Tag: Marketo Marketing Blog

How a Marketing Automation Platform Can Help With GDPR Compliance

The personal data economy has been increasing for years. Now with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline around the corner, data collection and enterprise responsibility will finally merge.

This is obviously great news for consumers, but what about marketers? Is GDPR a burden or a blessing?

On the surface, GDPR is a lot to take in. Nearly three out of every four marketers don’t fully understand the GDPR privacy laws they’ll be tasked to operate within, while one in four organizations say they’re still in initial planning stages.

But for marketers, GDPR doesn’t have to be intimidating. Being GDPR-compliant essentially means building trust and improving customer engagement—and hasn’t that always been the goal?

Let’s take a closer look at GDPR and the role marketing automation platforms will play in GDPR compliance.

The Effect of GDPR on Marketing Automation

Marketing automation platforms have long been a valuable tool to help teams track leads and subscribers via various profile segments, measure ROI, and give marketers a complete view of the customer lifecycle.

These platforms are even more crucial in a world governed by GDPR. Without automation infrastructure in place, companies can end up with disorganized data that leads to costly fines. A marketing automation platform can help you track and verify that data is managed in a GDPR-compliant way.

However, no one said building a solid data foundation to become GDPR-compliant would be easy. Expect the following challenges and changes from GDPR:

  • Current consumer data and email lists may no longer be valid, depending on how they were obtained
  • Less consumer data will be collected than historical norms
  • Trying to get existing databases to fully opt-in will be difficult
  • Consumer consent needs to be properly documented, including when and how it was collected
  • Consumers must be able to opt-out at any time
  • Specific types of consent must be matched with concrete goals
  • Department-wide security standards and best practices must be implemented for accessing and using automation platforms containing customer data

Under GDPR, gaining consumer consent doesn’t mean marketers have free reign to process or control all data they can acquire about a data subject. For example, if an auto insurance provider obtains a consumer’s personal details (such as name, age, address, driving history, and their vehicle make/model), that doesn’t mean the company can collect the subject’s health information, income level, or ethnicity.

In some cases, marketing teams should get in the habit of storing pseudonymous data, or data that cannot be attributed to a specific data subject without additional, separate data points. Setting up systems like this requires thinking critically about how and where you store data (and saying goodbye to the days of data dumps!).

Three Ways Marketing Automation Helps Achieve GDPR Compliance

GDPR compliance marketing offers the opportunity for marketers to learn more about their customers and handle their data responsibly.

There are plenty of ways a marketing automation platform can help, but there are three key points to keep in mind:

  • Setting prospect and customer permission levels
  • Allowing customers to manage their email preferences and information shared with them
  • Separating need-to-know info from nice-to-know info

1. Set Prospect and Customer Permission Levels

A hallmark feature of GDPR is giving prospects and customers the right to change their mind about consent at any time, and not in a black-and-white way. Prospects and customers can choose to give full consent, or they can say they only want their name stored. Whether they provide full or limited consent, they can decide to revoke this consent at any time. The amount of data shared is up to the customer’s discretion, and marketers have to make these data-sharing options explicitly clear.

An easy way to do this is to use unambiguous language (in a UX-friendly way) regarding what customers choose to share. Want to track a customer’s location? A message needs to pop up asking if that’s OK. Want to send a customer special offers and coupons through email and text? Include language like “Would you like to receive special offers and coupons via email or text?” with an unchecked box next to it, and make sure the box is not required to submit the form.

Keeping track of different levels of information might seem daunting, and it would be without marketing automation software. Within your automation platform, be sure to create separate permission lists and update them regularly based on customer withdrawal or updated permissions.

 2. Manage Customers’ Email Preferences

With the right strategy, GDPR and email marketing go together quite well. (After all, when has buying email lists and mass spamming ever helped a company win customers?)

Consider a customer who really enjoys a monthly newsletter with curated stories from around the web but absolutely hates the barrage of ‘updated feature’ announcements. This customer can indicate they don’t want to receive feature updates via email, but they still want the monthly newsletter. Instead of continuing to be frustrated by irrelevant emails (and eventually unsubscribing from everything), the customer is much happier and is encouraged to keep engaging with the relevant content.

Allowing customers to manage their email preferences is a win-win situation. Customers get information that is more relevant and interesting to them, and marketers get a more satisfied, engaged, and receptive audience. Putting the power back in customers’ hands can help email marketers improve open rates, deliver more precise messaging, and refine customer segments.

By using your marketing automation platform to create an email preference or subscription center, you can help customers choose the information they receive in a simple, user-friendly way.

3. Collect Only GDPR-Compliant Data

As marketers, sometimes we’re guilty of collecting too much data. It’s tempting to find as much out about a prospect as possible, hoping every collected detail will increase the chances of a conversion or long-term retention.

But unfortunately, the opposite is usually true. Databases become unwieldy and automated features don’t work as well as they could with a sharper data set. For example, think about the auto insurance example above: insurance agencies may want to know the income levels of their prospects and customers, but is it necessary to providing them with insurance coverage? In the case of GDPR compliance, can you prove why that data is necessary to provide the service?  Maintaining a healthy and compliant database can yield the added benefits of faster and easier searching and performance and better analytics.

Marketing teams need to be prepared to prove why they need every piece of data they collect. When your customer data is centralized in a marketing automation platform, you can easily analyze this data for GDPR compliance. Within your platform, review the information you collect, match it with a business case, and make a final decision about whether or not it meets GDPR standards.

Taking Steps Toward GDPR Compliance

GDPR can be overwhelming at face value, but at its core, it’s a huge opportunity for marketers. It strengthens consumer data protections and provides a unifying set of guidelines for companies and marketers to follow.

Want to continue learning about GDPR and how marketers can prepare? Check out our comprehensive guide to GDPR for marketers.

Peter Bell will also be giving a talk on GDPR compliance at our annual Marketing Nation Summit.

Summit CTA 2018

The post How a Marketing Automation Platform Can Help With GDPR Compliance appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/how-a-marketing-automation-platform-can-help-with-gdpr-compliance.html


Consider My Brand: How to Shine Through the Noise

When you meet someone for the first time, you tend to get a feeling as to whether or not they are your type of person. Subconsciously, you collect a lot of information about them and process it in nanoseconds. You analyze their sense of style, body language, cleanliness, hairstyle, language, tone of voice, and overall personality and decide if you have any commonalities.

In general, if there are enough commonalities, you’ll like them, and you’ll be more open to an actual conversation. If that conversation is about a topic you both share a passionate interest in, you’ll likely hit it off with them. As humans, we’re subconsciously judgemental and dismissive. We’re not consciously aware of these decisions, nor do we change how we make them based on whom or what we’re analyzing. We dismiss the majority of brands we see immediately because we analyze brands in the same swift subconscious way we do people. Arguably, even quicker given the market noise and the fact that we’re not bothered about hurting anyone’s feelings in the process.

These nanosecond judgments and dismissals are based, among other things, on a brand’s appearance, language, imagery, color, tone, and message.  You may have some commonalities with your audience but their hyper-dismissive default means you’re getting ignored unless you work very hard not to be.

In this blog, I’ll explain what a brand can do to avoid being cut from consideration before you even have a chance to relate.

What Can Your Brand Do?

First, start with visual appeal. Your identity needs backup (and maybe even a makeover). Your brand needs visual representation to form a look and feel that resonates with your audience. If your visual identity consists of a logo and a couple of stock images, you’re getting dismissed. Period.

Your brand identity, just like your individual identity, has many subtle nuances that shape its look and feel. Your logo, image style, typography, color palette, and graphic elements individually have their own characteristics. Working together as a system, however, they can create a look and feel as individual as any person.

Even if your marketing strategy is highly specific in it’s targeting, your identity needs to appeal to who your audience is, and as importantly, who they aspire to be. If potential customers glance your way and see themselves in your brand, you have just succeeded where the 3,000 brands that came before you on any given day have failed.

Competing for Brand Airtime

Once you have succeeded in grabbing some brief attention, you’re in a race against the clock. Whether your visual impact has won someone’s attention on your website, your social media account or your brochure, your collateral needs to instantly connect.

This is where nine out of 10 brands become another dismissed statistic. You only have a matter of seconds to resonate and most use this time to talk about themselves, which is the equivalent of a “so… what do you think of my guns?” pick-up line. If you have a someone’s attention, you have bypassed their subconscious filter, but they’re not interested in you yet. They’re interested only in commonalities, and you must be laser-focused on highlighting that you have some.

Their Problem=Your Solution

The commonality that your brand needs to highlight in those few seconds of attention is ALWAYS the problem they have that you can solve. When your audience hears a reference to the problem that they have, there’s instantly a sense of commonality, and their immediate thought is “That’s me, I recognize that problem because it’s my problem.”

In appealing to who they are visually and understanding them through their problem, your commonalities become obvious. Their fleeting attention becomes focused attention, and you have put your brand front and center for consideration.

Step Aside and Let Your Competition Scream

Market noise is loudest in the center. This is where all brands start out, shouting as loud as they possibly can, all looking and sounding like a version of each other. The further you push back from that center and distance yourself from the screaming pack, the less likely you are to be instantly dismissed.

The presentation and communication of your current brand will determine how close or far you are from the middle. Regardless, you should do everything you can to put as much distance between it and your brand. Do you need a re-brand? Maybe, maybe not. If you already have an identity that has a look and feel and your communication is tuned in to who your audience is, then making a few simple adjustments can give you some more breathing space from the pack.

Here are some tips to stand out from the crowd:

  1. Understand who your audience is, but also who they aspire to be, and tune your solution story accordingly.
  2. Trade in your stock images for shots that appeal to that aspiration and paint a picture of achievement. Keep in mind that this needs to be related to your solution, a picture of life after an aspiration-fulfilling purchase.
  3. Identify the pain points that your audience has in relation to the problem you solve.
  4. Ask some simple questions around these pain points that will get to the core of your customer’s problems. The goal here is to extract the frustration and emotion they carry that is associated with the problem.
  5. Show understanding and empathy around those pain points. If you solve the problem, then you’ve seen these pain point before.

Conclusion? Keep it Simple

Now, if you’re thinking “Come on, it’s not that simple,” I can understand. Branding and the strategies that go with it can be intricate depending on the business, but at the core, branding is about simplification. As complex as we are as people, we’re still primitive. If we have a problem, we want to solve it. When we feel understood, we open up. Our filters for brands have kicked into overdrive, largely to protect our sanity. Brands that appeal to the primitive nature of their audience and understand their subconscious filters stand apart. With a clear point of view, you can help your audience instinctively know, “That’s my kind of brand.”

What brands are “your kind of brand?” How might you implement these tips with your own brand? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

The post Consider My Brand: How to Shine Through the Noise appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/consider-my-brand-how-to-shine-through-the-noise.html

How to Create an Equal Work Environment

It’s 2018. And as my CEO has said, this is the year to stand for something. As a woman who knows more about SEO, whiskey, and coding than housekeeping, I stand fearlessly alongside those who are focused on making the world a more equal and less gender-defined place.

When I think about the strong and powerful people who have paved the way for me, I am determined to ensure that those who come after me in the workforce have an equal work environment.
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I take March as a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and also as a month where I plan how I can improve the world around me. When I started my first job nearly 20 years ago, I adhered to a dress code that required I wear a skirt and pantyhose to work every day. Just 55 years before that, my grandmother got her college degree in home economics as it was one of the few majors available for women. The progress we’ve achieved is tremendous—but this is by no means a time to pat ourselves on the back and become complacent. Quite the contrary. As my colleague Alexandra Nation said in a blog post last week, there are still many opportunities to make the workplace a more equal and inclusive place, and I’m motivated to do my part.

To further my reflection and improvement plans, this month I’ve been talking with prominent people in the tech space about what we can do together to create a better path for those who come after us.

As Amy Chang said, “I’m grateful to be surrounded by strong women, and I’m passionate about empowering women to pursue careers in tech. Together we can change the face of technology.”

In this blog, I’ll cover how we can best work together to create an equal work environment as well as advice from several influential industry experts.

Stop Gender Pay Gap

“I’ve been in the B2B space for 20 years—I think before anyone even came up with the acronym B2B. The time for the “good old boys” club is over. First and foremost, to create equality in the workplace, we must ensure equal pay. There should never be a scenario where a woman who is filling the same role as a man is not getting paid equally. It pisses me off that we’re sitting here in the year 2018 and we’re still having that conversation.”—Carlos Hidalgo, Founder and CEO of VisumCx

Gender does not determine skill level. Full stop. It’s time to be open and honest about compensation and to have zero tolerance for gender pay gap.

Can’t Find Diverse Candidates? Look Harder

“I regularly have event planners tell me they can’t find women speakers. This is pure laziness. The reason we have events is for experts to share their expertise, experience, and outcomes with the intention of driving revenue for business. It’s ridiculous to consider an event successful when it avoids half of the customer point of view—women. Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. And we know that what influences B2C buying also impacts B2B decisions. If you want to be better at customer centricity, then bring the voice of your biggest customer to the stage.”—Carla Johnson, Author and Chief Experience Officer of Type A Communications

If you can’t find a female speaker for a panel or find any women to interview for a particular role, you’re not looking hard enough or might be looking in the wrong places. It’s also vital to examine the language you’re using in your job postings. Unconscious bias is a real thing—and could be keeping your team in an unbalanced state. Recognition of bias within your organization is the first step toward equality. It’s okay to not be perfect right away.

This Isn’t a Women’s Issue

“Men in technology have a responsibility to encourage women to seek tech leadership roles, and to actively drive the normalization of women being successful in tech rather than focusing on how ‘special’ it is. When women being successful in tech roles becomes business as usual, we’ll create a positive feedback loop that encourages more women to seek success in technical positions.”—Jim Ruberto, VP of Technology at Intelligent Demand

“I believe that not only do women need to champion and mentor other women but also that men (who currently control spending and decision-making) need to inspire other men to hire, mentor, and ultimately promote qualified female candidates.”—Nancy Shenker, Founder and CEO of sheBoom

In the immortal words of The Doors, ‘the time to hesitate is through.’ We have a duty to each other to make a seat at the table for everyone, regardless of gender. If we only have women championing diversity and change, we will fail.

It Starts at the Top

“In terms of inclusiveness, especially if you’re an organization leader, you need to not only check your own behaviors regularly to ensure you’re getting different perspectives but also be a leader in terms of mentoring. Find opportunities for even those who may not be quite as outgoing that might seek their own. Make it really clear that the culture of your team and your organization has zero tolerance for anything that doesn’t encourage diversity. By being a leader and actively encouraging engagement, involvement, different perspectives, different slants, being respectful and incorporating those, I think that sets the tone for the rest of the organization.”— Jim D’Arcangelo, SVP at UpCity

“If we don’t get more young girls interested in tech, we will continue to be underrepresented. With the fourth industrial revolution, of a truly digital transformation, the world has moved from analog to digital. Soon, every company will be a technology company. My whole model is see it, be it. If you can see it, you can be it. Amy Chang was a mentor of mine and it is now my duty to inspire others as she did for me.”—Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Advisor at Marketo

“Both men and women in tech need to acknowledge that the industry currently has a problem and step-up to train, encourage, and inspire women to take on more leadership roles in the industry. I always loved technology but didn’t see it as a career path. I was introduced to the SaaS world by Jim D’Arcangelo who engaged me to develop top-of-funnel content for a site targeted to entrepreneurial women. I learned the lexicon of MarTech from him and realized that you don’t need to code to play a significant role in the space.”—Nancy Shenker, Founder and CEO of sheBoom

Who mentored you? Who are you mentoring now? What can and will you do to make a better space for those who come after you? Sure, “the struggle is real,” but the point of fighting for change is progressing beyond the status quo. I can tell you that the undergrad and graduate students I mentor are hungry, smart, and motivated as we were at that age, if not more so. They deserve mentorship, leaders, and role models just as you and I did. And if you didn’t have a solid pipeline of mentors available to you early in your career, it’s time to be the kind of mentor you wished you had.

What are you doing to make the workplace a more diverse and equal place? Let’s keep the discussion going in the comments.



The post How to Create an Equal Work Environment appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/how-to-create-an-equal-work-environment.html


6 Ways to Guarantee Your Guest Post Gets Rejected

Done correctly, guest posts can help brands reach new audiences and establish the credibility of their leaders. A smart guest posting strategy can vault a small brand to new heights and cement an established brand as the go-to expert in its industry. Done incorrectly, though, guest posts reach no one because editors won’t publish them.

To build a guest posting strategy that works, learn to follow the rules—and expect to fail if you break them.

In this blog, I’ll show you six ways to guarantee your guest post gets rejected. 

What the People in Charge Say

Publication editors are the gatekeepers of guest posts. You can write all you want, but if no one accepts you as a contributor, you won’t get very far. Editors decide who’s in, who’s out, and who’s on the “never open emails from this person” blacklist.

To learn more about the rules of guest posting, my team asked editors about how they select which articles to accept and publish and which articles to reject. Our research, which we published in “The State of Digital Media,” has helped us understand what it takes to succeed.

Of the editors we polled, 85% said their main reason for accepting and publishing content is to share new insights with their readers. People want valuable information and advice they can’t get anywhere else—makes sense, right? Editors love guest posts for this reason, with 96% reporting a desire to maintain or increase the amount of guest content they publish.

Editors want more contributed content, but there’s a catch: Not all new ideas are created equal. Publications want high-quality thought leadership content submitted by industry experts, not people who have only their own interests at heart.

If you want to get on the good side of publication editors, break the rules at your own peril.

How to Become an Editor’s Worst Nightmare

Let’s say you want to be a publication editor’s worst nightmare. Most brands and experts strive to get published, but not you! You are determined to do everything wrong, from start to finish. Follow these mistakes to guarantee you succeed exactly zero percent of the time.

1. Send a Boring Pitch

Editors read dozens (sometimes hundreds) of pitches in a day. Ensure they ignore your pitch by following a stale template and writing “Guest Post” as the entirety of your subject line.

Keep it as bland as possible so editors will delete your email along with the other 50 boring pitches they read that day. Sure, you could write better, more interesting subject lines and customize your email pitches to build real editorial relationships—but then editors might actually respond.

2. Set Your Own Deadlines and Publishing Schedule

Show the editors that you’re in charge by completely disrespecting their time. Send them your own publication dates and revision timelines. Remind them to “please respond by Monday” and tell them you’d prefer to publish just after the new quarter begins. The more you imply that your post is more important than others, the better.

Never consider the fact that editors are busy enough as it is or ask how you can help them. Remember, you want to be rejected as quickly as possible.

3. Ignore the Publication’s Content, Media Kit, and “About” Page

Why bother reading anything a publication has covered before you reach out? You just wrote the best article ever on healthy cooking, and you want to pitch it to everyone—even sites that explicitly state they’re only looking for content from contributors on the topic of digital marketing.

Who cares if this publication prefers to use numerals for small numbers and stick to the Oxford comma? Your writing transcends their guidelines. Rather than treat every publication as an individual outlet with a unique voice and audience that needs original content, act as if they’re all the same.

4. Focus Your Article on the Important Stuff: Yourself

Guest posting is part of your content strategy. Your content strategy is driven by your business goals. Therefore, your guest posts should market your brand aggressively.

Our report found that 71% of editors see overly promotional content as a major problem. To be the worst contributor ever, ignore that information and add as many links to your homepage, blog, and product pages as you can fit. Editors and their readers might want helpful tips or unique industry insights, but too bad—you’re going to write an 800-word billboard.

5. Trust Your First Draft and Don’t Look Back

Editors prefer revised, thoughtful content, free from grammatical errors and loose ends. Provide them the opposite by sending them your first draft without letting anyone else see it. Bonus points if you don’t even read it over once yourself.

Another 71% of editors say they are likely to reject content that isn’t professionally written and edited before it arrives. Join the ranks of deleted pitches by trusting yourself to get it right the first time.

6. Be as Creepy as Possible with Follow-ups

Official communication channels are for everyone else. You dug deep in your Google search to discover editors’ Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter pages, and even pick-up basketball leagues. Now, you can bother them no matter where they go, ensuring they will both reject your pitch and avoid you like the plague in the future.

Sure, you could read the site guidelines about follow-up communications and demonstrate respect for the other party, but where’s the fun in that?

Guests posts can be powerful weapons for companies big and small. If you’d prefer to use those weapons to shoot yourself in the foot, follow these tips to guarantee no editor will ever work with you again.

How have you been able to ensure that your content doesn’t get rejected? What strategies have you used to make sure your pitch is accepted? Tell me about it in the comments!

The post 6 Ways to Guarantee Your Guest Post Gets Rejected appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/6-ways-to-guarantee-your-guest-post-gets-rejected.html


5 Key Marketing Metrics for Social Media Your C-Suite Cares About

If you meet any social media marketing manager, they’ll tell you, one of the most important facets of their job is to be able to analyze data and make quick decisions. I have to say, analytic reports have become my friend over the last several years. Having the capability to take an in-depth look at the results of any campaign allows me to make informed decisions on whether we need to make slight adjustments. Key marketing metrics drive everything that my team does, and ultimately those metrics need to be reported all the way up the ladder.

In this blog, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the metrics I report on, what I consider when compiling the data, and a few tips for driving results that your c-suite cares about.


I know a lot of us like to think followers isn’t all it’s hyped up to be, but at the end of the day, the number of followers you have is important in the game of perception. As humans, we look to others for social proof. If everyone is following a brand, they must be worth following, right?

Followers = Perception of Influence

What to consider:

Everyone likes to see a graph chart that leans up and to the right. Be sure to tell your metrics story visually.

Determine how many of your current followers are within your target audience criteria. If a large percentage of your audience is within your targeted personas, be sure to let your c-suite know that the social channels are one of their preferred channels of communication. This will keep social top of mind as a communication platform worth investing in.

Are there industry influencers interacting and following your brand? If influencers are following you, consider ways to collaborate and/or tap into their social following to increase your brand recognition. Sometimes who is following you can be as important as how many are following you. Be sure to keep a current list of “who’s who” that’s following you.

Are you seeing an increase in new followers within your targeted personas? If yes, that can help inform your social strategy moving forward. Double down on the content that is resonating. If you aren’t, perhaps it’s time to pivot and re-evaluate how you can create more engaging content.


  • Follow industry influencers, customers, and partners. Not only does that give them an opportunity to follow you back by way of a follow prompt, it allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of conversations happening in your industry.
  • Share consistently across your platforms. Posting new content frequently keeps you top of mind.
  • Share content that is fun and informative. Offering content that educates helps you become known as an authority on the subject.
  • Participate in live chats around your industry. This gives you a chance to provide your unique point of view and gain exposure to new audiences.


As social marketers, we should always be monitoring social media engagement. How frequently your followers are liking, sharing, retweeting, and commenting on your social posts is a leading indicator that people are finding your content valuable enough to engage with and/or share with their social following. And while content sharing on social channels is amazing, you’ll also want to track if people are clicking through to view and interact with your content.

In addition, social channels are transitioning from traffic to engagement channels for a lot of brands. According to Sprout social, 35% of people prefer social media to any other channel for customer support. Social offers a unique platform to interact with customers in real time.

What to consider:

Platform algorithms prioritize engagement. The more engagement your posts have, the higher organic reach you’ll have. If your ultimate goal is to drive new leads and conversions, the more reach you have, the better.

Potential customers use social media to interact with brands. Trends show that social media users are increasingly looking for more personal, 1 on 1 connections. Actively monitor conversations so you can answer questions about your products, provide offers to encourage users to pull the trigger, or just happily engage in conversations on industry best practices to increase brand exposure.

When done right, engagement helps companies build relationships with current customers. At the end of the day, loyal brand advocates will be one of the most valuable assets to any social media team. Keep your customer advocacy team in the loop. Top engaged community members may make great candidates for case studies, engagement, and rewards programs. When reporting to your c-suite, those referrals can show how social is informing several programs within the marketing department.

Social Engagement

Share of Voice and Sentiment Analysis

One of the metrics I keep close tabs on is how many mentions we’re getting in the social landscape. That’s great, but what I really need to know is know how our brand is performing against our top competitors. An easy way to calculate that: Your Brand Traffic / Total Market Traffic = Share of Voice

Something to keep in mind, one brand may have more mentions, but a lower positive net sentiment. My goal is to always maintain a positive net sentiment of (+10%) with a high level of social mentions. Monitoring both mentions and sentiment over time can provide valuable information for crisis communications, support, and campaign intelligence.

What to consider:

Triggers can be set up to notify you of any negative sentiment terms used with your brand. That way you can respond as quickly as possible to avoid escalation.

Get your c-suite active on social media. Consider building out a content sharing plan to encourage their sharing of branded content. Something I’ve had great success with is gamifying social engagement with a leaderboard. Each week I present a social snapshot of who had the most mentions related to the brand on social media. It’s been a fantastic way to encourage social engagement and increases the number of positive social mentions associated with the brand.

Engage and collaborate on content with influencers as much as possible. Their audience reach can really make a difference in your share of voice.

Keep SEO in mind when drafting content, especially blogs. People tend to share blog titles across social channels, which can hit your negative sentiment if the blog titles have negative terms like “don’t, problem, challenge.”

Leads Generated

In order to map out, track, and score leads that come in through your social channels, as well as, revenue that’s driven as a result of your campaigns, you’ll need to invest in a marketing automation platform. Utilize tracking parameters in every URL posted to ensure you can measure the leads generated from social marketing campaigns.

What to consider:

It’s important to measure which campaigns have the highest lead conversion rate, but you also want to consider how many of those conversions became quality leads that drove to pipeline. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to continue investing in the channels that provide the biggest ROI.

Consider where in the buyer’s journey your audience is. Top of funnel channels may be great for garnering awareness and brand trust, but may not be your best bet to invest in paid campaigns. Be sure to measure a ratio of pipeline to spend to get a clear understanding of how content is driving results on each of your social channels.

Different content drives different responses. Your social strategy will need to include several types of content to stay relevant and prompt engagement.


Calculating pipeline will differ depending on how your team measures and allocates pipeline throughout the various marketing programs within your organization. At Marketo, we utilize two allocation methods. First-Touch Pipeline (FT Pipeline) which allocates the entire opportunity to the program that sourced the primary contact for a deal. Within our social team, we tend to pay more attention to Multi-Touch Pipeline (MT Pipeline). This approach allocates the pipeline and revenue across all the marketing programs that successfully influenced any person attached to an opportunity.

What to consider:

As a rule of thumb, we like to see a ratio of multi-touch pipeline to investment greater than 10X.

Not every social channel will be great for new lead generation. Rather, some channels may be better utilized for deepening and nurturing existing relationships.

Some leads take time to convert. Think about social media efforts as a long haul approach, especially if you measure MT pipeline.

When it comes to metrics, it’s easy to drown in data and questions. Don’t give up! Start by digesting the key marketing metrics that your c-suite cares about and go from there.

Are there any metrics that your c-suite is obsessed with? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

The post 5 Key Marketing Metrics for Social Media Your C-Suite Cares About appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/5-key-marketing-metrics-social-media-c-suite-cares.html


Increase Productivity in Your Workday (Without Losing Your Mind)

Ever get the feeling that you’re swamped by an avalanche of emails? Me too. On an average, we receive about 121 emails a day—and this number is set to rise to 140 this year. Now I don’t know about you, but in my book, that’s a lot! And these are just emails from people we work with. It can tank your productivity before you’ve even begun your day.

As marketers, not only do we have to manage those 140 emails a day, we also have to look at emails sent by automated systems—social media spikes, alerts about a potential PR crisis, or even an email that tells you about low open rates about your latest email marketing campaign (ironic, I know). So, in the end, you probably end up with close to 250 emails in your inbox when you get to work every morning.

Oh and let’s not forget the constant pings on Slack. From your team. Or your boss.

At this point, you do one of two things. Give up and grab a giant mug of coffee or spend the rest of your morning tackling your inbox—which may or may not mean you’re ticking off items off of your to-do list. (More often than not, my to-do list is intact and I get maybe three hours—if I’m lucky—to tackle that before my inbox gets flooded again).

So how do you ensure that you’re not overwhelmed and frazzled by 3 pm? How do you stay on top of your game despite the deluge of emails in your inbox?

Here are three things you can do as soon as you get into work to increase productivity.

1. Use an Alert System

We all know how hard it is to contain an endless stream of complaints on social media or a viral blog post that doesn’t necessarily paint the best picture of your brand. You’re likely to leave a bunch of complaints unanswered—at least for a few hours. And nobody wants to do that. But you’re still human right?

The workaround for this is to anticipate a PR crisis before it grows into your worst nightmare. At Talkwalker, we use Talkwalker Alerts, our in-house alert system to keep track of our brand or latest campaign. This not only helps us take prompt action if we notice a potential crisis in the works, it also helps us understand what our customers think of our products or campaigns. It just takes a few seconds to set up an alert and then, it’s a matter of checking them as soon as we get in. There are both paid and free products for brand tracking—it really depends on your needs which will be right for you and your brand.

Why Check Your Brand Mentions?

It’s important to check your alerts regularly is because it helps you prioritize your actions for the rest of the day. Remember the deluge of social messages we just referred to? If you know within the first few minutes of entering the office that you have to tackle them, you can plan your day better, shift a few meetings around and dedicate your energy to sorting it out without wasting anyone’s time.

Be sure to also track your competition. You can use this information to develop strategy, create new campaigns to reach new audiences, and above all, know what you’re up against.

2. Optimize Your Calendar

Your calendar is your best friend when it comes to productivity. It tells your coworkers when they can and can’t reach out to you. Checking your calendar as soon as you get to work means that you can again figure out how you’ll use the time you have during the day to make sure you make every minute count. Too many meetings mean that you’re going to lose focus and end up being unproductive for the few hours you do have to get through your list of things.

How To Say No Without Actually Saying it

So how do you handle something like this? If you have to excuse yourself from a meeting, you might end up in a sticky situation—how do you politely tell your coworkers that your workload needs more attention and you can’t make it to a meeting for the annual ski trip without looking like a spoil-sport?

Block time for yourself in your calendar to focus on tasks that cannot wait. Maybe book a two-hour slot a few mornings a week to ensure that no one schedules meetings you have to attend at that time and you can take care of writing that blog post you’ve been meaning to do forever or working on the content for your latest webinar. You don’t always have to put in extra hours to meet your deadlines within the 9-5  window. A little bit of planning can ensure that you stay on top of your game.

And last but not least—try and follow your calendar to the best of your ability.

3. Make KPIs Your Priority

This may seem like it’s obvious but it’s easier to get distracted by side projects than you’d think. In the end, your KPIs are what count. For instance, if you’re responsible for PR in your organization and if your goal is to get coverage in three major publications a month, you should check in on where you are first thing in the morning. If it’s the 15th of the month and you’ve not hit even a single publication, you know how to prioritize the rest of your days.

Or, if you’re in charge of bringing in a certain number of leads every month, it’s important to check your numbers on a daily basis. This will help you plan the rest of your marketing activities for the month and help you hit that number. It’s important to know where you’re at in order to plan what to prioritize more efficiently and which projects you would need to put on the backburner or say no to.

It also goes without saying that being more productive includes blocking out tabs and notifications from sites like Facebook. For instance, do you really need to check your News Feed every hour? It really isn’t that important, unless you’re on your company account.

Now that you’re up to speed about what needs to be done and have a good idea of where you’re at, you can go and grab that cup of coffee without any doubts or without being overwhelmed.

Bonus Tip

Use headphones without listening to music. Studies show that if you’re in an open space office design, you’re more likely to be distracted by what your colleagues are doing. And none of that is your fault really—it’s pretty normal. A pretty good hack for this is to use headphones without any music on, which could, to a certain extent make your coworkers think twice about approaching you for a post-lunch cup of coffee.

What are your productivity hacks? How do you organize your work day to keep ahead? Tell me about your best practices in the comments.

The post Increase Productivity in Your Workday (Without Losing Your Mind) appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/increase-productivity-in-your-workday-without-losing-your-mind.html


One Design Does Not Fit All

Regions vary regarding their perception of design. While a particular design may resonate in one place, the same design may fall flat in another. There are a variety of reasons for regional differences in response to design.

In this blog, I’ll explain why one design does not fit all and how to adapt to regional design differences.

Saturation Differences

You’re more likely to find several varieties of salsa in Tex-Mex-loving Texas than you are in pasta-loving New Jersey. If you’re placing a salsa package on the shelf against 20 different salsas compared to five, you will want to take a different packaging approach. If all the packages feature a southwest theme, perhaps you want to stand out by offering a more simplistic and monochromatic design.

Regions vary in their tastes, particularly when it comes to food and design. Whereas a product in one state may not face much competition and can find success with generic colors, a product facing ample competition may need to stand out more.

Product Use Variation

Products may have different packages across various markets. In a rural market, a consumer is likely to use mason jars for canning or storage. In an urban market using a mason jar as a beverage glass is trendy.

For this example, the mason jars in a rural market are likely to be placed near the exit and check-out lanes in a grocery store or by produce. In the urban market, they’ll be placed in the dining-ware aisle or even at a department store. Since their intended uses differ, you would want to adjust your packaging accordingly so it attracts the right buyers.

Cultural Differences

What may be funny and eye-grabbing in one country could be taboo and offensive in another. In 2012, Colgate starting marketing its brand Cue in France. While the word cue itself does not translate to anything offensive, Cue is a well-known magazine in France with suggestive, adult content.

It’s not enough to have a fantastic translation since you must also determine regional branding that does not conflict with local cultural values or seem extremely off-topic.

CocaCola Light

Similarly, Coca-Cola drops the word diet from international branding, substituting the word with light. The reason is that the word diet does not translate to lighter in calories in most parts of the world. Beyond the packaging, Coca-Cola uses different sweetener blends for each country, influenced by consumer preference.

Kleenex also regards cultural preferences in its design differences, opting for bright colors and abstract flowers on American products while using pastel colors and delicate, realistic flowers on its Chinese packaging. In its analysis of the American and Chinese markets, it’s likely that monitoring competition and A/B testing led to the conclusion that these markets differ on their reaction to pastel colors and floral realism.

Something as simple as color can change the meaning of your product. While blue reminds many of the ocean and calmness in the United States, in Mexico blue is the color of mourning. Cultures vary in how they assign certain colors meaning, something of which designers and marketers should be well aware.


Co-branding is a nuanced way of picking up market share and can be even more effective if produced in regional markets. Many consumers love local branding because, in an increasingly globalized society, tying in local brands provides a sense of community. When the price is not a factor, people choose to support a smaller local brand over larger conglomerates. That’s not to say a big company can’t capitalize on this movement. There’s always a way in marketing.

Another example is Organic Valley, which sources products from local farmers. While its logo is easily identifiable on all products, the branding on the back that tells the story of a local farmer is different based on the region where the product is purchased. Consumers feel at ease knowing it’s a brand they trust and also feel good that their purchase helps local farmers. This especially resonates in farming communities.

Effective A/B Testing

If you use one package design across two markets, you can test how location affects purchasing habits through A/B testing. Once you’ve established regular consumer habits for your product, keep one region as your control and then test how varying designs impact purchasing habits. The results can provide you more leeway with bold ideas since the risk is smaller if you isolate design preferences based on the region.

Entice Collectors


Similar to the Pokémon Go phenomenon, creating streams of diverse packaging can ignite some consumers to want to “catch them all.” Enthusiasts of your product will want to try different flavors if they’re edible like one reviewer did while tracking down 15 varieties of Kit Kats. It’s an exciting way to get people talking about your established brand.

You can also entice collectors to travel solely for your product by offering certain designs that are exclusive to specific regions. Due to their limited availability, these products can end up becoming collectors’ items, which is great for brand recognition.

Kit Kats in Japan tend to feature colorful and cute characters, like the bunny in the example above, since marketing in Japan makes heavy use of the cultural adoration for cute things. Kit Kats in America feature simpler branding, by comparison.

The fundamental element of package design variation is that we are all different and driven by unique factors. While technology hasn’t brought us to the point of being able to alter package design instantaneously based on an individual consumer, we can utilize data from regions and plan accordingly. This innovative approach can help us reach consumers with a stronger chance for conversion.

How have you incorporated regional differences into your design strategy? How might you entice more buyers if you switch up your strategy to include some of these suggestions?

The post One Design Does Not Fit All appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2018/03/one-design-not-fit-all.html