads to your prime demographics and increasing Brand Awareness. As Marketers, we’re always trying to reach folks in places where they’re already hanging out online, apps seem like a prime location to reach out, say hello, and hopefully drive some click traffic.