It should come as no surprise to seasoned marketers that the best results are achieved if they deliver messages when, where and how their audience will be most receptive. Today, your customers are taking to social media sites in ever-increasing numbers. They expect to find that your brand has an active social presence, and they want to connect with your brand on these channels.
Integrating Sitecore and Microsoft Dynamics CRM can give marketers access to tools to make their jobs easier while providing benefits to front-line employees. From this integration, you can gain detailed knowledge from customer visits to your website, as well as create new contacts and leads that you can leverage to target different visitor segments.
Decades ago, there was a lot of discussion involving the paperless business. The predictions called for consumers to universally embrace digital billing, files that would reside only on hard drives and virtual catalogs that could be accessed through any computer. Although all of these have been implemented to some degree, not every consumer has been willing to ban the printed word from their lives.
As a marketing professional, you are undoubtedly aware that the landscape has changed rapidly in recent years. Consumer expectations have increased dramatically, especially when it is necessary to leverage technology to deliver the kind of engaging, personalized experience they demand. Choosing the right technology can be daunting, and it may make little difference if the implementation is poor or users fail to adopt it. Although Sitecore can be an effective and powerful marketing technology, it — like every other tool at your disposal — must be implemented properly and used correctly to achieve the desired results.
Not that many years ago, many marketers expressed resistance to the concept of leveraging big data for marketing efforts. There were the basic questions, such as what big data is and how it works. There were also questions about whether it had the potential to provide benefits that outweighed any possible risks. In the years since the term became prominent in marketing circles, a number of pioneers have blazed trails for others to follow. As a result, the marketing sector has emerged as one of the most ardent supporters of big data, embracing it completely.
Although big data is poised to be a dominant force in the marketing sector, questions remain. Marketers wonder whether big data has limitless possibilities or a defined ceiling. They question whether big data will continue to drive profits significantly. They are also curious about which advances in technology and methodology will affect leveraging big data in 2015 and beyond.
By now, all marketing professionals are surely aware that their customers are using multiple channels to interact with their companies. Reaching customers on their preferred channels has spurred the growth of cross-channel marketing campaigns to deliver a consistent message and enhance customer engagement. Managing cross-channel marketing can present a number of logistical challenges, including budgeting, asset management and collaboration. A marketing process optimization solution, or MPOS, can help with all of these tasks by streamlining processes from initial planning through cross-channel analytics.
MPOS should not be confused with marketing automation solutions. Marketing automation can be an important part of an MPOS, but a marketing automation solution will not offer the variety of an MPOS. An MPOS can be used for approval workflow, spend management and distributed marketing as well as to streamline all other routine marketing functions. Adding a customer relationship management, content management or digital asset management system to the front-end of an MPOS with integrated automated marketing capabilities increases the value of all solutions and improves the probability of successful marketing efforts.
The days of captive audiences are long gone. Once, marketers could decide when consumers would receive their messages and on what media. Today, consumers have turned the tables and seized power. They choose which messages they want to see and when. They also decide the medium on which they want to view the message. This makes it increasingly important for businesses to utilize cross-media campaigns to reach their target audiences.
What you present, how you present it and when you present it can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing efforts. Cross-media campaigns reach across channels to engage customers with relevant, consistent messages that can be highly personalized for each recipient. By demonstrating an understanding of and respect for the customer's preferences, you have enhanced opportunities to build lasting relationships and improve customer loyalty.
Cross-media campaigns require a bit of special handling to obtain the best results. If you want to help ensure the maximum success from your cross-media campaigns, these tips may help.
It has never been easier for marketers to compile massive amounts of data about their customers. Properly mined, this information can provide you with a wealth of new opportunities. However, if you have bad data, you will have poor results. At best, you will obtain low conversion rates. At worst, you can destroy existing relationships or anger potential customers.
Modern consumers are barraged with messages every time they venture online. They must wade through emails that are sent daily, ads that block the page view until the visitor clicks on them, pop-ups that demand attention and banner ads that can sometimes take longer to load than the content the visitor wants to see. They are receiving automated texts on their cell phones and posts from companies on their personal Facebook pages.
The return on expenses related to marketing efforts has traditionally been difficult to quantify. In the past, companies often felt that if revenue was increasing, then marketing efforts were successful, and if revenue was dropping, then the marketing plan needed to be adjusted. Given the competitive environment in which companies have had to operate over the last decade or so, this simplistic approach to measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts is as obsolete as door-to-door sales representatives who only make cold calls.
Modern CEOs and CFOs want to see data that proves whether marketing efforts are succeeding or failing. They want facts, and they want those facts to be supported. They are not interested in guesses, feelings or projections that are not based on reliable data. They want data-driven marketing rather than marketing that merely reacts to the competition or that relies on intuition. They want a detailed breakdown of marketing costs compared to the benefits the company gains from the expenditures. In short, they want marketers to justify virtually every dollar spent by the marketing department.
More and more, spending on marketing efforts is being scrutinized closely by other C-suite executives. Marketers are being asked to assign real, definitive rates of return on their spending. In a few organizations, the perception of marketing as a "necessary evil" has persisted, and executives see an opportunity to force marketers to justify their existence. More often, the scrutiny results from the knowledge that more data than ever before is being collected; top managers expect marketers to leverage this data to provide them with the information they want.
The problem is that many marketers are not sure what they should be measuring. They might be using metrics that are very meaningful to marketing or sales but are of little use to a CEO. They might be tracking one KPI without tracking a second KPI that is required to give true meaning to the first.
Every organization is different, and the metrics they need to collect vary by organization. However, if you are struggling to determine which metrics might be most useful to your company, you might want to consider using some of the following.