Most Important Martech Features [Report]

Most Important Martech Features [Report]

As companies continue to increase their investment in martech, especially in North America, making use of all these technologies as well as having them work together efficiently is a hurdle many firms are still working on. Two-fifths (39%) of the 265 marketing professionals surveyed for a Ascend2 report say they are currently working on implementing a martech stack strategy, while 1 in 5 (19%) are still developing such a strategy.

Most Important Martech Features

When creating a martech stack optimization strategy, improving marketing efficiency is a key priority for more than half (55%) of those surveyed. Marketers are also hoping that optimizing their martech stack will help with improving customer experience (51%), which is an area for which more than one-third (35%) of retail marketers feel their marketing technology is currently doing “very well.”

Although many marketers set increasing marketing ROI (45%) as a martech optimization priority, fewer cite improving marketing personalization (29%), improving attribution of revenue (27%) and improving data management & security (26%).

Notably, improving marketing efficiency is not only the biggest priority for marketers when it comes to martech stack optimization; it’s also their most challenging barrier.

Important Martech Stack Features

Beyond the priorities and challenges of optimizing their martech stack, what features are marketers looking for in their suite of tools? One of the most important features for implementing a martech stack is data insights and analysis (51%). At the same time, finding people with skills to properly analyze the data provided has been an issue for companies for some time.

Marketers also place importance on features such as real-time processing (40%), data centralization (34%), scalability/flexibility (31%), multi-channel experience (30%) and, to a much lesser extent, artificial intelligence (14%).

Systems integration was cited as one of the most important features for implementing a martech stack by 46% of respondents. That said, integration of disparate systems was low on their list of priorities, with only one-fifth (19%) citing it as a key priority to be achieved by a martech stack optimization strategy. It is also considered to be a challenging barrier for more than one-third (36%) of those surveyed.

In fact, many marketers feel that to optimize their marketing, the technologies in the stack need to improve ease of use (52%) and integration with other technologies (38%).

Martech Investment

Only 14% of marketers say they are not planning to invest in their martech stack this year. Conversely, 7 in 10 say they will continue to invest moderately (49%) or significantly (22%). This comes after earlier data from Ascend2 found that 2 in 5 marketers are investing in more martech on a quarterly basis.

Separately, research from Merkle has found that larger companies (those making at least $200 million in pre-tax annual revenues) are outsourcing about 43% of their marketing technology operations. In this latest study close to two-thirds (62% share) of marketers said that a combination of outsourced and in-house resources is the most effective for implementing martech optimization tactics, with few (24%) preferring to rely on in-house resources alone.

Downloaded the full report.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 265 marketing professionals from B2B, B2C and B2B/B2C equally companies. The survey was fielded in January 2020.


Is your martech investment delivering what you need? For assistance with your tech stack, schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

Marketing Campaign Priorities [Report]

Marketing Campaign Priorities [Report]

In their push towards digital marketing and advertising, marketers’ priorities seem to be more digital than traditional forms of media, according to the new Nielsen report. For example, respondents cited audience targeting – for which digital is highly touted – as their top campaign priority this year.

Marketing Campaign Priorities

Ad creative is the second-most prominent priority for the more than 350 brand and agency executives surveyed. This is followed by audience reach – one of the traditional benefits of legacy mass media.

MarketingCharts’ latest US Media Audience Demographics report shows that radio and TV continue to have the widest weekly reach among US adults.

Surprisingly, data quality is only a marketing campaign priority for 28% of respondents. That’s despite companies relying more and more on data to help with various business decisions as well as to assist in other priorities like audience targeting and personalization.

Paid Media Effectiveness vs ROI Confidence

Nielsen’s survey found that search was perceived to be the most effective paid digital channel. This may relate to the priority being placed on audience targeting, search engine marketing strategies are often informed by such tools.

Other paid digital media perceived to be effective include video (online/mobile) and social media, while emerging channels such as streaming audio and podcasts are perceived to be less effective for now, potentially due to lower adoption or time with which to prove themselves.

Nielsen’s report does point out that the perceived effectiveness of a channel does not necessarily mean that marketers are confident that they are able to measure its ROI. For example, marketers are more confident in their ability to measure the ROI of email than of video or social media, yet they show less confidence in email’s effectiveness than in those other channels.

As such, businesses appear willing to continue investing in digital channels that may not be performing up to snuff or at least that they cannot necessarily prove are as effective as they think. Budgets may be following perceptions rather than reality: even though marketers are not very confident that they know how to measure ROI for many digital channels, most still expect to see their budget increase for the media they believe to be effective.

On the other hand, budgets for what may be considered tried and true traditional channels are expected to either remain the same or decrease in the next 12 months. Per the report, channels such as linear TV, radio or print have been around for much longer, and their effectiveness is not a guarantee that budgets will increase. Consciously or not, marketers seem to hold traditional channels to a higher standard.

Download the full report.

About the Data: Results are based on data collected via newsletter and follow-up emails in 2019 for a sample of 363 respondents; 247 brand executives and 116 agency executives. The majority of respondents (74%) were based in the US.


Are your campaigns delivering ROI? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

The Future of Content Marketing [Research]

The Future of Content Marketing [Research]

Marketers predicted that they will use more content-driven campaigns and audio and emerging formats in 2020, according to new research from World Media Group.

About 80% of marketing professionals worldwide surveyed in October 2019 said they expect content-led campaigns to grow over the next two years, with 19% saying they expect they would stabilize. Only 2% of respondents said there would be a decline.

Nine in 10 respondents said they planned to use audio/podcasts in 2020, and a similar percentage said they would use emerging technology like augmented reality and voice. This indicates that marketers are experimenting with formats beyond traditional social media posts and editorial-style content.

As content marketing becomes increasingly nuanced and evolves away from merely being a lead-generation tool, a holistic content strategy becomes key to brands engaging with their audiences. A holistic content strategy includes not only content creation—which can include white papers, podcasts, webinars—but also mapping of dissemination, which shows how content gets distributed through the various channels, reaching people at various stages of the customer journey.

Brands are looking to establish themselves as trusted experts and give customers a reason to come back to their websites. That allows them to convert more visitors into leads down the line. A robust content marketing strategy encompasses both content creation and a plan for multichannel dissemination.

And many executives agree that it’s an important strategy to invest in: According to an August 2019 report from The CMO Club, 86% of US CMOs surveyed said that content marketing is the most important area to invest marketing dollars.

About half of US local advertisers surveyed by Borrell Associates between April and July 2019 said they planned to increase ad spend in content marketing, though a larger majority indicated they would increase ad spending on traditional venues like digital video, social media and search.

“Content, when produced strategically and with regularity, can be the backbone of a marketing and advertising plan,” said Jillian Ryan, principal analyst at eMarketer. “It should be created for a specific audience and shared in the most relevant channel to reach the intended audience. Brands are starting to realize that content strategies can inform and provide fuel for most of their other marketing and advertising initiatives.”


Need help with your content marketing? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

Top Content Marketing Challenges

Top Content Marketing Challenges

Content Marketing Challenges
Almost three-quarters (73%) of marketers surveyed in late 2015 reported creating more content than in the previous year, reports Contently in a new study. With most content appearing to be created in-house, and with only a minority of respondents having multiple full-time employees committed to content marketing, time is now perceived to be the major barrier to creating effective content.

Top-Content-Marketing-Challenges.png

37% of the marketers surveyed – 31% of whom identified as B2B marketers, 18% as B2B, and the rest working across both industries – said that time is the biggest of 6 challenges to creating effective content. That’s up from 11% identifying content as their biggest challenge in last year’s survey, and is almost double the share (19%) who this year identified content strategy as their biggest challenge. That’s an interesting result given research showing that few B2C or B2B content marketers have a documented content strategy.

Budget emerged as one of the lesser challenges in the Contently study, cited by only 13% of respondents. That’s despite indications that content doesn’t occupy too sizable a share of the marketing budget for respondents: the largest share (41%) said that 0-10% of their budgets are devoted to content. Overall, two-thirds are allocating less than one-quarter of their budgets to content.

Whatever budgets there are, they don’t seem to be spent on freelancers. Three-quarters of respondents said that 25% or less of their content is being created by freelancers as opposed to in-house. That includes almost two-thirds who said that less than 10% of their content is created by freelancers.

That’s likely a contributor to time pressures, particularly as content can take time to create and publish. For example, while 55% of respondents say it typically takes less than a week to create, approve, and publish a piece of content, 1 in 5 take longer than 2 weeks on average. Of course, the amount of time it takes is somewhat dependent on the type of content being created: the MarketingCharts’ B2B Digital Marketing Insights Report suggests that it takes B2B content marketers 4 times longer to produce an e-book than a blog post. The report indicates that the most efficient marketers are those who focus on standardization and process, as well as paying attention to content efficiency as an accountable success metric.

As for metrics, the survey finds that lead conversions and sales are the metric used the most to measure content success (for 32% of respondents), ahead of social shares and likes (19%), page views (16%) and unique visitors (11%). On average, lead generation was the most important metric identified, followed by engagement rate and unique visitors.

Results from the report:

  • Email topped Facebook as the most effective organic distribution channel, while the opposite was true for paid channels;
  • With regards to the frequency of evaluating effectiveness of content marketing and tweaking strategy accordingly, one-third said they do so monthly, with another third doing so at least weekly;
  • Fewer than half (48%) are confident that their key content metrics are measuring business results.

About the Data: The survey was fielded online between November 24 and December 2, 2015, yielding 632 respondents.

What are your top content marketing challenges?

Top Content Marketing Challenges

How To Build a Better Business Web Site

web site sales
Why You Need To Think Differently About Your Web Site

Do you really have a successful web site? Is it helping you achieve your business goals?

Most web sites aren’t. Unfortunately most business web sites still act more like “brochures” than sources of new customers. They might look okay, but typically they aren’t engaging, relevant, or effective… and more importantly, they aren’t generating new sales.

Most organizations and business professionals would love to have a stronger web presence, but they aren’t sure how to accomplish it. Many get sold on pretty photos, fancy animations or the latest gimmick. In fact, it takes a lot of different elements working together to produce a web site that’s good for your business.

Here are proven tactics that we’ve used over and over to deliver extraordinary results when all the elements are in place.

These proven tactics will create new and better sales opportunities, with increased lifetime value from each client.

If you’d like to increase the performance from your business web site, check out the list below. You will find straightforward ideas that can dramatically change the way you think about your online presence and the returns you’ll receive.

Ten Tips to Create a Business Web Site That Generates Sales:
1. Know who your customers are. Identify their personas and develop your content for them as individuals.
2. Include content with substance. Content that is relevant and indexable by the search engines.
3. Develop a content strategy and plan that solves customer problems. It should be educational, informative, and actionable.
4. Include targeted relevant offers with strong call-to-actions to illicit a response.
5. Partner with the key stakeholders (internal and external) and an agency to establish goals, implement tactics, measure and analyze results, and refine your web site.
6. Add a blog. Share knowledge and make sure your content attracts visitors. Don’t turn off your audience with strictly promotional content.
7. Optimize your site for the search engines. You want to be found easily by prospects.
8. Use social media channels to connect and share with prospects.
9. Continually update your web site. You cannot set it and forget it. Building your online presence takes time and effort. Producing fresh compelling content is an ongoing process.
10. Monitor, measure, and analyze your statistics. Go beyond your visitor count and learn what leads were generated and how, what offers converted to sales, the most visited pages, what devices and operating systems were used, and analyze your competition. It’s critical you stay informed and actively manage and refine your web site with that knowledge.

These strategies will ensure your business web site is profitable. Remember a successful web site is a living breathing entity and needs fresh compelling content on a regular basis.

To generate leads and increase sales from your web site call 877.447.0134 today.