Tag Archives: Modern Marketing Resources

Stuck on Autopilot? Ask These 9 Questions to Shift Gears

Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around drives with my father. What always surprised me was that sometimes those drives would last for hours and other days they would be relatively short, even if the destination was the same. It took me a decade to realize that the days the journey was shorter, my father knew where he was going.  

For many of us, driving becomes second nature, we switch on autopilot in our minds and zone out until we reach our destination. Sometimes entire organizations can get stuck on autopilot. But are we missing shorts cuts? Wasting time dealing with roadblocks that could have been avoided? It is easy to keep chugging along, business as usual, but sometimes we need to ask ourselves some tough questions in order to snap out of a rut and discover a more direct route to our destination.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit an exceptionally fast paced, growing, and engaged airline company. Our visit was centered around accountability, fulfilling on promises, and helping the organization demonstrate value from their technology investment. Sound familiar? What I found remarkable about the organization was that they didn’t lack desire, internal alignment, executive-level buy-in or focus. They simply did not know where their focus should lie.

So, why do we need to stay awake at the wheel? We need to avoid the dreaded “red zone” (or however your organization classifies this). It is the point when a misalignment of brand promise has occurred by either the people involved, the process, or the technology involved. I’ve come across this issue many times and as I observe, actively listen, and understand the people and businesses in front of me. I challenge myself and my customers to ask this set of questions. I encourage you to do the same. The smart ones tend to ask these before they see red!


Do I have the right team in place?
Has turnover impacted my ability to be successful?
Are my vendors and partners true partners vested in our success?


Do we have a plan for success?
Is this documented and at the heart of how we operate?
Have we instilled accountability at all levels of the process?


Can the technology meet our business requirements?
Will the technology be able to scale as we grow?
Does the technology vendor or identified partners deliver services and support on the brand promise?

If you’ve recently undergone a technology investment or if you’ve been on autopilot for years – challenge yourself with the questions above. Self-reflection can be difficult, but also enlightening, or a reinforcement that you are one the right track.

Just as having the right GPS is essential when driving, having the right technology stack for your company and business plan is key to your success. With an ever growing number of technology vendors, it is can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed when trying to select the right solution. The MarTech landscape is in seemingly constant flux, Download The Guide To Building Your Marketing Technology Stack for navigational tips on how to select the most effective marketing solution for your organization. 

A Look Back at Modern Marketing in 2016

Modern Marketing has come a long way in 2016. More leading brands are using marketing technology to better understand their customers and provide a better customer experience than ever before. Data is part of nearly every marketing conversation. Customer obsession and experience is the main focus.

But this has also created a culture of more, more, more. More marketing technology solutions—nearly 4,000 of them—are available than ever before. More marketers are creating more content than ever before. Whether you view the marketing landscape as an embarrassment of riches that provides a myriad of choices for consumers or as a glut of tools and content that causes analysis paralysis and confusion, this was a year that will be remembered.

It was almost as hard to avoid Pokémon Go this year as it was to avoid discussions of the US election. These popular events brought the terms augmented reality and emotional brand connections to the forefront of marketing. They also changed the way many marketers thought about the mobile environment and the app landscape. Months later, we ask questions about customer engagement and what to do when the event is over and nearly all the participants have moved on.

If you are a B2B marketer, this was the year that you announced your account-based marketing capabilities. ABM was everywhere, as it provided positive ROI and the promise of marketing and sales alignment. This approach is something that will quickly become the norm, as adoption of ABM seems to be quite rapid. This may seem like a fad, since fewer marketers will be talking about it in the coming year, but many will already be doing it.

And finally there was a slowdown in 2016 where marketers fought against the tide of more and thought about less. Asking “Why?” and tying our marketing activities to strategies and business goals. Simplifying systems and eliminating data silos. Shifting from transactions to relationships.

Read what Modern Marketing experts told us about the past year in the embedded ebook below. Read it, download it, share it.

And if you want to read what many of these same experts think will come to pass in 2017, download the The Future of Modern Marketing: 2017. This pair of guides will help you get 2017 off to a great start.

Preview: 20 Social Media Marketing Statistics from Upcoming Industry Report

It is 2016 and we are still talking about social media marketing. Believe it or not, there are still companies that have not embraced social media as a means to improve marketing, customer service, lead generation and product development. They may come around in time.

Every year Social Media Examiner conducts a large survey to get a pulse on social media marketing and how marketers are using it. At the recent Social Media Marketing World, we were provided with a preview of some of the data included in the upcoming State of the Social Media Industry Report for 2016. Below you will find what they shared.

Social Marketers Embrace Video

1. 73% of marketers increasing their use of video in 2016

2. 21% claim video is the most important form of content marketing

3. 58% of markers want to improve YouTube knowledge

2016 is the Year of Live Video

4. 14% of marketers are using live video

5. 50% of marketers are either using or increasing the use of live video in 2016

6. 50% of marketers want to learn more about live video

Many Marketers are Unsure about Facebook

7. 40% of marketers do not know if Facebook traffic has declined in the last 12 months

8. 23% of marketers say Facebook traffic has gone down

9. 37% of marketers say Facebook traffic has gone up

Marketers Increasing Facebook

10. 67% of marketers will increase their Facebook marketing in 2016

11. 5% more marketers than in 2015 will increase Facebook marketing in 2016

Facebook is Still the Most Important Network

12. 55% of marketers say Facebook is their most important network

13. 4% more marketers than in 2015 said Facebook is their most important network

14. 3% few marketers than in 2015 said Linkedin is their most important network

Exposure is Top Benefit of Social Media

15. 89% of marketers say increased exposure is a benefit of social media

Pay to Play is Here to Stay

16. 86% of marketers use Facebook ads regularly

17. Only 18% of marketers use Twitter ads regularly

Snapchat is Rapidly Rising

18. 5% of marketers use Snapchat

19. 16% of marketers plan to increase their use of Snapchat

20. 28% of marketers want to learn more about Snapchat

If you are looking to brush up on some of the basics of social media, download the Guide to Social Media Marketing.

Make Your Advertising More Accountable with a Data Management Platform

It’s easy to accomplish marketing tasks like sending an email, running an ad, or posting something to a social media channel, but is that action accountable to the business? Does it ultimately drive revenue?

A data management platform (DMP) and data-driven marketing are here to enable accountability. The more you know about your customers and prospects, the more precisely you can target and market. Sounds simple. And obvious. But add one more piece to this. With all the data available to marketers, if you approach this with an eye towards generating revenue, you can actually cut marketing costs by reducing waste and dramatically improving your ROI. Target prospects who are like your current customers. Target prospects that are more inclined to buy.

Executing a data-driven digital advertising campaign, with a clear understanding of your target, provides you with marketing that is accountable based on revenue. And this data-driven approach is better for your prospects and customers due to relevance. Relationships thrive when you’re communicating in context on a one-to-one basis. Marketing has the opportunity to reinvent itself as a core part of a company’s revenue engine.

The Growth of Programmatic Advertising Cannot Be Ignored

There is no doubt that paid advertising—especially digital ads—drives results. And the largest part of digital display ads is the data-driven, automated ads called programmatic. According to Ad Age, “Programmatic ad buying is growing not only because it makes ad transactions more efficient but because it can make them more effective, as long as the right data is applied.” 

The growth of programmatic is incredible. According to eMarketer, programmatic digital display ad spending is projected to reach $26.78 billion by 2017. That’s up from only $10.32 billion in 2014. While that growth is important, what is truly notable is that it will be 72% of the total digital display ad spending. It was only 49% in 2014. 

Programmatic ad buying has put data management platforms center stage. And in the next five years, as noted in the AdExchanger 2016 Industry Preview, the advertising industry “will complete a ten-year evolution toward planning and buying with technology.” 

If a marketer is not using a DMP now, they will be soon. And even if marketers work with an agency for media buys, there is a move to separate the DMP from media buying or trade desks to give marketers more direct access to analytics. Marketers will become more involved in the targeting, planning, and optimizing of media. 

Programmatic continues to evolve with private marketplaces. These are invitation only marketplaces where high caliber publishers offer their ad inventory directly to a select group of advertisers. If you don’t have a DMP, you probably can’t participate.

Learn how data ingestion, look-alike models, and identity can make your marketing and advertising accountable to your business. Download the Guide to Advertising Accountability today.

The Two Types of Programmatic Advertising and Why Programmatic Matters

Before we get to the topic at hand, a definition of programmatic advertising. We define it simply as “Automated advertising buying coupled with machine learning.” Digiday defines it as "ad buying what typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders. It’s using machines to buy ads, basically.” 

Marketing Land, on the other hand, says programmatic advertising "helps automate the decision-making process of media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics.” 

In terms of the different types of programmatic advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—which is an industry organization geared toward ensuring standards across the advertising ecosystem—there are two types of programmatic buying (the process in which you’re buying advertising):

1. Programmatic Direct
Also known as Premium Programmatic Advertising, this is an automated technology-driven method used for buying, selling, or fulfilling advertising. It provides for an Automated Guarantee Systematic automation of sales process. No insertion order (IO) or master services agreement (MSA) covered within the partnership.

2. Programmatic Real Time Bidding (RTB)
Two types of RTBs are Open Auction (audience targeting) and Private Marketplace Deals—which require a private marketplace and allow for fixed pricing and data overlays. We are beginning to see more and more of this type of programmatic advertising being used every day. 

Why does programmatic matter?

The shift to programmatic tactics means a few things for marketers and the industry as a whole. In essence, it has validated and delivered against the need for data- driven, and accountable ROI-based media delivery. Additionally, it has enabled an efficient method for publishers to monetize core inventory.

That said, some advertisers have struggled with premium inventory falling outside of the standard programmatic categories and are still being required to fulfill unique and exclusive campaign needs.

Regardless, the entire programmatic category is seeing increased spending across the board due to its predictive yield and ROI for marketers and publishers alike, not to mention easy insertion processes and lower barriers to entry for most advertisers. 

In a nutshell, programmatic advertising aligns media with brand lift metrics for real ROI and only spends money where it will be effective. 

Download The Programmatic Guide For Modern Marketers, Publishers, And Media Planners to get the basics of using programmatic advertising and a lot more including the other questions marketers need to ask themselves as well as the needs agencies need to address. 

The Areas of Marketing Most Impacted by Technology Solutions and Marketing Platforms

I will not even attempt to count how many areas of marketing there are in a given organization but rest assured it's a whole bunch - technical term. If you're been in marketing for more than 30 seconds you know of the sheer number of different marketing areas or departments or however your paritcular company refers to them.

However, given the digitally-frenetic world we live in today boys and girls, there are only a handful that are the most impacted by technology solutions and marketing platforms of which there is a whole bunch of them, too.

Marketing Automation 

Marketers are leveraging the power of marketing automation to refine, target, and optimize program initiatives, including customizing content and automating communications. Marketing automation technology empowers marketers to improve their knowledge of buyer behavior and understand how it plays out in campaigns. 

Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-channel marketing technology is a pillar of the overall B2C ecosystem because it represents the execution engine of your marketing strategy. Even the most well thought-out marketing plans are bound to fail unless they are executed properly using the right technology. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing has taken over the world of marketing perhaps like no other type of marketing has before it. According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” 

Data Management

Big data. Bigger data. Data this and data that. As you are reading this very section terabytes of data are literally being generated by people all over the world. As to what the marketers of the world will do with all this data is the issue at hand. The trick is, and it’s really a trick, is to use the right data. And to do data right you need a data management platform (DMP). 

Social Media Marketing

In the year 2005, according to the Pew Research Center, a mere 7% of American adults used social media. As of 2015, according to the same source, that number is now 65%—which represents an increase of 829% in just 10 years. With this kind of growth, it is not only important that social media goals and objectives align with those of the business, but the social media tool set must connect with the overall marketing technology stack. 

Testing and Optimization

Website optimization helps companies learn more about their audience and then more directly and accurately give each segment the experience it needs to convert.  And by running A/B or multivariate tests—the two most popular forms of optimization testing—businesses obtain data results that reveal valuable patterns in customer behavior so they can make better decisions about what content to show to which customers, at what time, and in what way. 

Download The Guide to Building Your Marketing Technology Stack to learn more - a whole bunch more about all of this PLUS learn the questions marketers need to ask of any potential marketing technology solution provider.

The Future of Modern Marketing As Seen by Global Experts

Now that we have looked back at the past year of Modern Marketing we can look forward and predict the future.

Predicting the future can sometimes be a tricky business. Sometimes we look forward to the far-off vistas that populate the world of science fiction, but other times we feel like that future is already here.

The future of Modern Marketing is just around the corner, especially when we consider how to approach 2016. A common theme emerged from our global marketing experts that takes its cues from that sci-fi future. It is efficiency. 

There will be more information created than ever before and marketers have to break through that clutter with not just more content, but better content. More efficient content that serves the right audience. 

More efficient use of technology will be required to find those audiences. Understand those audiences. Communicate with those audiences. And when we say audience, we mean customers, prospects, partners, advocates, and even readers. 

And these conversations can’t happen without data. Lots and lots of data. Remember that term we used to use, big data? It feels quaint compared to the amount of data that will be available to marketers in 2016. But again, the right data must be used in the right way to make a difference. 

And speaking of data, we asked our marketing prognosticators to add a bit of data rigor to this exercise of looking into the future. We have seen too many wild predictions over the years that felt like they were based on nothing more than the cold, empty vacuum of space. Most of their predictions are based on a published statistic or data result that points modern marketers in a certain direction. 

In just a moment, you will click the image below and read these predictions. Since these are collected and curated from experts with a point of view, they may not include what you are seeing. Are you seeing these same trends or do you have your own predictions? Let us know on Twitter using #MMInsights. If we get enough additional predictions, we publish them in a future blog post.

To read what these global marketing experts think will have the most impact in 2016 download The Future of Modern Marketing: 2016. This will help you confirm your plans for the coming year.

2015: The Modern Marketing Year in Review

It's the time of year where we start looking to the future and planning for what comes next in this ever changing world of modern marketing. But before we do that, it is time to look back and take stock of the past year.

You can take your pick of the latest marketing buzzwords or trends when trying to sum up the past year of modern marketing, so we reached out to marketing experts from around the world to get their take on 2015.

But we added an extra requirement. Since modern marketers don’t make decisions with their gut, but they do it with data, the synopsis needed to be inspired by a published statistic or data point.

It might have been the year that mobile finally overtook desktop computing, but it was also the year video exploded on social networks, and with their own, you guessed it, mobile apps.

Content marketing continued to grow, as did the marketing technology required to support all the content that companies are producing. Companies got more efficient, more focused on their customers, and better able to address metrics that matter.

But there is also a content gap, a conversion gap, an engagement gap, an attention gap, a talent gap, and even a mobile first gap. No matter what the statistics reveal about the companies that have grabbed the brass ring and succeeded with modern marketing, there are still those who are not there yet. The thoughts of these marketing experts can provide that guidance.

And since we collected these insights about 2015, we wanted to share them with you. No email required. That's why it's embedded below. And we'd love for you to share it with friends and colleagues. You can share this post or go to Slideshare to download the ebook. You can easily share that too.

Read on to see how these global marketing experts sum up the year that was in modern marketing. Does this reflect your 2015? Or was it the year of something else for you? Let us know on Twitter using #mminsights.


Many of these same global marketing experts have shared their thoughts on what will have the most impact in 2016. Download The Future of Modern Marketing: 2016 and you finalize your planning for the coming year.