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Conversation Agent presents: Marketing in 2014

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At the risk of restating the obvious, marketing has become exponentially more interesting today. The adoption of digital tools, customer mobility, and mainstream use of social technologies require a ...

At the risk of restating the obvious, marketing has become exponentially more interesting today. The adoption of digital tools, customer mobility, and mainstream use of social technologies require a broader mix of competences to sort out the added complexity.

While this is simple to point out, developing great products and delivering services worth coming back for is not that easy. I asked 7 friends who are both marketers, and technologists, visual thinkers, analysts, and product pros, to share their forecast for Marketing in 2014.

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Conversation Agent presents: Marketing in 2014 Conversation Agent presents: Marketing in 2014 Presentation Transcript

  • Marketing in 2014 presented by: Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent . @ConversationAge . www.conversationagent.com   
  • But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.” − Steve Jobs Marketing in 2014 M a k e i t b e t t e r. “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there.
  • Foreword: The Promise Economy by Valeria Maltoni In 2014, themes related to the emergence of technology from the last couple of years will continue to impact business. Specifically, we will continue to see examples of the degree in which organizations have come to rely on technology as part of the marketing process, and customer adoption challenges businesses and changes the skill sets in demand on the people side of commerce. The pervasiveness of connected devices – from smartphones and tablets to cars, homes, and soon what we wear – is also creating a clear mandate for design of service to provide experiences worth having. Built-in feedback loops make it necessary for the co-mingling of interestingness with value to make interaction sustainable and investment worthwhile. “Content” is a critical organizing factor in design of experience and not just an afterthought. Whether image-based or in the form of copy or sound, creation and planning should not be separate from the architecture of the experience itself. Knowing the type of experience a brand wants to provide is very much part of understanding the motivations, contextdriven intent, and tasks people want to get done and deliver content and interactions that map to them. Every organization shares a strikingly similar marketing toolkit. Sure, after years of waitand-see on designing better digital commerce experiences, some brands are still in catch up mode with social and mobile integration.  3 Marketing in 2014
  • And the use of robust analytics in measuring what matters across channels has now become a necessary part of doing business. Yet standing out in this environment continues to be the product of a thoughtful approach to customer conversations. Service and product experiences impact both customer relationships and organizational culture in an ever evolving loop, which means they need to go beyond just working – they need to be constructed to help the business deliver on its promises time and time over. I have been calling it the promise economy. Although we are in a time of great chaos, with incredible media fragmentation and technology changes coming faster and making it challenging to tell trends from fads, higher customer expectation and stronger pressure on margins, the answer continues to be in closing the gap between the promises a company and brand makes and the promises it keeps. As customers ourselves, we are grappling with the ramifications of three main themes: 1.  Technology is starting to fade into the background. Our preferences are dictated by convenience and context: we use smartphones, tablets, SmartTVs, and laptops interchangeably and as appropriate to get stuff done. Wearable tech, connected homes, and measurable self are not too far behind (conceptually). New device adoption has reached critical mass and technology is starting to go from novelty to necessity in people’s lives, with plenty of choices among similar products. Beyond getting the product right, smart companies are making an investment in understanding their customers and adding a compelling service layer to the experiences they provide.  4 Marketing in 2014
  • 2. The line between physical and virtual, personal and social, private and public is a moving one. Our digital/social behaviors are leaving a data trail: where relevance might delight us, excessive targeting and automation continue to be a big turnoff. Empowerment creates more work for individuals even as it delivers benefits of going direct. It is a “both/and” proposition. If technology is more about understanding what’s going on that matters, the human need to feel safe and made whole dictated by privacy and security concerns underscores the importance of focusing on what change is needed. Massive systems aggregate a greater number of data points from transactions. Making a tradeoff between front-end simplicity and failing to address potential issues on the back-end will backfire. 3. Greater attention-deficit calls for the design of experiences worth having. We are human, and the more choices are in front of us, the more we feel overwhelmed. In this environment, signal comes from appropriate, mindful, imaginative, caring, and bold gestures. Value flows to those who create guideposts to help understand what is bedrock and what is sand. A coherent digital transformation roadmap dictates the set of choices an organization is committing to making, and will help prioritize what should be done first, then second, third, and so on. Implementation takes focus, discipline, and keeping an eye on effectiveness along with costs. Building to iterate and improve takes rigor and agility, a less glamorous proposition when it involves large teams used to working in separate silos.  5 Marketing in 2014
  • This new environment is also rich with contradiction and filled with a cacophony of questions competing for attention. We need to get back to basics, and at the same time let what we are learning and is possible with technology inform us ( no, Big Data should not replace thinking.) In a 2005 interview with Forbes magazine Steve Jobs summarized the necessary relationship between technology and culture: “Pixar is the most technically advanced creative company; Apple is the most creatively advanced technical company.” We need both – the desire to figure out what is possible using technology, and human ingenuity for the ability to zoom in an out of experiences to connect the dots in new ways. The mandate: make the service experience better, keep putting out great products and let that inform a better, more responsive organization. ABOUT VALERIA MALTONI: A sought after speaker within the international community, Valeria has 20 years’ experience consulting to Fortune 500 and fast growth organizations on how to drive business results. Valeria has delivered digital and social brand strategies to Anheuser-Busch InBev, Allstate, GE Appliances, and the Project Management Institute as well as provided integrated marketing consulting for Target and SunGard, developed multi-channel user experience journeys for GSK, and worked with many more of the world’s most prominent businesses.  Since 2006, Valeria’s Conversation Agent ranks among the top marketing blogs in the world on AdAge Power150. Handpicked by Fast Company as Expert Blogger, Valeria is on the Advisory Board for the International MBA, Fox School of Business at Temple University, adviser to SmartBrief Social Media, and co-author of The Age of Conversation. On Twitter @ConversationAge.  6 Marketing in 2014
  • It’s 2014: Marketers Become Anthropologists by Leslie Bradshow Marketers, get out your field gear, because the biggest trend for 2014 is actually going to be more survivalist than theorist. This will be the year of marketers who double as not just cultural, but also nomadic, anthropologists. We must be prepared to move swiftly, camp out, and fearlessly explore what makes our fellow humans tick. And then we must be willing to pack up and follow them where they go next, not letting habit or platforminvestment hold us back. To help guide you in your ongoing research, I’ve shared six areas that I am watching—and putting to work—this year. 1. Thoughtfulness The success of thoughtful campaigns over the last year should provoke more authentic efforts in 2014. Focused on values rather than products, Pantene had a huge win with their sexism-fighting commercial that mentioned shampoo exactly zero times, and Fox allowed promotional budget for their movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to be spent on relief efforts in the Philippines. Small gestures that affect just one Alaskan town or one flight during Christmastime can also make big impact with a larger audience. We all need to buy shampoo, plane tickets and the occasional taco. If the people selling them want to work against decades of damaging messages with powerful stories and socially responsible acts, aren't we all better off?  7 Marketing in 2014
  • 2. Agility 3. Visual Storytelling Working with a focus group in 2008, I asked the young participants where they spent their time online. “Facebook!” they all cheered. When asked whether they thought they’d still be using Facebook in several years however, they all answered with a resounding “No!” They intuitively knew something else would be along by then. Rather than predict which social network will be 2014's new breakout star, I feel safer predicting that there'll be one and we should all plan accordingly. Understanding that people will shift over time (and that marketers must shift with them) is incredibly important. Visual storytelling will continue to dominate in 2014 and we can look forward to the inclusion of more video and mobile-optimized viewing. However, let’s get honest with ourselves: as marketers, we've oversaturated the market with infographics, branded memes, and listicles of animated GIFs. The novelty has worn off and now it is a lot of “me too” marketing. We must find new ways to repurpose internet phenomenons to deliver real value, delight, entertainment, and insight to our audiences. To keep agile, brands need to be investing less in specific communities and more in their brand voice and general content that is device and platform agnostic. Just look at the migratory patterns of today’s youth from Facebook to apps like Instagram and Snapchat, and fast-risers like Selfie Club. As my good friend Joe Chernov once put it: "The secret to breaking through a noisy landscape isn't more noise. It is sounding different." Focusing on why tactics worked so well will help breed the next generation of visual content. Spending time on forums where people assemble and consensus rises to the top, such as Reddit and Imgur, can lead to inspiration and insights to motivation.  8 Marketing in 2014
  • 4. Automation 5. Curation The days of using bubblegum and chicken wire to quickly produce usable content are through. Automation of the content creation process has simplified everything from workflows to talent searching. Automated services such as Percolate and Contently aid curation, a plethora of apps like Over allow marketers to produce quickie content from their phones, Wochit and my company Guide help create cost-effective video, and ifttt connects all the dots to get the content out the door. This is not a new concept to us; ever since Pinterest took off in 2011, we’ve got on board with the idea that creating meaningful collections of things. Why? Because curation is not only something we humans do naturally (I admit to organizing my closet by color, do you?), but in the face of an increasing amount of Chernovian “noise”, curation is something we do out of necessity. Next year will be all about making sure your team has the right tool kit to provide quality content, cost-effectively and at scale. As someone who is passionate about efficiency— and yet spent the first part of her career creating bespoke content—I am welcoming of these new services and approaches. Heck, I am even helping build one. Curation also goes hand-in-hand with finding birds of a feather with whom to flock together. As you take on your personas (hip mom! busy millennial! et al.) and targeted demographics (men 18 - 24, women 45+, et al.), ask simply: what can we filter and curate to make their lives better? And where are they already going to get this done? Digital anthropologists, go by foot and carry a notebook.  9 Marketing in 2014
  • 6. Go Long ABOUT LESLIE BRADSHOW: Related to the idea of thoughtfulness, I am observing an increase in our appetites for longer, more thoughtful pieces of content. In a world wrought with listicles and animated gifs, I am pleasantly surprised at the success of platforms like Medium and UpWorthy. Their word counts and video lengths are longer than the supposedly optimal 500 words / 90 seconds and yet we are still reading and watching. But make no mistake, the substance is still driving the interest and engagement. Leslie is a passionate entrepreneur, social scientist, and data-driven storyteller. In addition to serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Guide, she is a Fellow at the US Chamber of Commerce and a regular contributor at Forbes. Previously, Leslie spent six years building one of the world’s top data visualization firms who counted Nike, Google, Samsung, Intel, NASA, and C-SPAN as its clients during her tenure. A PBK graduate of the University of Chicago, Leslie has been recognized by Fast Company as one of “The Most Creative People in Business” and by Inc. Magazine as a “Top 30 Entrepreneur Under 30”. On Twitter @LeslieBradshow. What should your bar be? I like to use the “is it TED-talk-worthy?” measuring stick. Are you going to wow and educate your audience? Then by all means, go long. Are you going to make them want to change a habit or see the world differently? Then fire up your keyboard and get out your video camera.  10 Marketing in 2014
  • How Agile Marketing and Marketing Technologists Will Save Us from the Crushing Pace of Change in 2014 by Scott Brinker Marketing is on fire. Growth, innovation, and opportunity permeate nearly every facet of our profession these days. It's a thrilling time to be a marketer.  Of course, that doesn't mean it's easy. The pace of change in our work is accelerating, and keeping up is probably the single greatest challenge that we face. But at least it's not dull. speed at which marketing manages its activities. Previously, marketing used to engage in relatively long-term planning cycles. In particular, we usually invested significant effort in assembling a yearly marketing plan. From budgeting to scheduling, we'd aim to predict what we were going to do for the next 12 months, often in considerable detail. Two trends that I expect we'll see in 2014 are greater adoption agile marketing management and the proliferation of "marketing technologist" roles. The common theme with both of these is that they're ways that marketing can better manage change. While that used to be effective in a world that shifted less frequently, such long-term planning is increasingly foiled by the ever more rapid changes happening in our markets. We need to adapt to those changes more quickly than a traditional yearly marketing plan would typically support. Agile marketing, which has evolved from the agile software development, increases the cycle Agile marketing solves this dilemma by organizing management around more shortterm planning cycles.  11 Marketing in 2014
  • Instead of trying to map out activities a year at a time, agile works with smaller chunks of time called "sprints" of 1-4 weeks. Planning consists of updating and prioritizing a backlog of tasks to do. The team then focuses on executing those top priorities for the rest of the sprint. Agile teams are usually small, consisting of no more than eight people. (Larger marketing departments can have multiple agile teams.) A high level of communication and crossfunctional collaboration is encouraged within teams. The backlog and sprints provide a structural mechanism for quickly, but sanely, incorporating changes — "we'll queue that up for the next sprint" — without having to constantly engage in ad hoc fire drills that disrupt the current work being done. This truly empowers team members to make a difference. It's not lip-service: it's one of the ways in which agile approaches thrive. Certainly a long-term vision is still important to guide the choices being made in sprint planning. But the vision can evolve based on what's actually working with prospects and customers. Agile marketing also encourages more responsibility and authority for marketers on the front-line, to take the initiative to address problems or opportunities that arise "on the ground." [For a more in-depth discussion of agile marketing, you might enjoy my articles on Agile Marketing for a World of Constant Change and Debunking 3 Myths of Agile Marketing.] The second trend is the rise of the marketing technologist. A marketing technologist is a hybrid professional who combines both technical and marketing skills. This might be a technologist who has a background in IT or software development, but has since found their passion working in the service of marketing.  12 Marketing in 2014
  • Or it might be a marketer who has deeply embraced technology in their work, learning how to master software in the pursuit of their mission. Growth hackers. Search engine optimization experts. Web developers. Marketing automation system administrators. Data scientists working in marketing. These are all examples of marketing technologists. These roles are rising in popularity because, increasingly, marketing is a technologypowered discipline. Software mediates everything in digital marketing — and the argument could be made that all marketing is, to some degree, becoming digital. Now, not everyone in marketing needs to be a technical expert. But marketing teams that have such tech-savvy individuals within their ranks are better able to tap the power of marketing software in their strategy and execution. And the choices of marketing software out there are extraordinary. My recent landscape of marketing technology vendors identified 947 different companies across 43 categories, from marketing automation to content marketing, from social media marketing to testing and optimization. It's a huge space.  Marketing technologists are well-suited to continuously evaluate and reevaluate this landscape, to make sure that their company is taking advantage of the latest marketing technology innovations that can give them a competitive edge. Note that marketing technologists are not a replacement for your IT department. In some organizations, they actually report to IT. But even when they report directly into marketing, which is the more common scenario now, they serve as bridge between the two departments.  13 Marketing in 2014
  • By natively speaking the language of both teams, they're able to promote better and more effective collaboration. (For a deeper introduction to the role of marketing technologists, I'd humbly point you to my article The Marketing Technologist: Neo of the Marketing Matrix.) ABOUT SCOTT BRINKER: Scott Brinker is the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, which provides a SaaS marketing platform for creating and optimizing landing pages, microsites, and marketing campaign "apps." He is also the author of the Chief Marketing Technologist blog, where he covers the intersection of marketing and technology and its effect on marketing management and culture. You can reach him on Twitter as @chiefmartec. These two trends — agile marketing and marketing technologists — are intertwined. Marketing technology gives marketers the technical capabilities to increase their velocity, and marketing technologists make those capabilities accessible. Agile marketing then gives marketing teams a management framework for taking advantage of those capabilities. Together, they give marketing the ability to turn the fast pace of change from a "bug" into a "feature." Here's to an awesome 2014!  14 Marketing in 2014
  • Social Grows up by Tara Hunt One of my biggest frustrations with the world of marketing over the years has been that metrics have focused on quantity over quality. I’m all for measuring outcomes and making certain that our strategies and tactics align with our goals - but as the customer expectations shift and the airwaves get noisier, we need to also shift our expectations. The definition of a successful campaign usually ends with enormous numbers of views or retweets or shares, but beyond the obvious issue with this metric, there are several underlying problems with a focus on virality: 1. Views, retweets and shares are fleeting. The video, tweet or post in question may be popular today and celebrated across the industry as a ‘best practice’, but you are only ever as good as your latest viral hit in this paradigm. Your unicorn success today will be shelved for someone else’s tomorrow. 2. Focusing on a viral hit means that your number one competitor is…your own potential customers! That’s right. For every branded viral hit, there are dozens of nonbranded viral hits. Of the top 10 2013 YouTube viral videos, 3 were branded “ads” (Evian, Volvo & Carrie the Movie), 2 were musical comedy groups (Lonely Island + TVNorge) and 5 were by YouTube ‘makers’ (real people who work to build their own personal brands online).  15 Marketing in 2014
  • 3. And though the end result may be a viral runaway…brands get a leg up on their competition by paying YouTube to boost their videos. I did an examination of branded viral videos about a year and a half ago that showed that the majority of views branded ‘viral’ videos got were paid for. With the hiding of stats in the newer versions, it's difficult to assess the new ratios, but judging from the signs, it hasn't changed. 4. These brands are competing with their potential customers, but not getting the same long-term loyalty from their efforts. Volvo’s “Epic Split” may have over 67 million views, but their account has 83,902 followers. Compare this with maker, MisterEpicMann, whose “How Animals Eat Their Food” got more than 93 million views, but his subscriber base is well over 3 million or maker SteveKardynal who did the Chatroulette version of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” (>95 million views) who has over 4 million subscribers. 5. Do viral hits equal sales? Well, in some cases, yes, but in most cases, no. For instance, the famously viral Old Spice Guy campaign increased sales by 107% - reviving a lagging brand - but the follow up “viral” hits resulted in dips in sales. If you look at one of the viral hits of 2013, the Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise promoting the movie Carrie, the results were incredibly disappointing. The YouTube video had over 52 million views, but the box office underperformed. Even Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 made more money…$247,989,258 worldwide compared with Carrie: $82,394,288 worldwide. And one of the top box office winners Gravity ($670,209,910 worldwide) didn’t even come close to having viral anything.  16 Marketing in 2014
  • This is NOT to say that I think brands should ignore social media. In fact, I think they should increase their time investment into it. The disconnect lies in looking at new media in the same way they looked at old media. A broken point of view that only worked ’50% of the time’ (though that quote is generous) for old media is even more of a broken point of view for new media. In 2014 and beyond, I’d like brands to: 1. Stop focusing on short-term wins or “viral” hits. The social web is about relationships. Long-term relationships. People are having them with other people, with celebrities and with brands they care about. Think long term. Stop planning campaigns and start building for the future. Figure this out. It’ll look different for everyone. 2. Invest more time and less money. If you follow point #1, this won’t be difficult. Spend less on boosting viral success and your budgets will drop significantly. Then put some of that money into paying human beings to help scale your efforts as they grow. Invest in the community. Invest in your product. Invest in long-term relationships. 3. Learn as you go. There are no best practices or rules or formulas. Your customer will be different from the next customer and every single one of them will throw you for a loop if you try to predict their behavior. What you can do is learn from your interactions and improve your approach. This will be noticed and people will talk. And that’s exactly what you want to have happen. Remember, the bar is low. The brands with the most ‘quantity’ aren’t necessarily the most deserving.  17 Marketing in 2014
  • If you are going to learn from anyone, take a look at the makers and individuals who are ‘winning’ on the web. They’ve spent no money and a great deal of time building a strong, loyal audience that will follow them anywhere. Attend fewer corporate CMO type conferences and more maker type conferences. Follow the people who’ve built an audience with no money and lots of heart. Collaborate with them. ABOUT TARA HUNT: Tara Hunt was named as one of the most influential women in technology as well as a Woman to Watch in Entrepreneur Magazine. She wrote The Whuffie Factor/The Power of Social Networking (published in 7 languages), is a conference speaker and co-founded the international coworking movement. She was also on Twitter before it had vowels (TWTTR) and can be followed as @missrogue. Don’t just pay them to promote your brand… hire them and work with them on bigger ideas. (for example: I love what Casey Neistat did with the $25,000 20th Century Fox gave him to promote their movie). But it would have been even better if 20th Century Fox and Ben Stiller worked with Casey on this.) The future of marketing success in this shifting world depends on marketing professionals shifting our focus from short term to long-term results. Let’s make 2014 the beginning of this shift.  18 Marketing in 2014
  • What You Need To Watch In 2014 by Bob Knorpp Many of the changes to the marketing landscape in 2014 are obvious and sexy. We all like to imagine what the benefits of the Internet of Things or wearable technologies will bring to us. But we may be ignoring the implications of some of the less obvious, but much more important changes that are on the horizon. Here are the things that you can’t afford to miss in the coming year: Generic Top-Level Domains You may have heard that the top-level domain expansion is about to happen. The press likes to talk about “.walmart” or “.citi” being the new reality for the web, but generic top-level domains (gTLD) are where the real disruption will happen. The owner of “.hotel” could control an enormous portion of search traffic for the travel industry and the owner of “.auto” could completely control how we find our next car. Plus, when tied to mobile apps, a gTLD can create a virtual walled garden around a search category. The land grab is on, so brands need to protect their trademark assets now or risk losing significant amounts of web traffic. Also, watch for a side market in risk management to develop as startups like DomainSkate emerge to manage the legal and branding liabilities faced by the enterprise and SMB markets.  19 Marketing in 2014
  • Collaborative Creation Think about mix tapes. They are easy to create, meaningful to the people who make and get them, and a way to both celebrate the original artist and get kudos for yourself as the mixer. Right now the Internet is beginning to burst at the seams with new technologies and platforms designed to tap into this idea. MixBit is a fascinating example of this. A video platform created by the YouTube founders, it allows you to upload your short clips, share clips with others and then remix them into endless permutations of a final video product. AuthorBee is another nascent platform designed to aggregate many contributions of text (and soon video and pictures), then the owner of a thread can remix the assets into a cohesive story or news feed. This ramping up of collaborative creation is just beginning, but has the potential to redefine how crowd marketing is done, and how media is consumed. It provides a more palatable blending of brand control while still including the user’s input. End of the “Black Hat” Goldmine It’s been threatened for years, but the time has finally arrived. With all the browsers now employing some form of do-not-track as a default position, coupled with ongoing privacy concerns, the third-party cookie will soon be completely useless. Google and Bing are creating their own unique tracking systems to replace the cookie while still protecting users, which will create plenty of problems on its own. However, the biggest disruptions will be among those brands that either intentionally or ignorantly relied too heavily on what are known as “black hat” SEO practices.  20 Marketing in 2014
  • We can expect sharp traffic declines on those sites as a result, as well as a lot of internal questions from management.  Chuck Schumer, expect to see rapid deployment and benefit throughout the retail sector in the coming year. In-Store Mobile Signal Tracking Sharing Platforms Becoming Transactional Platforms Websites have always had a huge tracking advantage over physical retail locations. On the web, we often know with great specificity how a person moves through a site, what attracts their eye, where their attention is held and what influences them to buy. Now startups, like Canadian company Mexia, are bringing that level of detailed tracking to brick and mortar retail operations using the non-identifying signals emitted from mobile phones. These signals can be used to monitor traffic patterns, gauge effectiveness of instore displays and even deliver and monitor conversion of offers. Plus, with the recent code of ethics that this emerging field has arrived at with privacy hawk, US Senator We love to talk about the sharing economy, because it decentralizes things like travel to match availability to need. However, sharing platforms like ride service Uber are beginning to realize their power as transactional platforms as well. Over the past year, the company has staged promotions that allow users to purchase Christmas trees for delivery or even to buy kittens. While primarily launched as promotional stunts, these moves are proving that sharing platforms can also be used to facilitate great commerce and pose a potential threat to existing payment technology platforms.  21 Marketing in 2014
  • Look for a rapid expansion in this area over the next 12 months as experimentation with what’s possible here spreads and grows. ABOUT BOB KNORPP: Bob Knorpp is host of the award-winning Internet audio program, The BeanCast Marketing Podcast (www.thebeancast.com). He also created and hosted the official podcast of Ad Age Magazine, Ad Age Outlook, and is a regular content contributor to that publication. He has been a featured speaker for MarketingProfs, The DMA, Blog World and dozens of regional events. After 20-years in marketing and running his own successful consultancy, The Cool Beans Group, he now has embraced full-time analysis of the branding and startup worlds as Chief Analyst for Evol8tion, an innovation company that connects blue-chip brands to early-stage startups. Bob is based in New York. On Twitter @BobKnorpp.  22 Marketing in 2014
  • Human Marketing in 2014 by Aliza Sherman For better or for worse, 2014 escalates the ubiquity of connectivity. From a human standpoint, we’ll be seeing - and experiencing - social media overwhelm and overload and a backlash to being hyper-connected. Any company that has put all of their marketing, communications and customer service eggs in the social media basket will be in for a rude awakening. Too many of us have looked at “social media” as the focus - the tools and platforms that provide the conduit of connection to our customers. We’ve facebooked, tweeted, youtubed, linked in, pinned, vined, instagrammed - maybe even latergrammed in the misguided hope of getting more fans and followers. We’ve even…selfied. Madness. Peel away the technical frameworks, features and functionality and what you see underneath is the fundamental core of marketing and communications. Keep peeling. Beneath that is the intrinsic nature of human beings. Why do we do these things? Because human beings want to connect: We want to be part of something. We want to find a community where we can belong. We want to stave off loneliness. We want answers to the sometimes unanswerable. We want to make a mark and to feel like we matter.  23 Marketing in 2014
  • Some of us want distraction from our lives. Some of us want more meaning in our lives. Whatever our interests or motivations, they are vast, diverse, and subject to change as we grow, learn and experience life. Social media - and social networks and social networking functionality in particular - tap into human urges to connect, belong and matter. Brands infiltrating online social spaces reminds me of the 90s when companies suddenly saw the web as the next silver bullet of marketing and proceeded to clutter the nascent network with commercials. Today, companies clamor to figure out how to be in social networks and how to use social networks to market and sell. It’s the 90s all over again. They throw more and more money at trying to make a big social media splash. In the early web days, we called it hits, then visits, then visitors. Now it’s gone from fans and followers to likes, comments, shares and the distracting and false Holy Grail of Viral. In 2014, I think companies will find greater long-term success in their digital marketing efforts if they root their strategic plans and tactics in being more human and understanding human nature and behavior. 1. Understand that people in 2014 are ultraconnected. They carry their computer, communications device and community connector all within their portable, mobile, wi-fi and cellular enabled device. The division between online and offline is more permeable. Knowing this fundamental shift in human behavior leads way to providing 360-degree experiences of value for your customers and potential customers. Bricks and mortar companies keep trying to push foot traffic, but when people arrive at locations, there are few clues or cues of a company’s online presence.  24 Marketing in 2014
  • Even for businesses without locations, looking at ways to incorporate online in offline and vice versa will create more integrated experiences for customers and help acquire new customers in unexpected ways. from the intensity of hyper-connectivity. This may seem like a contradiction to #1, but it’s the flipside, a yin to a yang. Look at what is happening with wearable technology, particularly in the fitness space (FitBit, Jawbone Up) or geo-fencing with Bytelight and PlaceAd. This is not your grandparent’s version of “Integrated Marketing.” Anticipate the human recoil and be ready for the impact. Bake relief valves right into your strategy. Look at what is happening with Camp Grounded, Reboot, and the #unplug movement. Social Media Marketing is not a separate component of marketing at all. It informs and reshapes all types of marketing, both online and off. We have to stop calling it Social Media Marketing. It’s Marketing, plain and simple, yet totally transformed. 2. Understand that people in 2014 are overwhelmed and inundated by the ubiquity of connectivity. Look for ways to offer relief So while you seek out ways to develop 360degree experiences for your customers, be prepared for pushback or backlash. Understand that putting all of your money and efforts into online marketing misses enormous opportunities to be present in physical spaces. For bricks and mortar businesses, this means re-imagining your space. For companies without physical locations, this means infiltrating physical space. Think pop-up shops; face-to-face meetings and intimate gatherings within larger events.  25 Marketing in 2014
  • Don’t underestimate the value of being “THERE,” actually being physically present with your virtual, social fans/customers. If I were to make one wild prediction about marketing in 2014, it is that 2014 will be the Year of Unplugging. I actually encourage unplugging. For consumers, this will happen for a myriad of reasons - physical, mental, even spiritual. In some cases, it will be forced on them (repetitive stress disorders, for example). In others, it will be self-imposed (digital detox). For companies, this means stopping, stepping back, and really examining what you’re doing and why. Look closely at what is working and what isn’t. In our rapid social communications and content landscape, we cannot afford to keep doing what we’ve always done because that’s the way we’ve always done it. We have to be flexible and responsive. Better yet, we have to be emotional and creative. Formulaic will not cut it. Ever-changing technology algorithms and evolving human nature and habits won’t tolerate it. ABOUT ALIZA SHERMAN: Aliza is a Web pioneer, mobile strategist, and social media innovator and commentator. She speaks around the world and writes about Internet, social media, the intersections of social and mobile, and women's technology and business issues. Aliza specializes in making technology more accessible to humans. Her mobile consultancy, Mediaegg, provides strategy and app development to businesses and nonprofits. Named by NEWSWEEK as one of the "Top 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet," Aliza continues to explore new technologies and their impacts on our work and lives. Her latest books are Social Media Engagement for Dummies,  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing and Mom, Incorporated. On Twitter @AlizaSherman.  26 Marketing in 2014
  • A Primer on Mobile App Analytics for 2014 by Adam Singer With an explosion in mobile application marketplaces (more than 1 million apps on Google Play and 1 million apps on iOS at the time of writing) and a shift in focus to mobile (more than 80 percent of marketers are planning to increase emphasis in mobile initiatives, according to recent research Google conducted with ClickZ), measuring mobile is more important now than ever. But even though Apps aren’t new, measuring them is still a new area for many marketers in 2014. What exactly should you be measuring to understand the success of your application and improve results? How can you align your app measurement to business goals? We'll answer those questions in this story. Apps are a different world than web, and thus require a different methodology and set of metrics. Regardless of the platform(s) your app lives on or the tools you use to measure it, it's critical to measure three key areas: acquisition, engagement, and outcomes. Next, we'll outline some sample metrics in each area to help you understand them better and become more effective at measuring your app today. ACQUISITION ENGAGEMENT OUTCOME  27 Marketing in 2014
  • Acquisition Metrics: Where Do Users Come From? Acquisition metrics show you how people are finding your app and whether they're continuing to use it. Similar to top-of-funnel web metrics, your marketing team should be analyzing acquisition metrics consistently to ensure a healthy trend up. Some of the key acquisition metrics to measure include: •  New and active users. Measure the number of new and active users who launch your app everyday. This will help you understand if your application and marketing are successful at a high level. •  App store traffic sources. Understand which traffic sources account for most new users and in-app conversions. This data will help you refine your marketing activities to focus on the traffic sources that provide your highest quality users. •  App versions. Keep track of the distribution of active users over the older and newer versions of your app. Knowing which versions are being used will help you understand which versions of your app need continued support and which are safe to deprecate. •  Device overview. Analyze the top mobile devices and OS versions that your app runs on, and optimize the experience for each device. Engagement Metrics: Is Your App Sticky? You've acquired a massive user base - now what? Engagement metrics help you understand how users are interacting with your app so you can add more of what they like and remove what they don't. You can also identify potential reasons for attrition before they occur, such as excessive crashing or slow load speeds.  28 Marketing in 2014
  • Key engagement metrics you should keep an eye on include: Outcomes: How Does My App Impact the Bottom Line? •  Screens. Determine how users move Most importantly, identify the metrics that show the business value your app has created, and amplify the areas that are showing the most value. Has it helped increase sales? Brought in more high-quality leads? This is shown through outcome metrics tracked by your app analytics, and may include such metrics as: throughout your application by measuring how they move from screen to screen. This will help show how users actually engage with your application and if they're successfully getting to the screens you desire. •  User behavior. Assess how loyal your users are, how frequently they use the app, and the engagement level of each loyalty group. Understanding this information is critical so you can see which users your application resonates with. •  App crashes. Troubleshoot problems on devices and operating systems by seeing trends in crashes and exceptions. Developers need to keep close tabs on app crash metrics in order to understand and fix problem areas. •  Goal conversions. Set up conversion events in your app (for example, time spent in app, or an in-app purchase, ad click, etc.) to gauge success. Conversion events are whatever you define as success and should be customized based on your business: whether that's making an ecommerce purchase or completing a lead generation form.  29 Marketing in 2014
  • •  In-app purchases. If selling virtual or tangible goods purchases inside your app, track the number of purchases and revenue generated from them. With the explosion in mobile purchases (ABI Research projects total mobile app revenue, which includes in-app purchases, to soar to 46 billion by 2016), this is a critical one to watch. What’s the pillar to base your app strategy around? Engagement. Let’s review some of the reasons why: Until you have loyal users, increasing acquisition metrics doesn't make sense. Say you launch a new application and decide to dial up acquisition tactics. You increase your online advertising spend. You engage a PR firm. You start to attend conferences and network. You put in all this hard work and drive thousands of new, excited users to your application. And then 90 percent of them install your app, launch it once, only to never open it again. This is an all too common scenario for app developers and marketers, especially brands that are creating and marketing an app for the first time. If this happens, you have a loyalty problem, and should dive into the "why" to discover the reasons your app isn't as sticky as you think it is first. Refine your app, build the right "hooks," then when you're confident that relevant uses will stick around (and you have the loyalty data to prove it), make a case to increase your marketing spend. To do so without understanding attrition first could prove a costly mistake. Loyalty metrics tell you if your app usage is becoming a "habit." The goal for mobile app developers is really to make your application a "habit" for users.  30 Marketing in 2014
  • This event can be anything, from when they are bored waiting in line to when they're seeking a certain utility to when they're engaging in an activity. I'm sure everyone reading this who is developing mobile apps is working on ones which, in their minds, provide a ton of utility for users. Engagement and more specifically loyalty metrics such as session instances, duration, screens, and conversion rate will tell you if in fact your users agree that your app is a mustuse and has become a habit for them. If not, you may need to go back to the drawing board to ensure your app is "sticky" enough to become a habit, or double your efforts on the content front to educate your users on what they're missing. No loyalty, no or low outcomes! The business value your app has created (sales, in-app purchases, etc.) - are clearly important to measure. But if your users aren't returning, you likely will see low or no outcomes from them. Just like on your website, outcomes (or conversions) may not happen on a user's first engagement with an app. Pending what your app does, this may take multiple sessions. Or, if you sell something within your app or your app generates advertising revenue, loyal users will generate much more revenue in the long term. Also consider how loyal users map to new revenue (a significant portion of word-of-mouth referrals will come from them) and focus on increasing this key audience. While many app developers and marketers think purely about new users and downloads, think about active, loyal users and how to make them happy. This is the path to longterm app marketing success, and app loyalty reports can help show you the way there.  31 Marketing in 2014
  • ABOUT ADAM SINGER: Adam Singer is Analytics Advocate at Google, a marketing, media and PR industry speaker, startup adviser and blogger. He previously was digital director for a 300+ person global consulting team and over the course of his career has provided online marketing strategy for B2B & B2C brands in a variety of industries including marketing technology, healthcare, manufacturing, advertising/subscription-based web startups, and much in between. Singer and his campaigns have been cited by top media outlets such as TechCrunch, AdWeek, NY Times and more for creative use of digital marketing and PR. Singer blogs at  The Future Buzz - an award-winning blog with more than 25K subscribers and frequently-referenced source of what's new in digital marketing. Connect with Adam on Twitter and Google+.  32 Marketing in 2014
  • Marketing…The New Technical Position by Nelly Yusopova "You’re an engineer…how did you become a VP of Marketing at OnSIP?” I asked Nicole Hayward at the NYC Webgrrls Holiday event when we met. It is always great to run into another female techie but I was curious how she ended up in Marketing.   Nicole told me “Our President has only hired Technologists for marketing roles”, which I think is brilliant and makes a lot of sense. Many companies are now starting to hire techies for marketing positions. Digital Marketing has grown far beyond crafting the message, sending an email, or working with Twitter. It doesn’t yet require a Computer Science degree but it does now require a significant understanding of technology. I am a developer and a marketer. I am lucky to have come from a technical background. I can conceive of a campaign, wireframe it, prototype it, and code it… and that allows me to work pretty independently and use less time and fewer resources. I can see how important a good understanding of technology is for even the simplest marketing campaigns. Now, in addition to thinking about what software to buy to support marketing efforts, marketers have to think about what software the company needs to create to better connect with their customers - web applications, widgets, Facebook apps, Mobile apps.  If you want a career in marketing and want to have security in your position, you will have to get technical. You will not survive in a marketing job if you lack technical knowledge.  33 Marketing in 2014
  • Here are 4 things I think every marketer should know: And in a world where everything is happening real time, getting custom reporting in a timely manner is super important. 1. How to evaluate the tools that are available In addition to knowing how to use the tools, you need to be able to evaluate whether or not they will be able to integrate into your existing tools. This integration usually happens through something called APIs. Do you know SQL? SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is the most widely used language to query data from databases. If you are not, I would recommend that you learn the basics. By learning simple query commands, you can slice and dice the data you collect in many more different ways than what a tool might provide you. API stands for Application Programming Interface and gives you the ability to use other people’s code in your application. If you’re not familiar with API, you’ll need to learn what they are and how they work to be able to ask the right questions from the vendors and make an informed decision on whether the tools you are considering will work for you. 2. Analyze the data that you collect Information is power…it allows you to make better decisions. 3. Wireframing, prototyping, and have an understanding of the development process A wireframe is a blueprint for what an email or web page will visually look like. Prototypes allow you to test product concepts before you build them. These are two valuable skills for marketers to have to better communicate your ideas to developers who will be coding the ideas and concepts you have.  34 Marketing in 2014
  • Also, I would highly recommend taking the time and understand the steps that technology people take to develop web and mobile applications. By knowing the process and the terminology you will be able to speak to developers in their language, bridge the communication gap and get the things you need done a lot quicker. There are a lot of resources online that you can learn from. I also teach a bootcamp called TechSpeak where you can learn this process in an intensive 2 days. 4. Learn how to code…at least a little bit. Once you understand the development process, I would highly recommend that you learn to code a little. Knowing how to code will enable you to implement some of the easier day-to-day tasks without having to be dependent on a developer to “find time to do something for you". Start with HTML (the building block of how web pages are coded). Then learn some CSS (this is the font style language). And if you are adventurous, you can learn JavaScript. Here are some online resources where you can learn how to code: Codecademy, Code/Racer, The CodePlayer. With so many tools and technologies coming out on a daily basis, it is nearly impossible to stay on top of everything. So surround yourself with groups of people of similar interests and goals and through sharing and frequent information exchanges, you can learn at a much faster rate. ABOUT NELLY YUSUPOVA: Nelly Yusupova is the CTO of Webgrrls International and the Founder of Techspeak for Entrepreneurs, a 2 day intensive workshop for non-technical entrepreneurs. For more than a decade, she has built and maintained all the technology at Webgrrls and developed tech strategies for many companies to help them grow. You can follow her on Twitter at @DigitalWoman.  35 Marketing in 2014
  • Thank you. Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent . @ConversationAge . www.conversationagent.com