How to Create Your Social Media Marketing Mix

Marketing Cloud

In the social media world—part science, part guessing game—how can brands strike the perfect marketing mix? If you’re not on the right platforms your content risks being ignored, and campaigns miss the mark.

According to digital marketing strategist Rebeka Radice, more than 85 percent of all buyer-seller interaction will take place online by the year 2020. With so many impressions on the line, it’s time to identify the right platforms for your brand.

The Big Guys

In the recent past, social marketers lived by a very simple motto: acquire likes, retweets, and shares at any cost. Social engagement was seen as the happy ending, not the never-ending battle between customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction that it truly is.

Your brand probably already has some sort of presence on the largest social networks. Facebook, Twitter, and (increasingly) Instagram are certainly great places to engage with your audience. But these mature networks are full of savvy consumers who don’t necessarily want to be marketed to.

Brands should embrace Facebook and Twitter with enthusiasm, but temper that enthusiasm with cold, hard data. These mature networks can provide a treasure trove of behavioral data from which you can learn what content works best for your audience and in what amounts. Don’t ignore the data.

Although a brand page full of likes and followers lends you an air of legitimacy, its long-term effect is anything but certain. Relying too heavily on Facebook and Twitter for audience growth and engagement is almost never a good idea.

“Unfortunately, the simplicity of the Like button can also be a negative,” says world-renowned digital strategist John Boitnott. “While Likes can be a gateway to further engagement including comments, there is no certainty that further engagement will occur from one click.”

 The Not-So-Big Guys

Obviously, no two brands are exactly alike. While some consumer-focused brands might have incredible success with a Snapchat-heavy social mix, a B2B brand might look amateurish and out of touch with that strategy.

Aside from the giants, several platforms are worth looking at. Brands like Taco Bell make incredible use of SnapChat’s fast-paced, youth-centric paradigm.


“On Instagram or Twitter, you only have so much space to say something,” says Taco Bell’s Jozlynn Rush. “You have 140 characters or one photo, but on Snapchat, we’re able to collaborate with our fans and tell a deeper story. They connect with our fans on a one-on-one level, which other platforms don’t allow.”

Of course, new social networks are constantly emerging. Although you probably shouldn’t go all-in on a platform like Yo, there’s certainly no harm in claiming your username and keeping it in your back pocket, or even experimenting with the technology while it’s still in the early-adopter phase.

Finding the right social media marketing mix isn’t an easy task. Once you’ve sifted through the data, formed a strategy, and begun to make inroads, it can be easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal: creating customers by creating memorable moments.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your social media marketing mix should reflect your audience—where they are, who they are, and what they’ll ultimately respond to.

The post How to Create Your Social Media Marketing Mix appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Strength in Numbers: Achieving Optimization “Rockstar” Status

Marketing Cloud

Last month I talked about the webinar I hosted with James McCormick, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, and Ryan Pizzuto, T-Mobile’s Web Testing & Optimization Manager. James’ piece of the conversation focused primarily on how data should be woven through the entire customer life cycle, as well as the integration of both technology and talent to get the job the done. He cited some great examples of game changers and envelope pushers like the RBS (one of my favorites), which puts emphasis on the analytics and the human piece of it all. But what struck me most of all was his notion that the best data-driven marketers and companies treat every interaction like a huge win. Why? Because each touch point is an opportunity to boost customer relationships and deliver even better experiences than they did last month, last week, or, even, this morning. It’s a really compelling way to think about data-driven marketing (DDM) in this customer-centric era of marketing.

So what about T-Mobile? From Ryan’s perspective, data is critical and presents sky-high value for its marketing initiatives. Done right, Ryan explained, it’s easy to be a DDM rockstar. His secret? This simple three-step process.

Step One: Start With the Data

This step’s simple enough: start with the data you’ve got. Why? Because the best tests start as in-depth analyses, not hunches. Getting here might mean tapping into departments and other corners of your organization, as was the case with T-Mobile. When Ryan first joined he was the solo optimization guy, and he was expected to move fast. Although he was ready to dive in and get to testing he hit a wall because he didn’t have the data he needed to test ideas that had clear value for the organization.

But the analytics team did.

The solution? A partnership between the two teams. Not only was he able to cull the data he needed to launch meaningful tests and optimization roll outs, but he also unearthed some pretty surprising jumping off points. In one case, an analyst was looking at call volumes at their customer service center and, specifically, how many of those callers had first visited the T-Mobile website. There was a clear pattern: callers had logged onto the site but navigated straight to the Contact Us page to find the phone number—in most cases they called within the hour.

From that Ryan was able to flesh out a meaningful hypothesis and test. Maybe callers weren’t aware of the self-help available on the site. The data supported this test and, with that, he rolled out two links within this common journey that drove increased self-help awareness and access. The results? A double-digit increase in self-help and a huge decline in calls.

This one’s clearly a testing win but what’s equally compelling is that this example wasn’t even based on online data; it was, really, an offline launching point. It’s a fantastic example of how leaning on the data doesn’t require a big, drawn-out process and subsequent redesign. In this case, Ryan simply added two links to existing pages and, in turn, delivered enormous value for T-Mobile. So don’t be hesitant to kick start step one. Take a breath, roll up your sleeves, and dig into that data. The rest will follow.

Step Two: Leverage New Data Sources

Data isn’t shrinking. If anything, it’s growing at breakneck speed and you, the data-driven marketer, should be embracing it all in smart, meaningful ways. And that starts with the flow of data and how brands specifically tap into it to inform their optimization efforts. All too often marketers set out to integrate analytics and optimization tools and wind up creating a workflow that sends data from one to the other—typically optimization tools to analytics tools. But there’s more value to going in reverse—from analytics to optimization tools—especially when you’re integrating a solution like Adobe Target. Ryan gave a good example: his optimization team took the data and analytics they had on each mobile visitor—carrier and network—and optimized from there. With just those two simple metrics T-Mobile could immediately identify users coming from outside their network and offer to pay early termination fees targeted to their current carrier. The result? Double digit increases to cart starts—and, again, simple but impactful.

Step Three: Let the Machines Take Over

This ties directly back to the benefits of automated personalization. Why would you, the human marketer, take on aspects of testing, optimization, and personalization that a machine could do better and more effectively? If integrating a machine sidekick means you’re delivering a better customer experience more readily, more easily, and at great scale, why wouldn’t you go that route?

T-Mobile uses machine learning to power a dynamic recommendation engine that’s updated based on user behavior. Prior to this integration the brand used standard product carousels that were inefficient and tough to update. As a result, T-Mobile would really only refresh that content around product releases. Again, it wasn’t anything elaborate, just a simple way to deliver fresh, relevant, more spot-on content to site visitors and, in turn, deliver quick wins. The more wins the more data Ryan and his team could collect and, from those added points, continue serving up powerful, personalized experiences—with both the human and the machine marketer at the center of all the action.

What’s so interesting to me about Ryan’s three-step process is how simple it is, but at the same time how powerful it can be, no matter how optimizationally mature your organization is. Another interesting takeaway? That the human piece is still so central to the entire workflow. Sure you’re integrating optimization and analytics tools, added data sources, and, even, automation, but the human marketer and his vantage point is still as valuable as ever. James touched on this in his RBS example in my earlier post and Ryan really drove the point home. Granted, I’m not talking about going off of opinions or hunches, but a lot of this starts with a bright idea—a bright idea supported by the data. From there, there’s a real human touch to the iterative testing and learning process. Maybe the science and quantitative data validates your processes, but it’s the art gets it all in motion and ensures things “feel right.” And it’s the human side that ensures you aren’t veering into creepy waters.

At the end of the day we should all strive to be DDM rockstars and, I believe, with this step-by-step approach it’s well within our collective reach. Start with the data you’ve got, look for more relevant sources, and enlist a machine sidekick and, in no time, you’ll be hurtling towards elite status. Rock on.

The post Strength in Numbers: Achieving Optimization “Rockstar” Status appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Digital Marketing 101: How to Start with Mobile Messaging

Marketing Cloud

Mobile apps are enabling marketers to get more up close and personal with customers than ever before.

With mobile messaging marketing, you can whisper right into your user’s ear, if—and it’s a big if—you can cut through the noise of a crowded app marketplace and inspire continuous, meaningful user engagement over time.

Many brands excited by the great promise of app marketing are diving in unequipped to engage, interact with, measure, reengage, and analyze users—and then do it all over again. Essentially, they put all their energy and budget into achieving app downloads. They may master driving awareness and standing out in the app store (no small feat), only to discover that their obsession with the download metric blinded them to the real challenge: driving ongoing brand interactions with relevant, valuable content.

Downloads do not equal engagement. Stop measuring success by the number of downloads, and start focusing on user engagement over time. One question should keep your marketing and analytics teams up at night: How do we turn one-time users into power users?

What Is Mobile Messaging?

Mobile apps are more intimate than any text or landing page, because apps allow you to deliver rich, contextual content to individual users and foster a personal relationship with them based on usage insights. Mobile messaging refers to the content and communications you deliver to customers both within and originating from your app.

Through in-app messages and push notifications, brands can share a surprisingly wide range of content, including

  •      brand news and announcements,
  •      targeted specials and promotions,
  •      discussion topics tied to user forums and social media conversations,
  •      chat-style interactions with users,
  •      user comments and feedback,
  •      feature-rich downloads,
  •      images, infographics, video, and audio, and
  •      timely reminders and alerts

Think outside the Smartphone

Mobile messaging marketing can take place in any app, on any device:

  • Apps dominate time spent on tablets, whether it’s an iPad, Surface Pro, or Kindle.
  • Connected TVs and over-the-top (OTT) devices, like Roku and Apple TV, come with built-on apps to stream programming.
  • Wearable technology, like smartwatches and fitness bands, are primed for branded app messaging.
  • With the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), soon your refrigerator may have apps that allow marketers to speak to you.

For now, smartphone and tablet apps are likely your targets. However, you should be thinking about how to make the leap to other devices your audience uses. Imagine being able to carry out a seamless, consistent conversation with customers across devices: wherever they go, there you are. The more places they can access your app, the more convenient and valuable your app becomes, and the more loyal your users will be.

How to Turn One-Time App Users into Power Users

If you’re ready to add mobile messaging to your marketing mix, and start building user engagement over time, start by crafting a strong strategy. Your mobile messaging strategy should consider acquiring, analyzing, and making personal connections with users. You want every step of the user experience to be timely, relevant, and personalized. When in doubt, remember those three guiding words.

Follow these three steps to create a sustainable mobile relationship and increase customer value, while sharing useful, life-enhancing content with your users.

Step 1: Understand Your Users

Start by analyzing your target audience. Use data-driven insights to get to know your customer’s needs, habits, and engagement levels. This will form the basis of rich user personas, which you can improve over time as you generate and gather more user data. Your user personas should include, with as much specificity as possible, each segments’ pain points, motivations, preferred purchase path, unique values, and favorite channels and content formats.

Your content strategy needs to be centered on user profiles to give you experiences and top returns. Using personas is serious to your success. By increasing your content development process, you can work to increase effectiveness. The Content Marketing Institute found that improving your content development process can help to increase your effectiveness by as much as 45 percent.

Answer the following questions before you even think about creating content and crafting messages:

  • What purpose can our app serve for our customers? What need can we meet? What goal or aspiration can we help them achieve?
  • What value does our app bring to users? Can we keep delivering on, and adding to, this value over time?
  • How will this app meet and exceed customer expectations for performance, relevance, personalization, and convenience?

In a nutshell: Why should someone make room for your app on their phone?

Step 2: Understand your Messaging

Whether you are creating in-app messages or push notifications, your objective is to drive interaction and discovery within the app. Although the objective is the same, messages inside the app function differently from messages outside the app, so you need a clear strategy for each.

  • In-App Messaging Strategy:

Imagine you are sitting right beside your users while they navigate your app. What would you say? How could you be most useful in the moment? Would you teach them how to use a particular feature, maximize loyalty benefits, or customize preferences to make the app more friendly?

Messages that appear when an app is in the foreground, or in-app, are best for broadcasting important information to users based on their behavior. In-app messages are responsive to triggers, making them uniquely qualified to facilitate personalized engagement. This engagement can help drive session conversion and user retention.

  • Push Notification Messaging Strategy:

The opt-in rate for push notifications varies widely among industries, from as low as 40 percent to as high as 80 percent. Ride-sharing services have the highest opt-in rates, because they typically provide information that is integral to the app’s purpose, and requires immediate action. If you’re not a ride-sharing service, you can still apply these principles to your own push messaging strategy. How can notifications actually serve to make the app more useful? What purposeful calls-to-action can you make to help users complete a process and earn rewards?

Push notifications are best used to drive reengagement and purchase conversions. When the app is in the background, they call attention and activity back to the app. Data should form the backbone of push notification strategies. When these pop-up alerts are personalized based on previous in-app behaviors, events, time of day, location, persona, or all of the above, they are more likely to be relevant and enticing.

Whether you’re reaching a user inside or outside your app, connect on an emotional level rather than listing features and benefits. No matter what, mobile messaging should not feel like an ad. Ads feel artificial and intrusive; mobile app messaging should be a natural outgrowth of a one-to-one relationship with your users.

Josh Reed, Co-founder of PitchMaps, B2B Marketing Messaging company, makes a great case for mobile messaging that speaks to the heart:

“Don’t bow to the competitive pressure to say, ‘We’re better than best.’ Offer a thoughtful, empathetic reply to your market, and people’s ears will perk up and listen. Elevate the discussion above the technology or solution. Speak to what the customer cares about. Then, your technology just becomes a natural byproduct of your mission to solve this customer need….When everyone else is screaming for attention, sometimes a thoughtful whisper is what it takes to get heard.”

Step 3: Push Responsibly

No other marketing medium allows you to be with users in their workplaces, at their breakfast tables, while they’re commuting, and even when they’re playing with their kids. This level of intimacy comes with great responsibility: Respect the mobile channel by sending only highly personalized messages that add value, or risk having users opt-out of notifications or even uninstalling your app.

Mind the following do’s and don’ts to remain in users good graces for the long term:

  • Tell users why they should opt-in before you actually ask them. You typically get one chance to pop the question, so butter up your users with a brief, bulleted list of reasons they want to receive notifications before they answer yes or no.
  • Nail the frequency of your messages.  How do you know if you’re sharing a message too frequently? Simple: If it’s not valuable, it’s too frequent.
  • Nail the timing, too. Remember to account for time zones so you don’t end up interrupting users’ sleep with a notification.
  • Group, or segment, users based on important characteristics. Put away the shotgun and pull out the sniper, delivering hypertargeted content, promotions, and reminders.  
  • Make sure your call to action is clear. It’s not enough to ask users to take a next step, you need to tell them exactly what to do, how to do it, and what they’ll gain as a result.

The list goes on, but it all comes down to those three guiding words: timely, relevant, and personalized. Nail all three, and you’ll watch one-time users turn into power users, growing serious mobile loyalty for your brand.

The post Digital Marketing 101: How to Start with Mobile Messaging appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

3 Ways to Do Audience-Based Advertising (1st-Party Data Collection) Without 3rd-Party Cookie Data

Marketing Cloud

In the effort to quickly collect information from users about their behaviors and preferences online, the third-party cookie used to be king. By simply placing a DMP’s 3rd party pixel on your page, it was easy to capture a wealth of information about the people visiting your site. You could then use that information to accurately sub-segment and target specific users with content and experiences that were sure to increase overall conversion.

However, Safari now blocks third-party cookies by default, and rare is the user that opts to enable this third-party data capture voluntarily. As the online world moves beyond cookies, the ability to track and capture customer behavior using third-party cookies has become less reliable, and businesses must find new ways to capture this data without violating the privacy of their customers.

Using the First-Party Domain

While this may seem to represent a roadblock to traditional data-capture techniques, it actually provides a unique opportunity to find new, more trustworthy, secure, and accurate ways to collect consumer data than the old third-party cookie methodology. As an example, Adobe Analytics operates within the first-party domain. This allows analysts to capture data that might be blocked by a web browser or mobile device, , and ensures that the audience defined by the DMP is 100% consistent with the data collected by your analytics system. Marketers looking to understand and influence the customer journey need to first make sure their marketing tools are capturing the same data and have the same, consistent definition of audience.

The Document Object Model (DOM)

Another source for collecting data from your site is  the Document Object Model (DOM). The DOM is the convention for representing objects in HTML, and it describes the way that different pieces of a webpage interact with one another.

Most web tracking tools and tag management systems (including Adobe’s DTM) collect information passed through a JavaScript array to the data layer, which results in a very clean data collection process, independent of how the page is designed or coded.

The problem with complete reliance on the data layer is that you need your IT / Web Development team to pass specific name-value pairs into the data layer. Changes to your site typically mean changes to the data layer, and over time, some critical information may be missed.

Having the ability to not only well structured information from the data layer, but also raw information directly from the DOM tree can ensure no data is left behind, even if the web development team hasn’t exposed new data to analyst or marketing teams.

This is also valuable because it still represents first-party data that is explicitly relevant to the content that marketers are putting on the screen, yet, it can be captured without violating the customer’s privacy and without relying on  third-party cookies.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

While capturing data at the first-party cookie level and using the DOM as a source of information are extremely relevant to web-based browsers, a wealth of information can also be captured from cookie-less environments such as native mobile applications. Cookies are not used in these environments, but rather a marketing ID supplied by either Android or iOS.  

What is nice about the Adobe SDK is that it does more than just collect data. Many businesses are hesitant to incorporate multiple SDKs into their apps due to concerns of data leakage, IT resources needed to implement, and so on. However, a mobile app is expected to do a number of different functions such as perform analytics, communicate through push alerts,  or personalize the content delivered through it. Businesses can reduce the number of SDKs used to build a single app by incorporating Adobe’s SDK, which supports all of this functionality and more.

SDKs are also the primary method of data collection for Smart TVs, OTT Devices such as Roku or Apple TV, and other connected devices. If your companies’ applications extend beyond mobile phones and tablets, ensuring that you can collect data from the Internet of Things will be critical as more and more connected devices end up in the hands of your customers.

Http Endpoints, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and Server Side Files

Another method for capturing data from cookie-less environments involves the use of http endpoints. Apps must contain some sort of http code in them to display content and enable functionality. For businesses that do not want to integrate an SDK into their app, data can be captured via the use of APIs (application programming interfaces) that pull information directly from the http code that has been written into the application.

One more process that can be used to capture data from mobile sites or apps (outside of the use of an SDK or http endpoints) would be the use of the server side file. All of the information about user interactions with these types of sites will usually be stored somewhere on the server that is hosting the application. It is simple to mine these files for information about users’ behaviors as they interact with the content that is presented to them. While this approach does not happen in “real-time”, it’s another approach to ensure that all of your 1st party data ends up in a single data platform, even if IT hurdles stand in your way.

In the end, the use of third-party cookies still exists and still remains relevant in the effort to sync user data with ad servers or demand-side platforms. However, even in a world where browsers and users were not gravitating away from enabling the use of third-party cookies, it would still be important to leverage other sources of information-gathering to have the broadest view possible of your audience. Today, users interact with brands through a multitude of different avenues, and a single method for collecting data about end-users no longer fits with advances in technology or the ways in which consumer behavior is changing. Having a broad range of tools to capture data across a number of different channels increases the accuracy and completeness of your data and improves your understanding of the market as well as how consumers prefer to interact with your brand.

The post 3 Ways to Do Audience-Based Advertising (1st-Party Data Collection) Without 3rd-Party Cookie Data appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Uniting Alere’s Global Digital Presence for All Devices

Marketing Cloud

After expanding rapidly through strategic acquisitions, Alere has become a global leader in medical diagnostic solutions. But consistently communicating its value to global audiences across all devices required help from Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) in Adobe Marketing Cloud.

By centralizing website content creation with AEM Sites, Alere leverages in-house development talent to service global business units. Modular templates enable content creators in any location to develop consistent branded content with the flexibility to present it in ways best suited to specific products, audiences and languages. Responsive design built into the templates also automatically optimizes content for tablets and smartphones.

The Alere creative services team uses AEM Assets to support a self-service library of product images. Marketers used it to contact the creative services team for copies of the latest product images. Now, they can retrieve them through an automated system.

“We used to field about 70 requests a week just for image assets,” says Pat Hardy, Creative Director, Global Creative Services at Alere. “By managing images centrally in Experience Manager Assets, we reduced image requests by about 80 percent.”

Alere upgraded to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams through reseller Insight and now leverage apps, such as Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe InDesign CC, to create and share images and designs using the same software versions for smoother collaboration and faster turnaround. Combined with Adobe Digital Publishing Solution, Alere is also bringing its technology to life through rich, interactive apps.

Read the full success story.

The post Uniting Alere’s Global Digital Presence for All Devices appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Facebook Enters the Live Streaming Space—Do Marketers Need to Care?

Marketing Cloud

Facebook’s recent announcement to “test the waters” with live streaming video isn’t all that surprising. Real-time content drives conversation on social media, and users made it clear that while they enjoy images, it’s live, authentic interaction they crave. As the king of social, Facebook’s move into live streaming has legitimized it—even as Periscope and Meerkat compete to occupy the space. But is there too much competition in live video? And why is Facebook interested in taking this on? As a marketer, what does this mean for you and your digital strategy?

Background on the Change

Several months ago, Facebook rolled out live streaming capability to celebrities and a few high-profile users. Today, it’s willing to expand the feature to a select group of iPhone users, with the intent of giving everyone the ability to share live video on Facebook sometime soon. Select “live video” from the status update screen and stream video to family, friends, and followers as comments appear in real time. Facebook Live sounds an awful lot like Twitter’s Periscope, and a lot of the features are the same. But unlike Periscope, videos are saved until manually deleted and Live is built directly within Facebook, which may keep more people from leaving the platform. In addition to live streaming, Facebook also introduced Moments, a photo feature for grouping pictures together.

Capturing the Next Generation of Social Users

What motivates Facebook to enter such a competitive space? It looks like a strategic move to appeal to the next generation of social users who are trending towards video. Until now, Periscope dominated live video, leaving Meerkat in the dust. In fact, Periscope has a pretty solid following with over 25 million mentions since March on social networks. Facebook’s move is bold—and an obvious attempt to reach young Millennials that grew up with Snapchat and Instagram. True, this demographic is already on Facebook, but they’re using it less than other networks. Offer live streaming and Facebook can keep the most sought-after generation engaged, rather than let them stray to other platforms.

Periscope and Meerkat have been in the live streaming space for a while and users are familiar with them. So what is Facebook’s angle? They’ll likely harness a great deal when they eventually open up streaming to business as most are still in the beginning phases of learning how to use Periscope. In general, corporations are invested heavier in Facebook than Twitter and it will be interesting to see how live streaming evolves.

Reinforcing a Strategic Push Towards Video

Facebook has tried in the past to appeal to the younger crowd. Sometimes they’ve been successful, sometimes not so much. The move to imitate Snapchat with Slingshot was less than effective, yet breaking out Messenger and launching Facebook M was well-received. With Instagram, Messenger and now live streaming, Facebook is creating an image while reinforcing its focus on video. Mark Zuckerberg solidified the push by suggesting video creators would receive a revenue share of video views. Users also have the option to upload a video as a profile picture. Videos are engaging, second to images, and having user-generated video can only support the ways in which Facebook will eventually compete with YouTube and others for user generated content.

What Facebook Live Means For Marketers

While Facebook hasn’t made live streaming available to business yet, as a marketer how do you cut through the noise and decide where to focus if live streaming is part of your digital strategy?

Start by analyzing your data to identify where you’re getting the most engagement. It’s a safe bet to assume that most businesses get the majority of it from Facebook. But as organic reach declines and pay to play becomes more common, it’s critical to pay strict attention to where your efficiencies are happening to help you decide where to spend your money. Remember, Twitter and Facebook have different audiences. Early adopters of Periscope were already social, with active profiles on Twitter. Facebook is more static, but adoption rates may be high simply because the audience is vast and they’re pushing it to the masses.

In Sum

In one of the biggest technology trends of 2015, Facebook may have just legitimized live streaming, and it’s only going to get bigger. For the platform, the key will be in getting businesses to engage in live streaming beyond “safe” activities like recruiting tools or live events. For marketers, choosing the right platform means identifying where you’re getting the most engagement and making an informed decision. It’s no secret that consumers want to see raw footage over packaged video clips and that’s the hook. With more marketers on Facebook than anywhere else, the platform has a unique opportunity to dominate the space. And of course, they’ll always have the obvious advantage—the audience.

The post Facebook Enters the Live Streaming Space—Do Marketers Need to Care? appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Point of Sale: Retail & Travel Weekly

Marketing Cloud

This week’s articles include a look at retail and mobile trends for 2016 and the role personal digital assistants could start to play in consumers’ purchase decisions.

The post Point of Sale: Retail & Travel Weekly appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Could You be the Next Analytics Idol in 2016?

Marketing Cloud

It’s that time of the year again when we search for the top tips from our Adobe Analytics users. If you’ve attended Adobe Summit in the past five years, you might have witnessed this fun, fast-paced and informative breakout session. Is 2016 the year you decide to climb up on stage to share your own special tips and tricks? If you’re chosen as one of the presenters for this popular breakout session, you’ll receive a free pass ($1,895 value) to this year’s Adobe Summit (March 20-24) in Las Vegas, the opportunity to win cool prizes (last year’s top prize was a Microsoft Surface Pro 3!), and not to mention bragging rights.

In order to be considered for the Analytics Idol panel, you just have to submit your two best tips using the following online form. To give you a little more context for what kinds of tips we’re looking for, I’ll share what each panelist presented at last year’s Analytics Idol session.

Nef Araia (Condé Nast) – 2015 Winner

  • Shared a way of classifying content into more generic content categories to see both detailed and aggregate views of ontologically-based topics
  • Showed how different user flows could be measured to determine optimal paths involving various page content assets

David Bressler (Universal Orlando Resort)

  • Introduced a methodology for determining which pages should be tested
  • Shared how his company has built an automated classification system for campaign tracking codes

Jesse Brimhall (1-800 Contacts)

  • Showed how to use the segmentation capabilities in Ad Hoc Analysis to do deeper conversion funnel analysis
  • Shared how segments created in Ad Hoc Analysis could be used to evaluate the performance of different test variations

Joe Christopher (Blast AM)

  • Walked through how to measure onsite banner clicks, impressions, and CTAs
  • Showed how you can visualize metric changes in Tableau

Sarah Owen (Sprint)

  • Demonstrated different ways to analyze how much page content was being scrolled or viewed
  • Shared how her company uses a “magical prop” for technical debugging purposes

Hopefully, these tips spark some potential ideas that you could submit. Essentially, we’re looking for tips that would help your peers in digital analytics to uncover new and deeper insights or perform their daily tasks more efficiently or effectively. Ultimately, your judges will be the session attendees in the audience as they will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite tips. If you’re debating whether your ideas pass muster, please submit them as you may underestimate how valuable they would be to others (they don’t have to be overly complicated or technical to be well received).

Initially, we’ll be screening your tips by how innovative, practical, and valuable they are as well as how broadly they could be used by analysts at other companies in different industries. We’ll have up to five panelists so you will have more than one opportunity to win a seat on the stage for this Adobe Analytics session. Participating in this session will be a great opportunity to come to Adobe Summit if you haven’t in the past, establish your personal brand within the industry, and share your expertise with grateful peers.

All submissions need to be received by Friday, Jan. 29, and we’ll reach out to all of the applicants the following week with next steps.

Go to the Analytics Idol Application Form.

The post Could You be the Next Analytics Idol in 2016? appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

How Personalization Made Email Marketing Cool Again

Marketing Cloud

Channels like social media, mobile apps, and immersive in-store experiences are exciting touch points for digital marketers looking for the coolest new ways to engage consumers. However, those same marketers may have inadvertently pushed email to the backburner.

Although the appeal of such innovative marketing channels is completely justified, the shift in focus has caused some marketers to toss their email strategies into the same bargain bins as DVDs and light-up sneakers.

Email marketing never went out of style. Instead, it has undergone a complete makeover from a classic model to the in-depth contextual emails that—with the right tools in place—can help any brand perfect its cross-channel marketing strategy.

The Evolution of Email Marketing

When I think back to where my email journey began, the landscape is almost unrecognizable. During the time that personalization and targeting efforts really started to take shape, contextual email was still a foreign concept.

At that time, it was less about the list and more about the content. I’m talking about the now-antiquated email marketing strategies of the late-1990s, where a simple “Dear [JOHN DOE]” line of code was enough to get the attention of anyone who was just happy to receive an email on their desktop computer every once in a while.

Now email marketing focuses on a combination of strategies that help marketers know and understand who their customers really are before spreading brand messages to the masses. Email automation and personalization, for example, can help today’s marketers create contextual messages catered to a customer’s location, device, purchase history, and real-time status, all while driving conversions at scale.

That’s not to say there still isn’t room and utility for classic email models. For example, there’s no point in developing full-blown contextual emails to address simple tasks like passwords resets or courtesy notifications after a failed login. But the great thing about the current state of email marketing is that brands have options, ranging from simple correspondence to immersive, contextual emails that deliver the right offer to the right person at the right time.

Marketers should no longer view email addresses as soulless assets on a list. Today’s email addresses represent the very people we love doing business with. And the more we approach those addresses the same way we would the people who own them, the better our email marketing will be.

What’s Making Email Marketing Cool Again?

When email marketing became a major marketing channel for business-to-consumer (B2C) correspondence in the early 1990s, receiving electronic messages from around the globe was a big first for many consumers. It didn’t take long, however, for new technology to quickly draw attention away from marketers, who (mistakenly) began to consider email as uncool as the unfortunate username choices for their first email accounts.

Email’s recent digital marketing comeback may be attributed to the people that knew it was never going away. Chad White, author of the “Email Marketing Rules” blog has written for years about innovative ways marketers can improve their email marketing strategies across a changing cross-channel marketing landscape.

So what exactly has gotten all of the other cool kids at the marketing lunch table talking about email again? The fact that every other digital marketing channel is making email marketing look really good. Channels such as mobile devices and social media, which seemed to take many marketers away from a focus on email, have actually been the very reason email remains so effective today.

Sophisticated technology has helped email marketing evolve by giving more people access to email in a multitude of places at any time of day. Think about your first email experience: you probably spent a few minutes logging into your email account from a desktop at your home or office, loudly humming your favorite tune while trying to muffle out the dreadful sound of your 56K modem dialing up.

Nowadays checking your email is as simple as refreshing your inbox on your mobile device. The ubiquity of various digital marketing channels hasn’t hurt email. Instead, email has benefited from the proliferation of mobile devices and worldwide connectivity, working alongside modern channels to optimize the consumer experience.

Automation and Personalization Are Changing the Way We Do Email

Much of the renewed excitement over email marketing is the emergence of some pretty cool and innovative tools that apply automation and personalization to make email seem like a new form of old marketing.

For example, Adobe’s automation and personalization tools give marketers the ability to deliver relevant and consistent emails that build upon the consumer cross-channel experience. Such tools can help brands identify and target the right customers at the right time, analyzing cross-channel data that allows marketers to develop contextual emails like never before. With a reliable content management system (CMS) such as Adobe Campaign, enterprises can even set up workflows that will help them determine the most effective ways to drive the consumer-to-brand conversation, whether through email, social media, or offline engagement.

When companies focus on making these channels work together instead of allowing them to compete, the consumer experience remains seamless across all channels—including email. For example, I love being able to engage with one of my favorite brands on social media, and then receiving a targeted email from that brand presenting special offers, discounts, and incentives based on what I’m interested in online. When email marketing can pick up the conversation where another channel left off, customers are more likely to stay engaged with your brand.

It Pays to Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email is a vital part of every cross-channel marketing strategy, which is why today’s digital marketers should focus on how every channel—both online and off—can work together to deliver contextual messages that build consistent brand messages.

If delivering valuable, contextual emails to your customers isn’t enough of an incentive, then consider this: at $39 for every $1 spent, email has the highest return on investment (ROI) of any other channel. That’s a fact you can take straight to the bank.

Email marketing never really went out of style, but it is becoming universally cool again, which is great news for digital marketers looking for exciting new ways to engage with customers through the channel with the highest ROI than any other. And few things are cooler than a phenomenal return on your investment.

This article was originally published in Marketing Land

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Modern Mobile Piggies and Apps – Cyber Mobile Monday

Marketing Cloud

This was a special cyber Monday for me. I observed two things in mobile, one that surprised me and another that validated what I already knew. Instead of addressing the usual data that says mobile is growing, sales are growing, etc., in this post I will only share my casual observations and things I’ll be doing in my marketing to keep up.

Things I’m going to do different going forward:

  1. Think of creative ways to encourage usage of new apps with upcoming marketing campaigns.
  2. Make sure my mobile experience is perfect prior to moving to desktop. When taking product shots and adjusting the site, I’ve been looking at laptops instead of mobile phones first.

Surprise – Pass the app to collect $200

It is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family to go out on Black Friday and see what we can find. Prior to this years tradition, I did some research online to see what companies were offering. I quickly found that Expedia was offering huge discounts on hotels, similar to what they did last year, except this year they had a twist. To get the discount, you had to book through their app. I found it frustrating at first, because you had to search online to find out what cities the hotel deals were in and at what hour they were released. Then you had to open the app to search the city and book the hotel. After going through the process, I realized that this was a brilliant move and they were accomplishing three important things:

  1. They acquired new users for the app. By forcing people to use the app, Expedia moved users to a booking tool that they want customers on. The app can provide a better user experience, allow for targeted and personalized marketing, and increase loyalty and revenue.
  2. They showcased the key features and value proposition of their app by having a user actually go through and perform an action of searching for the hotel, multiple times.
  3. They provided data for improving their mobile app. With this influx of traffic, Expedia increased their ability to use analytics and a/b testing tools within their app to analyze and optimize the experience.

Kudos to Expedia for implementing their marketing campaign in a creative way that encouraged the usage of their new app. I look forward to reading up on the results of this marketing campaign.

Validation – Mobile is where transactions happen

My darling wife, Camille, and her friend, Becky, recently launched a shop selling hair bows for little girls. I was excited to see Camille make the plunge into sharing her creations with the world. I had the opportunity to help prepare for the launch and we talked about their user experience. My theory, going into this experience, was that the overwhelming majority of her target market, busy moms, will be finding her shop and purchasing from a phone. After getting Shopify setup with all the product shots, meta data, pricing, etc., it was ready for release on Cyber Monday. Camille and Becky started to preload images via Instagram and Facebook at 10 PM on Sunday and visitors started to come in immediately, thanks to a couple individuals who already followed them.

At the end of Cyber Monday, I pulled some analytics data around their business performance and noted that 76% of their unique visitors, and 63% of revenue that day came from a mobile device. Granted this data was a small sample set of 360 users, it was still telling. Sixty percent were millennial females between the ages of 25-34, which was also an expected finding. My sister happened to be the first order of the day, and I called her to ask her about how she made her purchase. She confirmed exactly what I thought would happen by telling me that she woke up on Monday morning, opened Instagram while still in bed, saw the post and made the purchase right there on her phone.

This was a fun experiment for our family, but it really made me connect to my second finding of the weekend. I find myself thinking too much about how my sites will work and appear on desktop sites, when in reality there is more to be gained by focusing on mobile sites first. Moving forward I want to make sure my mobile experiences are in a good place before I move them over to the desktop.

You don’t have to experience Black Friday from the showroom floor to takeaway some of the findings I’ve been thinking about this year. However, mobile continues to gain favor with our audiences, and we need to continue to be thinking about mobile more than ever before.

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