A Buyer Persona Based Approach to Mapping Your Customer Journey

Buyer personas represent your prospects and customers as a concept. The ability to meet their needs and answer their questions to the fullest is a clear competitive advantage. Therefore, a persona-based approach is used by many marketers to enhance customer experience, improve targeting accuracy, and harness behavioral analytics to their business objectives.

Buyer personas also play an important role in customer journey mapping. It’s obvious that people make purchase decisions in a variety of ways, and that considering the pros and cons of a certain product includes different stages and processes. The customer journey is literally the way your existing or potential customers interact with the company.

We at SEMrush decided to combine buyer persona profiles with customer journey maps to see if it can help us raise the effectiveness of our remarketing campaigns, stimulate the growth of conversions, increase retention, and reduce customer acquisition cost and cost per lead.

The challenge

SEMrush is perceived by many as a tool intended for SEOs, but in fact the company’s target audience is considerably larger. SEMrush offers toolkits for PPC, Content and Social Media specialists too. It makes sense, therefore, to tailor our marketing message for each of these groups.

Previously our remarketing approach was quite straightforward: if the user had visited a certain tool before, we were showing him ads of the same tool explaining its features and advantages. Despite all the positive results we were getting, this wasn’t encouraging the customers to use more tools and features (which is crucial for conversion and retention).

So we realized we needed to personalize our conversation with the customers and give a new twist to our remarketing strategy.

The solution: persona-based + stage-based matrix

The first step was grouping all our users by persona. SEO, PPC, Content, and Social Media fields of activity, respectively, formed the baseline for our buyer personas’ profiles. To find out which persona each user belonged to, we thoroughly analyzed their behavior: the tools they visited, the reports they downloaded, their overall SEMrush activity.

In addition to that, we embedded some surveys into our landing pages to double-check our findings.

The next step was incorporating these personas into the ‘see-think-do-care’ framework.

Customer journey stages were based on the way our users engaged with the company website:

See stage – users that are absolutely new to the website. They are not yet showing any commercial intent but might respond to an engaging message.

Goal: brand awareness

Target metrics: incoming traffic, conversion to registrations, cost-per-lead, visit depth, bounce rate, and traffic acquisition cost

Think stage – users that visited the website but left without registering. These users are ready to buy but at the moment they are looking around and choosing between several competing products.

Goal: showing our bright side

Target metrics: conversion to registrations, cost-per-lead

Do stage – registered users. At this stage the prospects are within an inch of purchasing. To make the last step they need a unique product and favourable purchase conditions.

Goal: purchase

Target metrics: conversion to first payments, CAC, conversion to paid users

Care stage – paid users. Loyal customers are the most valuable asset of any company and their motivation should be properly maintained.

Goal: retention and upsale

Target metrics: retention rate, number of account upgrades

Overlapping customer journey stages and buyer personas’ profiles gave us the following matrix:

So in the course of the experiment we were dealing with 16 different messages and delivering them was quite a task. Here’s an example of how we advertised our Position Tracking tool to SEO personas at the See and Do stages:

SEO (Position Tracking Tool) – See Stage

SEO (Position Tracking Tool) – Do stage

The results

Some of the results (significant for the extremely competitive B2B SaaS market):

  • Average number of tools used by a customer – 23% growth
  • Average conversion to registrations – 11% growth
  • Conversion to payments – 9% growth
  • In addition, we observed an increase in the number of registrations and conversions to payments per month.

All in all, although combining buyer personas’ profiles and customer journey maps requires some time for analysis and a thorough approach (you will have to make an exact profile of your target audience and utilize all available technology to facilitate their purchase decisions), the game is worth the candle!

Source: https://www.ppchero.com/a-buyer-persona-based-approach-to-mapping-your-customer-journey/


The Rise of The No-Click Search Results

We can all agree we probably ask ourselves some pretty standard questions every year, especially as Google enhances the SERP and new voice technology continues to rise:

  1. Are there more searches happening this year versus last year?
  2. Are search engines taking more search for themselves?
  3. Is search opportunity growing? Are clicks declining due to more competition and direct (answers) results showing in the SERP?

On a recent episode of “Liz & Sandro’s Marketing Podcast” they tackled some of these exact questions. While the focus was more for the SEO community, search is search and what affects one area, may affect other. Sandaro said, “More people are going to Google and doing more searches but less people are clicking on results. More people are finding, and Google is presenting answers on the SERP itself.” Can you remember the last time you searched for an event or flight and you didn’t have to click on anything to get what you need? Take a look at the most recent performed for “flights to Hawaii”.

Most of the information you need to make a decision is right on the first page. The flight, cost, and where to, a user doesn’t need to click on any paid or organic listings. Google offers more information, than even the paid ads sitting just above. So what does this mean? Has paid search been affected so much that users are not clicking on the ads and just leaving without. Well, not necessarily.

Most recently Rand Fishkin published a quick chart to show the increase of no-clicks on any search performed. The chart shows the decrease in organic clicks, and the increase in no-clicks, but what isn’t highlighted? The increase of paid clicks. In February 2016 only 1.83% of searched earned a paid click (this does not reflect the average CTR), but in February 2018, more then 3% of searches resulted in a paid clicks.

credit: sparktoro.com

This may not be a huge number, but what it does show is that users are gravitating toward paid search clicks and just reading the information they need on the first page.

We, in marketing, are (arguably) some of the most adaptable people and industry there is. Technology is changing every day, and so must our tactics and strategies to reach our ideal customer. In 2017, Purna Virji wrote about the evolutions of voice search (and what that means for PPC). Purna said, “It’s a massive opportunity, with 65% of smartphone owners using voice assistants. For PPC pros, the trick is understanding how to take advantage of this opportunity.” Here she highlighted the fact that we shouldn’t run away from these improvements, but rather embrace them.

So what’s next?

We know how to adjust ads to better match the search users are looking for. We can adjust text to questions, and seasonality. We can adjust to trends, but how do you serve an ad to someone who isn’t looking at a screen? That is a question that will puzzle strategists (and search engines) heading into this discipline of search. As the number of folks using voice search grows, the audience for individuals running paid campaigns will decline more than others based simply on the fact that there won’t be any screen or device to interact with, yet.

At first, the main use of voice search will be users speaking to their virtual assistants. (i.e. “Hey Google, book my hair appointment for Thursday.) We can’t include all mobile searches here, because there is still dictated search, which is very different from a true voice search. This only pertains to folks who are speaking to a device without holding it in their hands and with no screen to return results on — just two entities talking to one another like normal people and computers do.

Patrick Reinhart says, “What we will most likely see during the evolution of voice search is the novelty wearing off. Like the dusty Wii sitting in the corner of your basement, users will ultimately become bored and will need something new, which will force change.

Paid search may see a little bit of a flattening out during the initial year(s) of voice search, but ultimately it will offer new ways to advertise through people’s devices that they speak to in every corner of their lives, and I am not talking about phones.”

Voice commands will continue to become a larger part of smart devices as the internet of things (IoT) becomes more prevalent, which will lead to more devices being voice-enabled. Many of those devices will have screens and be ripe for campaign targeting, which will allow paid folks to reach new audiences outside of computers and phones — TVs, refrigerators, watches, cars, etc.


No matter what product you are currently using for advertising, whether it be Google Search, Facebook, etc. voice search and Google no-click searches will ultimately impact you in some way, shape, or form. Change isn’t always a bad thing, and it can bring larger opportunities for some, and larger hurdles for others. Many of the topics touched on here are real-time and real-life strategies you should consider as you research new ways to reach audiences. Get ahead of these areas of growth and present forward-thinking solutions today.

Source: https://www.ppchero.com/the-rise-of-no-click-search-results/

Taking LinkedIn to New Heights With Updated Tools

LinkedIn has always been the social network for business connections and, as such, has maintained a more professional facade of social networking. However, they have slowly been adding some new features that help users to be more interactive and social in nature. Since the 3rd quarter of 2016, LinkedIn has added over 60 million members. It is hard to know for sure if that is due to all these new features, but their impact is hard to deny. At more than 546 million members from all over the world, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform. While LinkedIn started out as a professional network for those seeking employment and matching them with those looking to hire them, it has morphed into a business networking platform for all types of business.

In this blog, I’ll discuss some of LinkedIn’s new features and how those features have taken it beyond a job hiring site to create a better advertising (and networking) experience.

Over the past year or two, LinkedIn has slowly been adding features that are more social in nature. They can help diligent networkers and advertisers thrive on this form of networking. On a platform where just about everyone is trying to sell something, the new social features can help you stand out when used correctly. As a bonus, they are showing us that networking on LinkedIn does not have to be dry and boring, it can also be done with creativity.

Native Videos

Native videos were added to LinkedIn in the summer of 2017. With this feature, you can record and upload videos directly to the platform. No more having to link out to a video on another platform. It allows users to tell their story and show their experience in a much more interactive way that attracts more people than other types of posts on LinkedIn. Just as video is dominating on other social platforms, you can make it work for you on LinkedIn. Even though most users on LinkedIn aren’t looking for cute cat videos or funny blooper reels, videos on LinkedIn are being shared 20 times more than other types of content.

Text Styles and Filters for LinkedIn Native Video

LinkedIn Filters and Text to Video Image

Relatively new to LinkedIn videos are text styles and filters. These can be accessed only using the latest version of the LinkedIn app on Android or iOS. At this time, there are three text overlay styles and three filters available. LinkedIn has plans to add more to the mobile app. The text overlay feature gives you the option to make your video stand out even more. It also helps users see what your video is about, add context, or explain what is happening in your video if their sound is off. Choose from FifthAve, Geometric, and Plain fonts. The filters allow you to help your video stand out without investing a great deal of time into an entire video production. This makes for efficient yet interesting video creation. The three filters also can categorize your video.

They are:

  1. Work High Five
  2. Side Hustle
  3. On the Air

New Chat Messaging

The messaging feature on LinkedIn now has a chat feature so that you can discuss business opportunities back and forth quickly, in real time. This is the same way you might communicate via the chat on Facebook messenger or other messaging platforms. The use of real-time messaging can lead to improved engagement, which helps all types of contact with potential business connections, employers, or employees. The other recent improvement in the chat feature is the appearance of smart replies, which also can help improve the engagement and make it easier and faster to reply. Both the chat messaging and smart replies are available on the desktop and mobile versions of LinkedIn.

Enhanced Analytics

Of course, analytics are important to any marketer, and you should be using the stats and data that LinkedIn provides to make your connections, conversations, and posts work better for you. Analytics are now available on the updates you share on LinkedIn. You should also be regularly checking on the information they provide about the users who have viewed your profile. LinkedIn has announced that they have plans to expand the analytics provided here to include the keywords that users typed in to find your profile. This will change the game by making it easier to see which keywords are bringing users to your profile and where you can add new keywords.

Key Takeaways for Your Business

These new tools are sure to provide new ways to advertise your company, sell yourself, and network better on LinkedIn. You should definitely try these new features and investigate how they can work for you. As with any advertising or marketing strategy, you should test and see what works for you. The improved analytics and reporting features will help you bring it all together. The unique thing about LinkedIn is that there is so much information about the people in your network that the more time you spend dissecting that data and searching for connections you can sell to, the more you get out of it.

Are there any updates you use that I missed? Tell me how you use them in the comments.

The post Taking LinkedIn to New Heights With Updated Tools appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/modernb2bmarketing/~3/K_MsydO3wlo/taking-linkedin-new-heights-updated-tools.html

What We’ve Learned About Creating a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

Ready to take your digital marketing campaigns to the next level?

Have you been Googling for examples, templates, and/or case studies of great digital marketing campaigns? Or maybe you’ve noticed a lag in your growth/performance numbers?

You probably don’t need someone else’s creativity, but you might be able to benefit from a few expert pointers to help graduate your great idea to an outstanding digital marketing campaign. Consumers and buyers are inundated with digital messaging in the modern marketplace, so how do you stand out from the crowd?

We cornered a few of our own digital marketing experts here at Marketo and asked what key lessons they’ve learned about planning, launching, running, and reporting on effective, revenue-driving campaigns.

Graduate from Personas to Personalization

Here’s the truth about digital marketing: Today’s consumers have low attention spans, and competition for limited consumer attention is fierce. Earning attention requires targeted, personalized communications.

If you don’t know who you are targeting, or don’t have the right segmentation set up, how will your targeted message resonate? Sadly, it won’t. And when you’re spending money to run digital campaigns, every dollar spent needs to be targeted wisely for the most ROI. — Mike Madden, Sr. Manager, Demand Generation CoE & Strategy, Marketo

But you’re a savvy, experienced digital marketer, so this is not news to you. You’re constantly maintaining thorough buyer personas, using demographics and interest reports, and modern SEO research. And you have all five stages of the buying journey mapped for each of your key personas.

So do your competitors. This is 2018.

Digital marketing campaigns that stand out today need to move from personas to personalization.

Targeting includes both who you’re choosing to send or show your message to and crafting your message in a way that’s appealing to that audience. — Scott Minor, Online Marketing Program Manager, Marketo

There are two ways to do this. If your digital campaign is reaching specific targets, use case studies, stats, etc. that are in their same niche or industry.

If you’re focusing on a particular industry, use an example from a company in the same space, and definitely match their language where you can (e.g. maybe they talk about ‘clients’, not ‘leads’).— Scott Minor

If you’re fishing in a bigger pool, use the right bait—specific language, imagery, and other content elements that will primarily appeal to your target audience.

Different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses in terms of creating an audience. Take this into account when drafting your ad copy and appearance. For example, if a platform only lets you target by a topic/keyword, but firmographic data like company size is important to you, use your image and text to help your ad appeal primarily to the segment you want. — Scott Minor

Effective digital marketing campaigns deliver hyper-focused communications. It’s time to take targeting to the next level.

Define Success in Detail Before You Begin

Every digital marketer would say that metrics and analytics are important, but they can also be difficult. Because they haven’t taken the time to master the numbers, though, too many marketers plan their campaigns and try to save the metrics for later. It’s important to understand and be prepared for your key performance indicators prior to launching a campaign. If you aren’t ready to report on the campaign from the beginning, you are more likely to run into issues digging out the metrics that matter after the fact.

Create a list of goals, and work backward from those goals to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for each campaign, channel, technique, and initiative. And remember to make them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. For each campaign:

  • Define campaign goals, and map their connection to overall business goals. For example, if a business goal is to increase brand awareness, a related campaign goal may be to grow the number of people who follow the brand’s Twitter account.
  • Identify specific metrics that will allow for measuring success. In this example, the specific metric to track is Twitter follower count.
  • Set an attainable goal. If you currently focus a lot of effort on Twitter and only get 100 new followers each month, it’s probably not realistic to set a goal of gaining 1,000 new followers per month after launching a new campaign. A better goal may be adding 150 new followers each month.
  • Seek opinions on whether or not the goal is realistic. It shouldn’t be up to one person to define goals. Solicit the opinions of employees and coworkers to make sure everyone agrees that established goals are realistic.
  • Choose a timeframe in which goals should be met. To measure the effectiveness of campaigns, KPIs must be time-bound. Growing follower count increases to 150 per month can’t happen eventually. It needs to happen within a certain amount of time—say three months. If you haven’t hit the mark in three months, there’s solid evidence that the campaign is underperforming.

Once you have them defined, check the metrics throughout the campaign. Don’t wait for the finish line.

It’s important to check your metrics regularly. Sometimes, campaigns’ performances will surprise you (for the better or for the worse). If you don’t monitor their progress, you won’t be able to make adjustments and optimizations that can help you get the most out of your budget. — Scott Minor

Metrics and analytics aren’t just for the sunset review—not if your digital marketing campaigns are going to keep pace. Start them early and check them often.

Test Everything

First, test the experience. Once your campaign is ready to launch, take it for a test drive. Do your best to step out of your marketer shoes and just engage with the experience like it’s the first time you’ve seen it. (If this is hard, ask co-workers or friends to do it with you.)

Everything needs to work, of course, but if a digital marketing campaign is going to stand out, it needs to do more.

Does everything work correctly? Is the process as easy and clear as it can be? Can you eliminate a step to save your user time? Offer a bonus of some kind? You must deliver on the promise you made in your email/ad/message, but if you can also delight the prospect along the way, your chances for long-term success are even greater. — Scott Minor

Then, as the campaign launches, make sure it’s set up for A/B testing. (You really can’t get away with not A/B testing anymore.) And make sure the testing samples are appropriately sized.

When it comes to running A/B tests, the most common mistake [digital marketers make is] working with sample sizes that are too small. Imagine running A/B tests for two months only to find out at the end that none of your data is statistically significant because your sample size was never large enough from the start. — Mike Madden

Testing the user experience highlights opportunities to create a truly outstanding campaign. A/B testing key elements ensure the best results now and provide data you can use in your next campaign.

Create Standard Operating Procedures

Chance are, you have a fairly standard process for creating, developing, launching, monitoring, and wrapping up a digital marketing campaign, but it’s probably not documented.

Documenting the process gives you an opportunity to think critically about each step. Then, with each new digital marketing campaign, you can return to the documentation and make meaningful adjustments.

Every successful marketer needs a repeatable process. Think about your marketing campaigns like you would a sport. Did Steph Curry become the NBA’s best 3-point shooter because he just steps up and shoots a ball? No. The guy has a pre-shot routine, even though it may happen in a split second, where he follows a process, both mental and physical, to execute the best possible shot. We need to be like that. – Mike Madden

With the process documented, you can also more easily delegate and automate the simple, standard, and/or routine pieces — leaving you with more time for strategy and creative planning.

A Successful Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy

As the digital marketplace becomes more saturated, and MarTech becomes more sophisticated, digital marketing campaigns need to continue pushing the envelope in order to get noticed. Your competition has personas and mediocre metrics, so get ahead by jumping forward to personalization, mature reporting strategies, effective testing, and detailed process documentation.

Get started by identifying a small digital marketing campaign coming up, and see how many elements you can push forward. Take the communications to a new level of personalization, and/or make sure your team has metrics set up from the start, and see what it does for your ROI.

In your opinion, what does a successful digital marketing campaign look like? Tell me about it in the comments.

The post What We’ve Learned About Creating a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Source: https://blog.marketo.com/2018/05/creating-successful-digital-marketing-campaign.html

Becoming Allies With The Sales Team: A Lead Gen Solution

You know that part in Mean Girls, the third act where catty, clique-driven rivalries rupture like the many broken pieces of the plastic Spring Queen crown? Rivals Cady Heron and Regina George learn to create harmony at their school by devoting their energy to promoting their strengths instead of knocking each other down. As a result, a more pleasant High-School experience is enjoyed by all. This is a far-reaching metaphor for the kind of barriers we as digital marketers need to break down with sales teams.

For myself, and likely for many other marketers out there, when we advertise on behalf of our clients, we’re often in contact with someone from their marketing team. They relay the goals, approve strategy and ad content, and provide data, or in many cases anecdotes, on the lead quality coming in from Paid Search or Paid Social, which is relayed to them from their Sales team.

Why not cut out the middle-man?

I’m not advising that we cut ties with our marketing contacts completely in favor of sales, but wouldn’t a few conversations directly with the sales team about what makes an MQL turn into an SQL prove fruitful? Can we all acknowledge that there could be invaluable insights we might uncover? Why aren’t more of us doing this on a regular basis?

Take for example, a recent client experience of mine: I had a client whose in-bound sales department was overrun by leads. These particular kind of leads required significant follow-up from a sales person that required time and man power. They could scarcely keep up. This seems like a good problem to have, right? Wrong, if sales isn’t getting to the leads, then they’re not closing deals from those leads, which can make your paid channels suffer in terms of ROI. However, there was a second kind of lead they sought that was further down the funnel, helped pre-qualify someone interested in their product, and didn’t require the same time input. Naturally, we devised a strategy for conquest of this lead type, albeit more expensive, it worked. By understanding the difficulties the in-bound team was having, then problem-solving for them using PPC tactics, we were able to help them work more efficiently and shorten their sales cycle.

Shortening the sales cycle and improving close rates is the goal of ingratiating yourself with your client’s sales team.

Marketing is responsible for leads, Sales is responsible for closing leads. Strong communication of tactics across departments can not only bring better quality  prospects to sales, but can also help strengthen your partnership with your client.

Marketo reports that sales and marketing alignment help companies  become  67% better at closing deals. And SiriusDecisions reports that companies with aligned sales and marketing teams achieve up to 19% faster growth and 15% higher profitability.

Help lead your client to this success. To begin, ask your contact who in sales would make the most sense to contact. I have found that the best sales relationships start with Sales Directors or Heads of Sales. Set up a meeting and pick their brains.

Here are a handful of simple tactics that can be employed based on information you might learn from the sales team:

  1. Help pre-qualify leads by finding out what prospects frequently ask sales reps and respond to these questions in your ad copy and site-links
  2. Identify key attributes of SQLs: income, demographics, affinities… and adjust your targeting accordingly
  3. Find out what a lead follow-up looks like from sales. Is it an email? A call? See if there are any missed opportunities and determine if you can help re-capture interest via remarketing
  4. Find out if there are any trends that lead to higher average order values and create a strategy around this
  5. Ask questions about sales goals, special promotions, and educate sales about what PPC can do to see if any spontaneous, collaborative ideas emerge.

Collaboration and communication with your client’s sales team can provide a treasure trove of insights. It’s likely that you have PPC solutions in your back pocket that they need, but they’re just not aware yet that you can be a solution. Make yourself and your grab-bag of PPC tactics known to them. They will be grateful and once you have sales as an ally:

Source: https://www.ppchero.com/becoming-allies-with-the-sales-team-a-lead-gen-solution/

2 Phrases That Inspire Fearless Marketers

Between bosses and teams, we’re caught in a conundrum.

Bosses tell their teams, “I want to see more creativity! More innovation! Where’re all the great ideas?? Our competition is killing us!”

Teams say, “I bring you great ideas five times a day! And all I hear is we don’t have the budget, we’re not that kind of company, what we sell is different, or this would never work.”

It’s hard to be fearless when marketers on both sides of the equation end up defaulting to the same status quo work we’ve always done. The same approach to campaigns. The same approach to content. And the same approach to nurturing customers. It becomes a never-ending struggle between trying to stand out from our competition and breaking through internal resistance to do something new.

Why Experience Kills Great Ideas

When we start our careers, we can’t wait to jump in. We’re certain we’ll take the world by storm. Every day we’re waiting in the door of our boss’s office with a new, brilliant idea. Getting a “yes” on something truly unique seems like a numbers game. Just like in baseball, we have to swing a lot to increase the chances we’ll get a hit. When we’re this age, we have a high tolerance for risk and a high tolerance for rejection.

Compare that with what we’re like ten years into our careers. By this time, we’ve taken our share of bumps and bruises. While we’re still optimistic, we’ve learned to send out feelers before we suggest a crazy idea. We might email a link to a wacky video and test the response. If our peers tell us it’s clever but not something that would work in our industry, we cross it off our list of potential projects. Ten years into our career, we’ve gone from pitching wildly creative ideas every day to floating mildly interesting ones every six months.

Then we get to our 40s. By this time, we’ve invested two decades in a stable career, and we’ve got a lot to lose. At this stage, our pace of pitching a new idea has waned to once every two years or so. But even then, we’re not going to stick our necks out. We’ll just share a rehash of something that’s already been done. Something safe.

Does this ring a bell?

It’s not that anyone in marketing lacks ideas. And it’s not that our ideas are bad. It’s just that we’ve convinced each other that bosses can’t recognize great ideas and our teams aren’t willing to be creative.

The Gladiator Effect 

We’re stuck in a vicious cycle.

Bosses need new ideas, so teams put their heads together. They work long hours, late nights, and weekends. They’re looking for the next best thing that will catapult their company into the bull’s eye of our customer’s attention.

Teams put their heads down, generate ideas, and take them to their bosses. Bosses reject them and send teams back to the drawing board. Teams put their heads down…you get the picture.

This is why our careers teach us to avoid risk by avoiding new ideas. New ideas are scary, unpredictable, and a threat to the status quo. And let’s face it, given the choice between maintaining the status quo and having the courage to stick out our neck and try something new, marketers go the first route. We’ve seen all the work that goes into fearlessly proposing new ideas, and how quickly they get shot down.

One of the reason is that we’ve been conditioned by the Gladiator Effect.

In ancient Rome, gladiators were swordsmen who entertained crowds by fighting other gladiators in large arenas. The destiny of the gladiators was determined by the crowds who watched, and they signaled the fate of the battle with a thumb’s up or a thumb’s down. The outcome was black and white.

The same thing happens in business today with new ideas. People pitch new ideas, and they get a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The ideas either live or die. This is what feeds into the head-butting between bosses and teams.

When people pitch new ideas and they don’t survive the Gladiator Effect, it does more than squash new ideas. It kills courage. And no one can become a fearless marketer without courage.

Are we locked in a status-quo stalemate?

Luckily, no.

The Magic Words

Getting better ideas means giving better feedback.

The reason we get to the height of our career and are no longer willing to invest in our ideas is that we’re tired of hearing “no.” No, we don’t have the budget. No, we’re not that kind of company. No, what we sell is different. No, this would never work.

Bosses: it’s your job to boost the courage of your team and give them the kind of feedback that refines ideas.

Teams: you need to ask for feedback in a way that gives you the kind of direction that lets you nurture your ideas,

To build a team of fearless marketers, we need to create an environment that positions feedback in two steps.

First is the phrase, “What I like…” This takes the focus off the person who brought the idea to the table and puts it on the idea itself. It begins to bring objectivity into the equation. It gives people validation that they did the right thing. When you start with the positive side of feedback, that leads to excitement.

But let’s face it. Few ideas are great ideas from the get-go. That’s why we have to make sure that we give and get feedback to make first ideas better ideas.

The second phrase we need to use is, “What I wish…” This changes the dynamic of feedback and removes the emotional negativity and makes it feel less critical. For teams, this response gives them guidance and lets then know where to spend their time. Bosses find that they’re able to give direction and point teams toward a bigger goal or a larger picture. Both feel vested in the idea and neither end up defensive.

Fearless Ideas Require Fearless Marketers

Let’s face it, none of us got into marketing to do status-quo work. And every 30, 40, 50 and older marketer can be just as excited about bringing new ideas to the table as any 20-year old. And we can keep people young in their career perpetually excited about this amazing marketing profession. But we can’t do it without an ecosystem that encourages people to practice creativity, take risks and be willing to compete on a broader scale.

Because that, after all, is what fearless marketers do.

The post 2 Phrases That Inspire Fearless Marketers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/modernb2bmarketing/~3/5fUfyoLECWE/2-phrases-inspire-fearless-marketers.html

The Opportunities Tab: AdWords vs Bing, A Friendly Match-Up

Adwords and Bing mirror each other across the board. From expanded ads to being able to import campaigns with nearly identical campaign settings, they make it easy for advertisers to be present nearly simultaneously across multiple search networks. Aside from structure, various tools have also been mimicked.

Today, we are going to take a look at the Adwords opportunities tab (now called “recommendations” in the new experience) and the Bing opportunities tab and provide you with a side-by-side comparison of the features that both offer. Before jumping in, it’s important to keep in mind that every account is different and opportunities that are suggested in either platform need to be carefully analyzed before being implemented. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If it didn’t work when you tried it before, it may or may not again. If it’s telling you to spend a million dollars, don’t. You get the point!


(For the sake of the most recent update around the old Adwords interface, we will use the new interface for this post.)

In Adwords, immediately to the right of your list of campaigns, you will find a tab called “recommendations” which was previously called “opportunities” in the old experience.

In Bing, on the top menu bar, you will find the tab called “opportunities”.

Winner: In my opinion, Bing wins for ease of finding the opportunities tab, however, Adwords also wins because you are never directed to a separate page but rather the main contents change while the campaign menu and settings menus remain.


When looking at features, the majority overlap with the exception of Bing’s re-importing campaigns and Adword’s adding seller ratings. Below is a comprehensive list of the opportunities that may be recommended.

  • Bid Suggestions
    • Keyword bids: Suggestions based on current performance. These can be manual bid adjustments with traffic projections, bids to get on the first page of search results, bids to reach the top of the search results, or bids to increase impression share.
    • Bid strategies: Suggestions to test various bid strategizes including maximize clicks, maximize conversions, target CPA etc.
    • Device: Suggestions based on the performance of tablet, desktop, and mobile.
    • Location: Suggestions based on the performance of specific locations.
    • Audiences: Suggestions based on the performance of audiences currently layered with existing campaigns.

  • Budget: Suggestions to increase budgets for campaigns that are currently limited and reaching their daily allocated spend.
  • Ad Copy: Suggestions to re-organize campaigns by specific themes.
  • Ad Extensions: Suggestions to include ad extensions including seller ratings (Adwords only), callout extensions, sitelink extensions, structured snippets (Adwords only), and call extensions.

  • Ad Group Suggestions: Create new ad groups based on keyword themes.

  • Keyword Suggestions
    • New keywords: New keyword ideas are based on current keywords, landing pages, etc. The suggestions can be in the form of any match type.
    • Negative keywords: Suggestions to add negative keywords to prevent your ad from showing when certain keywords are shown.

  • Audiences: Suggestions to layer additional audiences on top of search, display, or shopping campaigns. This also includes moving ad group level audiences to campaign level for better management.
  • (Bing Only) Import Campaigns: Suggestions to re-sync existing Bing campaigns with the Adwords campaigns they were created from.

Winner: Another tie here. Opportunities are nearly identical and only differ when something pertains uniquely to the platform.

Performance Insight

Once you have skimmed through all potential opportunities, you can move forward by selecting “view recommendations” (Adwords) or “view opportunities” (Bing) for any of the listed recommendations. After that, you are shown what the recommendations are, given the option to “apply changes”, and you are shown the estimated performance.

For example, by lowering bids in a limited by budget campaign, Adwords will show estimated weekly clicks, impressions, and cost savings.

In Bing, by adding keywords, Bing will show estimated clicks, impressions, and cost based on a suggested bid.

Winner: In all honesty, with both giving the same performance projections, we have another tie. The only difference being the format of how performance is displayed.


In this case, we have a solid tie when evaluating the opportunities tab.

With the day-to-day management of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords, it’s easy to miss all of the potential optimizations in an account. Both Adwords and Bing provide a comprehensive list of optimizations that can be applied to an account, which gives advertisers options outside of their regular tasks. While opportunities shouldn’t be applied without careful consideration, they can be quick wins. Use your judgment and dive into endless opportunity.

Source: https://www.ppchero.com/opportunities-tab-comparison-adwords-vs-bing/

The Hardest Part About GDPR Isn’t What You Think

This is the start of something big, and the end of selling bald men unnecessary combs. Let me explain…

May 25th, 2018 is being heralded as marketing’s “High Noon” or our collective Zero Hour as we approach the deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation measures for contacts in the European Union. GDPR affects not only European companies but any business around the world that does business in the EU, requiring organizations to process personalp data against a set of new criteria.

According to recent Marketo research, as of four weeks before the deadline, only 28% of businesses considered themselves fully compliant, while a further 47% were confident that they’d be on track to be compliant by the deadline. It’s been a race to the finish line.

If you’re on the course, I recommend a number of resources from my colleagues at Marketo on how to understand and take action on GDPR—including a practical guide, on-demand webinar, and series of blog posts. But, beyond the technical and tactical considerations of this important legislation, I fear that along the way we’ve lost sight its true meaning for the marketing industry.

Much, if not most of the conversation around GDPR has and remains focused on the principles that address how Personal Data is being processed; Lawfulness, Fairness & Transparency, Purpose Limitation, Data Minimization, Accuracy, Storage Limitation, and Integrity and Confidentiality. However, in Article 5 of GDPR, in the second paragraph, is a line that states “the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph 1 (‘accountability’).”

This Accountability Principle, in my opinion, is the most challenging part of GDPR for marketing. I suspect that most of us didn’t choose marketing as a career because of our love of process, documentation and other very left-brain activities. However, when it comes to the handling and use of personal data, these are the skills we need to succeed. GDPR is going to require a cultural change, and that is hardest of all. As humans, we’re remarkably resistant to change – ask anyone who has given up an ingrained habit.

GDPR Holds Us Accountable to Higher Standards

Many of us receive as much irrelevant and unsolicited email in our work inboxes as our personal inboxes. The key words here are irrelevant and unsolicited. As marketers, we should be MOST concerned about irrelevance, the very nature of which flies in the face of our charter to communicate with the right person, at the right time, with the right message. Irrelevant content is the #1 reason consumers won’t engage with brands.

After all, you wouldn’t try to sell a comb to a bald man, right?

Unsolicited email is at the heart of GDPR. We need to seek permission and then stay within the bounds of the purpose for which consent was given. No nasty surprises. We’ve all experienced this as consumers, opting into a product we have a genuine interest in, then bombarded by irrelevant or unhelpful promotions until we opt-out.

GDPR—and other legislation around the world—looks to hold us accountable to higher standards in all aspects of digital communications, especially in how we profile our prospects and customers. It’s certainly had an impact on marketing teams, upending some marketing functions, and causing varying levels of confusion and confidence issues – but more importantly, it’s created a clear inflection point for marketing teams.

Marketing Is at a Crossroads

Our research study revealed two cultures emerging among the organizations we surveyed—those with a marketing-first culture, and those which are legal first.

High-performing marketing teams have moved beyond compliance (legal-first) to truly adopt a marketing-first mindset. They’ve shifted their priorities towards customer experience, customer insight, reducing email volumes, removal of cold leads, and similar with 34% having already made these changes.

As you sit at this same crossroads within your own organization, it’s important to note that those companies with a marketing-first culture are thriving. Within these teams, GDPR is driving business transformation, as executives report generally positive feelings about the upcoming data privacy legislation. Nearly a third are already boasting full GDPR compliance (32% according to our study.)

Tactically, this means it’s time to put the days of “buying a list and sending some email” behind you—we’ve all had this request and it’s a waste of time and money. We’re better than that. Put value (to the consumer) over volume (of impressions, emails, ads, etc) and don’t allow a heavy focus on compliance to weaken your CX efforts.

The Consumer Confidence Dilemma

Compounding the issue is a conflict between our confidence as marketers and our consumers’ wariness.

Buyers are increasingly skeptical about businesses storing their data, and trust issues are widespread. 75% in our study cited concern about the extent or personal information companies might have access to. A significant proportion of consumers are unlikely to share their personal information, even if they knew organizations would use it to send tailored, relevant offers.

This is in stark contrast with the confidence exhibited by businesses.

In this environment, businesses that lack an intelligent nurture program and a marketing-first and GDPR compliant culture will inevitably lose access to customers—many of whom have no idea what the GDPR is (only 40% of respondents citing a good understanding) but know that they can opt out of marketing communications.

These consumers will get very picky about sharing their data within the next five years. To earn their trust, brands must use consumer data to delight and create value, and ONLY THEN will they be entrusted with that information.

Post-GDPR, What to Do

More than anything, GDPR is a reminder of core best practices for all marketers. To move beyond compliance, and adopt a marketing-first mindset, focus on the decisions that enable relevant marketing in the first place: Clean contact lists, an improved nurture process, less cold leads and increased resources in turning qualified leads into customers.

In a post-GDPR world, businesses with an intelligent engagement and nurture process are much more likely to gain and retain customer attention than those who opt for a blanket, unstructured ‘get as big a contact list as possible’ approach. That antiquated approach runs afoul of buyers, and now, the law.

For additional information about GDPR compliance, please visit marketo.com/GDPR. What preparations have you done for GDPR? Tell me about them in the comments.

The post The Hardest Part About GDPR Isn’t What You Think appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/modernb2bmarketing/~3/kD68UrI1rEQ/hardest-part-gdpr-isnt-think.html

How to Drive Calls that Actually Convert

Did you know that call tracking can provide you with incredibly rich data to help you better visualize and understand your users’ journey to conversion…and help you more successfully cater to their needs? We know it can be hard to prove the value of the tool.  Our experts are here to explain how gaining call tracking data can help you close the gap in your customer journey and tailor their experience so they actually convert.


If we haven’t convinced you that call tracking is awesome yet, let me just add that it is cheap, accessible, and your competitors are probably using already. #FOMO


In this webinar, CallTrackingMetrics’ Jason Smith and Hanapin’s Mike Matta team up to show you the importance of call tracking in understanding what path users are taking to convert, gaining valuable data, and how it can serve to be a major benefit to your ROI.

You’ll learn:

  • How call tracking helps show which investments are paying off, and how to accurately calculate your ROI
  • How to use call tracking to better understand your customer journey and improve your customer experience
  • The amazing amount of rich data that comes in through call tracking, and how you can use it beyond your marketing strategy


Source: https://www.ppchero.com/5-reasons-why-call-tracking-is-worth-the-investment/

New Facebook Analytics Updates from F8

Facebook recently, during its F8 Conference, introduced a few new additions to its Facebook Analytics product that can prove helpful in understanding how people interact across your website, Facebook Page, app, and more.

What is Facebook Analytics you might ask?

It’s an omni-channel analytics tool provided to advertisers inside the Facebook advertising platform. It takes behaviors that Facebook has access to via your Facebook Page, Facebook SDK (for apps), and the Facebook Pixel installed on your website to aggregate insights and package them into an easier to read and understand interface. It’s particularly focused on understanding a user’s journey from initial contact to conversion and measuring more accurately than other cookie-based measurement tools.

You can then use those insights to better inform and optimize your advertising strategy, landing page design, and website in general. There’s a whole lot more to understand in what and how it does what it does, so I’d recommend heading over to the Facebook Analytics page to dig deeper.

So, what was announced at F8 that could be helpful?

There were two specific additions that stood out, automated insights and journeys. Both provide a deeper level of insight into user behavior and help you better understand what people are doing across your different marketing channels.

Let’s see what each has to offer in more detail.

Automated Insights

Automated insights, as the name suggests, is a tool that works behind the scenes to surface insights that might provide useful to you. It can surface insights like in what geographic areas you have a higher rate of conversion or what type of device leads to highest retention. The key is that it does all of this behind the scenes as it analyzes data and automatically pulls out insights for you.

For instance, below are a few basic insights this new tool surfaced in recent weeks within an account:

Some of these could be useful and some of them not, but the key is that they are happening automatically, so you aren’t having to dig through the data yourself. Are these going to replace human analysis any time soon?

No, but they could help surface the occasional useful insight and as the system gets better the insights should improve. It doesn’t hurt to look through what the system is finding and use what you find useful. Checking in on a semi-regular basis is a good idea.


Journeys is a tool that provides the paths to conversion across your site, app, Facebook Page, etc. and how they each performed along that path. You can read the announcement about this feature here.

As an omni-channel tool, Journeys can allow you to see what Facebook sees as users interact with your various channels. It can answer questions about those pathways and help us focus our attention in the areas with the most impact.

What kinds of questions might it answer?

  • How long on average it takes someone to convert?
  • What first interaction leads to the most conversions?
  • Do people convert more on mobile or desktop?
  • Do people who interact with your Facebook Page convert on your mobile app?
  • Do people who interact with your Messenger bot spend more?

These questions and many, many more can be answered by using the data and insights aggregated by the journeys tool. As long as you have the ability to see the data across these channels in Facebook, you can use journeys to inform and diagnose user journey successes and failures.


Automated insights and journeys are interesting tools that add increased value to the overall Facebook Analytics tool. Will they replace human analysis and fix all your user journey woes? No, but they can add value to your analysis and catch things that might be missed.

Consider diving into Facebook Analytics and giving these tools a look. At the very least they help to verify and corroborate insights from other tools.

Source: https://www.ppchero.com/new-facebook-analytics-updates-from-f8/