10 Data Visualization Best Practices for the Web

Data visualization has quickly become a standard for disseminating information on the web. It’s used across a range of industries, from business intelligence to journalism, to help us understand and communicate the insights within data.

Our brains are primed to process information that’s presented visually, making it much easier for us to understand data visualized in charts and graphs than data listed in tables and spreadsheets. A great data visualization should leverage these strengths of the human visual system to display data so that it can be readily absorbed and understood. It should take into account what we know about visual processing to enhance and ease the viewers’ experience of the data.

With so many tools and frameworks now available for building these graphics, it’s time to go back to basics. What makes data visualizations effective? What guiding principles should we follow when designing with data?

The following best practices will help you design rich, insightful data experiences.

1. Design for a Specific Audience

Visualization is used to reveal patterns, provide context, and describe relationships within data. While a designer holds no influence over the patterns and relationships within a given set of data, she can choose how much data to display, and what context to provide, based on the needs of the audience. After all, just like with any other product, a visualization is meaningless if its viewer can’t use it.

Visualizations for novices should be structured, unambiguous, and engaging. They should spell out directly, in words, what viewers should take away from the data.

Visualizations for expert audiences, on the other hand, can show a more granular view of the data to allow for reader-driven exploration and discovery. Detail and data-density should trump simplicity and clarity.

2. Use (but Don’t Rely on) Interactivity to Facilitate Exploration

Here’s a sobering number: only 10-15% of visitors to interactive visualizations on the New York Times website actually click buttons. The New York Times graphics team produces some of the best work in the business, and hardly anyone interacts with them!

The New York Times graphics team produces some of the best work in the business, and hardly anyone interacts with them!

What this suggests about interactive visualization design is that we cannot rely on interaction for building understanding. Key data must not be hidden behind interactive elements, and instead should be available without interaction.

What interaction is great for, however, is allowing for the integration of additional data (that might otherwise be excluded), to allow interested viewers to explore a dataset more deeply. Nathan Yau of Flowing Data has cornered the market on this style of interactive visualization, as seen in his graphics on causes of death and life expectancy.

Alternatively, interaction can be used as a hook; an attention grabber that gets your audience personally invested in the project before they can navigate far, far away. Check out this playful piece on handwriting and culture from Quartz. The piece kicks off by asking readers to simply draw a circle, before going on to outline an analysis of cultural shape-drawing that features some simple, but effective, visualizations.

Similarly, The Pudding recently released a interactive visualization to teach readers about the birthday paradox. While most non-statisticians probably find the birthday paradox, a standard problem in probability theory, quite dry and unintuitive, this visualization makes it seem downright fascinating. The way the creator incorporates the interactions of recent users makes the whole experience quite relatable.

Both of these interactive examples work because they allow the viewer to participate in the data, without requiring interaction for understanding.

3. Use Visual Salience to Focus Attention and Guide the Experience

Visual salience, the characteristic that makes a visual element stand out against its surroundings, is a powerful tool in data visualization. It can be used to guide the user’s attention to the most important information in a visualization, to help prevent information overload. By using visual salience to highlight some details and suppress others, we can make our designs clearer and more easily understood.

A few visual variables—color and size, primarily—are our keys to creating and controlling visual salience.

Color schemes are key to great data visualizations because color, as we all know, is particularly good at breaking camouflage. We can use warm, highly saturated colors to highlight key data points, and apply cool, desaturated colors to push less important information into the background.

Size is also pretty self-explanatory. Large elements demand more attention than small elements, so scale up elements that you’d like viewers to read first, and scale down text and elements that are less pertinent.

4. Use Position and Length to Encode Quantitative Information and Use Color to Encode Categorical Information

Cleveland and McGill’s well-known work on information visualization investigated the effectiveness of visual encodings (i.e. the mapping of data dimensions to visual properties). In their findings, they ranked different types of visual encoding according to how accurately we perceive them, giving us this (simplified) list:

  1. Position along a common scale
  2. Length
  3. Angle
  4. Area
  5. Color

What this suggests for data visualization design is that our first choice for displaying quantitative information should be to encode data by position (as seen in the classic scatterplot and bar chart). As opposed to angle-based encodings (like pie charts) or area-based encodings (like bubble charts), position-based encodings help viewers make more accurate comparisons in less time.

That isn’t to say, however, that all visualizations must be bar charts or scatter plots. It’s just a good idea to keep these fundamentals in mind when exploring new and exciting ways of visualizing data.

What I really want to emphasize here is that color should not be used to encode quantitative information, and instead may be used to encode categorical information. That is, we can use color to show that different bits of data belong to different categories.

5. Make Structural Elements Like Tick Marks and Axes Clear but Inconspicuous

Whether or not you support Edward Tufte’s extreme approach to minimalism in design, do yourself a favor and strip the visual clutter from your charts. Make your data shine by creating visual contrast between data elements and non-data elements, like Nadieh Bremer has done in her award winning visualization on birth times in America.

Remove any structural elements (like backgrounds, lines, and borders) that don’t work to clarify the data. Attenuate essential structural elements (like axes, grids, and tick marks) that would otherwise compete with your data for attention. Style grids in light grey at a maximum weight of 0.5 pt, and style axes in black or grey with a maximum weight of 1 pt.

6. Directly Label Data Points

Every visual element that encodes some data needs to be labelled, so that the viewer understands what it represents. Simple, right?

Wrong. Far too many designers rely on legends to tell readers which symbols or colors represent which data series in their charts. Legends, while easy on the designer, are hard on the reader. They force readers to scan back and forth between the legend and the data, putting unnecessary strain on readers’ working memories.

A better alternative is to label data series directly on the chart. It’s often more of a challenge, but hey, you’re the designer. Your job is to do the work so the reader doesn’t have to. In the example below, Nathan Yau has done the work to avoid using a legend, creating an interactive small multiples display with lots of direct labeling.

7. Use Messaging and Visual Hierarchy to Create a Narrative Flow

The best visualizations tell compelling stories. These stories emerge from the trends, correlations, or outliers in the data, and are reinforced by the elements that surround the data. These stories turn raw data into useful information.

At face value it might seem like data visualization is all about the numbers, but a great data story cannot be told without words. Messaging, with a clear visual hierarchy, can be used to lead the reader, step by step, through the data.

The title of a visualization, for example, should kick off the narrative by explicitly stating the single key insight the reader should take away from the visualization. Tiny annotations scattered amongst the data can provide support to that narrative by drawing attention to outliers or trends.

What I’m trying to say here is: give the viewer a hand and tell them exactly what to look for in the data!

8. Overlay Contextual Information Directly onto the Chart

As I just mentioned, we can use annotations in a visualization to help create a narrative flow. Sometimes we can add graphical elements to make those annotations even more meaningful—to connect that information to our data more directly.

Take this graphic from Susie Lu, for example. The “Summer Blockbusters” and “Oscar Season” overlays give meaning to peaks and valleys that might otherwise seem random. They help the viewer understand the significance of the data in a way that’s more direct than captions or annotations alone.

9. Design for the Mobile Experience

Static visualizations, typically published in bitmap image formats like JPG and PNG pose an obvious challenge for mobile viewers. The beauty of many data visualizations lies in their visual details—in tiny data points and subtle encodings—and many of these details are lost on small screens in static formats.

Case in point: Accurat studio’s beautifully complex work on Nobel prizes, which looks fabulous full-size in print and on a high-resolution retina display, is next to illegible on a mobile device.

To design for the mobile experience, either build responsive visualizations with a JavaScript visualization library like D3.js or Highcharts, or create multiple variations of the same static visualization for print, desktop, and mobile.

10. Balance Complexity with Clarity to Foster Understanding

All of the best practices I’ve touched on today boil down to one thing: finding the right balance between complexity and clarity that aligns with the needs of your audience.

It’s always tempting to make a beautifully detailed, subtle, exploratory visualization, but that’s rarely the most appropriate approach. Be considerate when designing your graphics—allow the knowledge and goals of the audience to dictate which and how much data should be included, and curate the data to tell the story you want to tell.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/07/10-data-visualization-best-practices-for-the-web/

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Staying Top-of-Mind Within the Modern Digital Landscape

Of late, I’ve had a personal breakthrough in the way that I look at delivering personalized experiences to customers within our ever-expanding digital world. Sometimes it can appear to be such a distant vision or complex idea to capture audience interests and then extend ongoing messaging through preferred channels of communication for each individual. We have the technology to listen, learn, and engage. But how can we do this in the most streamlined fashion without overwhelming our marketing resources?

Over the last couple of months, I have started implementing a logic for refining audience interests through our engagement platform and assigning follow-up communication according to the latest digital interactions that have greatly simplified the process for delivering a personalized audience experience.

While many unique variations could be added to the theme, here is the basic formula:

  • Start by establishing “listening” campaigns that articulate the preferences of audiences
  • Coordinate and assign ongoing communication to match these preferences
  • Expand the reach and reinforce the messaging of this ongoing communication through secondary channels and digital locations

There are undoubtedly many other approaches worth considering for articulating your digital marketing strategy. However, this formula is an excellent starting point if you are trying to move your marketing from single-channel communication to a more multi-channel approach. This article takes a look at each of these steps and provides some practical examples of how to put them to good use.

Identify Interest

“Put your feelers out there.” I don’t know where I last heard the term, though I believe it was a friend encouraging me to learn a new hobby. “You’ve got to put your feelers out there.” I think this is more of a reference to something like a hamster with whiskers or an insect with antenna. However, the analogy is accurate to marketing—as marketers we have to get an understanding of who we are targeting and their interests before we begin attempting to truly capture their engagement or calling audiences to action.

Digitally speaking, some people call this “casting a wide net.” What we are trying to do is uncover through digital interactions when and how people are connecting with our brand. To accomplish this, you need to be listening for engagement from the point where an anonymous visitor enters your website, all the way through to the point where they identify themselves, then on into their patterns of content consumption.

I may have already made many of us feel like this is a massive task, though in reality this often boils down to the following:

  • What brought someone to my site or content?
  • What actions are they taking on my site or with my content?
  • How frequently are they engaging with specific messaging?
  • Is the focus of their engagement shifting?

Let’s start with the source of audiences or visitors. With the right digital engagement platform, tracking where people are coming from is actually a whole lot more straightforward than it might appear. There are three main ways people get to your content: ads, referring pages, and direct messaging. While other means exist, the method for capturing these three sources can be applied to other channels as well.

  • UTM (Querystring) Parameters: The information located after the “?” within your browser URL is a treasure-trove of knowledge that can be used to identify what sent an audience to your site. Within your display ads and remarketing, make sure that UTM parameters are being used to determine which messaging has captured the initial attention of your visitors.
  • Referring Pages: Similar to UTM parameters, this information is automatically being registered by your browser and made available to 3rd Party engagement platforms. Essentially, the browser is able to deliver insights into what is driving audiences to your site.
  • Direct Messaging: Emails, text messages, mobile ads, and more all can supply sourcing information. While you may be sending out multiple messages, make sure to understand which of these messages are driving specific audiences to initially engage or continue engaging.
  • Clicks, Click-Throughs, and Links: much of modern digital tracking amounts to what part of your content or website an audience is clicking on.

Once sourcing information is collected, it is equally important to follow along with the actions and behaviors of audiences on your website. While Google Analytics is an excellent resource for a starting study of the overall effectiveness of page content, what is more important is to begin translating website behavior into audience preferences and interests. This is accomplished by looking for frequency and quantity of interactions.

Here is a simple, yet valuable example. Would you rather have a salesperson follow up with someone that visits your pricing page one time in the past two weeks or someone that has visited your pricing page four times in the past three days? The answer is obvious, though it illustrates a critical point, as marketers we need to combine WHAT audiences are doing with HOW often they are engaging. By doing so, we can create implicit segments of interest that are more in tune with the topics that will deliver personalized and engaging communication.

Coordinate Follow-Up

Listening for preferences must be fluid. With the right engagement platform, it is possible to setup workflows that consume information from all of the important touchpoints and dynamically shift segment inclusion to match the digital DNA of audience interest. This article does not go into the mechanics of setting up these workflows, though the right platform delivers simplicity and scalability, so you do not have to manually recreate the supporting tracking programs and elements over-and-over again.

With the right kind of fluid tracking in place to identify and assign interest segments, a modern approach to digital engagement will shift the assignment of content to match the most relevant topic or focus within the buyer journey. Rather than thinking of communication in a linear flow, modern digital communication is better thought of as a landscape of relevant “buckets” or “streams” of messaging. As individuals exhibit behaviors that match a specific bucket of messaging, appropriate platforms deliver functionality that can automatically adapt what type of communication an individual receives, or even dynamically adjusts the content of messaging to match their preferences.

Practically speaking, if someone has begun engaging with your brand in a generic fashion, then a bucket of content devoted to uncovering interest is the best starting place for ongoing engagement. As repeat visits to the same parts of your website, or consistent link clicks to specific topics, occur with appropriate frequency or quantity, it is appropriate to shift communication to a more targeted set of messaging. Finally, it is important to mirror the appropriate buying stage within the relationship and have buckets of communication devoted to stages of the sales process.

Other “buckets” can undoubtedly be uncovered to match your specific objectives and audience needs, though the concept is still applicable. Identify interest over time, then adapt the ongoing set of communication to match the digitally tracked interest of your audiences. Move messaging from generic to more specific over time—mirror and match interest and you are more likely to continuously captivate and engage.

Be Where Your Audience Is

The final element for keeping modern digital marketing strategies simple is to expand your messaging reach. Once interest is identified (or re-identified) make sure to setup self-updating programs or cross-channel audience lists that place interest-based messaging in front of your audience on a regular basis.

Here’s a solid example of how this works. When a visitor first comes to your website, offer initial messaging, then once their interest is identified, communicate across channels with messaging related to their interest. This can be accomplished by matching and reinforcing messaging across channels, such as remarketing, direct mail, text messaging, and more. The goal is to keep relevant topics top-of-mind throughout your target audience’s digital and offline experiences with your brand.

  • Use of low-cost methods for uncovering interest to start, such as email, website personalization, and mobile messages, to capture the core interest of a buyer.
  • Afterward, include audiences in more targeted campaigns such as ad remarketing on social media or direct mail to drive specific points of interest and be everywhere identified interest is at.

Summing Things Up

Delivering personalized and engaging interactions is a key to making brands stand out in our digitally connected world. To accomplish this, there are some basic steps that can help marketers begin delivering more relevant and interest-based communication.

While there are many approaches to consider, here is one formula that is a simple place to start:

  1. Cast a wide net to capture and track initial attention
  2. Uncover specific interest and focus communication
  3. Be top-of-mind everywhere your audience is

The best way to learn this methodology is to start with a target audience segment or set of behaviors that match a key sales initiative. From there, refine your methodology and build out a set of repeatable campaigns/programs. Then begin expanding the approach to other audiences and initiatives.

As stated before, numerous methodologies and frameworks can be used to drive digital results, this is just one. Would enjoy hearing more about your frameworks in the comments below.

The post Staying Top-of-Mind Within the Modern Digital Landscape appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/07/staying-top-mind-within-modern-digital-landscape.html

What’s New for Designers, July 2018

What kind of projects are you working on? It might be the hotter days (with more time at a computer) that have me focused on ways to enhance productivity. In this month’s roundup of new design tools and information, you’ll find plenty of helpful items that relate to workflow.

If we’ve missed something that you think should have been on the list, let us know in the comments. And if you know of a new app or resource that should be featured next month, tweet it to @carriecousins to be considered!

UnDraw

UnDraw is a curated collection of SVG images that you can use for free, without attribution. All of the images fall under the MIT license and the site is packed with scalable images for web projects. Embed tiny SVGs or edit the code and make each image your own before adding it to your design. (One of the most fun features? You can browse SVGs by color.)

Placid

Placid allows you to create custom social media share card images via API. Choose a pre-designed preset and automate image creation (and show social users exactly what you want). The tool is free with limited use and there’s special beta pricing for more power users.

HTML Email

HTML Email is an email design system for Sketch. Download one file and get 10 templates for mobile and desktop emails with plenty of reusable components to make building HTML emails easy. Using the system will help create more consistency in email design, saving you time with a reusable grid, modules, styles and colors.

Gradient Joy

Gradient Joy is a placeholder image generator that puts pretty gradient boxes in image areas. Just add an image size, pick a color (if you like) and pop the simple code in as a placeholder.

ColorSpark

ColorSpark is a fun color gradient tool that helps you generate cool color combinations. (And it makes this list as the second gradient tool because they are just so nice) Start with a color you know or click the “generate” button for a random, but well-paired, color combination.

MapKit JS

MapKit JS allows you to embed Apple Maps on your website and search using location-based tools. The JavaScript API allows for direct embedding of interactive maps; it does require authorization via JSON Web Tokens for initialization and come API calls.

Open Logos

Open Logos is a project to help you find free logos and divots for other open source projects. There are a few rules to make sure that each logo only goes to one project, so make sure to read the instructions to get started and claim a logo.

Scrolling Gradient

Scrolling Gradient is a fun little pen with a background gradient that changes color as the user scrolls down the page. It works by using two gradients that are overlaid to create a nifty scrolling effect.

Sensorama

Sensorama collects samples from all the sensors on your iPhone and sends the data to you via email. It activates with your prompt and the developer is looking for additional help on GitHub. Plus, it is fun for data geeks.

Maze

Maze adds analytics to your design prototypes so that you can think about projects in progress in the same way you would monitor live websites. Create actionable paths and test the results with real users, then analyze results in a live dashboard. And you can do it all without adding code to your design. Maze is free for a single project and also offers paid plans.

Roller

Roller is a Sketch plugin to help you find and fix inconsistencies in design projects. The creator calls is “spellcheck for Sketch.” The free plugin is easy and pretty effective.

Free Illustrations

Free Illustrations is a collection of icons and images that you can use for projects. All of the illustrations are vector-based and the collection is updated weekly. (So there’s always something new to play with.) The project is thanks to Lukasz Adam.

Tropical Icons

Tropical Icons is a set of 50 free scalable vectors that evoke feelings of summer fun. The set includes icons in outline, outline with color, and color settings. Plus the design make it easy to switch the color palette to match your website colors.

150 Vector Icons

150 Vector Icons is a fun set of line icons in 15 different categories. Every style is easy to edit, customize and make your own for pretty much any project. Each icon also comes in color and monochromatic styles in AI, EPS and PNG formats.

API.video

API.video is billed as a way to create your own Netflix using a scalable webservice with an API based on the REST standard. You can host and broadcast videos anywhere in the world. Toll pricing is based on encoding, hosting and streaming needs.

Whimsical

Whimsical is a visual design workspace that can help you mange projects. Create flowcharts or wireframes in a collaborative environment. The tool is adding new elements all the time and has promised a Sticky Notes feature next. The tool is free for up to four diagrams a month, after that the model switches to paid plans.

Sonar

Sonar is now open source. The tool is Facebook’s creation and is designed to debug mobile apps. Plus, you can do it all from a single desktop interface. It is available for us as-is or through a plugin API.

Overflow

Overflow is a collaborative design tool that’s currently in beta. Use it to help create user flow diagrams to help clients or team members better understand projects. (You might not go back to your old method of showing mobile app user patterns.)

Tenori-Off

Tenori-Off is a fun little distraction. The smart music sequencer uses some back-end machine learning to match drums to a melody. It might be the most interesting thing you play with all day.

DevTube

DevTube might be your new go-to video channel. It’s a lot like YouTube, but all the videos are made for web developers with topics, talk and tutorials that will make your work life better or inspire you to try new things. Sort by type of information, favorite speaker or even channel.

Codementor

Codementor is designed to connect developers to programming and freelance jobs. The website is an interface to find someone who can help you solve design problems as well as workplace connector. The site claims to already have 8,000-plus developers on board.

Alpha

Alpha is a fun and modern sans serif typeface. It includes four styles – medium, regular, light and inline – with a full upper- and lowercase character set.

Fivo Sans

Fivo Sans is a neo-grotesque sans serif with a strong stance and high style. It is fairly neutral and with multiple weight and styles, can be used for almost anything. The complete font – including six families – is free to use and packed with characters.

Heptal

Heptal is designed as a multipurpose typeface for wide usage. The thick stroke, block style makes an excellent display option. The character set includes letters, numbers and some punctuation, but is otherwise somewhat limited.

Leira

Leira is a hand-drawn style typeface with an all uppercase character set. It makes a fun and interesting option for display uses. The font also includes numerals and some basic punctuation.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/07/whats-new-for-designers-july-2018/

Popular Design News of the Week: July 9, 2018 – July 15, 2018

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

Visual System

 

You Know a Web Site Sucks If…

 

Physics-Based Background Scroll Effects

 

Unused

 

Visitors – Google Analytics in your Menu Bar

 

Getting a 99/100 Google PageSpeed Score

 

Design Systems: Everything You Should Know

 

How to Use Color Fonts on the Web

 

How to Choose the Right Technology for your Next CMS Project

 

700 Screenshots of Developers’ Websites

 

The Design Tool Dilemma

 

The Mythology of Design

 

Making Lists Easy

 

Procreate – Now with Warp, Liquify, Symmetry, and More 

 

You Peeps Agree?

 

10 Creative Branding Hacks to Help You Stand Out from the Crowd

 

Ryeboard – A Virtual Whiteboard for your Ideas

 

Top 25 Tools for UX Designers

 

17+ Awesome Examples of Circular Menu Elements in Web Design

 

How to Use Chrome DevTools like a Pro

 

“Make it Pop”: How to not Suck at Giving Feedback

 

Affinity Designer for iPad is Out Now

 

Pattern Library First: An Approach for Managing CSS

 

I Created a Font Memory Game, How Fast Can You Complete It?

 

Creative Burnout is Inevitable. Here are 10 Ways to Beat it

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/07/popular-design-news-of-the-week-july-9-2018-july-15-2018/

Comics of the Week #237

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

No extra costs

You get what you pay for

 

Low tech budget

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/07/comics-of-the-week-237-2/

The Final 25 Members of Our Fearless 50 Are Here!

I read a quote once about fearlessness that said, “F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours.” Since leaving Marketing Nation Summit, where we were given all the building blocks we need to be Fearless Marketers, it has been our mission to remember what we learned and take it to heart as the year marches on.

When we announced the Fearless 50 program, we tasked ourselves with searching the world for marketers who exemplified what it means to be bold, brave, and fearless. Who would have thought when this idea was hatched that the nominations would flood in the way they have? We were humbled to read every incredible story that the Marketing Nation submitted to us and narrowing it down to select just 50 members was almost an impossible challenge.

After poring over countless inspirational nominations and long deliberations, it is our pleasure to announce the second half of the inaugural class of the Fearless 50:

  • Anna Fuerstenau, Marketing Specialist, Reliance Worldwide
  • Bill Brown, Director, Marketing Operations, Phillips 66
  • Brooke Bartos, Marketing Automation Manager, Walker Sands Communications
  • Carissa Russell, Marketing Technologist, Current powered by GE
  • Danielle Balestra, Director of Marketing Operations, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Jenn DiMaria, Marketing Automation Consultant, RevEngine Marketing, a Digital Pi company
  • Jim D’Arcangelo, SVP – Growth Marketing, UpCity
  • Joe Isaac, Global Marketing Manager, GE Healthcare
  • Jon-Erik Valetti, Director of Marketing, Carfax
  • Justin Sharaf, Director of Marketing Technology and Operations, LogMeIn
  • Karen Fowler, Manager of Client Services, Digital Pi
  • Kendall Brown, Manager, Global Demand Generation, Verizon
  • Kim Lawrence, Associate Vice President, Marketing, University of Calgary
  • Kimi Corrigan, Director of Marketing Operations, Duo Security
  • Madison Bennett, Marketing Operations Coordinator, Terminus
  • Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing, Everstring
  • Melanie Chapman, Director of Strategic Communications, Jellyvision
  • Melissa Hobley, CMO, OkCupid
  • Melissa Thames, Head of Global Marketing Operations, S&P Global Platts
  • Michael Barber, SVP and Chief Creative Officer, Godfrey B2B
  • Ryan Gallagher, Marketing Specialist, Proofpoint
  • Satu Ståhlstedt, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing Specialist, Fujitsu
  • Shannon Renz, Senior Director, Demand Center – Marketing Operations, SAP Ariba
  • Stephanie Ristow, Senior Marketing Program Director, Charter School Capital
  • Talia Burlamaqui, Marketing Demand Operations Manager, Ericsson

Personal and professional acts of fearlessness should not only be recognized but celebrated as shining examples of what we all should aspire to be. One of our Fearless 50 members, Maria Pergolino, CMO of Anaplan, shared her excitement, “I’m honored to be a part of Marketo’s inaugural Fearless 50. Being recognized amongst such amazing marketing professionals inspires me to continue to be fearless in Anaplan’s marketing efforts, developing new methods, and driving results.”

While the inaugural class of the Fearless 50 has come together, there is more work to do. We look forward to sharing the stories of these 50 incredible marketers and continuing to inspire the Marketing Nation to approach each day with fearlessness and bravado.

Fearlessness isn’t a personality trait, it’s a state of mind. We can choose to follow in the footsteps of these 50 bold marketers whose names will go down in Marketing Nation history, and, if we do, we will never view fear as “Forget Everything and Run,” but as “Face Everything and Rise.”

Marketo is proud to welcome the inaugural class of the Fearless 50—please be sure to check out our blog post that announced the first 25 members as well! And we thank our Fearless 50 program sponsor, PFL, for joining us on our quest to find the world’s most fearless marketers.

The post The Final 25 Members of Our Fearless 50 Are Here! appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/07/final-25-members-marketos-fearless-50.html

5 Crucial Data-Driven Marketing Trends and How to Exploit Them

As the amount of data available online continues to grow, so do advanced marketing strategies that businesses can adopt to harness and use all that valuable information. You may be wondering where to start or how to enhance your data-driven marketing efforts.

Here are five trends and how to take advantage of them to move to the front of the pack:

1. Personalized User Experiences

Have you ever logged into your Amazon account and found customized product recommendations based on your shopping and browsing activity? Or found your homepage experience personalized in real time to reflect your online behavior? These are examples of how marketers are using data to understand their customers better and create individualized user experiences.

To adopt this strategy:

  1. Identify your target customers’ demographics and tailor your content and website experiences accordingly. For instance, if you’re looking to sell to women age 18-34, depict such a person on your homepage.
  2.  Feature the products or services that generate the majority of your revenue on your homepage and make them easy to find.
  3.  Employ such tools as Optimizely, along with data you already have, to gain valuable customer insights and use them to quickly create different personalized homepage experiences for your customers. You should also look for a tool that will allow you to conduct A/B testing on different homepage variations to determine which one will produce higher consumer engagement.

2. Predictive Analytics

“Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data,” according to SAS’ definition. “The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to providing a best assessment of what will happen in the future.”

You can apply this approach to advance account-based marketing (ABM), which promotes sales-and-marketing alignment by focusing only on key target accounts that match your company’s ideal customer profile. The goal: better understand which companies are most likely to do business with you. In the B2C world, predictive analytics can help you focus your ad spend on the right people, helping you achieve a higher ROI.

Predictive analytics can strengthen your marketing results by helping you identify:

  • Companies that fit your company’s ideal customer profile: Most predictive analytics tools can provide important firmographic information on prospects, including industry, number of employees, estimated annual revenue, and funding rounds. You can use these variables to zero in on companies that fit your buyer personas and can afford your products.
  • Accounts most likely to buy: Intent data, or data sets that consist of people who have demonstrated a strong likelihood to be in-market for a specific product or service category, is becoming widely available across both the B2C and B2B spaces. However, not all intent data is created equal. Intent data that is compiled from individual behaviors on social media is more accurate and will drive better ad targeting. 

3. Data Onboarding for Targeted 1:1 Ad Campaigns

Data onboarding is a strategy that’s catching on rapidly. A report by the Winterberry Group, cited in Ad Age, predicts the data onboarding market will reach $1 billion in 2020.

Lotame, a data management platform, defines data onboarding as “the process of transferring offline data to an online environment for marketing needs.” Lotame adds, “Data onboarding is mainly used to connect offline customer records with online users by matching Personally Identifiable Information (PII) gathered from offline datasets to find the same customers online.”

You can use such a platform, along with identity resolution (described below) and omnichannel marketing, to reach the same audience on multiple devices with personalized messaging.

4. Identity Resolution for a 360-Degree Customer View 

To offer the best omnichannel experience, you need to recognize and tie together your customers’ identities across all the channels and devices they use. Identity resolution helps you do that, enabling you to expand your view of a customer to their apps and interests.

Identity resolution makes possible more precise targeting, omnichannel tracking and measurement, and personalization at scale.

You can use a toolset such as StiristaLINK, which connects B2B and B2C identities for a 360-degree view of your prospects. This lets you develop integrated communications to reach the same person, for example, via Facebook, Twitter, other social channels, and personal and business email.

5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Top data-driven marketing companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and LinkedIn are already actively using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data and predictive analytics to improve their products.

For example, LinkedIn uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data they collect) to power its smart replies recommendation engine.

Google uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to power its autocomplete search prediction engine. Once you begin typing in the search box, an algorithm utilizes all user data acquired to show what you might be interested in before you finish typing. These predictions are based on information gathered on the interests of other people with similar search queries.

Google’s latest product release, RankBrain, uses predictive analytics and AI to decide which pages to rank in search results, in real time. It understands searchers’ queries (keywords), measures how people interact with the results (user satisfaction) and then ranks the pages that best answer users’ questions.

Facebook also uses machine learning to power its Website Conversion engine. For example, the tool can calculate your cost per purchase and estimated conversions after 50 conversions. The “machine” requires a certain number of conversions to learn and predict which type of audience will better respond to your offer in the future.

So, there you have it: Five crucial data-driven marketing trends to adopt or start using more extensively. Now more than ever, businesses must assemble and integrate customer data to gain insights that will help you create a great, seamless customer experience spanning multiple channels. Leveraging these trends will move you along that path toward better results.

Which other trends should be added to this list? Tell me about it in the comments.

The post 5 Crucial Data-Driven Marketing Trends and How to Exploit Them appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/07/5-crucial-data-driven-marketing-trends.html