5 Minute MadTech — Sales Automation and Marketing Automation: Part 2

Now that we’ve washed SA/MA’s laundry, let’s start putting it away.

The goal: Achieving harmony and interoperability between SA and MA to drive (and optimize) customer acquisition. In our 5 Minute MadTech series on Account Based Marketing, we explained the importance of lead generation quality over quantity, i.e., that it’s better to fish with a spear than a net. SA and MA leverage this idea by removing labor-intensive tedium from the process. It’s a complex ecosystem, though. Which is more important for your goals? How do you achieve the right balance?

The critical factors: Complexity and Transactional Volume.

Sales Automaton vs. Marketing Automation explains which tech should take the lead  based on these two factors. Here’s our breakdown of that explanation:

  1. Low Complexity, Low Transactional Volume
    If your business has a short sales cycle with a low sales volume, SA may not be the most important tool to consider. Simply put, “The effort of tracking every opportunity is more work that it may be worth.”  Higher importance: MA
  2. Low Complexity, High Transactional Volume
    “Marketing Automation is critical for the non-complex sale, where the speed and volume of transactions are the core of the business.” MA assists in identifying and nurturing prospects until the final sale can be executed, with lower costs per customer acquisition. Higher importance: MA
  3. High Complexity, Low Volume of Transactions
    It’s extremely important to implement SA. “There are multiple stages and meetings to a new client acquisition, and you want to be managing the information around each.” Higher importance: SA
  4. High Complexity, High Volume of Transactions
    “In this environment you need [MA] to attract and nurture a high volume of prospects through the initial buying process.” This allows the sales team to manage the pipeline with SA to depict who’s extremely close to the purchase decision point. SA & MA get equal weighting

According to The Huffington Post the digital marketplace “…has set a fast pace to lead conversion, and businesses have no time to lose on customers that may not convert at all. Sifting through leads consumes time and energy that can be utilized more effectively.”  How are MA and SA evolving their tech to achieve even more value from automation?

In our next 5 Minute MadTech, we’ll dig into recent MA/SA tech innovations in measurement and analytics, and uncover how artificial intelligence may be the next big thing in the category. Are the robots getting their own, smarter robot overlords?

5 Minute MadTech – Sales Automation and Marketing Automation: Part 1

Doing Sales and Marketing Automations’ dirty laundry.

Both Sales Automation (SA) and Marketing Automation (MA) are best viewed as a funneling system through the progression of sales and marketing benchmarks. Some definitions:

Sales Automation: Part of customer relationship management (CRM); supports sales, marketing, and customer support. Typically offered as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Marketing Automation: Email + marketing software, capable of capturing web visitors, social engagement, and other relevant analytics.

In the grand scheme of things, marketing and sales departments work simultaneously, generating, maintaining and building client relationships. Ask yourself “How should SA and MA be implemented?”

Messy Marketing Automation

Industry expert David Raab explains, “A full 70% of marketers are either dissatisfied or only marginally happy with their present marketing automation package. Worse, and to the undoubted displeasure of the accounting department, only 7% are seeing tangible ROI from them use of the system.” In order to achieve optimal success rates, it’s important to remember that implantation is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s no room for underestimation of the task.

According to clevertouch, marketers underestimate the complexity of MA – and it’s full potential. “MA is much more than just a marketing technology. If we think that, we have fallen at the first hurdle, as this mindset underestimates the potential to drive change and new thinking through MA… [it] needs to be a project management approach – with milestones, objectives and continuous improvement tweaks along the way.”

MA introduces a new way of thinking, with, what seems like endless possibilities. However, according to TechCrunch Network, another pressure point is introduced. “A key contributor to the current state of marketing automation is the fact that its roots stem from email blasting.” Over time, the system gets layered with web activity friction. The result: A bloated system trying to do too much. Over-promising and under-delivering, is resulting in a backlog. That’s. Never. A. Good. Thing.

What’s more is that MadTech never ceases in demanding professional education, and the lack of industry-wide standardization is resulting in an extremely fragmented MA ecosystem. Good news, though: MA reaches it’s full potential when you achieve a thorough understanding of it’s sometimes cumbersome and technical features. Big upfront asks for implementation, to be sure, but take heart. After the storm, your sky will be full of rainbows. Double rainbows, even.

Sales Automation, You’ve Got Issues.

Sales teams tend to make their livings from sales, yes? Implantation time and training can cause starvation friction. According to Harvard Business Review, “Reps will have to take some time away from selling to learn the new tools. Managers will become more aware of what is happening in the field, and the issue of customer ownership will be raised.”

The sales process is method-driven. It’s all about building and maintaining customer relationships. Taking time to change the way salespeople work is not an easy sell [aren’t we clever], especially when software isn’t supported with correct/efficient tech. CRM Blog Guy States, “Newer SaaS CRM systems can be slow if not equipped with sufficient internet bandwidth.” As the sales process takes place ‘in the field’ hindering salespeople with weak tech is decidedly uncool. CRM Blog Guy continues, “Training is a frequently under-planned and under-invested effort in software implementations.”

Summing it Up

MA’s full potential is often underestimated and unrealised, and SA’s training and implementation process creates static. There’s a lot to work out, but the devil you know…

___

Now that we’ve got the dirty laundry on the rinse cycle, our next 5 Minute MadTech will iron out how SA/MA can live in perfect harmony – without too much starch in the collar.

 

Content Roundup: Wind Beneath Twitter’s Wings? — There Will be blood Data — Amazonian AdTech

Here’s some of our fav MadTech news from the last two weeks — Who’s down with OTT? Time to break up Big Data? Social media soars? Marketing automation, and more…  Plus, this coming week, we’ll go deep on our blog about Amazon’s next move in digital media space..

Anything juicy we missed? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook… or button it up on LinkedIn.

 

The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil. It’s Data. The Economist,  May 6, 2017
The attention economy demands a new approach to antitrust rules as Google, Facebook, et. al., become
the new Standard Oil…
#finance #bigData #monopoly

YouTube Is Adding 40 Original Programs With Celebrities and Creators Adweek,  May 5, 2017
YouTube is going after traditional television ad dollars with exclusive new programs, and the brands who cut them off weeks ago are coming back…
#video #ott #youtube

Twitter Makes The Case For Live at Its Inaugural NewFronts AdExchanger, May 2, 2017m
Twitter added 9 million new users in Q1 after several quarters of disappointing earnings. Is it getting its wings back, thanks to livestreaming?
#social #emerging #twitter

Amazon Confirms Advertising Will Become A ‘Meaningful’ Part Of Its Business The Drum, Apr. 28, 2017
Bezos and co. prodded other parts of adTech with the launch of its cloud-based header bidding product in December…
#finance #amazon

5X More Marketing Automation Vendors Added Than Removed MarTech Conference  Apr. 26, 2017
If you bet on consolidation over the past six years, it’s time to pay your bookie…
#marketingAutomation #crowded

 

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS

May 15 – 17  /  TechCrunch Disrupt, New York, NY

May 19 – 22 / International Conference on Virtual Reality, Hong Kong

May 24  / Roundtable: OTT & Audience Targeting for Video, New York, NY

May 31 – June 2  / Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit, Scottsdale, AZ

 

Your Second Helping: Influencer Marketing Fraud with Gil Eyal

CEO & Founder of HYPR, Gil Eyal talked with Industry Index about how the Influencer Marketing sector will label, prevent even simplify fraud as the industry continues to grow.

II: How much do you think fraud is impacting Influencer Marketing? With continued growth, will fraud continue to grow?

GE: Just like any other form of digital marketing, influencer marketing is extremely susceptible to fraud. In fact, the whole industry is structured in a way that encourages influencers to inflate their numbers – both follower and engagement numbers by paying for bots to follow them or engage with their post. Some might argue that, like in sports, the fact that a large number of participants take performance enhancing drugs requires anyone who wants to remain competitive to take them as well. The same applies to influencers inflating their online presence, and this is just getting worse.

II: Where do you see fraud most prominently in the Influencer Marketing sector? Why this platform?

GE: Number inflation is prevalent across the board. Instagram is particularly susceptible to violations as brands have very limited tools to measure campaigns – there are no outgoing links to track and limited information on actual views. Vanity metrics like ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ are easy to manipulate, and influencers do it intentionally and unintentionally.

II: Through the growth of Influencer Marketing, how are platforms going to label, prevent, or simplify fraud?

GE: Social networking platforms haven’t shown any inclination to take action. They have enough to worry about with traditional advertising, and one can argue that they aren’t doing a great job of preventing fraud there either.

Influencer networks or marketplaces share the incentive for bad behavior. They want the biggest influencers making the most money.

Third party platforms that focus on data and analytics like HYPR will have to do the job for them.

II: Do you think programmatic is a pressure point when it comes to measuring Influencer Marketing? What is the most effective way to track and monetize Influencer Marketing?

GE: There currently is no efficient Influencer Marketing solution that truly operates programmatically. The industry might be moving that way, and if it does, those platforms will be the first to suffer from fraud unless they can develop ways to identify fraud effectively. Like traditional digital marketing, it will be a never-ending race because fraud results in significant amounts of money changing hands with limited risk to the perpetrator.

A proper solution (programmatic or otherwise) will ensure that payment is only made after results have been verified against fraud. There are multiple technologies that can do it. We take an audience sample and look for red flags – significant lack of activity, following of other accounts that are known to be bots or fraudulent, odd locations (a huge audience in a random country), and specific language analysis algorithms that identify out-of-context or grammatically-incorrect behavior.

II: How has fraud muted the impact of Influencer Marketing? How will the industry move past this friction?

GE: Influencer marketing is in its infancy, and as a result, brands are unaware of the scale of fraud taking place. As they become more familiar, they will demand evidence to support validity of audiences and campaigns. Tools are being built in anticipation of these requirements, and we see with our clients that they are changing the business model to ensure payment is made after results are delivered.

For the industry to survive the massive levels of fraud, it will need to develop tools that measure true value and shift away from vanity metrics – tools that speak in the traditional digital language. Cost per click, conversion rates and ROI, as opposed to ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments.’

 

Gaming vs. Taming the System

At the end of April, we held a Roundtable at which industry professionals gathered to talk everything Influencer Marketing – a main pressure point: Fraud.

In our recent post, “The Year of the Micro-Influencer”, we described how bigger isn’t necessarily better – an influencer with a refined following may yield the greatest engagement. Despite this insight, the ‘size matters’ fallacy persists: more followers = more engagement.

Fraud is running rampant.

What enables this fraud? Click farms and bots that generate fake followers and stimulate fake engagement rates. And, according to Forbes, “The growing emphasis on search engine optimization incentivizes people to game the system – creating an entire industry centered on boosting page rank.”

As marketing budgets move more dollars into social media, these inorganic ways to grow followers are becoming prolific. According to Fullbottle, “…recent studies show that over 8-11% of social media accounts are fake.”

Gina Lee, an Instagram-based influencer, states, “While it might be an easy game to play, in the end, it not only hurts the purchaser, but it hurts the entire social community… in order for influencer marketing to be effective for brands, the influencer behind the promotion needs to remain genuine.”

With so much fraud available for so few dollars, the honor system alone won’t cut it. Influencers must adhere to higher standards by shaping better business practices. To ensure reputable engagements, Lee advocates for using, “…sophisticated tracking methods for monitoring and analyzing activity in real time, providing alert notifications when suspicious activity is detected.”

Brands have to be much smarter, too. CEO and Founder of Hypr, Gil Eyal, explains*, “Before you choose an influencer, make sure you do your due diligence. Checking and clicking on the follower list and sampling some of the followers can give you a general idea. Looking at posts and seeing who engaged and whether the comments make sense or seem automated also sends a signal.”

More ethical behavior, more due diligence, and a dash of tech to automate the tedium will go a long way toward creating a brand-safe, integrity-driven Influencer Market ecosystem. Bye bye, click farms.

* Still hungry for more? We talk with CEO and Founder of Hypr, Gil Eyal – here’s Your Second Helping

The Year of the Micro-Influencer

Our April Roundtable dug into everything Influencer Marketing. We were left with an interesting question – who matters more, the micro- or the macro-influencers?

According to Digiday, “Once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement actually begins to decrease.”

Maybe bigger isn’t necessarily better. Even though a macro-influencer with 2mm+ followers can reach an enormous audience, potency is not a given. Why? A large percentage of a macro’s followers may not be interested in the brand that influencer is promoting. The consensus of our Roundtable: macro-influencers tend to drive brand awareness, while micro-influencers drive action.

A recent survey, produced by Markerly, of two million social media influencers showed:

“For unpaid posts, Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of about 8%, while those with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers have a like rate of 4%… as following base continues to increase, like rates keep decreasing. Instagram influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers see a 2.4% like rate, compared to 1.7% for those with 1mm to 10mm+ followers. Comment rates follow a similar pattern.”

CNBC notes, “Brands have long tapped into the social media ‘influencer’… fashion bloggers, athletes… the Kardashians.” But with the macro drop-off illustrated above, and that, “Famous faces can be costly and impersonal… marketers are now turning to ‘micro-influencers.’”

We all want to think we have a personal reach, but are we all micro-influencers? Not exactly. Expanding on the ‘≤ 100,000 followers’ macro-influencer definition from our Roundtable, CNBC defines micro-influencers as those, “Who have 10,000 to 100,000 followers on social media and the power to reach a niche audience.”

Viacom’s David Berzin, VP of Social Data Strategy,  and Lydia Daly, SVP of Social Media and Branded Content Strategy agree that, “The perfect influencer… isn’t necessarily someone big, but someone who’s about to be big.” Berzin continued, “You really want to look for ebbs and flows, and talent that’s about to peak, as opposed to an inflated follower count.”

Here’s perfect example, offered by Digiday: Last year Trojan wanted to create a campaign targeted to millennials… the influencer on the top of the wish list was YouTube sexologist Shannon Boodram. “Though she didn’t have the tremendous follower count that advertisers craved, her sex-positive social presence was a perfect match for the campaign. And she seemed to be at a tipping point.” To create the leverage that Boodram needed, Trojan also enlisted 2mm-follower-strong comedian Josh Leyva. “The pairing resulted in an avalanche of positive press for Trojan and Boodram,” demonstrating that micro- and macro-influencers have different reaches, and that both can be effective for a brand when used correctly.

What about the ground between micro and macro? Digiday breaks down what agencies are starting to utilize and refer to as “Power middle influencers… typically around 100,000 to 200,000 followers. Creating content for brands is still secondary to their full-time professions, so they post sponsored content less often than social celebrities… thus they feel more authentic.”  Authenticity and the different demographic reaches of micro- and power-middle influencers can result in better engagement when compared to the reach of one or two major celebrities.

Pairing influencers with campaigns is part a matter of feel – which is hard to quantify – and part a matter of reach, where numbers are available and important. Daly explained that for him, numbers come first, helping to “Whittle down from hundreds of thousands of potential influencers in the world to the twenty or so that might make sense for the campaign.” What has to be remembered is that ‘numbers of followers’ is a lifetime count, and that audience may not be relevant for a campaign running now.

Of course, there are three types of lies. We’ll be digging into fraud’s effects on Influencer Marketing in our next blog post… assuming you believe us.

 

Welcome To The Influencer Marketing Era

Big takeaways from our April Roundtable on Influencer Marketing 

At our recent Roundtable, Industry Index gathered MadTech companies, brands, agencies, and influencers to discuss the growing gravitas of Influencer Marketing. While not a new concept, Shade CEO Jacques Bastien stressed the power of influencers — evidenced by brands, all eager to capitalize on this power. Target audiences are likelier to relate, listen to, and trust the familiar faces of influencers.

Jacques Bastien – stresses the power of the influencer

 

Welcome to the era of Influencer Marketing.

PLAYING CATCH-UP
Measurement & Monitoring

Brands recognize that Influencer Marketing is an effective way of getting in front of the right audiences. Understanding, quantifying, and proving success is much less obvious. A major theme at the Roundtable was the need for education through measurement. Influencer Marketing is becoming a bigger part of the media spend, and it’s only going to continue to grow. However, creative agencies aren’t allocating appropriate dollars by treating Influencer Marketing opportunities as media products. Paul Kontonis, CMO of WHOSAY, explained that “Influencer Marketing is a media product. Let’s not kid ourselves – we are making better ads, we are making better performing ads on mobile devices. When you look at it that way you realize it’s becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the media budget.”

Dontae Mears, Supervisor of Influencer Marketing at VaynerMedia, states that a lot of scrutiny comes from the growth of the media budget. Through education and proper measurement, Mears offered, “You will start understanding the real tangible results that are beyond impressions and engagement… how we are affecting real brand health, how are we changing the perception of a band… and that comes with strategy.” There needs to be an infrastructure in place where true impressions can be reported, and pre/post surveys can solidify the understanding of the data pipeline.

PROGRAMMATIC TO THE RESCUE?
Scale & Audience Are Limiting Factors

Is there a way that programmatic can intervene and start measuring the impact of Influencer Marketing? That is a challenge unto itself, as Influencer Marketing relies on, and revolves around, people. Jonathan Chanti, SVP at HYPR Brands stated, “Programmatic isn’t going to work with Influencer Marketing in the near future because you are dealing with people and the error that comes from that.” Proving that Influencer Marketing has a long way to go when relating to the programmatic aspect of technology.

Technology and human error – two main pressure points pertaining to scaling Influencer Marketing. Yuli Ziv, Founder and CEO of Style Coalition offered, “The main challenge in scaling this business is not the technology – you can build this business pretty cheaply – the challenge is you are working with real people and there will always be room for error.” Technology is ubiquitous and platforms are readily available. Anyone can try to be an influencer. In order for Influencer Marketing to scale, the noise has to subside. Ziv continued, “the space has grown to a point where it’s going to have to consolidate – there are too many platforms… too many people doing the exact same thing.”

To continue elevating Influencer Marketing, campaigns have to be delegated and conducted strategically. In order for these three simple steps to be effective, the correct audience has to be determined through the depiction of where an influencer has the greatest pull within a given campaign. Chanti explained that there is a use for everyone, and that pop-culture is about feeding consumption and identifying the correct audience to target a campaign and brand toward. “The hot girl with 80 percent male following is great, but not for cosmetics.” The success of that ‘hot girl’ will thrive in front of a male-dominated audience. Massive reach, wrong audience, wasted dollars, proving the strategy that has to be driven by a brand’s creative brief. The niche audience of an influencer should weigh heavily in controlling the success of a campaign.

AUTHENTICITY, VARIETY, and FAIR MONETIZATION
Grasping Influencer/Audience Relationship

The power influencers have with their hard-won audiences relies on authenticity; their voices cannot be seen as commingled with brands’ messages. Brands must remember that for influencers connect with their users on a human level. With humanity, variety is essential. Influencer Michell Clark explained, “I think we get boxed into fitting in certain small areas of importance – weather that’s music or culture or fashion or whatever else… we have so many things that we do… so just asking the right people and figuring out who else is involved in certain things would be helpful… make new connections and find a new campaign or figure out what [an influencer] can add to a brand.”

Impressions will ultimately drive traffic to a brand, and those impressions are created through influencers’ networks and the conversations they are having. Mears explained some A/B testing conducted by VaynerMedia, “We took influencer-created content, we whitelisted, we promoted it from the brand’s handle and also from the influencer on behalf of the brand, and the engagement was 100% stronger on the influencer handle.”

It’s clear that brands ultimately monetize Influencer Marketing impressions, so how much are influencers directly monetizing their reach? Allan Watson, CEO and Co-Founder of Holr Media Group, predicts that influencers are going to get smarter about monetizing their content, taking more control of the narrative. This cuts both ways, however. Without the product the brand is pushing, there wouldn’t be a narrative to begin with.

Allan Watson predicts – influencer will get smart about monetizing the narrative 

 

THE 360º APPROACH
Micro- vs. Macro-Influencer — Quality Control — Budget

Both micro- and macro-influencers offer different levels of reach and usefulness to brands. According to Chanti, every influencer will have a different spin on how they are going to market the brand and the product.

A micro-influencer was defined, loosely and unscientifically, at the Roundtable, as an individual with 100K followers or fewer (“fewer” was not defined, but we’re guessing it’s more than 100.) This partly defines the reach a brand may have to their given audience, however micro-influencers will cost brands less than the macro-influencers. Laughter broke out around the table we were reminded that agencies often have the same request for macro-influencers, like Kim Kardashian, regardless of budget. It reminds us of a conversation on scarcity and eCPM that we had at a previous Roundtable. Having your cake and eating it, too? Think again, brands.

Talent management agencies may need to aid in defining campaigns based on budgets and influencers’ audiences available within those budgets. Which is better, a slew of micro-influencers or the reach of one macro-influencer? Mears’ prediction is the coming year will feature the growth of micro-influencers as budgets open up and education continues.

Dontae Mears predicts – the growth of micro-influencers

 

This prediction is warranted – many brands simply don’t have the budget sign contracts with major celebrities. Watson, posed the question, “Do you think as the market grows, and micro and macro talent grows, and the cost for macro-talent increases, that brands will be more focused on their own influencers?” The Frankenstein’s monster concept of molding someone into an ideal influencer sent the Roundtable into a flurry of chatter. If an ideal influencer is created (like this guy), the guess work and human error could potentially be minimized or removed entirely. Not exactly Influencer Marketing, but maybe close enough for some, and things like “brand-safe” and “quality control” no longer factor.

Weather a brand is creating the ideal influencer, or working with a micro- or macro-influencer, it’s extremely important to define the quality controls required to achieve brands’ goals. Scale can only be achieved if there is the correct instruction and the correct team. Bastien offered, “It can’t just be like here is the budget and here is the goal and let me know when it is up – because that is 100% the quickest way to fail.” Kontonis explained the importance of everyone playing a part in the process, “The agency needs to make sure that the brand is getting what they need, ” as the influencer shouldn’t ‘just run with it.’ He continued, “… A 360º approach [is needed when] looking at and producing a campaign from start to finish: Monitoring, managing, leveraging audience engagement and conveying a cohesive campaign.

All factors and goals must be discussed at the first strategy meeting. The Influencer Marketing sector is used to influencers being viewed as an afterthought, even though the power of influencer is proven. Mears explains, “In order to generate the amplification needed… the fact that a brand will be using an influencer needs to be on the table.”

ODE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
Platforms and Fraud

Sean Lynch, Marketing Manager at FILA, told the Roundtable that Influencer Marketing is going to continue being the wild, wild west as the industry continues to grow and educate themselves. Brands are going to dictate a lot of the Influencer Marketing landscape through the continued growth of social media. The retail structure of America is depicted so heavily by influencers, and with social media platforms popping up nearly every day, the Influencer Marketing sector continues to take off – but hasn’t gotten above the clouds yet.

“Let’s be realistic,” Chanti states, “social media really changed the game on how you were able to measure how effective your marketing is actually performing. Now it’s how many ‘likes’ did you get? What is the engagement? Who engaged? What’s the ROI?”  With the power that social media platforms have, the lack of measurement and monitoring can create challenges. Mears explains that a huge hurdle is mounting in the proliferation of platforms without standardizations and common taxonomy for measuring Influencer Marketing – Fraud can run rampant.

“Fraud is something you have to look at before you get in bed with someone,” Chanti explains. Through leveraging data and technology, brands and agencies should be able to define and discover influencers’ legitimacy. Through this next growth cycle of Influencer Marketing, how are platforms going to label, prevent, curtail, or amplify fraud? Who controls the metrics?

POWER OF EDUCATION 

Jason Charles, Promotion Manager for Republic Records at Universal Music Group, posed the idea that Influencer Marketing is the old fighting the new. “Anytime there is a change, there is going to be resistance… the budgets need to increase and there needs to be more education.”

Lynch added, “We need education, we need monitoring, but at the same time we can’t lose the authenticity of why [brands are working with] influencers.”

 

Content Roundup: Bots Influence Humans – Amazon Says Yes to the Dress – What does $850mm buy Oracle?

Here come our staff’s fav MadTech news pics from the last two weeks — juicy stuff on programmatic, on-demand retail, robot persuasion…  Plus, don’t miss our blog this coming week as we share insider insights from our Roundtable on Influencer Marketing.

Anything juicy we missed? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook… or button it up on LinkedIn.

 

eMarketer Releases New Programmatic Advertising EstimateseMarketer
Apr. 18, 2017
Despite the negative press around programmatic advertising following the YouTube ad controversy, programmatic isn’t going anywhere…
#programmatic #forecast

How Influencer Chatbots Could Close the Gap Between Content and CommerceThe Drum
Jan. 18, 2017
Brandtech group You & Mr Jones has worked on the “first ever” influencer chatbot for US makeup brand Covergirl. According to them, the next frontier for brands will be…
#influencerMarketing #social #chatbots

Western YouTube Stars Look to Crack the Chinese Social Networks  — Digiday
Apr. 14, 2017
Yoola is localizing select influencer videos from YouTube and distributing them on Chinese social networks. They easily created millions of views in two months…
#international #video #influencerMarketing

Amazon Wins Patent for On-Demand Textile Manufacturing — RetailDIVE
Apr. 19, 2017
Can Amazon slip into something more comfortable? Imagine programmatic retail and garment yield management based on purchase history…
#retail #ecommerce #Amazon

Oracle To Acquire Digital Measurement Firm Moat — AdExchange
Apr. 18, 2017
Someone told Recode that Oracle will pay more than $850 million for Moat. Will the acquisition allow Oracle extend its marketing and data clouds’ abilities?
#financial #Oracle #Moat

 

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS

May 8 – 9  /  DIGIMARCON EAST, New York, NY

May 9 – 10  /  MarTech Conference, San Francisco, CA

May 10 – 12  /  Gartner Digital Marketing Conference, San Diego, CA

May 24  /  OTT & Audience Targeting for Video Roundtable, New York, NY

 

5 Minute MadTech — Account Based Marketing: Part 3

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on ABM’s sales and marketing unification, and how fishing with a spear may be better than fishing with a net, you can catch up here.

ABM isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long term strategy.

When looking at the ABM process, sales and marketing departments should view the cycle as two different funnels — the nurturing of existing accounts and the identification of new ones. B2B Marketing Directions – The Economics of ABM Account Selection states, “Most ABM experts agree that account selection is the most critical component of any AMB program. Companies typically choose their target accounts by identifying businesses that closely resemble their existing customers.” Whether new or existing accounts, this basic principle of success is described as “look-alike modeling.” If sales and marketers target customers that resemble existing accounts there exists a higher chance that a purchase will be made.

Through targeting the correct accounts, the goal of ABM is to scale. According to ITSMA, there are three different methods in order to scale correctly:

  1.  Strategic ABM: Through a strategic and customized approach, senior marketers work with a small number of accounts. Technology plays a big role in Strategic ABM, aiding in account insights and targeting communications.
  2. ABM Lite: This method works with several accounts at a single convergence. Marketers and sales work together during key points, including deciding which accounts to target, which issues to highlight, which promotions to feature, and how to tailor content. Through identifying businesses with similar attributes, ABM Lite can be described as a one-to-few campaign mindset. “Technology becomes more important here, helping automate the account insights process, campaign execution, and measurement.”
  3. Programmatic ABM: This approach is run by a single marketer, and is ideal for companies already engaged with ABM who are looking to improve sales alignment through a demand generation process. Programmatic ABM “Emphasizes new technologies that automate ABM-inspired tactics across hundreds or even thousands of identified accounts.”  

For ABM to be successful, it is important that sales and marketing teams are completely transparent with one another, working together to define the Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV). When defining CLV, it’s a matter of economics. One way to define a lasting value, explained by Azalead, is to  “Identify employees at specific companies who are researching products and services, and then customize sales programs and marketing messages to meet the needs of buyers and influencers at that company.” This mindset will contribute to larger deals, faster cycles and better conversion rates.

ABM can alleviate that “shooting in the dark” feeling in favor of a qualified, tailored-made approach (read more the differences in our previous post).

Focusing on CLV will require sales and marketing teams to understand that time, money, and energy are wasted without tailored-made approaches. The Economics of ABM Account Selection continues to explain, “New customers will contribute to profitable growth only if the profits they create exceed the cost you incur to acquire them,” emphasis ours. “Therefore, the estimated CLV of a prospective customer establishes the ceiling for how much you should invest to acquire that customer.” ABM’s main focus is to develop and retain key accounts in order to generate larger deals, faster cycles, and better conversion rates.

Or, as summarized by CIO, “ABM is the growth strategy of choice because it drives the outcomes that really matter to business: increased pipeline and revenue.”